Category Archives: Devotional Reading

Helping you grow in grace

trusting or laughing?

Genesis 17:15-17  And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.  16  And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.  17  Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? Genesis 18:10-14  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.  11  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.  12  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?  13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?  14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

There are times that God’s plans may seem amusing to us. That is, we think they are so far out in the realm of difficulty we simply dismiss them as being valid. When we do this we are literally saying, ‘this is too hard even for God.’  In these scriptures God tells Abraham and his wife Sarah that they will conceive a child in their old age, and by old age I mean Abraham is one hundred years old and Sarah is ninety. This is one of those times where God breaks the laws of nature. After all he made the laws that govern our body, and sometimes to show his power and control over a situation he works outside of what we know as fact and operates in the realm of faith. If God always worked in what we call normal ways, it would be easy for us to dismiss his handiwork as nothing more than coincidence; but when God changes the “rules” and steps outside the “normal” code of operation as we know it, and a hard thing is accomplished; only God can get credit, and our faith is increased.

Abraham and Sarah’s laughter was not intended to be disrespectful; they were human and therefore conditioned to only believe the facts of what they knew and were comfortable with. Often times God shows his ability in ways we cannot explain. Remember, if we could explain it or figure it out, it wouldn’t be that spectacular would it? I encourage you today to trust God. Even when it seems out of the ball park crazy or it makes no earthly sense at all, rest assured God knows what he is doing and it makes perfect sense to him. Trust and obey instead of laughing. Tell yourself that the God who made you is in complete control even though you cannot explain it or see the end results; God is good all the time and always has our best interest in heart. Nothing is too hard for God!


Walking Tall With Humility

desert-sunset-wallpaper-high-quality-resolution-h7c51 Corinthians 1:27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”

James 4:6 “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Humility is a core characteristic of Jesus Christ. It is only fitting then for the followers of Christ to adopt this trait in their own lives. If we are going to be successful in life and ministry then we must learn this trait of humility. The verses we just read show us that God chooses to use the humble heart, while rejecting the proud heart. God will not and cannot use a proud and self-centered individual to do his work. However, when a person learns humility and embraces it as a way of life God can use this man no matter what his deficiencies may be. Let’s look into the life of Moses and see how God made this man mighty and then used him greatly to help others.

Scripture tells us when Moses turned 40 years old he developed a desire in his heart to help his Hebrew brethren that were being mistreated in Egyptian bondage. Acts 7:23-29 says – “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.” (Read Exodus 1-4:20 and Acts 7:18-36) The Bible teaches us that Moses had good intentions in his heart to help and save his people, the scripture even tells us that Moses believed God would use him to deliver his people; but there is one problem, we never see God calling Moses at this time to deliver his people! Moses jumped the gun and followed his feelings instead of God’s word. Yes, God would call and use Moses, but not now, he wasn’t ready for the task ahead of him. We see Moses here as very confident, sure of himself, even a sense of pride that caused Moses to jump in and save the day before God instructed him to do so. Things didn’t turn out like Moses planned, we find him running for his life and spending the next 40 years in the Midian wilderness, a fugitive of the law and living in spiritual brokenness.

For 40 years Moses lives on the Midian campus of God’s Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building, raising his two sons, caring for his wife and working as a shepherd on his father in laws farm; A job that will teach him many lessons for his next assignment. He has left the lush, pleasant palaces of Egypt for the rough, dusty climate of the Midian desert. He feels let down and forsaken by God. He has learned humility the hard way, as many of us have learned. He now realizes he is not the Super Man of his youthful dreams. Time, hard work and a family have tempered this once prideful, self-reliant free spirited Moses into a more humble, useful man. God did not bring Moses to the desert to abandon and destroy him there; He took him there to build and develop him into a rugged, trustworthy hero that would be able to deliver His people from bondage and then lead them for 40 years in a rough wilderness climate and be strong enough to never give up! It’s interesting that Moses spends 40 years in wilderness schooling for 40 years of wilderness service. Never consider long lessons to be a waste of time, but rather a useful investment of time that will pay off at a later date.

