Sunday, April 26, 2015

When Work Doesn’t Work

When Work Doesn’t Work

For the purposes of this devotion, work will be defined as:

making, modifying, manipulating or moving
physical, mental, emotional or spiritual
materials, people, abilities or ideas

Work can be difficult or effortless, delightful or drudgery, productive or wasteful, done well or done poorly, right or wrong, for man’s benefit or detriment, a noble endeavor or a selfish undertaking, for God’s glory or Satan’s delight…

And according the Holy Bible, using the definition for work above:

God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) Works
  • Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
  • Hebrews 1:10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
  • John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
  • John 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me
  • Exodus 35:31 and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship,
  • 1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
    • God’s work is always good, marvelous, awesome, perfect, done in truth, empowering, enabling, effective (see also Genesis 1:31, Exodus 34:10, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 33:4).

Satan Works
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  • 1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
    • Satan’s work is always destructive, deceptive, damaging, untruthful, unrighteous, etc.

People Work
  • Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
  • Proverbs 31:13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
    • People’s work can be good, evil, virtuous, wicked, an indicator of our allegiances, etc. Able people are expected to work.  
    • People were intended to appreciate, honor and emulate God’s example of work (see also Exodus 23:12, Psalm 141:4, Proverbs 18:9, John 7:7, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 John 3:12).

Animals Work
  • Exodus 23:12 Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.
  • Deuteronomy 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
  • Isaiah 30:24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground Will eat cured fodder, Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
    • Animals work for their survival and the benefit of man. God expects man to treat animals well (see Proverbs 12:10).

The Bible also tells us about why people work and the ramifications of their work.

Christians are Intended for Good Works
  • Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
    • We shine as lights in a dark world to glorify God and draw others to Him.

God has Equipped Christians for Their Good Works
  • 2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    • When God gives you a task, He equips you to do it.

Good Works are a Byproduct and Indicator of a Christian’s Faith
  • James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
  • James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
    • Saving faith in Jesus Christ results in good works.

Human Nature Leads to Evil Works
  • Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    • If you don’t believe in the inherent sin nature of the human race, read some history, turn on the news, leave your doors unlocked, believe everything you hear…

Those Who Will Spend Eternity in Heaven are Rewarded According to Their Works
  • Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
    • Christians have to answer for what they have done and not done with what God has given them. Our forgiveness and salvation are secure; our Heavenly rewards from Christ depend on our works.

Those Who Will Spend Eternity in Hell are Judged According to Their Works
  • Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
    • The lost will be held accountable for every sin they ever committed because they never accepted Christ’s payment for their sins.

Yet the point of this devotion is to make sure you understand one critical point:

You cannot earn salvation and the forgiveness of your sins by good works!
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
  • Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Salvation is an unearned gift
from God that we do not deserve!
That is the definition of grace!

If you are working to get it or working to keep it, you are saying that God owes you!
  • Romans 4:4-5 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
  • Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, I pray that God’s Word and Holy Spirit will open your eyes to the truth. Humbly ask God to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him for the truth about work and the peace that comes with that truth. There are not enough good works in the world to offset how our sin has offended God.


Dear Lord, only by Your Spirit can Your truths be comprehended. Please Father, for anyone seeking Your love, Your grace, Your truth, Your forgiveness, I beg You to grant it according to Your perfect will. I pray this in the name of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Do Not Be Afraid

Do Not Be Afraid

The more we trust in God, the less we worry and the less we fear what others can do to us. However, throughout the Bible, we are told to ‘fear the Lord’ (see Psalm 2:11, Proverbs 3:7, Isaiah 33:6, and many, many more). However, in this context, the word fear means to have genuine reverence and respect for God.

And although in our humanity we should definitely tremble before His awesome holiness (see Isaiah 6:5, Matthew 17:6, Revelation 1:17, etc.), our Lord has made abundantly clear throughout scripture, that as His children, we should not be afraid of who He is and What He does in or lives!

Do not be afraid of:

God’s Protection
God does everything He does and allows everything He allows for our good and for our benefit (whether we can see that or not). He is our ultimate protection!
  • Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
    • God’s commitment to protect Abraham as He prepares to make His covenant with him.
  • 1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
    • Peter’s encouragement to Christians in a land that was not their own: trust in God’s protection.

