1 Corinthians 10:31

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 10:31

“Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Paul here is telling the Christians in Corinth that God’s glory should be the desired result of all we do.  This is similar to an old Jewish saying which said, ‘let all your works be done to the glory of God.’ This should be all our desired results.  John the Baptist when questioned by his disciples when they said, “And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.” John 3:26, he answered “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30. John knew that he was simply the one to declare Christ, he was the voice crying in the wilderness that the promised Messiah had come, the Son of God.  And when his disciples questioned him, he answered saying that it is Jesus, the Messiah, that is important and must be followed, not John.

Paul is referring to in previous verses regarding clean and unclean meat.  “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23.  He is allowed to eat anything, all is now lawful according to God.  We see this is the account of Peter when God shows him a vision of a sheet descending from heaven with all kinds of unclean animals.  God told him to eat three times, but each time Peter says, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Acts 10:14b.  And three times God tells him, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” Acts 10:15b. He did this in preparation for Peter going to the house of Cornelius, a centurion in the Roman army. Why, because Peter would no doubt be offered food to eat that was not considered clean. And rejecting this food would be an insult to Cornelius and may stifle Peter’s job of presenting the gospel.  He could come across to them as believing he was ‘better’ than they were.

Paul tells them not to question where the meat came from, but to accept it with thankfulness.  “Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.” 1 Corinthians 10:25-27.  However, if they tell them it is meat sacrificed to idols, then they are not to eat it.  “But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;” 1 Corinthians 10:28.  By eating what they declare as sacrificed to idols, they person who informs you may be weak and unscrupulous may judge or condemn the one who eats it, because they may look at you and say you have fallen into the customs of the idolaters.  Again, they could eat it, but it may cause the one who declared the meat as sacrificed to look negatively upon them.

So, looking at the focus verse, whatever we do, whether it is in eating, drinking or whatever, we must do for God’s glory. It is important that we look to those we are with. If they offer us anything that is not sin, then we should be willing to partake, and we should be thankful for it.  For in our eating and drinking what they offer, we probably will open the door to discussion and/or evangelism.  And this brings glory to God.  And in whatever else we do; we must also bring the glory to God.  We must not strive for our own glory, or the glory of others, but for the glory of almighty God.  When people see our openness to them and that we follow God in all ways and we do not compromise but obey Him in all things, they will be more inclined to ask us about this faith we have and accept Him as Lord and Savior or accept the teaching we give in order to help them grow in Christ.   This is what we are called to do.  Do not let tradition get in the way.  We must look to our neighbors and those God brings our way above ourselves.  “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” 1 Corinthians 10:24.  Whatever brings God glory, and our fellow man is better in the end, this we need to do.

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

Romans 8:18

Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 8:18

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18   

I am sure that we all suffer or have suffered to some degree due to our Christianity. We may not have to endure what the apostles or those Christians today who live in countries that are hostile to the Christian faith.  However, we will no doubt experience persecution for our faith in Christ.  Paul put it this way in his second letter to Timothy. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Christian persecution in this country is growing fast.  In fact, many Christian organizations are persecuted by those who disagree with them regarding their faith.  There are colleges and universities that do not allow Christian organizations to have meetings on campus, however, it is OK for anti-Christian groups to meet regularly.  A law school in New York required students to work with a law firm over the summer, however, law firms that held firm to Christian beliefs were not acceptable and several students who selected them were forced to find another firm to work with.  In Canada, it is illegal to talk or give a speech or sermon that states homosexuality or transgenderism is an abomination, in fact, there are heavy fines and possible jail time for those who do.  The same idea is being talked about by the democratic presidential candidates, in fact, one has said if he becomes president, if they do not declare LGBTQ acceptable to God, a church may lose its tax-exempt status.

What is interesting is that no other religion is being spoken of in this way.  Even Islam, which kills those who practice homosexuality are not being targeted.  This, to me, makes it pretty clear that Christianity is under attack and ultimately Christians.  Abortion is another issue that causes people to hate Christians.  Many believe that the murdering of an unborn child is not only acceptable, but also pleasing to God.

