Matthew 10:38

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 10:38

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” – Matthew 10:38

When persons were convicted of a crime in ancient Rome and they were condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was that they would carry the cross they would be crucified on to the place where the crucifixion would take place.  This idea of carrying or bearing the cross is a brutal and humiliating process.

Normally, when the prisoner was sentenced to crucifixion, he would first be scourged to the point of near death.  This was done using the flagrum, otherwise known as the Roman scourge.  It was essentially a short whip with two or three ox-hide leather strands known as thongs.  The leather thongs were knotted with several small pieces of metal with sharp edges.  When used, this would rip some skin off after the first hit.

After this was finished, they placed the cross, normally only the crossbeam, which was very heavy onto the prisoner’s back.  He would then carry this, completely naked, from the prison to the place of crucifixion.  If he survived the journey, and some did not, the crossbeam would be attached to the pole, and they would be nailed by the hands (technically the wrist just below the hand) and feet and would be left to die.  This occurred in a very public area, only about ten feet up, which added to the humiliation.

The idea of being willing to take up our cross as stated in our focus verse means we must be willing to endure extreme hardship, suffer, be humiliated and disgraced, and die for the cause of Christ.  God has called us to do His work upon this earth.  Sometimes that work is easy.  Sometimes it is trying, but sometimes it is brutal.  Look at what is taking place in China and North Korea where Christians are starved, beaten, humiliated and often put to death in what are known as Re-Education camps.  The main purpose is to “re-educate” the Christians until they deny God and make the government and its leader their so-called god.  We should look at these who do not renounce their faith no matter how much suffering there is, as the example Jesus described in Matthew 10:38 for us to follow.

Are we willing to lower ourselves in order to do the will of God?  Are we willing to endure extreme hardship for the cause of Christ?  Are we willing to go through extreme suffering and/or humiliation if that is what He has for us?  This is a tough verse, however, honestly and prayerfully examining ourselves with this verse will allow us to see if we are truly devoted in all ways to God.  He is not asking us to do anything He was not willing to do Himself.  If we are not willing, then, as our verse of the days says, we are not worthy of Him.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Luke 9:24

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 9:24 

“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” – Luke 9:24  

First, I want to say I had to miss our Verse of the Day for Monday and Tuesday of this week due to some medical issues.  But now things are better, Praise God.

This verse is an important statement from Jesus, for it tells them what is required to be a true disciple of His.  Three conditions of discipleship are laid out. We will be looking at these three conditions listed here. The first involves a need to deny oneself. This is much more radical than simply a denial of certain things. This mandates a rejection of a life based on self-interest and self-fulfillment. Instead a disciple is to be one who seeks to fulfill the will and the teachings of Christ. Another metaphor to express this act of commitment is to hate one’s own life. 

The second condition involves the need to take up one’s cross. Jesus’ own crucifixion reveals more fully to Luke’s readers that this call is for a commitment unto death. There needs to be willingness to suffer martyrdom if need be.  Luke added the need to do this daily “and take up his cross daily”,  whereas Mark emphasized the initial act of denying oneself once and for all. “And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.“ Mark 8:34.  Both are saying the same basic thing, for taking up His cross should be something we do daily, but even more as what Francis Schaeffer would say, “moment by moment.”

The final condition is the need to follow Jesus. In contrast to the other conditions this verb is a present imperative, indicating that following Jesus must be continual.  Following Jesus means striving to be like Him. He always obeyed His Father, so that’s what we should strive to do. To truly follow Christ means to make Him Lord. Every decision and dream is filtered through His Word with the goal of glorifying Him in everything. We are not saved by the things we do for Christ but by what He has done for us. Because of His grace, we want to please Him in everything. All this is accomplished as we allow the Holy Spirit to have complete control of every area of our lives. To follow Christ means we apply the truths we learn from His Word and live as if Jesus walked beside us in person.

Now He goes on to explain the why.  He starts by our lives.  “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:24-25.  That is, do we wish to save our life here at the expense of our conscience and ultimately our eternal life with Christ? By casting aside the cross, we will lose our eternal life; the very evil we wish to avoid shall overtake us while losing our soul in the bargain. See then how necessary it is to renounce ourselves, for whatsoever a man loses in this world, for his steady attachment to Christ and his cause, he shall receive infinitely more in our eternal life.

And “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:25-26. When denying Christ, man does not profit in anything, but actually loses everything. This is essentially a proverb stating that one should live in light of ultimate values. The loss of one’s soul and experiencing God’s judgment is far too great a price to pay for possessing the whole world. To be ashamed of Him is the same as disowning Him.  And when we do this, at His coming, He will disown us in the presence of the Father and the angels. 

