Tuesday, June 28, 2016
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." I John 5:3. God has a standard by which our love for Him is shown. Love for God is a commitment to His will. His commandments are for our well being, both in this life and in the eternal life to come. We do not love God in word only, but we love Him by doing as He asks. And the commandments which He has delivered unto us are not too difficult to keep. God has not placed upon us a great burden that is beyond our strength, but rather, God has given commandments that we can and must obey. Our obedience to His will is the demonstration of our love for Him. This obedience also helps us. It fills our life with joy and purpose. Through obedience unto God, we know peace and contentment. We are able to live with assurance and hope. The commandments that we are to keep are God's commandments, not man's commandments. We must not hear the voice of men, but rather, we must hear the voice of God. Man's commandments change and vary because they come from the mind of feeling and opinion. God's commandments are firmly set and forever established. Love God by keeping the law that can be kept.
Monday, June 27, 2016
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." I John 1:6. God is light, meaning that He is without sin and imperfection. Darkness is evil. They who walk in darkness are children of the evil One. They do not live righteous lives, not do they seek after the way of God. If we make a profession of right living, and yet, we live in sin and serve evil, we are liars. The truth of God calls for holiness and purity. The doers of sin do not seek after purity and holiness of life. If we serve sin, we do not the truth of God. The truth leads one in the way of righteousness. The truth is God's directive for holy and moral living. Immoral living is contrary to truth and fellowship with God. To profess communion with God and walk in darkness is a lie. Fellowship with God requires that one forsake the way of sin. Fellowship with God requires that one put on holiness of life. Our practice must be our profession. True profession is manifested by proper conduct. As one walks in the light, he walks in fellowship with God. The light of God dispels the darkness. The light of God brings holiness and purity of life. Walking in light is walking with God.
Friday, June 24, 2016
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Revelation 22:21. This single statement closes the book of inspiration. The Bible begins with a promise of grace. Genesis 3:15. And, the Bible closes with a promise of grace. Between these two promises are marvelous exhibits of God's amazing grace. How void the life of an individual that lives outside the covenant of the grace of God. God's grace is a provision for the people of God. Grace saves us from the emptiness of sin. Grace sustains us amidst the difficult times of life. Grace aids us in the decisions of life. With the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are able to live in a world of turmoil, uncertainty, and hopelessness. Our surety and hope lies within the grace of God. As we bask in the sunlight of God's wonderful grace, we live each day full of joy and contentment. When we face the tragedies of life's moments, we relax in the grace of God. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ preserves us as we travel the journey of life. Whatever comes our way, God's grace will keep us even unto that eternal day. May God's grace always be with you.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
"Howbeit, the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?" Acts 7:48-51. This passage is a part of Stephen's sermon to the Jews. The Jews held the temple in high regard and Stephen preaches to them the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. The temple was to endure for a time, but God had a greater revelation in mind. The Jews had violated the true purpose of the temple and had misapplied its meaning. God is not confined to a certain place, but rather, He inhabits the universe. God is everywhere and His handiwork can be seen in everything. God is the Maker of all things. His glory is seen in all things, and everywhere His power is manifested. No temple made with human hands can contain Him. He has no need of sanctuaries. Jesus Christ would become the true temple of God. All who would believe upon Jesus and receive Him as Savior would become the dwelling place of God. God abides in the heart of the believer. And, the believer praises God for His marvelous creation.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:26-27. Jesus Christ made it possible through His death upon the cross and His resurrection from the grave for all who would believe to become children of God. We must believe that Jesus died upon the cross and that He was raised from the dead on the third day. Faith in these two acts of God will allow us to become the children of God. To become a child of God means that we believe what the gospel teaches. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and by faith, we accept Him as our Savior and Redeemer. But faith demands an action. Faith is an act of obedience. Faith responds in obedience to the commands of God. Our faith in Jesus Christ will motivate us to unite ourselves with Christ. This union is accomplished in baptism. When we are baptized in water, we put on Christ. We must put Christ on in baptism so that He is our Savior. We must put Christ on in baptism so that we experience His death, His burial, and His resurrection by which sins are forgiven. Faith declares that Christ is our Savior. Baptism puts us into the salvation of Christ where all eternal blessings are found. With faith in Jesus Christ and by baptism into Jesus Christ, a child of God is born.
Monday, June 20, 2016
"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." Proverbs 12:18. How do we speak? Do our words hurt or do they sooth? Does our speech comfort or does it injure? Speech can be harmful or it can be helpful. The words that pierce like a sword belittle and criticize. Speech can poison or heal. Words can bring death or life. Soft words lift up and harsh words tear down. Friendship can be destroyed or bonded. Marriages can be saved or broken. Reputations can be destroyed.by gossip and slander. Characters can be scared by whispers and backbiting. The tongue of the wise will encourage and inspire. The tongue of the wise will compliment and empower. The tongue of the wise will bring reconciliation and peace. The tongue of the wise will restore and heal. Let not our words cut and divide, but rather let our words unite. Let our words be full of love and compassion. The piercings of a sword bring death. The tongue of the wise will give life.
