Archive for November 2010

The Test of Our Love to God

November 22, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied:

Here’s How To Know the ‘Real Thing’!

November 19, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied:

How to Receive from God Whatever You Request of Him!

November 18, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 3 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 3:21-22 ~ Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
(NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

John had just shared how important it is that we not be selfish. That as God has blessed so wonderfully, we ought to also bless others, otherwise we may end up with a guilty conscience and even realize that may not even belong to Christ as we thought we did. On the contrary, if we have no guilt about such things, we can come to God in confidence and receive whatever we should ask for, because of our obedience. The trouble I see here is that in, and of our own selves we may feel convinced that we have nothing to be guilty of, but when we dig into the Word and actually hear from God, our shortcomings will quickly become evident. Friends, we needn’t fool ourselves. The plumb line is God’s Word, not for us to look at ourselves and determine if we are good enough. God is our judge, let’s let Him always have control and show us the way that is pleasing to Him. Receiving from God whatever we should ask of Him is the ultimate experience we could ever expect of God. Let’s do our part and keep ourselves clear of all guilt and pride. Let’s give God the controls to our lives then watch Him respond and use us in such mighty ways that others will see and believe, and also accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You for providing the way to salvation, dear God. Thank You for working so wonderfully in my life. Please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and allow Your Word to wash me daily so that I may always be clear of guilt and always free to come before You receiving anything that I may ask of You unselfishly. You are my God. Thank You for looking through my sin, prompting me to surrender my life over to You, accepting me as a born again child, and for directing my path each and every day.

The Way to Not Sin

November 17, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 3 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 3:2-6 ~ …. we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is. This hope makes us keep ourselves holy, just as Christ is holy. Everyone who sins breaks God’s law, because sin is the same as breaking God’s law. You know that Christ came to take away sins. He isn’t sinful, and people who stay one in their hearts with him won’t keep on sinning. If they do keep on sinning, they don’t know Christ, and they have never seen him. (CEV)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I often hear Christians acknowledge that they have sinned, but then they go on to say something like: “but God will forgive me”, or something like: “well as long as I remain on this earth I know that I will sin, so why be concerned about it”. However, this passage brought a whole new meaning to this for me this morning, as I was reminded of two things that John teaches in verse 6 that address the two responses above:

  1. If we stay one with Christ in our hearts (if we live and remain in communion with, and obedience to, God) we will not, deliberately, knowingly and habitually keep on sinning;
  2. If we keep on sinning then we have either: not seen, recognized, perceived or understood Him, or we have not had an experiential acquaintance with Him.

Friends, the positive spin on this is that as we accept Jesus as our Savior, and as we commit our lives to Him – learn His Word and all that it tells us about how Jesus wants us to live, then as we aspire to live like Him, the Word says in verse 6 that “Anyone who continues to live in Him will not sin”.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father You know how challenging it is for us to live in this life of temptation, stress and continuous opposition to You and Your teachings. Thank You for this reminder today that I must put these temporal things aside and keep my mind focused on You and the relationship that I have with You as my Lord and Savior. Your Word declares that as I stay one with You in my heart, I will not sin. It doesn’t say that I will no longer be tempted or challenged by those around me. Therefore, please help me daily to keep my relationship with You in check so that I will not sin – despite the things and people that may also be tugging away at me. I want to be an overcomer, and always victorious over sin so that my relationship with You may never be affected.

