Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have Yourself a Humble Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Humble Little Christmas

At this time of year, as Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let’s take just a moment to reflect on some important reminders from scripture about the true meaning of Christmas.
  • Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 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.

For all who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior:

Christmas is a Reminder of God's Call to Humility
  • 1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
    • Followers of Jesus are commanded to be humble (loving, kind and respectful – not weak).

Christmas is a Reminder that Jesus is God
  • John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    • Clearly proclaimed in scripture, difficult to fully comprehend, a blessed truth at the core of Christian faith.

Christmas is a Reminder of What Jesus Gave Up for Us
  • John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
    • Without diminishing the reality of His Deity, Jesus voluntarily (because of His eternal love for us) and temporarily (between His birth and death) surrendered the right to independently exercise some of His Godly attributes.

Christmas is a Reminder of Christ’s Humanity
  • Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
    • Born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a Roman cross for the sins of the world – fully Man and yet fully God.

Christmas is a Reminder of Christ’s Humility
  • Luke 2:12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
    • Spat upon, mocked, beaten, murdered – Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon Himself.

Christmas is a Reminder of Why Jesus Came into the World
  • 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
    • There is only one perfect, priceless and permanent payment for our sins against God – the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is a Reminder of God’s Great Love for Us
  • Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    • When we didn’t deserve it, at great cost, God gave the greatest gift of all to reconcile us to Himself – Jesus.

But for those who haven’t heard, accepted and surrendered to the truth about Jesus:

Christmas is a Call to Reconciliation with God
  • John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    • Hear and heed the Good News!
      • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
      • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      • Romans 10:9-10 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Christmas is the Perfect Reminder
For All People
Christian or Not
To Respond To
God’s Call to Humility


Blessed Holy Father in Heaven, may the joy and truth of Christmas draw many closer to You. May Your disobedient children turn back towards the loving relationship they already have with You. May those who don’t know You as Lord and Savior surrender all that they are to Your Love and Your Truth. I offer this prayer in the name of my Savior Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Obedience Means Possibilities

Obedience Means Possibilities

From beginning to end the Bible is very clear, obedience to God is critically important to our relationship with Him.
  • Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
    • God spoke to the Nation of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai – obey Me and you will be blessed.
  • 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.
    • As Saul, the first King of Israel, made excuses for his blatant disobedience, God used the prophet Samuel to make clear God’s priority – obey Him.
  • John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
    • Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, was unambiguous as He told to His disciples what true love for Him looked like – obedience.
  • Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
    • Whoever we obey is our master – God shared this plain truth through Paul the Apostle.

Obedience Means Possibilities! Read on to see some of the ways God uses the obedience of His people.

Note - Familiarity with the historical Biblical characters discussed below is needed to appreciate the possibilities realized through their obedience to God. 

Purposes Accomplished - Moses
  • Exodus 12:40-41 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.
    • Whether delivering the Nation of Israel from bondage in Egypt or delivering the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to a lost person, obedience leads to God’s purposes being accomplished.

Prayers Offered - Hannah
  • 1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.
    • Faith in God leads to prayer to God. Worship, thanksgiving, confession, requests and much more are all a part of our ongoing fellowship with God through prayer. God tells us to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Pride Destroyed - Naaman
  • 2 Kings 5:13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
    • When we put our logic and standards above the commands, standards and principles of God, in pride we are turning our backs on Him and His blessings. Don’t try to rationalize what God says – do what God says.

Perseverance Demonstrated - Job
  • James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
    • We live in a world that is broken by sin. Losing our possessions, our loved ones and/or our health are tragedies that must be endured by keeping focused on the compassion and mercy of our loving Heavenly Father. Show your obedience by trusting in the Lord with all your heart, not leaning on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Power Displayed - Gideon
  • Judges 6:15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
    • Whatever the odds, whatever your history, whatever your doubts – faith in and obedience to God are an unbeatable combination.

Peace Attained - Mary Magdalene
  • Mark 16:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.
    • No matter the burden you carry, no matter the struggles you face, surrender your life to God through Jesus in obedience to His call. Jesus longs to give you peace (Matthew 11:28-30).