And then He closes with this. “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:27. There is a lot of questions regarding what this means.  However, I see this as referring to His resurrection.  He has been given all authority, meaning that His kingdom is here.  “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.  Some who were with Him there would be alive at His resurrection, and ultimately His Lordship, but some would not.  I see this as picturing His kingdom as coming within a short period of time, for some would still be alive.  

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Luke 18:22

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Luke 18:22  

“When Jesus heard this, He said to him, one thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” – Luke 18:22

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18.  This young man was a ruler among the Jews.  He was also a very rich person who essentially lacked nothing.  This man was not a Sadducee because he believed in a future eternal life.  He asked Jesus a serious question because he was concerned about what he should do in order to receive and enjoy everlasting life.  However, he was looking at this from a legal standpoint, figuring that all good things are given him by his good works.  Therefore, he said “what shall I do to inherit eternal life. 

Jesus then asks him about what he said.  “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:19.  Knowing the young man was a Jew, Jesus knew this young man did not believe Him to be the Son of God.  He was one who believed keeping the Jewish law was important and helpful in attaining the favor of God.  And Jesus used this knowledge to open up the discussion regarding the Law.  “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.”  Luke 18:20. 

The man then tells Jesus he has kept all these from his youth.  He was hinting that he knew it would require more than just following the Jewish Law, which it does.  But again, he believed their must be more that must be done.  Then Jesus tells the young man what he must do.  “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Luke 18:22.  What Jesus was telling him was he had to give up those things which were more important to him then God.  Mark adds an additional idea to this.  “Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him.” Mark 10:21a.  To many, money has become an idol, the thing they seek beyond everything else.  And this appears to be what was going on with this young ruler.  He responded by becoming very sad because of the great wealth he had.  These things he had accumulated along with the great wealth he had set aside was more important than the eternal life he asked about.

It is important that we examine our hearts and see if there is anything we would choose not to give up for the cause of Christ.  He is to be more important than anything else in our lives no matter what.  What is it that motivates you?  If it is other than doing God’s work or a relationship with Him, then, as Jesus said, we may have to give these things up.  We cannot allow anything to take precedence over God.  So, I want to challenge us, and I include myself in this as well, to look at what is the most important thing that drives us.  And if it Is not God, then we may have something we need to give up. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Matthew 10:38

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Matthew 10:38  

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” – Matthew 10:38

This verse speaks of trials that come upon us Christians because we are Christians.  He is letting His disciples know that this life whereby we are committed to Him will not be an easy one.  Jesus starts off with the following.  “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34.  This sounds like a strange thing for Jesus to say, but when we fully understand what is meant here.  It was not meant that the purpose of His coming was bring discord and contention.  What He is saying is that this is the effect of His coming. 

In the next verse, He is quoting the prophet Micah.  Jesus’ words are, “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Matthew 10:35-36.  Again, this will be the result, not the intention of His coming.  Micah words it this way.  “Do not trust in a neighbor; Do not have confidence in a friend. From her who lies in your bosom Guard your lips.  For son treats father contemptuously, Daughter rises up against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” Micah 7:6. Jesus essentially said the same as Micah, however Micah also refers to neighbors and friends as well. 

 Jesus then makes three statements designating three situations where Christ says people are not worthy Him.  In verse 37 we read, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37.  The meaning here is clear.  If we do not love Him over and above anyone else, or we are not truly loving Him.  If we do not love Him above everyone else and everything, then we do not truly have a true love and attachment to Him. Jesus uses the phrase ‘not worthy of Him’.  What is alluded to is that we are not to be seen as a follower of Him if we do not love Him above everyone else. 

And now we come to our focus verse.  “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38.  Lets look at this.  In first century Rom, when a person is condemned to die by crucifixion, a part of the sentence was that they would carry their cross to the place of execution.  To carry this incredible weight was exhausting and disgraceful and was hard to do mentally and emotionally as well.  Then after the torture of carrying the cross to the place of execution, they were hung on this same cross, either by ropes or nails until they died.  This was an extremely tortuous form of execution.  So, to carry the cross here is a figurative expression denoting we must endure whatever is burdensome, trying, considered disgraceful in following Christ.  It means to simply do what Christ requires regardless of what anyone says or thinks of us.  It does not mean doing things for the purpose of being opposed, but simply doing what Christ calls us to do and being opposed because of it.  Doing whatever is required in the scriptures and enduring whatever shame, disgrace or pain may come upon us.  This is what is required of all Christians.  Remember, Christ suffered much in order to pay the penalty for our sins.  We should be willing to suffer in the work we do for Him.

