Matthew 5:44

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 5:44

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, ” – Matthew 5:44

As Christians, we are called to love everyone, just as Christ did when He was down here.  Of course, we are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  John 13:34.  He commands us to love each other.  We are all one in the body of Christ.  There should be no enmity between us, but we should be compassionate with each other.  In fact, we should see others as better than ourselves.  “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;“  Philippians 2:3

Also, we are to love the lost.  We do this by showing them the love of Christ, and the way to salvation.  This is why we are here.  To reach out to all who are lost and guide them to Christ.  He does not want anyone to remain unsaved but wants all to come to salvation.  “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

However, there is one area that is most difficult, but is no less important.  And this involves our focus verse.  We are to love our enemies.  We are to love all who treat us badly.  Paul put it very clearly.  “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20.  So, we are to meet every need they have as well, with compassion.  However, what does it mean to heap burning coals on his head?  Sounds like a bad idea, however, this is a true blessing as well.  Note these verses in proverbs.  “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.”  Proverbs 25:21-22.  Notice the similarity of the verses.  No doubt Paul was quoting this verse.

Also notice though that heaping hot coals on the head was a blessing back then; note “and the Lord will reward you”.  When Proverbs was written, people heated their homes and cooked with fire. But sometimes, a person’s fire would go out during the night, and before they could cook their breakfast, they had to go to a neighbor’s house to get a coal so they could relight their fire.  Proverbs 25:22 teaches that if the fire of your enemy goes out, and they come asking for a coal to relight their fire, instead of turning them away or giving just one, we should be extravagantly generous. How? By us giving our enemy so many burning coals they must carry them the way burdens were carried in the Middle East: in a container on the head. Then they can go back and immediately bake their bread without having to wait for the wood to become suitable coals for cooking.  A much different way of looking at the heaping hot coals verses.  This is the love we should have for our enemies.

As the focus verse says, we are to love our enemies and pray for them.  We are also to meet their needs the same as we meet the needs of our brethren.  By doing so, it gives us the opportunity to share the love of Christ through words, and by deeds where they will see our light shine into their darkness, and it may turn an enemy into a true friend.

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

Matthew 6:5

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 6:5

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” – Matthew 6:5  

It is very important that when we pray, we do it because we wish to truly communicate with God, not to impress those around us. Notice the word used to describe the people who pray to be seen, hypocrites.  The idea is that we would be acting like we are praying, putting on a show, so that others around us will be impressed.  This is what many of the Jewish leadership would do, going out where the people were so that they would be seen by many in the streets.  They are speaking to no-one except to the ears of the watchers.  And the only reward they will receive will be from those who are listening, not God.

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6 Back in the time of Christ, practically every home had a place for secret devotion.  It could be on the roof, a small room on one of the roof corners, or a place somewhere inside.  The idea was to spend quiet time with God, in a secret place where no one could see and interrupt the one praying.  Thus, because they are not pretending to pray, the Father who sees and hears them will reward them.

Prayer is a very intimate time we can spend with God.  We can go to a quiet place, bow ourselves before Him and spend time with Him.  Paul wrote to the Philippians, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6. It is a time where we can go to Him, baring our heart and soul, and receiving the comfort and peace we often need from Him.

Lastly, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians the following, “pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.  Prayer is a two-way conversation.  It is not just us talking, but us listening as well.  We must be open to hear when He speaks to us.  God loves us, He wants to spend quality time with us.  When we speak to a friend or family member, one person speaks, then the other.  However, it is also one person listening, then the other.  Prayer is the same way.

So, make time every day to spend quiet time alone, in a secret place, with God.  Tell Him everything you need, He wants to listen to you, but also, listen to Him because He wants to speak to you as well.  Don’t just go through the motions, make it an intimate and loving time with Him.  You will find it to be one of the most important and enjoyable times of your day.

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

Matthew 19:13

Verse of the Day Devotion Matthew 19:13  

“Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.” – Matthew 19:13 

There was a time when some children were brough to Jesus so He could lay His hands on them and pray for them.  We see this in our focus verse.  This was most likely the parents who brought them to Him.  However, the disciples rebuked them for doing this.  Now it is important to know that just before this occurred, the Pharisees had come to Jesus and had asked Him about divorce.  “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” Matthew 19:3.  Then Jesus counters their argument, essentially rebuffing them.  Now a rebuff is essentially a rejection of something said in an abrupt manner.  However, when the parents brought the children to Him, He allowed them to go right up to Him and he laid His hands  on them and prayed over them. 

