Maranatha Devotionals, Catholicism, Scriptures, Devotionals

~Mark 7:8-9, 13 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

When I think of “tradition,” I think of Fiddler on the Roof. ūüôā Tevye and his family sing about the Jewish traditions for the home. Some traditions are wonderful! I think of family gatherings and how I’ve incorporated many of my parents’ family traditions into my own family. But what about religious traditions? Today’s Scriptures do not speak highly of some of them.

I was raised and rooted in religious tradition. Some were very good. However, I did not care if those traditions were based on the Bible or not because the Bible was not read in our home. It was a book that sat on the bookshelf and, on occasion, I would open it to look at the pictures.  After salvation I noticed that some of these traditions were not according to what was written in the Bible. I had been taught all my life that whatever our church taught was equal to the Scriptures.

I’m sure every church is guilty of adding something¬†to their traditions which they believe is as important as what is written in the Scriptures. I am not well versed in all the various religions out there but I can¬†speak about one.¬†An example of this lies with the Catholic church. The Vatican II council stated that ‚Äúthe living teaching office of the Church‚ÄĚ (the latin term for this is magisterium) has the authority to interpret historical documents and make them equal with the Word of God. ‚ÄúIt is clear therefore, that sacred tradition, sacred Scripture, and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God‚Äôs most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others.‚ÄĚ (‚ÄúDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation‚ÄĚ (Dei Verbum), Documents of Vatican II, par. 10, p. 118)

They have elevated sacred tradition to be equal with Scripture and, as a result, taken away from the authority of the Scripture.   Scripture would no longer be the only source man would turn to when trying to find truth. Instead, it would be easier to ask a church leader about what to do than to pick up the Bible and read it for themselves.

When one wants to know about repairing a Chevrolet Malibu, one must go to the Chevrolet Malibu manual, not the Toyota Corolla manual. So it stands to reason that if we want to know if something is “scriptural,” we must go to the Scriptures to verify it. One can turn to historical documents but are they in line with Scriptures? ¬†Following after tradition is not recorded in God’s Word as being equal to the Word of God. In fact, at times when tradition is mentioned in the New Testament, it correlates it with God’s Word and to what Christ taught! ¬†Other times, as in today’s text, it proves otherwise. The verses that referred to the traditions of men were penned with disdain – and warning was given to stay away from those traditions.

~Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

The Apostles did not have all the New Testament at the time they walked this earth and were spreading the Gospel. It was important, therefore, that believers were taught to follow in their footsteps after their testimony in Christ Jesus! They had an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that they taught others what Christ had taught them. They had an overwhelming responsibility to walk blamelessly so that new Christians would be taught correctly – according to what Christ taught them. They were given power from the Holy Spirit to pen the word of God exactly how the Holy Spirit wanted them to write.

~2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Once the Apostles began to penn the Scriptures through epistles and Gospels, they continued to teach that new Christians should hold fast to those “traditions” that they were taught by the Apostles (in word and through their letters). ¬†These were traditions that were in line with Christ’s words. These were traditions that today are clearly in God’s Word and were taught by Christ! ¬†That is why they were encouraged to follow after them – but only as long as they followed after Christ and His Word. ¬†If there were any contradiction, God’s Word was truth and they were to follow that truth!

~2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Some churches speak of tradition and try to combine it with their church’s authority with an end result of man-made traditions accepted as Gospel truth. Unless you have a ruler to draw a straight line, it is impossible to draw a perfectly straight line by hand. Unless you have the true ruler, Jesus Christ and His word, it is impossible for you to have truth. (John 17:17) Even in Old Testament times, people recognized the man of God and what was spoken by him was truth.

~1 Kings 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.

Is it any wonder that some churches would make whatever they want as doctrine to be equal to God’s Word? God says that HIS Word is truth. Jesus prayed this prayer to His Heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Jesus Christ brought us God’s word, therefore, if we want the truth then turn to the Scriptures, not tradition! Christ is God’s spoken word to us!

