Devotionals
( All scripture is from the KJV)
Beware!
There seems to be so much going on in this day and age of the internet! Things can go around the world in seconds and even be made up to hurt someone's reputation. It is to bring down someone or to get juicy gossip. 
 
But we need to beware of this! Paul says in Phl 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.  This means to be aware of those who oppose Christ and have no morals. Or those who want to put us back under the Law and back under bondage. Even in the church today we see so many preaching law! 
 
On one hand we need to know that there are some truths that come from the internet! We have to be discerning, and question things and think about it for a little while. 
 
We also need to remember that our problem is not with flesh and blood but the spiritual things that are invading the hearts and minds of the world. Paul says this in 
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
 
So, beware of what you read and see! Beware but do not fear! Beware but be faithful! Beware of those who talk grace but live law!  BEWARE SAINTS!!! 

Knowing God and making Him known!
This saying is popular by some pastors and churches. Nothing wrong with the saying if it is understood for the right reasons but it may not be. 
 
You see you can "know about" someone but not know them. For instance, a person engaged to another can know about the other person. They can even live and have slept together without being married but that does not make them married! The difference between "knowing" God and being" married" to Him is the giving of oneself completely by faith!!!!
 
The problem with many marriages is that they give just enough to be legally married you might say but are still very selfish! Well, the same with Christians who come to "know" about Christ, but they don't give themselves to Christ they just "know about" Him! There is no commitment that is outside of their control. If not married, they control the relationship but if legally married the law confirms the marriage and therefore a legal commitment is there.
 
Commitment is very important, and I believe the reason why there are so many "luke-warm" believers are that they are not believers at all!
 
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 

Worry!
We all worry to some extent about something at some time. We may worry about our workload for the next day. We may worry about major things like health issues. We may worry about a spouses love or kids schooling. We can worry about finances and government, but worry is worry whether big or small.
 
This worry for some can turn into panic attacks or it can just be so called normal anxiety. Worry is simply fear of the future. Worry is fear and anxiety, and we are all born with it. 
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 
 
Worry is not walking by faith, so it is sin, so the answer for sin of course was the cross of Christ. We counter worry by walking by faith which means putting on God's love! You may say "how does God's love figure into this"! Well fear is the insecurity of the future. It is saying "I don't know what to do how to fix this problem". It is fear of not getting it done or it being done right, so failure comes in and so the answer is God's love because He is secure. His love is all we need and if something was to happen in the future we know where we are going and to whom we belong too. God's love takes away worry, anxiety and fear! Nothing is so important that we need to worry about it compared to eternal life!
1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
... 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 
 
But first we must admit to having fear and worry. To many saints won't even admit to it as if it is failure to have it, yet the sad thing is if you don't admit to it, you still live by it! Admitting and being honest with yourself is the first step. Then as I said before renewing your mind and put on and claim God's Love!!!
 
God loves you dear saint so don't worry but walk by faith and that means to walk in God's love! 

Are All sinners the same?
   We are all born sinners! We are not sinners because we sin, but we are sinners therefore we sin! Yet we are all sinners just the same, so from that view point we could say Yes, all sinners are the same!
 
Yet Christ treated these sinners differently, and so should we. Too often I hear saints say, "well we are all sinners, so leave them alone". Or "who are we to judge we are all sinners"! But Jesus as well as Paul told us to judge and judge righteously! 
 
Let's look at some examples from Jesus earthly ministry to Israel. The women caught in adultery and by law could have been stoned! They were getting ready to stone her when Jesus said "...he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone"...!!!
John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? ... 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. ... 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 
 
You see Jesus knew their hearts, but He also knew hers. He knew that her potential would be faithful to him. He showed compassion to her for he knew why she had committed this sin. Now adultery is sin, in fact we might say a "big one" if there was such a thing which there is not. But this was no little white lie oh no this was sexual, but Jesus loved her, and she was faithful.
 
