These Devotionals are made to encourage and edify you in God's word. They are sent out by email so you can read daily from your own email box. If you do not get them please feel free to sign up on my email list. These are free devotionals for you to read and dwell on for your personal growth in Christ!
(All scripture is from the KJV)
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Paul was man who had fears and weaknesses but He kept preaching Christ was crucified for our sin. He wasn't preaching a prosperity message nor a tongue speaking supernatural power and healing message, oh no, but a message in the power and Spirit of the Christ. In other words nothing that would be so great for todays T.V. ministries, but the simple message of the cross of Christ.
Don't think that you need to share some great doctrinal message so others can come to Christ, just share your testimony in your own words. Short, precise and to the point is the key and people will listen. They may or may not come to Christ but they will listen, because it is about you.
Put your faith in Christ and keep it simple and then allow the power of the spirit and gospel do the rest!
True servants of God!
John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Many think they are doing God a service by being religious. Religious people always think they are doing God's will but sadly it is their own self righteousness they are trying to fulfill. Paul actually was one of these type of people who was trying to destroy the church but God saved Him and used Him to show God's grace to Christ enemies!
Paul was the first enemy to be saved under grace.
1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Paul did it ignorantly He says but many will think they are actually serving God by keeping saints in bondage to tradition. They believe that all the ordinances are spiritual but they actually take away from the cross of Christ. The cross work of Christ is what counts, not water baptism or communion or even foot washings as some churches do. There is no life in smoking alters, healings or tongue speaking. There is no eternal life except in the Spiritual baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Remember what Paul says in Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Religion is pleasing men, self righteous and kills the actual work needed for the lost person. Preach the cross not religion.
ABIDE IN LOVE!
Jesus knew that His Father Loved Him! By that He was secure and knew to whom He belonged to. By that He could draw strength from and by that He was confident. He loved us the same as His Father loved him and by knowing that He had joy in whatever He went through. Love is the key to being secure, confident and emotionally healthy!
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jesus abided in God's love and tells us to do the same in many different ways. Abide means to be "present" IN and "continually" IN a particular place. Just like "living in a house" we dwell or live in!, we can rest and relax in the house of love! We dwell upon the love of God as we allow His peace to surround us.
Abide is like being rooted and grounded in His love. If a plant is healthy then it will grow deeper roots and becomes stronger over time. That means that the plant's roots have been abiding in good soil and will continue to be healthy.
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
But the roots must stay in that "good soil" and "abiding" in the ground or it will begin to suffer trauma and go into shock and begin to die. This is how we can be when we don't abide in that love, that perfect love of God!
Walking in Christ love is the same as abiding in His love. It means while abiding, resting and "kept in" we also move and work in God's love. This is how we can do many things and stay active while still resting mentally and emotionally in love!
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
So learn to abide in God's love and you will have peace, security and confidence as you walk through life!!!! You will be "healthy" spiritual, mentally and emotionally!
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
... 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jesus told the "little flock" that He would not leave them alone and that He would send them the Holy Spirit to comfort them. This tells us how great a love He had for them.
Now remember the Holy Spirit did not come till after the cross and therefore they did not operate with the power of the Spirit at that time. They relied on the very presence of Jesus to whom they could see and touch. They still needed to walk by faith but the agent was different at that time. The agent was Jesus the visable Messiah, priest and King that was prophesied for years.
Now when Pentecost came in Acts 2 we see the comforter come and give that "little flock" comfort and power and understanding to fulfill the commission that was given to them by Jesus starting in Matthew 10 through 28. BUT then again Israel rejected the risen Messiah and God raised up Paul and a different program and church. The church now became "the Body of Christ" and gentile based. Bigger, stronger and able to spread faster across the world to give all men the opportunity to be saved by grace in faith.
Now we get the benefits that Israel could have had under the "NEW" testament that God spoke about in Jer. 31:31 that being the Spirit so that they could keep the law!
We get the power, wisdom and security from the Great Comforter promised to Israel, but not under law but under grace!!!! The Holy Spirit is that great comforter and the book of 2 Corinthians is about that comfort. Now comfort does not mean sitting in your Lazy boy recliner chair and doing nothing but it does bring a rest to our Soul by the Spirit. It does bring that internal peace to our mind. It does bring the understanding of security and confidence that comes through no other way.
Read 2 Cor. and see the comfort that comes from the Spirit and identity we have in Christ!
2Co 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
If you struggle with fear and anxiety, renew your mind and be comforted with the GREAT COMFORTER!
some seed sown sadly!
