Sunday, November 30, 2014



Have you ever heard someone say, ‘He is too Heavenly minded to be any earthly good.’? Although Scripture is clear that it is not our place to judge the heart/intent of others, if someone is so focused on learning about God that they never help those who need to experience God’s love, they are probably too focused on one aspect of their Christian life. Conversely, if someone is so focused on serving others that they never take time to read the Bible, pray, attend church/Bible study, etc., perhaps they are neglecting a vital aspect of their relationship with God.

We must heed the Bible’s warning about going to extremes.
  • Ecclesiastes 7:16-17 Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
    • Although we are righteous before God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), don’t be self-righteous or a know-it-all (James 1:19).
    • Although we all fall short of God’s standards and commands (Romans 3:23), don’t be intentionally wicked or deny the existence of God (Psalm 14:1).
      • Ecclesiastes 7:18 goes on to tell us, the key to finding the correct balance in life is our awe of and reverence for God (see also Proverbs 9:10).

Here are some additional verses that communicate the importance of finding an appropriate balance between our ongoing pursuit of God and our day-to-day interactions with others.
  • Matthew 5:6-7 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
  • Hebrews 13:15-16 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
  • James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
  • James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Obviously there are seasons of life where you may spend more time on a particular aspect of your Christian walk (e.g. going to seminary, completing a major service project, a short-term mission trip, etc.). However, as God leads by His Word and Spirit, and provides opportunities through our circumstances, we should always be prepared to respond in obedience with Christ-likeness.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
  • Matthew 25:35-36 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’


Lord, I pray for myself, anyone who reads this devotion, and Your children everywhere, that You will provide perspective and guidance on how to obtain and maintain the appropriate balance between diligently seeking after You and faithfully sharing the love of Christ with those You place in our path along the way. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014



Have you ever watched a 3D (three-dimensional) movie? If so, did you reach out and try to touch the objects that seemed to ‘jump’ off the screen; or did you see someone else reach out? Why? Through science, our eyes are fooled into believing that objects projected onto a flat screen somehow extend off that screen. A third dimension, depth, seems to have magically been added to the two-dimensional screen. Our brains, taken in by this mirage, stimulate an instinctive reaction to touch or grab the phantom objects. For the young or gullible, there may be an actual sense of surprise or disappointment when they realize there is nothing there.

In a similar way, ignorance or rejection of God’s truth allows Satan, the world and our flesh to warp our perceptions, thinking, desires and behaviors in a way that leads to disastrous results. Below we examine four dimensions related to deviation from God's truth.

In the Garden of Eden, God spoke to Adam saying:
  • Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
    • God created man and placed him in paradise. In love, He gave Adam and Eve the freedom to obey or rebel. God set humanity apart for His special purposes and then clearly shared the truth about the consequences of their choices.
      • John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

  • Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
    • In direct contradiction to the Word of God, Satan deceived Eve and a seed of doubt was planted in her mind. There is no truth in the father of lies!
      • John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

  • Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
    • Once Eve doubted the Word of God, the seed of doubt germinated and delusional thinking began to grow. God will not be glorified when ungrateful arrogance leads to foolishness.
      • Romans 1:21-22 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

  • Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
    • The evil fruit of unholy desire blossomed as Eve freely chose to disobey God; human sin was born. When Adam followed his wife into sin, death began its reign on earth.
      • James 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

  • As Jesus prayed in John 17:17, the Word of God is truth.
  • Without the truth, people are susceptible to lies.
  • Lies believed lead to false perceptions.
  • False perceptions give rise to corrupt longings.
  • Corrupt longings uniting with a willing heart results in sin.
  • Unforgiven sin separates a person from God.
  • Separation from God is spiritual death.
  • As declared by God in Genesis 2:16-17, sin results in death.