Pruning Endured - Peter
  • John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
    • Pruning can be painful – but it is a necessary part of growing in our faith and producing more fruit for the glory of God. Even when we fail in the moment (rebuking Christ when He predicts His own death – see Mark 8:31-33 or denying a relationship with Jesus – see John 18: 15-18, 25-27), moving forward in obedience, despite our failures, leads to maturing in our faith.

Perceptions Changed - Thomas
  • John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
    • Jesus showed true love and patience as He dealt with Thomas’ doubts. Because he obeyed Jesus’ instructions, Thomas came to understand the truth of His resurrection.

Preaching Delivered - Stephen
  • Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
    • Don’t pass by the opportunities to speak the truth of God’s Word when the Lord provides an opportunity. Don’t trust in yourself – trust what His Word will accomplish.

Persecution Experienced - Paul
  • 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
    • Jesus teaches that we are blessed when we are persecuted for His sake (Matthew 5:11-12). Don’t let disobedience stand in the way of your blessings.

As you celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas,
Celebrate the obedience of Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

Problems Endured - Joseph
  • 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.
    • Obey the Word of God – Watch as He deals with the problems in your life!

Promises Honored - Mary
  • Luke 1:30-31 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
    • Obey the Word of God – Witness the miracles He performs!

Prophesy Fulfilled - Jesus
  • John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
    • Obey the Word of God – Wait on the Lord; He is faithful to complete what He has started.


Blessed Father, I fall so very short; but I know You love me anyway! Please Lord, help me to be an obedient servant. Give me the strength, courage and humility to obey You quickly, completely and joyfully. Use me for Your glory. Draw those who don’t know You into a loving relationship with You. Help all who love You to obey You. I pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Awesome Adventure

The Awesome Adventure

Surrendering all that you are to Jesus does not mean that you will have an easy life. With Christ as your Lord and Savior, you now represent the message of the Bible – Jesus Christ is the one and only way to a right relationship with God. Most who have heard or will hear the good news about Jesus Christ and His love for the world are offended; they reject the truth as lies, bigotry, hatred, narrowmindedness…
  • 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.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  • John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
  • Matthew 7:14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

But we press on. In His truth, strength and love we persevere. We find joy and peace through obedience to Him and satisfaction in seeing His plans fulfilled. Each time another lost soul comes to salvation in Christ, we praise His name and thank Him for His unending love for all. Nothing and no one can separate us from His love. We endure persecutions with rejoicing, knowing that heaven is the ultimate destination for all who love Him.
  • Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
  • 1 Peter 3:13-14 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
  • Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The trials and tribulations, the triumphs and thanksgivings, the high and lows, the peaks and the valleys, each Christian must take up their own cross and follow where the Lord Jesus leads. And although it is impossible to characterize the individual experiences of every Christian, here are some common aspects of the awesome adventure experienced by those who walk with Jesus.

  • Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    • Creation declares God’s existence (Psalm 19:1-6, Romans 1:18-20). But the truth about Jesus Christ cannot be figured out by observing nature – the gospel message of salvation is contained in the Words of God (The Holy Bible). To become a follower of Jesus, a person must be exposed to the gospel.

  • James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
    • A person must not dismiss the truth. The Holy Spirit of God uses the truth of God’s Word to draw the heart of those who don’t know Jesus as Savior.

  • Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
    • When drawn to Christ by the Spirit of God with the truth contained in the Word of God, a person must make a decision about how they will respond.

  • 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.
    • Agreeing with the truth of God’s Word through a profession of faith in Christ to God leads to spiritual rebirth – a new and eternal life in Christ.

  • Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
    • Digesting the Word of God is a vital part of maturing as a Christian. Personal study time, listening to sermons, personal or group Bible study, devotions, etc. can all play an important part in growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
    • A new way of thinking, a new focus, looking at life through the lens of truth which is God’s Word; scripture changes your perspective and understanding of life and eternity. Truth gives you purpose.

