Proverbs 3:5-6

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

This is a crucial verse to practice on a moment-by-moment basis.  The question it brings up is, do you trust in God regarding everything?  And if you say yes, the next question is, are there times when you revert to trusting yourself or anything else besides God?

God knows all things, understands all situations, knows the end from the beginning, has only our best in mind.  He loves us with an everlasting love, He never leaves our side, in fact, as Christians he is in us by way of the Holy Spirit.  He is everywhere throughout the entire universe at once, so there is no place we can go where God is absent.  Moreover, He can speak and interact with everyone and everything at the same time.  Can you say the same about anyone or anything else?  I cannot, and I would guess you cannot either.

This is the reason Solomon said that we must trust God with our whole heart and not trust in ours or any other’s judgement or advise.  If we do, then He will guide and lead us where He knows it is best for us and others.   To trust another is not wisdom and shows a lack of knowledge of the reality of God and His great and eternal love.

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

1 Kings 8:61

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1Kings 8:61

“Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.” – 1Kings 8:61  

1 Kings 8 gives the account of the ark of the covenant being placed into the temple which had just been completed.  He offered a prayer to the Lord asking that any requests given earnestly and humbly by Israelites or strangers would be accepted by God.  At the end of this prayer, Solomon asks for His blessing over the people of Israel plus an exhortation for them as well.  This exhortation is the focus of our verse today, which is as much for us today as for the Israelites back then.

The first part says that our hearts should be wholly true to God.  Our love for Him should be unquestionable to all who see us.  We should desire with all our hearts to please Him, serve Him, and take time to fellowship with Him in prayer.  Our love and devotion should be unwavering, never lessening no matter our circumstances.  God said He would never leave or forsake us, showing His love is unwavering, therefore ours should be as well.

Second, we should walk in His statutes, always striving to keep His commandments.  Our obedience should be universal in that we obey all of them, and not just those we choose to.  With this, I say that His desires take infinite precedence over our own.   All that we do or think should follow the idea that He is supreme, and I am not.  Thus, we should not be divided in our loyalties.  We should be totally upright in our ways and submissive to His commands.

Jesus takes these two points in Solomon’s prayer and merges them into one concise statement.  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  John 14:15.   As always with Jesus, His position on this could not be clearer.

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

Psalm 37:31

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 37:31

“The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.” – Psalm 37:31  

Before we go into our focus verse, let’s determine who ‘His’ is.  If we go a few verses back, we read the following, “The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.  The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. “Psalm 37:20-30 Our focus verse therefore is speaking of the righteous, those who follow after Him, following His ways, and who love Him above all things.  Jesus put it this way when asked what the greatest commandment is.  “And He said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’  This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40.  Adding on to this, Jesus also said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15.

So, putting these verses together, we see that the righteous are those who love God with everything they have; that loves their fellow man as he loves himself.  And because of the love he has for God, obeys His commandments.

If we are righteous as defined above, then we shall not slip.  In other words, our course will be firm and steadfast.  Everything He has promised us will come to pass.  We will trust Him and because we are righteous, our desires will be good and fulfilled.  “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  Psalm 37:4-5.  We will be content in what we have, no matter how little it is.  For we are content with His provision here for He is with us.  “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.  For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.  If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8.

I want to encourage everyone to seek His righteousness.  May it be the greatest desire of our heart.  The righteous will be taken care of.  Every need will be met.  “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34.

God loves us with an everlasting love. and He shows it to us with everything He does.  He takes care of us, stays with us, protects us and fills us with His Spirit.  He gives us joy and peace, and our every need.  Let us show our love to Him, giving Him glory and honor and praise and thankfulness.  What an incredible relationship we have with our God.

