Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Daily Devotional October 27 - You Have To Believe It To Receive It

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

What Paul is trying to say and has been saying in his ministry throughout the scripture is for us to realize and experience the world, but to think about and respond to our spiritual calling from Christ. Along with the many blessings, the good times, superior health, financial stability, job stability, family love, answered prayers and miracles from God, there will be times:
  • You will have pain.
  • You will experience mistreatment by others.
  • You will get sick.
  • You will be disappointed.
  • You will be lied to.
  • You will coerced.
  • You will robbed by satan of whatever is available.
  • You will feel discouraged.
  • You will feel beaten.
  • You will slip from your plan.
  • You will make mistakes.
  • You might even sin.
In these things, rejoice that God is still on your side.
In these things, pray that you will overcome.
Give thanks that God has not abandoned you, but is with you through it all.

That's the part that so many Christians don't like or maybe don't understand about God. They want to go around the fire instead of through the fire. You really can't blame them. Through the fire is when you experience these negative things I mentioned above. Of course we are not going to choose any of them and we certainly don't desire the valley experiences, but you will go through them at different points in time in your life. What are you going to do about it?

Well, ShadrachMeshach and Abednigo had an answer to this question. They said, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:17-18

It isn't a question of whether or not bad things are going to happen to good people, because they are. The question shouldn't be "why do does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" The question should be, "what are you going to do with what God allows to happen."

Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Can you believe this and make it a part of your relationship with God?

Monday, October 26, 2020

Daily Devotional October 26 - Belief Is A Strong Force

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

What Paul is trying to say and has been saying in his ministry throughout the scripture is for us to realize and experience the world, but to think about and respond to our spiritual calling from Christ. Along with the many blessings, the good times, superior health, financial stability, job stability, family love, answered prayers and miracles from God, there will be times:
  • You will have pain.
  • You will experience mistreatment by others.
  • You will get sick.
  • You will be disappointed.
  • You will be lied to.
  • You will coerced.
  • You will robbed by satan of whatever is available.
  • You will feel discouraged.
  • You will feel beaten.
  • You will slip from your plan.
  • You will make mistakes.
  • You might even sin.
In these things, rejoice that God is still on your side.
In these things, pray that you will overcome.
Give thanks that God has not abandoned you, but is with you through it all.

That's the part that so many Christians don't like or maybe don't understand about God. They want to go around the fire instead of through the fire. You really can't blame them. Through the fire is when you experience these negative things I mentioned above. Of course we are not going to choose any of them and we certainly don't desire the valley experiences, but you will go through them at different points in time in your life. What are you going to do about it?

Well, ShadrachMeshach and Abednigo had an answer to this question. They said, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:17-18

It isn't a question of whether or not bad things are going to happen to good people, because they are. The question shouldn't be "why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" The question should be, "what are you going to do with what God allows to happen."

Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Can you believe this and make it a part of your relationship with God?

Daily Devotional October 25 - God Is Light

"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

In the sense of light and darkness, God represents light. In the sense of good and evil, God represents good. There is no darkness, no evil in God. How then did evil get started? Good question.

When God created all creation, God embedded into humans the right to choose to do good or to do evil, i. e., the right to deny God and/or the right to step outside of the God ordained parameters of absolute perfection, i. e., free will. With this power given to mankind, mankind has the inherent ability to stand with God or stand against God, stand with the natural parameters applied to each creation or stand against each parameter applied to each creation.

God cannot do evil, but God created an environment where evil can be performed, in the natural world, i. e., the seen world and in the spiritual world, i. e., the unseen world. God is not subject to the parameters of the natural or spiritual world. God is the creator, not the created. God is God and man is man. Man will never be God. Man does have attributes of the likeness of God from birth, and after salvation man has the image and likeness of the Spirit of God, and after this natural life has ended more attributes of God-likeness will be imputed to us. But we will never attain to be God, nor will we ever attain to fully know all that there is to know of God. God is more than we can know, now, after we have been born again, after we have left this mortal body behind, and even after we have been in heaven with God ten thousand years.

