Sunday, April 28, 2013

Good Advice

Good Advice

A few years ago I heard someone make the following statement,

'My grandmother always told me, 'Do the right thing, do it right, and do it right now!''
This sounded like good advice. And although it was not given in the context of a Biblical Worldview, when you look in God’s Word, this really is a great way to approach life.
Do the right thing!
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
    • Our salvation is a gift of God and has nothing to do with keeping the law (‘by grace you are saved through faith’ – Ephesians 2:8). But once saved, by the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit, we are to live lives that honor God. A big part of that is doing what He has told us to do (in humility, obedience, submission and trust).
Do it right!
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
    • We honor God and bring glory to His name when we do things right. The world wants to cloud, or even eliminate, the standards for what is right. But thankfully, we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Do it right now!
  • Psalm 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
  • James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
    • Obviously there are times when we should wait to do the right thing. However, unless there is a good reason, we should not procrastinate. Even when it is uncomfortable, we must move forward in faith.
Whatever your situation (trapped in the valley of despair, joyfully dancing on the mountain top, or anything in-between), God is still on His Throne. As He eternally reigns, His standards and fundamental expectations of us do not change: we are to love Him above everything else. When we do, our lives shine as lights in the darkness and draw others to Him (Matthew 5:14-16).
Through the trials, tribulations, uncertainties, stresses, joys and blessings of today, tomorrow and forever, demonstrate your trust in the Lord and commit to: 
  • Do the right thing!
  • Do it right!
  • Do it right now!
  • All for His glory!!! 
My LORD, by Your Grace, I am Yours. Although I will always fall short this side of Heaven, I pray that through Your Power, my life reflects the changes that come with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. In great and small things, please give me the wisdom, courage and strength to ‘do the right thing, do it right, and do it right not’ in every situation. May all that I am bring glory and honor to all that You are. In my strength I will always fall short. But in Your strength, there is victory! I praise You and love You and ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ my Savior, Amen. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Alpha and Omega (Part 3 of 3)

Alpha and Omega (Part 3 of 3)

This three part devotion is all about getting to know God better. By using an A – Z list of things the Bible tells us about God’s character and attributes, my prayer is that God will use His Word to inspire you to seek after Him.

Part 1 was posted on April 6 and covered A – I. J – P were covered in Part 2 (posted on April 13). We have seen that God is Awesome, Bright, Caring, Dependable, Eternal, Forgiving, Gracious, Holy, Incomprehensible, Jealous, King of Kings, Loving, Merciful, Near, Omnipotent (All Powerful) – Omnipresent (All Present (everywhere)) – Omniscient (All Knowing), and Patient.

The more we learn about God, we begin to recognize that He is beyond our understanding (Romans 11:33) and that we should be much more humble (1 Peter 5:6). Personally, I’m glad I serve a God that is so far above me I can’t completely grasp all that He is.

For the final part of this devotion we cover the letters Q - Z.

Quickening (Reviving) – Psalm 119:154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
  • Only God can take that which is dead and give it life.  
  • God’s Word brings us eternal life.
Righteous – Psalm 129:4 The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
  • Everything God does is right, period. He is the standard for right.
  • He has already won the battle against evil. In His time, His authority over everyone and everything will be acknowledged by all of creation. 
Sovereign – Psalm 103:19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
  • God created everything. He has the legal right, authority and power to rule over it all.
  • He isn’t just sitting back and watching His creation. God is actively involved in the daily events of our lives.
Trustworthy – Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
  • He is worthy of our trust. Don’t follow your heart; follow God’s Word and the leading of His Spirit.
  • When we trust Him, He leads us in the way that is best for us.
Unchanging – Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
  • He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is not moody.
  • His methods change (i.e. Old Covenant to New Covenant), but His character and standards never change.
Victorious – Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
  • God wins every argument, battle and war. He is never frustrated or disappointed.
  • When all scripture is fulfilled, those who love the Lord will reap the benefit of His victories and will joyfully enter into eternity with Him.
Wise – Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
  • God has applied His knowledge and understanding perfectly in all He has done and will do.
X-Ray – 1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
  • We can’t hide from God who we are on the inside.
  • He sees who we really are. He sees our deepest thoughts and desires.
YHWH – Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
  • He is the self-existent, almighty, eternal and only God.
  • He alone is worthy of all praise and glory and honor (and so much more).
Zealous – Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
  • Throughout history, now and in the future, the Lord our God has been, is, and will be committed and diligent in the execution of His plans (Creation through Completion).
  • He will faithfully fulfill all that He has promised and prophesied. 
The scripture used in this A – Z list has given us a glimpse at the wonder and majesty of our God. But no matter where we are in our journey, He is infinitely beyond our understanding. We must continue each day; prayerfully, humbly, and obediently seeking to know Him better than we knew Him yesterday.
Knowing God is a worthy endeavor; look at Christ’s definition of eternal life:
  • John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Dear Lord, it is only because of Your love and grace that we may know You. Thank You for revealing Yourself in creation, through Your Word and by the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit. I pray that each day You will bless me with a deeper understanding of You, and a closer relationship with You. I praise You for the desire You have given me to know You better. Thank You for Your faithfulness in all things. I pray in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Alpha and Omega (Part 2 of 3)