~John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Do not follow after tradition UNLESS it follows in line with God’s Word. After all, we will be judged according to what is written in the Scriptures. (John 12:48) If there’s ANY question, believe God’s word for it is tried and proven and is for all eternity. Peter, himself, said:

~1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Our church fathers preached the word of God – they penned the word of God so that we may have it as our ruler – to set us straight in our pilgrim path. Don’t be deceived by church traditions – back up what you believe with God’s word. Paul said it best:

~Galatians 1:9-12 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

No one, nothing, can supercede or even make anything equal to what Christ taught. Christ’s words are final. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end!

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

~Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

What do you concentrate on when you are by yourself? Do you worry about the stock market? Do you think about how much month will be left at the end of your paycheck? Do you worry about the sickness you have and how you will make it one more day? Do you worry about your children? Whatever it is that you think about when you are alone, will more than likely tell you what kind of lifestyle you are living.

Our lifestyle usually reflects what is in our hearts. What kind of lifestyle do people see you living? Does your faith in Christ reflect in your daily walk? Yes, faith is definitely a lifestyle. (2 Cor. 5:17) Christians are new creatures and their “old” lifestyle is to be done away with. Others can see the difference between the former and the present.

When the storms of life appear, do people witness you fretting or witness you resting in the Father’s care? Or do you “inwardly” run around in circles and wonder if anyone out there cares?

~Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

We are a child of the King, oh Christian! Our Heavenly Father has us in the palm of His hand. (John 10:29) He is quite aware of what we are going through and He never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4) He will catch us when we fall – He will help us when we need it (Hebrews 13:5) – He will carry us when we can’t press on even one more step! I love the poem “Footprints in the Sand”! There have been many times where God has had to carry me – and He did!

(Psalm 37:7a) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself …

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Devotionals

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Worry is one of the top personal issues in lives today. It’s a common problem amongst born-again Christians as well. ¬†However, let’s cover this today. ¬†Why would a Christian have the need to worry when his Heavenly Father owns everything on this earth (Ps. 50:10)? ¬†Why would a Christ have the need to worry when the Heavenly Father never sleeps (Ps. 121:3). ¬†Is not our Saviour the King of Kings? His children do not have any needs that He doesn’t already know. We may believe all these things but do we really? Your thought life will reveal whether you truly believe. Where do your thoughts take you when you are in the midst of a trial? The Lord exhorted us to “take no thought” for our needs. His Word reveals His nature as our Heavenly Father.

A search in the King James Bible for the words take no thought shows seven verses all found in the Gospels. It’s interesting to note that seven is God’s perfect number and symbolizes spiritual perfection. It blesses me to think that God placed seven verses to communicate how perfectly and completely He cares for us. Even more so, these verses speak to my heart that when I rely on God to completely care for me, I won’t have a need to worry about anything. God will provide for my food, clothing, grace for daily circumstances, and as well as enlightenment when I need to defend the faith.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

Each day that we rely on the Lord to take care of our needs in every area of our lives brings us closer and closer to Him! We won’t reach spiritual perfection until we get to Heaven but as we walk this pilgrim’s path, we will be at peace!!

Maranatha Devotionals, Devotionals

~Psalms 30:5b… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

So many are going through difficult times at the moment. I think of friends who are grieving the loss of a parent. I have family and friends who are sick – some in need of surgery. Others are weary Christians who long for Christ’s return because life has become overwhelming. As well, there are missionaries who feel abandoned by their supporting churches – either from lack of communication or their churches have stopped their support due to financially difficult times.

I dare say that we have all been, and may even be currently, ¬†in one of these situations at one point or another and each of us have cried through the night pleading that the Lord would bring peace and comfort … and He does. Today’s text promises us that joy comes in the morning for the Christian who has cried and prayed through the night at the Lord’s feet.

~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.

Along with that joy, our Father brings His precious comfort. Our problem may still exist, however, there is encouragement in our hearts because we know that the Lord has it all under control!  His compassions do not fail His children!

~Isaiah 49:13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

Our Creator knows our weaknesses and His mercy extends to the ends of the universe for His child!  The Perfect Parent is watching over us.  Just as we would not fail our children in their time of need, more so is our Heavenly Father right there along side us during our time of need.

~Lamentations 3:22It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Be encouraged today, dear Christian. Although it appears that the world is falling apart before our very eyes, the Word is clear that our faith will be made sight very soon! Look up because our redemption draweth nigh!

~Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In one of my Bible studies, we were challenged to live out the meaning of these verses, starting at home! As we practice doing good and esteeming those in our home more than ourselves, joy enters our hearts and helps us to take our eyes off the discouraging circumstances around us.

This is wonderful therapy for the dear Christian who is weary. I speak for myself, and surely I cannot be the only one, when I say that the longer my eyes and thoughts are focused on the hardships of my life, the less they are focused on Christ and His ministry of love and reconciliation. Why would an unbeliever want Christ if he observes me in my discouraged state? Why would an unbeliever want my Jesus if he observes me being grumpy to my own family? An unbeliever would¬†want my Jesus if I were displaying the Lord’s qualities.

Yes, it is work to become selfless. It’s not easy esteeming another better than myself! But the word of God tells us to. (Philippians 2:3)¬†My natural man within me wants everything to be about me! But it’s not all about me! It’s ALL about Jesus Christ! If we are Christians, we should have this same selfless heart every day. And, as Paul points out, we should have this generous heart especially toward other believers!

May I challenge you today to stop focusing on your day-to-day circumstances and start focusing on Christ’s purpose for us? Find someone in need and take action, Christian! Those in need are all around us. Every day I hear of someone committing suicide, or their house has burned down – such devastating circumstances! Let’s have an impact by starting in our own family. Then reach out – stretch your arms as Christ would have you to do and touch a heart in need today!

Do one thing every single day that will impact someone’s life – even if it is simply a phone call or card – there is a heart in need of encouraging somewhere!!!

Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

Tumultuous Waves

~Matthew 14:25-32 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

How many times have we been on fire for the Lord and willing to go to any lengths to serve Him?  Then, the minute the turbulent storms of life appear, we take our eyes off the Saviour, and we see our circumstances.  Fear sets in and we begin to sink.

I’ve often wondered what would have happened to Peter had he not looked around to see the storm around him but had focused on Christ instead. ¬†Would Peter and Jesus have walked on the water to the ship to meet up with the others? ¬†Instead, he began to sink and cried out for Jesus to save him. ¬†The Word says that Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and caught Peter. ¬†Jesus asked him why he had doubted?

What a lesson for me to learn!  As I go through my storms in life, I will feel as though I am sinking and all alone when I take my eyes off Christ and place them on my circumstances.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me the peace that You will immediately stretch forth Your hand and catch me!!  What comfort this brings to me!

Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~Psalm 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

It is not difficult to notice God’s handiwork as it is all around us! Take a moment to look around today and challenge yourself to see God’s beauty. Give Him the glory and the praise for He is good! All His creation testifies of Him! His creation gives us a tiny glimpse of God’s nature! As we behold His works, we see that God loves color – for look closely at a Painted Bunting and a Cardinal and see the Master’s paintbrush at work!

Painted Bunting and Cardinal

The songs of the Painted Bunting and Cardinal are so melodious! Not only is our God an artist but He also loves sounds! He loves variety as well. For when I walk in the forest, I see thousands of different trees, bushes, plants, flowers and ground coverings. I could sit on this subject for quite some time but I think you probably understand where I am going with this topic!

When you are at a loss for words and feel as though your words during your prayer time, wrap your thoughts around the Father’s creation and you will find plenty to praise Him for!

Good Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Not one person can truly say he has experienced true peace, rest and freedom from life’s burdens until they have been born again and entered into a genuine Father/child relationship with the Heavenly Father. This comes only through salvation.

Do you have this kind of true peace and rest? If not, I challenge you to question the path you are on and read the Gospel of John through three times. Please contact me when you are finished ūüôā

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

~James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Everyone changes in life. We are not the same person we were 20 years ago. Those closest to us change throughout the years. Those we were able to count on a year ago are not always there today.

However, God never changes. He will never let you down. What He said He would do 20 years ago, He will do today. When His Word gives a promise, you can bank on it!

~Malachi 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not;

God is always the same and will continue to be the same – He is not subject to change … EVER! That is why He is referred to as a rock in the Scriptures. A simple search in your Bible software or Concordance will show countless references to God being a rock.

It is comforting to know that our unchanging and unmovable God is in control. The Captain of our ship is ever waiting to take the helm and lead us. Look at your life with an honest heart. Is the path that you are on going in a direction that brings you peace? There is peace even in the midst of a storm with Christ at the helm. The storms of life are still there but He provides inner peace. We know that nothing will happen that He hasn’t already given the go ahead.