There are many groups forming here and all over that will attack and punish those who do not agree with them, and this definitely includes those who live out and speak out about their Christian faith when it comes to LGBTQ, abortion, or any other issues in which the disagree with us.

We must understand this will occur, and we must stand strong and not compromise when it does.  In so doing, we will show our love for God in standing up against evil.  James put it like this.  “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. James 1:12. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 And this hope is looking forward to the day when He returns and delivers us from this world.

As our focus verse says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18. Times like this are hard, but they are nothing compared to our new life, which is an eternal one.  So, look at these trials and tribulations as of no consequence, in fact, pray for those who perpetrate them on you.  Their future, if nothing changes, will be eternal torment.  “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:43-48.  Remember, Jesus while on the cross prayed that those who put Him on the cross be forgiven for they know not what they do.  Many who persecute Christians really do not understand the reality they truly live in.  We need to present the truth when we can and pray always for them to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Who knows what changes this will bring about in their lives.  They may even give their lives to Christ as we have.

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

Isaiah 60:1

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Isaiah 60:1

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 

The language used here is reminiscent of what is found in verse 51:17. “Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.” Isaiah 51:17. The difference being in chapter fifty-one it speaks of God’s anger on them, whereas, in this chapter it speaks of God’s glory upon them. After the thick and desperate darkness described in Isaiah 59:9-10, this is the glorious rescue available from the Redeemer. Light has come; therefore, God tells His people to respond to it, and to arise and shine.

This is no light that comes from here on earth. This light emanates from God’s glory. the glory of the Lord. This is like the light of Jesus in the Transfiguration, when His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. “And He (Jesus) was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” Matthew 17:2. Sometimes harsh, bright light can be disturbing or uncomfortable, but not this warm, wonderful light that is reflected from the glory of the Lord. Verse two makes this very clear. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you.” Isaiah 60:2. Here, Isaiah speaks a profound and incredible truth. And this is the result of all He believes. And that is that only one God exists, that God is other than this world, and that God has revealed Himself to Israel alone. And given these truths, the conclusion is inescapable. That being, darkness covers the earth, but on us the Lord rises. The whole world, and all the people in it, are covered in a thick cloud of ignorance and ultimately, sin. And this vision of Isaiah’s shows there is no one or nothing in this world that can save us. Only God can save us, through the work of Christ.

Then we read in verse three, “And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:3. Here, Isaiah is speaking to Israel saying that the light of the glory of God is reflecting from them to the world. And this light will draw many non-Jewish people who live in non-Jewish nations to the Lord. So splendid will be that glory, that it will attract the distant nations, and they shall come and participate in the blessings of the gospel. And they will not come to Israel because they find Israel a better place, but because of the light. The brightness of the presence of God in the person of the Savior will be irresistible to many.

And today, this is our calling as Christians/People of God. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16. We are not called just to do Christian things. We are called to be those ehom Isaiah spoke of in the three verses above. “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you, And His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3. The light of Christ is here, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure all as possible can see that light. Go out and display the reality of Christ through how we talk and how we live. It is by this ‘light’ that the world will see the light of the glory of the Lord Jesus and begin the process of coming to Him for salvation.

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

Philippians 4:19

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Philippians 4:19  

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Paul here is speaking to the Philippian Church thanking them for the much-needed assistance they provided to him.  It appears that the church had stopped providing supplies for Paul’s ministry due to circumstances outside of their control.  “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.” Philippians 4:10.  Notice the phrase “but lacked opportunity”.  This signifies that he believed they had entertained the same sentiments of him, had the same affection and inward care for him all along; but they had no opportunity of showing it, him being at such a distance, with them having no convenient or proper persons to send to him; or were hindered through multiplicity of business on their hands that they could not attend to him.

Paul then says he was not saying this because he had needed anything from them during this time.  “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11.  He tells them he knows how to deal with little.  “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:12.  Before Christ’s calling of him to spread the gospel, he had been well off and had all his needs met.  He was a Pharisee and one highly regarded by many in Judaism.  However, in his current life he has learned to rely on God for everything.  Yes, there are times when difficulties come and he finds himself lacking in food.  However, in the previous verse he says he has learned how to handle hunger and plenty.  He knows he can do everything God calls him to do no matter what, but he is thankful for their help.  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” Philippians 4:13-14. 

