Weekly Devotional – Let God Be Your Healer!

John 5:5-9 (NKJV)

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

Sandy and I had just moved to Florida, and we found a well-established church and were attending it. One day the pastor and I were discussing the bible and I couldn’t help noticing they were not in any way helping the community. When I asked the pastor why, I was astonished at his answer.

The pastor stated it was not the responsibility of the church to address the physical needs of the congregation or the community. He stated, all the bible tells us to do is take care of the spiritual needs.

I’m sorry, but I don’t seem to be able to find any scripture to back up his statement. To the contrary, Jesus went about healing as a means of developing a report with the people so he could tell them about God and how to get eternal life.

Jesus healed those who needed healing as an example for you and me. If we establish good will and our church body receives a good witness from the lost in the community, you will begin to see an increase in the church.

Do your part as a Christian. Volunteer at the food bank, the library, the hospital, or any other place where people might have a need. Let God use you to heal those who need healing whether physical or spiritual.

Another church we attended was good about trying to heal the people both physically and spiritually. They tried to use the voice of the community to determine the needs of those who didn’t know God.

When I received salvation, it wasn’t because of something the community said, it wasn’t because of something I heard on the news, it wasn’t because of a visit from some missionary from some organization. I received salvation by the grace of God.

I received salvation because I heard the gospel preached and I believed what I heard. The Gospel has nothing to do with politics, community groups or how many people we help or how much money we donate. Salvation is given when the heart is right.

I have seen church organizations that worked hard to get people to come to their church and when they did, they heard the latest opinion on the gay rights or voting rights or something else equally as unimportant to the receiving of salvation.

When these people finally come to the church, it is to hear the truth preached and that is not happening. In fact, some of our congregations believe we should not subject the lost to the truth of the bible until after they are saved.

I think all of us need to study the bible and allow God to lead us and tell us what we need to do, not the latest trends of the community.

Weekly Devotional – The Food Is Better In The Next Valley

Genesis 3:6 (NKJV)

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

There was a man back home in Arkansas who loved his wife very much. Too much I fear. He would find a job with good benefits and proceed to learn the position. The man’s wife would be talking to some of the wives and learn about a job that would pay more. The wife would nag at her husband until he would change jobs again.

Soon the word got around about the man not remaining with a company very long and soon the job market shrank so much, it became very hard to find a job. They soon had to move to another city and leave all their friends. Not long after arriving in the new city, the wife hated it so much she left him and went back where they were before.

What would have happened if Adam and Eve had been satisfied with what they had been given and trusted what God had told them? Just how much better off do you think the world would be?

Sometimes Christians of today do the same thing Adam and Eve did. We want to find the perfect denomination. One that will let us do what we want to do without causing us to feel bad about our sins. I’m here to tell you from experience, that denomination does not exist. Oh the preacher might tell you it is ok to sin. Many of them do so you will put more money in the plate, but they are particular about what type of sin you commit. Each one of them are different on that subject.

What we must learn as Christians is that the original sin was not committed because Adam and Eve listened to satan and were deceived, the original sin was committed because they didn’t listen to what God told them.

The same thing is happening to Christians today. We go to church and listen to the preacher, and he tells us about Romans 3:23, but never tells us about verses 24-26. The Sunday School Teachers are quick to avoid telling us about 1 Thessalonians 2:4 or 2 Timothy 2:15. They want us to listen to them, not ask questions, not study to see what God has to say. They don’t want us to use any bible that doesn’t use an antiquated language. They want us to continue to sin and need forgiveness every day, because in their minds, that gives them job security.

Find a church where God is present when you walk in. You will be able to feel His Soothing Spirit. The Pastor and the teachers tell you to study and show yourself approved to God. Then listen to God, do as He tells you to do. Let God use you to do His work in the church, in the community, but most of all in your family. If you listen to God and follow His commands, you will be better off than Adam and Eve, you won’t sin. Let God feed you the food you need through His word!!!

Weekly Devotional – Faith In Christ

Colossians 1:1-8 (NKJV)
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints;
because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,  who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

All true Christians are brothers and sisters in the love and fellowship of Christ. Love and devotion run through every aspect of every character and relationship of the Christian life.

Faith, hope, and love are the three principal graces in the Christian life and help in establishing the basis for prayer and thanksgiving. The more we fix our hopes on the reward in heaven, the freer we shall be to do good with our earthly treasure. It is stored up for us and no enemy can deprive us of it.

The gospel is the word of truth, and we may safely establish the condition of our souls on it. And all who hear the word of the gospel, should bring forth the fruit of the gospel, obey it, and have their principles and lives formed around it.

Worldly love results from the same views of interest or from likeness in manners. This type of love is universally unstable because of its lack of foundation from the beginning.

Carnal love will arise from the lust and desires for pleasure. To these, something corrupt, selfish, and base always exists.

However, Christian love arises from the Holy Spirit and is full of righteousness and holiness. Christian Love is transferred from one person to another through the Holy Spirit. With the help of God through the Holy Spirit that lives “in us” (John 14:17) and we are able to give a love that is 10 times stronger than any other love and is much more stable.

Why are Christians the only ones that receive this love from God? Because they are the only part of religion that believes in Christ as their savior.

The Jews reject Christ all together as if He doesn’t exist. All the cult organizations say that Christ is no more than a prophet. All the Christians live their lives for God through Christ.

To be a Christian we must be “Christ like.” To be like Christ, we must also live like Christ. We must think (1 Cor. 2:16) like Christ, we must (John 15:9-10) love like Christ. We must allow people to see Christ in us (Gal. 2:20) and we must always act (John 15:9-10) like Christ.

Can you say you are a Christian?

Weekly Devotional – Doing Good For The Sake Of The Gospel

Titus 2:1-15

Paul normally follows a rebuke of false doctrine with an admonition of how the believer should act (2 Tim. 3:10, 14). Sound means “healthy.” Paul makes frequent use of the term in the Pastoral Epistles.

While some people’s deeds disprove their claim to know God, Titus in contrast was to teach the people to live in a way consistent with sound teaching, in a way that would affirm rather than deny their claim to know God. The instruction addressed typical groups within the family structure (older men, older women, younger women, younger men, and slaves).

Paul views sound doctrine as the root that produces the fruit of sound practice (good works), such as faith, love, and patience (v. 2), as well as sound speech (v. 8). Right thinking is the raw material for right actions (Ps. 119:11; Prov. 23:7; Rom. 12:2; James 1:13-15). Our actions will naturally reveal the direction of our thoughts.

Teaching in these verses is practical and focuses on the domestic sphere. Paul emphasizes that older women can help model for young women what it means to be a wife and mother.

In keeping with the theme of good works (vs. 1, 2), older women are not to engage in evil practices like slander, gossip, or drunkenness; instead, they are to teach younger women.

In each of these verses, important statements are made about the desired result of “spiritual living.” Such living keeps us from providing a basis for the gospel (God’s message) to be slandered. Such living also highlights the attractiveness of the gospel.

This paragraph provides the theological basis for the lifestyle commended in verses 1-10. Christians should live sanctified lives because the grace of God that saves us also instructs us to live in a new way. A person cannot claim to be a recipient of God’s saving grace if he is not also a trainee in the lifestyle made possible by grace.

Paul concludes his instructions to various age groups by reminding Titus that his personal life is an essential aspect of his teaching. More people will learn from our daily actions than from what we say. Therefore, we must pay careful attention that our lives are in line with our beliefs.

This scripture has sometimes been misunderstood as saying that all people will be saved. However, such a reading is not made necessary by the words here, and it flatly contradicts other portions of Scripture. The force of all people is to emphasize the universal offer of the gospel. The offer of salvation is proclaimed not just to one group but to all peoples.

Godlessness refers to behavior that is not in accordance with God’s ways. Lusts refer not only to abnormal sexual desires but to sinful desires of the heart in general.

The verb used here for wait often carries the illusion of eagerness. The eager expectation of the return of Christ mentioned here is not just the time of the instruction of grace; it is also the way grace teaches us to renounce sin and live in a “godly way” (Titus 2:12). Setting our minds on the truth of Christ’s return impels us to holiness (1Jn 3:2-3). The blessed hope is the appearing of Christ. The reference to Jesus as God and Savior is a strong affirmation of His deity.

The phrase “people for His own possession” translates an unusual phrase with intentional echoes from the OT (Ex 19:5; Mal 3:17). The phrase expresses the sense of “prized, treasured possession” (1Pe 2:9).

This verse is an unmistakable call for authoritative teaching in the church.

As a teacher, I can tell you that there are not enough hours in a day to be able to teach you how to be a Christian. You learn to be a Christian by studying your bible one on one with God.

To show people we have changed our lives is not enough. Even satan changed his life after he was removed from heaven; however, he did not become a Christian.

The Holy Spirit is not given to us so we can allow Him to lead us every day, so He can tell us what to do every minute, so he can keep us from sin. That is not the mission of the Holy Spirit. The Mission of the Holy Spirit is to teach us and to pick us up “if we fall” not when we fall.

Weekly Devotional – A Call To Persevere

Jude 1:17-23

If the Holy Spirit could be bought, I figure it would be worth millions by now. But it can’t be bought with money. In fact, you must earn the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in John 14:15-17 that He would pray to the Father to send us a Helper only on one condition. Jesus stated, “if you love Me, keep My Commands.” That’s the condition! Keep My Commands.

After presenting the way to Heaven through the “narrow gate” (Matt. 7:13-14) Jesus warned the disciples about another gate that was opened wide and there were false prophets (Matt. 7:15-20) that would try to trick you into using the wrong gate. These false teachers were compared by Christ as being “ravenous wolves.”

Jude urged his readers to remember that these false teachers were nothing new because the apostles had foretold of such people who scoffed at those who refused to follow them. Jude may have referred to warnings like those in Ac 20:29-30 and 1Tim 4:1-3. The heretics created divisions and followed their ungodly desires. As people who were unbelievers, they did not have the Holy Spirit.

In warning the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees of their ultimate destruction if they continued on their present path, Jesus pronounced seven woes, each beginning with Woe to you. “Those woes, in contrast to the Beatitudes, denounce false religion as utterly detestable to God and worthy of severe condemnation. In six of the seven, Jesus called the leaders you hypocrites.

Jesus could call them hypocrites because He had already seen their fruit. The conduct of the Christian is listed in Matthew 5:3-12 and these are the ways we can demonstrate our love for Christ. These are the branches spoken of in John 15:1-8 and these branches bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

His first woe concerned the fact that the Pharisees were preventing others from entering the kingdom. Their hostility toward Jesus had caused many to turn away from Him. Many Jews were looking to their leaders for direction. Their failure to accept Jesus as Messiah had placed a stumbling block in the paths of their countrymen. For this, they stood condemned.

Paul warned of the false teachers (1Tim. 1:3-7) and told Timothy to oppose them. Again in 1 Timothy 6:2-10. Paul warns against the false teachers and points out their love for money. There are those who desire the attention brought by causing controversy among the people of the particular church congregation.

In 2 Timothy 2:14-26, Paul talks to Timothy about how he should deal with these false teachers. First and foremost we should be concerned for their souls and try to turn them around and bring them to Christ.

Peter also warned about these false prophets (teachers) (2Peter 2:1-22). Peter compared their punishment to several of the punishments God had exacted on the human race in the beginning. Peter talked about the fallen angels, the flood, the judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah and others. The result of this warning was to show the Believers what would eventually happen to these evil people.

After primarily describing the false teachers up to this point, Jude now exhorted his readers on how to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3). They were to show mercy to those who were wavering, reach out to those who had already been taken in and needed to be snatched from the fire (Amos 4:11; Zech. 3:2), and show concern for the wayward heretics, all at the same time. But believers were to be careful lest they also became defiled.

There are those that think they can go to church and listen to the preacher and that is all they need to do. Wrong! Each and every one of us must challenge the teachers and preachers by studing the lesson and the bible readings to make sure the teachers and preachers are really sent by God.

If we continue to just sit and do nothing, we are no better than the false teachers and preachers that are trying to destroy the church community.

Start with prayer to seek guidance from God. Then study your bible and allow God to teach you. You will find that God knows much more than you and the teacher or preacher you are trying to follow.

Weekly Devotional – The Prayer of Faith

James 5:13-20

In this section of James, we are going to talk about the most important and most powerful tool we have other than God’s Word. This tool is used in accordance with our relationship with God. How well we know God’s word, and how often we use this tool will determine how effective it is. Of course, we are talking about prayer. We are not talking about just any prayer; we are talking about the “Prayer of Faith.”

James used a series of questions followed by commands as an effective way of exhorting the congregation to prayer and worship. A fitting climax to James’ letter is his emphasis on prayer. The greatest assistance any believer can offer another is faithful prayer. Prayer is clear evidence of care. Prayer is the “hotline” to the One who can provide for any need no matter how complex or impossible it may seem. To share in prayer, a believer must have a sensitivity to someone’s needs, engage in diligent supplication for those needs, and recognize the significance of those needs.

  • James asked if anyone was suffering. James wasn’t talking about suffering pain due to illness. We know this because of his next question. What James was referring to was a type of suffering caused by a bad decision concerning our spiritual life.

Jesus Christ bore the grief and sorrows of humanity as the culmination of the “sufferings,” which is “pathēma” in Greek, begun by Adam’s sin (1 Pet. 2:24).

Throughout the centuries Christians have referred to Jesus’ sufferings as His Passion. Before Jesus experienced His “passion,” He told His disciples that they would encounter many trials and sorrows for His sake (John 16:33). Paul taught that entrance to the kingdom of God comes with many tribulations (Acts 14:22), which must not shake a Christian’s faith (1 Thess. 3:3). They are to be understood rather as a finishing up of the remainder of Christ’s suffering for His body, the church (2 Cor. 4:10-11; Col. 1:24).

The Bible says affliction will grow more intense as “the end” approaches (Matt. 24:9-14; 2 Tim. 3:13). Don’t allow these sufferings and troubles to turn you away from God. I know several who hate God because of losing a loved one, they want to know why God killed their baby, He didn’t. They want to know why God allowed their spouse to die, He didn’t.

Many preachers who are not well versed in the bible, and teachers also, have given them this impression of God. God does not steal, kill or test anyone. We are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and God passed on to us His free will. As such, God cannot interfere with that free will. It is the wrong decisions we make that cause these things.

  • Is anyone sick? Call the Elders. Elders, who functioned in various capacities in the early church, should anoint any sick person with olive oil and pray over him. Olive oil was considered a cure-all ointment in the ancient world, but for James, the real healing power is in prayer.

The prayer of faith echoes James 1:5-8. The word save refers to physical healing (Mark5:23,28,34; 10:52; John 11:12). The Lord will restore the person to health does not indicate that death is at hand, but that once healed by the power of God the sick person could get up and walk (Mt 9:5-7; Mk 1:31; 2:9-12; 9:27; Ac 3:7).

He will be forgiven indicates that perhaps the illness was connected with sin, such as drunk driving, and the prayers of the elders could bring spiritual healing as well. If the person confesses their trespasses as James indicates in verse 16 and repents of them, God will welcome them into the church.

Weekly Devotional – 4 Sept 2021

Listening and Doing

James 1:19-27

In verses 19-21 we deal with a subject that is so wrongfully taught in our churches, anger. There are many church denominations that teach the sin of anger. Naturally, they don’t give scripture references because there aren’t any to be found.

James didn’t say that anger was a sin, he simply stated that anger would not lead to the righteousness God wants us to have. The sin is in the action taken because of the anger. People who have problems with anger usually let the anger linger and it turns to malice and sometimes vengeance.

Paul told the people at Ephesus. “be angry, but do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26) Paul went on to say that we should not allow this anger to linger through the night. We should resolve the anger before the sun goes down. If you do as Paul tells you, the problem will go away. Your anger won’t turn to anything that is a sin.

Did you know that most people who get angry are expressing their disappointment with themselves? Don’t take that anger out on someone else. Listen to the other person, if they make you angry, simply excuse yourself and walk away. Anger without actions only leads to ulcers and never affects the other person.

Herein lies my problem. I don’t wait. I usually start saying things that offend. I never use vulgar language or anything of that sort. God took that type of language from me years ago. But I do have to apologize to that person and make it right. Behavior of this sort is not a sin, but it does not lead to the righteousness that God wants Christians to display at all times. Don’t allow the world to make you look bad to God.

In verses 22-27, James is talking about actions connected to our faith. Many churches teach that we are saved by faith alone and you don’t need anything else. While they are correct about you being saved and your sins were forgiven, they fail to mention the rest of the story.

Being saved is only the second of many steps that must be taken to attain salvation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:21 that these people, who have only the faith, will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. The action Jesus mentions here is that you do the will of the Father. You can’t go to church on Sunday and listen to the preacher or teacher and hope to do the will of the Father. You must study the bible for yourself also.

When our pastor preaches, I follow his bible reading myself and then I listen to what he says and I know he is telling the truth. How do I know that? Because I have studied the bible for many years with God, with the pastor, and with different teachers. I have taken courses online that were recommended by those I know are truly called by God to teach or preach.

Not everyone who comes to church and professes to be a Christian are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of them are Believers, some of them are confused and have been deceived, some are just pretending to be Christians to impress their friends (Matthew 12:49-50).

People who live “in Christ” also live in the love of Christ. We must follow the commands of God and of Jesus in order to live “in Christ.” In John 15;9-17, Jesus tells us how we can accomplish this. If we are brothers and sisters in Christ, we must have the same love for God and for each other that Jesus had. Jesus said, “if you keep my Commands you will remain in my love.” Jesus went on to say that we should keep those commands as He had kept the Father’s commands. Jesus never sinned, because He lived as the Father had told Him to live. If we study the bible, prayerfully, we will learn both the Father’s commands and those of Christ.

James sums up this whole thing in today’s scripture reading. In verse 22 James tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” In other words, we must listen to the teachers and preachers but more importantly, we must study the word, then we must live what we have heard and what we have learned through studying the word. If we can’t live the word every day, we deceive ourselves and are not Christians

Don’t be deceived!!!

Weekly Devotional – The Holy Spirit Promised

I know we have talked about this before, but I believe this is a subject that can’t be talked about enough. The Holy Spirit is what makes us Christians.

You see I grew up going to a church that was, I believe, scared of the Holy Spirit. They very rarely mentioned the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe they knew how to explain it.

Jesus actually makes two promises in this scripture.
  1.  Jesus promises that He will pray to the Father and the Father will give us an Advocate to help us with our daily lives.
  2. Jesus promises He won’t leave us as orphans.

The first promise is not free. Jesus gave some strict rules for us to follow in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Just because we are Believers, doesn’t mean we get a free ride. Faith is an important part of salvation, but faith alone is not enough (James 2:14-17). Let us look for a moment at these steps we must take.

  1. We must have a pure heart. We must repent of all our sins and give them to Christ for the forgiveness He gave us by His blood shed on the Cross of Calvary.
  2. We must believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16). This is the faith we must have to move those mountains. Until we become Christians and receive the Holy Spirit to help us, we must have that faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Without that faith, we can’t keep our hearts pure for the Holy Spirit to enter.
  3. We must keep our Heart pure through the study of God’s Word. We can’t build a relationship with Christ without getting to know Him. We have the bible for that purpose. To know Christ is to love Him. Notice the first thing Jesus says. “If you Love Me.” Without that love, we will not receive the Holy Spirit.
  4. And finally, keep My commands. The commands Jesus talks of here have nothing to do with the law. The Ten Commandments were given by God. These Commandments are not the law, but the law was “based” on them. There are other commands given in the Old and New Testaments that we must follow. These commands are in addition to the law. Remember all scripture is given by God (2Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus said He would ask the Father and the Father would send us an Advocate. Notice how Jesus is protecting us by not leaving us alone to fight the darkness without any protection. Since the moment we believed, we have had the blood of Christ to protect us. Now we have something more to ensure we can live in the spirit.

Jesus also promised that He would not leave us orphans. Jesus came to the world to save the world. We only have to read John 1:1-18 to understand what Jesus was talking about when He made that promise.

The word given by the Apostles was inspired by God. This word was Christ incarnate and the word continues to inspire the same belief today as it did in the beginning of the church. Christ is also one of the three members of the Godhead. Without any one part, the Godhead would not be complete.

We need only to look at the divisions of the Godhead to understand it.

  • God created us
  • Jesus saves us
  • The Holy Spirit guides and protects us

What an awesome God we have. Without God, we would still be moving around in darkness with no purpose in our lives. God is more than salvation to us, God is our reason for living, our reason for kindness, our reason for forgiveness.

Without God, we would be nothing “again.”  Put God in your life and I mean the whole God, not just the first part. You need all three to be a Christian, God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit!!

Weekly Devotional – 21 Aug, 2021

Only Begotten Son

Genesis 22:1-19

Every person who has ever gone to church has heard the story of Abraham and Isaac. It took a lot of faith to be willing, without question, to sacrifice your son as a burnt offering. Abram had the ultimate faith in God.

We see in verse 7 that Isaac questioned his father about the lamb for the offering. In Verse 8 Abraham told his son that God would provide the lamb. By his faith, Abraham knew that God would not allow him to sacrifice his son.

Sacrifices have been around since the beginning of time. Abel gave a sacrifice to God. He gave the firstborn of his flock. Cain also gave a portion of his grain (Genesis 4:3-4). The jealousy connected to this sacrifice was the reason for the first murder in the history of man.

How did these two know to sacrifice to God? At some point they had to have had an interaction with God and perhaps Adam or Eve told them the story of their beginning and the sin they caused. Either way, faith was born in that first sacrifice. Through the years after Cain and Abel, there have been many sacrifices.

Some scholars have questioned the amount of the sacrifice. However, if they had paid attention to the scripture, God told them the answer. The amount didn’t matter. The condition of the heart and the willingness to give to God the firstborn or first fruits of your labor. It was their willingness to take what was left after you give to God.

A strong plea has been made that: Since faith was what made the sacrifice acceptable to God, this faith must have been based upon a positive enactment of God in the past. Without this divine positive enactment to guarantee its truthfulness, faith, in Abel, would have been declared superstition. In other words, faith, in order to be truly based and properly directed, must have a revelation from God, a positive expression of the divine will.

The same is true today. You can go to church a hundred times for your own reasons, but the first time you go to church because you feel you should; that is when you are ready to have enough faith to be saved. God is working in your heart and that is a positive interaction with God.

The ultimate interaction with man was the giving of His son to free us from all the sins we had committed so our hearts could be pure, and our thoughts of God could be good.

There are many churches today that concentrate on the punishment of Israel from God. They tell their parishioners that this is what will happen to them if they are not saved. These same churches tell their people nothing about the love of God, the kindness of God, nor the patience of God. Without these, mankind could not exist.

Well, the things mentioned above are things God feels for Christians only. No! Read (John 3:16). The verse begins (For God so Loved the World). Not just the Christians, sinners, or the Jews, God so loved the world! That includes everyone from the beginning of time to the end. It also includes some names that we can’t seem to forgive such as Judas, Matthew, The Paster, the deacons, Hitler, Paul, Martin Luther King, Geronimo, You and Me. When God said the world, He was talking about everyone. God is willing to save them because He gave His only begotten Son for them.

There are many instances in the New Testament where Jesus talks about the arrogance of the tithe given by the Pharisees. It wasn’t that their gift wasn’t enough, it was their attitude. They gave out of obligation and they wanted everyone to know how rich they were giving (Luke 21:1-4). In this scripture the widow gave all she had, out of her love for God.

God was the one that gave all for the sins of man. God gave His Only Begotten Son for the sins of the world. That includes you and me, God gave the final lamb that had to be sacrificed because of the sins of man (John 1:29).

Sacrifices have been an important part of the worship of God, but today a different type of sacrifice is needed, it’s the same faith Abraham had. The humbleness of the soul, it’s the love we give to God, the devotion God shows to us through the Holy Spirit.

Search your heart. What is the reason you worship God? If you don’t go to church, why? If you don’t believe in God, why? If you love God, why?

Weekly Devotional – Aug 14, 2021

The Misused Psalm.

Psalms 23:1-6

I have been hearing this Psalm since I can remember. The problem comes from where I have been hearing this Psalm used. Most of the time this Psalm is used for funerals. Although I do agree that the message is a good one to convince people to think about the hereafter, it is also a good Psalm to use other places.

If this Psalm is so good at inspiring people to think about their future, why not use it in a place where it will do some good for everyone. Many times, I have heard this scripture used when the person being buried was not a Christian, the scripture will not do that person any good.

I can only remember this scripture being preached one or two times in my lifetime in a church service. Why do preachers avoid this scripture so often? I personally think this scripture should be used at least twice per year. I would like to see Psalms 23 used where it would do the most good, with the live people.

The sheep owner frequently tends the flocks himself, but more often he delegates the work to his children (1 Samuel 16:19; 1 Samuel 17:15) or relatives. We know that Jesus is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22), but Jesus has so many flocks in the one congregation, He allows a family member (Romans 8:15) to lead the individual family unit, the husband (1 Cor. 11:3). In such cases, the sheep have good care because the keepers have a personal interest in the well-being of the family unit.

When I was young I longed for the spring when the pastures turned green and the meadows brought forth their wildflowers. I don’t think there is a more beautiful or relaxing place in the world. At least that was what I thought at the time. In my later years, I have found, not a place, but a book that gives me the same secure feeling and the same beauty I experienced in those green pastures. That book is the bible, God’s Word. After I became a Christian, I found that the bible should be used daily to comfort and encourage the family.

God created both the man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27) and when they sinned, God set into motion a plan to return them to His image. Without hesitation, God gave His Only Son to die on the cross for our sins. The death of Jesus on the cross gave us the opportunity to “keep silence” in the world (Psalms 4:4) and not sin. The bible teaches us to “be still” (Psalms 46:10) so we can hear His word and learn to live for Him. What family household doesn’t need that in their lives these days?

This valley of the shadow of death we call live is the one thing that no one should have to fear. We fear our first years of school, we fear our graduation from college or high school, we fear marriage. Yes, there are many things in this life the world has taught us to fear. But God, tells us in His word not to fear any of these things (Matthew 6:25-34) for He will be our provider. God has never said anything about making us rich, but he will never let us need for anything essential.

I believe that Psalms 23 has more to do with the family than the dead. If we used it in the correct context, I believe it should be used to inspire the perfect “wedding vows.” These vows would be read by the husband and wife simultaneously. If I were to use it for the vows, they would read something like this.

  • God is the Shepherd of our household
  • He will lead us when we go to work and when we are together at home
  • We will have no need in our marriage, for God is our provider
  • We will study God’s Word and allow God to comfort us in the green pastures of life
  • We will still our hearts to allow God to guide us every step of the way
  • He has restored our souls to His image through the death Of Jesus on the cross
  • We will live the righteousness expected of someone in the Divine Nature of God
  • We will abstain from sin for His name sake
  • As we walk through this valley called life, we will fear no evil For God is with us
  • His word and His church they comfort us
  • You send me out before the lost of the world to spread your word
  • You anoint us with the oil of your faith and our hearts overflow with Your love
  •  With your help, our family will live in the goodness and mercy of Your love
  •  And we will live in the church with our brothers and sister in Christ forever. AMEN

Who is guiding your marriage?