Devotionals

loaves-and-fishesMark 6:48- 52 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For they considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Before you sit in judgment over the disciples’ forgetting Jesus’ miracles, park here a while and think on your own life.  How many times have you been through struggles? Did the Lord see you through them all? Did everything turn out OK? Things my not have turned out the way your planned.  But admit it … they turned out better.

Don’t you want to kick yourself for doubting? I know I have been in that same boat (no pun intended). I forgot about the loaves! I forgot what the Lord did in my life – the miracles He performed – my heart was hardened and despair set in, much like the disciples in the boat.

But what did Jesus do? He encouraged them and performed yet another miracle! He never leaves us in our despair. When we sincerely seek Him through it all, He rewards us! 🙂

Devotionals

article-2215133-156B1AAE000005DC-615_634x422Proverbs 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

When you see your reflection in a mirror or in water, what do you really see? You don’t see what’s on the inside – you don’t see your heart, correct? The Bible tells us that what’s in the heart is displayed on the outside of our bodies. It shows on our face, it shows in our words and in our actions.

Mat. 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

If your mirror could reveal what is in your heart this morning, what would you see? Would you see an ugly, sad, dark and empty reflection? Or, would you see a smile filled with Christ’s love?

lake_mountains_sky_evening_reflection_ripples_surface_of_the_water_colors_26829_3840x2160Sin creates a ripple in our heart’s reflection. What was clear and beautiful in the eyes of the beholder, now becomes distorted. This picture is a perfect example of what sin can do in our lives. You can hardly see the beautiful clouds in the water – it’s merely a mishmash. Sin distorts our testimony and changes it from Christ’s reflection in us to something that is not recognizable – no longer revealing His beauty. Sin’s effects are a slow process … at first there are no rippling effects and the picture appears perfect. However, as we continue in sin, the ripples (the repercussions of our sins) become greater and the reflection of Christ becomes more distorted. When ripples become waves from the storms of life, Christ is no longer evident.

Don’t deceive yourself, Christian. You may think that dabbling in sin doesn’t affect you, but it does. The devil deceives and is a father of lies. He will convince you that you’re OK and will keep you out of the will of God. This world sees you just as today’s Proverb describes.  They see what’s in your heart reflected on your face – your life – your character. Don’t shame the Lord but glorify Him in your life. They won’t be able to tell the difference between you and your Saviour! 🙂

A6W64R Reflections in the flooded salt desert Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Sunset

Devotionals

shepherd__sheep__resized_1280x720John 10:1-5 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Sheep listen to only one person – their shepherd. If you need proof of that, search it out on the web and you’ll be taken to videos of different people trying to call sheep to them. The sheep don’t move until they hear their shepherd’s voice. It’s truly amazing! I love the fact that God used this analogy in the scriptures. Our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is the only one who will lead us through the gates of heaven, my friend.  There is only one way and that is through His birth, death and resurrection.  His shed blood is the sacrificial offering for the penalty of our sins.

Matt. 7:13-15 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate:for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

There are many out there that claim to have the words of life but they are charlatans trying to deceive you. Jesus said there is one way – He leads us to the way.

John 10:7-18 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

There is ONE Shepherd, ONE way … Jesus Christ, the Son of God … not Allah, not Budda, ONLY Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Apostle Peter even said it in:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other:for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It’s not rocket science but the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) has blinded mankind with diversity and tolerance. This is not scriptural. Jesus came to show us the way – it’s in God’s words for mankind – all we have to do is read those words and believe in faith that He is the One and only way.

 

Devotionals

Do you care about God? Do you care what happens after death? Maybe you don’t care at all. I pray you would take a few moments to read this anyway. Even if only one person reads this and accepts God’s salvation through Christ, it will be worth the time spent writing it.

I am not here to pass judgment as it is not mine to pass. I merely want to share God’s word with you so that you can know for yourself instead of leaving it in the hands of someone else.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (Psalm 50:16)

God asks what it’s going to take for you to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord of all? Jesus is God’s covenant to us – His promise, if you will. Without believing in Jesus Christ, you have no covenant with God – you cannot claim His promise to you. You have no chance of heaven! (John 14:6)

Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. (Psalm 50:17)

God knows that going to church is just a chore for you – He knows that if you do go to church, it is only because it is your religious obligation. Your heart is really not into it. If you attend a church that doesn’t use bibles in its services, then you are left to listen to what the priest/pastor/minister says … and just maybe you don’t listen to that as well. You cast God’s words behind you. Remember, you cannot fool God.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. (Psalm 50:18)