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

Proverbs 27:19

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 27:19

“As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.” – Proverbs 27:19

When a man looks in the water or a mirror, he sees his image reflected back at him.  Whether good or bad, the reflection is a true picture of what we look like.  We do not see our true appearance until such time as we take the time to view it.  Sometimes we see certain things we do not like, so we adjust our appearance such that we will see ourselves more like we want.  However, the most important thing to remember is that how we appear in our reflection is how others see us.

Now, a mirror reflects our outward appearance.  But what reflects who we are inside?  The answer to this question is our heart.  What is important to us?  How do we feel about things?  And per Jeremiah,  what do we do?  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10  Notice the idea here that our ways and deeds are seen in our heart and mind.  The real man is reflected by his heart.  Peter put it this way, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4.  These two verses speak of women; however, it does speak of men and woman in the idea it presents.

So, this begs the question.  When the world looks at us, our ways and deeds (as Jeremiah put it), what do they see?   Do they see a heart truly committed to God?  Do they see a heart that is full of love for God and mankind?  When you honestly and with no bias look inside yourself, what do you see?  Remember, what you see is very likely what others see.  If, perchance, we do not like what we see, we must ask God to help us in changing our hearts to the one God desires of us.  We must be open to this change and submissive to Him as the changes are made.  There is a song done by Vineyard that speaks clearly of this.  “Change my heart oh God, make it ever true. Change my heart oh God, may I be like you.”

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

Psalm 90:12

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 90:12

“So, teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

This verse does not mean that we are to keep count of the number of days we have been here.  For instance, I have been here, on this earth approximately 22,700 days.  This means nothing in the grand scheme of life.  What it does refer to is that we should understand that our lives here are not limitless.  It more truly describes how we should live our lives going forward.  The idea is that we should estimate our days such that we understand they will pass quickly and then they will be over, and we should live these days with a heart in pursuit of wisdom and not folly.

Many people follow the path of the rich fool found in the gospel of Luke. “And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” Luke 12:19. He planned to take it easy, he would live well since the harvest that year was phenomenal. However, the story ends horribly for him. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:21. This man focused on himself and not on how to live a Godly life.  He assumed his life would go on for years, however, his life did not even last another day.

Then you have those who live by the saying, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  A twist on what we read in Luke, however, there is a definite distinction.  First of all, this phrase is normally has a derogatory meaning.  The idea here is they live their lives in a totally narcissistic way.  What does it matter what happens to us, what is important is that we enjoy life now.  There thought is not of doing what is right but doing what they enjoy.

However, neither of these ways are what our focus verse is calling for.  We are to understand that our lives are short.  That our remaining days will come to an end.  But this is not truly the end.  “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28.   As the parable of the sheep and goats lays out, we will be judged, and we will either go to the right with all the sheep or to the left with all the goats.  Do we eagerly await His return?  If so, wisdom calls us to obey and honor God.  We must be wise and be led by God in every part of our life.  As the writer of Proverbs puts it, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7. Wisdom comes from the reverence and adoration of God, following His ways and spending time with Him. This should be our focus, and our priority.  And this is what we should do from this time forward.

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

Matthew 15:8

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 15:8

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me.” – Matthew 15:8

This is a prophecy of Isaiah that Jesus spoke against the Pharisees.  These Pharisees came from Jerusalem and asked Him “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” Matthew 15:2 This is part of what is called the ‘Oral Traditions’, not part of the written law of Moses.  It was passed down from generation to generation as a proper thing to do.  Mark brings additional clarity to this tradition.  “For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.”  Mark 7:4. The Pharisees expected every Jew to follow these traditions, and this included Jesus and His disciples.

However, Jesus answers back with a question as to why they transgressed not the oral tradition, but the commandment of God.  “And He (Jesus) answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said,’ Honor your father and mother’ and ‘He who speaks evil of father and mother is to be put to death. ‘ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Matthew 15:3-6.  What the Pharisees had done is usurp the command of God by the tradition of the elders.  They were hypocrites because they accused them of breaking tradition, when they were breaking the law of God.  He then tells the disciples, as stated in the focus verse, that the Pharisees honored God with their words, but not with their heart.  And then He adds, “But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”. Matthew 15:9.

