Sunday, August 23, 2015

Forgive Me My Lord

Forgive Me My Lord

In last week’s devotion, I thanked my Friend Jesus for some of the things He has done for me. This week, I’m asking my Lord Jesus to forgive me for some of what I have done to Him.
  • Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
    • King David knew a lot about sin; guilty of adultery and murder, Psalm 51 is his prayer of confession.
  • Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
    • David also experienced the joy of God’s forgiveness.

C.S. Lewis said:

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable you.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
    • How true; there is no excuse for my sin! The way of escape, a gift from God, too often becomes a missed opportunity to honor Him.
  • Mark 14:38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
    • I have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God empowering me; yet sometimes I succumb to weaknesses and temptations.
  • Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
    • But in His perfect and infinite love, grace and mercy, Jesus has forgiven all of my sin.

So, without excuse, here are some of my sins (along with the underlying issues I struggle with).

Lord Jesus, please forgive me when I:

Fall Short
Your standard is perfection. In You I am perfect (Hebrews 10:14). But in my daily life, I often fall short of Your requirements, guidelines and expectations. My words, thoughts, desires and actions don’t always bring honor to Your Name.
  • My Adversary – Satan is real and he wants to destroy me (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus has defeated Satan; but the devil hasn’t been imprisoned yet.
  • My Environment – God is temporarily allowing Satan to rule over earth. As a result, we live in a cesspool. It is hard to stay clean in this place. But Jesus has washed away my sin with His blood (Revelation 1:5)
  • My Sin Nature – I got it from the first Adam but was delivered from it by the last Adam – Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45). The power is in me to overcome sin; but I often fall short.

Don’t Try
As I strive to live a life that is pleasing to God, sometimes I focus way too much on what I shouldn’t do (Exodus 20:1-17). Perhaps I would have less time for or attention on the things I should avoid if I busied myself with the things I should be doing (Mark 16:15, Matthew 25:31-46).
  • My Laziness – It is way too easy to put my perceived need for rest and relaxation above the legitimate needs of the lost and hurting (James 4:17).
  • My Fear – Will I alienate someone if I come on too strong? Will I make mistakes? Will I not have all the right answers? Yes, yes and yes. Shame on me for making it about me; God’s got this! (1 John 4:18)

Don’t Know
I am human. And despite the arrogance and pride of our race, I know that I have limited mental capability (Proverbs 16:18).
  • My Ignorance – God has revealed everything we need to know about Him; but He has not yet revealed everything about Himself (1 Corinthians 13:12)!
  • My Inaction – I can always study more, ask more questions of other Christians and pray in faith for wisdom from God (James 1:5-6).

Don’t Understand
I have several ‘Shame on me’ sayings. One of them is, ‘Shame on me if I ever start thinking I have all this figured out.’ (Isaiah 40:13-14)
  • My Confusion – Over the centuries great men and women of God have debated about some of the fundamental truths in scripture. Although there are many ways to apply God’s Word, sometimes I don’t correctly interpret His truth. The entire Bible is truth (Psalm 119:160).
  • My Inability – Some things about God are beyond my ability to grasp (Romans 11:33).

Give Up
God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to fulfill His plans (Acts 1:8).
  • My Discouragement – But sometimes things don’t go the way I think they should (Proverbs 16:9).
  • My Exhaustion – I look for rest for my body in bed and rest for my mind in distractions; but I am usually not well rested. I can only find true rest in Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28).

Willfully Disobey
We are born disobedient; it is our nature. Some people are defiant in big ways, some in smaller ways. Any disobedience regarding God’s law makes us guilty of all of it (James 2:10). That is why we need a Savior!
  • My Rebellion – I have never found any lasting satisfaction in rebelling against God; yet I still do it? (Psalm 95:8)
  • My Desires – Wanting what I don’t need, doing things I shouldn’t do, saying what I shouldn’t say… All of these dishonor my Heavenly Father (Proverbs 6:16-19).

In summary:

The Truth
  • 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The Beautiful Promise
  • 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.

My sin is inexcusable.
But my Savior’s grace
is inexhaustible!
God, be merciful to me a sinner!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thank You My Friend

Thank You My Friend

Although it’s sometimes hard for me to think of Jesus as my friend, that is just spiritual immaturity on my part. He made very clear that we are His friends!
  • John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
And just as the old saying goes, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’, I had, have and will have many needs. But being the perfect Friend, Savior, Lord, and King that He is, Jesus has met and continues to meet my every need!

Dear Jesus:
Thank You My Friend; for:
  • Humbling Yourself for Me
    • Philippians 2:7-8 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
  • Living a Sinless Life for Me
    • Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  • Telling Me Clearly Who You Are
    • John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
    • John 10:30 I and My Father are one.”
  • Preparing a Place for Me
    • John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
  • Promising to Come for Me
    • John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
  • Praying for Me
    • John 17:20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
  • Telling the Truth for Me
    • John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
  • Dying on a Cross for Me
    • Luke 23:44-46 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
    • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Defeating Death for Me
    • 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.
  • Making Me Righteous Before 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.
  • Loving Me
    • Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
  • Forgiving My Sins
    • 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.
  • Saving Me from God’s Wrath
    • Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
    • 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.
  • Indwelling Me
    • John 14:20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
  • Strengthening Me with Your Power
    • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Lightening My Load
    • Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  • Giving Me Peace
    • 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.