Does it bother you if someone steals in your presence? Do you find it amusing that the thief “got away with it”? This is never more true than watching the news after a natural disaster hits a community. Thieves have a field day looting stores – the cameras catch them laughing as they steal things – we saw this during the Hurricane Katrina news footage. How appropriate is the above verse to those looters. God goes on to say that the sinner is likened to have partaken with adulterers. Are you an adulterer? Have you looked at another woman and lusted after her? If so, you have cheated on your spouse. Jesus said that even if you lusted after another in your mind, you are guilty of adultery! (Matthew 5:28)

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (Psalm 50:19)

Cursing is all around us today. It is nothing to hear God’s name in vain in public places. Lest you think it doesn’t matter, it is still one of the Ten Commandments. Don’t think God will overlook cursing. The bible says that everything we say is being “recorded” in Heaven and will be held accountable to each of us. (Matthew 12:36) What about lying? Does your tongue frame deceit? This does not only refer to lying but also cheating. There are many who deceive and cheat people out there today. Have you sold a car to someone and not divulged everything that was wrong with it?  You are in essence lying. You are also breaking one of the Ten Commandments.

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. (Psalm 50:20)

You may have thought that slandering your family wasn’t a big deal. God thinks differently. Just read on.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psalm 50:21)

What things is God speaking of here? (1) Not listening or heeding to God’s instructions in the bible (2) Stealing (3) Adultery (4) Blaspheming God (5) Lying and cheating, and (6) blaspheming and slandering your own brother. Have you done any of these things? I know that I had committed several of these things! We’re not alone – most people have!

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. (Psalm 50:22)

Unless you listen to God’s word, God will tear you in pieces. You won’t be able to hide anything from God when you stand before Him after you die. None of your friends will be there to protect you or save you from this event. I remember saying that I would meet my friends in Hell and we’d have a good time there together. Not according to God’s word I won’t! That was just foolish talking on my part because I had no idea where I was going so I hid behind my ignorance.

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23)

Anyone who desires to know about God will not go unrewarded. God will reward that person by showing him/her the truth and how to be saved from the wrath to come. The bible says: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) The bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Allah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Buddah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Joseph Smith. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by any church for that matter. It is through Jesus Christ alone. Please take a moment and read the following verses with an open heart and mind:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

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)

There is nothing you can do to get to Heaven. It is impossible for us to stop sinning! IMPOSSIBLE!  If it were so, Christ would not have had to die a bloody and horrible death on the cross!

After Adam and Eve sinned, that sin nature was passed on to everyone born after that. God did not make Adam and Eve that way. They were made perfect and without sin. But God did not create robots who could make no choices in life and nor did He create someone without a will of their own. He created man to think for himself. Unfortunately for us, Adam and Eve’s sin has left all of mankind with a choice. Do we admit that we cannot stop sinning and, therefore, are doomed to eternity in Hell? Eternity is too long and Hell is too hot for you to shrug this away, my friend.

It broke God’s heart so much when His creation could not stop sinning! Even His chosen people, the Jews, could not stop, despite the Ten Commandments, their sacrifices of spotless lambs, and the laws that had been created to rule them. It was this compassion and broken heart that led God to send Jesus Christ, His Son, to die for us.  The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood, there is not remission of sin. (Matthew 26:28, Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:22) Therefore, a perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ the Son of God, left His throne in Heaven to take on human form. Why this method? Jesus did this so that He could feel what we feel as human beings. He could experience the temptations but never sin. This made Him the perfect, sinless Lamb who would be sacrificed for all mankind. Those other lambs were but mere symbols of what was to come when Christ came. He finished that requirement by being the final sacrifice, one sacrifice for all! (Hebrews 10:10)

Jesus Christ’s work did not stop there. Not only did He die, but He arose from the dead three days later! A few weeks later, He ascended into Heaven and is waiting to come back in the air to take born-again Christians to Heaven!  If you read the verses and you have allowed the Holy Spirit of God to prick your heart, won’t you please pray and ask God to forgive you? Accept His Son’s perfect sacrifice for your sins. Repent of your life style and change directions. If you are a thief, steal no more – if you are an adulterer, do it no more, etc. If you pray these things with a sincere heart, God will hear you and save you.  He knows whether or not you are sincere. As a result, you will be born again – a brand new beginning – a brand new nature! Your sins will be forgiven and the weight of your sin’s debt will be lifted from you! You will now be a child of God! A child of God begins to change immediately. The desires to curse, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc. will either be completely taken away or will diminish drastically.