While this parable is written to Israel there are still many applications for today. I have seen so many people who have said and in fact many so called "Atheist" will say this routinely, that they went to church and "was" a Christan, but stopped because I stopped believing", or a "it wasn't for me" type of attitude! No it is for you and you need it more than you think but since you "tried it out" so to say you end up no were but dead! Lets read the parable.
Mar 4:2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
You see the seed fell along the side not in the heart of the man. and/or the heart was hard which really is still the first one too. Then it sounded good and I went to church but it never took root and again because of the heart. AND then lastly the fears, worries and problems of the world choke it out!
Now here is the difference in dispensational truths. While the first 3 can apply the last one is not applicable for today. For when we are saved today by faith we are saved regardless of our circumstances!!!! We are saved even if we fear, worry or struggle with our issues in life! We have the SPIRIT! Israel at that time did not!
Yet Paul tells us NOT to fear and NOT be anxious over anything for it all does not matter in the end,
For YOU are SAVED, SEALED and SANCTIFIED in CHRIST!!!!
If you are truly saved, walk by Faith not Fear! Put-off and PUT-ON CHRIST and HIS love and HIS power for you are HIS!!!
He Loved unto the End!
John say that Jesus knew that the time had come when He was to be crucified and resurrected and go to heaven to be with His Father! John also says that Jesus loved the disciples that were of Israel unto the end!
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
And while He address those who are of Israel and there at the time, He goes on after His resurrection and says He loves us today!
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. ... 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
It is God's Love shown through the death , burial and resurrection of Jesus! It is Jesus Love shown by giving His Life for our sin. It can never be taken or withdrwan from God for He is Love.
Knowing this is the first step, BUT receiving it, resting in it and appropriating that love is what brings transformation, security and confidence. Receiving His Love demonstrates in loving others naturally NOT fleshly faking it, or putting on a show or even being told to do this or that. It comes from a abundance and overflow, not from a dry shallow well!!!!!
Wake up telling yourself daily that God loves me! Receive it, and give it!!!!
Praise and Please People!
Jhn 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Just like the Jews that believed in Christ as the Messiah but would not acknowledge Him publicly, out of fear,....so we too have many in the Body Of Christ who will not take a stand when they should!
Now they might say they are Christians but in the U.S.A. that is easy because for the most part while they would claim that, there is nothing to fear. But where they would not take a stand is when it comes to the so called small things. Like relationships with friends and family. Instead of standing against folks because they may lose something they go along with them. They put their relationship, religion and rewards before Christ!
Some might say I stand against sin, same sex marriage, abortion or any thing else that goes against sound doctrine, until and unless they might lose some relationship they want to keep.
Paul say in Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Are you a "MEN PLEASER"!
I have a friend that ends all his post, with "...or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ".
You see he understands that being a men pleaser is sin and that he is not going to fall into the thinking that MAN is BIG and God is small OH NO!!! GOD IS BIG and man is small!!!!
In my line of work and ministry I deal with people who "just" want to be heard. They think that no one listens to them. They want to talk and talk and talk....!!! BUT we should listen to them to a point BUT when talking is to control life and people than it needs to stop. Sharing thoughts are great, and important but talking to control the conversation is sin!! Yes sin! It is saying that "I am God" and you need to listen to me. You need to worship me, hear me and obey me!!! Paul says in
Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
That "...not answering again;" part means to be argumentative! When people are argumentative in any situation in life it means they want to get their point across no matter what. They want the "last word" because their words are more important and we need to do them. They want to be "right" and get the pat on the back for being right! The more "right" they are the better they feel about themselves! They really feel like failures and are walking after the flesh and in the rejection cycle! They are insecure, controlling and self centered people. They are in love with themselves and hearing their own voice!
Generally you will never win a argument nor win them to Christ until they are broken. And if they are believers then the same humbleness will need to come at some point for them to hear. They will argue about things that either do not matter in scripture or way to detailed. They will want to know the "why's" before they will believe! They will scrutinize the smallest of things in scripture and MISS the BIG picture!!!
Don't waste time with someone who only wants to control and be argumentative. Sin is always the problem and being argumentative is sin!
We should do as James says 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Just because you have the last word does not make it the "last word" for the last word is the "WORD"!!!
Heaven AND Earth!!!
God created the Heavens and Earth! Notice 2 separate places and Heaven is named first. In the bible the order of places and names are important.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Now Rahab in Joshua 2 says ...
Jos 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
God is the God of Heaven and earth beneath! You see that while we are here on earth and our self centered thoughts mostly deal with our here and now, there are things going on in heaven. A whole different place with activity going on.
Now while we mostly think about and are concerned about earthy things. We also need to know that our home is in heaven NOW!!! Phl 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Paul shares with us that "...our conversation is in heaven". That word "conversation" means our place, community and citizenship. In short our home!