Take comfort, Christian. These are tumultuous times and the Word says that we are in for far worse storms in the years to come. But we have the God of comfort at the helm and He will direct our ship!

~Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

~2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

~2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

DannSeagull

~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Christ did not want us to be like the rest of the world. His ministry was consistently pointing people to their sin and encouraging them to forsake their worldliness. He did not just make a suggestion but also gave us directions as to how to accomplish this task. Renewing of our minds comes as a result of having a new nature.

~2 Corinthians 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.

Our old worldly nature can only become new if we are born into a new nature – if we are born again.

~John 3:3 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.

~Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word lives and abides forever and is what pierces the heart to lead us to salvation. Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit guides us to live righteously and not like the world!

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

This isn’t to say that we will be “sinless” but after salvation we will desire to grow and “sin less.” Herein lies the difference between those who are born again and those who are not. The new nature we receive at the time of salvation nudges us, through the Holy Spirit’s leading, toward righteous living. That is why we are different from the world … we do not desire the same things we did prior to our salvation. We are now children of the King, and as any parent guides and teaches his child, so does our Heavenly Father!

~2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Maranatha Devotionals, Scriptures, Devotionals


~Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

When the Christian is in the middle of a crisis, as Job was, he must ask himself this question:

Am I where I should be in my walk with God?

There’s no sense asking this question if the believer is living his life in rebellion and does not want to know the answer. The Christian who truly wants to know will seek God’s face and will search His Word to find out the answers. ¬†(II Timothy 2:15)

The Lord spoke and said that the fear of God is wisdom and departing from evil is understanding. ¬†(Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 15:33) When a believer rightly fears God and has a moral reverence for God, he will desire the things of God – and the one who does not fear God won’t desire the things of God. (Job 13:3, Galatians 4:9)¬†The one who desires to walk more closely with God will have the need to be in the Word, studying and learning, and applying it to his spiritual walk. The results produce a Christian who receives understanding from His God.

Are there areas in your life where you do not acknowledge God’s words? ¬†Do you pick and choose what you will obey? To obey only in certain areas is quenching the Holy Spirit’s work in your spiritual life. (I Thessalonians 5:19) Are you in the midst of a trial and it is due to neglecting God’s Word and His instruction? You will not receive wisdom and understanding if you are in direction contradiction to what God is saying and the word of God says that is rebellion. (Nehemiah 9:17, Proverbs 17:11) ¬†Repent of this rebellion and fix your eyes on God’s word. Let His Holy Spirit instruct you in the way you should go. (Psalm 119:105)

Seeing your God with the reverential awe He deserves will humble you and will open your heart to His instruction. Departing from known sin is a start. You know in your heart when you have sinned – admit that and turn away from it. It is then that you will receive that wisdom and understanding.

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

It is not a natural thing for us to obey this verse. Our first reaction is to “get even”! But to the born-again believer with a new nature, it should be our first reaction.

~2 Corinthians 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.

Our old nature that desires to sin, to bicker, etc. is the same nature that thinks we are right and everyone else is wrong. This same old nature is not willing to be taught that it is better to be at peace. ¬†(Psalm 119:165) However, the new nature given to us at salvation does not need to yield itself to the reactions of the “old man.”

Granted, Paul’s letter to the Romans is talking about being persecuted for the faith. Remember Nero and how he persecuted the early Christians and many were martyred for their faith? We are not at that point in these United States … yet. But that time is coming! [Side note: I read in the news that a street preacher was being cursed by a Muslim for preaching about Christ and against the sin of sodomy.] The persecutions of faith that we see from day-to-day is that of family and friends who disagree with our relationship with Christ. They are religious but they do not have that relationship and, thus, do not understand why we are excited about our faith. (Luke 12:53)

It is in these persecutions that we must remember with what we are dealing. They need Christ Рthey need salvation (John 3:16) Рthey need to hear the blessed Gospel of mercy! (Ephesians 2:4)  How can they hear it if we are at odds with them? Can our boldness lead them in the opposite direction?  Must we point out their sin with hatred in our voices? Instead of approaching our family with a defensive attitude, how about showing them the Scriptures and letting the Holy Spirit of God do the convicting? Sometimes in our boldness we are passing judgment Рwe know we have reached that point when we get angry, rather than desiring to share the blessed Gospel with love for their lost souls. (Matthew 7:3) It is not for us to judge but for God and God alone.

~Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Therefore, it is up to us to show Christ to our family and friends. Yes, Christ was not hesitant in pointing sin. But no where in Scriptures have I read where Christ put His finger in sinners’ faces and yelled at them. The only time I read about Him displaying anger was when he cleansed the temple. (Matthew 21:12-13) We need to¬†remember that once we were as our lost family members and friends. In fact, we still sin. With this merciful approach, we can keep the doors of communication open. It is God’s holy word that will do the convicting, just as it did for us, amen?

When we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us, He will place someone in our path that He wishes for us to speak to. When that opportunity presents itself, the Holy Spirit will prepare the heart of that person to hear what He would have you to say. When a heart is ready to hear the blessed Gospel, our words filled with mercy and grace will point them to the Cross and the Holy Spirit will be able to do His job!

Maranatha Devotionals, Scriptures, Devotionals

~Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

What is in our hearts will most assuredly come out of our mouths. Both Matthew and Luke recorded these words from Christ. If we are honest with ourselves, we will agree with this.

If our hearts are not centered around Christ and the things of Christ, our mouths will reflect it. When you are in the presence of someone who “practices what they preach” when it comes to Christianity, you know that they have “something” different because they walk the walk.

The same is true when you are in the presence of someone who could care less about the things of God. Their mouths are filthy and their lives reflect their heart.

But what about the one who goes to church faithfully and tries to be a good person? He appears religious on the outside but what happens when he is alone where no one sees him? The Pharisees were like this and Jesus called them hypocrites.

~Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

God looks on the heart. Just because you “act” religious does not mean that you have a relationship with God.

~1 Samuel 16:7b …for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

God sees everything – nothing is hid from Him. God told Jeremiah:

~Jeremiah 16:17 For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.

So dear reader, if you are born again, live like you are and don’t keep your light where the world cannot see it. To the one who is not born again, take a moment and be honest with yourself!

Maranatha Devotionals, Inspirational Reading, Devotionals

~John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

~Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

~John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Let God’s Word speak for itself. If you go to church and follow the church rules, yet you disregard what the Word of God, the Bible, teaches, you must question if you are a child of God.¬† The Bible teaches that it is not following rules or man’s teachings that will get you to Heaven.¬† One must be born again!¬† The Holy Spirit enters one’s heart at that point and lives within him.¬† One is then born of the spirit and the water of the Word, the Water of Life!

~Revelation 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

Joh 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 Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ, our Rock and Saviour, seven times! Seven is God’s perfect number. It excites me to see that He would refer to the Rock (proper noun) seven times – the perfect Rock – the perfect plan of salvation – the perfect Saviour!

~Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

~Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

~Deuteronomy 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

~Deuteronomy 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

~Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

~2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

The Word describes the Rock’s attributes to us. The final verse in the New Testament tells us just who that Rock is: Jesus Christ!

(1) Rock = Works are perfect, ways are judgments, God of truth, God without sin, God is just and right
(2) Rock = Salvation
(3) Rock = Creator of man
(4) Rock = Does not forsake us
(5) Rock = Not the god of this world, but the one and only!
(6) Rock = God of Israel and Christians
(7) Rock = Jesus Christ

No other “religion” on earth can describe their god to such perfection through perfect scriptures as Christians can. Our Rock is God. Our Rock left His throne to take on flesh. Our Rock never sinned so He could be the perfect Lamb. Our Rock shed His blood so He could pay the ransom for our sin. Our Rock arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Our Rock awaits His return to reign over this earth.

~Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Our Rock is Wonderful! Our Rock is our Counsellor! Our Rock is the mighty God and everlasting Father. Our Rock is the Prince of Peace! Glory be to God in the highest!!

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies, Good Reading, Devotionals

~Exodus 21:22-23 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

The Sixth Commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Today’s judicial system has totally missed the mark when it comes to abortion. They do not see that a baby inside the womb is a human being! Today’s opening verse spelled out the Law a little further but yet mankind has managed to eliminate this portion of the Law to follow after their own lusts. Plainly worded, this Law states that any pregnant woman who is attacked and loses her unborn child, the attacker will be punished and even put to death in some instances.