Paul then reminds the Philippians that while after he had preached to them, he left Macedonia and ministered throughout the area, no other church helped them in the meeting of their needs.  He wanted to say thanks to them for the sacrifices they made on their behalf.  He also encouraged them through our focus verse.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.  He essentially was telling them that as they have given to him in his distress, God will never suffer them to be in need without helping them in their time.  His fulness and riches are infinite. 

And when we are in need, He will give us what we need through His infinite riches and grace.  All the favors and fulfillments of the provisions given would be given through Christ.  Even the supply of our temporal needs comes to us through the Savior.  The theologian Albert Barnes puts it this way.  “Were it not for the atonement, there is no more reason to suppose that blessings would be conferred upon people than that they would be on fallen angels. For them no atonement has been made; and at the hand of justice they have received only wretchedness and woe.”  And I want to add that often these blessing conferred upon non-Christians can lead to their salvations. 

Therefore, if God will supply all our needs then we need to ask the question, “If God does not provide for what we deem a need, is it really a need or is it simply a desire?  And we must remember that God knows how best to meet our needs, which may not be how we expect or desire them to be met.  So we must have trust and faith in God that however things happen is how He determines is the best way.  God loves us more than we can ever imagine, so much so that He sent His begotten Son to address an issue we could not.   And if He loves us this much to sacrifice His only begotten son, why would He not address other “needs” we may have?  Just be who He has called you to be. “Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17. 

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

1 Peter 4:14

Verse of the Day Devotion:  1 Peter 4:14 

“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” – 1 Peter 4:14

One of the most difficult things to endure in life today is shame and humiliation.  Think about a time in your life when someone embarrassed you in front of others.  I can remember several times as a child when I was mocked or insulted for various reasons in the presence of others my age.  When experiencing this, we want to go away and hide in order to fight the shame laid upon us.  However, exposure to shame was a peculiarly harsh experience in a world where ‘losing face’ was taken much more seriously than in todays western culture.  In Old Testament times those who stood by their faith in Yahweh (God) experienced this disgrace.  David wrote in the sixty-ninth psalm the following. “Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Dishonor has covered my face. I have become estranged from my brothers And an alien to my mother’s sons. For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. When I wept in my soul with fasting, It became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. Those who sit in the gate talk about me, And I am the song of the drunkards.” Psalm 69:7-12.  It is unknown as to the why this occurred, but his adversaries were filled with reproach for him and they strove to dishonor him.

What Peter is laying out here is the idea that if we are reviled because of our Christianity and our love and service to Christ, then we should not be embarrassed, but we should realize that we are blessed because the Spirit of God and His glory rests on us.  For as the Spirit of God rested upon Christ, so does it rest upon those followers who are persecuted.  It is not surprising that we as His followers should have to endure suffering and humiliation in the same way because of our allegiance to Him.  There are many people who find the idea of God a silly and stupid belief.  Many scientists believe saying this universe has a beginning and it was through an eternal God who created it and filled it with all that exists is foolish and idealistic.

Peter uses this same thought in an earlier verse.  “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3:14-16. He again states that those who suffer for the sake of Christ shall be blessed.  We should not shy away from the truth, but speak it in good conscience, being completely truthful about the gospel as declared in His word.  We should never be ashamed of it but should declare it with all confidence. 

Jesus also addressed this in His Sermon on the Mount.  “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12.  He also refers to those insulted in the name of Christ as blessed.  However, He goes further by stating if we are reproached; called evil and contemptuous names; and ridiculed because we are Christians, we will have a great reward awaiting us in heaven.  The more someone suffers for Christ, the greater their reward.

Therefore, if we are shamed because of our relationship with Christ our Messiah, we should not back down and become quiet but should stand and proudly declare Jesus with no hesitation or humiliation. He is the creator of all there is and came here to die for our sins so we can be reconciled with the Father.  This truth is nothing to be ashamed of.  On the contrary, it is because of Him that we, as Christians, are God’s children and will live with Him for all eternity, giving Him the worship, praise and honor He more than deserves.  But those who are ashamed are given a powerful warning from Jesus.  “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 8:38.  So, stand proud as a child of God in this defiled world.  He gave His life for us, should we not be willing to give everything including our lives for Him?