God approaches Moses in the wilderness in Exodus chapters 3 &4 to call him into his work, but instead of finding Moses overconfident and ready to burn up the field, we now find him singing a different tune…a tune of humility. As God is calling Moses to be his ambassador to Egypt, he makes excuses as to why he cannot go. Five different times Moses pleads with God to see that he is inadequate and unable to do what God is asking him to do. Moses is not lazy or bitter to go serve God – he is humble! He honestly feels inadequate to serve in God’s work. This is exactly what God was waiting for. Moses’ 40 year enrolment in the Wilderness University of Humility & Character Building has paid off greatly. It’s at this point that he can graduate with honors and move to the next level of service for God. This is the heart condition that God is looking for in all his workers. James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” God can use an inadequate person, once that person realizes he is inadequate and needs God’s help.





Through the Gospel

2010 Theme Pic_cross only2 Timothy 1:10 “… our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

What an amazing verse! Jesus Christ “abolished death” when he was crucified for our sins, placed in the tomb and rose again the third day. Because Christ beat death, those who trust him as Savior also have victory over death. We will all certainly die one day physically, but a child of God will NEVER die spiritually. Through Christ we have the hope and promise of immortality; eternal life is the result of Jesus Christ living in you. His eternal life becomes your eternal life. FOREVER!

The verse also says that Jesus “brought life” to us. Before a person accepts Christ as their savior, that person is actually a living dead man. He may be alive physically, but he is absolutely and utterly dead spiritually. Sin brings death, and because all mankind is born into sin, all mankind is doomed by that sin. It is a very dismal and despairing thought, but without Christ there is no hope of eternal life; only eternal death in a horrible place called Hell. GOOD NEWS, when Christ comes into your life he brings everlasting life! Because of Jesus you are brought to life spiritually. You are still part physical which one day will die, but you are also a new creature in Christ spiritually and will never die but live forever in a place called heaven. Life comes to not only your spirit, but also your mind and conscience. In Christ you think differently and see things through new spiritual eyes. You understand more fully as the Holy Spirit of God guides and directs you day by day. Life is in Jesus, and that life is GOOD!

Last, the verse tells us that all of this good news is brought “to light through the gospel.” Which means a person would never know about this wonderful new life without the message of the gospel. The word gospel literally means the good news. The message of Jesus, forgiveness and eternal life is the good news that people need to hear. You will not see this gospel message reported on the nightly news, it will not make national headlines and sadly these days you won’t even hear it mentioned many churches. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, it’s your life’s mission to spread this good news. We should and must tell everyone we can that Jesus is the answer to their sin problem, and that he can forgive and bring eternal life to all who call upon him. If you have never trusted Christ as your personal savior, this message is for you to receive. Simply acknowledge you’re a sinner and ask Jesus to forgive you and give you eternal life. Trust him today as YOUR savior; yes he died for the entire world…but he died for YOU too! He loves you and wants to bless you. Please friend, trust him today.

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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Devotional Reading



jail-cell-with-open-door-and-bunch-of-keys-allan-swartGalatians 5:1, 13 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Liberty is a wonderful, beautiful and powerful gift of God. The Bible first mentions liberty in Leviticus chapter 25 found in the Old Testament, where every 50 years men looked forward to the freedoms found in the year of Jubilee. On this day every debt and debtor was released of bondage. In this year the land would rest from the toils of farming, so that it could rejuvenate and replenish itself. Slaves and travelers who indentured themselves would be released of their commitments and gain privilege to seek new opportunities. This year was truly a Jubilee of liberty like no other day.

