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.

Titus 2:1

Verse of the Day: Titus 2:1

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” – Titus 2:1 

Paul here is speaking with one of the great leaders of the first century church.  Titus was a faithful servant of Christ and a valuable companion of Paul in some of his missionary journeys.  He served several churches in Corinth, Dalmatia and Crete.  Paul here is encouraging Titus to make sure all that he speaks and teaches should be of sound doctrine, ensuring that they grow in Christ and believe the absolute truth.  This word, I am confident was not meant just for Titus, but for all Christian leaders.

However, I want to assert that, as Christians, if we are discussing Christian issues with fellow Christians in a training context or are going out and spreading the gospel of Christ to the lost, this applies to us as well.  We must make it our focus to understand what we teach or share.  Be like the Berean’s in that you do not tell others what someone else says without checking it out to ensure it is truth.  It does not matter how famous or educated they are.  Remember, Paul commended the Bereans for checking what he said for accuracy.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of all nations.  Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  If you are not, I encourage you to study and prepare to make it happen.  And if/when you do, ensure what you are saying is truth.  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15.  It is our calling.

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

Matthew 7:12

Verse of the Day: Matthew 7:12

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12 

This verse is commonly called the Golden Rule.  In essence, what Matthew is laying out is the idea that if we do not want to be treated a certain way, do not treat others that way.  And, if you desire others to treat you in a certain way, treat others that way.

This is what Jesus referred to as the second greatest commandment.  “And He answered, ‘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.” Matthew 22:37-39.  He said this in response to a Pharisee lawyer who asked Jesus which command was the greatest.  He responds with love.

How are we to love our neighbor?  In the same way we love ourselves.  If we are hungry and need food, we would like someone to give us something to eat.  Then give others who are hungry something to eat.  If we need to get somewhere but need someone to take us there, be open to taking others where they need to go.  If we do not like to be gossiped about, do not gossip about others.  This is a simple concept to understand but can be difficult sometimes to fulfill. If you find you cannot help someone for some reason, then help them find another who can.  Remember what James said, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”  James 2:16. Is this love, or are they just empty words?

Be God’s hands and feet on the earth.  Do all you can to help those in need.  If you cannot help them, then get them in touch with someone who can.  Do not leave them in their difficult state.  Would you want empty words over actual help?

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

Matthew 7:23

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 7:23

“And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” – Matthew 7:23

This is a verse that can be hard to hear.  For it deals with a false idea that too many people have fallen into.  Let’s look at this from the beginning, starting in verse 21.

He starts by saying that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.  We can say the word Lord all we want, but if we are saying it and do not believe He is Lord, then we are liars.  Paul put it this way.  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Romans 10:9. To confess it with our mouth is to confess it no matter what and in any dire situation.  And we can only do this if we truly believe it.  Again, we can call Him Lord all we want, but if there is no belief behind it, we are just lying to ourselves and ultimately to Him.

He says in verse 22 that on the day, meaning the day of judgement, many will claim Him to be Lord, even though they did not believe it.  They will say they did miracles in His name, as well as taught and prophesied.  However, He truly was not their Lord.  And they will claim they did them in His name.  However, as we see in our focus verse, He will declare He never knew them.  Many may ask, if He knows everything, how can He not know them?  Simple, the idea of ‘knew’ means there was an intimate relationship with Him.  They may have known about Him, but they never knew Him intimately.  Many people know of God and Jesus, but they do not know Him personally.

Remember what Paul said in his letter to the Romans.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” Romans 8:29.  God knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:10) He knows who will be saved, who will declare Him lord and believe it, and believes Christ was raised from the dead.  And He knew this from the beginning.

If we do not have an intimate relationship with Him, where we spend time with Him and obey His commands, and other things indicative of an intimate relationship, then we need to examine ourselves and ask God to forgive us, then make the adjustments.  The Christian walk is a serious one.  I would never declare to anyone they are not there, only we as individuals with God’s help can do that.  But it is something we need to be serious about.

