Saturday, January 25, 2014

Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper

Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.

This verse provides great examples of why we must:
  • Study the entire word of God to understand what God is telling us.
  • Recognize that the meaning of a verse may be much deeper than it appears.
The following definitions are a good starting point:
  • Integrity – To perfectly conform to a standard.
  • Uprightness – To do what is right.
  • Preserve – To guard, protect or maintain.
So, taken on its own, we could rewrite this verse as: ‘Let perfectly conforming to a standard by my righteousness maintain me (in good standing with God), because I patiently expect blessings from God.

This rewritten verse now describes a works based salvation (earning the forgiveness of your sins). This is totally contrary to what God is teaching us when you look at the entirety of scripture.

Let’s look a little deeper into God’s Word:
  • God’s Word is the only perfect standard for living.
    • Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.
  • God’s Word is our only guide and hope to living a life pleasing to Him.
    • Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
  • A person can’t understand the true meaning of Scripture without the Holy Spirit of God providing the insight and wisdom required.
    • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
  • You must be God’s child to be indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
    • John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
  • We have no righteousness on our own.
    • Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
  • As children of God, a Christian’s righteousness comes from Christ’s sacrifice.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • We can’t just hear the Word of God, we have to learn it and live it.
    • James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
  • It is God who gives us the desire and ability to live according to His standards.
    • Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
  • No one and no thing other than God can preserve us.
    • Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. 8 They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.
  • God does bless and honor those who truly trust in Him and wait for Him to accomplish His purposes.
    • Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Just ‘scratching the surface’ with this example, you can begin to see the necessity for in-depth study of God’s Word, and reliance on and guidance from the Holy Spirit, to avoid misinterpretation and misapplication of scripture.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, please find a Christian who has faithfully studied God’s Word and ask them to explain and elaborate on these concepts and verses; pray for guidance and understanding.


Dear Lord, You know I have wrestled with this devotion. I pray Your Word, Truth, Grace, Mercy and Love will touch someone’s heart. Thank You for the consistency and trustworthiness of Your Word. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, January 18, 2014



We are surrounded by change!

People Change
  • Deuteronomy 34:5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
    • People learn, grow, age and eventually die. We are in a constant state of change.
  • Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
    • An encounter with God can change a person from a hater of Christians to being a Christian.
The Universe Changes
  • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    • There was a time when the earth and heavens did not exist. God created them.
  • Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
    • There is coming a time when the earth and heavens will be destroyed by God.  He will replace them with a new heaven and a new earth.
Man’s Relationship with God Changes
  • Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
    • Under the old covenant, man had to approach God through a priest. When Christ died, the veil in the Temple was torn showing us that those saved by the blood of Christ have direct access to God.
  • 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
    • When Christ returns to claim His church, we will receive our glorified bodies and spend eternity with Him! No more sickness, sorry or death!!
Yet in the midst of all this change, there is one constant: God! In His essence, nature and character, God remains the same for all eternity (past, present and future). He doesn’t learn or forget, shrink or expand, age or die.

God Never Changes
  • Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
    • His covenants are never broken.
  • James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
    • His love is eternal. There is no deviation from His perfection.
  • Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
    • The Father, Son and Holy Ghost (the Godhead) will never ever change.
When you are looking for something (Someone) that will stand the test of time, gaze upon the face of God. Let Him be the immovable, unshakeable, unchanging foundation for your life. When you can’t count on anything or anyone else, you can count on God.


Dear Lord, I praise You and thank You for never changing. When I talk with You tomorrow, You will be the same God I am talking to today. Seasons may come, and seasons may go, but in You there is eternal stability and consistency. I love the fact that You don’t change. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


We all face ‘storms’ in our lives (loss, disappointment, hurts, sickness….). What we must never forget is that, in His sovereignty, Jesus (God) either causes or allows these storms. And often He leads us directly into their path. This is all for our good!
Mark 4:35-41
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
  • The storms in our lives come in all shapes and sizes,
    • Yet each and every one our Lord utilizes.
  • No matter the day, whatever the hour,
    • To draw us to Him and to display His power.