Liberty is such a wonderful notion that is filled with blessings and opportunities that God desired it to not only be once every fifty years, but that it would be something men could experience every day of their lives. Since the sin and fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God has been moving towards and preparing for such a day of liberty. In Isaiah chapter 61, God tells of the day his son Jesus would come to earth and make this liberty possible.  Isaiah 61:1  “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”  What a beautiful proclamation and promise found in scripture to the coming blessings of liberty. However wonderful this passage is, it is only the “proclamation” and not the performing of liberty. Here we see liberty being promised only. Don’t be discouraged yet; liberty does not die out here in the Old Testament. Liberty was mentioned for the first time in the Old Testament as a proclamation for liberty, but when liberty is mentioned for the first time in the New Testament, Jesus is procuring liberty for all mankind. Jesus steps onto the world stage that is full of tyranny, bondage, sin and despair and he boldly declares liberty for all who trust him.  Luke 4:18-19  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  The prophet Isaiah spoke of the promise of coming liberty, but it was Jesus Christ who came to make that liberty a reality. When we trust Christ as our personal Savior we receive liberty from sin and death. We now have the opportunity to live free from the bondage of our sinful flesh which brought only corruption and catastrophe with each bad decision. Liberty in Christ gives us the freedom to say no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit of God now living in us, directing us into the good decisions found in God’s word.  Now we can daily find blessings as we serve and obey Jesus Christ.

As wonderful as this liberty is, there is a downside. We are prone to “use” liberty for selfish pleasures. God gives us liberty so that we can be free to serve him and help others, but too often the enemies of liberty would persuade us to use our freedoms to please ourselves.  We are warned of this in scripture, from the passages we read first in the book of Galatians. We are not to “use liberty” for our fleshly lusts and desires, but rather we are to “Stand fast” in the liberty of Christ. It is our duty to hold high the integrity of the liberties and freedoms God gives us. Keep them for their intended purpose; to serve God and others. Yes they are a blessing and opportunity given to us, but they also carry a great duty and responsibility in upholding them.

God grant us strength and courage to stand in this sinful and selfish day. Please help us to never be selfish with our liberty, but to use our liberty to serve our God, our Family, and our Country, and to be ever mindful to meet the needs of others.  Amen.









Developing a Healthy Marriage_Pt. 4

Bride and groom kissing.7. The Faithful Connection – A Steadfast Commitment

“It’s over.” “We’re through.” “I’m finished!” These phrases are too often thrown around in arguments and should never be a part of a Christian’s vocabulary when it comes to marriage. The greatest insecurity in a relationship is the lack of security. Your spouse needs to know that you are in for the long haul. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but how can you resolve problems and work things out if someone is constantly in fear of being abandoned and deserted? When you establish security in a relationship, you establish a key element for long term survival and happiness.

Being faithful is not only a characteristic of a good spouse; it is also a prevailing characteristic of Christ himself. Jesus tells his spouse, the church, in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” He also said in Matthew 28:20 “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” What was Christ doing in these verses? What message was he sending to his followers in John 3:16 when he said “whosoever believeth in him shall never perish, but have everlasting life.”? Jesus wants his bride to know that no matter what trials and difficulties would come our way, He will always be there for us and we will never be abandoned. WOW, What security! The New Testament is full of verses like this offering eternal security to the children of God. If we really want to be like Jesus, we must learn to display this level of commitment and faithfulness in our marriage. If God offers this commitment to us, why then can’t we offer this same security to our spouse and family? What stops us? Allow me to offer some insightful statements that will help us understand the anatomy of commitment and more effectively develop this connection of faithfulness:

  1. You must first accepts Christ’s security for yourself and understand that God will never leave you, before you can offer this kind of commitment to anyone else. Are you 100% sure that you are a child of God and that when you die you are going to heaven? If you are sure of this, do you understand the doctrine of eternal security as taught in the Bible? Take time to study God’s word and learn more about Gods unconditional love and commitment to his children. Learn all you can about the forever faithful nature of God.
  2. Don’t place conditions on your faithfulness. Be faithful and committed to your spouse and family, regardless of what they decide to do. You keep your vows even when others break theirs.
  3. Compare not, want not. To stay committed we must stay content. We cannot be looking at what others have in their relationship and family; and compare what we don’t have to what they do have. This breeds discontentment and will loosen our bands of commitment. When tough times come in a relationship, discontentment makes it easier to walk away than to stay and pray another day.
  4. Don’t be a score keeper. How can you stay committed and faithful to someone you’re trying to beat? Holding grudges and bringing up past failures will destroy the faithfulness in your heart towards your spouse, which will ultimately destroy the relationship. Forgive quickly, fully and totally; no strings attached!
  5. Give more than you take. Be a Christ-like giver. Invest into the relationship with all your might. When you are building and investing in something you tend to protect it and hold it in high regard. The more you help and do for your spouse and family, the less likely you are to do anything to destroy them.

