Search This Blog

Friday, July 16, 2021

Daily Devotional July 16 - It's Time To Make A Melody

 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" Ephesians 5:19-20

When was the last time you sang a song to God? I don't mean at Church, but in private where you lifted up your voice and sang a song from your heart directly to God. What has happened to Christians today is that they are taught a lot of religion, but much of the 'relationship with Jesus' teaching has gone by the wayside. Above is scripture admonishing you to make melody in your heart and to thank God for everything. This should be a regular practice. If it isn't, maybe you can inquire into your heart and find out why. You don't want to miss out on the many wonderful moments with God that are available.

I know it's hard to thank God for everything. How can we thank God when troubles blow our way or when a loved one dies? Only by faith. You have got to know that what has happened, what you are going through or what lies ahead, is not out of God's reach. God uses all of your experiences, good and bad, and carries you through them. God did not cause the bad things that happened to you, you can count on friends and enemies for that, but God does use the experience as a stepping stone to protect you and enlighten you so that you don't make the same mistake again.

Make a melody in your heart and thank God for everything. It is the Word of God and it will bring about much blessing and positive changes.

Daily Devotional July 15 - Oh Well, I Don't think So

 "O how love I Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than all the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts." Psalm 119:97-100

A good understanding of the spirit of God's law/laws is good medicine for the prospering soul. David remembered what he had done. David knew about his affair with Bathsheba and many other foolish and sinful mistakes he had made. But David is growing up. It's like that with us too. It's not that we haven't sinned or that we haven't made many foolish choices. It's that we come to our senses and do something about it. It is better to chastise yourself and make the necessary adjustments to follow the ways of God than to come to an abrupt end caused by your unfortunate circumstances.

Clean it up. Clean up your mind, your mouth, your behavior, your propensities, your diet, your ways. David found that following the ways of God was far better than anything he had previously considered. You will find that to be true too. The ways of God are not suppressing and boring, but exciting and full of adventure, life and goodness, blessings and gifts and pleasure of the God kind that outdo those of the carnal kind. David understands.

To meditate on the law of God or the testimonies of God is to meditate on the thoughts of God, God-thinking. If you were to practice a little each day, you would find that God will keep His Word. I believe a good start is to read one verse a day, but everyday, no excuses. It is a good discipline. You might find that a verse a day is just not enough. That's a good thing. It's the discipline that counts not the number of verses you read. As time goes by you will be drawn by some of the verses to dig deeper and you will find that God knows what He is talking about. You will find that even a moment with God in understanding cannot be compared to anything that brings pleasure in this world. You will say with David, "O how love I Thy law!"

Don't be afraid to get to know God. The God of the Bible is perfect toward you. It is possible that what you learned about God in Sunday School was not all there is to know. You will not be disappointed if you take this advise and get closer to God than ever before, but you will be disappointed if you continue on the path of "Oh well."

Daily Devotional July 14 - What Have You Been Taught?

 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it."  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

  • Have you been taught that you must obey the ten commandments in order to be accepted by God?
  • Have you been taught that only those who tithe are blessed financially?
  • Have you been taught that you must never sin in order to go to heaven and if you do sin that you must ask for forgiveness for that sin before you die or you will go to hell?
  • Have you been taught that after you are saved your salvation is kept sure by your works?
  • Have you been taught that you must be baptized in water or you won't be saved?
  • Have you been taught that you must speak in tongues or you aren't saved yet?
  • Have you been taught that you must receive a second blessing in order to be saved?
  • Have you been taught that if you eat meat you are a lessor sort of Christian than those who do not?
  • Have you been taught that Jesus was the Lord, but is not God?
  • Have you been taught that the Holy Spirit is the power of God, but not God Himself?
  • Have you been taught that you should only read from the Old Testament?
  • Have you been taught that you should only read from the New Testament?
  • Have you been taught that Paul's teaching supersedes other books of scripture?
  • Have you been taught that what Paul taught is not to be considered as divinely inspired?
  • Have you been taught that crossing the Red Sea was just an allegory?
  • Have you been taught that there are many ways to heaven and Jesus is only one?
  • Have you been taught that you must be a member of the 'one true Church" to be saved?
  • Have you been taught that if you take the wafer unworthily, you have to re-earn your salvation?
  • Have you been taught that you need a human mediator between you and God?
These are false teachings and God is not pleased that many of His dear children are being led by those who would use you as exploits. Many things are taught to keep people in line and to create in them a sense of duty, but causing in you a sense of guilt by coercion is not a godly motivator, nor will it produce godly fruit. Pastors are so afraid to preach the truth, for loss of numbers, that they start reaching out with extra biblical teaching to pacify newcomers and placate parishioners. What a waste of good talent. The Holy Spirit operates through truth, only.

"Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it."  If you are going to worry about something, worry about something that is true; something that can really cause you grief, but don't worry about God being able to finish what He started in you, "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."  (Hebrews 12:2a)

Daily Devotional July 13 - What Say Ye?

 "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." John 7:37

This is a plea from Jesus to give something to you that you cannot get unless you receive it by invitation. This plea was after the great celebration of the feast of tabernacles, eight days of celebration where food and wine was plentiful and a rather good time was had by all. At the end of the part, when everyone had been celebrating for eight days, Jesus offers something to drink for all those whose thirst was not quenched.

I. e., when you have run the gamut of trying to be filled with what the world offers and you have tried it out for quite a while, you will still be parched and thirsty for something more fulfilling and long lasting. Even if you filled up on this world's provisions, it would not be enough to satisfy your soul. Jesus offers what you cannot get by whipping out your credit card. If after you have partied down and filled yourself with this world's wares and you still feel like something is missing, Jesus offers you something to quench your thirst. Not only does what Jesus offer quench your thirst, it lasts and lasts.

You've been invited. What say ye?

Daily Devotional July 12 - The Perfecting Of The Saints

 "How long, LORD? Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever? Shall Thy wrath burn like fire? Psalm 89:46

If you have ever had any real trouble, or real pain, calamity or serious altercation, you've felt what it is like to think the Lord has abandoned you or that God doesn't exist at all. When the bottom fell out at your business you probably shouted, where are you Lord? Or when you had to go through a painful experience, surely you cried out to the Lord and asked, why me? Tragedy may have struck a family member and doubt swirled through your head and lodged in your heart. The person you trusted the most did the most harm to you and believes a lie and you look to heaven and say, How can you let this happen? Where are you God? I thought you protected your people? How can you let this injustice take place? "Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever?"

I don't know you and most people deny having ever doubted God or ever questioning God's wisdom. But part of the human frailty is to go through times of doubt and to question God. It is not blasphemy to question God? God doesn't look down on you for having doubted that God was in the situation. God remembers that you were made of dust. God has not abandoned you, nor has God ever left your side. The troubles, sickness, calamity or personal attack that you went through or are currently going through was not from God, but neither is it true that God left you to fall on your own. It is not true that God didn't care or that somehow you just aren't worth saving from the situation. God has never let you hang out on a string to test your meddle, nor have you been tempted or tested by God to see if you would break.
All of your troubles or pain, suffering or loss is from the fall of man. There are three sources that contribute to life's woes:
1 The fall of man where sin was passed on from generation to generation;
2 from satan, your enemy who is out to destroy you;
3 from your own personal choices, when you went against what you knew was right in your heart.

God was there. God never let you alone. God only brings good things to His people.

If you are still in the middle of trouble, sickness, pain of suffering, God is in the middle with you. God loves you and God is doing what is necessary to bring it to an end. But there is more to the whole picture. The real reason David cried out to God and the real reason that you have felt abandoned or unprotected is due to the frailty of your faith. Pray that God will give your eyes faith to see it through. You may never know the why's of it all, but you must, by faith, understand that if you are in it, God is in it with you and God will take you through it. It is part of the perfecting of the saints.

