Philippians 3:20-21

Verse of the Day: Philippians 3:20-21

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” – Philippians 3:20-21

As Christians, we may be living down here, however, this is not where our citizenship is.  Jesus put it like this, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  John 17:14 The world is against the truth and therefore is against us and our belief.

There is coming a time in the future whereby we will go to our new home.  It is the place where God dwells, and we will no longer have to deal with the world.  So, stand strong and uncompromising.  Do not let anyone cause you to be embarrassed or start to question your beliefs.  We are here for a time and then we go home.  Look ahead at this time and understand that things may be tough now, but a glorious eternal future lies ahead.  Rejoice in this.

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

Isaiah 11:10

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Isaiah 11:10

“Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.” – Isaiah 11:10

The Jews in their day believed that the Messiah would be the Savior of the Jews, and that the kingdom He would set up would be in Jerusalem as a Jewish nation. However, there are several verses in the prophet Isaiah which states that He would reach out to the nations of the world.  As our focus verse states, He will be a signal to the nations as well.  We also read further in Isaiah, “And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength), He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nation’s So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.” Isaiah 49:5-7.   

 However, He came for all the nations and all the people.  His birth in Bethlehem was not only for the Jewish nation, but for all the people in the world.  Note what was said in the above verse.  “He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nation’s So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6.  John said it like this.  “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”  1 John 2:1-2.  The salvation provided through the death of Jesus was not just for the Jews, but the gentiles as well. 

I know this is fairly well known, but it is important that we can understand this so that we can present this truth to all who question this idea.  Jesus said the following early in His ministry.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17.  And He also said, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,  even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” John 10:14-16.  We are His sheep as well, and therefore He watches over us, protects us, and ultimately died for us so we may live eternally with Him.

So this Christmas, let us rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, who lived a perfect life so He could pay the penalty for everyone’s sins by dying on the cross.  Yes, He came from the line of King David.  Yes, He was born in a staunchly Jewish environment, and yes, His coming was prophesied throughout Jewish history.  However, we are all His people.  We are the children of God who has accepted His work of salvation for the remittance of the penalty we earned and deserved.  In history, there were many non-Jews who accepted the ways of Judaism and thus became proselytes.  We became one of God’s children when we accepted the work Christ did on the cross.  We were not automatically one. We need to accept what Jesus did for us.  As Christians, we are all God’s people.  He may have come through the line of David, but He came for us all.  Remember this and be thankful, and help others to understand this and be thankful as well.

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

James 2:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: James 2:1 

“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.” – James 2:1        

In this verse, James is laying out the command that we are not to show favoritism toward anyone.  We are all one body together and we all have different functions within the body.  And none of these are more important than another.  Let us look at the next couple of verses that lays it our perfectly.  “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, you sit here in a good place, and you say to the poor man, you stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” James 2:2-3. This is not right in any shape or form.  How can we judge someone by their appearance?  If we do, we are not judging by God’s standard but by our own.

Lets look at these two examples.  I will assume that we do not know either.  First, if we show favoritism to the rich man, it is probably because we feel it will be to our advantage.  We will be with a prominent and probably important person.  If we can develop a relationship with him, it could help lift our stature in the eyes of others.  They will see that we are with him and this may help us to gain greater esteem.  And by placing this rich man away from us at the same time we believe this will add to that advantage.  We may not think this way, but if we favor one thing over another, it is because we believe we will benefit from it.  And unfortunately it is the same with people.

Now, lets look at how these two people would take what we have done.  The rich man will see he has an advantage because we have accepted him immediately.  But what of the poor man?  Will he feel accepted?  No.  And this is probably how his whole life has been.  We just look at him and determine there is no advantage of being with him, so we set him aside and leave him alone.  How does this make the poor man feel?  Probably rejected once again.  Is this how we wish to be treated?  “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31.

Now, I am not trying to accuse anyone.  I am simply describing this idea to an extreme.  What I am saying is that all people need to know they are as accepted as anyone else.  When I was growing up, I was ostracized by most of the kids in school.  I grew up in a poor family, wore hand-me-downs or cheap versions of clothing.  I wanted friends, but many would not give me any time, but hung out with the popular ones.  Finally, I found someone in my same position and I finally had a friend.  It was hard and debasing.  No one should ever treat anyone this way.  And God does not want us to favor one person over another.  We are equal in His sight.  He loves us all equally and provided salvation to us equally.  We are to be like Christ; therefore we are to treat everyone the same.  I pray we can, as children of God, fulfill this and show love to everyone we meet.  Who knows what incredible work can be accomplished by this simple act of love.

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