My word, people, what more can one say? How more clearly can the Word of God describe this horrible situation? The woman spoken of in this verse is not the cause of losing her unborn child. But the women of today who deliberately and willfully partake in aborting their child fall under the same punishment!

One may not be afraid of what God thinks at that particular moment in life. But there will come a day when God will judge the unbelieving world according to their works here on earth. Some of those deeds that will not go unpunished are listed in this verse:

~Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

It is never too late to turn to Christ and be forgiven completely of your sin! Abortion is the shedding innocent blood! That life inside a pregnant woman has blood. The baby’s heart is formed after 18 days (from conception) and starts to pump at 21 days. There is blood flowing through that baby’s body from that point. This is the beginning of innocent blood! Please think again if you are thinking about aborting, dear one!

~Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

If you have already gone through with an abortion, don’t be one of those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire because of your sins. It is never too late to turn to Jesus Christ, the One who died for all your sins so that you may be set free from your bondage.

~John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

~Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

~Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

~John 3:3 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 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

~Romans 10:9 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.

Accept Christ’s forgiveness today!

Maranatha Devotionals, Salvation, Scriptures

~Psalm 10:13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.

There is a price to pay for sin. Sometimes the cost is right here on earth. For example, smoking has been proven to cause cancer and many other illnesses. Continuing to smoke is no better than a rebellious child sticking his tongue out when he doesn’t want to do something! The cost for smoking occurs right here during the smoker’s lifetime, some sooner than later. But there is a cost in the end.

Many do not see where they are heading. They just keep walking down the same dangerous path to destruction.

~Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Some continue on their destructive path not caring of the consequences. Others don’t care because they don’t believe in God and, therefore, do not fear repercussion. How foolish!

Ps 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

This fool says he would rather sin, have fun and go to Hell than to go to Heaven. This fool only thinks for the moment and lives for a moment’s pleasure. He does not dwell on the future or the permanence of eternity – just the here and now. How sad!

I would rather be born again and look forward eternity in Heaven than to take a chance and live like the devil and spend eternity in a burning lake of fire. I merely have to think back on a burn on my hand from a hot iron, the pain I suffered and I know that the latter is not where I want to be.

God will require a payment for man’s sins! ¬†Yes, He is a loving God but He is also a righteous God who will bring judgment. ¬†The man who does not want to accept God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ will stand before Him one day and give an account for each and every sin. Without Jesus Christ as his Saviour, this man will go into eternity to burn, writhe and suffer pain and darkness forever!

~Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Without Jesus Christ, one has no hope to ever gain entrance into Heaven. You say you don’t care? How very sad! Your caring or not does not eliminate the fact that you will die one day. EVERYONE dies. Death is a certainty. You have everything to lose if I am right and you are wrong … but you have everything to gain if you heed my warning. Allah, Buddha, Confucius, good works, etc., will not get you into Heaven. Jesus said,

~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.

There is NO other way but by Jesus. That’s why Matthew 7:14 says that the way to Heaven is narrow! Jesus Christ is so controversial, and has been since His first appearance. Religions do not argue amongst themselves over other gods – but they sure do about Jesus Christ. He is the only Saviour. He is the only Messiah. He IS coming again with judgment on His lips. What will you do with this information?

~Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Maranatha Devotionals, Salvation, Devotionals

~Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

We all think we’re “OK.” We all think we’re “not that bad.” However, it’s not how we view ourselves that will determine our eternity. It is how God views us. The Scriptures say that the Lord weighs our spirit. This does not mean that our sins will be placed on one side of the balance and our good deeds on the other – and whichever one weighs more will determine where we spend eternity. God views each one of us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The word of God clearly states, in Jesus’ own words, that a man must be born twice to be able to be saved (John 3:3 and John 3:5).

At the moment we believe the blessed Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone, we receive the Holy Spirit and we are “sealed” by God, Himself! And if that isn’t enough, we are sealed with promise!

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

John 14:6 says that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. Don’t be upset with me – this is in God’s word and¬†God is not a liar like man. When He makes a promise, He keeps it!

