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Showing posts from October, 2013

Burning Fire: A Devotional Thought

"Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name,' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and could not." (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV) 
Many have commented on this verse and related it to their own desire to preach. It is important to note, however, that Jeremiah did not desire to preach; he was compelled to do so. There he was, locked in the stocks for preaching God's Word, wishing he were somewhere else.  There is a big difference between a desire and a compulsion. A desire can be quenched by adverse circumstances. A compulsion (especially one that is divine) cannot be stopped. The Gospel preacher who is compelled to preach will do so as long as he is able to speak, whenever he is able to speak. It is when the Gospel preacher wants to stop preaching but cannot that he discovers his call to ministry is true. It is not a desire or a fantasy. It is a compulsion from The Lord. 
May ou…

Prosperity Gospel: A Devotional Thought

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:6, NKJV)
Turn on most Christian television stations or radio stations, or walk into many Christian bookstores and you will see programs and books which teach the so-called Prosperity Gospel. Although there are several variations of the Prosperity Gospel, the central idea is the same. The preacher/teacher claims that Jesus died, not only to give you eternal life, but also to bring you prosperity in this life. The preacher/teacher lists several steps to follow in order to access the prosperity provided by Jesus' sacrifice. Those steps normally include sending a "seed" (money) to the preacher/teacher, which they claim God will honor by sending the giver more money in return. The preacher/teacher supports their Prosperity Gospel with a few Scriptures taken out of context and strung together in a manner which supports their thesis. 
The Bible, however, does not teach a Prosperity Gospel. God does promise to …

The Joy of Repentance

What feelings come to your mind when you think of repentance? Perhaps sorrow, shame, or fear comes to mind. When we repent of our sins, we are sorrowful for offending the Holy God with our sin. We are likely ashamed of the things we have done to offend Him. We may be afraid of God's punishment, or afraid that God will reject us. 
In fact, the Bible tells us that God will not reject those who repent and place their trust in Him. In fact, the opposite is true. God rejoices when someone repents and turns to Him for forgiveness and restoration. 
Jesus illustrated this truth in three parables found in Luke 15. In this chapter Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep, in which the shepherd rejoiced when he found his lost sheep. He also told the parable of the lost coin, in which a woman rejoices when she finds her lost coin. He also told the parable of the prodigal son, in which the father rejoices when his wayward son returns. 
At the conclusion of each of these parables Jesus tells us th…

The Will of God for You: A Devotional Thought

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Many times we ponder what God's will is for our lives. Here, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes to the Thessalonians Christians to encourage them in their faith. One topic Paul addressed was the coming of The Lord. With that in mind, he writes some closing exhortations. One of those exhortations is the passage quoted above.
In the passage, believers are told that it is God's will for them to do three things. First, it is God's will for believers to rejoice. That does not mean that we are to live in a state of giddy denial. We are to rejoice in the knowledge that our suffering is temporary and our eternal reward is coming.
Second, it is God's will for believers to pray. We are to pray without ceasing. There is no vacation from our personal devotions to God in prayer. 
Third, it is God's will for b…

The Deliverer: A Devotional Thought

"...Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:10, NKJV)
In western society we do not hear much about the wrath of God anymore. Many are afraid to mention God at all. Those who do mention Him will often speak of God's love, but steer clear of any mention of His wrath. Yet God's wrath is a prominent attribute in the Scriptures. God hates sin with a vengeance. He is in the process of destroying it without reservation. That is why Jesus' death on the cross is such a magnificent demonstration of God's love. Jesus took the terrible wrath of God on Himself, the wrath that we deserved. All who turn from their sins and believe in Jesus receive pardon for sin and eternal life, paid for by the blood of Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God, is the only one who could do such a thing. He is our deliverer.

A Second Chance: A Devotional Thought

"...Mark the cousin of Barnabas...if he comes to you welcome him...These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me." (Colossians 4:10-11, NKJV)
Paul commends Mark and a few others to the Colossians. While this may not seem significant, we must remember that Paul had refused to take Mark with him on his second missionary journey, because Mark left during the first missionary journey. (Acts 15:36ff) Barnabas disagreed. The disagreement was so sharp that Paul and Barnabas parted ways. Mark's career in ministry did not start well. Yet later Paul commended Mark to the Colossians, encouraging them to welcome him and stating that he was one of a few loyal Jewish believers who were his fellow workers and comforters. Mark had a second chance.
What happened? First, someone mentored Mark. Barnabas, the same man that worked with Paul at the beginning of his ministry, took Mark with him as a ministry partner. S…

Get Your Mind Right: Devotional Thought

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2, NKJV)
Spiritual battles are fought in the heart, the seat of our thoughts, feelings, and will. The key to winning these spiritual battles is not to focus on the sin you wish to overcome, but on the virtue you wish to attain by the grace of God. Don't think so hard about what you must avoid. Think hard about where God wants you to be. Where does He want you to be? With Him.

"The Highway of Holiness": A Devotional Thought

"A highway shall be there, and a road. And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. ... But the redeemed shall walk there, And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing." (Isaiah 35:8-10). 
Isaiah the prophet, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, foretells the coming vengeance of The Lord and His kingdom.  Indeed, The Lord will return and establish His kingdom on earth, headquartered in Jerusalem, also known as Zion. Only the redeemed will be able to enter there on the Highway of Holiness. The redeemed are those who have placed their faith in the Messiah, Jesus, who paid for their sins with His own blood on the cross. They alone can be considered holy, because their sins are forgiven. No one can earn his/her way to heaven through good works. We must receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. That faith includes turning from sin and following Jesus, what the …