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)

A Christian is not sinless but a Christian should sin less with each passing day as he yields himself to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in his life. Read your bible faithfully every day – not just a verse or two – but really read and you will be fed God’s holy word! Look at the tab at the top of this blog for new believers and start there. Find a good Bible believing church that preaches God’s word without compromise.

I pray that this post has been a blessing to someone today! If so, please share your blessing by posting a comment!

Father in Heaven, I lift up this blog to You today and pray that Your Spirit would direct someone here who would read it and his/her heart would be convicted. Father, I beg You for a soul to be won as a result of this labor to bring honor and glory to You. I ask these things in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

Devotionals

James 3:1-12 1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 

howtogossip-800Our tongue is little in comparison to the rest of our body but it sure can be a sharp little tool if it is not trained! (James 3:10) One minute it can praise God and the next minute it can gossip about another!

So how can we train our tongue? (Psalm 39:1) Firstly, we must change the condition of the heart, amen? (Luke 6:45) Starting the day with the words from Psalm 19:14 is an excellent beginning 🙂 When my heart is right, the words coming from my lips will be also.

As I read today’s text, the Lord impressed upon my heart Colossians 4:6 – my speech should be seasoned with salt. Just what is the purpose of salt in our lives? Why would the Lord use this analogy? Meditating on the little word salt and comparing it to our everyday life opened this part of scripture so much more. I don’t know about you, but I really get more out my reading when analogies are used. The Lord sure knows His creation 🙂 He knows we learn better with real life applications. So what does salt actually do for us?

(1) It adds flavor to food – Again, Colossians 4:6 says my speech should be “seasoned” with salt. We all know what food tastes like when too much salt is added. It’s just not edible! But the right amount of salt makes food taste awesome! So does my speech add flavor to a conversation?   Do I contribute something from God’s Word when someone opens their heart to me? When someone comes to me discouraged, do I have the right words to encourage them? (Psalm 19:14) We should strive to share verses with everyone we talk to, saved or unsaved, and add flavor to our conversations. Remember, God promises that His Word will not go out void. On the flip side, salt is also used to cause someone to vomit when poison has been swallowed. Do your words cause a Christian to fall? You literally have caused them to spiritually vomit … think about it!

(2) To preserve food – Do your words preserve? There are lost souls everywhere and their souls need to be preserved, if you will. They need to hear the Gospel and they need to hear it with “flavor.” (John 6:68) We have the words of life and they are lost! Do you see a Christian friend heading toward distruction? That friend needs to be preserved – that friend needs you to love her and show her through the scriptures what she is doing wrong. I am close to two dear ladies and both are not hesitant in preserving me 🙂 They would rather see me living for the Lord than to stray and be chastised. That is a characteristic of a good friend!

(3) To heal open sores – We have all gargled with salt water at one time or another. It helps to heal mouth sores. Do your words bring comfort and healing?  (Proverbs 12:18) To the lost, your words should be the Gospel.  (John 6:68) To the saved, your words should be full of mercy rather than judgment. (Luke 6:36) We say that we love the sinner yet hate the sin – do we really ? We need to remember that we all are sinners. (Romans 7:24) Not one day goes by that we are not tempted and sin because of it. So who are we to consider ourselves better than the one who has fallen? We are told to love one another – only then will our words bring healing to those who are hurting!

Our goal should be to draw others to the scriptures. (Acts 8:31) Just as salt causes us to thirst and to heal, so should our speech be to others. God’s words will not return to us void – He promises us this! (Isaiah 55:11) Every time I look at a salt shaker, you can be sure I look at it differently! 🙂

Devotionals

thepast-e1311460330255Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Falling away from the faith happens … it happens to all of us at some point. The key to this statement is this: Do you “stay” fallen?

To the true believer, the Holy Spirit has a way of poking and prodding our conscience.  If fact, He does this so much that we just can’t live with ourselves. Our guilty conscience gets the best of us and we finally succumb to the Spirit’s calling. What sweet surrender it is, indeed! 🙂

Praise the Lord for His word – it is a living and breathing Book! In its precious pages are forgiveness and restoration! You can glance over the same verse 100 times and that verse does not pertain to your life. But one day, that verse comes to life with meaning because a circumstance has arisen and God has breathed upon you the life of His word!

