Numbers 11:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: Numbers 11:6

“But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” – Numbers 11:6

In Exodus 16, we read the story of how the Israelites complained about the food that God provided for His people.  “They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:1-3. After God had freed them from Egypt where they were slaves, they now complain to Moses and Aaron about the food that was provided to them by God.  It seems they had plenty of meat and bread while in Egypt, which makes sense so that they had the strength to work as hard as was required.  Now they complained because they did not have the food they had there, even though they were now free.

Next, we see how what God did to provide them plenty of food.  “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:4-5.

After a while, they tired of what God provided. “Now the rabble that was among them had a strong `craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6.

Then God gives them meat, but it was not as they thought it would be provided. “And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore, the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, ‘Why did we come out of Egypt?’” Numbers 11:18-20. He gave them meat, but they were required to eat it every day until they got sick of it. God gave them manna, but they wanted something else.

It is important that if we ask God to provide something for us, we should be content with what He gives us. If He provides a hamburger, we should not complain it is not steak. If He provides an old pickup truck, we should not complain because it is not a Lexus.  God will provide our every need. The apostle Paul put it this way, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. And whatever He supplies, whether it be old or new, plentiful or just enough, we must be thankful. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:11-12. God will provide our needs, but not always our wants. We need to be satisfied with whatever He gives us, for everything else is not necessarily a need. Trust Him, for He knows us, and our situation better than we do ourselves.

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

Ephesians 6:10

Verse of the Day Devotion – Ephesians 6:10

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” – Ephesians 6:10.

In the beginning of this chapter, Paul stated to the Church in Ephesus the duties which they were to perform in doing the work of God.  He had considered the various relations of life, including children who were to obey and honor their father and mother, and the father who was not to provoke their children.  Back then slaves were found all over the area there, and so he encourages them to obey their masters.  And to obey them “not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6.  In other words, not simply look like they were doing their jobs, but actually doing it.  And he clarifies this with the next verses, “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” Ephesians 6:7-8.  And he also speaks to masters, where he says “And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” Ephesians 6:9.

So, Paul was not unaware that in the discharge of their duties they would need strength from above. He knew that they had great and mighty foes, and that to meet them, they needed to be clothed in a spiritual form of a uniform of the soldier.  Paul therefore closes by exhorting them to put on all the strength which they could to meet the enemies with which they had to contend; and in the commencement of his exhortation, he reminds them that it was only by the strength of the Lord that they could hope for victory. To be “strong in the Lord” is to first be strong and courageous in his cause, and also to feel that he is our strength and to rely on him and his promises.

Throughout the scriptures God has promised to help us through difficult times.  Paul wrote to the Philippians “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.  He also wrote to the Church in Rome, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  In both of these verses, he is telling us that God will supply everything we need, both in material things as well as in addressing times of difficulty. 

And the prophet Isaiah tells us that we have no reason to be afraid, for God is with us, His people.  “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.  And in Deuteronomy we read, “Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8. 

Over this week, I will be looking at the verses that refer to the armor of God. And why should we focus on this?  “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  Ephesians 6:11.  We are not in this alone.  God is with us and will give us the things we need to stand firm against the evil that the enemy throws our way.  God loves us greatly and will provide all we need to stay true to Him. 

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

1 Chronicles 16:11

Verse of the Day Devotion:  1 Chronicles 16:11 

“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11

This verse is part of song of thanks to God by David.  In looking at this, we should see this as an example for us.  Starting in verse eight he says, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:8.  We should be thankful for everything that God has done for us, for everything He has given us, and all difficult situations that not only He has delivered us from, but also during current trials where He is with us and helping us.  Remember, He said He would never leave us or forsake us.  He will always be with us being we are His children and His people.  He also says we are to call upon His name, reaching out to Him in any time of need or just to give Him all the glory and honor due His name.  And when He helps us or does anything for us, we should tell our brothers and sisters in Christ so they can rejoice with us and also encourage those who find themselves in similar circumstances.

Next, it tells us that we are to praise and glorify Him.  “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.” 1 Chronicles 16:9-10.  All praise is due Him and we should remember that God is the giver of good things.  “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17.  We should always remember to give Him all glory, praise  and thankfulness due Him.  And again, we should always be ready to speak of all His wonders and the goodness He gives to us.  We should seek Him and be glad that He reveals Himself to us, and we should take these revelations and speak to all we know of His wonders.

