Devotionals

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (1 Pet 1:6)

How can one rejoice when they are experiencing numerous trials and tribulations? Is this possible to do? It is possible if you are walking in the Spirit. If you are suffering from discouragement, however, this verse in 1 Peter seems “out there”! This verse seems like an impossible task.

Everyone I have spoken with who has suffered from discouragement at one time or another has admitted that they are guilty of two things: (1) focusing their thoughts on their problem, and (2) not being in the Word as they should. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:8 ) What are you sowing, Christian? Step back and look at your life – the results of sowing will appear in what you are reaping. Discouragement is not a fruit of the Spirit. The Word says that the fruit of the Spirit is: :… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23) I don’t see discouragement in this list, do you?

Since the Word says that these are the fruit of the Spirit, it stands to reason that no sowing is being done in these areas to reap these fruit. Christian, examine yourself. If you can get to the root of this discouragement in your life, you will overcome it. The Word is our guide – the Holy Spirit is our Teacher. I know I sound like a broken record but, “Get in the Word”! Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) If you’re not reaping to the Spirit, then you are reaping to the flesh. There is nothing good in the flesh. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: …(Rom 7:18 ) Therefore, if you are reaping to the flesh it stands to reason you are not in the Word for the Lord tells us that if we hide the Word in our hearts (through reading and memorizing), we will not sin against Him. Since discouragement is not one of the fruit of the Spirit, it is a work of the flesh and is sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

It is easier to understand now how Paul could rejoice through numerous trials. Paul walked in the Spirit and the Word encouraged his heart. How else could he be singing with Silas in prison at midnight (Acts 16:25)? If anyone had the right to be discouraged, it would be Paul and Silas – but yet they were found singing! When was the last time you felt like singing in the wee hours of the morning while you were discouarged? Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (1 Pet 1:6) The Book of Psalms is filled with encouraging verses. Our Heavenly Father knew we needed these – He placed those words there just for you! Read Psalms 84, 121, 139 to name a few.

What a tremendous testimony you would have and the ability to help others through their discouragement if you would allow the Spirit of God to dwell in you and encourage your heart the same way He did Paul and Silas. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (1 John 4:13) Yes, that’s right – help others! There’s nothing like a good dose of doing for others to help us take our eyes off our own circumstances. God allows trials in our lives for a reason – it is to mold us into His image and then we take what we have learned and try to help someone else. Why would someone who is discouraged listen to someone who has never been through it? How would they know?

A Christian with the purpose of helping someone else to overcome discouragement is a Christian who is in the Word daily and has taken his eyes off his own circumstances. This same Christian is walking in the Spirit and reaping the fruit of the Spirit. Won’t you take that first step in this walk?

Maranatha Devotionals

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) God’s Word is the only thing in life that comes with a promise such as this. Do you know of anything or anyone who can promise that if you read and hide their product, it will keep you from sin? Nothing can do this. No one can do this, but God! God’s compassion is so great that He provided His Word to strengthen us in time of weakness.

Not only did our Heavenly Father give us His Word to grow by so that we wouldn’t sin, but He also provided His Word so that we could be cleansed should we fall into sin. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9) The Word will cleanse us and keep us from sin.

So why don’t we spend more time in the Word? I believe that ole slew foot has managed to keep the Christian today from the Word by way of distractions and excuses. Today’s distractions are many. Everyone has them. If you’re not in the Word daily and gleaning from it, then you have too many distractions. If you’re not in the Word daily and gleaning from it, you will continuously struggle with sin.

The fact of the matter is this: the believer who does not read the Word is plain lazy. Would you deprive your family from nourishment? Would you deprive yourself? Of course not! When you are not in the Word, you not only allow sin to come into your life, but you cause sin to come into your home. Your children will see it and will follow in your footsteps. So when you do fall into temptation and sin, you have no one to blame but yourself. It isn’t God’s fault, but your own. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9) If we fall, we fall because we chose to fall.

The more you spend time in the Word, the less time you will have to devote to sin.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 18:23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

God sure doesn’t mince His words! The Psalmist admits that it is his own iniquity – his own sin!  Sin is a willful act – it is a choice made my me and only me.  Adam and Eve had a choice – Cain had a choice – I have a choice.  The born-again child of God has a choice to sin or not to sin. How can I keep myself from sin?

~Psalm 119:11, 105 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

If I keep God’s word in the center of my life, my thoughts and my actions, it will be easier for me to make the right choices!

~2 Timothy 2:4, 22 (4) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 

The ‘worldly believer’ has a continuous struggle in living the separated Christian life.  You cannot live in the world and “for the Kingdom” at the same time.  You can straddle the fence only so long before you topple over and land on a specific side. As Christ said in Luke 16:13, you cannot serve two masters.  One will overrule the other.  The one who “wins” is the one you serve the best – your sin or the Lord.

Feed your spiritual side, friend.  Read your Bible for more than just a few minutes.  We make time for everything else in life that is important.  We will be spending eternity with the Lord and nothing from this earth will be important once we reach eternity!