Some people don't like that. That's because they have an ignoble view of God. Many people, even Christians want a God they can figure out. They are discontented that God has reserved full disclosure of Himself. Most of the problems we have within legitimate organized (Christian) religion is that each group thinks they have some corner on the "I know more than you do about God market." When the truth is, that even at best, if all the religions put in together and included all they know, their deepest theology, their highest thought, together it would not be of little stature against the greatness of God.

What am I trying to say? God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Do you believe it?

Daily Devotional October 24 - What Part Of The Bible Do You Believe?

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed." Genesis 2:7-8

Note: After 30 years in ministry and more than 16 years as an ordained pastor and thousands of interviews with people about their faith, I have found that way too many people have settled this question this way: Just don't read the Bible, act like you know what the Bible says, convince someone that you are a Christian and keep Christian cultural correctness as your guiding light. 

These events make the roots of your faith. This is what happened at the beginning of creation of earth and mankind. Of course the entire story reveals how God made the stars, galaxies, animals, light, plants and all other known and unknown creations. It is these beginning scriptures about the beginnings of mankind that make the roots of our faith.

If you don't believe these simple words about creation, then how can you expect that further revelation will be given to you , whether it is spiritual or scientific.
Spiritual in the sense that revelation is built upon revelation, truth upon truth, the root of this foundation must be secure and strong or even what we do receive will not get properly processed.
Scientific in the sense, that if in the quest for discovery in any science discipline, creation in its truth is not recognized, evaluations will be skewed. A good example is Darwin's theory of evolution. This theory has no roots, therefore the truth presented is science fiction. All the sciences were created by God to work. They all have a beginning and if scientist believed the basics first, their foundation would be secure and their analysis would be scientifically sound.

Too many Christians don't really care how it all began. They are willing to buy into made up science in order to keep the peace with the so-called academics. They are willing to make light of the importance of the root of their belief system. Some are even embarrassed to say that the scriptures are an accurate representation of what really happened. Wait a minute! If you don't believe the simple, easy to understand truths that are clearly revealed, how can you expect to understand the more complex and more difficult to discern truths?

The Bible is true. The stories are true. The time lines are correct. God did create man and woman. God did put it all in order with a Word. The Israelites did cross the desert for 40 years with the same shoes. Moses did part the Red Sea. Elijah did raise the dead. Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus. Jesus did die on the cross. Jesus did raise from the dead. Jesus is alive.

Believe the whole Bible and the whole Bible will become applicable to you.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Daily Devotional October 23 - Grow Up And Move Forward

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him." Nahum 1:7

What does it mean to trust God or to put trust in God?
It means that you have received the Holy Spirit in your life and you now connect to God via the power of the Holy Spirit within. You believe what the Bible says, every Word. You desire to be with other believers. You find time to pray and not just at dinner. You apply your faith with expectations. You grasp the concept that God made you in His image and likeness and that emulating anything other than Jesus is a encumbrance to fulfilling your purpose and finding yourself. Trust is the muscle of belief. God says it, you believe it.

Is there a difference in trusting God and believing in God?
Yes. Believing is the first step to getting understanding from God. Once you believe God you are able to trust God, but not the other way around. You believe God from the moment you are saved, but you don't start trusting God until you see your faith in action and start to measure the results. Once you see that with God everything is different and that there is no reason to go about life under your own power, you start to trust God.
You learn to trust God whether the answer is yes, no, or wait.
You learn to trust God even if the answer to a prayer was not the answer you were anticipating. You learn to trust God with more than the superfluous.