Jesus’ love, grace and mercy are beyond our comprehension. And as our eternal Friend, He has done, and continues to do, more for us than we know or could possibly imagine.

Have you stopped and thanked Him today
for all He has done for you?
Praise Him!
Love Him!
Thank Him!


Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I thank You for all You have done for me. Although I see and experience countless blessings from You, I also know there are many more that I am not aware of. Although far short of what You deserve, please accept my praise, love and gratitude. You are the perfect Friend. Help me to live a life that honors You and shows my appreciation for what You have done, are doing and will do. I love You Lord Jesus and I pray in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Thinking of You Thinking of Me

Thinking of You Thinking of Me

Do ever wonder what God thinks about? After all, He:

Made everything.
  • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Determined how everything He made works.
  • Psalm 119:90-91 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. 91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.
Sovereignly rules over everything He made.
  • Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
Exists amongst all His creation.
  • Jeremiah 23:24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.
Knows everything.
  • Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
Makes decisions and acts in ways beyond our understanding.
  • Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Yet with all He is and all He does, the Lord loves us very deeply.
  • 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.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And as our perfect Heavenly Father, He is never too busy for us.

He thinks innumerable thoughts about us.
  • Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.
Despite the vastness of the universe, He never forgets us.
  • Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
When we are in tough situations, He is still thinking of us.
  • Psalm 40:17 But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
When we have been disobedient, He is thinking of better days to come.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
He is actively engaged in all the happenings of His creation; but He thinks about the smallest details of your life.
  • Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Knowing that God is thinking about me is humbling and uplifting. I pray that you are encouraged to know He is thinking about you too.


Holy Father, thinking of You thinking of me is almost overwhelming. You know my every thought and need. You love me more than I can understand. How I look forward to spending eternity in Your presence. I praise You for Your goodness and thank You for Your patience, mercy, grace and love. Thank You for telling us in Your Word that you are thinking of us. Help us to be thinking of You and diligently seeking You every single day. I pray these things in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, August 2, 2015



Christians live in a world where the false teachings, deceptions and scams of the lost are intended to:
  • Distract our hearts and minds from God’s purposes for our lives.
  • Distort our understanding and application of God’s Word.
  • Disrupt our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Destroy our testimony.
  • Drown our hope.
We are swimming in stormy seas; rough waters stirred by Satan himself (Ephesians 6:12).

When we get overwhelmed and start believing that things are out of control, when our grip on the anchor of the soul begins to slip, it seems as if we are being tossed about with no help in sight. We begin to lose our sense of direction and forget our purpose.

How does this happen and what can we do about it?

Where is Jesus

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always with us (Matthew 28:20). But when we don’t walk with Him daily (seeking Him in prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other believers, sharing the truth, service…), it may feel like He is a million miles away.
  • Matthew 14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
    • After feeding the 5,000, Jesus sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee. When a storm arose, the disciples strained against the winds and waves. Jesus saw their struggles (Mark 6:48) and came to them walking on the water. When you are battling the waves of life, remember that no matter how far away Jesus feels, the fact is, He is always with you. Keep watching to see when and how He will reveal His love and power (John 6:21).

Lightening the Load

The cares of this world weigh us down. The heavier the load, the deeper we sink. The deeper we sink, the higher the waves seem. The higher the waves seem, the more desperate we feel.
  • Acts 27:18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship.
    • As a prisoner, Paul was sailing to Rome to face trial. Off the coast of Crete, the ship he was on encountered a very strong and dangerous storm. In order to survive the storm, those onboard had to lighten the load. Getting rid of excess weight allowed them to ride higher in the waves and take on less water. What is weighing you down? Come to Jesus and find rest for your soul; His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Believing His Promises

Jesus’ brother James told Christians scattered by severe persecution to ‘count it all joy when you fall into various trials’ (James 1:2). How joyful are you when facing the trials of this life?
  • James 1:6 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.
    • James went on to tell these Christians that if they lacked the spiritual maturity (wisdom) to joyfully grow through trials, that they were to ask God for it. God even promises through James that He will give them this wisdom if they ask in faith (James 1:3-8). Are you believing God’s promises? Or are you allowing the winds of this world to push you around?

Becoming Like Him

We read in Ephesians 4:11-12 why Jesus gave us spiritual leaders (to equip Christians for the work of His church and to build us up as a body of believers). In verse 14 we see the intended result of this (the false teachings, deceptions and scams of the lost will no longer cause us to be tossed about like children).
  • Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
    • But it is verse 13 that tells us how this intended result is achieved.  We must attain:
      • The unity of the faith
        • Alignment with the doctrinal truths contained in scripture.
      • The knowledge of the Son of God
        • Clear understanding of who Jesus is and what the Bible says about Him.
      • A perfect man
        • Not flawless, but having reached a certain level of Christian maturity.
      • The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
        • The perfect standard against which we are measured is Jesus Himself.

When waves are crashing all around us,
Our life preserver is Jesus Christ!
He is the only source of stability
In the midst of life’s storms!!
We go from ‘Tossed’ to ‘Triumphant’
By becoming more like Jesus!!!


Dear Lord in Heaven, I pray that Your Spirit and Your Word will lead me to the level of Christian maturity where the storms of life become cool breezes on my face. I pray this Father for all Your children. May Your will be done in Your perfect time. You are my shelter and my strength, the rock upon which I stand, my Savior and my King. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.