Thursday, July 30, 2015

Devotion: Jesus Is Lord!


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not:  for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough).  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And they came with haste and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  And when they heard it wondered (marveled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:7-18).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).

“And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (put to shame).  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone).  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (ages); who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged (cleansed) our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Hebrews 1:2-4).

My Bible says that in Christ alone is salvation found.  Jesus himself tells us that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that no man comes to the Father but by him (John 14:6).  Scripture tells us that God has highly exalted Jesus and has given him a name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9), where “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9 NIV).  You see, there is power in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior; for his name is above every name.

We forever pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Devotion: Follow God Not People


We allow the circumstances of life to direct what we should do; how we should act or react; and the direction that our faith should head.  As long as we look at the circumstance of life, as long as we look at what happens to others, doubt can enter and cause our faith to leave.  Here is the problem with using others to measure the gifts and blessings of God.  Unless you are there with that someone every second of every minute of every hour of every day, it is impossible for you to know what he or she was believing God for or the level of his or her faith.  With so many variables that can come into each individual equation, it can prove to be almost impossible to gauge the amount of faith, the amount of doubt, or even the amount of fear one has.  Could the person have been like Peter (Matthew 14:23-33)?  How strong was their faith when he or she stepped out onto the water (Matthew 14:29)?  Could they have seen the wind boisterous and become afraid (Matthew 14:30)?  Could they have started to sink but did not cry out for help?  Could their doubt have caused their faith to decrease?  Could this have caused their faith to flee?  On the other hand, could the person have been like Job (Job 1-3)?  Did the thing, which they greatly feared, come upon them (Job 3:25)?  Did the thing, which they were afraid of, come unto them?  Could their fear have caused their faith to decrease?  Could this have caused their faith to flee?  We look at the lives of others that we classify as saints and allow the circumstances that happen in and around their lives to dictate things in our lives.  This problem has plagued many Christians and non-Christians alike.

In a rare interview by CBS News, they reported that a certain women had a calling based on unquestioned faith, which cause her to start her ministry.  She went on to become a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion, strong faith, and a commitment to kingdom work.  She was an icon for many believers just because of the work she appeared to do for God.  She even received the Nobel Peace prize for her humanitarian work.  In letters written to her friends and priests, she confessed her doubt in her own faith.  She questioned her faith, something she felt she had been lost because the Spirit had left her shortly after she started her ministry.  She even questioned the existence of God.  Although few knew, she searched to reclaim her faith for many years.  She died with unresolved doubts about God, about Jesus, about her faith, and about her labors.  She even had stopped praying.  With a smile, she was able to mask the internal conflict she carried for many years, where her biggest fear was that of being a hypocrite.  Many considered her the embodiment of a saint and looked to her as the iconic symbol of Christ-like faith.  They perceived through her ministry works, that she was full of faith and had the Spirit working inside of her.  Many put their faith in her, making judgment calls based on their emotions and feelings.  They have based so much of their opinions, so much of their decisions on what they see.  We have to wonder the impact on those who were loyal to her and her ministry when it was revealed that Mother Teresa had doubts about her faith, about her ministry, about God, and about Jesus.  We have to wonder what they thought when it was revealed that she had lost her faith, shortly after she had stated her ministry.  We have to wonder how many had lost their faith after hearing about her letters.  We have to wonder how Satan has used her doubt, her lack of faith, and her questions about the existence of God and Jesus to affect others.  We have to wonder about the domino effect surrounding the discovery and release of her letters.

This is why it is so important that we not look at the lives of others as a measure or gauge for our lives.  Had she not written of her thoughts, no one would have known the truth about the internal turmoil she endured during her ministry.  She appeared to be, for all intent and purposes, the perfect example of a worker for God.  One who answered the calling to start a ministry based on her unquestioned faith.  Could she have been like Peter?  Was her faith strong when she stepped out onto the water?  Could she have seen the wind boisterous and become afraid?  Could she have started to sink but did not cry out for help?  Could her doubt have caused her faith to decrease?  Could this have caused her faith to flee?  On the other hand, could she have been like Job?  Did the thing, which she greatly feared, come upon her?  Did the thing, which she was afraid of, come unto her?  Could her fear have caused her faith to decrease?  Could this have caused her faith to flee?  Are you one who allows the circumstances of life to direct what you should do; how you should act or react; and the direction that your faith should head?