  • Trembling and crying we pray, ‘Why don’t You care?’
    • Not stopping to think that He brought the storm there.
  • And just when it seems we can’t take anymore,
    • The winds become still and hope knocks at the door.

  • ‘Why are you frightened, have you no faith at all?’
    • ‘You know that I love you, you’ve answered My call.’
  • We don’t have an answer, for His faithfulness stands,
    • He keeps every promise and all power’s in His hands.

  • Who can this be that the universe obeys?
    • He’s Holy and righteous, unflawed in His ways.
  • It’s Jesus our Savior, our God and our King!
    • And the faith He has given us can bear anything!
At times I am very guilty of letting the storms of life get me down. We must never forget who is in charge! With faith in Christ, in His strength and grace, we can endure any trial. And after each storm has passed, if we have been faithful to Him, we will be more like the person He has called us to be!
Please forgive me when I don’t trust You. You have given me the faith to believe in You and Your goodness. You have ALWAYS shown Yourself to be faithful. I pray that through each storm my faith in You grows stronger. Thanks for always loving me and doing what is best for me. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Painful Process

A Painful Process

Romans Chapter 12 is a wonderful book of the Bible where God uses Paul to tell Christians about:
  • Giving ourselves as a worshipful living sacrifice to God (v 1).
  • Being changed from worldliness to godliness while demonstrating the perfection of God’s desires (v 2). 
  • Serving God and others by the appropriate use of the faith and gifts He has given to all of us (both individually and corporately) (vs 3 – 8).
  • Conducting our lives (thoughts, desires, words and deeds) in a way that honors God and blesses others (vs 9-21).
Although this section of scripture is not all-inclusive with regards to describing all the blessings, promises, expectations, requirements, etc. that come along with salvation in Jesus Christ (that only comes from the entirety of scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit), it is a great example of the clear and pointed language God uses to communicate what He desires and expects from us. Additionally, as with all scripture, God’s Word gives the rest of the world a standard by which to judge Christians.

Recently, a verse from the middle of this chapter really challenged me.
  • Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Why was this verse so convicting? In ten words (NKJV), God spoke volumes to me about:
  • My Attitude ('rejoicing in hope')
    • In Christ, I should be cheerfully and expectantly celebrating the coming fulfillment of promises and prophecy from the one and only sovereign God who loves me more than I can comprehend (2 Corinthians 4:17, Hebrews 10:23)
  • My Actions ('patient in tribulation')
    • Because my life is built upon the immovable Rock of Christ, those around me (especially my family) should seek, observe and find peace and perseverance in and though me regardless of the circumstances that challenge us (Matthew 7:24-25, Romans 5:1-5).
  • My Appeals ('continuing steadfastly in prayer')
    • As I abide in Christ, and He in me, I should be in constant communion with Him; not just asking, but seeking, listening, worshipping, learning and changing (John 15:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Psalm 46:10, 1 John 5:14).
Guilt, shame and sorrow preoccupy a mind that should be overflowing with joy, thanksgiving and anticipation. Praise be to God that my salvation rest upon His perfection, not mine. Yet the peace that I desire and that He has promised is found only within the glorious balance of His grace, mercy, love, and patience, and my submission, obedience, gratitude, and humility (oh the infinite complexities that arise when the simplistic truths of sovereignty and free will collide in one’s life). Sanctification can be a painful process!


Father, I believe the anguish I am experiencing is the result of the unavoidable purging process that must occur when the perfection of Your Word and Spirit encounter the fallen nature of your child’s flesh. I trust Your wisdom and timing. But I also beg You to bring a silver lining of peace to the dark clouds that shadow my mind. Thank You for the purity of Your Word and the perfection of Your Work. May my light shine for Your glory. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.