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Just think about it, God is faithful even when we’re not. He is just, even when we’re not. He forgives us and, better still, He cleanses us! Do you understand that, Christian? He cleanses us … He bathes us in Christ’s righteousness!  Praise Him!!!

Isaiah 43:25 – I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

God will NOT remember our sins … we are cleansed … we are bathed in the righteousness of Christ! Thank You, Lord God, my Redeemer!

1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Devotionals

fainting-280x1872 Cor. 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When I look at this picture, I can truly say that I’ve been there – at the end of my spiritual rope – looking at life’s circumstances and losing trust in my Saviour. It’s hard to admit but I doubt very much that I am alone in the Christian world. Times got hard – my eyes looked at my circumstances instead of looking to Christ, the Author and Finisher of my faith.

Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He was there at the beginning of my faith – after all, it was His death – His blood that covered my horrible sin!  He was there when I first believed and He is there through His Holy Spirit every minute of my life.  It is when I take my eyes of Him and place them on my circumstances that I begin to stumble. I get weary and then I faint along my spiritual path.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s so much easier to simply keep our eyes on Christ and live day by day through His word. When we’re not in the word of God, we become weak and faint. God’s words are fuel for the day … get fueled up for your day, Christian. READ … be encouraged … be convicted to the point of repentance … live day by day in Christ!

Devotionals

wavesMatt. 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

God’s word is not only living but it is powerful! Jesus told the Sadducees that they were making a mistake because they didn’t know (understand) the scriptures! But Jesus did end there? No! He went on to say they didn’t know the power of God. God’s words have the power to save … His words are powerful and guide one to salvation.

There is nothing more miraculous than the change that occurs after a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour! The Bible speaks of that change in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Cor. 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Have you experienced this change in your life? Did you get saved only to keep living your life in the same way? There’s a problem if you did … you didn’t experience the power of God’s word! You read it, you heard it, you may have even had an “experience” that produced temporary elation. But what about the long-term effects? Were there any? Did that experience result in permanent change as it relates to sin in your life? If you were a shoplifter, did you stop? If you were a chronic liar, did you find yourself under great conviction afterwards? If you were addicted to pornography, did you stop? If not, you did not experience the true salvation spoken of in the scriptures. The scriptures say that those old sinful ways of yours pass away. Some pass away immediately … other sins are a challenge but God sees you through with the power of His Holy Spirit and the scriptures.

Your relationship with God is now new and alive – your old ways are gone and behold new thoughts and ideas have entered in. These thoughts and ideas come from God’s powerful words in the Bible. They produce a change – they produce a desire to change. They produce a new person!

You may not be sinless, Christian, but you will most certainly sin LESS!  Your desire will be to follow Christ, not your old life. AND when you DO sin, you fall under extreme conviction and desire to make things right with your Saviour! If you cannot say this is true in your life, then you did not repent of your sin. Repentance brings about the change.  Saying you’re sorry doesn’t necessarily come from repentance. A thief can say he’s sorry but if he continues to steal, he did NOT repent. A repentant thief will steal no more … an repentant adulterer will abandon his sin and become a faithful husband … a repentant liar will lie no more. THIS is change … this is truly the renewed life life that Jesus spoke of in John 3:3 – being born again is depicted in the old sinful man being saved from his sin and coming out a changed and renewed man!

Eph. 4:22-32 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Devotionals

devotionRuth 1:11-18 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters:why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines cleave as:

“To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.”  

Love is not only a display of affection but is an action as well. When we love, we put that love on display through our actions, amen? You can’t love someone and not do anything for that person. It’s our natural desire to show our love through our actions.

Ruth showed that love toward her mother in law in one of the most wonderful ways.  Ruth “adhered” to her mother in law.  She showed her love and devotion by following her wherever she would go.  Ruth was willing to abandon everything she had learned as a child for the sake of her mother in law!  Ruth’s devotion went all the way to Naomi’s faith – Ruth wanted to follow her anywhere!

Would I have done this? In my brain, I would have thought that there were too many “what if’s” to worry about in a situation like that.  After all, how many women do you know would follow their mother in law and not their very own family?  It’s something to think about.  Naomi’s faith left such an impression with Ruth that Ruth wanted to follow her to an unknown place.  Is my faith that evident that others would follow me anywhere?

Ruth’s devotion to her mother in law produced great results.  Sometimes it takes years – even generations – to see those results. But Ruth was rewarded in her lifetime for such devotion and love.  It’s a great lesson for us. What we do now may affect our grandchildren. What we do now may not even show up for hundreds of years.  This was also true in Ruth’s life. Yes, she was blessed with a wonderful husband in Boaz.  But look at how it affected her future!

Mt. 1:5 Booz begat Obed of Ruth.  (Obed was David’s grandfather.)

God rewarded her love and devotion by allowing Christ to come from her Gentile lineage!  Our Saviour chose Ruth!  Wow!

Mt. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Mt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Who would have thought that love and devotion would be rewarded in this manner?  I’m sure this went far and beyond Ruth’s wildest dream!

Think about it … what we produce now, spiritually speaking, not only has an effect on us but also on our families … and years down the road.  We don’t know what will happen but wouldn’t you like to be remembered for being devoted to the Lord in the same manner Ruth was devoted?  It’s never too late to start … jump in with both feet and commit your ways to the Lord.

Psalm 37:5-6 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Maranatha Devotionals

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~James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Being patient in our “ministry for the Lord” is not always an easy thing. What is our ministry?  It’s not always a job, like a Pastor.  It is our path in life. For example, someone who has been through cancer can help others who are going through cancer.  Someone who has lost a child can help someone else who has lost a child.  Our life’s trials are a gift – a gift that we can share with others by helping them!  Yes, we tend to get weary at times. James encourages us to continue being patient – patient in our work – patient with our brothers and sisters in Christ – patient with being persecuted for righteousness sake.

~Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Through our trials, we build patience, understanding, compassion – our hearts become established in the Lord.  As we learn to immediately turn to the Lord in our time of need, we are able to teach another to do so. We are able to find our comfort, hope and peace in Him! How many Christians have you known who are going through major trials yet you see them surrounded by peace? This is that peace which cannot be explained!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

As we await the Lord’s return for us, let’s strive to keep our hearts established and firm on Him! Let’s share this gift we have received as a result of our trials!!  Don’t give up, Christian!! Christ is near!

Scriptures

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~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

~John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

~Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

~Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

~John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Faith is like electricity. You can’t see it, but you can see the light.  The proof is in the by-product!

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Maranatha Devotionals

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~Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Oh praise the Lord that our Lord and Saviour is right there with us, in our midst!

~Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

How can we be discouraged when our Lord and Saviour loves us this much and makes these types of promises to us? He says He will hold us up in these times! He actually rejoices over us with joy!  This personalizes our relationship with Him!!!

Thank You, Lord!

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 119:105  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

When we find ourselves side tracked and spiritually distracted, we can trace our actions back to the amount of time we spent in God’s Word along the way. When we’re on track, we are in tune with His Word – our path is lit by It and we see clearly. This can’t be any more true than when we go through a physical trial. Rather than blaming God for our plight, we rejoice in His goodness and mercy!

The amount of time spent in the Word will directly reflect in our ability to cope with life’s curves!

Maranatha Devotionals

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~John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

What kind of peace does this world have to offer? It comes disguised in materialism. However, “things” bring only temporary happiness. There is no permanent joy in “things.” They do not bring peace at all. In fact, the more stuff we have, the more we have to worry about. Isn’t it a conundrum?

Our precious Saviour is the only one who can truly give this peace and joy – and His comes with a guarantee of eternal life! What blessings! One can be in the middle of a spiritual battle, a physical ailment, or an emotional struggle – but yet, peace surrounds them like a warm blanket! Christ knows what we are going through every step of the way. As we ache when our children are hurting, so does He. He is always waiting to comfort us!

Let Christ work in your heart. There’s no reason to be caught up in worry and stress. Reach out to Him for the peace which is beyond your comprehension!!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Oh that we would allow God to be our strength and shield in 2010! Let’s dedicate ourselves to this very thing this year. Why? Because the Psalmist explains that when his heart trusted in the Lord, he was helped! Who doesn’t want help from the Master Creator? No wonder the Psalmist continued and said that his heart rejoiced and he sang praises because of the Lord’s help!

Each of us is going to go through difficult times this year. There can be no denying it. Instead of fretting, turn to the One who can actually help! Turn to the One who has been to the future and knows the outcome. Turn to the One who can lead you through His Word to comforting words. What you read in God’s Word today will be exactly what you need for tomorrow. God loves you that much!

Maranatha Devotionals

~Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you prayed a similar prayer?