Friday, June 17, 2016
"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour that ye think not." Luke 12:40. Jesus cautions us to be prepared always. Life is uncertain. We know not what lies in our future. We can not see tomorrow. Jesus wants our concentration set on the kingdom of God. Some attention must be given to the things of earth, but our priority and greatest concern is to be on the eternal. The eternal is in the future of every one. Whether we seek it or not, each shall eventually become dwellers of the eternal world. Jesus urges us to make our preparation for that hour. We are to live each moment in view of the coming of Christ. We are told that He will come, but the hour of that appearance is unknown. Some tomorrow, the Christ will appear again. Will we be ready? Are we living now for the moment that we shall see Him? We are to prepare our hearts ever seeking to serve and glorify so that we are ready. As expectant servants for the return of the master, so we are expectant of Christ's coming even in this very moment.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
"And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind." Luke 12:29. God provides for the creatures of the earth. He clothes the flowers with garments that are wondrously fair, and feeds the fowls that fly in the heavens. Since provision is made for them, shall not God provide for those who are in His kingdom? We are not to have minds that doubt, but rather, we are to have hearts that believe. We are to trust ourselves unto God. We are to yield ourselves unto Him and believe in His care and provision. We are to set our sight upon the things that are eternal and commit our way unto the God that does all things well. All things earthly can keep us from a full relationship with the Creator. The kingdom of God and the eternal are to be our priority and receive our full attention. Our life is but fleeing and we must know that soon we will be in the next world. Let our preparation be of such that God will receive us into everlasting fellowship with Him. May we never doubt the care and love of the heavenly Father, but always be confident, that He will help us in our journey, and that we are His concern. God is ever mindful of all of His creation. He provides not only for the physical well being of His creatures, but also, He provides for our spiritual enjoyment.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1:2. The delight of the Godly man is to meditate in God's law. The law of the Lord will make us Godly. It contains Godly precepts. It is the way of holiness and perfection. The law of the Lord will cause us to examine our hearts and change whatever is amiss so that we are seeking after Godliness. No other law brings us to such a height of achievement. No other law brings us to such an examination of ourselves. The law of the Lord will lift us above the mundane things of earth and cause us to fly heavenward. In the law of the Lord we come to know God--His greatness, His goodness, and His eternal love for us. Such meditation brings us to comfort, peace, and assurance. Such meditation will give unto us enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge. The meditation of the law of the Lord will take us from this world to the eternal world. The meditation of the law of the Lord will deliver us from the earthly unto the heavenly. The meditation of the law of the Lord will inspire us to seek the kingdom of God and the things that are eternal. The meditation of the law of the Lord will delight our heart and lift our spirits. Constant meditation in the word of God will give us hope and give us an abiding joy.
Monday, June 13, 2016
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." Psalm 68:19. How are you feeling today? Perhaps, you are not doing so well. You are having some problems that seem to be ruining your day. Are you counting your troubles or counting your benefits? Sometimes we choose to see the negatives rather than the positives. This passage of scripture teaches us about the benefits from God that come to us daily. We awoke this morning with another day of opportunity to do good. God sends the rain and fruitful seasons. The sun and the clouds are all the work of God. The beauty of the earth surrounds us with the sure knowledge of His goodness. God supplies our daily need. We know that He is a source of comfort and peace. He has allowed me the privilege of access already this day in prayer. God has spoken to me in His word and my faith has grown. The greatest of His benefits to us is His salvation. God saves us from sin, but He also saves us from trouble and despair. As you find yourself in some difficulty, count your benefits. Take a moment to meditate on the benefits that have come from the God of our salvation. Now, isn't that better?
Monday, June 6, 2016
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world was very unique. First, He was born of a virgin. Jesus was divine. He came as God in the flesh. While Mary was His earthly mother, God was His Father. Second, Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Humanity was in need of redemption and God supplied that need in the person of Jesus Christ. While upon the earth, Jesus established His divine nature by the works that He performed and the teachings that He taught. Jesus secured eternal redemption for all humanity by His death upon the cross. God loved us so much that He was willing to give His Son so that the penalty for sin could be satisfied in Jesus. The death of Christ upon the cross shows without doubt that God is just, and thus, the debt for sin had to be paid. Long ago, a prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. Great events have taken place in the course of humanity, but none greater than the coming of Jesus Christ. A divine Son paid a divine debt. Jesus came to save us.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
"And he said unto them, Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15. Our society seems to focus on the things which one might possess. We speak of those who have and those who have not. A man has come to Jesus asking that the Lord speak to his brother that he might divide the inheritance with him. The concern of this man was what he could possess. Our Lord issues a warning to this one about covetousness. Covetousness is a desire to have without contentment. One is never satisfied with that which he possesses, but rather desires more. With the covetous, the coffer is never full and the life is never satisfied. In a culture where our worth is decided by our possessions, we must guard against the desire to enrich ourselves with things. The Lord wants us to understand the true meaning of life and the journey of our life. We need to seek not what is earthly, but what is heavenly. We must seek the eternal rather that the temporal. Things can be gathered, and quickly lost. In the view of our Lord Jesus Christ, our life consist in the character that we have; the faith that burns in our heart; the devotion to Christ and God; the hope of the life to come. A man's life should consist in the spiritual and the service that we render unto God.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5. The mind of Christ is to be our goal. We are to ever seek to become like Jesus. Jesus had a lifestyle that we are to imitate. The next few verses show us the mind of Christ. The mind of Jesus was one of humility. He thought more of others than Himself. He was obedient to the will of the Father. The design of God was for Christ to come into the world and die for all humanity. The reason for this death and sacrifice was because of sin. Jesus had a mind of sacrifice. He willingly offered Himself so that we might have a relationship with God. That sacrifice reached its high mark in the cross. The One who was indeed God in the flesh took upon Himself the form of man and died the cruel death of the cross. This death was not for Himself, but for me and all others. We are to be as Christ. We are to submit our will unto the will of God. We are to serve and glorify God. We are to be instruments in His hand to promote His will and bring honor and praise unto Him. The mind of Jesus is to be our mind.