Joy that will last forever!

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

APPLICATION:  No one had as much opposition as Paul did, yet he found hope in knowing that there was great hope in all that he was doing. Paul found a greater purpose in life, for he found God – the one who sacrificed His very own Son to bring hope, salvation and ultimate love for mankind. As much as we despise rules/commands/guidelines, yet it is obvious that God’s commands are to help us; mold us into His image; and prepare us for the day when we graduate from this earth into our new, eternal home, with Jesus in Heaven! Friends, when we realize that kind of hope, when we are reminded of the joy that is ours in seeing our blessed Savior face-to-face, and to receive His praises for things we have done, or people we have touched because of His love inside of us, then we have a new determination to serve Him all the more while here on earth. I am in no way minimizing your struggles here on earth Brother, nor the backbiting, envy and strife that you may face Sister, but what I am telling you is that no matter what we face today, it is nothing compared to the joy that will be ours when we are welcomed into the presence of Jesus! There’s an old hymn entitled ‘Oh That Will Be Glory For Me“! Friends, there may be trouble for a time, but if You are a committed child of God, there is joy that comes in the morning. So let’s endure the day, knowing that there is hope ahead for the Christian. These days here on earth become more and more stressful, it seems. But may I remind you that these struggles are only for a moment. We have brighter days ahead friends! Much brighter, if you have invited Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord! If you haven’t made this step, please read my ‘Footnote’ carefully and know that I am available to pray with you or help you in any way that I can, as you consider making this most important decision and commitment. Jesus loves you dearly, and I believe that He is longing to welcome You as His child!

PRAYER: Lord, I rejoice in the fact that there is hope for the Christian! I thank You that You gave Your all for me. Please help me to not complain about the challenges of life that I face in this world, because they are nothing compared to the persecution that Paul faced, or the torture that You went through for me. The great news is that, like Paul, I too can survive the stresses of today knowing that my hope lies in what is yet to come – graduation to heaven where I will live eternally with You! ‘Oh I want To See You, Look Upon Your Face‘! Lord, please remind Your children of the hope that is ours, so that we might easily deal with our daily challenges here on this earth. Please especially humble the hearts of those yet to acknowledge You as Lord. May they find peace in knowing that they can surrender their lives to You even today. Tomorrow may be too late, as You have not assured us of tomorrow. I rejoice in knowing Jesus as my Savior and Lord. I pray that all of my readers can do the same, or make a decision today that will give them that assurance. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus, the new-born King, AMEN!

To What Extent Will You Obey God?

Wednesday, 2019-02-27

Bible Reference: Exodus 1:16-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver.[c If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.

OBSERVATION: In God’s Word we are reminded of the great love the Creator of this world has for His subjects. However, to align ourselves with His desires for His children, and His commands, we will often run into cases of opposition by world leaders, family and friends. I wonder how far we are prepared to go in our mission towards true obedience to our Father. Let’s consider that for a few moments today.

APPLICATION:  The Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, had a decision to make. Will they stand in fear of the king of Egypt and obey him by killing all baby boys that they delivered for the Israelites, or would they stand in obedience to the King of all kings, and let the baby boys and girls live? They had a choice to make, and it was one that could have brought dire consequences to them, up to and including death. It just doesn’t get more serious than that my friend. But Daniel and his two partners had the same choice when it came to the choices they faced with the food demanded by the king, and the command to worship only the king. In both cases, these individuals stood firm in their faith, and trusted God to take care of them because of their obedience. Friends, today you and I will face decisions that will challenge our stance on many aspects of our life – the laws of our country – speed limits, valid driver’s license, obedience to authorities, etc.; our jobs – being upright and truthful in all that we say, obedient to those in authority over us, etc. It would be good at this very moment to decide what will be the overriding factor in our decision making – total obedience to God, even if it conflicts with something the boss is asking you to do? Whom will you serve my friend? It sounds like an easy and insignificant matter, and compared to the ultimate threat to the midwives, we may never face that type of threat. However, disobedience of man’s laws, and choosing to do our own thing at work, could lead to some serious consequences for us also. Will God truly reign in every decision we make today? I believe that if we are truly dependent on God and have totally dedicated ourselves to Him, then there should be no conditions placed on that. It would be good to remind ourselves even now, that if God takes us to the test, then He will help us through it. Satan will work through his earthly agents to test us in every way, and to try and created doubt in the power of our Maker, but we already know that ‘greater is He than is in us, than he that is in the world’. Amen and amen!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for holding our hand yesterday. Please continue to guide, protect and embolden us again today, so that we may stand firm in our faith and be a living sacrifice to You in every aspect of life here on this earth. May our witness be strong and uncompromising to all those who will come into contact with us today, so that they may be attracted to You and want a relationship with the same God that we adore and worship. To God be the Glory! AMEN!