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

1 Peter 4:16

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 4:16 

“But if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” – 1 Peter 4:16 

This, and the verse before it, deals with suffering.  In the verse just before this we read, “Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;” 1 Peter 4:15.  We must make sure that we do not suffer because of something we did wrong.  He mentions several things in the verse such as murder or thievery which are illegal acts or meddling in the affairs of others.  In these things we should expect to suffer because we did wrong.  In the above, if we stole something that belonged to someone else, or we took the life of someone and thus denied them their future with family and friends or meddled in the affairs of another which causes them trouble, then we should expect to pay the penalty of what we have done.

However, as our focus verse states, “but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” 1 Peter 4:16.  We should not be ashamed when we suffer for the sake of Christ.  On the contrary, we are to rejoice.  “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”  1 Peter 4:13. In other words, if we share in the same type of suffering Christ endured and if it was inflicted on us for the same reasons.  Paul, in his letter to the Colossians said the following, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” Colossians 1:24. What Paul is saying is that the leading desire of his soul was to be just like Christ; alike in moral character and in His suffering, as well as in Christ’s final destiny.  In fact, in his second letter to the church in Corinth he even boasts in his suffering.  “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-30. 

Are we willing to suffer for the cause of Christ?  If someone ridicules us because of our faith and belief in Jesus and what He has done for us, will we be ashamed?  If we are arrested and demanded to deny Christ in exchange for our release, will we?   If we were threatened with death if we continue to believe in and spread the good news of Christ to the world, would we back away?  Or will we stand strong and take whatever comes our way.  This is a hard question, but it was required of His disciples back in the first century and it is also required of us in our time as well.  We are seeing persecution of Christians and the church throughout the world increasing because of Christ.  It is important that we stand firm in our belief and help our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same?  For when we do, we show the reality of our Christian walk.  It declares we have no doubt that the Son of God came down from heaven in the form of a man and gave His life to pay the penalty for our sins.  Knowing this if we are ashamed of our Christian walk, or desire to save our pride and lives rather than stand up for Christ, then we truly do not love Him or have accepted Him.  He suffered incredibly in this world in order to provide salvation to us all.  We should therefore be willing to suffer to bring this eternal message to a world that needs to hear it, and ultimately bring glory to God.  It is the least we can do.

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

Psalms 3:3

(Editor’s Note: Christiaan is writing the devotions for today and tomorrow. Hopefully, William will be able to return to writing on Wednesday from the hospital. We’re bringing him his laptop tomorrow, and we should have an update published soon).

Verse of the Day Devotion – Psalms 3:3 (ESV)

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. – Psalms 3:3 (ESV

If you missed last weeks study on Psalm 3:4 please check it out, you’ll learn a lot about the historical and contextual setting for this chapter. In short, David is in hiding from his Absalom (his son who murdered his other son, took the throne, and is hunting David down to murder him). The net is closing around him. As he’s hiding he hears people telling him that no god (neither God or any other deity) will come to rescue him.

Think about it.

David is the King of Israel. He’s been elevated from farm boy to king.. He’s lead the armies of the Lord to fulfill the promise given to Moses. This is the heyday of Israel. It has never been better than it was now and (honestly, probably never will be again until Jesus returns). David has thousands of servants, concubines, and armies so large that by the end of this current situation over twenty thousand people died in a single battle between the armies of israel lead by Absalom and David’s resistance fighters.

But where do we find David?


In a cave.

So reviled and with such little authority that at one point he was recognized and an individual who openly cursed him… like old school “a pox upon you and your family” style cursing.

When I think about where David is at this point versus where he was, I think about that line from A Christmas Story when Ralphie has “soap poisoning” and his dad asks him, “What has brought you to this lowly state?” The answer is that we live in a fallen world. It was completely outside of David’s control. It wasn’t punishment for Bathsheba. It wasn’t because God ceased to have David in his favor. It was because there were people doing evil things.

I think that a lot of times we get put in situations completely outside of our control and it’s up to us to decide how we respond to it. In a previous verse of the day I did I looked at the verse about how there’s a season for everything from Ecclesiastes 3:1 (I seem to like the third chapter in books!) Last time we looked at how David cried out to God and God answered him. But today, we look at what he KNEW about God.

