"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17. What great comfort comes from the surety that all things can be renewed. Individuals can change their path in life. God offers all people the opportunity to begin anew. This grand blessing is offered through Christ. The blood of Christ has the power to cleanse the heart and make it new. In Christ, there is renewal. The sinner can become the saint. The impure can become the pure in Christ. Whatever our past has been, we can begin anew in Christ. God through Christ extends a hand of mercy that will place one on a path where one can become the person that God wants him to be. All through the Bible we behold change. The message of the Bible is a message of change, renewal, and hope. God sparked change in the hearts of men with the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. Those dead in sin can be reborn to a life of righteousness and service to God. The dead becomes alive and the old becomes new. This promise comes only from God and only through Christ.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" James 4:12. God is the lawgiver. His law is for all men at all times. His law must be obeyed to the letter. There can be no omission of any part of His law. His law serves for the betterment of humanity. As the one lawgiver, He has the power to enforce His law. There are blessings if His law is followed. There are consequences if His law is not obeyed. Those who obey God's law will be saved and those who disobey will be destroyed. As the lawgiver, God is the judge. God is a judge that is always fair and impartial. God is never harsh with His judgment. His judgment, however, follows the law that has been given. Each one reaps according to His keeping of the law. Upon those who do good, they shall be rewarded for their goodness. Upon those who do evil, they will receive the divine judgment of the lawgiver. Only God has the power to judge. Since no human has given the law, no human is to judge. We are to leave all judgment unto God. We are to adjust our own lives to the law. Only the judgment of God counts. God is the only judge who knows all the circumstances. God is the only judge that that can know what is within the heart of each one and the reason that all act as they act. Therefore, let us follow the law and allow God to render judgment.
Monday, March 28, 2016
"The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming." Psalm 37:13. There is no need to fret ourselves over the accomplishments of the wicked. We must not envy those that do evil for their day is coming. The wicked plot against the righteous. But, alas, the success of the wicked shall come to nothing. The Lord vows the overthrow of wickedness while the righteous will come to prosperity. The Lord laughs while the wicked walk in their merriment and while they plan their evil devices. But, vengeance is coming. The Lord's justice is lifted up against the doers of iniquity. The workers of evil devices are the enemies of the Lord and He plans their demise. While they walk in their pride believing themselves to be invincible, the Lord laughs at such. His sword of swift vengeance will slay the enemy. All the doers of evil shall be trodden down by the mighty power of the Lord. Did not Pharaoh boast? Did not Jericho thrive? Old King Herod was declared a god by the multitude. But, was not his body eaten of worms in their very presence? The wicked plan and the Lord laughs. O righteous man, fret not yourself over the wicked.
Friday, March 25, 2016
"When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus." John 6:24. Jesus had fed the large multitude with a small amount of food. Now the multitude discovers that He has removed Himself the following day. They immediately travel to Capernaum seeking Him. Why do you think that they might seek Jesus? Did the miracle create great faith in their hearts? Were they desiring to hear the great lessons that He taught? Did they hope to find in Jesus a higher and better relationship with God? What motive prompted them to seek Jesus? Jesus knew their hearts as He knows all hearts. He accused them of seeking Him because of the loaves that had been fed to them. The spiritual had no place in their heart. They were seeking Jesus not for the spiritual blessings that He could give them, but rather they were only seeking the trivial and mundane things of the world. We should seek Jesus because He is the Son of God. We should seek Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. We should seek Jesus to hear the wisdom of God that comes from His teachings. Why do we seek Jesus?
Thursday, March 24, 2016
"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." James 2:23. This passage is found amidst a discussion of faith and works. The example of Abraham stands as a monument that faith must work. Faith is not an idle concept, but rather, faith seeks to please God. If one is going to believe in God, then he must please God. Abraham was given a promise from God that he would be given a land, a son, and a people. Abraham believed what God said. As a result, Abraham left his kinsfolk and his homeland. He would later offer his son as a sacrifice unto God as he followed the instructions which God gave unto him. Because of Abraham's faith, which was an obedient faith, he was righteous. To be righteous before God, one must obey God. Abraham could not foresee the results of all that God commanded him, but his faith allowed him to follow the instructions which God gave unto him. Hence, he was righteous. Our righteousness before God comes when we listen to God and do what God asked of us. As a result of faith, Abraham became the friend of God. If we desire the friendship of God, we will believe God.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
"And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest." Psalm 55:6. The psalmist finds himself in a state of concern. Evil is about him. He beholds the iniquity of the world. Fear and horror are taking hold of him. Indeed, the world is of such a nature. There comes a time when the world and our place in it becomes too much. We long for a freeing from all the negative acts of transgression and woe. We are now in a place of sin. We dwell in a land of inhumanity and vileness. We long for a realm where all is good and pure. We long for a land of holiness and righteousness. Indeed, the world where God dwells is just such a place. There the soul roams free. They who reside in the heavenly realm are without discouragement and disillusionment. The city of God is a place of rest. The soul dwells in peaceful calm. The ills of the world are forever gone. As a dove lifts itself from the ground and flies upward to the tree top or even soars in the heavens, so we will one day fly to the land of sweet peace. May we have the wings of a dove and fly away, away, away to ceaseless rest and unending joy.