Now contrast that with the Pharisees! Look how He handles them and if there was anyone that kept the "law" better than others it was a Pharisee! 
Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 
AND  
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 
 
You see they were good at keeping law and religious things and looking good on the outside but inside they were hypocrites and dead!  Their hearts were hard and callous and unbelieving! They are still sinners like the women caught in adultery, but her heart was ready and soften, humble and ready to receive, or Jesus would not have allowed her to be saved! But the pharisees were just religious and need to be confronted harshly! They needed to be condemned and spanked you might say! 
 
So, while all sinners sin NOT all sinners are alike. We need to be able to discern and see who is able to receive and who is not! Who has a hard, unbelieving and rebellious heart and who truly is seeking help and the Lord!
 
Be aware of your audience saints and keep on sharing the gospel of grace that saves!!! 
 
 
 
 

Babes in Christ can be arrogant!!! 
Just like children who when they first learn something think they are the only ones who know how to do it so are babes in Christ. So many are arrogant, prideful and downright rebellious! They act like spoiled brats demanding their way. They tend to stay on the "one horse and pony show". That means the same answer for everything and the same topic over and over and over!!! They have NO discernment and cannot discern good and evil or right from wrong. They cannot give latitude for they still walk by law, THEIR LAW!!!
 
The author of Hebrews says this 
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
 
You see babes still drink milk. Now milk is food right. It still is something to eat and nourishment, but it is not meat! It is not mature food you might say but baby food! So are those who learn to "rightly divide" doctrine but cannot discern their own feelings or respect others or know how to love! They cannot recognize their own thoughts and feelings well known others, and worse they don't care too either. They cannot stop preaching long enough to discern "how" to minster to a person the right way they can only complain, correct or rebel! They can't follow the discussion or post because they are so involved in their own thoughts and riding that one horse and pony"!!!
 
Yes, we need to speak truth and yes, we need to know doctrine, but we also need to discern how to "live" out that doctrine not just preach it! IF all you can do is preach it and don't live it you have become a "NOISY GONG"!!!
1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, (GONG) or a tinkling cymbal. 

Reconciliation!
I have found over the years that most Christians do not know or should I say do not practice reconciliation. They know it should be done because the pastor teaches it, but they don't do it. They cannot admit their wrong nor do they care if they offend someone. Generally, I find it in those who know "right doctrine" and that is ALL they care about. They talk a lot about what the bible says but they don't live it.
 
EXTENDING!
The bible talks a lot about extending forgiveness. In other words, we are to forgive always. We are to forgive our enemy's and those that offend or hurt us. Paul says this Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
AND 
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Now some of you will think or say something like this and trying to quote Jesus from Matthew. "If you don't forgive you will not be forgiven", which was not to us and was written in Christ earthly ministry to Israel before the cross work of Christ and not to gentiles. But after that work and the Body of Christ is formed and gentiles are saved by faith, we see that we have been forgiven therefore we CAN forgive. It is not a "IF" you forgive, you are forgiven so extend forgiveness by going to God and thanking Him for forgiving you and then say, "I choose to forgive so and so for...."! All forgiveness needs to go to God because He is the judge of all!
 
SEEKING!
Seeking forgiveness is something I find most believers don't do. In fact, I think that many non-Christians do it more than many Christians sadly. I have heard many believers including pastors say after being told that they have offending someone say this "I am sorry that you feel that way" and put all the responsibility on the one who was offended. How many men/husbands and pastors would say to your wife who you know you have offended and say, "I am sorry you feel that way". Your wife would either blow up, kill you or die!!!
 
THAT is not seeking forgiveness!!! AND it is defending your actions and words instead of seeing what you did wrong. It is self-focused instead of other focused. It is not reconciling but BLAMING!
 
We should seek forgiveness every time someone is offended. Even when sharing the gospel, we can offend by HOW we say it. We need to check "HOW" we say things just as much as what we said. Here is an example, "I LOVE YOU" harshly and angrily said... verses "I love you" gently and genuinely said. Both only say I love you but HOW the first one is said is different and that is what we need to seek forgiveness for!! 
 
Here is a good verse from the Old Covenant in Matthew 
Mat 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
The gift today could be associated with what some think as doctrine. In other word believers think "only" about doctrine instead of the people. The gift or religious things is not as important as being reconciled!!!  That is not to say that doctrine is not important because it is, but we have to put in balance and perspective. We need to love and live out doctrine not just preach it! We need to "love" in relationships not just make "doctrinal law"!
 
Paul also says this in Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 
 
Go and seek forgiveness by saying "I was wrong for .... will you forgive me"? Sometimes it for speaking harshly as I find this is what I do with Robin. I may be right in "what" I said but I was wrong in "how" I said it. I was harsh and it crushed her!
 
Learn to reconcile daily and keep the unity of peace and love! 

Women, Wives and the Word! 
I recently heard that Serna Williams the tennis star was going to retire. She said she wanted to focus on her business and family. She has a young daughter and I applaud her for desiring to do that for her, but she also said this. "If I was a man I would not need to retire and could focus on tennis and keep working".
 
So, this got me to thinking about what the bible says. The Word is our manual for life! The Word always has the right answer for ALL things. 
 
God's word says there are certain roles for men and women. There are different responsibilities and different functions for both, and neither are below the other. Paul tells Titus in Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
 
While sports can be good it can also take women out of the role they were designed to do. We see this in many women sports, like the WNBA and the Pro golf as well as tennis. They have taken on masculine roles and have perverted God's true intentions. Romans 1:20-32 has much to say about this.
 
You see when men or women don't do what God says to do what happens is the "Word of God is blasphemed"!!! And that is exactly what has happened in the world today, and not only in the world but among the church as well! Blasphemed means "to revile, defame and go against and to call evil". Can you imagine the word of God being called evil, but this is what is said by many in and out of the church, that it is old fashioned and is not relative anymore! 
 
A housewife who takes care of the home and loves her husband and children and does it ALL to bring Glory to God is to be valued more than anything in my mind and I also believe it touches God's heart too!!!
 
Learn to value God's word and your role in His Body! 

The Glory of God!!! 
My favorite and life verse if I was to say I had one would be this one! 
2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
 
It is saying that all things I do when sharing the gospel are for others and that the grace you receive from the gospel of Christ will bring thankfulness and glory to God!
 
I hope that is something you would desire also. I also want to point out that everything we do is to bring Glory to God! And the way we do that is to confess Jesus as Lord! You see when we are saved it is because we believe in Jesus's death, burial and resurrection and we have submitted to Him as our Lord and savior. We recognize that He is who He said He was and that is the Son of God! We are admitting that He is the supreme authority and sovereign Lord!
 
Now we who are saved are saying Jesus Christ is Lord, but everyone saved or not will someday, and when that happens it will bring GLORY TO GOD!!! Phil 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Be thankful and praise the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father will be well pleased!!!  

Charismatic! 
I have been accused on occasion of not teaching the whole gospel! The whole gospel to some means speaking in tongues and probably other things but depending on the situation I just let it go. But let me try to say in a very short devotion why I don't teach charismatic and sign gifts today.
 
First let's read from 1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
 
Paul has just said that Charity is the main focus in chapter 13 and then says that when that which is perfect has come meaning the "Word" of God then there is no need for these things. Let's read verse 8, 1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 
 
.... Tongues shall cease...! You see at the time they were necessary as signs to Unbelievers, but no longer are they...
Read this 1 Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
They are a "sign" to Unbelievers so they could prove and share the Word of God!!! But as time went on, they did not believe even with signs, and 2 they missed the cross work by focusing on the "super spiritual" manifestations and 3 the "Word" of God was complete!!! 
 
And to add which is one of my biggest problems with those who say they speak in tongues is this 1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
They edify themselves!!! In other words, most and I could say "all" but anyway are trying to build up themselves and doing it in public to begin with. It is not to be used to edify self but for unbelievers! You see the focus is on self!!!! I have never meant one who is not trying to "be' and "look" super spiritual. I have never meant one who is not still trying to "get to" God verses knowing He is "IN THEM" already!
 
Then Paul says in 1 Cor 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 
 
I would rather speak "5 WORDS" in a known tongue to "TEACH" others!!!! This the key to it all. It is not building up yourself but rather edify the church! Buildup, encourage and teach the Body of Christ!!! Tongues is "self" promotion, Teaching is other promotion!!! Learn to edify the body not yourself! 
 
