Isaiah 26:3

Verse of the Day: Isa 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3

This is a very well-known and popular verse I hear many times.  A more familiar version of this is “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

How often do we get worried or frustrated?  I wish I could say never, however that is not the case.  I think we all get that way at times.  However, the prophet Isaiah has given us the way to be at peace in every situation.  It is easy to understand but not necessarily easy to do.  God wants us to be in perfect peace, and He has provided a way.  That is to trust Him in everything.

Isaiah says, perfect peace comes to those whose mind is steadfastly focused on the Lord.  During these difficult times we need to continue to stay in touch with God, focusing on the fact that He loves us and will never leave us or forsake us.  Paul in his benediction in 1 Thessalonians said the following, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  Why can we do this in the tough times?  Because we trust Him.  We know He has our best in mind.  And He will bring it about.

Remember what the Lord spoke through Solomon.  “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 Our own solutions do not work, only His will.  Just trust Him.

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

Psalm 19:7

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 19:7

“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” – Psalm 19:7

This particular verse is from David, and he is speaking of what God has revealed in God’s law.  First, the Hebrew word translated law here is Torah, a reference to the Law of God given in the first five books of the Old Testament commonly called the Pentateuch.  The idea of Torah is that it is instructions, precepts that are given to us as a guide to how we are to live our lives.

He calls the law perfect in that it lacks nothing in its completeness; nothing that makes it what it should be.  In other words, it is complete as a revelation of divine truth and as a rule of conduct.  And following this law turns us from the ways of sin to holiness.  Now, I am not saying the law saves us, but what it does is help us live as we should.  We see this idea in the first psalm.  “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2.  We are to delight or find pleasing His law, for by following it we can please God.  “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8

He follows this with the phrase, ‘the testimony of the Lord is sure.’  This word ‘testimony’ refers to God’s revealed truth.  Whatever God reveals to us is sure.  It is not uncertain but is established.  It can be relied on, if presented as God intended.  And it trains people who are ignorant of what God requires of them.

We are saved through the shed blood of Jesus.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Again, works has nothing to do with our salvation, except it is proof that we are already saved.  James put it this way, “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  However, Jesus did say the following, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15. And how can we keep His commandments?  By knowing them, studying them so that we will do what they say; meditating on them so that we instinctively do what they demand.

It is important that we spend time in His Word every day.  And not simply read it but think about what is says and how we can implement it in our own lives.  Our desire must be to eliminate what is unpleasing to God and replace them with what truly pleases Him.  By taking the time every day we can replace doing with becoming.  We are new creatures in Christ.  “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.  And the ways of this new life are found in His word, His sure and complete word revealed to us by God Himself.

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

Philippians 1:6

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Philippians 1:6

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

Paul is with Timothy when he writes this letter to the Church of Philippi.  He starts by telling them how thankful he is for them.  “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5.  He tells them that every time they come to his mind, he gives thanks to God for them.  That he prays for them when he does, with much joy and happiness for the help he has received in spreading the gospel to those in Philippi.

Then we come to our focus verse.  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.  When he says he is confident, this is  strong language meaning to be fully and firmly persuaded or convinced.  It means here that Paul is entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. It is the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject referred to.  In essence, Paul is telling them that God will continue to work in them in this work until the end comes and Jesus Christ returns and makes all things right.  This day is often referred to as “The Day of the Lord” or “His Day” because it will be the day of his triumph and glory. It refers here to the day when the Lord Jesus will appear to receive his people to himself – the day of judgment.  And this is a day Paul and probably the Church in Philippi were looking forward to. 

Now, there are two ways to look at this.  One way is that the work God in started within the Church of Philippi He was doing an amazing work through them to help Paul and the body of Christ.  It was their role to edify the body and help them grow and become a strong force in the area in which they had oversight. And I believe this is valid and true, for they provided much material assistance to Paul and those who were with him.   However, I believe there is another view which I believe is more relevant and still strengthens the Church there in Philippi.  And that is that Paul is speaking of the individual Christians in the Church. 

The wording Paul uses in this verse makes it clear that it is the individual Christians that he is referring to.  Note the wording “in you” rather than “through you”.  This places the emphasis on what God is doing in them or among them, and not what He is doing through them.  The work referred to speaks of their growth in Christ.  Therefore, this term refers to their salvation in Christ, and in this case another way of speaking about their participation in the gospel, not so much about their sharing it but in experiencing it and living it out.  Therefore, Paul is thankful for how God is strengthening them and helping them grow in the Spirit. 

And Paul is confident that because of how God has started this good work in them, He will continue it until Christ returns.  And this refers to the present as well.  In all of us who have believed and become disciples of Christ, He will continue this good work He has started in us.  We are called to give ourselves to Christ in totality.  When we do this, then God will do His work in helping us grow in our faith in Him.  But He can do this only if we are serious in allowing Him to do this work in us.  He will not abandon us, on the contrary, He is always with us.  He will never leave us, but we must be careful we do not walk away or allow our faith to grow cold.  “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU, so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” Hebrews 13:5-6.

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

Colossians 3:14

Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 3:14 

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” –  Colossians 3:14

This verse is basically at the heart of the Christian faith.  Going back a few verses, we see how we are to be toward others.  “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:12-13.  Paul first tells  them they were called of God to be His.  This had been, in times past, only spoken of the Jews.  The scribes, pharisees, and other leaders believed they were the only ones chosen to be God’s people.  Paul encourages them that these leaders were wrong, for God has called them also to be His. 

And because they, as well, were chosen by God to be His people, they must love all as God does.  They are to be merciful to others.  The idea of the phrase ‘put on’ in verse 12 is that we are not simply to act as if we are merciful, but we are to truly be merciful to all.  In all cases of this kind, we are to, as Adam Clarke put so well, let our heart dictate to our hands.  We must act to help those in need because of true compassion we have for them.  It should not be out of self-aggrandizement, but because we genuinely care for their predicament.  We should absolutely love all, and desire to help those who cannot, at this time, help themselves.  He then lists characteristics that should be exhibited, those being compassion and kindness.  We need to be humble, knowing that we could find ourselves in their position.  And we are to be patient and gentle, showing that we care about them and want to help.

He then goes on to say we should forgive others who wrong us.  This is a true showing of our love for them.  It is a difficult experience to be hurt by another.  It can be difficult to endure at times.  I remember when I experienced this at a former work place.  The company brought in a project manager to oversee a major overhaul of our financial applications.  He was not an easy person to work with, and once he reported to my direct supervisor something wrong  I had not actually done.  I received a call from her asking me what had happened.  Afterwards, I went to him personally letting him know what actually occurred and He called her to clarify.  Now, I will not say I was perfect in this, however, I told him I forgave him and we moved on.  However, I believe God used this to help me learn how to address problems like this.

Then, in our focus verse, Paul says, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:14.  Again, we see the term ‘put on’ used.  We are to genuinely love our brothers and sisters, as well as those who are not yet saved, and not just put on a show.  False love tends to make itself known and will show itself in disunity.  Peter put it this way.  “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9.  The world is watching us.  They will know when our love is genuine.  They will also know when it is not.  Therefore, let us put on genuine love and we will be able to make a vast difference in a world that that so needs to see it.    

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