THE ONE VEHICLE THAT WILL TAKE US TO OUR DESTINATION

Our journey has come to its end. As each of us travel through this  place and time, and have journeyed over these past 5 years, we have come upon many sites where we stopped a moment to consider its influence on our journey but as we considered yesterday our final destination was and always will be the “eternal city”.

Today we conclude with what vehicle we use that will help us reach our destination. The world offers a great many models on the showroom floor (secularism, marxism, post modernism, new spirituality, islam, etc.). Some are for show only and won’t even start. Only one can be driven off (Christianity) with a GPS (the Word of God) that guarantees we will reach our destination.

That Word of God spoken of since the time of the prophets is the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2) that is “living and powerful, piercing and discerning all thoughts and intents of the heart”(Hebrews 4:12). In fact as Paul shares in Philippians 2:16 the Word of God is life itself and isn’t that what everyone seeks-life.

This day there is only one travel guide or vehicle we need. It is the Holy Bible of our Christian faith. It consists of Old Testament law as Christ acknowledged in the words of Mark 7 and New Testament Gospel. It is God’s revelation to us seen and spoken through the life of Christ and recorded in the Holy Word. It is THE ONE VEHICLE THAT WILL TAKE US TO OUR DESTINATION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Word of God is the only writing that has any true worth.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Philippians 2:16 “the Word of God is the Word of life”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How does Christianity differ from all other worldviews?
  2.  Why is the Bible God’s one and only recorded Word?
  3.  Why does the Bible continue to remain the most sought after book year after year?
  4.  Are you a devout Christian and if so why?

 

I WILL GIVE YOU REST

For the past several years I have shared with each of you reading these daily devotional posts my thoughts on what God’s Word has to say on the numerous topics that confront us on a day to day basis. Not being a trained theologian, I attempted as best I could to cover each viewpoint with supporting Scripture. The question I ask as I draw to the conclusion of my devotional posting is why are devotional  readings important for each of us.

For myself Scripture is comforting. The deeper I dig into it the more comforting it becomes. In a sense a daily devotional is like a shovel that should help dig into the richness that is the soil of Scripture. As we uncover each word it gives us the courage to live out our lives no matter what trials may confront us. It provides courage that will never allow us to be crushed as long as our perspective is external and eternal (2 Corinthians 4:7-18).

Daily devotionals when based on Scripture are also to give direction for our lives if we enter into the study with a believing heart (James 1:5-6). Indeed Scripture is the GPS of life that will one day take us to our eternal residence. A residence so beautiful no one can even imagine it.

Indeed daily devotions give me the peace that the Psalmist David spoke of in Psalm 4:8. Better yet the Words of Christ Jesus Himself that are recorded in Matthew 11:28. It is here we read what time in Scripture each day can really do for us when Christ tells us “come to me…and I WILL GIVE YOU REST”.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Daily Scripture reading fulfills our personal needs.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 11:28 “rest in daily devotional time”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In what way is Scripture the GPS of life?
  2. How does Scripture instruct?
  3. How should we go about studying the Bible?
  4. Do you spend time daily in devotions?

 

 

UNLIKE ANY OTHER BOOK EVER WRITTEN

For a Christian believer the study of God’s Word is as important as breathing itself. It is the very oxygen we need for our soul to survive. As stated previously  God’s Word along with Christ’s dominion are the two things which will never pass away.

My  ethnic background comes out of a ‘stundist’ movement which is German for spending at least one hour (stund) a day in prayer and devotion. As  life goes on I find that time and more as refreshing to my soul and spirit as a cool drink of water is to my body on a hot day.

Scripture tells us to pray continually (1 Timothy 5:5). To me each thought, word and deed of which God is always aware is a prayer. At the very least we should follow David’s example in Psalm 55:17 and pray in the mornings, noon and evening.