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Nothing we do can ever make us clean enough to be “good enough” to get into Heaven. The decision is up to you. You must be born again (John 3:3) – you must have that second birth so you do not have to taste the second death. Heaven is very real and so is the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone!

~Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Maranatha Devotionals, Scriptures, Devotionals

~Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

This thought was so important to the writer that he felt the need to state it again:

~Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Do you take everything at face value without checking things out? I’ve never seen an investor pick a stock out of a hat and then just invest. That would be unwise! Why, then, is eternity looked upon with such flippancy? Man’s tendency from the beginning has been to do what feels “right” rather than obey God.

I’ve often thought that today’s text was best suited for the unsaved and the direction they were going. But I also see it as a warning to the believer. How many times have you taken the easy way out? How many times have you followed after the lust of your flesh rather than what you knew to be right? Today’s text cautions the believer to be careful to follow after whatever¬†seems right. We can’t rely on our heart because our hearts are perfectly wicked.

~Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

We need to judge our direction in life by a straight line – a plum line, if you will. Christians are so blessed because we can turn to the word of God – God’s word is our plum line. The word keeps us on the right path! We do not have to be deceived. ¬†We are deceived because we are not in the word of God.¬†We can be deceived when we aren’t guided by the blessed light of God’s word!

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

When we compromise – when we fail to read and study God’s Word – we fall into the description of the man who went down the path that “seemed” right to him. After all, who wouldn’t rather go downhill as opposed to uphill? Who wouldn’t rather walk a path that is clear and without hazards? Everyone wants the easy way. No one wants to travel on a path that is narrow and difficult to maneuver. However, the way to Christ is such a path:

~Matthew 7:13-14 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.

The way of the world is a wide way – it seems everyone wants to follow the latest trends, etc. But the Lord says that His way is narrow and there are few who will find it (Matthew 7:22-23). It is a narrow way to Heaven because there is only one way to Heaven (John 14:6). This was not a popular teaching during the early Church – in fact, most of the Apostles died a martyr’s death because of it. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is a sad reminder of what early Christians went through to keep the Gospel alive! I would rather be called narrow-minded as a Christian than to be popular with the world and condemned to burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

We cannot rely on our own flesh to guide us. Jeremiah made it clear that we should not depend on our “feelings.” We cannot go by the famous quote, “follow your heart,” because it is our heart’s desire to do wickedness – it comes natural to us! Christ came to deliver us from all of that!¬†We must allow the precious Holy Spirit to guide us in all things! We cannot trust our hearts to lead us for our sin nature will surely guide us down the wrong path. The best thing a Christian can do is to be in God’s word daily – seeking His face daily – seeking His will daily. There is a way that seems right unto a man – but God’s Word will light your path and it will be the right way!

Maranatha Devotionals, Catholicism, Salvation, Devotionals

~Galatians 2:7-8 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

It doesn’t take but a few minutes in Galatians to see that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and not Peter. I was raised Roman Catholic and was taught that Peter was the first pope. When one reads the Scriptures, one sees in today’s text that Peter was called to be the apostle to the Jews, not the Gentiles. ¬†There are three more verses where Paul confirms who he was:

~Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

~1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

~2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Just one doubt should cause a catholic to wonder what else is in the Scriptures that is contrary to what they’ve been taught! ¬†Sadly, like the Jews, catholics would rather trust the traditions of the catholic church, the words of their church fathers and current church doctrine over what the Bible teaches. ¬†ūüôĀ

This is just a gentle prod to whomever is reading today and has been searching! ¬†It doesn’t matter whether one is a catholic, protestant, mormon, Jew, etc. Isn’t it better to believe God rather than a person? Forget denominations right now … it is God who will judge in the end, not being part of a certain religion. I’m not asking anyone to change religions, in case you’re wondering. I simply desire that you search the Scriptures whether these things be so (John 5:39)! On judgment day, no one will be there to hold your hand when you stand before Jesus Christ and He asks you why He should let you into His Heaven.

Peter, himself, said to obey God and not man!

~Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Think for yourself, reader, instead of relying on someone else to determine the most important decision of your life! Where you spend eternity is not something that is best left in someone else’s hands! Eternity is a LONG time to mourn a wrong decision!