Lord, there’s a storm brewing and I can’t see through it to know how it’s going to come out. But Father, I know that You are with me and I know that You can calm those storms with just a word. I pray, Father, that You would guide me and help me to be a good testimony to those around me so they can see that You are with me!”

Just know, dear Christian, we do not go through the storms of life by ourselves. God has given us His Word – He has given us family and friends – He has given us the Holy Spirit who is within us and revealing God’s Word to us as He speaks to us. We are not alone! Ole slew foot, the devil, can stir up the storms all he wants. But we know that the Creator Himself is there with us and will not abandon us.

So what does the Lord tell us to do during these storms? He says to be strong, of good courage and not to fear! Our God, the One and only, has made a promise to us that He will not forsake us. So much so, that He has told us more than just this once in His Word:

~Deuteronomy 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

~Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

~Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

~1 Chronicles 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

~Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I don’t know about you, but God knows the frailty of man! In Bible numbers, man’s number is six. God placed this promise to His creation six times in His Word. Does this not encourage your spirit this morning? God cares for us and loves us so much that He has made a promise to us – He’s always with us and He will never forsake us!

Be encouraged today, my friend! Thank You, Father, for Your precious Word to encourage our hearts!

Maranatha Devotionals

Lord open up my eyes
To behold Your wondrous skies
Keep my thoughts fixed on You
That I may walk in ways of truth

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Teach me to turn away
From those paths that lead astray
Resting in Your shelter
And there I find peacefulness

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Maranatha Devotionals

From my porch the tears flow as the rain
I wonder when they will end
Forlorn, deserted, forsaken
When will my groanings be silenced

So I continue to cry out
Believing that You will hear
As I beg for reprieve from this testing
A glimmer, a trace of expectation

Alas, hope springs from despair
Creeping in like a flickering candle
Bringing in light through the darkness
And flooding my heart with Son shine

My path becomes clearer with each step
As I walk to my harbor of rest
And meet with the Healer of my soul
At that Rock that is higher than I

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Maranatha Devotionals

Lord open up my eyes
To behold Your wondrous skies
Keep my thoughts fixed on You
That I may walk in ways of truth

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Teach me to turn away
From those paths that lead astray
Resting in Your shelter
And there I find peacefulness

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Maranatha Devotionals

I was driving to work the other day and listening to my audio Bible. At the time, I was in Psalms, and the Lord impressed upon me the words “the Lord is my.” I decided to check to see how many times this phrase is used in Scriptures and what the phrase referenced. I was so blessed by what I discovered, I had to put it down in writing. I hope you are blessed!

The Lord is my:

Strength

(Exo 15:2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

I do not know I need anyone, let alone God, until I am down and at my weakest. It is then that I can see God at work and His strength is made evident.

Song

(Psa 118:14) The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

God gives me a new song when I finally realize that He is the one that I need.

Rock

(2 Sam 22:2) And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

God becomes my Rock because there is no other. My salvation cannot rest on anyone else or else it rests on sand.

Fortress

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

When all the world falls apart around me, I know that I can run to Him and rest in His protection. No one can take away what He has given to me – that is, my salvation.

Deliverer

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

He delivers me from the evil around me. I do not need to succumb to temptation because He is there to provide a way out.

Shepherd

(Psa 23:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord gently guides me in the paths that I take but also firmly rebukes me when I am going down the wrong one.

Light

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

My God sheds light on His Word to light my path so that I do not walk in darkness as I once did. I can clearly see what lies ahead.

Salvation

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

There is salvation in no other than in the Lord. What do I have to fear if I am threatened with death if I do not bow down to other gods?

Shield

(Psa 28:7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

My God shields me from the devil’s darts of destruction. He helps me to recognize them through His Word and helps me day by day. What comfort and joy this brings to a child who is going through tumultuous times.

Defence

(Psa 94:22) But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

When I am mocked and wronged, my God will come to my defense. It may not be in my lifetime but this child knows that it will all be made known in eternity – and that’s a long time!

Portion

(Lam 3:24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

At the moment I was born again, salvation became my inheritance. God’s righteousness is over me, not my own, praise His Holy Name!

God

(Zech 13:9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

He no longer is just “god” but He is now my God and Lord.

Helper

(Heb 13:6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

It is appropriate that the New Testament closes out this phrase with the fact that God is our Helper. There is no way we could gain salvation on our own. After salvation, there is no way we could keep it or live a perfect life without His doing. He is my Helper.

God is all these things and more to the child of the King! Rejoice in Him this morning!