The study of God’s Word is also to be daily. For the people of Israel this was their instruction recorded in Deuteronomy 17:19 regarding the Torah (First 5 books of the Old Testament) and Christ emphasized in Luke 21:33 all of Scripture should be studied by us daily. The people of Thessalonica understood this (Acts 17:11).  In Romans 15:4 we read that the Scriptures we receive are necessary learning which alone can give us comfort and hope UNLIKE ANY OTHER BOOK EVER WRITTEN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Personal devotions pour out the power of the Holy Spirit into our every pore.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR : Romans 15:4 “what Scripture alone can give”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Is praying at breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper (dinner) meet the the minimum 3 prayer a day suggestion?
  2. How is your prayer life?
  3. How does Luke 21:33 include all of Scripture?
  4. What does the Bible provide that no other book can?

PROHIBITED OR PERMITTED?

It seems more so than ever people are asking ‘why’ or ‘who says’ when presented with the dos’ and dont’s of life. At some point someone in a position of authority put a rule in place that guides much of our life. Even with these lower level authoritarians there has to be an ultimate judge and lawgiver. It is NOT an individual who sits on the Supreme Court of his country nor on some United Nations judicial body. The ultimate authority is God not man and God has transferred the authority to Jesus Christ Who personified the Word of God in His life.

If we truly believe God is our Creator and final authority then we must also give Him proper respect. In fact dating back to the time of Moses blasphemy or cursing God’s name was grounds for death (Leviticus 24:12-14). Today it is common place and Christians remain sadly silent. That lack of respect which is generated out of unbelief has already been judged and these individuals are guilty as Jesus Himself tells us in John 3:18. The only thing remaining is the final judgment where the soul is sent to…well we all know that ending.

Thankfully we have a righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:8) and if we follow His Word  (Ephesians 6:17) we will receive eternal life by our faith through God’s grace. Today we live in a world that keeps searching for and asking what is truth. Judges define it according to their personal agenda yet should we in our lives or those who sit in position of judge use the Words of God as ultimate authority then it will be easy to know what is PROHIBITED OR PERMITTED.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: With God as judge ALL will be subject to divine judgment.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 Kings 3:9 “a judge is needful of great wisdom”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord strengthen me unto obedience to Your will.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How should our judges make their decisions?
  2.  How has understanding of separation of church and state effected judicial decisions?
  3.  How is the Bible used in judicial decision making today?
  4.  Have you made an appearance before a judge?

NO LAST WARNING!

As children we may have heard our parents utter the words: “this is my last warning”. If indeed it was the next time we did wrong there was a substantial price to pay. So why should it be any different as children of God? We receive numerous warnings but one day there will be a final judgment.

We know at that point there will be a separation of the righteous and the wicked. Jesus Christ clearly explains this in Matthew 13:36-43. The retribution to the wicked is easy to understand. Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 it will come upon those who do not know God or obey His Word. To the saved will be a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) and a home in Heaven. Your eternity is up to you and you alone.

Knowing this what are the grounds for judgment? Romans 1:17 makes it clear “the just shall live by faith” but Christ shares in Matthew 7:21-23 there are many who say they believe yet their actions show otherwise. The actions or works that come out of our faith (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) are the so called ‘proof that is in the pudding’. In this we let our conscience be our guide (Romans 2:14-16). A conscience that comes when the Holy Spirit is within us and guides us in receiving and understanding the Words of our Lord and Savior given to us in the Holy Bible. Take time every day to study God’s Word for there will one day be NO LAST WARNING!

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The last judgment will be a time of joy for those justified in the faith.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 12:48 “Christ’s Word as grounds of judgment”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help me bring others to an understanding of You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What does it mean to be righteous?
  2.  How does the Scripture define wicked?
  3.  What awaits the wicked?
  4.  How does a conscience develop?

USELESS!