Your Actions – More Important Than Your Words

Bible Reference: Titus 2:7–8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

APPLICATION:  Paul had just spent the greater portion of a chapter telling Titus how important it was to teach the older men, the older women and the younger men the importance of their lives reflecting the love and truths of God. However, to tie this all together Titus was warned that the sticking point in all this would come when he personally lived the life that he was teaching the people to live. In fact, even those who opposed their ministry would be ashamed as they would find nothing hypercritical to say about them. Friends, it is easy to teach someone what the Good Book says, but it is way more effective when you live the life that you are teaching about. I love that saying that is sometimes used: “your actions are speaking so loudly that I can barely hear what is coming from your lips!” I truly believe that the success of effective ministry by teachers, preachers and fellow Christians are borne from their actions many more times than through the words they speak. Based on this, are you challenged today to seek God’s help in redirecting your actions to be more effective in your ministry and/or witnessing? Let’s seek God’s face, allow Him to impact our lives, and extend Himself out through us in everything we do or say, all for His ultimate glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, You are faithful to us in every way, and I am so appreciative of that! But I thank You today for reminding us that perhaps more impactful than the words we speak, are the actions we take towards our fellow mankind. Lord, may our actions today be way more reflective of Your teachings than anything we could possible say. Please minister to the unsaved, the discouraged and the despondent today through our actions, and if necessary, also through our words that would reflect Your teachings and Your will for them. We need You precious Lord, please direct our path today, all for Your glory and honor, AMEN!

Who Is God To You?

Saturday, 2019-02-23

Bible Reference: Psalm 18:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you, for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God. When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.

OBSERVATION: As I read the words of the Psalmist, I could feel how important God was to him. It made me ponder what my three verses might look like as I described who God is to me. Let us ponder that for a few moments today.

APPLICATION: I wonder how well we do at recognizing God in everything, rather than the tendency to whine and complain about everything. For it is easy to sit and demand our own advantages and require our own selfish desires, but imagine the blessings we lose out on in doing that. It is so easy to totally miss God’s blessings and God’s careful direction for our lives when we selfishly demand our own way and limit our vision to only our own capabilities or imagination. For we must always be reminded that the ways of our God is far greater than anything we could even imagine! His power far exceeds our wildest imagination, so we need not place Him in a box the size of something we construct in our minds. So, as we stop and reflect on His handiwork, shouldn’t we recognize His awesome power, His careful instruction and His guidance through all of the uncertainties of this life? Friends, as we do, and I’m sure we will, let’s stop the crazy busyness of our lives and just spend some time expressing our gratitude to Him, and thank Him for loving us enough that He would select us for our participation in His marvelous and miraculous work. Please allow me to suggest that you read our focal verses several times to make sure that you allow the heart of David to saturate your very mind and allow you to identify with the sincerity of this great man of God. I bolded the number of times David emphasized his personal, heartfelt feelings towards his God, his Deliverer, his Savior, his Strength, his Rock, etc. Friends, if we gather nothing else from this Scripture today, may it be enough that we recognize, and be reminded of, the personal relationship that is encouraged with the God of this universe. If you have surrendered your life to my God today my friend, let me encourage you to join me in a deep desire to meet with Him often and not only recognize His goodness and His special love for us, but be sure to recognize God at work, and stop attributing the wonderful blessings sent our way as mere luck, or perhaps things that we deserve. For those who may have only heard of God, but haven’t personalized that relationship with Him, please read my Footnote and follow the directions on how to know my Savior personally. There is nothing He would desire more, than to have His creation – His child, return to Him in obedience and with a desire to know Him personally. He truly loves you dear friend! Allow Him to shower His love on you in miraculous and amazing ways!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving this mere sinful man enough that You were willing to sacrifice the life of Your one and only Son, for the forgiveness of my sin, and the promise of eternal life in heaven with You and Your Father. Being reminded of my personal blessings and the awesome relationship with my heavenly King, I am forever grateful that You loved even me dear Lord. Please touch the heart of all those who will read this devotional today, Jesus. May it be a life changing event for them, and not just another chore that they could check off their to-do list. Knowing You is to have a real, honest and sincere relationship with You. May You be glorified in everything You accomplish through us today dear Lord. AMEN!