We forever pray that this inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Monday, July 20, 2015

Devotion: You Must Be Born Twice


Continuing our conversation about being born again, enter the story of a Jewish religious leader whose heart, ears, and eyes were opened by what Jesus had said.

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles (signs) that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?  can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:1-6).

After dark one night a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, who was a member of a particular sect of the Pharisees, came to speak with Jesus.  In case you did not know, the Pharisees were the most influential Jewish sect at the time.  Known for their somewhat arbitrary rules, the Pharisees were charged with knowing, keeping, and enforcing the oral laws of Moses as they interpreted them.  Anyway, Nicodemus told Jesus that they knew he was a teacher, who was sent by God because no man could do the miracles, which they all witnessed, except God be with that man.  Nicodemus told Jesus that his miracles were proof enough of who he was.  Jesus then says to Nicodemus, as earnestly as possible, “Unless you are born again, you can never see the kingdom of God.”  It is interesting to note that the word “see” is define in this context as “having knowledge of, understanding, or perceiving.”  Basically, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that man has no knowledge of the kingdom of God, that he does not have the ability to understand the kingdom of God, and that he cannot even perceive the kingdom of God unless he be born again, that is, unless he is born from above.

Nicodemus, puzzled by this statement asked, “What do you mean?  How is it possible for a man, who is old to go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”  Then Jesus says to Nicodemus as earnestly as possible again, “Unless a man is born of the water and born of the Spirit, he cannot not enter into the Kingdom of God, for physical birth is not enough, you must be also born spiritually.”  Jesus goes on to say, “Man can only reproduce flesh, for whatever has been born of the flesh is flesh, but whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit, for the Spirit gives new life that is from heaven.”

So, Jesus told Nicodemus that a man who had not been born again had no knowledge of the kingdom of God.  The only understanding that a person who was not born again could get was the kind of understanding that the world offers, which has and continues to lead many into captivity (Isaiah 5:13).  Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone, including him, had to be born again, had to be born of the Spirit, had to be born from above.  But here is the key thing that so many have missed about this story.  This meant that those Jewish leaders, who were charged with knowing, keeping, and enforcing the oral laws of Moses as they interpreted them, we not immune.  They too had to be born again.  Jesus told these leaders that the physical birth was not enough for them to see the kingdom of God.  But what did all of this that Jesus was saying about being born again mean to those Jewish leaders?

The bottom line, Jesus told the Jewish leaders as well the Jewish people that they were not as special as they thought they were.  Jesus told them that everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, would have to do the same thing in order to get into the kingdom of God.  Jesus told them that everyone, regardless of who they were or what they thought their status was, had to be born again; they had to be born from above.  Jesus made it sound as if the Jews were not a special people unto God anymore.  He made it sound as if they were not above all the people that were upon the face of the earth as they believed themselves to be.  Jesus put Jews and Gentiles together, having to do the exact same thing to get into the kingdom of God, which did not please the Jewish people, much less the Jewish leaders.  Do you think it might be possible that the Jews may have been chosen as a special people unto God for a different reason than the one that we have been taught all these years?  The possibility does exist.

May today’s inspirational message open your heart, your ears, and your eyes much the same way Nicodemus had his heart, ears, and eyes opened by what Jesus had said.  If you are blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Devotion: Morally Corrupt And Spiritually Dead


Recently we spoke about being born again.  In that commentary, we mentioned that once we were spiritually dead, meaning we were completely alienated and separated from God.  We were what was referred to as being “sin conscience.”  You see, when man was first created, he was created in a state of innocence and very much dependent on God.  At that time, he was “spiritually and morally innocent and without sin.”  Even though man was created “fully-grown,” he was just a baby in reality.  Man had little to no reason to doubt what God said, although he really did not understand what it all might have meant.  Developmentally, he could not progress beyond what God had instilled in him.  By definition, man had no moral sense of right or wrong—he had no conscience.

When developing their consciousness, children have little to no awareness of their moral compass.  They have a hard time understanding the consequences their actions may bring.  We can actually relate man’s mental state at the time of creation to that of the child that wants to touch the hot stove eye but is told not to.  Because the child lacks understanding, it is not until the child commits the forbidden act that he or she becomes aware of any consequences.  The same can be said about man when he ate of the forbidden fruit; he became aware of the consequences for his action.  We know that man’s eyes were opened and that he became fully of aware things that he was not aware of before (Genesis 3:7).  We also know that he has obtained the knowledge of good and evil, something that he did not have before (Genesis 3:22).  We trust that you can see the similarities between the two.