There is a difference in having charisma and being charismatic. One is to edify and influence others to come to the cross the other is self-centered and takes people away from the cross of Christ!!!

Give up control!
While getting another round of chemo I am always reminded that I can't do anything about somethings and to give up control. I submit to the nurses and Dr.'s as they stick needles and things into me. Yes, it hurts but it is what is necessary to get rid of the cancer within. I also don't know anything about the body at least to the point of healing it. Now Doctors and nurses know the right meds and things to help us get better. I don't know what they are talking about most of the time so then I have to trust them. Now we have all heard of someone dying from bad meds or something that went wrong but 99% of the time they know what they are doing and are safe about it. 
 
Some people control with brute force while others with words. They talk you to death and usually about themselves.  Some control out of being weird or scaring others or they control the atmosphere. In other words, they control were you meet, like their house always. They have to drive all the time or whatever.  
 
We overtly give up control when we need too and in certain situations, but we need to do that in all of life and do it daily! The word say's 1Ti 6:7 "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out". 
 
Clearly, we don't control anything! 
 
  

Latin! 
Some protestant believers have a hard time with Latin! They think of the Catholic church and have a bitter taste in their mouth, but Latin was a language used back in the day. It was the international common language like English is today. 
 
Many think Saul changed his name to Paul to be a more Greek name, but it is Latin also. 
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
 
One of the words that often causes problems with saints is the word Rapture which is Latin for "caught up"! They deny the Rapture because the word is not in the bible, but you can see from other verses that the word "caught up is used and while again not using the word Rapture it has the same Latin meaning "to catch, take or pull away"!
!2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
 
The words "caught up" in 2 Cor is the same as here in 1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
 
...in which we get the word Rapture from. 
 
We don't have to say things are not real just because the bible does not use certain language that we are use too. Latin was a language used in that day just like Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic were all different languages used throughout the bible.   
 

THE WRATH OF GOD!!!
As I found out lately by a post on my Facebook page, that people have some strong opinions about the Rapture. Sadly, those that disagree with these strong opinions are usually those with weak faith and fleshly sinful attitudes which results in nasty sarcastic comments instead of just disagreeing. But non the less I thought this would be a time for a short devotional as I always do. Now in these devotionals they are kept short on purpose and cannot cover every bible verse or doctrine completely but hopefully they help and edify.
 
Now God's wrath is real and thank Jesus for giving us the way to be reconciled to God. But the wrath to come is still real. 
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
 
That wrath will be in the Ages to Come dispensation and it will not be fun! 
 
BUT for those of the church today we see that we are saved from that wrath to come. 
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we ever be with the Lord.
Notice it says to meet in the air not on the earth. The church is taken up to meet Him which is different than Jesus's 2nd coming when He comes to set up His earthly Kingdom!
 
Now notice in these verses that we are delivered from the wrath to come!!!! 
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
 
You see there is a Rapture (which is just Latin for "caught up"), for the church, and we are saved from the wrath to come in those end times. Some may scoff or laugh at the idea but that is exactly what many did when told of Jesus Christ and when He ascended into heaven in Acts 1:9-10 

Praying for you!
Every day in our living room, Robin and I do our separate reading time and then come together and read. We read through the bible and mostly Paul's epistles and we also pray for you all!  
 
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
 
We pray that you will continue to be faithful and grow in grace. We pray that you will be walking by faith and knowing His Great Love for you! We want you to keep your mind and heart on the heavenly vision. We pray for your physical and financial needs as well as your family, friends and church needs. We pray for the lost and for the government to be a Christian nation and to have Godly, righteous standards. 
 
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
 
I ask that you continue to pray for us as well. For our spiritual, mental and emotional needs and weaknesses. For financial, physical and ministry needs. That we would be able to keep sharing the Word of God boldly and without hinderance. That we would also be faithful in all that we do. Pray for our bibles studies and counseling friends who come to learn and to be free in Christ!
 
Please keep praying without ceasing for us, yourself and others and always remember to:
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.