How to Be Crowned with Success

Thursday, 2019-02-21

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – that we may be acceptable to God and our fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions for us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not all to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. The Psalmist is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Won’t you join me dear friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, then be willing to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

As The Lord’s Servant…

Wednesday, 2019-02-20

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy 2:24–26
Translation: The Good news Translation (GNT)

Bible Text:  As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind towards all, a good and patient teacher, gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.

OBSERVATION: Look for the ‘so that’ phrases in Scripture. Often you will see that God has something intentional to accomplish through a particular word that just came before us in our Bible study. Today is one of those special times, and I believe that God is seeking our attention so that His Word might be better accepted by those we minister to. Dig in with me, won’t you?

APPLICATION:  An important tip I gained from a conference speaker, is to look for the ‘so that’ in God’s Word, as well as trying to use that connector in my prayers when asking God for things. In the scripture today, it is important for us to note that Paul is teaching Timothy to be conscious of the following things so that the people might see God and desire to know Him. I believe that it is critical for Christian leaders and teachers to leave no doubt that they follow the teaching that they share with others. In our Scripture today we see a few qualities emphasized by Paul, and I believe they are still just as critical to teachers and preachers of today, so let’s meditate on these:

  • Do not quarrel – remember, it takes two to quarrel! Sometimes it seems like Satan may have sent certain people into the classroom, or the church, to disrupt the teaching of God’s Word, because it appears like they do their very best to get the teacher off track. God expects us to be understanding and not quarrel. The last thing we want to do is to open the door to Satan’s temptations and roadblocks to God’s message. Remember the importance of our job in doing God’s work. If we commit to His work, and surrender our will to His, He will help us to deal with the distractions and troublemakers;
  • Be kind towards all – it is so human for us to love the ‘teacher’s pet’, but despise the troublemaker – the one who is constantly looking to put us on the spot with challenging questions, disrupt the class, or deliberately throw us off track;
  • Be a good and patient teacher – to be a good teacher, I believe it is important that we have sought God’s will for the class, studied the lesson well, and therefore excited about teaching all that God has taught you, to the students that God has placed before you at just that perfect time. To be patient, means that others in the room may have a word from God also, therefore they may have valuable input to add to your teaching. Being patient means accepting the fact that not everyone in the class will be at the same level you are at in knowledge or their relationship with the Lord;
  • Be gentle as you correct others – treat students as individuals that you want to help get into the boat, not sit back and watch them drown. Show them that you want them to understand what you are trying to relay. Show them that you care about them.

Let’s be careful to always remember that we are representing the Master, as we try to share His Word with others, so let’s act like we believe He would act, if He was standing before the class. Let’s look for His heart and try to imitate that same heart as we teach. God’s Word is very clear: He desires that none of His kids should perish. Let us therefore do all we can to help prevent any from perishing because of their sin, or lack of spiritual understanding. God can use even you, friend! Please be obedient to whatever He should ask of you.

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for using even us to get Your message across to the lost, and to the stubborn who allows Satan to distract them. I agree that Your Word is very powerful, but I also know that often You will show one person something totally different to another saint, from exactly the same passage. Please help us to always recognize that as a key indicator that Your Word is alive and will speak to different folk differently. Please help us to study Your Word and be ready to share how It spoke to our heart. May our teaching fall on good and obedient ears so that Your will might be accomplished in the hearts of those who so desperately need You. Touch the hearts of Your Bible teachers even now dear Lord, so that they may proclaim Your Word in power and in the full strength intended. You are awesome oh God, and I worship and adore You today for who You are and for all that You teach me through Your Word. Have Your perfect will and way today oh Lord in the lives of all who open Your Word, AMEN!

Living A Godly Life

Tuesday, 2019-02-19

Bible Reference: 2 Timothy 3:12
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