Paul tells us in Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
"..blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" means that we are IN CHRIST who is IN HEAVEN! AND Blessed with ALL the Spiritual Blessings in Heaven!!! You see our home, residence and place is in the heavenly realm and while that may seem hard to grasp now, I want you to understand and dwell on that! Because while it is important for you to have that Hope and have that security, that is only the beginning!! As that heavenly Body of Christ, and after the rapture, That Body and that means you and I will come back with Christ in the Ages to Come!!! VICTORY IS HIS! and YOU apart of it!!!
So just realize that You are blessed, secure and home in Heaven Now!
A SERVANT, FOR THE GOSPEL'S SAKE!
Though under no mans control, Paul made himself a servant of all! He would serve others right were they are at. In the place and position that they were in at the time.
Here he says some are under Law! Some were NOT under Law! Some are weak and so he became weak, meaning he would listen, comfort patient with them!
1Co 9:19 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Paul is our example for today, Not under Law but under grace. Some of us may be strong in Faith and can teach others and some of us are weak in faith and need someone to stand beside us. They need to be encouraged and heard. They need to be fed with the Word and edified by the Body! The Body needs to minister to those who are weak and feebleminded. Some have never heard the Word according to the revelation of the mystery in grace and need to come to the fellowship of the mystery. They need to hear the cross, grace and love of Christ!
So SERVE others as Paul did "FOR THE GOSPEL'S SAKE!!!!
Holy Ghost not given yet!
So many want to live the Christian life according to the gospel's given to Israel. They need to realize that the Holy Ghost had not been given yet!
John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
So at that time, there is no cross work, no blood shed and no spirit at this time. There is no redemption and no one is reconciled to God! Don't live before the cross and try to live up to the law, and always remember that you now have the Holy Ghost, power and wisdom of God in you! You are now made Righteous, Godly and Holy by Christ!
Grow in Grace, Walk by Faith and allow the Spirit to work through you according to the Word of God!!
One of my pet peeves with Believers is that they don't think!!! To many saints go through life and never think about their behavior and therefore don't walk by the spirit but by the flesh. The works of the flesh tell us that we are NOT walking by Faith nor by the spirit! By playing counselor in your life you can self analyze yourself. It means to analyze your thinking and your behavior. Paul says in 2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
A stronghold is a habit or something that has been built up over years. Strongholds can be a attitude or obsessive thoughts. They can be mental, emotional and physical habits that seem more important than God. They can be anxiety, fear and depression. We are to analyze our thoughts and bring them into obedience with the Word of God and the obedience of Christ. When we do that we are actually taking vengeance on our thoughts and obedience is fulfilled.
Now what is obedience? Most would say to stop sinning or quit doing the bad thing but that is NOT obedience THAT is behavior modification! That is what the world teaches and sadly to many churches,pastors and teachers. Oh No! Obedience is walking by faith! Obedience is repenting, (a changed mind) toward God and receiving His love, acceptance and forgiveness! Obedience is receiving your worth from Him and not seeking to control, take and focus on self! It is not thinking your god and wanting others to love, praise or worship you but rather that He is God and gives life.
How do we bring our thoughts into obedience,... by Renewing our mind!!!
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Telling ourselves what God says about us. By recieving and resting in His work and not our own. By knowing who He is and than who He has made us in Him! To know our identity in Christ.
AND when we renew our mind we are transformed, from the inside out. God's perfect, acceptable and good will for every person is that they be transformed! In Spirit to Soul to Body! To be saved spiritual first than mentally, emotionally and physically!
Go ahead and self analyze yourself and "play counselor" with the Word, heart and mind of Christ!!!
WRATH OR COMFORT!
Sadly so many saints do not believe in the rapture, But they fail to take in the whole picture of God's programs. God's ministry to the heavens and the earth. If you do not "rightly divide" the truth of God's word you will end up mixing Israel's earthly kingdom with The Body of Christ's heavenly kingdom. The wrath to come is for the end time tribulation period. We in the Body of Christ today will miss that 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 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
BUT our hope is in Jesus saving us from that wrath and tribulation period and being apart of His heavenly Kingdom in those end times!
... 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
We are to understand that the "caught up" part is called the rapture in Latin and even if you don't like the Latin word, it does not change the fact of being "caught up"! If we are not caught up with Him in the clouds, we then must change a lot of facts in the book of Revelations. Christ 2nd coming would look different as well as other known facts.
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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
There would be no comfort in going through the wrath period. BUT we do have comfort in knowing we will NOT go through that time period. We find comfort in Christ in the Heavenly realms!!! "Going up" is different then "coming down" last time I checked and we GO UP! Be comforted Dear Saints for you will not see "the wrath to come"!