Weekly Devotional June 12, 2021

The Wheat Field Murder!

Genesis 4:1-8 (NKJV)

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

This was the first case of sibling rivalry. Each wanting to do better than the other. In doing so they could claim superiority over the other. If you look at it closely, sibling rivalry is silly and impossible. Both came from the same seed. How could either one be superior? They may be different, but neither is better than the other.

The envy Cain had for Abel was the cause of his anger. The envy and anger themselves are not a sin (James 1:20), however as you can see, they will often lead to sin. Anger while not a sin, certainly is not an example of righteousness.

The act of killing someone is not a sin. If it were, God would have sinned when He told the Children of Israel to go into the land of Caanan and kill every man, woman, and child in the land. Had the Children of Israel followed the command of God they would not have sinned. However, they disobeyed God because of the doubts and desires of their hearts. Sin can only come from the heart, not the action. Sin is an attitude, not an action.

Cain also experienced the first instance of jealousy. Again, while jealousy is not really a sin, it did lead to a sin and often does. What jealousy is, must be considered a useless and time-wasting act. In this case Cain was jealous because God chose Abel’s gift over his. It was the gift God chose, God didn’t say Abel was better than Cain. Cain’s jealousy was a vain act.

In Jude 1:11, God inspired Jude to use this as a warning to those who seek to make a profit off Christianity. We have many who preach and teach who are not called to do so. These people are not representing God, they are teaching false teachings to profit from the people.

God doesn’t charge people for coming to or being members of the church. Churches need money to pay for the things needed to run the church, but God has never put a price on anything He does in the church, neither should we. The gift of money in the offering should come from the heart of the individual, not the mandate of the pastor.

When trying to find a new church, always talk to the preacher and your teacher away from other people. Ask them why they started preaching or teaching. If their answer is not, “God called me to do so” then always challenge anything they do that involves the receiving of money.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing in the church now. Ask God for guidance and be careful.

By the way, “God called me to teach/preach His word.”

Weekly Devotional – June 5, 2021

Honor Your Mother and Father

Mark 10:19 (NKJV)

You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ “

The man Jesus was talking to here came running down the road where Jesus walked and knelt down before Jesus. This was a rich young man who (in the eyes of those around him) was living a life of luxury. The young man had heard Jesus as He taught, and the young man wanted to inherit eternal life.

Many people would be skeptical about what the young man thought eternal life was. Jesus didn’t care what the young man’s motives were, so Jesus began to explain.

Jesus’ first statement was “You Know the Commandments.” Then Jesus began telling the young man what he couldn’t do. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud. These are the things Jesus told the young man he couldn’t do. But Jesus also told the young man one thing that he must do.

Did you know that not honoring your father and mother could keep you from going to Heaven? In fact, there is more. Look at Mark 7:10. Now think back at all those times you were mad at your father or mother because they would not let you do what you wanted to do.

Why should there be such a discussion concerning my opinion of my father and mother? The idea of God looking at my treatment of my father and mother is daunting.

Your father and mother are your first line of authority in your life. How you treat their authority is an example of how you will treat all future authority. If you disobey their authority, then you will be reluctant to obey all other authority.

If you won’t listen to your parents, all others can expect the same. You may listen to them and obey them, but they will always be waiting for you to disobey.

Paul further explains the difference in this statement as a commandment. Paul tells us that it is the first commandment with promise. All the other commandments Jesus quoted were negative statements. “Honor Your Father and Mother is a positive statement. Positive statements give hope and promise to the world.

God has given the world a way to gain His favor.

If you have always honored your parents, you are certainly on the right road to eternity. However, if you are at odds with your parents, there is still time to make amends so there is hope for you after all. Provided you don’t wait.

Weekly Devotional – May 29, 2021

Repent and Be Saved!