With regards to God’s Truth, the ignorant (those who don’t know), the immature (those who don’t accept) and the iconoclast (those who corrupt and reject) are all in danger of eternal separation from God!
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Jesus Christ is the only means by which sinful humanity can be saved from God’s wrath against sin.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


Father, it is only by Your Spirit that these truths can be understood. It is only Your Word that can bring about the salvation of those who have not surrendered to Christ as Lord and Savior. I beg You Lord, use the truth of Your Word and the power of Your Holy Spirit to move in the heart of anyone who may read this devotion. Send a witness to anyone who needs a Christian to explain these truths. I praise You for Your grace and mercy. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wisdom Is Not Enough

Wisdom Is Not Enough

A Promise from God

How many times have you found yourself wishing or praying that you had more wisdom? More than likely, many times (if not, you may have an issue with pride). How comforting it is to know that God has promised to give wisdom to those who ask for it.
  • James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

But that promise comes with a condition, you must ask in faith!
  • James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

However, it can be very dangerous to focus too much on wisdom; presuming that enough wisdom will ensure we always do the right thing. Though wisdom is clearly exalted in the Bible (see Proverbs 4), Wisdom Is Not Enough!

Solomon’s Wisdom

When Solomon became King of Israel, he asked God for wisdom; and God granted his request. God made Solomon the wisest man of all time (past, present and future)!
  • 1 Kings 3:9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
  • 1 Kings 3:11-12 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.

For two amazing testimonies concerning Solomon’s wisdom, read the following scripture:
  • 1 Kings 3:16-28 (Divide the child)
  • 1 Kings 10:1-9 (Queen of Sheba)

Yet despite all the blessings on Solomon and the nation of Israel, when he was old, Solomon turned to other Gods!
  • 1 Kings 11:4-8 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. 8 And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
    • For more details and to learn about the consequences of Solomon’s sin, read 1 Kings 11:1-12.

What You Need

So, obviously wisdom alone cannot guarantee that you will live a life that honors God over the long haul. Here is a list of some additional characteristics that will help you live your life in a way that brings glory to God (this list is definitely not all inclusive). Pray for each of these traits to define your life before God and the world.

  • 1 Peter 1:15-16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
    • Although we will always fall short while living in this sinful world, we strive through the power of the Holy Spirit to emulate God’s moral perfection. We are set apart for special use by God.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
    • Although we are called to love and serve the lost and hurting, we must maintain a measure of separation to guard against being enticed by or entangled in the sins of others.

  • Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
    • As Christ taught us, the only reliable defense we have to stand strong in the face of temptation is the Word of God (see Matthew 4:1-11 and Psalm 119:9-11). Using scripture will help you resist the things that draw you away from God.

  • 1 Samuel 15:22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
    • To obey with the right motives and attitudes honors God more than any sacrifice you can make. The Bible also calls us to submit to our government, our parents, our church leaders, our spouses and our bosses (when this does not cause us to sin).

  • 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
    • To put other’s needs ahead of our own, especially when it causes us to suffer, is a true display of God-like love. Jesus Christ set the ultimate example of this as he selflessly gave His life on a Roman cross to pay the debt for our sin.


Dear Lord, I thank You for the wisdom You so generously give to those who reverence You. However, I pray that You will help all Your children to avoid focusing too much on any one particular virtue taught in scripture. May Your Spirit guide us to read Your Word in its entirety and in context. Empower us to live according to Your Wisdom, Love, Grace, Mercy and so much more. Help us to be more like Christ every single day. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ten Actions Related to Sin

Ten Actions Related to Sin

Christ is the central theme throughout the Bible. Why? Because of His love for us and our problem with sin. Listed below are ten important actions you can take regarding the sin in your life.

1. Acknowledge
Acknowledge that the Bible is God’s Word and that it speaks clearly about sin.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
    • Because of His love for us, with the Bible God has told us about sin and how to deal with it in our lives.