It is important that we examine ourselves and make sure we do not fall into this unknowingly.  It is very easy to fall into the habit of praising God when our thoughts are elsewhere.  It is easy to give to the church simply because it is the expected thing to do, rather than giving it to God with a heart of love and thankfulness.

And what of communion?  There are several verses we need to look at.  “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24b When we take the bread and eat it and the cup and drink it, do we think of Him and remember His sacrifice; the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood?  There is a warning involved here.  We are not to take the communion for sake of the tradition, but for what it represents, the death of Christ on our behalf.  This is the most important act anyone has done for us.  We must remember His sacrifice and be always thankful, for only He could pay the penalty.  “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Cor 11:28

In closing, we must examine why we do things in the church or any religious gathering.  Do we do them simply because it is expected, they are tradition, or do we do them because of who God is and our desire to please Him?  We are to remember, and be thankful for, all He has done for us and the great love He has for us.  Tradition can be good, but not the reason or the mentality by which we conduct ourselves.

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

Matthew 6:21

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 6:21

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

What do we treasure?  This is the question I ask myself when I read this verse.  Do not answer this hastily.  What things do we spend the bulk of our time thinking about?  Are they things that are found in this life, or are they things we shall have in the next life?  Now this verse is not saying that we should not think about our lives here.  What it is asking is what do we desire more?  What takes priority?

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,” Matthew 6:19. Jesus first discusses the things here in this life.  Is our priority those things that bring us pleasure here?  These can consist of the latest clothing fashions, the most elegant jewelry, the most opulent houses and vehicles.  The finest foods, the most expensive treasures, the most beautiful decorations.  They also consist of those things that lift us up above others, such as fame, and what gives us pleasure here.  Are these what we desire to the point we put our focus on attaining them?

— or —

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20. Is our priority that which pleases God, brings Him glory and provides what is necessary to prepare for our eternal existence after this life is over?  We are joint heirs with Christ. Therefore, our inheritance is the Kingdom of God. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” 1 Corinthians 6:9a.

So, to sum this up, which is more important to us?  Is it our temporary life here, or our eternal life in God’s Kingdom?  Whichever is more important than the other will be what we focus on. Do we obey God’s or our own desires for us? Remember who’s we are.  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. And to bring Him glory, we fulfil our calling from God.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. Our calling is to spread the good news of Christ, either through direct teaching and/or showing the love of Christ, to all we come across. We are to share Christ though words and deeds.  If we see a need, meet it.  This may mean sacrifice, but is that not what Christ did for us?  The world needs to know God loves them and our message and good deeds will meet that need.

So, in closing, which of the two above is most important and is our focus?  Treasures on earth or treasures in heaven?  Our life here is temporary, our life in heaven will be eternal.  Where we store our treasures will give us the answer. As for me, I want to store up for the next life.  I pray this is your focus as well. William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Psalm 19:14


Proverbs 17:22

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 17:22

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22.

There are two ways we can focus our thoughts.  We can either focus on that which is good, or we can focus on that which is not good.  Many things happen in our lives, both good and bad.  Some negative situations we cannot control, such as the death of a family member or friend, loss of a job, etc.  These can be very difficult times, and there will be a season where our thoughts will be directed at these issues.  However, more times than not, we have control over our circumstance and how we react.  For instance, when someone offends or insults us.  Or, as an actual instance in my life, a contractor goes to your boss and reports to them something you supposedly did which actually never happened.  In these cases, we must not focus on these things, but give them to God to work through.  We can and should address things that are not truthful about us, but we should never make these things control our lives.

What the writer of Proverbs says is that whether we focus on good things or bad things, they will have an effect on our bodies.  If our thoughts are positive and joyful, the affect is good.  Likewise, if our thoughts are negative and depressing and stressful, the affect is not good.  Let’s look at some of the effects on both sides.