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus compared us to sheep? It’s partly because the primary way of making a living at that time was herding cattle and sheep. However, it is also because we are a lot like sheep. No matter how tough we act, we are susceptible to a good con job. Cattle will sense danger as they get close to the edge of a cliff and stop grazing and move somewhere else. If the grazing is good. A sheep will stop grazing, look at the edge of the cliff and start grazing again. They will literally graze off the cliff.

We humans are not much better than the sheep. Like the cattle, we sense the danger and turn (repent), but we don’t walk away like the cows. We look back at the good grazing (sin) and we turn back to the way we were and keep grazing (sinning).

There is a lot of talk in the church community about the sin nature. There are many preachers who deceive their congregations into thinking they retain the sin nature after salvation.

To repent indicates you are sorrowfully ashamed of the sins you have committed, and you are turning around and going in the opposite direction. If you are going away from sin, how can you live any longer in it? Having escaped the corruption of sin, we are then partakers of God’s divine nature. We have repented and we have been saved by the Grace of God.

Don’t allow anyone to con you into turning back and walking off that cliff. Keep following God, He will lead you to salvation.

Another argument I get all the time is that Christians have dirty or sinful thoughts. At one time I would have agreed with you. However, I have studied the bible and I have found in the bible where that would be incorrect.

Before we are saved, we look at the life of Christ for inspiration. Christ lived a life without sin from a boy until the day He died on the cross for the sins of the world. By looking and trying to imitate the life of Christ, we can see how to live as a Christian.

They argument is that Satan gets into our minds and leads us astray. Impossible!

When Christ was tempted, every time satan tried to get Christ to do something wrong, He simply quoted a verse of scripture to shut satan up. Some of the people that claim to be saved say that satan gets into their minds and causes them to sin.

Many of the young ministers today say the same thing. That’s because they study the parts of the bible that will make them money, not the parts that will make Christians.

Those ministers and converts that have studied the Bible know that God gave us three things to ensure our salvation.

  1. We have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)
  2. God’s Divine Nature. (2 Peter 1:2-4)
  3. The Holy Spirit living in us. (John 14:17)
So, repent today and be saved!!

Weekly Devotional – May 22, 2021

Grow Your Patience!

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

I once attended a church in Virginia Beach, Virginia who was trying to increase their attendance by putting basketball goals all around the inside of the church. The preacher wore a referee’s uniform and used basketball lingo in his sermon. The church thought if they used the things of the world to attract the children of the neighborhood to their service, they could grow their attendance. What they forgot is that God gives the increase, not the world. When I visited the church in 1997 their attendance was about 75. When I left Virginia Beach about 10 years later, the church had disbanded, and the world had built apartments where the church building once stood. The apartment buildings were filled.

This church had a young pastor who was just out of the Seminary. He had been taught to fill the church with children’s programs and the church would grow. This young pastor forgot two things:

  1. Children of today have not been raised in a Church environment and are more interested in the things of the world. They had rather go to the beach than to church.
  2. When children go away to college, only an exceedingly small percentage of them return to their hometown. Most of them secure jobs in larger cities.

Children are not the ones who fund a church, they are not the ones who teach the church, they are not the ones who lead the church. Their parents are the ones the church should have tried to attract, and you can’t do that with basketball. To attract adults, you must use logic, truth, and intelligence.

The Seminaries should be run by Preachers, not educators. The only curriculum used in the Seminaries should be the bible. God has included the complete plan to increasing a church in His word.

There was another church in a small town in California who had 17 members and wanted to grow. They were faithful to God and prayed to him for guidance. The guidance God gave them was to build another church in another town, a satellite church. The guidance scared them a bit, but they trusted God. When the second church was completed, they saw their attendance had grown. The Lord led them to start yet another church and again their own attendance grew more.

By trusting God and having the patience to wait on him and do what He asked instead of depending on the world, this little church of 17 not only has several satellite churches but this little church has an average attendance of 3000 on Sunday morning.

Growing patience is not about the world. There is no pill, no fertilizer, no treatment that the world can give that will help a person grow patience.