In addition to his newfound knowledge of and awareness to good and evil, man now has now become “a new creature.”  Here is what we mean by “new creature.”  We know initially man was created “spiritually and morally innocent,” without a sense of right and wrong—without a conscience.  Man was then given one commandment, “not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of god and evil” (Genesis 2:16-17).  At the same time, he is given one consequence, “in the day that you eat of the tree, you will surely die.”  For whatever reason man eats of the tree, and in eating of the tree, man disobeys God’s commandment, gains the knowledge of good and evil, and changes his nature.

Let’s just say, man started with a “sinless nature,” but when he ate of the forbidden fruit, his “sinless nature” changed from a state of innocence and dependency on God to an entirely different state and one of being cut off from God.  Man now has “a fixed moral nature in sin” instead of “a nature that is fixed in righteousness.”  He now knows good but is unable to do it and he knows evil but is unable to resist it.  Man was told that he would “surely die” and die he did.  Typically, we associate death with a separation from the physical body.  Death is also associated with a separation from God or what is known as “spiritual death.”  Is it conceivable that man could have known of this type of death, much less understood it when he disobeyed the commandment?  Not that is something to ponder.

Man has now become “a new creation, a new creature, if you will.  His has changed his original nature from a sinless state to a new nature that is fixed in a sinful state.  Man has now become “sin conscience” and can no longer be considered “morally and spiritually innocent.”  Man has become “morally corrupt and spiritually dead.”  He is “morally corrupt” because he knows good but is unable to do it and he knows evil but is unable to resist it.  He is “spiritually dead” because he has alienated and separated himself from God, severing his spiritual connection with God.  He also started to die physically, as in his spirit and soul started separating from his body.

At the moment of disobedience, everything changed for man and the world that God had created.  And while many have placed the blame on both, it was clearly because of what the man did that the change happened.  So, at the moment of disobedience, sin entered into the world because of “the one man” (Romans 5:12).  And when sin came into the world, death hitched a ride.  For through sin came death and it, death was spread throughout the entire world and was passed to every man.  And because of “the one man,” we have “a fixed moral nature in sin.”  But not to worry, the story does not end there.

May today’s inspirational message bless you, inform you, and open to you, revelation knowledge.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Devotion: God Is Not Guilty


There are many people who have been taught and lead to believe that God is responsible for all the tragedy in the world.  They believe he is responsible for the earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, and all the other natural disasters that take place.  Most often in those situations where such disasters occur, you will quite often hear the phrase, an act of God associated with them.  In legal terms, the phrase, an act of God is defined as any extraordinary interruption caused solely by the effect of nature or natural causes that no one can reasonably foresee or prevent; it is a natural catastrophe caused without any interference by humans whatsoever.

Then there are those who believe God is responsible for the daily struggles that so many go through every day, such as depression, fear, worry, anxiety, confusion, doubt, discouragement, low self-esteem, poverty, sickness, and death.  They have been taught and truly believe that everyone suffers these things because this is the will of God.  That old cliché, God will not put more on you than you can bear, appears to fall in line with the old teachings that God is responsible for the things that happen to us.  They also believe that God uses these things so that he can chasten his children.  They are convinced that there is some type of life lesson that God wants his children to learn through these experiences.

These lessons, resembling some kind of How-to lessons, include things like our dependence on God, our trust in God, our walk with God, and anything else that draws us closer to God.  And while some of these How-to lessons sound a little farfetched even as we write about them, most of us do not put much thought into them because we have been led to believe that they are from God himself.  We tend to accept, without question, these things because we have been trained, from an early age, that God’s ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  We also have been taught that only disobedient Christians questioned the things of God and somehow God would breathe fire and brimstone down upon us, sending us to straight to hell for doing such a blasphemous thing.

It was these types of things that we were taught that functioned as the foundational building blocks for our belief system; a system built entirely on the things that we were taught from our childhood.  Our childhood belief system came entirely from all those things that we just accepted as truth, without question.  Over the years, we have attempted to re-enforce our foundation with solid biblical information and fundamental truths.  We have checked things out for ourselves and have decided which so-called truths fit into our belief system.  We have compared all the relative information and related scriptures, accepting everything, regardless of the source, that we believe to be truth and that which appears to affirm our beliefs.  We have sewn these things into the very fabric of our belief system and have removed everything that does not agree with our current beliefs.  We have even closed our minds to anything that sounds contrary to what we believe.