  • James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
    • Learning more about God is a good thing; but genuine faith results in loving works. Faithful obedience means doing what God requires of His children.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Recognizing who God is and what He has done for you and others results in humility and gratitude.

  • 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.
    • Christians are the earthly representatives of God’s Kingdom. People will draw conclusions about God and His church based on how we conduct ourselves.

  • Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
    • Everybody sins (falls short of God’s standards and expectations); that includes Christians. That is why God had to come to earth as a man (Jesus) to pay the debt for our sins by dying on a cross. But Christians, with the power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit and by obeying the Word of God out of love for Jesus, should sin less and less as they mature. Sin is very uncomfortable for a true follower of Jesus. Confession brings cleansing and restoration.

  • 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.
    • Christians live in a state of joyful and confident expectation for the time when they join Christ in Heaven.

  • Matthew 28:19 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,
    • Christians share the truth of God’s love with others.

  • Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
    • Only those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior will spend eternity in Heaven.

Want to learn more?
Want to live The Awesome Adventure?
Read the Bible.
Attend a Bible Believing Christian church.
Seek God with all your heart
Respond when He draws you to Himself!


Father God, please encourage Your children in their walk with You. Please draw those who don’t know You into a reconciled loving relationship through Jesus Christ. I praise Your holy name and ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Savior. Amen.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Best Science Book Ever

The Best Science Book Ever

The other day I was on a long drive and stumbled across a radio program that was discussing ‘The Best Science Books of 2016’. Seeing how I have always really liked science, I decided to listen in. The host of the program and his two guests were very intelligent and informed. Not only did they discuss their favorite books from the last year, but they also took time to talk about different styles and purposes of writing about science: books that explain/teach, books intended to persuade, science novels, children’s science books, etc. The program also included calls from listeners who mentioned their favorite science books and added to the discussion.

As interesting as some of the discussion was, it didn’t take long before I found myself very saddened by what I was hearing. Without fail, all the discussion and commentary on this program discounted the absolute truths found in ‘The Best Science Book Ever’, The Holy Bible. Without acknowledgement or apology, the fundamental premise of this program was to dismiss the possibility of God and the truth of His Word by celebrating the brilliance of man and the glory of human theories and discoveries.

‘But how can you trust the results of your process when before you even defined your hypothesis, began your research, conducted your experiments, documented your observations, performed your analysis, confirmed your results, reached your conclusions, and shared your findings, you rejected a viable fundamental premise?’, I asked myself.

When you discount the possibility of God,
any evidence or conclusions that suggest the existence of God
are dismissed as either erroneous or ridiculous.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth.

As much as I would like to use the rest of this devotion to share scripture about how God created all things out of nothing, made the stars and other heavenly bodies, gave life to every living creature, created man in His own image, and so much more; that is not what this devotion it about. And as much as I want to provide you a list of scripture about how God alone has the authority and power to violate the created order He established (miracles), that is not the purpose of this devotion. And though I believe that impartial science proves the existence of God, I won’t be expounding on that subject either.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
I seriously considered calling into the radio program.

I really wanted to engage in the discussion and share the truth as given to us by God through creation and scripture.

I strongly desired to make the case that the Holy Bible is The Best Science Book Ever.

But I didn’t call in.

I thought it was a waste of time and effort.

I felt certain that I would be disregarded or dismissed.

And though I didn’t fear ridicule or criticism, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to clearly articulate what the Bible has to say about these matters.

Why would they listen to me?

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead,
so that they are without excuse,

  • Instead of trusting in the power of God’s Word
  • Instead of relying on His Spirit to work through me
  • Instead of stepping out in faith

I judged the hearts of those I should have shared His Word with!

Matthew 7:1-2
“Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with what judgment you judge,
you will be judged;
and with the measure you use,
it will be measured back to you.

I discounted the power of God’s Word!

Isaiah 55:11-12
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

This devotion is:

A Confession
  • I evaluated the situation from my perspective instead of trusting God.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

A Praise
  • Not matter how many times I fail Him, He is always there for me!

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.


Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.