Now the disciples rebuked the parents for bringing them to Him.  However, Jesus said to them, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14.  Jesus told them leave the children, and ultimately the parents, alone.  “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14.   Mark’s version says Jesus was indignant about what they did.  This showed that He basically rebuked them, telling them they had no business telling them to go away.  And after a time, He went off after laying hands on them. “And after laying His hands on them, He departed from there.” Matthew 19:15.

It is important to remember that children in Jesus’ time were not necessarily regarded as special or particularly endearing, with the exception of their own family. Many cultures today look on children as especially sweet, innocent, and even wise at times. It seems that the Jewish culture in that day did not see children in such optimistic terms. The disciples most likely rebuked those bringing the children to Jesus because they felt bringing children to Jesus was socially improper or possibly they thought the children would bother Jesus. It is likely that their move to hinder the parents from bringing their children to Jesus was motivated not by unkindness but by a desire to respect Jesus’ position as a teacher. But Jesus wanted the children to come to Him, for He told them, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14. I believe He wanted to bless them before He left.

It is wonderful to think of Jesus interacting with children. They are often needy and dependent, and they know almost nothing about this life. They react on emotion rather than reason. Yet Jesus said, “for the  kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14.  Jesus’ command to “let the little children come to me” reveals several truths.  First, children are as important to Jesus as anyone else, and therefore we must help them be introduced to Jesus as well.  The Lord wants to bless children, and He corrected His disciples when they tried to send them away.  Parents should be encouraged to bring their children to Jesus at as early an age as possible and teach them His ways. Second,  Jesus has regard for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. No matter how compassionate Jesus’ followers are, Jesus Himself is more compassionate. And those who come to Christ must do so in childlike humility, faith, and simplicity.  Remember what Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4-5.   

Like children who naturally follow their parents, believers must come to Him in the same basic way. Faith is not about knowing everything or doing everything right. It is about knowing that no matter what happens, our Father will take care of us. That trust in Him, even when life is extremely troubling and sad and makes no sense, is what makes a believer like a child. “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” John 6:37.   God loves His children, His people.  And we should see Him as a child sees His wonderful parents, as someone who loves us, cares for us, and will always be there at all times.

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

Luke 18:1

Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 18:1 

“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,” – Luke 18:1 

Today we will look at the Parable of the Persistent Widow and unjust judge.  Here is this parable as found in Luke’s gospel.

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,  saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man. And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, Give me legal protection from my opponent. And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out. And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:1-8.

The story begins with the mention of a judge. He was not connected with either a synagogue or the temple but rather with a municipality. He was a part of the secular judicial system, which, in Israel in Jesus’ time, seems to have coexisted with the religious one. However, what interested the narrator is not what belonged to the world, but what belonged to the world of ethics.  

Now a woman was constantly being attacked in a legal sense.  And in this town, an unjust judge presided over everyone, who feared no one, not even God.  In that time in the Jewish community, a judge was expected to be impartial, to judge righteously, and to recognize that judgment ultimately belongs to God. “Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.” Deuteronomy 1:16-17. Therefore, because of these verses, the judge was actually not competent to be the judge. 

Now this widow comes many times before this judge.  And again, in that time because of the law, a widow deserves special protection under the justice system.  “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” Deuteronomy 10:17-18.  Eventually, the judge grows weary of her coming to him, he decided to give her protection.  “And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.” Luke 18:4-5. 

Now, we do not always get immediate results when we pray. Our definition of swift justice is not the same as the Lord’s definition. The parable of the persistent widow demonstrates that effective prayer requires tenacity and faithfulness. A true disciple must learn that prayer never gives up and is based on absolute trust and faith in God. We can fully count on the Lord to answer how He deems best, and when He chooses. God expects us to keep on asking, seeking, knocking, and praying until the answers come.

Jesus presents a final question regarding the matter at the end of the parable of the persistent widow and unjust judge. He asks, “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. Faithful and persistent prayer is the permanent calling of every true disciple of Christ who is dedicated to living for the Kingdom of God. Like the persistent widow, we are needy, dependent sinners who trust in our gracious, loving, and merciful God alone to supply what we need.