This list is not exhaustive, but it is to the point on the basics for developing a marriage that is biblical, healthy and strong enough to last the tests of time. Your home and marriage has the potential to be great and wonderful, but it will only reach that potential by faithfulness, hard work and the blessings of God. Faithfulness in conflict is not a common quality to mankind. We tend to leave when it’s tough and stay if it’s good. Faithfulness is a character trait found throughout the pages of Scripture and in the person of Jesus Christ. The more we learn about Christ and the closer to him we walk, the more likely we will be to express faithfulness even in the toughest of trials. Faithfulness is more than just staying together for a lot of years; it’s about staying together in the right spirit and for the right reasons. It’s about loving God and each other with all your heart and growing together for the glory of God and the good of your home; it’s about obedience to Gods word, following his Holy Spirit and putting his will and your family’s needs before yourself. Keep growing in Christ as an individual and watch Him bless you both together as a couple! “…and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24  (Be sure to look back and read parts 1-3 of this devotion)


The Perfect Spouse

largeEph. 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jesus Christ is without question the perfect “spouse” and example for any marriage. The phrase “as Christ” in verse 25 proves to us that when God wanted to give his people the perfect pattern for a faithful spouse, he thought of his son Jesus Christ. God wants us to love our spouse in the same ways that his son loves and cares for his bride, the church. I would like to show a few examples from the life of Christ that will be a help to every husband and wife that have a desire to learn and to improve their relationship.

First, I want you to see The Example of His Love. Verse 25 says we are to love our spouse “as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” The same way Jesus loves his bride, is the same way we are to love our bride. How does Christ love his wife the church? He loves with Strong Affection. You will never have to wonder if Christ loves you. His words, actions and affection are more than visible throughout the pages of scripture.  As we walk with Christ, we easily feel his love for us as we see him provide and care for his own. Does your spouse know you love them? I don’t mean that they heard you one time on your wedding day express affection; I mean do you presently and persistently tell them they are valuable to you and that you love them!  A strong affection is a visible affection. Christ loves with Sacrificial Action. It is no secret that Jesus died on the cross; but the reason he died should move us and motivate us to love him and serve him faithfully – he died for you and he died for me! Jesus knew that as sinners we could not save ourselves; he knew we would perish for eternity in a devils Hell without his intervention. His love for us was more than words; it was a visible action that to this day is the greatest picture of sacrificial love known to mankind. In a similar way, we should sacrifice for our marriage. Our spouse should be able to see our love by the actions we display. Christ loves with a Selfless Attitude. The reason Christ could die on the cross is because he first died to himself. Christ thought more of us than he did of himself. The needs of his bride where in his estimation greater than his own personal needs and feelings. When we die to self, we are putting down our fleshly wants and desire so we can clearly see the needs of others. We must learn to say NO to our wants, so we can meet the needs of our home and those around us. No one teaches this better than Jesus Christ.