Friday, March 18, 2016
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23. From the heart are those thoughts that become deeds. The source of all actions in our life is the heart. Who we are in character is decided by the heart. A good person has a good heart and an evil person has an evil heart. The pure in body are the pure in heart. Those who love have a loving heart. All kindness and compassion flow from the heart. The heart can be either light or dark. The heart is a fountain that can be either bitter or sweet. All truth and all error flows as a stream from the heart. All the choices in life are made in the heart. From the heart flows all the deeds that either serve or hinder. Let us place a sentinel at the door of our heart. Let us keep our heart from all disturbance and discouragement. Let us keep our heart from all corruption and vileness. Let us maintain a heart that is truthful and without any deceit. With all soberness and diligence keep the heart. The very destiny of the soul is found in the heart.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." Jude 24. There is the danger that the Christian can fall from grace. But, God helps us to serve Him. God does not create a hedge about us that keeps the devil from tempting us nor does He prevent us from having to bear burdens. The temptations of Satan and the burdens of life come to the child of God. However, God does provide us with strength by His Spirit that enables us to know victory in those times when we are tempted to fall. Also, there is always an escape route from temptation so that we might not sin. But, God does nothing for man against the will of man. Man is always in control of his destiny. But, the child of God can always know that God helps us with the difficulties that we face. With the help of God, we can live the Christian life faithfully and stedfastly. We can have the sure confidence that God will present us faultless before His glory. This is the reason why Jesus died and shed His blood for each of us. Through the sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross, we can stand faultless before God. This assurance brings joy to our hearts. However, we must accept the help that God is willing to give unto His children so that God's everlasting glory can be achieved. What a blessed thought to know that God is able to keep us.
Monday, March 14, 2016
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." I Corinthians 10:12. The writer has used the ancient Israelites to show the danger that confronts the child of God. God's people were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, but because of their failure to follow God's law, they fell in the wilderness. Because of God's displeasure with them, they "were overthrown in the wilderness." verse 5. Even as God's delivered people, they committed very vile transgressions. We are warned that we must not follow their example. We are reminded that what happened to them can also happen to us. Sin is an ever present danger. Sin is a danger to the child of God just as much as it is to the sinner. God's child can so sin that he can fall. We are to be in constant vigilance lest we fall. Those who ascend the pinnacle of grace can fall from that pinnacle. They who are washed in the blood of the lamb can turn back from their walk with God. They who enjoy the "seal of the Spirit" can "grieve the Spirit" and also "quench the Spirit." This action can cause the child of God to fall. The danger sign is given that we must "take heed."
Friday, March 11, 2016
"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." I Corinthians 10:14. The trumpet of warning is here sounded. A danger threatens. Satan is always seeking to deceive us. There is a time to flee. No form of evil is to be embraced. The Christian is to serve but one God. No room is to be made in the heart for anything else. Idolatry is an ever present danger in any society. Idolatry is the service that is paid to another god. The gods that we can serve are legion. We must flee. God wants to abide in our heart. God wants our total devotion. Idols can remove God from His rightful place in our life. We cannot serve God and idols. No other master can live in our life. Only God and His will are to control us. There is to be no place for fame or pleasure. Material gods cannot rule over us. Things cannot consume us. Service and homage paid to anything else becomes idolatry. Idolatry can creep into the heart and take up residence. We must be on guard against that which can remove us from God's fellowship. Flee. Flee. Flee.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead." II Corinthians 1:9. The sentence of death was from the enemies of the gospel. Preaching Jesus was costly. And so it is even in this time. The cross of Jesus forever has opposition. And so, our trust must not be in ourselves, but in God. The enemies of truth continue to perish from the landscape of time, but new ones are born to replace them. We face a continual battle. We must trust a power that is greater than ourselves. The sentence of death is upon all. If we do fall by the sword of the enemy, we eventually give way to the decline of the flesh. Our leader and master was taken and killed. But, God raised Him up from the dead. The greatest message that the world has ever and will ever hear is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the hope that beats in the heart of the believer. It is the drum beat of our faith. So what if death comes and takes the last breath from our body. What difference does it make in what manner the sentence of death is served? Trust in God means the raising of the dead. The sentence of death which separates the enemy of God from the faithful of God is the raising of the dead. Those who trust in themselves die without hope. Those who trust in the God who raises the dead travel under the sentence of death without fear and always hopeful of a new awakening.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." II Timothy 3:13. Men will go forth with evil intentions in their heart seeking to seduce. To seduce will be their desire. These evil men will seek to bring others into their evil ways. Evil uses deception. Remember that Eve was deceived in the Garden of Eden. Seducers will turn one's heart away from God. Seducers will lead others into sin by deception. They themselves have been deceived. Lies and deception are the products of evil. Evil grows and spreads at an alarming rate. Evil corrupts and destroys. Evil produces every vile act. Evil violates all goodness and defiles all purity. Evil lurks in every dark place seeking only to capture our heart. Evil progresses and grows worse and worse. We must be alert to the danger of evil and seduction. We must not be deceived by the cloaks which evil wears. Deception is a slippery slope, and we must walk with caution. We must not be misled by those who would call evil good, and good evil. Let us listen carefully to the voices which speak to us. Let us consider well how we see and hear, and give care to the road which we travel. Evil is seeking our heart.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger: and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35. There are many who want something, but are never willing to do what is required that they might have what they desire. Many want what Jesus offers, but will not do those things that Jesus requires. Jesus promises that those who come unto Him and believe on Him will never hunger nor thirst. Jesus is all sufficient. Jesus promises and will give all that is necessary for our happiness and fulfillment. The offerings that He makes to us are not artificial. The bread of life insures that we will never hunger or thirst. The spiritual life is complete in Jesus. Jesus is a Savior that is completely capable of providing for our spiritual well being. But, we must come to Him. We must see our need of Him. We must know that our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but of Him. We must believe on Him. We must accept His offer with a heart of faith and surrender. Jesus tells us who He is. Jesus offers us the blessings of heaven that we need so that our souls might be sustained. Will we not do what He asks that we might have what He offers?