We often speak of some people as useless or note their lack of ambition. We may feel useless ourselves when confronted by that which we are unable to wrap our hands around so to speak. The Bible clearly points out what is useless or what can also be referred to as futile. We first look to our thoughts (Psalm 94:11). I have often been amused by thoughts expressed through words by the ‘learned’ population thinking they can solve great issues of concern doing so without the understanding of God. Words without understanding as given by God certainly can be useless and often are.

This even carries over to how we worship as expressed in Jeremiah 51:17-18. When our worship is consumed by that (words, objects, etc.) devised by man and not inspired by or focused solely on praising and worshiping God, then I believe we walk on a very narrow plank of futile or useless worship. Our church customs, as warm and fuzzy as they may make us feel (Jeremiah 10:3), have been and may yet be futile in the eyes of God.

What is not futile is what God shared with Moses in Deuteronomy 32:46-47. That being that we observe and more importantly obey God’s Word as we have recorded in Scripture. The key words which are wrapped around the event of the resurrection by God’s only Son (1 Corinthians 15:17).

This day and every day we need to be careful that we not become like the words of Romans 1:21. Here we read of those who because of their futile thoughts and foolish hearts now have darkened lives. It is as Ephesians 4:17 tells us. They now walk in the futility of their mind. Indeed they have become USELESS.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Futile or useless are those full of self choosing not to fulfill that which God considers first and foremost.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Deuteronomy 32:46-47 “obedience is not futile”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to be always useful to you.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Considering Scriptural, is your life useless or useful?
  2. How do you understand praise and worship?
  3. How do you view the ‘learned’?
  4. How important is understanding the resurrection to leading a useful life?

THAT IN WHICH YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT!

I doubt there are few who would disagree with me that the world is going crazy. There was once a time when all its various institutions (government, news, education and even churches, etc.) were looked upon with greater favor than they are now. Sadly the desire for money, power and self satisfaction have brought them and other institutions to the low point we are at now. The question then must be asked in what or whom should we place our confidence?

The first and most obvious answer is God the Father as Christ noted in John 14:1 and in His Son Jesus Christ (John 20:31). In a world becoming ever more secular there is no one else who can give us the fullness of life we seek now and for all eternity.

In an effort to build on this rewarding relationship it is important to become well informed on Their teachings. This begins with the writings of Moses (Pentateuch) centered in the first 4 books of the Old Testament (John 5:46). Christ Himself here spoke of how Moses foretold of His coming as the Messiah which early Messianic Jews agreed with (Genesis 49:10, Numbers 24:17 and Deuteronomy 18:15-18).

In addition  the recorded words of the early prophets lead us to Christ as He in Whom we can have confidence. Finally the recordings of the Gospels (Mark 1:15) which contain first hand accounts of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Each of us have been given the free will to choose in what or whom we will place our confidence. Our decision has enormous consequences. Choose carefully in THAT IN WHICH YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Follow God faithfully and feel His presence forevermore.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 14:1 “God as object of our faith”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord my confidence is in You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In what or whom do you place your confidence/faith?
  2. How did the world fall into secularism so fast?
  3. How did the early writings (both within and outside the Bible) point to Christ as our Savior?
  4. How did the Bible come to be universally accepted as God’s Word?

WHAT SHOULD MATTER MOST?

The Bible speaks often of that which endures. As we journey through this life those areas are where we should place our focus. It is why faith and family are at the top of my list. Most importantly regarding this is that we understand God’s faithfulness toward us is always available. As Psalm 89:30-33 tells us, the love of God in trying to repair a broken relationship with Him may seem like He has abandoned us. Truth is we have turned our back on Him yet He seeks our return. It is as Psalm 103:17 records: “the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting”.

To understand this we read and study the only book that truly matters in anyone’s lifetime. That book is the Bible which is God’s Word and of all words ever written it alone will endure (Matthew 25:35). In fact outside of physical nourishment the food most important for us is that which nourishes us spiritually for it “endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). Part of everyone’s daily regimen in preparing ourselves for eternity must be to spend time in God’s Word.