And now we come to our focus verse, “Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.” 1 Chronicles 6:11.  Our hearts should love Him with such fervency that we are continually dedicated to reaching out to Him and expressing our love to Him.  He should be the one we desire to be with at all times.  He is so good to us and always has our best in mind, even though we may not see it as best for us.  We must strive to know Him better than any one or anything.  He loves us more than we can imagine and our hearts should desire to, as the verse says, ‘seek His face continuously’. 

And moving forward, “Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.” 1 Chronicles 16:12.  We should always look back and remember all the good things God has done, for us personally or for all His people.  Let us take the time to think about all the good He has done and all He has protected us from.  As stated above, all good things come from Him and it is always a good thing to look back and see the grace He has bestowed upon us.  He is due this and we should recognize them and be grateful. 

There are so many things we look for during our lifetime.  Some of them are definitely worthwhile, and some we should not be concerned about.  But one thing we should always strive for is His presence in our lives, His grace and goodness to us, and we should give Him thanks for all these things.  For all He has done for us, He is worthy of far more than we can ever give Him.  Seek Him continuously, and I believe you will be blessed far more than you ever have been before. 

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

Psalm 73:25-26

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 73:25-26

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:25-26

Psalm 73 was written by Asaph.  Asaph was a Levite and as a Levite he ministered in the Tabernacle of Meeting – in the Sanctuary of God.  From what we know he was only one of three Levites specifically asked by King David (I Chronicles 6: 31, 39) to be in charge of the singing in the house of God.  He was keenly aware through his experience in this ministry of the hypocrisy that took place within the house of God at times as well as, the vanity of vanities of a man seeking refuge, peace, and fulfillment through the riches of the world.  Not unlike a true believer in our Lord and Savior today, at times we cannot

comprehend why the wicked and ungodly in this world prosper materially and have an abundance of earthly wealth and pleasures seemingly without any consequences.  It was not just the outsiders of the camp that Asaph is writing. It was the unfaithful within the encampment of Israel that he is referencing as well.  “Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches” (VS 12).  In contrast, Asaph saw that there are true, faithful, and righteous-living believers who are oppressed and do not have much in the way of material/earthly blessings.  This caused a conflict within his heart and within his ministry.  But Asaph writes: “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end” (VSS 16,17).  

If you are a true believer in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross; His burial and His resurrection, you very well might be experiencing at times what Asaph did.  Maybe concerning earthly wealth and prosperity and/or the ease that appears to come with riches has never been at your doorstep.  Maybe you have said to yourself: “I’m doing everything I can to live rightly but why do those who don’t live rightly have more than me?  And like Asaph within the house of God, should I listen and believe the many prosperity and faith teachers of today’s church that I have a ‘right’ to expect material and earthly blessings and wealth as a believer in Christ?”  No.  Do not!   As new creations in Christ through faith, you have been placed into the Body of Christ.  Your blessings so abundant come to you by being ‘in Him’, not by being ‘in the world’ nor receiving from the world’s abundance.   “And blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…” (Eph 1:3).   Does our Lord care about what we have materially to meet our needs?  Absolutely.   But to demand or expect God to be indebted to give us riches and wealth and obey our prayers or commands (prayers) for what we seek materially is wicked to the uttermost.  Those that solely grind after this world’s wealth to satisfy their needs are on a slippery slope (Ps 73:18) that will lead to destruction and desolation – like living in a dream and then suddenly awakened to reality (vss 18-20).   Therefore, what can we learn from Asaph’s experience?  In VSS 25-26, there is an encouraging summary of Asaph’s heart-felt prayer. 

#1.  “Whom have I in heaven but You?”  Technically, the phrase ‘but You’ is italicized which means it is inferred but not in the original text.  The question can read: “Whom have I in heaven?”   You do know that there are other created beings of God ‘in heaven’.  Angelic beings of all different roles and ranks are there.  There are beings that are evil in the ‘heavenly places’ and there are beings that adhere to the Word of God.  As believers our fight is not first and foremost against flesh and blood (the human realm), “…but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).  So’ to answer Asaph’s question “Whom have I in heaven?”, the answer hopefully is clear to you as it was to Asaph.  It should ONLY be God. 