God’s Plans
All of God’s plans will ultimately be fulfilled! The Bible is our guide to understanding what God has revealed to humanity about His plans.
  • Genesis 50:19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
    • Joseph (Abraham’s son) declares that, despite his authority in Egypt, God is in control of what happens. The next verse is a beautiful declaration of how God’s plan is sovereign over the plans and intent of men.
      • Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
  • Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
    • Joseph (the husband of Jesus’ mother, Mary) is helped by an angel to see God’s plan for his life.

God’s Provision
Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). And just as He provided the ram for Abraham to sacrifice in Isaac’s place (Genesis 22:14), He provides for us.
  • Genesis 50:21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
    • Immediately after telling his brothers that everything that had happened to him was for a reason and according to God’s plan, Joseph acknowledged that he would be able to provide for them because of God’s provision.
  • John 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
    • Jesus testified to John of His deity, death, resurrection and victory over Hell and Death; Christ is our provision for forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life.

God’s Power
God is all powerful (see the ‘He Is Able’ devotion on this site posted April 12, 2015). His power is beyond our comprehension; and yet revealed in our daily lives.
  • Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
    • Moses declared God’s power to Israel just before the parting of the Red Sea during the exodus from Egypt.
  • Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
    • Jesus comforted the father of a young girl He was about to raise from the dead.

God’s Peace
True peace can only come through and from God!
  • Leviticus 26:6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.
    • The promised reward to Israel if they would keep God's statutes and commandments after entering the Promised Land.
  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    • Christ promises His peace to His disciples.

God’s Predicaments
God places us in situations where we have to trust Him. The miraculous resolution of the predicaments in life declare His love and demand our faith.
  • Deuteronomy 1:29 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them.
    • Moses reminding Israel of what he had said to them when they refused to enter The Promised Land for fear of the inhabitants of the Canaan.
  • Acts 27:24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
    • On his voyage to Rome to face Caesar, during a horrific two week storm, Paul is encouraged by an angel that despite his current dilemma and upcoming shipwreck, he and everyone on the ship will survive.

God’s Profaners
Many people blaspheme God (to curse, slander or be irreverent). Some boldly reject God and all He stands for. Others hide behind a veil of religious hypocrisy.
  • Deuteronomy 18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
    • God’s instructions not to fear those who are proven to be false prophets.
  • Acts 18:9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;
    • Jesus instructed Paul in Corinth after some Jews there opposed him and blasphemed God.

God’s Presence
Immanuel – ‘God with us’, this is one of Jesus’ names. What a blessing to know our Savior and friend is always with us (see Matthew 28:20).
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
    • Not long before he dies, Moses encourages Israel with the promise of God’s presence.
  • Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
    • Jesus comforted His disciples as He approached them while He was walking on water. Realizing His presence calmed their fears!

Our walk with God requires us to find a balance; a balance of faith, understanding, confidence and acceptance.
  • Genuine faith in God and what the Bible teaches us about Him.
  • Incomplete understanding of what He has revealed to us.
  • Life changing confidence in the truth and inerrancy of His Word.
  • Humble acceptance of what we cannot fully understand.

We must fear God!
  • Living in awe of Him and with reverence for Him.
We can’t help but to tremble before Him!
  • The pride, self-confidence and deluded self-image of our human nature dissolve in the light of His perfect holiness (Jesus is our only hope).
But as His children, we should never be afraid of Him!
  • He loves us! He died for us! He is coming for us!


My Lord, my Savior, My King, My Father, I pray your Holy Spirit and the truth of Your Word will guide Your children to the proper balance of faith, understanding, confidence and acceptance. May Your Words ‘Do not be afraid’ calm fears, melt hearts, heal hurts and save the lost. I plead the blood of Jesus Christ and pray in His holy name, Amen.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

He is Able

He is Able

Matthew 9:28-29 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

Do you believe that Jesus is able: able to heal, to forgive sin, to save your very soul? If you have embraced the truth of Christ’s divinity, I pray that you can confidently reply, ‘Yes Lord’, when He asks you, ‘Do you believe that I am able to ____________?’

If you don’t believe that Jesus is God, please read the ‘Jesus is God’ devotion posted June 8, 2014 on this site. A clear understanding of and belief in the deity of Jesus Christ is the central truth of the Bible on which rests your salvation and eternal destination.

Because of their faith in Christ, the two blind men in Matthew Chapter 9 received their sight! How will your faith in Jesus (or lack thereof) impact your life?