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

Psalm 39:7

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 39:7  

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” – Psalm 39:7 

This is another psalm of David.  He starts in verse one by saying he will watch out how he speaks to his enemies.  “I said, I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence. I was mute and silent, I refrained even from good, And my sorrow grew worse.” Psalm 39:1-2.  He chooses to be careful in what he says to his enemies.  Not necessarily because of their reactions, but because he did not want to sin because of his words and actions.  Then in verse three he alludes to the feelings of anger and intense excitement of his emotions that came upon him.  “My heart was hot within me, While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue” Psalm 39:3.  His emotions were rising within him, endeavoring to come out. 

In this situation, it seems David wearied of his life.  In verses 4-6, he is looking at the brevity, or shortness of life here on earth.  First, he asks God how long must he stay here. “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.” Psalm 39:4.  Then he says that our lives are short, which is the idea of handbreadth, speaking of the short span when our four fingers are spread apart.  God is eternal, and his short life is nothing in comparison.  Then he adds that compared to eternity our lives are like a single breath.  “Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.”  Psalm 39:6.  And because of this, our lives are vain as we amass riches and wealth, but in a short time we die and have it no more.”

And so, because life is short, we come to our focus verse.  “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7.  He in essence is saying, in this life, I will place my reliance in you and what you bring about and make happen.  It is not the world he must rely on, or his own means, for it is not in his power to solve the mysteries in this life, and in reality he knows he does not have the wisdom or knowledge to make a positive difference.  And neither do we.  The theologian Albert Barnes in his commentary on psalms puts it this way.  “it is in the God that made all, the Ruler over all, that can control all, and that can accomplish His own great purposes in connection even with these moving shadows, and that can confer on man thus vain in himself and in his pursuits that which will be valuable and permanent.” We can do nothing; we must rely on God to do everything.  We must not contemplate on what the world can do to meet our needs, desires, or in bringing of peace to us.  We must rely on God in all things.  For only then can we find ourselves content, for He alone can bring it to us and help us through.  The world can only fail in this goal and exacerbate the issue.  God loves us, He is always with us.  And He will help us.  “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace  Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3.

I encourage everyone reading this to trust completely in God who can do everything and loves us with an unending love.  We may feel helpless, however, we have nothing to be concerned about, because, He has this.

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

1 Peter 5:7

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 5:7 

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7            

This verse here is similar to one we find in the psalms.  “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalms 55:22. Both have the idea that we do not need to be burdened by trials and troubles because God said He would bare them for us. 

First, lets examine the context to this verse.  Peter starts this chapter by exhorting the elders to shepherd God’s people.  He tells them to train and help those under their care to grow in Christ.  And specifically not to do it out of duty, but from eagerness, wanting them to grow and see them become stronger in the faith.  And not lording over them but being examples of how they were to live.  He then exhorts the younger men who are under these leaders to humbly place themselves under subjection to their teachings.  It is important that Christians allow themselves to be discipled so as to understand and grow in the faith.  He then adds the following, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6. To submit patiently to what God allows or causes to happen.  Sometimes He uses difficulty to correct us and we must accept this, for God does love us and knows what is best for us.  And in the process we are to wait humbly and patiently for the time God determines these tough times are completed.

Now, back to our focus verse, which is tied to verse six.  In submitting to God, we should then cast on Him all our anxieties, cares and worries, knowing God is good.  The idea in the word casting is ‘once for all.’  In other words, we are to cast our anxieties on Him and never take them back.  Too often we give them to God, and are fine for a season, but then we take them back.  We cast them upon Him trusting that He has them covered, then we take them back and become anxious again.  Have we lost our trust in Him?  The reason Peter gives as to why we can cast our cares on Him is because He cares for us.  Does He not care about us anymore?  The answer to these questions are an emphatic “NO”. He will never stop caring for us because He loves us with a never-ending love.  He does not delight in our troubles, however as stated above, He has a reason for allowing them.  And we must trust that all will end for our good. 

Therefore, when we find ourselves anxious about something, we must permanently give it to Him and not be anxious about it anymore.  We must leave it with Him and trust that we will be OK.  He loves us too much to allow something that will cause us harm, but also loves us enough to allow things that may be difficult but will cause a good to happen to us.  Trust Him and do not let our situations make us anxious or worrisome.  If a good comes from it, then was it really a bad thing?

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