#2.    Not only is God our answer when looking toward the heavenly realm, He is our answer in our earthly realm as well.  “And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You” (VS 23b).  Oh, that you and I can have this kind of perspective, longing, and reality in our hearts.  Ironically, our Christmas season is here.  I desire that my heart would be like Asaph’s during this season; that I ultimately only desire Him – not the presents I might get or anything else offered from this world to try and fulfill only what He Himself can fill.  Be reminded that every TV commercial you will see this Christmas season will offer you the peace, prosperity, ease, comfort, and abundance that the world can give.  But while on this earth, there is none besides Him.  See, Asaph was a real man with real life before him.  Just like you today.  He expresses what many of us might feel at this very moment.

#3.  “My flesh and my heart fail;…” (VSS 26).   Asaph does not say ‘My flesh and heart MIGHT fail at times’.  No.  As a human being and even as an assigned singer in the house of God serving the One Living God, Asaph humbly admits to his readers of this Psalm that in his own strength (his flesh) and through his own efforts deep within his heart to do it right, he fails.  All ‘your’ efforts will fail you.  All ‘your’ self-determination within your own heart will come short of what you really, really need.   There are hundreds if not thousands of methodologies and self-help philosophies available in the world or within religious systems that promise to meet your most inner needs.   Listen here to the Word of God.  What you deeply need will not come from your own strength and your own heart-felt determination.   The answer once again is God Himself.  The Person. The Person is Jesus Christ.  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” (John 14:10).  It is worthy of repeating.  What you deeply need will not come from your own strength and your own heart-felt determination.   The answer once again is God Himself. 

#4.    “But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (VS 26b).   Do you need a measure of strength to get through whatever phase in life or challenges or questions you are experiencing now?   When you see the world around you, even within the church on some occasions, seemingly prosperous people who are at ease and at comfort within their riches, and you ask that question: “How am I supposed to live as I view these things around me?”    Let your answer be the same as Asaph.   ‘BUT GOD…..’.  But God is the strength of MY heart – not the material world around me, not some angelic spiritual beings. No way.  God is MY strength and MY portion forever!!    Call out to Him.  Cling to Him.  He is right here.  As believers in the Lord Jesus, thank God that we can instantly turn to Him for real comfort, strength, peace, and hope that will deeply satisfy our most challenging times.   Thank you, Lord!

Jaca Kier, Board Member, True Devotion Ministries, Inc. 

Romans 15:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 15:1  

“Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.” – Romans 15:1 

In Romans 14, Paul speaks of how we are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ.  “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”  Romans 14:1-4.  And also not to cause our brother or sister to stumble.  “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” Romans 14:13.  These two ideas are very important so that we do not cause spiritual problems for our fellow Christians.

Now, moving on to chapter 15, we read our focus verse, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.” Romans 15:1.  In the two passages above from chapter 14,  Paul is clearly saying we should accept our weaker brothers and sisters in Christ and not pass judgement on them regarding their ways just because we may not agree with them.  We should help them understand what the Word says, but to be careful not to condemn them regarding differences.  On the contrary, our focus verse says we are help them in their weaknesses, and not just focus on our own ways.  I have seen too many incidents where Christians who are new to the faith have been countered strongly in their beliefs, to the point where they felt ridiculed.  And many times they were not necessarily wrong, they just did not agree with what the other was saying. 

Paul is stating here that we are to exhort our brothers and sisters in Christ.  “Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”  Romans 15:2.  Especially those who are new to the faith, or not as trained in the ways of God.  Yes, we are to show them where changes need to be made and not leave them in their errors.  However, it is to be done with kindness and love.  And we should not do these things to gratify what we desire.  We must work for the benefit and happiness of others.  Paul in his letter to the Church in Philippi put it this way. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4.  We are not only to labor for our benefit  alone but also, and I would say especially, for the benefit of others.  Our job is to exhort each other in the faith, looking at how we can help others in their walk in a loving way, and to encourage them in times of trials and troubles. 

At the end of this section Paul tells us, “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7.  We are to accept our brothers and sisters just as Christ accepted us regardless of who and what we were.  And not only accept them, but love them, helping them in their weaknesses by strengthening them in their faith.  We are to lift them up when they are down and help them learn of this Christian walk where they may lack understanding.  And in all things in love and patience.  Is it wrong for us to please ourselves?  Not really.  But it was not the way of Christ.  And if we are to be like Christ, then we must look to the betterment of others before ourselves.  It is what He did for us on the cross.  