God is his shield around David. But Christiaan, you may ask. How is God a shield around David, if God allowed Absalom to murder his brother, pull of a successful military coop-d’etat, and force God’s chosen king into a cave hiding away from the world? The answer is that we live in a fallen world. But David doesn’t lose faith. He doesn’t lose Hope. He knows that God hears the cries of his people. He knows that God is ultimately in control over the situation. He knows that whatever is happening it’s going through God first.

Maybe that medical condition that brought you into the hospital that you thought was the worst thing that could happen, really ended up saving your life. Because they discovered something infinitely worse than anything you could have imagined.

Maybe that job loss that had you eat through your savings, and put you in what seemed to be a hopelessly impossible financial situation leads you to finding your dream job, that may not fully get you out of the financial straits you found yourself in, but you’re in a significantly better place, and you never realized how toxic and draining your other job was.

Who knows, and most of the time we don’t see the positives until they’ve happened to us. We know that as Paul told us in Romans 8:28 that “God causes everything to work together for the Good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT) and David’s words reinforce that.

David doesn’t just testify that God is his shield, but also that God is his glory. This word in a transliterated hebrew is kabodi which means, reputation, honor, splendor, distinction – in short, his identity all the things that make him who he is and special. David knows that regardless of what happens to him and what people say about him that ultimately his identity is in God. And regardless if he’s a brilliant military commander (as they say of him in 2nd Samuel – in fact they say he’s worth ten thousand men in battle) if he’s the king of Israel, or if he’s a beleaguered man in a cave hiding from his murderous son… his identity is given to him by God.

The verse finishes at a crescendo of David’s affirmation of God’s role in his life, that God is “the lifter of my head” or in the NLT it says, “the one who holds my head high.” David doesn’t have to be ashamed of these situations that happened. He doesn’t have to sulk in the darkness afraid to be who God created him to be and the role God called him to walk in. The two translations beside each other paint a beautiful picture of our God who lifts our face from being downcast, and then holds it up.

So, may you come to realize that no matter what happens in your life, how scary it is, or how unexpected it is God is your shield, protecting you in some way. May you search for the good things in the midst of the trauma and focus on them. May you find your identity in Christ and not let that shake your confidence in who you were made to be. And finally, may you not struggle against the God whose lifts your head, and helps you to hold you head high!

Psalm 19:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 19:1  

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” – Psalm 19:1     

One of the most beautiful things I enjoy looking at is a starry sky on a cloudless night.  I look up and see the many lights that fill the night sky and ponder just how many are there.  The vast majority of these ‘lights’ are stars that are relatively close to our planet.  Let us look at a few things.  Light travels at approximately 186,000 miles per second.  Our sun is approximately 93 million miles away.  It is so far, it takes approximately 499 seconds, or 8.32 minutes for its light to reach earth.  Whatever happens at the sun takes 8 minutes for us to see it. 

Now, our closest star, aside from the sun, is Proxima Centauri.  In contrast to the sun where the light takes 8.32 minutes to reach the earth, it takes approximately 4.23 years for light from the nearest star to reach the earth.  And according to universetoday.com, there are at most 8,479 stars visible from earth.  Going even farther, there are around 10,000 galaxies visible, each with millions of stars in each,  in just one image, using the Hubble Ultra Deep Field telescope.  According to NASA on the website imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov, the closest galaxy to our milky way is some 25,000 light years away.  These are astonishing numbers.  It takes light approximately 25,000 years to reach earth. And this is the closest galaxy.   Just this alone shows the vastness of the universe.  And it is understood that the universe extends far beyond our ability to even view the outer regions of its existence. 

Many scientists believe that all matter has either existed eternally, or that it came into existence from  nothing.  These are the only possibilities aside from being a creation of God.  For nothing to create something does not make sense since change only happens based on an outside event.  And this event would have required something to trigger it, therefore it had to exist prior to what was the cause of its creation.   And, if it has always existed, it would have run out of energy and it would have died at some point, also in eternity past.