When we focus on the negative, this produces stress.  There are various affects that are common to the person who is experiencing high stress levels.  These include muscle tension, most pronounced at the base of the neck.  Also, headaches which can include migraines.  Nausea, hair loss and weight gain, rapid heartbeat and chest pains as well as insomnia and fatigue.  One other is that stress impacts the immune system making those who are stressed more prone to illnesses.  (This information found on the Cleveland Clinic website.)

However, when we focus on the positive, this produces relaxation and positive body impacts.  When we laugh and feel deep joy, the body releases serotonin and endorphins which are called feel-good chemicals which make us even happier.  This relaxes the body and reduces stress.  These chemicals cause our lungs to expand and become replenished with oxygen.  Laughter even sends more oxygen-rich nutrients and blood throughout the body.  It relaxes the muscles, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow as well as improving the functions of the blood vessels, which can decrease the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.  It also improves our immune system. (This information found on the Medical Daily website.) So, do we want to remain healthy or experience negative impacts on our bodies?  According to the writer of Proverbs, a joyful heart is a good medicine while stress and anguish which can come from negative things can hurt our body.  So, let’s stay positive.  If a negative situation occurs, do what you can but do not focus on it, give it to God and let Him take care of it. Remember what Paul wrote to the Philippians.  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:4-8.  Dwell on the good, give God your struggles and cares.  Your body will thank you.

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

Proverbs 19:21

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 19:21

“Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

All of us have plans for our future.  We have short-term plans; what we will do over the weekend.  Then there are middle-term plans; what will we do over the next couple of years.  Then there are long-term plans; what will we do in retirement.  There is nothing wrong with having plans.  They are important in order to determine what will guide us to its fulfillment.  However, we should not make those plans concrete, for there is always the possibility that God has something else for us.

There are many things that we may desire for our future.  Some of these are obtaining wealth, or the revere of others.  Maybe a long and enjoyable life.  For others it may be preparing for a livelihood that we enjoy and gives us fulfillment.  However, many times our plans, even as Christians may focus on our own pleasures and desires, and not on others and their needs, or even God’s desires.  “Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?  Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:15-21.  This is a bit rough, but this man’s plan in the parable did not look after others, but only for himself.  And note what God called him; “You Fool.”  ‘This word ‘fool’ has the meaning – properly mindless, that is, stupid, ignorant, egotistic, rash, or unbelieving: unwise.’ (From Strong’s Greek Concordance.)

Even if our plans are not selfish, they may not be what God desires.  Therefore, as stated above, they should not be cast in concrete.  We must always look to what He desires of us.  What if we want to teach science in high school, but God desires us to go out and care for the poor?  Quite different occupations, neither of which is sinful.  Or, what if we plan on reaching the lost in our nearby cities, but God desires us to preach the gospel in North Korea?  This is an extreme example, however, for some this could be reality.  We must not ignore God’s plans for us.  We as Christians must be open to any calling He has for us.

I remember the book by David Wilkerson, “The Cross and the Switchblade.”  This is the story of a country Pentecostal preacher who was called by God to go to Brooklyn, NY to minister to the gangs in that area. God used an article in Life Magazine about seven teenagers who were members of a criminal gang to communicate His will to David.  He was a Pastor who was content, and safe, preaching in this small church and would have been happy to stay there until he retired.  But God had other plans, and I am sure they did not agree with the plans David had.  However, he submitted to God and as a result, two high level gang members were saved and gave their lives over to God and preached to many still in the gangs: Nicki Cruz and Cookie Rodriguez.

Sometimes we do not know the plans God has for us.  But He does.  “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is regarding the Jews in Babylon; however, I am confident it is applicable to us as well.  He knows the end from the beginning; therefore, He knows all His plans for us.  I encourage us all to, when we make plans, to be open to something different if God leads us to another calling. Remember what James said, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:13-15.

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