2. Agree
Agree with what God says about sin.
  • James 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
    • Sin is both rebellion against God and the inability of man to perfectly or permanently keep His commandments. For those who don’t know Christ as Savior, sin leads to spiritual death. For those who have surrendered their life to Christ, sin causes problems in their relationship with God.

3. Admit
Admit that you are a sinner.
  • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • Because of Adam’s sin, every person is born with a sin nature. Everybody sins!

4. Apologize
Apologize to God for your sin.
  • Luke 18:13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
    • When we recognize that we have offended God because of our sin, we must humbly and sincerely ask for His forgiveness and mercy.

5. Accept
Accept God’s forgiveness of your sin.
  • 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.
    • God is faithful to His promise to forgive the sins of those who humbly and sincerely ask Him. However, the consequences resulting from your sin may still have to be dealt with.

6. Abandon
Abandon the sin in your life.
  • Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
    • To repent means to turn from your sin and turn towards God. Turn your back on sin and run to God.

7. Abhor
Abhor all sin and its consequences.
  • Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
    • God hates sin. We should also hate sin. However, we don’t hate a person who sins. We are commanded to show the love of Christ to everyone. No one is sinless; but Christians should sin less and less as they mature in their relationship with God.

8. Abide
Abide in Christ and live for Him.
  • John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
    • Living in Christ will lead to a God honoring life; pray, read God’s Word, attend church, serve those in need, share the truth about Christ, submit to The Holy Spirit, cultivate Christian relationships, etc.

9. Adore
Adore your life as a forgiven (not sinless) child of God.
  • 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.
    • Because of Christ’s sinless life and sacrifice for our sins, those who surrender to His Lordship are righteous before God. However, no one will live a completely sinless life until they are in heaven.

10. Advocate
Advocate for the gospel message.
  • Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
    • Because of what God has done about sin through Christ, those who have been forgiven of their sins must share the good news of redemption in Christ with those who have not heard or believed.

This devotion just barely scratches the surface of the topic of sin. My prayer is that God’s Word and His Spirit will draw you closer to Him by stimulating your curiosity about this subject. Ask for God to speak to your heart about His love and your sin.


Dear Lord, please forgive me for the sin in my life. I know I still fall very short in so many areas. Please use Your Word and the power of Your Holy Spirit to convict the heart of anyone reading this devotion to deal with You, one-on-one, regarding the sin in their life. Please save the lost and sanctify the saved. Thank You for sending Christ to deal with sin once and for all. I love you Lord. I praise You in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blessed to Bless

Blessed to Bless

One of the consistent messages from the Bible is, God blesses some so that others may be blessed.

Abraham was blessed so that all the families of the world would be blessed:
  • Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

King David was blessed so the Nation of Israel would be blessed:
  • 1 Chronicles 14:2 So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel.

Here are some examples of how God blesses:

Material/Financial Support
  • Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
    • As we are blessed financially, we must wisely share with those in need (see Matthew 10:16).

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
    • God may allow you to go through a serious trial and then bless and sustain you through it so you will be equipped to help someone else through a similar situation.

  • Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
    • Christ set the ultimate example of forgiveness. We must pass this blessing on to others (whether we think they deserve it or not – we certainly didn’t)!

Reconciliation with God
  • 2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
  • 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
    • The greatest blessing of all, salvation in Jesus Christ, was given to each of us by God. Now, as His ambassadors, we can share this eternal blessing with others.

How has God blessed you? How can you pass your blessings along to those who need them?

We have been Blessed to Bless others; but in the process, we receive even greater blessings.
  • Acts 20:35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


Loving, gracious Father, thank You for the countless blessings in my life. I especially thank You for my eternal salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I pray that through Your Holy Spirit You will convict my soul to share my blessings with others. Please forgive me when and where I fall short in this area.  Help Your children live a life that will attract those who are truly in need. Empower Your children to show the love of Christ when You present the opportunity to do so; especially sharing the gospel message of salvation. I pray all these things in the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Amen.