Next I would like us to look at The Example of His Life. In verse 23 it says “Christ is the head of the church.” This means that he is first in the church; he is the one in charge, the leader, the pace-setter and the example of what is right and acceptable. If husbands and wives would strive to perfect in themselves the righteous character of Jesus Christ, homes would be more peaceful and more productive. We see many things in scripture as to how Christ lived and conducted himself, but I want to focus on just a few details. First look at The Goal of Christ. His goal or purpose was to make people better; to make us just like him (Rom. 8:29). Jesus wanted to clean and wash his church to remove all spots and wrinkles from his precious bride. We should purpose to help our spouse be like Jesus. We often make goals that best suit our wants; we try to shape our spouse into our mold, when we should be encouraging them to be just like Jesus. After all, if our spouse is like Jesus, then they will be exactly what we need them to be. We should not force changes on them, or try to guilt them into doing right. We should focus on living a Christ-like example ourselves; praying for them and encouraging them to grow in their own Christian walk also. We see The Goodness of Christ in scripture. Jesus was good and kind to the people he met. It didn’t matter who they were or how they treated him, Jesus always seemed to walk the high road and treat people with a polite and respectful disposition. Are we good to our spouse? What was the last thing you did for your spouse with no expectation of anything in return? It is easy to do something nice so we can get something nice, but genuine goodness needs no motive; goodness is the motive. Jesus did things for others just to be a blessing. Let’s practice being a blessing to our spouse and family. Then we see The Gladness of Christ. Jesus was a man that spread joy and happiness wherever he went. At the birth of Jesus the angles announced that his life would bring “great joy” to all people! Whether it was providing food, healing the sick or being friendly to an outcast; when Jesus touched a life that life was more joyful and complete than before. Are you a positive influence in your marriage or do you make trouble? Do you see the glass half full or half empty? Do you encourage with positive words or do you discourage with complaining and criticism? Try being the encourager in the relationship; I’m sure you’ll find it becomes contagious and helpful.

Then last we see The “Let It Go” Example of Christ. The greatest quality of Jesus Christ in my estimation was his ability to fully forgive people who hurt him. When Jesus forgives, he lets it go forever! God says in Hebrews 10:17 that when he forgives a person “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Why do we hold thing against people? We certainly don’t learn this from God; it must be that we learn it from our sinful flesh. We hold things over people’s heads as a way of making them pay for the hurt they have caused us. We secretly want them to hurt like we hurt. The best way to deal with pain is to give it to Jesus. Get the hurt out of your hands and put it into the loving hands of Christ.  Ask God to help you love the people who have hurt you. See them that hurt you through the eyes of Christ and forgive them and let it go! If Christ has forgiven us, we can forgive others also. The pain and hard feelings will never go away from you as long as you “hold” un-forgiveness in your heart. Think about it, when you hold hard feelings, you are “holding hard feelings.” In your hands, in your heart, in your life and in your mind, you are literally holding on to hurtful and damaging emotions in your life, restraining them from ever leaving, therefore infecting every area of your life and relationship. Marriages die every day because of un-forgiveness, but with full-forgiveness relationships can blossom with new hope.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of a spouse; teaching every man and woman how to have a peaceful, passionate and productive marriage relationship. Surrender to Christ is the first step to a successful and long-lasting relationship with your spouse. Start today patterning your own life after the examples found in the life of Christ, and discover for yourself that happy marriages aren’t just found ‘haply ever after’ in fairytales, they’re found every day in Jesus Christ!


Love….As Thyself

j0442995Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 22:39 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus teaches his children to treat others the same way you would want others to treat you. In a healthy and spiritual atmosphere, most people love and respect themselves. It is not normal for people to want to hurt themselves, lie to themselves, or treat themselves cruel or unkindly. We are to love and treat people the same way and with the same love wherewith we love ourselves.

Christian people by nature should be kind and thoughtful people. Jesus is our example of this. Everywhere he went he showed love and kindness to those he met. He went out of his way to help the sick and poor, he made it a point to stop and talk to the ones that others passed by. He willingly laid down his life for a people who did not know him, and many of which would even reject him. He died to save sinners; not the good man, but the bad man, not the righteous man but the ungodly man. Christ’s life and sacrifice on the cross are the greatest and clearest display of love and compassion the world will ever know.

What will you do today? Who will you come into contact with and how will you treat them? Will you show the love of Christ to the nice people only, or will you be kind also to the mean and lowly people as well. If we will move FORWARD in our Christian walk, then we must move FORWARD in this area of love and kindness toward others. Pray for the heart of Christ to come alive in you. Think of people as precious and needy souls instead of just people who sometimes get in our way or make us angry. See them through the loving eyes of Jesus Christ. This will not only help you enjoy your day, but this will also make your home and community a much more enjoyable place to live. Think of a kind gesture and commit a “Jesus Act” on someone today!

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