Month: December 2017

Tuesday Devotional: Ecclesiastes 8

Knowing-God-banner-bg.6db2cb7aa83f873aede109c2982093b1

Read Ecclesiastes 8

Of all the things to know about the world we live in, very little of it will we ever know. We learn and we explore and our understanding grows but so do our questions. Discovery reveals more exploration and the cycle goes on and on. The only road of inquiry and exploration that does not prolong the cycle is the pursuit of the living God. In knowing and fearing God a person begins to uncover answers, solutions and truth. We will always learn more about God and we will always continue to seek wisdom by the power of the Holy Spirit to help us find peace in a world that is so wrought with mystery and inconsistency. However, with the relationship to the living God as our key we can know, we can have faith, we can have hope and we can live with confidence that our lives are being built atop a foundation that will not give way and crumble at a moments notice. Do you know God? Have you pursed him to understand truth concerning him? All else is meaningless. In knowing God a person can be perplexed by the ways of the world without being overcome by it. In knowing God a person can be shocked by the destructive nature of humanity without being surprised. In knowing God a person will know with certainty where they come from, where they are, where they are going and why the struggle in this world is what it is. The life of a Christian is one of ongoing discovery in the pursuit of wisdom. But this pursuit enters through the gate of Christ before taking any further steps. In Christ we will receive wisdom and that wisdom will bless us with peace that transcends understanding. The promise of Jesus is that we will always have what we need and in knowing God we will exist in this dark world as torch bearers of the light of Jesus. Just as the nature of darkness will continue to astonish us, so will the light of Jesus. In knowing God we can exist in this world but not of it. Not abandoning our place in this world while not being consumed by our existence in it either. To know God is to fear God and to fear God is to live with him in the peace that this world is not the end and we were created for something far greater and everlasting.

Tuesday Devotional: Proverbs 17

rooftop

Read Proverbs 17

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,

and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,

and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Christian, you were born again as an empty vessel to be filled by the Holy Spirit in order to further the Kingdom of King Jesus in this world. You were saved and you were blind and then by grace you saw for the first time.   You have a testimony and you are called to be a witness to the world that you have seen a great light. You bear in your identity as a “Christian” the name of the Anointed One, Christ Jesus. You are his ambassador of reconciliation in this world of brokenness and division. You have experienced a healing in your own life that did not come from a doctor, a self-help book or a medium. You were saved by Jesus! How then can you stay silent? How then do you muffle the groaning of the Spirit within you that demands that the saving power of Jesus Christ be proclaimed from every rooftop? Have you experienced Jesus in this way? On the other hand, do you take it upon yourself to be the source of wisdom and teaching while forgetting that only by Jesus do we have instruction and wisdom from the Counselor Holy Spirit? Your identity is “child” and your job is “disciple.” As a child and as a disciple we are called to wait for our provision from the Lord. We are called to listen as we are instructed and led into the wisdom of the Lord. We must never understand our freedom in Christ as a license to instruct everyone else how to live their lives. The enemy desires to contort and poison your new life in Jesus into a destructive weapon within the Church to create death and division. The enemy will fill you with fear at the moment you are called to testify for what you’ve seen and what you know. The enemy will fill you with pride and self-righteousness the moment you are called to support and nurture the growth of another child of God. The perfect love of Christ casts out fear and in Christ Jesus nothing can separate us from the love of God Emmanuel who will never leave us nor forsake us. The enemy will always seek out opportunities to bottle-neck the spread of the Gospel and cut-off the supply of life-giving water as the focus of wisdom and power is redirected away from Jesus and onto a child of God that can do nothing apart from him. God is with you and the world needs your story. However, this story is not about you but it is what Jesus has done for you.

Tuesday Devotional: Psalm 12

9

Read Psalm 12

It is so easy to be dishonest. It is a natural inclination of the heart that we are all born with and none of us has to learn. No one instructs us in the art of deception and dishonesty. This natural ability is only bolstered and developed by the world we live in. A world where it is often more acceptable to be dishonest than to proclaim hard truths. Truths that are potentially career, reputation or life-threatening. We are quick to justify lies and we are quick to argue the necessity of being dishonest in order to survive and thrive in the world we live in. Lies can often get us what we want. Lies can often tell us what we want to hear. However, the lies of men cannot endure as the truth of Jesus do. Where the words of Jesus survive the crucible and through fire are revealed to be more enduring and more beautiful, the lies of men are easily exposed and only reveal more damage and more destruction where there is no gain. The lies of men will be revealed. Repeat that true statement, “The lies of men will be revealed.” Dishonest gain will always be brought to the light. Repeat that true statement, “Dishonest gain will always be brought to the light.” In the Kingdom of King Jesus dishonest gain cannot hide and will ultimately be revealed. Do we know this? If so, why do we continue to pursue dishonest gain? To do so is to be counted amongst “the wicked” according to the living God. To do so is to live as an enemy and aggressor against the Gospel of Jesus. Is this where you choose to be?  I personally pray it is not. Truth will compromise your status in this world and it will often revoke your “honor.” Truth will often cause you to lose more than you gain. Truth will often create enemies in your life more than it will create friends and allies. However, truth is the language of God and it is the spring of living water that will always provide you what you need in all circumstances reminding you that you are loved and cared for by the God Most High. In the end we have the choice. We can choose to see dishonest gain as an affront to God and pray that Jesus save us from ourselves or we can look the other way and find contentment in lies. What will you choose?

Tuesday Devotional: Esther 3

chess-game

Read Esther 3

The effect of sin is death. Sin preys on life and destroys. Sin never brings or gives life. It will always seek out life only to take it. In this way the sin within us longs to destroy us. Our natural and instinctual desire to sin will never enhance our life but slowly and unsuspectingly it will take it away. The sin within us will seek every opportunity to poison God’s good gifts from above transforming them into killers of others and killers of the self. The sin within us will look at the prospect of achievement and accomplishment only to create in us a ravenous craving for power. We love power. There is something liberating in power. We feel free. We feel as if the world has suddenly righted itself to its original design. The way it’s supposed to be. But friends, do not be so easily deceived. Does this freedom, liberation, peace you feel from obtaining a level of authority and power truly bring life or does it take it? With this power are you now seeking the fortune of others more than your own? Are you seeking opportunities to submit your life to humility? Are you seeking opportunities to serve? Are you seeking opportunities to give more of what you have to those that have nothing? Are you seeing your power as a privilege that can be taken away at any moment as opposed to a right that is rightfully yours for eternity? Sin was born out of the hunger for control. Therefore, the taste for power will always battle the spirit of Jesus within us that refers to Jesus as, Lord. It is impossible for a Christian to obtain power without dedicating it to Lord Jesus and not be destroyed by it. It is, however, possible that God will choose certain people to occupy certain positions of authority. However, those positions are no different than the positions that lack a certain level of authority. Both are investments in the Kingdom of God. Both are privileges gained by grace and grace alone. Both are gifts from above that create opportunities for thanksgiving, service, submission and evangelism. All power according to the Christian is the power of Christ. As a Christian there is power in Jesus but no power in the self. We die to ourselves and all that remains is an empty vessel filled with the Spirit of Jesus to bring glory to Jesus. Power will entice you. It will whisper to you. It will justify itself to you. Do not be so easily deceived! Flee from power and run to the cross. Power without Jesus is deadly. Power in Jesus is unstoppable and good. There is power in the name of Jesus.