Are we willing to endure anything in order to do what He has called us to do?  I pray we all are.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Luke 5:27

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Luke 5:27 

“After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, Follow Me.” – Luke 5:27

This verse speaks of Jesus’ call to Matthew, also known as Levi, to be one of His disciples.  Matthew was seen by Jesus sitting in the tax booth when He was called by Jesus to follow Him.  Matthew, having heard Jesus call him did not hesitate but left immediately.  “And he left everything behind and got up and began to follow Him.” Luke 5:28. Not long afterwards, he gives a big reception for Jesus at his home where many other tax collectors reclined at the table with them.  Now, tax collectors in probably every culture in every time in history are some of the most disliked of all people.  And in the New Testament, the occupation of tax collector, or publican was looked down upon by the general population because it was generally recognized they required more than the taxes due in order to keep the overage for themselves.  Also, they were Jews who worked for the hated Romans.

We then read that there were some present, mainly Pharisees, who did not approve of these publicans being there. So, they complained and asked Jesus and His disciples a question.   “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” Luke 5:30b.  To the Pharisee, a sinner was a Jew who did not follow the Law, which included the Pharisees’ own rules.  And a tax collector was someone who was considered absolutely dishonorable. 

Jesus understood how people viewed tax collectors and used it as an illustration of church discipline.  “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17.  He uses this simply as a means to explain the result of people who do not repent of a wrong done using wording they would understand.  Jesus’ then answers, making it clear why He chose Matthew.  “And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32. 

Jesus saw tax collectors as those who were spiritually sick to be healed.  The Jews saw them as enemies to be shunned by all.  Jesus was offering forgiveness and the expectation of a new life, where the Pharisees simply offered them the Law that was to be rigidly followed.  Jesus offered grace, where the Jews offered strict obedience to a set of rules.  It is obvious why tax collectors viewed Jesus favorably. 

Jesus has called us to tell everyone the good news of the gospel.  “And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15.  Too often, Christians choose not to go out and spend time with the unsaved for they do not wish to be seen as being associated with them. This is sad, for many times people will not listen to someone who they believe really do not care about them but only do it because they have to.  But what did Jesus do?  He fellowshipped with them and went out to those who did not know Him and shared the truth.  And we are to do the same.  John put it this way, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:6.  As Jesus was willing to fellowship with unbelievers in order to present the gospel to them, we should also be willing to do the same. 

I want to encourage us all to take whatever opportunities come our way to be a light in the world, shining it upon the unsaved, sharing the gospel with them so they can accept Christ as savior.  And also let your life show the reality of your walk.  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.  God desires all should repent and be saved.  Let us be those who help make this happen as we are able.  It is our calling in this world.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Mark 8:34

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Mark 8:34  

“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, if anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” – Mark 8:34

Jesus here is speaking to the disciples and the crowd that was there with them about what was going to take place.  “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31.  He told them the Jewish leadership would get Him killed, however He would rise from the grave in three days.  After He clearly states this, Peter pulls Him aside and literally rebukes Him.  What is interesting is that, knowing who He was, he felt it necessary to rebuke the Son of God.  “But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Mark 8:33.  The reason for this rebuke is that Peter was minimizing the will of the God and usurping it with his own will.  This shows Peter still did not fully understand Jesus’ purpose here. 

So, in our focus verse, Jesus summoned them all together and told them what He required from His followers.  “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34.  Now, these words of Jesus were similar to the principal qualities required of a proselyte to Judaism. 

The first principal being that proselytes must embrace the Jewish religion voluntarily, and that neither force or influence has anything to do with this decision (if anyone wishes to come after me). 

Second, they must completely renounce and separate themselves from  their former religion and its beliefs and ways (he must deny himself).  He must deny his former life and be reborn.  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Third, he must submit to the yoke of the Jewish law (he must take up his cross).  However, instead of the yolk of the law.  Jesus speaks of the yoke of His teachings.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30.  His teachings are less burdensome and onerous then the Jewish yoke of the Law of Moses. 

And lastly, he must solemnly and honestly engage to continue in the Jewish faith (and follow me).  This condition Christ also requires; and it is comprised in this word, ‘let him Follow me’.  In following Him, they agree to adopt the teachings and ways of Christ. 

One other idea within this verse is that they are putting their lives on the line by following Him.  Note here the phrase, ‘he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’  No matter any danger that may come as a result of them following Christ, they must continue with Him.  He must put Christ ahead of himself and if required, take up the cross and sacrifice himself.  Following Jesus requires continuing and non-stop determination to stick to the chosen path. 