APPLICATION:  On reading the subject of this devotional, one may have thought that our study might give reasons to worship today, because surely we could rejoicing over the joys of living a godly life! Yes, there is much to rejoice in as we, Christians, think about our eternal home in glory with our Master. However, what Paul is warning about in this short verse, is what we might expect to see while we remain here on earth. Of course you might respond that of course, we spread the joy of the Lord with everyone, and we worship and adore our Savior at every opportunity. As true as that may be friend, notice carefully the verbiage used by Paul, for he said that for us to live a ‘GODLY’ life, we should expect persecution. Living a ‘godly’ life means that you are not just going to obey the commands of God, but you have committed to study His Word carefully and then live your life patterned after Jesus. It means that your life will be so different to that of the general public, that they might look at you like you are really ‘strange’! Think about this friends, Jesus was not a ‘yes man’ to all that the Pharisees expected of Him, for He showed them the true meaning of unconditional love; of unselfish leadership; of placing others before themselves; of standing up for God in every aspect of life, even in our careers; and of changing certain rituals because they may not be aligned with the image or expectation of Jesus Christ. In short, Jesus upset the ‘apple cart’ every time He recognized wrong or ungodly living, regardless of who was caught in the crossfire. Let’s look at this from our current scenario. In almost every conversation with Christians, we recognize that we have mellowed a lot from the ways of our ancestors, because we have calculated that their ways were just too strict, or too literal, regarding Biblical teachings. We allow things in our churches now that were unheard of in the early church. When last have you heard of a summit where church leaders would humble themselves before God and surrender totally to His will for the churches they are leading? How long would church leaders be permitted to stay in their roles, if they returned from a conference and started making changes, because they felt God was wanting them to help steer His church back to Him? Are we ready to challenge our work bosses because we see the need to stand up for what we discern to be ungodly principles and/or practices? I don’t believe we will find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus caved in to the practices of the day because He was being too literal with the commands of His Father. If we have committed ourselves to live just like Jesus, should we cave in to worldly practices and demands? How will we explain that to God on Judgment Day? Although it is very easy to look at the general public and see the wrongs, and softening effects of the Gospel, I want to encourage each reader to look deeply inside of self, and examine yourself in light of the Gospel that you claim to be your guide. Allow God to speak into your life, will you?

PRAYER: Dear God, You have placed Your perfect Son before us so that we might have the pattern for life that would be pleasing to You. Yet, much like the Pharisees, we have designed our own pattern of living. Unfortunately not all aspects of our design meets the standards that were demonstrated by Jesus. Father, we want our lives and our churches to be aligned with You, yet we tend to place our own little spin to the truth You have taught us. Please forgive us for doubting; for changing Your ways to conform with the ways of this world; and for assuming Your role, when we should really be seeking Your face and Your will. To win the world for Jesus Christ, I feel like we should first be willing to demonstrate before them a sincere ‘godly’ life so that they can clearly see what they are committing to. Lord Jesus, please have Your will and Your way in the lives of Christians today, beginning with me. Please work miraculously in our churches so that we may truly be the cornerstone of Your worldwide mission to reach the lost while we wait for Your Big Day when You will come to take us home with You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, AMEN!


It Originates in the Heart

Monday, 2019-02-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 15:17-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  17 Is it hard to understand that whatever you eat enters the stomach only to pass out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of your mouth reveals the core of your heart. Words can pollute, not food. 19 You will find living within an impure heart evil ideas, murderous thoughts, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lies, and slander. 20 That’s what pollutes a person…..

OBSERVATION: Jesus overheard arguments from certain religious leaders who were criticizing his disciples for not following every little detail about their rules regarding ceremonial hand washing and food choices that conflicted with the restrictions of their religious beliefs. However this criticizing was coming from the hearts of those who were truly burdened by multiple other issues that were a lot more serious. Sounds a lot like some of the issues believers still face today? Let’s look deeper into this.

APPLICATION:  A lot of money is generated from diets, and pills and procedures that help people reduce the effects of what they put into their mouths. Many doctors, and some religions are convinced that certain foods are just not good for a human diet, and they try to work diligently with patients, and/or followers, to develop alternate diets. Some religions base this on Scripture, and therefore try to enforce the idea based on the Word of God. I find it interesting that Jesus never told the Pharisees they were untruthful, or inaccurate, but what He did tell them was that they should strive for removing the boards from their own eyes before pointing out the small specks in the lives of others. In fact, I am convinced that this Scripture was God breathed for each of us reading this today also. For just as the Pharisees saw the challenges the disciples had, we might be very apt to look at the Pharisees and denounce their faults. But I believe that what God is truly trying to say to His children today, is that we have a full time job in trying to stay focused on the issues that derive from our wicked hearts, and in seeking to correct our own issues first and foremost. I believe that only then, do we have the audacity to approach someone else and show them up for their apparent weaknesses. Friends, we are not God, and while we may find ways to try and help others to overcome challenges they fight with, we are far from having the authority to act like God and try to straighten out their sin. Jesus points out to us that we have a huge responsibility to ensure that our hearts are filled with His grace, His goodness, His perfect love for mankind, and His forgiveness. For unless we are, then we might easily tend to judge others, or even be prone to many more acts that might be even more serious than those of the Pharisees, the disciples or anyone else we feel may be failing. I love that old spiritual that includes the words: “It’s not my brother or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer”. Yes, I believe that we personally have so much need in the sight of God, that I’m not sure how or when we will ever find the time for correcting a neighbor who is in need, or may be failing in some walk of life.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free. Precious Lord, You are merciful and You looked down in love and saved even me, thank You! I am also grateful that You saved many of my friends who will read this devotional today that have also accepted You as Lord. We have such a huge job of minding our intake of worldly issues, bad attitudes and habits, that we’re not sure how we will ever get around to helping a Brother or a Sister, but Lord we need You to help us through every circumstance of life. Please draw us to Yourself daily, so that our hearts will overflow with the love and attitude of Christ. We want others to see enough of Christ in us, that they would have a strong desire to know You in a personal and meaningful way. I am convinced that You will return to take us home with You very soon, oh Lord, may we be found faithful until the end of time. AMEN!