Therefore, this universe had to have been created by something that existed prior to the universe.  And it was, by an eternal God who created it for us.  And when we examine this universe, and we see  the immense size of it, the incredible order of this amazing universe, and the beauty as we look out into it from this single planet called earth.  As His word says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2.  And after having created the heavens and the earth, He brought order and life on the earth, and finally, at the end, man.  (Read Genesis chapters 1-2.)  How can we look at this, His creation, and not see God and His glory in it? 

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

Romans 3:23

Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 3:23 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” – Romans 3:23 

This particular section of Romans deals with the idea that we all have sinned, and none of us can address our own sins before God.  Earlier in this chapter, we read “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;” Romans 3:9-10.  In speaking to the church in Rome, Paul declares that both Jews and Gentiles are guilty of sinning.  The Jews believed that they were in a much better situation because of their being descendants of Abraham.  However, just because they follow the law and performed the duties within the law gave them no greater advantage.

He now goes on to describe what he means by “None is righteous, no, not one”.  “no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive,The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:11-18.  This is not a pretty picture of mankind.  What we see is a string of OT quotations confirming the universality of sin, along with  a variety of sins that define what we see in humanity.  (Note: see Psalm 14 as an example).  He then ends this section by declaring that the law speaks to those under the law, but only declares what sin is, not how to address it.  “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”  Romans 3:19-20. 

Now, the next two verses declares the righteousness of God is apart from the law.  “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to itthe righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:” Romans 3:21-22.  And then he states in our focus verse, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23, after which he says, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”  Romans 3:24.  Yes, we all have sinned.  Yes, we could not rectify this situation on our own.  However, Christ came to rectify it for us, not based on anything we have done, but what He has done.

Now, based on all this, we have several things to remember.  First, all people have sinned, from Adam and Eve to all alive today.  None of us are innocent in the sight of God prior to giving our life to Him and accepting the work Christ did for us.  It is through justification that we are absolved of our sins and declared not guilty, for He paid the penalty for us.  We did nothing but accept His work.  Therefore, it is important that when we go out and present the gospel to the lost, we are to help them understand their guilt, but also see the remedy.  We should not look down upon anyone who needs to accept the work of Christ in their lives.  We can and should denounce the sin, without denouncing the sinner.  For as much as they need Christ, we also needed what He did in order to be declared righteous.  Stealing a candy bar may look less bad than killing someone, but both were enough to require Christ’s justification for us.  No one, no matter what they have done, is beyond salvation, and our focus should be on leading them to Christ.  We must not look at anyone as being beyond Christ’s ability to save, just as we should not look at someone as having an advantage because of a good heart.  God sees us all as sinners who can be saved.  We need to see them this way as well, and then help to make it happen.

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

1 Peter 1:8

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 1:8 

“And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,” – 1 Peter 1:8       

This Epistle from Peter was addressed to those who were scattered abroad throughout the land.  They were scattered throughout, based on 1 Peter 1:1, “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  They were not around where Jesus had been, and therefore they never had the opportunity to see Him directly.  Peter blessed the God and Father of Jesus, who by His great mercy caused them all whom he was speaking to be saved by the sacrifice of His Son and His resurrection from the dead.  He continues, “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:4-7.

They were told of this great salvation that was provided to them by the death, burial and resurrection of someone they had never seen or probably heard of as well.  However, their hearts were open to the words spoken to them and they accepted this is reality and became followers of Christ through the disciples that brought them the message.  This reminds us of what Jesus spoke to Thomas after revealing Himself to him.  “After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said,  Peace be with you. Then He *said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing. Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!  Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:26-29  Notice what Jesus said.  ‘Blessed are those who do not see, and yet believed.”  Those that Peter was speaking to had not seen Him, yet they believed because they knew He was with them, inside.  They loved Him because they believed.  Note what Peter specified. “and though you do not see Him now”.  He was telling them they would one day see Him, and they ‘greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

This is our testimony as well.  We have not seen Him with our eyes, but we have seen Him with our heart and our faith.  He has revealed Himself to us in ways this world does not understand, because they choose not to.  But we know He is real.  And we will one day see Him, with our eyes in all His glory.  I will say that I look forward to this time more than anything else. 

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