God, on the other hand, has been helping people grow patient since the beginning of time. All you need to do is believe in Jesus Christ and give your life to Him. You see patience is not something you grow after all. Patience is a gift from God. Only God can help you grow in Patience. You will find that no one who is of the world has the patience to grow.

Just trust God and the patience will come. As this little church found out, it’s not the world that grows a church, it is trust in God and the patience that God gives that grows churches and people.

Weekly Devotional – May 15, 2021

Rulers of Tens

Exodus 18:21 (NKJV)

Moreover, you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

When I joined the Navy in 1976, the first place they sent me was “Boot Camp.” There was 6 weeks of intense learning. There were three things they were teaching you.

The first thing they taught me was to remain silent while the orders were being issued. There were many who learned this the hard way. But in the end, they did learn.

Many of the Psalm teach us the same thing, I especially like Psalm 62:5-8. Though I may only lead tens, my leadership is important. Not because I have man’s training, but because I was appointed and trained by God. It was not man’s training that put me in my position of authority, it was God’s standards and His knowledge leading me.

The second thing the military taught me was how to follow the orders of my superiors. This one, well, let’s just say it was a hard pill for me to swallow.

Before I joined the Navy I had been the boss for several years and their style of leadership was much different than I was used to using. When you are trying to make a deadline in the civilian world, everyone needs to keep working toward the goal in order to meet the deadline. However, if you are a little late no one gets hurt. In the military, if you don’t work hard someone could die.

God’s work is the same as the military, but worse. If you die in war, that is only the first death and the state of your eternal life has already been determined. The state of your eternal life is dependent on how well God’s army is doing its job. If God’s people fail to recruit you as the military recruiter did, the state of your eternal life is in jeopardy (Romans 6:23). God’s people must then teach you how to fight against evil and learn the truth that is in God’s word (Ephesians 6:10-20).

The third thing I learned from the military was leadership. They taught me that each promotion came with a different type and level of responsibility. When you reach the higher levels you take on a lot of responsibility. You only reach the higher levels when your superiors feel you are read to meet the task.

We have many leaders in our churches today that decided out of high school that being a preacher is an easy job. Because of this, many people who might have been saved are dying without knowing how to be saved.

Just as in the military, God is your senior officer and only He can decide whether or not you are ready to handle the responsibility. No College can teach what God already knows. Although I believe college can make a pastor a better administrator, only God can teach someone to be a preacher or teacher and only after they have been called to do so by God. Who knows, God may think you worthy to lead more than ten!!   

Weekly Devotional – May 8, 2021

The Perfect Garden!!

Genesis 1:11-12 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Can you imagine a garden that you only have to plant each year and watch it grow? A garden that has no weeds, no insects eating the leaves, no mold, or anything else to damage the plants. This would be the perfect garden.

In the beginning this was the type of garden man was given to tend. The Garden of Eden contained nothing that would corrupt the plants in any way.

Believe it or not you, as a Christian, have experienced this twice. The first time was at birth. Even though we are born into a sinful world, children have not yet learned to sin. Small children live in their own little world and there is no sin in it.

The Christian experiences this situation a second time at the time they are saved. (Eph. 4:24) Because we are born again into God’s Righteousness and Holiness, we are again in a sin free state. It is not until we listen to others that we are tempted to sin again.

Some preachers like to take advantage of this state of the Christian and send them out to talk to the lost in the community. This is usually a good thing for the church, but bad for the Christian. Instead of using the baby Christian to talk to people, the preacher should be teaching the baby Christian how to resist temptation. How to live by the spirit, not by the flesh.

Once we grow as Christians, we should be able to achieve this state a third time. As we grow as Christians, we learn more about using the Holy Spirit to direct and improve our lives. When we do this, we are living by the spirit and we are living “in Christ.” If we live in Christ every day, then there is no sin in our lives, and we are living in righteousness and holiness and in that perfect state. This is what God intended for us from the beginning of the world.