To follow Christ can be a difficult task, but it is following the truth.  In the first century it was a dangerous decision due to the Jewish leadership and the Roman government.  And we are beginning to see similar situations in our world today.  There is definitely movement to seriously restrict Christians in their beliefs and even in their speech.  So, as Jesus spoke to the crown around Him, so He speaks to us today.  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:35-38.    

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Psalm 23:6

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 23:6   

“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” – Psalm 23:6

This is the last verse in Psalm 23, where he wraps up these thoughts on God’s goodness to Him.  David declares all the good things God provides for him.  He says that whatever His needs are, God provide them for him.   He take him to green pastures to rest in, and to quiet waters to quench his thirst.  When he was weary or sinned against the Lord, God will forgive him and strengthen him.  No matter where Gid leads him, he does not fear, for the Lord is with him all the time.  The Lord blesses him in the presence of his enemies because God’s rod and staff comforts him because He is protected. 

Now, in verse six we read, “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life” Psalm 26:6a.  God has promised those who live their lives for God, just as David did, goodness and lovingkindness.  And this will be his life all the days of his life.  Another verse says something very similar.  “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4.  What he is asking for is that he can spend time in God’s house in worship and devotion to Him.  This was very important to him, for worship and praise was an essential part of his life.  He loved being in the temple, meditating on God. 

David trusted that for the rest of his life goodness and lovingkindness would be a part of his experience.  We read in Lamentations the following, “ Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:19-23.  His lovingkindness and His compassion never fails.  In fact, they are new every morning.  The beauty of this is that His love is always with us, and we can trust this with no questioning.

Now, the last past of our focus verse says, “And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6b.  In my research, many have stated that this does not mean eternal, but the rest of life.  However, I tend to disagree with this.  Here is the focus verse again.  “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6.  There are two time periods mentioned.  “all the days of my life” and ‘I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.  All the days of my life, and forever.  These must be two different periods of time because of the distinction.  So, in this last part of the verse, it is saying that forever, I will spend in His house.  If this was a temporal idea, then we would be living forever here.  We know that is not the case.  Also, look at what is said in the book of Revelation.  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying,Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,” Revelation 21:3.  You may be asking, how would David know of this?.  There are many verses where God reveals the future to David, so this is not necessarily out of the norm. 

And what David was promised in this verse, is ours, as Christians, as well.  Think about this verse in relation to you.  “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6.  And I must say I look forward to these days.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Matthew 16:24

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 16:24 

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” – Matthew 16:24 

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus asks His disciples an intriguing question.  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13b.  They answered with several names, John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other Prophets.  Then He asks the same question, this one specifically to them.  “But who do you say that I am?  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15b-16.   He then blesses Peter and says this was revealed to him by His Father in Heaven.

 Shortly after this, Jesus foretells His death and resurrection.  “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”  Matthew 16:21.  Peter than took Him aside and told Him “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” Matthew 16:22b. After which Jesus responded, “But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:23.  This is a strong rebuke to Peter.  Not long before, Jesus blessed him because he heard from God and told all that He was the promised Christ, God’s Son.  Now, Jesus rebukes Peter for not looking at what God was doing through Him, but what man wanted.

Jesus had just declared what it would mean to fulfill the role of Messiah (Verse 21), that being to suffer many things from the Jewish leadership, and then be killed, but after this rise from the dead after three days.  Now, He addresses the disciples and spells out the consequences of following Him.  He does this in two parts.  The first is “If anyone wishes to come after Me,” Matthew 16:24a.  This question can be worded as “If you are really willing to follow me.”  He is with them now, but He will die at the hands of the Jewish leadership.  Were they truly willing to follow Him wherever it took them?  Then Jesus explains what truly following Him means.  “he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24b. 

First, they must deny themselves.  They must renounce any selfish pursuits that get in the way of pursuing Christ.  Second, they must take up their cross.  They must embrace any situation which God has appointed for them, and suffer through any trials, troubles or difficulties he may have to endure when walking the way of a true Christian.  Even if it means their death.   And they must follow Him.  They must imitate Jesus, do what He does, suffer all that is required to do the will of God and please Him and His Father. 

And He not only spoke these words to them, but to us as well who desire to follow Him.  These days are becoming more difficult.  Christians are being looked down upon, ridiculed, and sometimes enduring abuse at the hands of those who hate us.  And it will only get more difficult as we get closer to His return.  So, do we desire to follow Him more than anything else in our lives?  Do we submit our lives to Him, renouncing our own likes and pursuits when they get in the way of His desires for us?  Are we willing to endure anything no matter what to continue following Him?  These are difficult questions.  However, this should be our goal as Christians.  And remember, God will always be with us and give us the strength to endure anything if we sacrifice all for Him.  “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.