Does it make a difference in which God I put my trust?
It is sad that this question even needs to be asked or answered. Yes it matters. It matters so much that those who put their trust in any god other than the God whose Son is Jesus has put their trust in no one, nothing. They don't exist. The way you know if you have believed in the only living God is by the connection of Jesus Christ. If you are trying to find a way to believe God, but not believe what He says then what's the point. If you are trying to make a god for yourself, that you like what that god thinks more than the way that God discloses Himself in the Bible, then you are trusting in nothing, no one. There is only one God and God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How do I know if I am trusting God or just playing church?
How much time do you devote out of your day/week to search the scriptures or to commune with God in the cool of the day?
What interests you most?
Do you have a propensity to find ways to help others or lift others up?
Is the only experience you have with God on Sunday morning, or Friday or Saturday?
When someone asks you about God do you first tell them what denomination you are from/with?
When you are at church are you in a hurry to get out?
Are you faking your relationship with Jesus so no one will know that you don't have a clue?

Life is short and God deserves an answer from you. Are you going to trust Him with your life and everything in it, or not? You know, sometimes it's just time to grow up and move forward.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Daily Devotional October 22 - By Faith Not Bloodline

"Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, Oh generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Luke 3:7-8

It's not just Jews and Christians that look to Abraham as the father of their nation. It is many Muslims also. It goes all the way back to Genesis 12. Abraham is the father of nations in this way. Abraham was called to be the father of many nations. Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright and Jacob received the blessing. There is also the birth of Ishmael from Abraham and the Egyptian woman, handmaiden of Sarah. Ishmael represents one nation of people and Isaac represents another, Jacob and Esau also representing many people as well as the twelve tribes of Israel from the sons of Isaac.

All of the offspring of these men claim Abraham as their father. Many are Jews and many are Muslims. They claim sonship by birthright. And children of Abraham they are. But true children of Abraham are made children of Abraham by faith not blood. It is true that Jews and Muslims can call Abraham their father by blood, but it is by faith that they/we receive the promise of Abraham.

Christians (Muslims and Jews) are adopted into the promise of Abraham by faith, not blood. "For the promise, that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Please read the entire chapter four of Romans for a deeper look at justification by faith.

I think it is a wonderful thing to be born from the bloodline of Abraham. Every person, whether Jew or Muslim or other should be proud of their heritage. There is so much history and tradition handed down through many generations. But salvation comes by faith in Jesus, not a birthright through Abraham. Yes Jesus overshadows father Abraham. John the Baptist was simply telling those who placed their faith in their bloodline that it would not carry them over into the heavenlies. There are still many people today who can claim father Abraham as their progenitor that have not placed their faith in Jesus, the Father of their progenitor.

Daily Devotional October 21 - What Is Enough Evidence?

"He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He be king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Matthew 27:42 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst they good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31 Also read John 5:39-47

Isn't it ironic that those who don't believe are always trying to tell those who do believe, what to tell those who don't believe, to convince those that do believe, not to believe?

Had Jesus walked off the cross, whomever didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God believed, would still not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. God designed man to believe in God through several methods, all of which non-believers deny.
1 God designed each person to have, in their soul, a desire to know their creator. It is inherent.
2 God designed all creation to speak of Him through the experience of the sciences.
3 God designed each person to have a need to connect with the source of their existence.
4 God designed every person to respond to the inner call from God.
5 God confirmed His existence through the writing of the scriptures, where he used men, to confirm in writing God's self disclosure, throughout the ages. The Bible is the only book that reveals the actual genealogies of man from Jesus backward to Adam.
6 The Bible verifies and codifies the history of man from Adam to Jesus by having the Bible span about 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus with multiple writers from differing cultures and milleniums, cohesively joining together the only credible source for historically accurate anthropology. And then from Jesus until now and beyond the Bible prophesies unquestionable events that have taken place and that will take place in the future.

Even if Jesus had come down from the cross or if someone went back from heaven to earth to notify those on earth that God is real, heaven is real and hell is real, those who don't believe wouldn't believe. The non-believer is always looking for more evidence. If the evidence that is available isn't enough, well, think about it.