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

James 5:13

Verse of the Day Devotion James 5:13   

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.” – James 5:13

This verse is stating how we must deal with life’s situations in a way that is pleasing to God. The two life situations found here in our focus verse deals with bad and good circumstances.  These two specific things are dealt with in a general matter, but the question that is dealt with here is: How must the Christian who is devoted to Christ and His ways, react to situations in life. So, let us look at the two found in our focus verse.

First, is anyone among you suffering? Or more personal, are we suffering? Now this suffering can take many forms. First, being in pain.  Another may be regarding the death of a family member or friend.  It could also be suffering from hunger. Or it could be suffering because of the ways of another toward us. There are many ways people suffer in this world. How is a Christian to react in these times? We are to pray. We are to lift up to God the things we are suffering and trust Him who can delivers us from it or bring us through it. Suffering is never enjoyable.  However, Paul says the following to the Romans. “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.  As James said if we are suffering we should pray, for God knows exactly what we are going through. “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.  He understands what we are going through. And as Jesus suffered in order to spread the good news, Paul encourages us to do the same. “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5. We must understand that because we suffer, we must reach out to God to help us continue the work we are called to no matter the suffering. The prayer believers are to offer in such circumstances is not necessarily for deliverance from the trial, but for the strength to endure it faithfully.

And second, we should praise God during our good times.   The believer is also to pray when he is cheerful. Euthymeō, the Greek word translated cheerful,  refers not to outward circumstances, but to the cheerfulness and happiness of heart that one can have whether in good times or in bad. When our hearts are comforted, it is all too easy to forget that this contentment comes ultimately and only from God. Thus, perhaps even more than when suffering, we must be reminded in times of happiness of our glad obligation to acknowledge God’s supreme role in our lives. We are to do this, James says, singing praise. This praise we lift up is actually a form of prayer which gives all honor and glory, and thanks, to the one who has provided this peace and comfort to us.

Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we must give glory to God, knowing that even during difficult times we can lift it up in prayer and He hears us and helps us. “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. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13. So, what is important is that no matter what our circumstances we find ourselves in, we should go to God, praying and Praising Him. For He is the one who brings us through trials and gives of peace and contentment.

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

Mark 11:25

Verse of the Day Devotion: Mark 11:25 

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” – Mark 11:25

This idea is found in various places in the New Testament.  We are called to forgive others if we have anything against someone else so that we can be forgiven.  Jesus mentioned it also in the Lord’s prayer, where He spoke of asking God to forgive, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12.  He attached our forgiveness to how we forgive.  And then a couple verses down He leaves no question of what is intended.  “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15. 

The main reason Jesus came here was so He could pay the penalty we incurred because of sin.  And the only way this could have been done was to have someone who is without sin pay that penalty.  For we read in Romans the following, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.  We all deserve death for we all sinned.  However, one who has never sinned came here and paid our debt by dying on our behalf.  His love was so great for all of us He suffered through the most terrible and humiliating form of death imaginable, crucifixion.  This form of death was designed to cause the most pain possible over the longest period of time.  Many people endured this torture for over a week, while being humiliated due to their nakedness.  Peter put it this way, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth, and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:22-24. 

So, as we can see, Jesus paid the penalty we could never pay.  He did what was necessary by dying for us so that we may be forgiven of our sins.  Therefore, this is why we are called to forgive the sins of others.  We should love others as He loves us.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14.  And just as we see with Jesus, no one can carry his love for his friend farther than when he gives up his life.  In other words, he gives up everything that he has.  And forgiveness of wrongs is the greatest gift He gave us, and He commands us to do the same.  

And note what our focus verse says.  “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25.  It is not just to forgive those who ask, but to forgive anyone of any wrong done to us.  And Jesus exhibited this in the greatest way possible when he said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:36.  They had not asked for forgiveness, for He was still on the cross.  But He asked for His Father to forgive them anyway.  And this is the greatest example of what our focus verse says, when you are praying, forgive anyone who has done you wrong.