So that you may Know

November 16, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:27-29 ~ But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming. If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him God].
(AMP)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I am convinced that God’s Word is very complete and contains answers to all of our questions. I am also convinced that we have a responsibility and are accountable for validating anything that we allow into our minds, and yes this includes what the preacher/pastor/priest/teacher has to say when we attend church. These verses make it very clear how we can know, and be assured whether we are hearing the truth of God. There are so many false teachers around today that we must be responsible Christians and validate what we hear, by referencing and aligning the Word of God. God will hold us accountable for what we learn of Him, and we will not have the opportunity to pass the buck and blame anyone else. I am wholeheartedly in favor of preaching and teaching, but I also know that the ones sharing are mere human and often include a lot of personal understanding and thoughts. The one true source is the Word of God. In verses 28 and 29 we are also being reminded that we are to live our lives in such conformity with God’s Word that we will not hang our heads in shame when Jesus is made visible to us, but that He will find us righteous and conforming to His will. Friend, we are not only responsible for living a righteous life before our brothers and sisters, but also in a manner pleasing to God. By this everyone will know that we are born of God!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I am concerned how many go on living in a manner pleasing to the church, pleasing to the pastor and perhaps please to a brother or sister, but yet still not right with God. You know our deepest thoughts and it is Your will that I desire to follow. Please redirect me when I am tempted to stray or not follow Your will closely. I want to be recognized by You as following Your will and living in accordance with Your Holy Word. I know that only what’s done for You will last, so please help me to keep my eyes fixed on You, and may my actions and interaction with others be pleasing in Your sight. May they know and be convinced of the One that I serve and follow, so that You may receive honor and glory, and may they be encouraged to do the same.

Please God and Live Forever!

November 15, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:15-17 ~ Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that we can see from the beginning of this short passage that we are easily pulled into thinking and feeling very much like the world, as John warns. However, I believe that we can easily see how temporal this is, and how easily we are brushed aside by the world when they are finished with us. Alternatively, I am overjoyed to see where God is always happy and proud of His children, no matter what status in life we have attained, or age, or physical condition or otherwise different to what we see in others around us. We are His chosen people, we were created by Him, He sent His Son to die on a cruel cross so that we may have eternal life with Him, and none of this was done because we were good enough or young enough, or rich enough, or achieving as much as some, it was simply because He loved us so much, just because of whose we are. As we (saints of God) strive daily to do what God desires of us, and in accordance with His Word and His will, we are promised that we will one day be with Him in glory, because we will live forever! What a wonderful day that will be brother, sister, friend! Let us seek His face daily, let us do His will while in this world. I am reminded of that old hymn, “

Is it evident to whom you belong?

November 14, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 2 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:3-6 ~ And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

John knew that there would be times that we doubt our salvation, as did the saints of his day. Therefore he told us a way that we could be sure that we belong to Him. Friends there is no way that we could belong to Christ and go on living like the devil. Compare this to being married. If we are happily married and trying to live a life totally dedicated to our spouse, we will not wander around or hang out with our old buddies that led us into the places where we met members of the opposite sex. So it is with our relationship with God, we will want to obey all that He tells us – because we know that it is for our own good, and it leads us to an even closer relationship with Him. How then will we learn of His commands? Yes, I know that anyone reading this devotional could also read the Bible, but friends I know from experience that it helps to be around like minded people – we call it “our church family”! Furthermore, I have found that God will not only try and get His point across to me in His Word, but also through other believers and through the preaching or teaching of His Word. He also uses some of these methods to confirm what I have read in His Word. In a marriage we talk to our spouse and they talk back to us. In our Christian relationship, we talk to God in prayer, and He talks back to us through His Word, through preaching, teaching and other believers. How has your communication levels been with God? Are you missing any of these communication links? To know and love Christ, we will want to obey His commands and follow His will for our lives. Are there things in your life that do not line up with God’s Word? In verse 5 the Word says that if we live in Christ we will live as He did! That’s a tall order, but it’s the Word. It seems impossible to us, but that’s when we should realize that God expects us to lean on His strength and not ours alone, so that we may live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I believe that as long as we live on this earth we will find that old Satan tugs away at us each and every day, causing us to stumble. This is our clue that we need to depend on You and seek Your help, Your guidance, Your strength and Your wisdom to live our lives like You intended – sold out to You. Please give me a fresh dose of Your love and direction this day so that I may live according to the path exampled by You. May there be no doubt to whom I belong today. May You rule and reign in and through me today, is my sincere prayer.

You Haven’t What?

