2 Peter 3:9

Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Peter 3:9

“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 

Peter here is answering a question coming from those who are mocking the Christians, in this case focusing on those who state the following, “and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4.  You can hear the mocking attitude in these statements.  ‘You keep saying He’s coming, but where is He?’ they might say.

However, Peter answers this with verse 8.  “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8.  Time has no effect on God.  He is eternal, both past and future.  Because of this, a day is like a millennium and vice-versa.  In fact, He resides outside of time, for time does not exist outside of this created universe.

In the focus verse, Peter is saying that God is not slow concerning His promises.  He is not delaying anything.  He will come back at the appointed time.  He is patient toward us.  He is slow to bring the punishment because this shows proof that He desires all to come to repentance.  He is not rushing His return but giving enough time for all to be saved.  Men will not have any excuse.  This shows His loving kindness.  He knows the end from the beginning, but His slowness is a sign to us.

God does not want any to be condemned and thereby perish.  He loves us too much.  He gives everyone the opportunity.  It is up to us to accept Jesus’s work providing justification.  He gives us all the time we need.

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

Psalm 103:8

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 103:8

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” – Psalm 103:8.   

This is a psalm of David where he is praising the Lord for His many mercies.  In this particular psalm, David is encouraging himself by using the technique of speaking to himself.  He starts by telling himself to bless God for all the blessings God has bestowed on him.  “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;” Psalm 108:1-2. He then proceeds to list several of these blessings. “Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:3-5.

In the next verse, he speaks of how He has compassion on those oppressed.  “The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed.” Psalm 103:6.  God is on the side of the oppressed, He has their true interests at heart.  The ‘oppressed’ refers to those harmed by unjust judgements, in slavery or wronged by the pride and power of the wicked. 

And then we come to our focus verse.  “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Psalm 103:8.  These words were originally spoken by God Himself to Moses stating who He is, after Moses chiseled out two more stone tablets to put the ten commandments on.  “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” Exodus 34:6-7. 

This is a beautiful picture of the God we serve.  In looking at our verse of the day, we see the following.  First, the Lord is compassionate and gracious.  He is a loving God who has shown this compassion to us by providing salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of His only begotten Son.  He knows we are not perfect; however, He did not neglect us and leave us on our own but did what was necessary to provide the means by which our sins can be forgiven.  And He is slow to anger.  David also declared this of God in a prior psalm.  “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” Psalm 86:15.  This speaks of one who is not quick to take vengeance but puts up with us patiently. 

I want to encourage us all to spend time looking at who our God truly is.  That He loves us and did all that was necessary to provide our salvation and eventual eternal life with Him.  He will not leave us or forsake us.  He is compassionate and gracious toward us.  Going forward, “He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:9-12.  He has each one of our bests at heart.  And because of all this, we should remember how much He cares for us, and is always watching over us.  Therefore, as King David declared, we should as well. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” 

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

Proverbs 14:29

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 14:29  

“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” – Proverbs 14:29        

One thing I have definitely noticed during this difficult time is what this verse speaks of.  In watching what is happening, we see people punching and beating people in the streets.  We also see the destruction of public and private property, and also massive retaliation for what I deem as frivolous offenses.  Anger appears to be the most observed emotion today.  

Now, I understand that often these things happen simply because people just want to be destructive.  There are organizations whose  total purpose for being involved is to wreak havoc and fuel the hostilities of others.  However, there are many who are just angry in response to a wrong done to them, either physically or verbally.  And many times, anger at someone will often cause them to be angry in return.  And this is the main idea regarding this verse.  Solomon writes in our focus verse that we are to be slow to anger, because they are those who exhibit great understanding.  Matthew Henry in his commentary on Proverbs states that meekness is wisdom.  He goes on to say, “He rightly understands himself, and his duty and interest, the infirmities of human nature, and the constitution of human society, who is slow to anger, and knows how to excuse the faults of others as well as his own, how to adjourn his resentments, and moderate them, so as by no provocation to be put out of the possession of his own soul.”  What he is saying is that he is capable of keeping control of his thoughts and feelings and is not one to retaliate for another’s anger. 

Paul writes the following to the Ephesians.  “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3.  Uncontrolled anger is one of the biggest reasons for dis-unity.  It can also harden the hearts of the people we are witnessing the truth of Christ to.  James, understanding this wrote the following, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20.  If we desire to show the righteousness of God in us, we must temper any times where we find ourselves getting angry.  If we cannot control our anger, we may find ourselves unable to do the work God has called us to do.