Alpha and Omega (Part 2 of 3)
On April 6 I posted Part 1 of this three part devotion. Part 1 included an introduction explaining that this devotion is all about seeking to know God better. Although we will only examine the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of God’s character and attributes, my prayer is that the scripture in this A – Z list will either enhance the desire you already have to know God, or through His Holy Spirit, ignite a hunger in you that can only be satisfied by an ongoing quest to know and love our Lord and Savior in a deeper, more personal way.
Faith is necessary in accepting knowledge that is beyond our capability to fully understand. Without faith we cannot please God. In the book of Hebrews, God promises that, if in faith, we believe He exists, He will reward us when we diligently seek after Him (Hebrews 11:6).  
Last week we looked at descriptions of God that start with the letters A – I. God is Awesome, Bright, Caring, Dependable, Eternal, Forgiving, Gracious, Holy, and Incomprehensible. This week we will consider the letters J – P.  
Jealous – Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
  • God is not jealous in the sense of being immature or insecure (He’s God). But He will not tolerate you giving the affection, praise, love and worship meant for Him to anything or anyone else.
  • Idolatry is a grievous sin. Children of parents who don’t put God first will learn from what they see and often follow in their parent’s footsteps. Yet God still holds each of us individually accountable for what we believe and how we live.
King of Kings – Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
  • God is the ruler of all rulers. He reigns over everything for all time.
  • God doesn’t answer to anyone. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!
Loving – Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • God loves us with a perfect love. And he has demonstrated that love in Christ.
  • You don’t have to clean up your life before you come to Christ for salvation. He meets you where you are. But once you accept Him as Lord, change will come!
Merciful – 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.
  • We deserve God’s wrath! But in love and patience, He made a way for His wrath to be satisfied.
  • The ultimate expression of God’s mercy is Christ’s sacrificial death as a substitute for our punishment.
Near – James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
  • Set aside anything in your life that comes between you and God. Get as close to Him as possible. If you do, you will experience God like never before.
Omni – (means ‘all’)
  • Omnipotent – All Powerful – Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee
    • God made everything, controls everything, and sustains everything.
    • The only thing God can’t do is to contradict His Own Nature and His Truth.
  • Omnipresent – All Present (everywhere) – Psalm 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
    • You can’t get away from God. Embrace His presence.
    • He loves you more than you can imagine. Why would you want to get away from Him?
  • Omniscient – All Knowing – Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
    • You can’t teach God anything and He doesn’t make mistakes.
    • He knows everything that is, was and is yet to come.
Patient – Numbers14:18 The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
  • God is patient with us. He understands our weaknesses.
  • He is patient with circumstance because He knows exactly what has and will happen.
  • He sees the impact of a father’s sin on the generations that follow. But He patiently offers His grace and forgiveness to those who will accept it.
It is truly humbling to gaze upon His perfection! Yet we can’t understand ourselves unless we examine Him. Feed the desire in your heart to know Him better. Read His Word.  
What a glorious privilege it is to contemplate the essence of our creator!
Father, in Your presence I tremble. But You reach down and quiet my spirit with a peace that can only come from perfect love and absolute truth. I pray this devotion honors You. I pray that Your Holy Word in this devotion touches hearts and changes lives. I praise Your perfection and ask that Your Spirit continue to help me understand more about You every single day. I am in awe of You! Thank You for saving me through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pray in His name, Amen.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Alpha and Omega (Part 1 of 3)

Alpha and Omega (Part 1 of 3)

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ says, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end’ (Revelation 1:8). Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. As Christians, Christ should be the beginning and the ending of everything we are and everything we do (He is our all in all).

God tells us that if we search for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). This devotion is about seeking after God; striving diligently to know Him better. To do so, we will examine some scripture that tells us about God (but we will just ‘scratch the surface’ of the information in the Bible concerning God’s character and attributes).

Based on the concept of Alpha and Omega, I have compiled an A-to-Z list that includes a few (26) of the wonderful things we know about God. This week we will look at A – I.


Awesome Genesis 1:1 – Revelation 22:21
  • From the record of creation in Genesis, all the way through the prophesies about the recreation of all things and the beginning of eternity in the new heavens and new earth in Revelation, the Bible declares that our God is absolutely amazing!
  • Our response to God should be a mix of reverence, dread and wonder.

Bright – Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
  • Paul describes the brilliant light of Christ. Because He indwells us, we are to shine as lights in this dark world.
  • His brightness was revealed in the Shekinah glory of God; a visible manifestation of our LORD (at the burning bush, on the mercy seat, etc.)

Caring – 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
  • The creator of life cares deeply and personally for you.
  • He is never too busy for you. He desires an intimate relationship with you!

Dependable – Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
  • All the prophesies and promises found in His word will come to pass.
  • What He says is true. His truth will never change. You can count on Him!

Eternal – Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
  • There never was not God, and never will not be God.
  • God alone is eternal looking back in time. However, we are all eternal looking to the future. Where will you spend eternity?

Forgiving – 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.
  • When we agree with Him, when we acknowledge His standards and our failures, He washes us clean.
  • God responds in love to a heart that is truly broken and repentant over sin.

Gracious – Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
  • Grace is the active expression of God’s love for His fallen creation.
  • Grace is: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (underserved blessings).

Holy – 1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
  • God is above His creation as a potter is above the work on his wheel.
  • Who are we to question what God does or how He has made us?

Incomprehensible – Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
  • Stop trying to figure God out. Strive to know Him and He will reveal Himself to you.
  • Embrace what the Bible and the Holy Spirit reveal to us about God. 
  • Accept that our understanding of Him is limited. Anticipate the understanding of Him we will have in heaven.

We will continue this list next week. Pray through the scripture above and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for who God is. Start your own list of favorite things about God. For each item on your list, be sure to find scripture that validates what you believe.


Glorious Father, Lord and Savior, Master, You have revealed so much of Yourself to us through Your Word and the illumination of Your Holy Spirit. I yearn to know You better. Please continue to help me understand and appreciate who You are. Correct my misunderstandings. Forgive me when, based on my limited perspective and the weakness of my flesh, my view of Your attributes are distorted. You have promised to honor my efforts to diligently seek You. Burn that desire into my heart. I love You. Thank You for being so patient with me. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen.