Weekly Devotional – April 3, 2021

God’s Love for You!

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

John 4:10 (NKJV)

I remember when I bought my first house. My ship was in the dry dock in Brooklyn, New York. My wife was stay with her parents in Douglasville Pennsylvania. She called a real estate agent in Virginia Beach, Virginia. My wife told him what we were looking for and gave him some information about us.

I left work early on Friday, Picked my wife up and we made it to Virginia late that night. On Saturday morning we met with the agent and he took us to look at houses. When we walked into the first house, it had everything my wife told him we were looking for and more. When I asked the price, it was far below the price we told him we wanted. The agent had already gotten us approved for a larger amount than we were paying so we signed the paperwork that day and moved in the next week. That agent was trying to help us because we were in the military. Today the real estate agents are trying to make a buck and won’t try to help you at all.

God is even better than that real estate agent. God wants to move us into a home that costs for more than we could ever afford. But God doesn’t get it financed for you like the real estate agent did. God will let his Son pay the price for you

God’s gift to the world wasn’t salvation, His gift to the world was the death of His only begotten Son on the cross at Calvary. Jesus died for our sins. A price we could never pay. Salvation was the result of that Gift.

Go ahead and get a drink like the women at the well did. Drink the everlasting water of salvation and remember it was God’s love for you that made it possible for you to drink. God’s love for this world is told in John 3:16. Go ahead and let God show you His love, it’s overwhelming!!!

Weekly Word Definition – Prayer

The word for this week is “Prayer”

A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God. Oxford Dictionary

An address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought. Merriam – Webster

In the Bible “prayer” is used in a simpler and a more complex a narrower and a wider signification. In the former case, it is supplication for benefits either for one’s self (petition) or for others (intercession). In the latter, it is an act of worship which covers all soul in its approach to God. Supplication is at the heart of it, for prayer always springs out of a sense of need and a belief that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). But adoration and confession and thanksgiving also find a place, so that the suppliant becomes a worshipper. It is unnecessary to distinguish all the various terms for prayer that are employed in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But the fact should be noticed that in the Hebrew and Greek aloe there are on the one hand words for prayer that denote a direct petition or short, sharp cry of the heart in its distress (Psalm 30:2; 2 Cor. 12:8), and on the other “prayers” like that of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10), which is in reality a song of thanksgiving, or that of Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, in which intercession is mingled with doxology (Eph. 3:14-21). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

There are four things all Christians must know about prayer.

To have a good prayer life, you must have a good relationship with God. To obtain the good relationship, you must study God’s word and learn His will.

Be humble and contrite, God will be willing and generous.

Weekly Word Definition

The Definition for the week is for “Blessed.”

BLESSED

bles’-ed (barukh):

Where God is referred to, this word has the sense of “praise,” as in 1 Samuel 25:32, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel.” But where man is in mind it is used in the sense of “happy” or “favored,” and most frequently so in the Psalms and the Gospels, as for example, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked” (Psalms 1:1); “Blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:42); “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). “Bible Study Tools Online”

There are many learned bible scholars that say the word blessed simply means “happy.”   These people have me seriously challenging their walk with God. These same scholars probably also tell the people in their congregation to choose one of the Beatitudes to live by as Christians, I have heard that more than one time.

The Beatitudes are a list of standards that all Christians must live by. Not just one of them, all of them.

The best definition of “Blessed” that I have ever read comes from the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 37422, U.S.A.

Blessed: Makarios

One is pronounced “blessed” when God is present and involved in their life. The hand of God is present and directing all their affairs for a divine purpose, and thus, in a sense, such a person lives Coram Deo; before the face of God. Blessedness is sharing in the life of God (2 Peter 1:4), being favorably affected and influenced by God. This involves, among other things, participating in the Kingdom (Luke 6:20; 12:37) recompense (Luke 14:14), forgiveness (Romans 4:7-8; Matthew 6:14-15), freedom of conscience (Romans 14:22), the Second Coming (Titus 2:13) and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 4:14). among other things.

The point is that “happiness” is the result of being “Blessed”, not the definition. By having God, the Holy Spirit, living in us and directing us, we are sanctified by God and share in His very being, as He shares in ours.

Those who choose to continue to sin will not see God, much less be a part of Him.

Love Never Fails

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (NKJV)

During World War 2, we had some great Generals leading fighting men to keep our freedom in this country. General Eisenhower became President of this country soon after he retired. This country will never forget Generals Patton and MacArthur.

There were two men they tried to get rid of at the start of the war. One was an Air Force Pilot. They turned him down for the Navy because he was too tall. When he went to the Air Force, he was turned down for being underweight. After he gained the weight, they finally waived his height and allowed him to fly. You can see the rest of James Stewart’s story in a movie called “Strategic Air Command.” What he has done for his country was not contained in the service. Jimmy Stewart dedicated his life to entertaining America.

The second man they didn’t want was a man who was too short and too weak. He was constantly sick and had only a fifth-grade education. This man was constantly risking his life for his friends. By the end of the war this man had more and higher decorations than any other man during World War 2. He then went on to dedicate his life to entertaining America. His name was Audie Murphy. You can see his story in the movie, “To Hell and Back.”

There was another man over 2000 years ago who was ridiculed and rejected by His own people. He came preaching salvation and they laughed at Him; His own people turned against Him. This man gave the ultimate sacrifice so undeserving people like you and I could be saved.

Jesus Christ came to this earth to demonstrate a love stronger than that shown by any other man ever. That love is still demonstrated every day.

Jesus died on the cross of Calvary to demonstrate that love, He paid the ultimate price for OUR sins and demonstrated the ultimate love.

These two men continued to show their love for their country through their acting. But in the end that acting came to a stop when they were old.

Christ, however, not only carried His love for all Christians to the grave with him; he also brought that love from the grave when he was resurrected. God’s (Christ’s) love continues today and will continue beyond the end of time. God’s love can never fail.

Christian Word Definition: Patience

Patience is a Virtue: The ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality. The origin of “Patience is a Virtue” goes as far back as the fifth century.

The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

The Bible definition of patience.

The quality or virtue of patience is presented as either forbearance or endurance. In the former sense it is a quality of self-restraint or of not giving way to anger, even in the face of provocation; it is attributed to both God and man and is closely related to mercy and compassion.

The Bible says that hope is needed to be patience. For Christians it is our hope in Jesus Christ that brings patience. If we have no hope, we have no need for patience. Patience is also closely aligned with love as well as hope. Love is full of patience and hope.

The word translated “patience” in this verse means “endurance.” A Christian runs the race patiently by persevering through difficulties. In the Bible, patience is persevering towards a goal, enduring trials, or expectantly waiting for a promise to be fulfilled. Patience does not develop overnight.

The Bible calls patience a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22), which means that patience adorns our bodies like a beautiful apple on a tree that is fed by living water. Because of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to use patience (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Bible Verses About Patience – Scripture Quotes on Being Patient. We all face moments where our patience wears thin – either with others, with ourselves, or to be honest, with God’s plan. According to Scripture, patience is a virtue and a fruit of the Spirit, a sign of someone who trusts in God. According to 1 Samuel “lack of patience can cause you to miss blessings.”

When my wife and I talk to people about our marriage, I always tell people that I have had some fun and my wife has had an abundance of patience. Patience can make your life more fun and it can also bring joy to others.

The Things Which God has Prepared for Those Who Love Him

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

I think the Bible Knowledge Commentary sums up verse 9 better than anyone else I have read.

The blessings of salvation were prepared by the Father, carried out by the Son, and applied by the Spirit (Eph. 1:3-14) to all believers who as a result, love God.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
  1. God has been setting the stage for salvation since the beginning of time. Man was created to look, act, and think like God.
    1. God created man in His own image, Genesis 1:27
    2. God Breathed the breath of life into man, Genesis 2:7
    3. God has given us the “Mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
  2. All that God created; He gave to man. Genesis 1:28
  3. God demonstrated His ultimate love toward man by giving His only Son to die on the cross in our place. To pay for the sins we committed, Jesus was sacrificed. He had no sin.
  4. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was introduced to man. He was not given to man to judge man, but to lead man in the ways of God. The Spirit was given to help us understand God’s word, enjoy God’s love, and live a Christian Life.

Today our young people read these verses of scripture and they mean extraordinarily little to them. They cannot understand how we could own all this and not make a profit from it. In fact, we do make a profit, just not each individual.

Even those who are Christians have a hard time putting all this in perspective. We get hung up on, “what do I get out of all this?”

Simple, you get all that is listed above and a lot more. All that is listed above is already our responsibility, and there will be much more to come.

Christ stated in John 14:10 that the statements He made didn’t come from Him, they came from the Father. Why? Because the Father lived in Christ just as the Holy Spirit lives in the Christian today.

Paul and eleven of the twelve disciples were called Apostles, I too have that distinction because I also teach and preach the Gospel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t put myself in the same circles as those Apostles, but God does. I am a part of that circle of teachers and preachers because that is the way God structures the church.

I do not share the same physical father as Christ; however, I do share the same Spiritual Father. If I love my Spiritual Father as Christ did, the Holy Spirit will live in me just as the Holy Spirit lived in Christ (Matt 3:16-17). With the Holy Spirit to guide me and tell me what to teach and preach, how could I possibly go wrong? However, I do have to follow the commands.

How does one follow (obey) the commands, quite simple, you live the bible daily. If you are living the word of God daily, you will automatically follow the commands because they are a part of the bible.

I can live the bible the same way Christ did. I am in the Father and the Father is living in me.

Let me explain two things that people often get wrong.

  1. Christianity is not a religion; it is a Way of Life.
  2. God has already given us His love through the death of Jesus on the Cross. Now we must give our love to God by following His commands

If you are indeed a Christian, then you live in the Father and the Faither lives in you just as He lived in Christ. You are a part of God because God lives in you. AMEN!!

While We Were Still Sinners

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Jack Goodall was a good man. He paid his bills on time and always put others first. There were those that would have told you not to have any financial dealings with Jack, he didn’t believe in the golden rule. He believed that you should get all the money you could from each customer.

Dan Harris took his wife to church any time she wanted to go. However Dan was a very angry man who didn’t believe in God. Dan loved to fight and was a big man. In other words, Dan was the man you definitely stepped aside from when you met him on the sidewalk.

Tom Patrick was not one to cheat people and he never let his temper get away from him. Tom believed in helping his fellow man all he could, However, Tom was a womanizer. He liked taking the ladies home from the bar and staying for a while.

Each one of these men had their “sinful ways” that defined their lives. None of the three men actually believed in God. However, none of them kept their families from worshipping any time they could.

One Sunday night, all three of the men took their families to a revival meeting at one of the churchs in town. There was a large crowd and none of the men wanted to stay, but they wanted to be with their families.

The preacher chose John 3:1-16 for his sermon that night. The preacher was at his best that night and each man’s heart was ready. When the preacher finished his sermon and gave the call to the alter, all three men walked to the alter and dropped to their knees and confessed their sins. They gave the sins to God and God demonstrated His love by giving them salvation.

Notice that God didn’t wait for them to change their lives before He gave them salvation. God didn’t make them go to some class to be saved. God didn’t wait for them to be saved before He loved them. No, God loved these men while they were still sinners. God gave them salvation before they confessed their sins. Just as the scripture says, God love and saved them while they were still sinners.

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 3:16 (NKJV)

God’s largest act of Love was to give His only son to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Not just for the people who was alive at that time, but also for the sins of the people who would be born in the future. Jesus died not only for those who were sinning then, but also for me, a person that would be born in the distant future.

God still loves the world, because He is still giving salvation to any sinner who will profess their love to Christ.

For He Dwells with You and Will Be in You

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

Please forgive me, I would like to break this verse of scripture down to get the true meaning and unfortunately just how dumb I can be sometimes.

The first statement that Jesus makes here is, “If You Love Me.”

There are some that advocate that you begin to “Love” Christ the moment you turn your life over to Him. I will stipulate that this is possible, it is also very unlikely. The feelings we have for Christ at that moment is “faith.”

I was one of the people that was extremely fortunate and had a person who was a good disciple. He was good at explaining the things that had been taught in the wrong context and showing how to replace them.

By using Hebrews 11:6 he was able to teach me the difference between love and faith in God’s eyes.

After we demonstrate our “faith” and accept Christ as our Savior, then we are on the correct road to salvation. As we study God’s word and get to know God, our love for God and Christ begins to grow.

When we learn to love God and apply that knowledge, then we must complete our works. God’s love comes at a price. Christ said we must “Keep My Commands.”

When we apply the knowledge we have learned and demonstrate that we can keep the commands and choose to not sin, it is at that point we become Christians. At that point Christ said “he” would pray to the Father and ask for Him to give us another helper.

You would be amazed at how many teachers and preachers I have heard teaching the Christ was living in us, this verse of scripture says different and so does John 14:3. In this verse of scripture, Christ says he has gone to prepare a place for us. We will need this place when Christ comes again to claim us and take us with him. That is God’s Love Supreme.

There are many that will tell you that you receive the Helper (Holy Spirit) the moment you are saved. Not according to the bible. We must first learn God’s word enough to learn to love God and keep His commands daily. If you are following the commands all day, there won’t be time for sin.