This will be hard for some to accept, but much of our beliefs are grounded in traditionalism and denominationalism.  These things have been so ingrained into our belief system that we have become imprisoned by misinformation, misinterpretations, and untruths.  Instead of having an open mind so that we may gain a better understanding of the things of God, we have closed our minds and limited our knowledge.  And because we have limited our knowledge, we have limited our understanding.

God says that his people are destroyed because they lack knowledge.  This lack of knowledge is not because the knowledge is hidden or because it is not available, but because his people have rejected it (Hosea 4:6).  Because we lack the knowledge, we lack the understanding that comes from God.  And because we lack the understanding that comes from God, we are left with the understanding that comes from the world.  And it is the understanding that the world offers that has led so many into captivity (Isaiah 5:13).  When was the last time you re-examined your belief system?

We pray that our inspirational message will bless you as well as inform you.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW



Friday, July 17, 2015

Devotion: The Difference Between God And The Devil


Recently we discussed the wicked one we all call Satan.  It was more of an introduction about this entity that appears to have more speculation about than actual facts or so it may seem.  However, as we have stated before, things are not always what they appear to be, when it comes to the things of God.  We know that the scriptures do not reveal much detail about this entity, especially in the Old Testament, mainly because there was not much man could do about him.  We were sort of at his mercy.  It was not until Jesus hit the scene that we really start to hear more about this entity.  We know from scripture that Lucifer was originally created as one of God’s highest angels, an anointed cherub.

“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, thus saith the Lord God; thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold:  the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned:  therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.  Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).

According to the above passage of scripture, we have what appears to be a description of Lucifer, later known as Satan.  It starts out with a message for the king of Tyrus but it becomes obvious that the intent was to apply to Satan, therefore we must carefully discern between the two.  The king of Tyre was the name of the false god Melkart (meaning king of the city).  Melkart was the evil spiritual being that had energized this human ruler, who was a priest.  It is clear that God is addressing the evil spirit, the real power behind the wicked society and government of Trye and not the human ruler himself.  This is evident from some of the descriptions that they are not directed towards any human being.  Here, Satan is referred to as the anointed cherub, a term used strictly in the Old Testament to describe powerful angelic creatures.  The fact that he is anointed and one who covers implies that he is perhaps the highest angelic being ever created by God.  He was considered to be the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and the perfection of beauty, with his coverings bejeweled with every precious stone, all set in the finest of gold.  He was found to have been in Eden, the garden of God and was appointed as an anointed guardian cherub.  He served near the presence of God and was perfect in all that he did until iniquity was found in him, until internal turmoil caused him to sin.  Internally, his heart was filled with pride, corrupting his wisdom for magnificence and he began to deal in immoral trade.

From this, we have learned several important foundational facts about him, the one known as Satan, which could help to correct many popular misconceptions.  We see that he is a created being who is locked in eternal opposition to God and all that God represents, however he is not equal to or on the same level as God.  Unlike God, he has a beginning and he is finite.  He is a creature that was created perfect in beauty, wisdom and morality, who had unique access to the presence of God and led many angels in their worship of God.  We also know that he is not an all-powerful being that was created evil.  Originally, Satan was created as “Lucifer, son of the morning, or Day Star” (Isaiah 14:12), one of God’s highest angels.  He was created perfect in beauty, wisdom, and morality.  He had unique access to the presence of God and led many angels in their worship of God.  He was and still remains a finite creature who is not all-powerful.  He was not created evil, yet he fell much like man.  So how did he become evil?  We will have to save that discussion for another time.

As always, we pray that today’s inspirational message will bless you, inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Devotion: The Gift of Grace


“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.  Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV).

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness is given through faith in (through the faithfulness of) Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.  He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26 NIV).

“All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did.  And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him.  For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out.  This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.  We are Christ’s ambassadors.  God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you—be reconciled to God.  For God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins.  Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us” (II Corinthians 5:18-21 TLB)!

Scripture clearly states that no one can be declared righteous or made right with God by trying to keep the law.  Those who depend on the law to save them are under God’s curse, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who breaks a single one of the laws written in the book of the law at anytime” (Galatians 3:10 TLB).  The law, which has nothing to do with faith, teaches that those who do or follow these things (the law) will only have life in doing or following them (the law).  But thank God, Christ has redeemed us and brought us out from under the doom of that impossible system of laws by taking on the curse himself.  Yes, Christ purchased our freedom from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us when he hung on that wooden cross.  Because Christ purchased our freedom, we now can share in the blessings belonging to Abraham, who was full of faith and accepted God’s promise.  It is through the blessings of Abraham that we of like faith might receive the Spirit that God had promised to give (Galatians 3:10-14).  The man who finds life will find it through his faith in God (Habakkuk 2:4) and not through a law that is not of faith.  Justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:24), the just shall live by faith.

As always, we pray that today’s devotion will give you a new perspective on this “free gift of God, this gift of grace,” which is given by the righteousness of Jesus Christ and has been made available to all.  If you are blessed by this devotion, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Devotion: The Professions Of Your Faith


“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:22-23).

Let us draw near to God himself with all sincerity, with all trueness of heart, and with unfaltering faith as we fully trust him to receive us because we have had our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience with the blood of Christ and our bodies washed, bathed with the pure water.  Therefore, let us hold fast “the profession of our faith,” keeping our hope strong and unshaken as we tell others that salvation is ours.  As we look forward to the salvation that God has promised to give to us, there should be no longer any room for doubt for he, who is faithful and true, has given us his word; a promise that he will do exactly what he says.

“For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.  For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed.  Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect: they all have the same Lord who generously gives his riches to all those who ask him for them.  Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9-13 TLB).

This is the profession of our faith, the confession of our hope, where if we confess with our mouth, which involves words that we speak, and believe in our heart, which is accepting as truth, those words that we speak, then we will be saved.  We think this part of the passage sums it up best – “and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”  It is with our mouth, that we make “the confession of our faith,” telling others of our faith and with that confession, we obtain salvation.  Salvation is obtained just by the words we speak or in this case confess, well almost.  You must also believe in what you say.

Scripture tells us that no one who believes in Jesus Christ should have any reason to feel ashamed because everyone, without exception, who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  Now that is an interesting thought.  But ponder this, if it be possible for you to be saved by a confession of your mouth (not to forgo the believing in the heart part), then do you think it would be possible for you to be condemn by a confession of your mouth as well, provided the belief in the heart is there?

“You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2 NIV).

Trapped by what you say, ensnared by the words the come out of your mouth.  And so many of you think that what you say is not important, having little to no consequences.  Therefore, be sure to hold fast “the profession of your faith” knowing that he, who is faithful and true, has given us his word; a promise that he will do exactly what he says.  Keep your hope strong and unshaken as you continually look forward to the salvation that God has promised to give to us.  We pray that our commentary will help you to see how just how important it is to hold fast “the profession of your faith.”  If you are blessed by this devotion, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Devotion: Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing


Recently, we warned you to be careful of false prophets, because they were basically wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15-20), out to deceive many.

“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13-16).

This is an interesting story about a group of Jews traveling from place to place casting out demons.  They claimed to have healed people and drove out demons.  These counterfeit exorcists decided to try something based on the terminology used by one mature believer, who had an ear to hear, named Paul.  They decided they would copy what they had apparently heard him just use or saw him recently do.  These seven sons of one Sceva decided to experiment using the name of the Lord Jesus to exorcise demons in their incantations.  They were trying to match the power Paul had shown to those in Ephesus during those days.  The incantation they decided on was, “We command solemnly by Jesus whom Paul preaches, to come out.”  The evil spirit that they were trying to exorcise answered them saying “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?”  And the man in whom the evil spirit dwelled, leaped on them and beat them up.  The beating was so bad that the seven brothers left the house badly injured and naked.

Though the seven sons of one Sceva did not understand, they tried to make sense of the information they had gathered from this mature believer, who had an ear to hear.  They had built their belief system on a faulty foundation with information that they did not fully understand.  They had “a theory, an idea, and a belief” that was arrived at through an assumption and was based on kind of wisdom that the world uses or the kind of wisdom that the rulers of this world use.  Remember, “a theory” is “an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture.”  These men tried to manipulate the situation for their own selfish purpose by using the terminology and wisdom that was given to the spiritually and morally mature believer, who had an ear to hear and this is why the evil spirit in the man prevailed against them.  As you can see, they failed miserably in their attempt.