The Distractions of Faith

Friday, 2019-02-15

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man to attempt something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. To jump out of a boat in the middle of the sea, one could only prepare for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, unless they know how to swim! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why did Peter’s effort fail? I am convinced that Jesus already knows how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our powers. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Jesus to walk on water and who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, for what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind and the rough waters that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Remember that our distractions are forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this shall come to pass, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But one thing that I am assured of, is that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case for an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

No Not One

Wednesday, 2019-02-13

Bible Reference: Psalm 14:2-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  The Lord looks down in love, bending over heaven’s balcony, looking over all of Adam’s sons and daughters. He’s looking to see if there is anyone who acts wisely, any who are searching for God and wanting to please him. But no, everyone has wandered astray, walking stubbornly toward evil. Not one is good; he can’t even find one.

OBSERVATION: Created by a holy God, who demonstrated His love for us, even while we were steeped in sin and disregard of our Master; yet in spite of all that, can you imagine all that God sees when He looks down on His children – is it the unselfish desire to serve, the sacrificial love shown towards others, and persistent love and appreciation shown towards the Creator of this universe? Or is that really the ‘norm’ and the common theme that God sees? With sober and honest hearts, let us meditate on this Scripture today.

APPLICATION:  We hear it all the time, that our children looks like us, or they speak like us, or they act like us! That’s quite amazing at times, but very humbling and possibly even embarrassing at times, because then we realize that we have not been successful in hiding our attitude, or our closed minds to certain things, or the words that we spoke in private were indeed overheard by others! But let’s stop to ponder over what we are challenged with in our Scripture today. Imagine God, who created the universe, created you and I and placed us in His lush garden to enjoy all that He handcrafted just for us, yet we complain daily about our lack of food or provision. Imagine God, who gave us minds to think independently and make personal choices, yet to look on His children choosing to ignore Him and follow the ways of the evil one. Imagine God, who taught us to love one another, demonstrated His love in multiple ways, yet we show hatred towards one another and devise plots against each other – a total opposite to what we were taught. Imagine God, who gave us everything on earth for our food, our enjoyment and for our edification, yet He sees us storing up gifts that He blessed us with, and feeling content to see others go hungry, not ministered to, unloved, and feeling totally destitute. Friends, is there any wonder that verse 3 tells us that God looks down on us and sees that everyone has gone astray, everyone’s walking towards evil, no one is good, no one is holy, NO NOT ONE. Oh how this must break the heart of our God, our maker and our soon coming King. What’s your excuse today dear friend? Is it a priority in your life to obey God in ALL things? Is it a priority to love God and love others, because of the ways that He first demonstrated His love for you? This whole Christian life is unimportant to you if you have not made it a priority to seek God and His righteousness and follow Him in ALL your ways! That’s something only you and God can settle. I pray that Jesus will not return and find no one ready, for my desire is to know Him personally and live my life in line with His will, and obedient to His commands, so help me God. Would you join me in that commitment my friend?

PRAYER: I love that old hymn ‘Just A Closer Walk with Thee’, for that declares the words of my heart dear Lord. I am reminded in the Scripture today that I fail a lot more often in obediently following You, than I do at anything else that I attempt to do. Oh Lord, please forgive me for my weakness in my faith, and my disobedience to Your will and way. As my readers and I evaluate our position with You today, please open our eyes of honesty wide, so that we will not just say with our lips, but demonstrate throughout every aspect of our lives, that we are children of the King – as evidenced in the things we say, our actions, and our love and respect demonstrated in our very aspect of our existence here on earth. May You be glorified today in us, and because of us, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!