November 13, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 1 John 1 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 John 1:8-10 ~ If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we say, “We have never sinned,” we turn God into a liar and his Word is not in us.
(GWT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In this chapter John shared what he had seen and witnessed the King, our Lord and Savior, and because of the joy that this brought to him, he wanted to share that with all those that would read this first chapter of First John. Having seen and witnessed the only perfect One, John was humbled in realizing how imperfect he truly was. He was also reminded of how imperfect everyone else would be and he is warning us to be careful of that. I had a good friend who once tried to convince me that his dad would go to heaven because of the good man that he was, and of course he went on to tell me some of the things that he did for his fellow man. Of those things, I never heard him say that he had surrendered his life to Jesus and was living a life dedicated to Him and for His glory. Later this friend of mine came to Jesus, and I never had the deep conversation with him again to see if he later realized that regardless of what we do for the good of mankind, it is only what occurs in our relationship with Christ that will last, and it is only because of that relationship that we could enter into heaven. John reminds us here that if we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves for the truth is not in us. But I am extremely happy to read and understand the later part of this passage – God is always faithful and ready to forgive us when we approach Him in sincerity and in a humble way. You see, He sent His only Son to die for us and our sins, so He welcomes all who would seek forgiveness of sin and receive Jesus as Lord of their life. Please don’t be lying, or basically calling God a liar, and refuse to recognize the sin in your life and then seek His forgiveness. God said we all have sinned, please don’t think for a moment that He is a liar. Seek His forgiveness today and be ready to meet the Master, your Creator, on the day that He calls you home. Please remember that you have no control over what day that will be. It could be before you finish reading this devotional. Jesus loves you and I a whole lot to have made such a sacrifice just for us. No matter what is going on in your life today, He stands ready to forgive you of your sin and support you as you seek to live a Godly life. Being good enough is not a way to enter heaven. Accept Jesus today and live a life pleasing to Him and you will automatically be living a life pleasing to mankind, for God is love! For more information from the Bible on how you can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please visit with your pastor or one of your church leaders, alternately visit our web site at

What do you want me to do for you?

November 10, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Mark 10 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Mark 10:49-52 ~ When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

We attend church and expect to see God answer prayer and/or move in our midst because of all that we read in His Word and have heard about Him. In this scripture, Bartimeus was the same way, only I get the impression that he would not have been considered a very religious person that perhaps many of us may consider ourselves, for he was a beggar along the roadside, and because of the reaction of the crowd, he may have made a pest of himself. However, like in the story of the children coming to Jesus, Bartimeus was calling out to Jesus for specific help/healing and in sincere faith. Too often we come to Jesus in such general terms and in such a way that we give the impression that yes it would be nice if Jesus would do this or that, but if not – well, we understand, and we will try again later on. This blind man had a very specific need that he didn’t have to think very hard about when asked by Jesus what He could do for him. In other words, I believe that Bartimeus was there at that time for the specific reason of having Jesus restore his sight, not because he thought that his begging to such a large crowd passing, may be financially beneficial to him. Jesus knows our most intimate thoughts and desires, so we could cut the chase and verbalize to Him specifically what it is that we desire in our hearts. It’s ok to share this with a friend so that they could join us in prayer and share our burden, but it is much more important that we stop, acknowledge Jesus for who He is, share our deepest thoughts with Him and ask Him for help and/or healing in specific terms, and in faith expecting His hand to be outreached to respond in a way that He knows is best for us. Let’s remember, we are His children, and He desires His very best for His kids. We just need to have the faith and ask for it!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Wow, what a lesson this is today! A time when it seems like more and more of us attend church out of tradition and because of habit. A time when we come to Jesus in prayer asking in such general terms about our group, our family or our friends. This scripture has reminded me that when I come to pray, I need to come prepared with the very thing that bears on my mind, ask specifically for that need, and ask with such assurance knowing that I am asking the Master of this universe, the Healer of the blind, the restorer of life, the King of all kings, the only one that has the power to respond to my requests. With that kind of faith and assurance, I can come boldly to the cross expecting God to respond in bold and marvelous ways. Thank you Jesus for being my healer, defender, provider and my salvation!

Everything Is Possible With God!

November 9, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Mark 10 

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Mark 10:23-29 ~ Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[