Genesis 2:9 (NKJV)

And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

As you can see from the verse of scripture above, God gave man a choice between His way of life and the sinful live we now want to live.

Yes, God forbid man to eat from the tree of good and evil. However, God left the tree there for man to see.

God also left the tree of life there and allowed man to eat from its fruit. If man had chosen this tree, we would live forever in the presence of God.

We still have that choice. Like Adam and Eve, we have our choice of eternal life and the destruction of darkness.

What have you chosen for your life?

Weekly Devotional – May 1, 2021

Did You Really Forgive?

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:11-18 (NKJV)

How many times have I heard someone who claim they are a Christian say, “I will forgive what they did, but I won’t forget.” If this is their attitude, they may as well not waste their time.

Forgiving is only half the process. We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did. If we keep the sin committed by another person in our hearts to use against them another time, then we are the sinners, not them.

Paul makes it very clear in the 11th verse above how the repeated reminder of a sin is fruitless. To truly forgive someone, we must also remove it from our heart so our mind can never remember it.

            No one ever said being a Christian was easy. God has never told us we would understand all His ways, He only wants us to trust Him.

            We can’t have salvation on our terms. Salvation is on God’s terms. Remember, we turned our lives over to Him.

How would we feel if God constantly reminded us of the sins we committed? Jesus paid for those sins and took them away.

In the 12th verse above, it states that after He had made one sacrifice for sin, He sat down at the Right Hand of the Father.

Jesus was the only one qualified to make that sacrifice. He is no longer in a position to make sacrifices, therefore, the sin must be forgotten and removed from existence. If there is no sin, there is no need for a sacrifice.

We must forgive and forget. If God can forget, if Christ can forget, who are we to think we can’t?

Weekly Devotional April 24, 2021

Women and Marriage

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NKJV)

For centuries the male population of society has tried to beat the woman into submission and put her barefoot and pregnant in the home. Many have used this scripture to say this is God’s will.

Many women have used this scripture as a rebellion toward men in society. Others have used this as a reason to simply live together and not get married.

It’s funny but I would venture to say that none of them have tried to find out, as Edward R Merle once said, the rest of the story.

No one bothered to study God’s word to learn what His motives were when He inspired Paul to write this in his letter to the people of Ephesus. (2 Tim 3:16)

I once heard Bob Hope tell a joke and say, “In my house I run everything. I run the vacuum, I run the dish washer, I run the washer and drier, I run everything.” Everyone laughed.

However if you study God’s word, that’s exactly what God is telling the man to do. (Gen 2:18) God created the woman to help man. If the dishes need washing, it’s the man’s responsibility to wash them. If the fields need to be plowed and sown, it’s the man’s responsibility to plow and sow them and the women is to be his helper. The woman was never intended to be barefoot and pregnant as a slave to a man. The woman was intended to submit to the man as his helper.

When the man submits to God, it is the wife’s responsibility to help the man worship God. You see if you study the scriptures in Genesis 1 and 2, you will find that woman is the only animal created using part of the male. Therefore, when the man and woman are married they are to work and worship God as one. (Gen 2:21-24)

Therefore men, lift up your wife in the eyes of society and cherish her above all you have, just as Christ lifts up and cherishes His church. The woman is your most prized possession, not your slave!!

Weekly Devotional April 17, 2021

The Second Day of Creation

Genesis 1:6-8

There are millions of people around the world who are fascinated with the heavens or as we call it, the solar system. The solar system consists of stars and planets and lots of debris that we call meteors.

Prior to 2006, there were 9 Planets. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union established new criteria to determine the existence of a planet. Basically, these criteria were to determine whether Pluto was a planet or a dwarf planet. Of course, the word dwarf had never been used before, but it kept the scientist from having egg on their face.