Our LORD is able to:

Deliver the Promises
  • God’s many promises are recorded in the Bible. In His time, in His way, He is the only one who is able to deliver on every single one of them.
    • Romans 4:20-21 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Demonstrate the Power
  • God is all powerful; His purposes will always be accomplished. He often demonstrates His power through the Holy Spirit that indwells believers. Only God is able to do exactly what needs to be done, exactly when it needs to be done, and exactly how it should be done.
    • Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Delegate the Preparedness
  • God is prepared for anything and everything: He has all the power (Jeremiah 32:17), He has all the answers (Psalm 147:5), and He knows in advance what is going to happen (Isaiah 46:10). Only He is able to share His grace with us; enabling us to share the love of Christ with others through good works.
    • 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Deliver the Persecuted
  • No matter what your circumstance, no matter who is persecuting or condemning you, God is able rescue you. He will always do what is best for you (Romans 8:28).
    • Daniel 3:17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.

Demean the Proud
  • Pride leads to shame, while humility leads to wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). God is able to humble the proud.
    • Daniel 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Destroy the Perverse
  • Although God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), He will not compromise His righteousness. Only He is able condemn the unrepentant sinner to Hell.
    • Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    • James 4:12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another

Defend the Pledged
  • Christ offered Himself as an offering for our sin so that we can be permanently righteous before God (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 10:14). Through faith in Christ, God’s righteousness, which has been credited to our account, guarantees us eternal life in Heaven. God is able to protect and preserve us until we get there!!!
    • Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
    • Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
    • Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
    • 2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
    • Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
    • Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

God is able to do whatever it takes to fulfill His perfect plan. The only thing God is not able to do is anything that contradicts His nature. God is not able to: lie, sin, tempt, cheat, die, change, be surprised, etc., etc.

In what ways are you doubting God?

Jesus Christ is ready, willing and able to:
  • Reveal Himself to you in amazing ways.
  • Save your soul when you surrender your life to His Lordship.
  • Be your Savior, Lord, friend, strength, shepherd, and so much more!


Perfect, powerful, precious Lord: I trust and believe that You are able to do all that Your Word proclaims. Keep me close to You. Sanctify those who already trust in You. Save those who are seeking You. Draw those who have rejected You. Come quickly Lord! Amen.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter – What’s the Big Deal?

Easter – What’s the Big Deal?

Why do Christians make such a big deal about Easter? 

Well, it’s not because of traveling home to see the family, going to sunrise service at church, or even Sunday dinner with the family. And it’s certainly not because of the candy, searching for colorful eggs, or even the story of a bunny that brings gift baskets to children! And though there is not necessarily any harm in these family, church and secular traditions; the danger is that they can, and often do, overshadowed the true meaning and miracle of Easter Sunday.

Then why do Christians make such a big deal about Easter? 

Because this is the day we celebrate
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

The truth and necessity of Christ’s resurrection is prophesied, witnessed and explained throughout the Holy Bible. Yet, in the 15th Chapter of the New Testament Book First Corinthians, God used the Apostle Paul to clearly and concisely explain the paramount importance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Let’s examine just a few of the incredibly powerful verses found in
1 Corinthians 15:
  • 3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
    • Paul’s Corroboration – The reality of Christ’s bodily resurrection after He died on a Roman cross to pay the debt for our sins.
  • 17-18 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
    • Paul’s Challenge – The uselessness of faith in a dead Savior: for those who are alive and for those who have already died.
  • 21-22 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
    • Paul’s Confidence – Because of Christ’s resurrection, those who have placed their faith in Him have the expectation of eternal life with Him.
  • 42-44 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
    • Paul’s Clarification – About the glorious bodies Christians will have for all eternity.
  • 53-54 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
    • Paul’s Conclusion – The resurrection of Christ is the evidence of His victory over Death!
  • 55-56 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Paul’s Celebration – Through faith in Jesus Christ, Christians have eternal victory over Death!!!

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Believe what God has told us about Him:
    • Jesus is God.
    • Jesus came to earth as a man through a virgin birth.
    • Jesus lived a sinless life.
    • Jesus died to pay our sin debt to God.
    • Jesus rose from the dead, defeated death and is our assurance of eternal life!!!

Easter is about
Jesus’ Victory over Death!!!
Now that’s a big deal!

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to live in victory over sin and death every single day!

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.


Our Holy Father in Heaven, may Your Glorious name be praised forever! Thank You for Your plan of salvation through faith in Christ. Thank You for loving us enough to come to earth and die for us. Thank You for the resurrection proof of who Christ is and what He did for us. In Christ’s Holy and Precious name I pray, Amen.