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

Luke 6:27-28

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Luke 6:27-28

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Luke 6:27-28

This is probably one of the most difficult requirements Jesus gave to His disciples, and ultimately us who are His modern-day disciples.  He tells us in many places to love others, but here He specifically says to love our enemies.  Matthew records it in his gospel as follows, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44. It is so easy for us to hate those who hate us or those who do us harm or steal from us.  Or we may not hate them but will have no desire to do any good to and for them.  However, He requires us to do much more.  He says we are to bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us.  We are not to think badly of them, but to pray that God will turn their hearts to Himself and be willing to be used by Him for this purpose.   

The attitude we are to have is not one of anger or hatred.  God loves everyone and desires all to be saved.  “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.  And this is the main reason He desires us to love our enemies.  Both to bring salvation to the lost and to bring correction to the saved who struggle in sin and think badly of others.  In fact, in the next verse he goes further.  “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” Luke 6:29.  We are to be patient under injuries that are being put upon us and benevolent toward the unthankful.  Matthew adds the following in his version.  “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:40-41. The basic idea here is that we are not to return evil for evil, but if possible, show your love by going beyond their demands. 

He then again takes it a step further.  “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30.  Whatever sense we put on the Lord’s precepts, not by force, but by consent, having either lent them, or sold them to him: for if they were taken away by force, the person so taking them was to be deemed a thief and a robber, and to be treated as such; but one that takes them by agreement, and is not able to make a return of them, or to give a valuable consideration for them, of such an one ask them not again: do not exact or demand them, but give him a release, as the law requires.  This law is found in Deuteronomy 15:1-2, “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed.” Deuteronomy 15:1-2.  I know this is a part of the Jewish Law, however the idea has also been told by Jesus to His disciples.

Jesus then continues this idea with the following.  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.” Luke 6:32-34.  Jesus is saying here if we only love those who love us, do good to those who do us good, or only lend to those we expect to have it returned, how different are we from what the world does.  Our love for others should go far beyond what the world expresses. 

He then concludes as follows.  “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36. He lays it out clearly.  We are to be merciful to all just as God the Father is merciful.  We are to be kind to ungrateful and evil people just as He is.  What is more important, getting our way or letting God have His way?  He desires us to be a light in the darkness,  shining out to the world the truth of the gospel and the love and salvation God has for them.  We may be wronged or taken advantage of but look what lies ahead in the new heaven and earth.  Really, there is no comparison.

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

2 Chronicles 7:14

Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Chronicles 7:14 

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14       

This verse takes place upon the completion of the Temple by Solomon, after which God appears to him.  “Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.  Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.” 2 Chronicles 7:11-12. 

At this point, God tells Solomon how they were to address difficult times due to wrongdoing.  We see this idea in verse 13 where God speaks of when national judgement comes.  “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,”  2 Chronicles 7:13.  He would no doubt do these things only in order to bring His people back to the ways of righteousness.  Let us look at what this focus verse says and apply it to us when we go through hard times because we turn from God.

The first thing He says is who this verse applies to.  To those who are His.  Those who are called by His name.  In our time those are Christians.  They are the new Jerusalem, Gods people.  It is not speaking here to those who are not Christians.  Yes, they do need to come to Him, giving up their old lives and committing themselves to Christ.  However, this verse speaks to those who have already given themselves to Him. 

And now are we to approach Him when we stumble?  We are to go to Him in humility, humbling ourselves before Him.  We are to bow before Him, acknowledging we have sinned against Him, putting aside any pride or arrogance we may have, recognizing that it was us who decided to sin, no matter what came our way that led us in that direction.  The only two reasons we can honestly give is we either have not studied His Word to see it is wrong, or we choose to do wrong.  Therefore, we are to come to Him in humility understanding we are totally at fault.  Next, in our humility, we are to pray and seek His face.  We must go to Him and acknowledge what we have done and ask Him to forgive us.  And it must come from the depths of our being, not simply saying the words believing this will make things OK.  And we must commit to turn away from our wicked ways, truthfully working toward removing these evil ways from our lives. 

And when we do all this, with complete honesty from the depths of our heart, He will see this and hear our heart crying out to Him and will forgive us and heal whatever difficulties came forth from what we did.  It is important that we do not only go through the motions but truly are repentant and broken because of our sin.  When we do this, then God will truly forgive us and make us whole again.  So I encourage us all to go to Him when we realize we have sinned and humbly confess them to God in reality and humility.  God desires us to come before Him this way, and He will make good on this promise when we do.

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