In 1930 the planet of Pluto was discovered. The science books named it among the planets and children including the scientists that are doubting it now, were taught it was a planet. In the late 1990’s, there arose an argument over the authenticity of the discovery of Pluto. There were several scientists who denied the planet’s existence.

Have you ever heard such a truck load of double-talk in your life? Whether you call it the Universe or heavens or sky, God created it. If God wants us to understand it or to name it or to live on it, only God Himself had the power to tell us to do it. Who cares how many other planets there are? They don’t mean anything to us anyway.

All this double-talk is designed for only one purpose. Satan wants to draw our attention away from who created all this in the first place. Satan wants to take our focus off God as the creator. If he can turn our attention away from God and get us to believe some two-bit theory about an accident happening millions of years ago, he can convince us to believe in him not God. The scientist are his pawns, and he is playing a chess game with the believers.

We as Christians must believe, above all else, that God created the earth and its universe. If we don’t believe that, then mankind is doomed to an eternity of punishment. If we believe that God lied about creating the universe, then we can’t believe that He gave His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins. If we don’t believe that God created the universe, then why should we believe that God even exists?

Scientist would have us believe that there is no afterlife and that we are simply buried in a hole or sprinkled over the earth and that is that. Not True! To begin with, science can’t produce written records prior to the creation of the world. In the bible we have the written records that the scientist can’t produce. The best science can do is a bunch of guesses and innuendos, about how maybe the world was formed. But no one knows for sure because they can’t agree among themselves about any of it.

As true Christians, we know about God’s Creation. As Christians we know about salvation because we have experienced it. We can state for fact that God exists, we can state for fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Even the historians agree on the fact that Jesus lived and that He died on the Cross.

Don’t listen to the speculation of scientist, listen to the fact endorsed by God!!

Weekly Devotional – April 10, 2021

The First Day of Creation

Genesis 1:1-5

“In the Beginning,” is a statement that the world cannot fathom. The people of the world are still seeking the answer to how the world came to be. Christians on the other hand already know the answer.

“Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.”  

Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

As Douglas Adams pointed out, this was a last-ditch effort to discount the existence of God. They contend that one stray atom grew into the world as we know it. They contend that all creation and how it works came from this atom and evolution. Well, this theory is ridiculous, to say the least. There may have been one atom involved but the creation from one atom could only have occurred if God was present and involved in the action. As for evolution, the theory is that smaller animals and plants evolved into larger ones. That these plants and animals changed to accommodate their surroundings. For these plants and animals to have changed, they had to have been created. Instead of the theory of evolution disproving God, it is the ultimate proof that God exists.

Compared to God’s Word, the Bible, man’s writings are foolishness. The world, of itself, could never imagine the works of God. To know that God exists and have proof, you must first believe and then build a relationship with God through an intense study of the bible.

We have a saying that when you finally understand how to do something or finally understand something, “a light bulb comes on.”

How ironic is it that the first thing God did after He formed the earth was to create light? When we finally believe and start to study the bible, God is quick to help us understand the bible and the “light bulb of our heart will come on.” God opens the bible for man to understand, when and if mankind is ready to know Him.

God used the light of the universe to produce the light of daytime and the absence of light to produce night. 1 John 1:5 tells us that God is Light. Our salvation is proof of this statement. All our lives we wonder in the darkness of sin and listen to all manner of heresy and foolishness from anyone who speaks. When we finally believe, a dim light appears and as we increase our relationship with God, the light gets brighter.

God is the light that lights our hearts and makes us Righteous and Holy. Without God we just wonder in a meaningless darkness and have no real purpose in life. We can be famous in the eyes of man, but we can be righteous only in the eyes of God.

The fame the world recognizes will fade away, but the righteousness God produces in our hearts is eternal and can only be produced by the God that is eternal.

And the evening and morning of the first day of creation was done just as the evening of the world’s knowledge and the morning of God’s Love are complete when we believe in Christ Jesus. AMEN!!