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

Isaiah 40:31

Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 40:31 

“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” – Isaiah 40:31   

Chapter 40 of Isaiah is a chapter of comfort for God’s people.   The reason this comfort was necessary was due to a meeting King Hezekiah had with Merodach-Baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon; followed by the prophecy given by Isaiah.  Hezekiah gives Baladan a tour of his place.  “Hezekiah was pleased, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and his whole armory and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.” Isaiah 39:2.  Hezekiah showed Baladan everything he could, including all their treasures and the spices and precious oils, plus the armory where all the weapons were stored. 

This was not a good idea because it let Baladan know how they could profit if they took Israel, and Isaiah points this point to Hezekiah.  “Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, what did these men say, and from where have they come to you?  And Hezekiah said, they have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.  He said, “What have they seen in your house?  So Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.” Isaiah 39:3-4.  Isaiah then declares the prophecy.  “Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Isaiah 39:6-7.

This prophecy from Isaiah no doubt caused distress withing Israel.  Therefore, God calls for Isaiah to bring comfort to Israel.  “Comfort, O comfort My people, says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins ” Isaiah 40:1-2.  Israel’s warfare has been completed and her iniquities have been removed.  She will, at this time, be at peace.  However, Israel feels that God has left them.  “Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.” Isaiah 40:27-29.  He is pointing out that God is always seeing them, He does not become weary and His understanding is assured.  He knows what they are going through and gives them the strength they need.

He then tells them even though the strongest and most fit young men become tired in their labor, and those selected as the bravest, and most vigorous and manly become weary in their duties, “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31.  God is not contingent on anything.  He does not grow tired or find Himself in a position where He cannot do something like man does.  But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.  To wait on the Lord is to have complete dependence on God, knowing He will come through to deliver them, and to admit that help can come from nowhere else but Him. 

And those who wait on Him will renew their strength; physical, emotional, and mental.  God will give them the strength they need; therefore, they can be free like an eagle who has molted its old feathers and have grown healthy new one.  They will have the endurance to do what He has prepared them to do.  However, only if they wait on God.

And it is the same for us.  If we encounter a situation that is difficult and wonder how we will make it through, we should simply give it to God and wait for Him, who is faithful to bring us through.  We can do our part, essentially those things we can do, but let God guide us through to victory.  It does no good to stress about things we cannot resolve.  By giving it to God, we can be at peace as He brings us through to a good end.

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

Psalm 77:14

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 77:14 

“You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.” – Psalm 77:14

This is a great verse.  Our God, the one and only true God, has done amazing things, or as the writer said, worked wonders.  What are some of these things?  Well, first, He created everything.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.  Also, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16. And finally, “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone, Isaiah 44:24.  Before God created the heavens and the earth, there was only the eternal realm where God was and is.  What is more wonderful then creating something from nothing. 

Also, He created us, man, not by speaking us into existence, but by forming us.  “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7.  So, after created where we would live, He then created us, forming us from the dust of His creation. 

Now creation of everything is an incredible feat in itself.  No one other than God could have done this, and when we look at creation, seeing the wonders of the heavens, all the stars and galaxies in the sky, and the amazing objects from which all is created, such as cells, atoms and incredible energy that exists in both living creatures and objects we view, are amazing in themselves, and they work together in amazing unity. 

However, we also see that every act of God is beyond understanding.  Whether in creation as described above, but also in His interaction with all of mankind.  He knows absolutely everything that has happened, is happening and will happen.  He works in the earth for His purpose, which includes the good of His people.  Look at all the ways He has intervened in history.  He delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, fed them in the desert with Manna which He provided to them, delivered Daniel from the Lion’s Den, and Israel from both Assyria and Babylon.  And He loves us so much, He provided a way of salvation by sending His only begotten Son to die in our place so we can live forever with Him. 

When I look at everything in the heavens, earth, history, His provision for us, the way everything works together so that we, mankind, can live here on the earth, I am in awe.  None of this could be by accident.  Every day, hour, minute, second and moment is known by our amazing creator.  And He guides those who commit themselves to Him, and when this era is over, we shall live with Him, in a new and perfect heaven and earth, which He will create after all things are done. 

I cannot lay out everything that shows His incredible power, glory and strength.  But, the more I think about these things, the more I am humbled and thankful for all God does.  I encourage everyone to think about these things, giving thanks to Him for His infinite actions, infinite knowledge, and infinite love.  Read the entire chapter of Psalm 77 and again ponder all that He has done and continues to do for you and those you know and love.  When I have done it, He has revealed amazing things to me.  I believe He will do the same for every one of you.

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