In closing, let us be careful that we maintain control in all situations so that our witness of Christ will remain intact and powerful.  At the end of our focus verse, Solomon states that a quick temper exalts folly.  He may be thinking that he is magnifying himself, however, the vast majority of the time, his folly is all that is exalted.  Let us all pray that we can remain in control of our emotions so that we can share the gospel and teach our brothers and sisters in a way that brings glory to Christ.

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

Exodus 34:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: Exodus 34:6 

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” – Exodus 34:6   

This verse describes events that occurred after Moses threw the first set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments down upon the rebellious Children of Israel.  Remember that when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai he was so angry that he threw the tablets down onto them.  Well, this chapter describes how the second set of tablets were given.

Here is the verses recording this event.  “The LORD said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” Exodus 34:1-3.  Moses here is given till the next morning to cut new tablets upon which God would put the Ten Commandments upon.  He then tells Moses to come to the mountain himself, not to bring anyone with him.

So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.”  Exodus 34:4-5.  Therefore, Moses does what he is commanded and cuts two new tablets to replace the ones destroyed previously.  The next morning he awakens, takes the two new tablets, and presents them to God.  The next thing we read is that the Lord descended from Heaven in a cloud and, I love the way this is put, and stood with him there.  Now the Lord declares in our focus verse, “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, Exodus 34:6.  And then continuing in verse 7, “keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:7. 

When He announced Himself to Moses the first time at the burning bush, he declared Himself as ‘self-existent’.  “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14.  This time He makes Himself known in the glory of His grace and goodness, using language that would be presented in the future to the church.  And because of what the Jews had done previously during the presentation of the first set of tablets, this shows His grace and mercy in presenting, once again, His law to His people, but also the grace and mercy He has in overlooking their sin.  And not just the sin of Israel, but all who has offended God in their ways.

This is the God we serve, one that has overlooked our sins once we cried out to Him for forgiveness, and then gave ourselves to Him to His service.  He loved us so much that He forgave us of everything and has declared us guiltless before Himself.  His abounding love and mercy goes far beyond anything we can ever imagine, and our future is with Him, in His kingdom forever.  What an amazing God we serve.

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

Proverbs 15:18

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 15:18 

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.” – Proverbs 15:18      

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone on a topic where the two of you did not agree?  I have at times.  Everything starts out ok, but then something happens and suddenly one or both of you begin showing signs of animosity.  It can start out slow, but if things do not change, then the possibility of an intense argument becomes more probable.  This was likely not the direction either of you anticipated.  You were simply wanting to discuss a topic, and suddenly everything blew up. 

This is especially true if both are looking for a win and will do anything possible to be successful.  Especially if both parties have the same goal.  At this point, the possibility of an amiable conversation becomes less likely.  And the more entrenched both parties are, the possibility becomes stronger each will leave angry at the other.  However, the second part of this verse describes how we are to handle any discussion, no matter how much we differ regarding the topic.  We are to be slow to anger, not trying necessarily to win the debate, but to be calm and present our case.  Anger does little in presenting what we believe, in fact, it will probably harden them to their own view of the topic.  Meekness is a better attitude in these situations.  You can bring up your opinion or belief, but not in an argumentative way.  Present all arguments on both sides, and if there is no agreement, leave as is.  There may be reasons why each sees things the way they do.  It is not worth arguing because all it will do is close minds.  Then, even if they come to believe you, they may never admit it or act on it.

This is especially important when we, as Christians, are one of the parties in a conversation.  Doubly so when not everyone involved is a Christian.  The issue in either case is our witness.  It would not be good for others to see us being angry and offensive during a discussion if they know we are a Christian.  What if we, in the process of trying to prove our point, call the other person a derogatory name?  Not only will this undoubtedly close the mind of the person, it can also cause others hearing our conversation to question our faith, to the point where they may even see us as a fake Christian.  They will see us as someone not living the life we profess.  Paul says it this way.  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29. He also adds, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”  Ephesians 4:30-31.  Note, we are not to exhibit bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, malice, and slander.  This pretty much does away with all negative expressions we could present.  In fact, we are to do all to God’s glory.  “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

We are to show love to all we come into contact with, whether we agree or not.  To argue does not help our cause, in fact, it degrades our ability to be a consistent witness.  We are to go out and be Christ’s hands and feet on the earth.  We are to show the love of God to a world that needs to hear it even though they may not think they do.  We are to be a light in the darkness.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, 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.  It is our calling; it is our mission.

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