Spending time in Scripture will meet the test of fire when all else is burned away. As Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:13-14 it will be rewarded in eternity. God has put before us not a ‘book of the month’, but a book for all eternity.

In addition to Scripture what endures is when we conduct our lives according to the 3 Divine Virtues of 1 Corinthians 13:13 which are faith, hope and love. In a world gone crazy those of us living out these virtues will find sanity when insanity is all around. It is this which will endure and bring us to God’s Kingdom when all the chaff of human life is blown away. Indeed this is WHAT SHOULD MATTER MOST.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Enduring things are those which lead us to everlasting life.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 24:35 “God’s Word endures”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord burn away the chaff in my life and fill me with that which endures.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How does the use of ‘the rod’ fit into an enduring relationship?
  2. How might others view our putting God’s Word above all else?
  3. How would your life look if it focused on faith, hope and love?
  4. What is the chaff in your life?

OUR BATTLE ARMOR!

Many in this life are concerned about battles. That is as it should be as on occasion evil needs to be confronted and defeated (ex. Nazism, radical Islam). The battle that should be uppermost in our hearts and minds though has eternal consequences for it is a spiritual battle. That battle is ongoing every day and involves all ages.

The battle uniform is laid out in Ephesians 6:10-17. In this battle you need truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, the Word of God, knowledge of salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual hosts of wickedness are all around us and they must be defeated whenever or wherever they appear.

If we prepare ourselves in this fashion then we will be that light that overcomes darkness (Romans 13:12) like a beacon on a hill. the key is that our character must be one God would approve of. In 2 Corinthians 6:7 we are told that we must be righteous on all sides. There are many who feel they are living as God would want them to but what is the standard God has put on their hearts and where is that truth recorded? For the Christian it must be the inerrant Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) which is our Bible.

For others their philosophy of truth is in other books or religions none of which contain the true Word of God. Those documents and thoughts are works of the flesh carnal in nature. The Bible contains the Knowledge of God and it alone can bring every thought captive to obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Indeed the knowledge of God given us in Scripture is OUR BATTLE ARMOR.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual armor of God is apparel of which God approves.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Ephesians 6:10-17 “the armor of God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord cover me with Your spiritual armor.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What kind of battles are there in the physical realm?
  2. Have you taken on the full armor of God and become a beacon of light?
  3. Why is the Christian Bible the only true Word of God?
  4. Which Bible do you read and why?

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COMMITTING ADULTERY AGAINST GOD!

There is in today’s world an enormous amount of adultery against God going on. That is to say an intentional falling away from faithfulness to God’s truth. The causes are many some examples of which are: satan, false teachers, love of world, a hardened heart and spiritual blindness such as Acts 28:25-27 so well describes.

Blinded by what a person considers another truth has serious consequences. We all should know what that is. What matters is our intent. We know as Ecclesiastes 7:20 points out that we are all sinners but if that sin is a conscious decision, most especially after knowing the truth, then the act of adultery is complete. We are warned of this in Hebrews 3:12 with the word ‘beware’. When posted in the yard of God’s creation we need to take heed.

There are numerous ways we show we are apostate or adulterers to God. It is manifested in our denying Biblical truth, refusing to give up sin, having a false concept of God or for many having a fear of rejection of those around us often seen in taking on political correctness.

Someone once said that “a fool learns from his own experience but a wise man from the experience of others”. The key is that you learn. The best way for that to happen is to be grounded in truth as is so well said in Ephesians 4:12-16. That is our safeguard so we do not COMMIT ADULTERY AGAINST GOD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Apostasy applies to all who will appear before God having fallen away from His truth.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Hebrews 3:12 “the apostasy of individuals”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep Your truth ever before me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Can a person who has fallen away from known truth be restored?
  2. How is adultery of mankind toward one another like adultery to God?
  3. Who are the guilty of apostasy today and for what specific reasons?
  4. Have you committed adultery toward God?