Daily Devotional July 11 - Who Are You Listening To?

 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophesy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."  Romans 12:4-8

This is a little different list of gifts than that of 1 Corinthians 12, but some are listed the same. The main point of this conversation is to reveal a truth about gifts from God. They didn't stop when Jesus ascended into heaven. This verse was written by Paul about 25-30 years after Jesus ascended into heaven. There is a particular mention of the gift of prophesy. There are entire denominations that deny the gift of prophesy as being in operation today. That is simply not true. The gift of prophecy is alive and well. Some of the prophets that prophesy are false and some just trying to operate in a gift they do not possess, but some prophesy is inspired by God. It is vogue in certain circles to be prophet so and so or apostle so and so. Many such prophets do not speak for God and we both know that, but my contention is that some do.

I am reluctant to deny a truth simply because people misuse it. There have been things done in the name of Christianity that can't even be spoken of, but there have been much more done to better mankind and to glorify God. Do we deny our faith simply because there are charlatans? Do we stop using currency because there are a few counterfeits going around? Of course not and the Word of God speaks sure about the gifts from God and these gifts should be understood and used to glorify God.

It's simple. Do what you do with integrity and honor and do it to the best of your ability. Do what you know and stay within the natural parameters of the skill set, characteristics, propensities and knowledge base that you have. Don't try to be something you are not. Reach high, but don't make stuff up to look good. It is vain and cannot be used by God to benefit others or to elevate yourself. God operates in truth, only. If you really want to be something that you are not, pray about it, study, get the proper training, reach out to others who have succeeded at what you dream of and move forward in truth to attain to a higher place.

Now touching on the "one body, and all members." If you are a Baptist, you are a member with the Methodist and with the Presbyterians and the Charismatics and the Full Gospel, as well as the Catholics and Pentecostals. No you are not a member of the cults or world religions that deny Christ, but Christianity is made of of many denominations, but only one body, i. e., the body of Christ. If you don't like this idea, you probably won't like heaven either, because all those who are in or will be in heaven are decided upon by God, not your denomination. As a matter of fact, your denomination won't even be mentioned. The body of Christ is made up of individuals from many denominations and non-denominations that love and honor and believe in Jesus.

It would do you well for you to reach out to others who love Jesus even if they don't love Jesus in the same style as you do. I'm not talking about trying to bridge some impossible gap, but much of the contention we have between believers is totally uncalled for, unscriptural, foolish, ungodly, irresponsible, damaging, ridiculous, unwarranted, not honored by God. Why, most of the things that one denomination says about another aren't even true. Most of it is based opinions of those who don't even know what the other group believes. They take loving believers and box them into tight, little boxes and set them out on the curb to be picked up as trash. There is nothing further from the truth. Jesus said, "every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;" Maybe we should be listening to Jesus instead of those who are touting division.

Daily Devotional July 10 - What Do You Give Back To The Lord?

 "And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul."  2 Samuel 22:1

You can read the song which is 2 Samuel 2-51

The Lord speaks to us and we speak to the Lord. But more than that, I think this verse shows that there are many ways you can give back to the Lord. Singing was David's talent, but what about art or carpentry and through being a physician or a nurse, a store clerk or a computer programmer or a film maker? Giving your talent to the Lord is a great way to give back and to come into a closer relationship with God. Doing something you do anyway, but doing it with excellence and in direct acknowledgement of what God has done for you.

You can't have been a Christian very long and worked at a trade and not seen the Lord at work on your behalf. If you follow your career carefully and look back, you can easily see the hand of the Lord at every turn. It's not that you always made the right decision or that you always enjoyed a positive outcome, but if you look, you can see the hand of God, invested in you, guiding you and sometimes carrying you. This being said, look unto heaven and give of yourself to God. Find a way to do something for the Lord with your talent. Think hard and find a way. Whatever you do will bless the Lord and benefit others."