When I was saved, I wanted everyone to see the difference in me, but that was not possible. They wanted to see the change last in me.

Remember, the world can’t see God’s love and grace. They can’t respond to the Holy Spirit because they can’t see that He is present. Christianity is a way of life that we must live daily. The results of living a Christian Life are what the world can see in you.

The One Who Loves Me will be Loved by My Father

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:21 (NIV2011)

Do you own a bible? If you do, then you have the commands of God and Christ. They are all written in the bible.

Are you automatically responsible for the commands, just because they are in the bible? No! You are responsible for the commands only after you have repented of your sin and have accepted Christ as your savior.

When a person repents of their sin, that sin is lifted and room is made for the salvation of Jesus Christ, the new convert is given a gift bible by the church. This action represents two different parts of that person’s salvation.

  1. The church has just fulfilled the first part of this verse of scripture and they have helped the person being converted get and hopefully keep the first part of the scripture represented here. The church gave them the commands of God.
  2. Which of the commands are we, as Christians, responsible for? We are responsible for every command given by God from the 10 commandments given on Mt. Sinai to the birth of Jesus.
  3. Although Christ never gave many commands for us to follow, He did give a few. The commands given by Christ are just as important as those given by God. We are responsible for both.

Just because we have the commands in the bible doesn’t mean that we know them enough to follow them. This is where the work comes in. Now we must study that bible to find out what those commands are and how they apply to us.

Most of the good churches will assign someone to disciple the new convert to teach them “how” to study the bible. This usually takes 2-3 weeks. Once the disciple releases the new convert, they are on their own.

The study given by the disciple, in no way prepares the convert to be a Christian. That preparation takes a lifetime.

God’s first command (Exodus 20:1) states that we shall have no other God’s before Him. That is not a command that can only be done on Sunday morning. To honor that command, you must make sure (on a daily basis) that you have not allowed any other thing, including money, to come before God.

That new position you were offered in the firm will come with a big promotion, a raise in salary, and more responsibility. If you accept a new position that keeps you from going to church, then you have broken the command and the love God has been giving you is in vain.

You have allowed money, pride, and self-conceit to come before God. That breaks the command, and you can’t allow that to happen.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12 (NKJV)

Christ said we must love one another. We must do this every minute of every day. If something happens to make us angry at someone, we must stop, forgive that person of whatever they did and love them. Notice that forgiveness comes first. Unforgiveness can block love and keep it from getting to the person it is directed toward.

If we follow the commands of God and Christ daily, then it makes being a Christian easy.

The most satisfying compliment I have ever gotten was when a man looked at me and said, “I see Christ in you.”

People are supposed to see Christ in you. Why? Because you, as a Christian, have the Holy Spirit in you (John 14:17).

Remember, Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a way of life. You must walk beside God all day every day.

As I Have Loved You

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

One Sunday morning not too long ago, a preacher from the mid-west stood up in church one Sunday morning and asked how many loved the lord as much as He had loved them. Over three quarters of the church raised their hands.

The preacher then asked that ten of those who raised their hand come forward and stand in front of the podium. There were many who came forward and the preacher had to select ten of them and asked that the remainder of them be seated.

Suddenly the county sheriff and 5 deputies came into the room and asked the ten people selected to turn around and be cuffed. They refused. They wanted to know what was going on.

The preacher looked at them and stated that one of the members of the church was to be executed the next day and the judge said he would let him go if ten people would die in his place.

One of the church members stood and asked why ten had to die to save just one person. One of the deputies answered, to show that you have 10 Christians in this church. The person standing stated that they were all Christians. They had demonstrated that by coming forward. The preacher re-read the scripture and stated that you only demonstrated that you were a Christian if you were willing to die.

There are a lot of churches that run around calling each other brothers and sisters, but if you told them they had to die for one of them to prove their love, I wonder how many of them would fall short of being a Christian. I have heard several people state; well, you don’t have to be willing to die for someone to be a Christian. Read that scripture again. Jesus loved us enough to die for us on the cross and the scripture states “as I have loved you.”

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 15:9-10 (NKJV)

If we aren’t willing to die for one another, we can’t even abide in the love of God. We aren’t even keeping the commands of God. I’m not talking about the Jewish law; I’m talking about the commandments given by God.

Many people have a problem distinguishing between the Jewish Law and the Commandments of God. The difference is simple. The Jewish Law was given for the people to live by; The Commandments of God were given for us to live for.

It is up to each individual to search their own soul and find out whether they love God enough to die for their brother or sister. As Christ stated, that’s how you can tell they are Christians.