Many believe this same “theory concept” applies to the things of God.  These seven sons of one Sceva assumed they could copy what they had seen Paul say or do, thinking it would work for them if they just said the same words or did the same things as Paul.  They did not understand the things of God.  They did not have the Holy Spirit to share with them the wisdom of God, to share with them the thoughts and ways of God, or to share with them the truth.  They tried to use an incantation with what appeared to be the right words, but they did not understand the true power of what they were trying to do.  They tried to use an incantation with what appeared to be the right words, but they did not understand the true power of what they were trying to do.  They did not know that God has fashioned special powers for Paul to use.  They did not know that God was the force behind what they were seeing.  They did not know that God was the one who was behind the healing.  They did not know that God was responsible for the demons leaving.  They did not know that God was using Paul to achieve all of these things for his, that being God’s glory.  They did not know that Paul understood his role.  The seven had no clue because they did not understand those things of God.  When you lack the knowledge and you lack the understanding you will not get the wisdom that comes from God; you end up with the wisdom that the world uses and the kind of wisdom that the rulers of this world use.

This is why we are warned to be careful of false prophets.  They may say things that sound godly or claim to do things that are godly does not mean that they are of God.  Maybe they copied something they saw or terminology they heard, thinking these things were needed to manipulate the things of God for their own selfish purposes.  The scriptures tell us many will say they prophesied in Jesus’ name, many will say they cast out devils in his name, and many will say they done many wonderful works in his name, but he will say to them that he never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23).  Just be sure that the ones you follow are known by “The One” they claim to follow.  You probably will not have a demon to help you get to the truth.

Once again, we pray that today’s commentary will inspire you as well as abundantly bless you.  We also pray that this will inform you and be a blessing to you.  If you truly blessed by this message, please share it with your family and friends so that they may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW


Monday, July 6, 2015

Devotion: The Wisdom Of God In A Mystery


“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (mature): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes (rulers) of this world (age), that come to nought (nothing).  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained (predetermined) before the world (ages) unto our glory.  Which none of the princes (rulers) of this world (age) knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Corinthians 2:6-8).

Among the spiritually and morally mature believers, the word of God, spoken of here by Paul, is wisdom to those who have ears to hear.  This is not the kind of wisdom that the world uses or the kind of wisdom that the rulers of this world use, but the kind of wisdom that comes directly from God.  This great wisdom does not come from the earth realm or is it the kind that appeals to the great men of this world but it comes directly through his word.  This wisdom tells of God’s wise plan to bring us, the sinners into the glories of heaven.  This plan which was hidden in earlier times was conceived for our (the sinners) benefit before the world began, although the great men of the world have never understood it.  They try to make sense of the information but are unable to assemble all the pieces to form a coherent picture.  The picture they have constructed over the years has not withstood the test of time.  Much like “The Theory of Evolution” and “The Big Bang Theory,” neither has yet to produce any evidence to prove that life began from a single cell or that life began because of an explosion.  A “theory” is “an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture.”

Many believe this “theory concept” also applies to the things of God.  However, we know about these things because God has sent the Holy Spirit to tell us of his wisdom.  This same Spirit, which searches out God’s deepest secrets, reveals to those who have an ear to hear all of the mysteries of the Bible.  The only one that knows God’s thoughts and ways are those who belong to the family of God because his Spirit shares the truth with them.  God has given those who belong to the family his Spirit to tell us about the mysteries, revealing many of the secrets that have been hidden since the foundation of the world.  Among those who have an ear to hear, they understand the terms used by the Holy Spirit to reveal those mysteries of God to them.  They understand the wisdom that has come down from God, telling them of his plans for man.

Although God’s plans have been hidden throughout the ages, those who have an ear to hear understand them.  They understand his plan to bring the sinner into the glories of heaven.  They understand because they allow the Holy Spirit to teach them.  They understand because they allow the Holy Spirit to show them.  They understand because they have learned to listen.  They understand because they know the truth.  They know the true nature of God.  They have understanding.  The biggest problem is those who do not have that ear to hear, they lack understanding.  They have created their own version based on the terminology used by the mature Christians even though they do not understand.  These great men have tried to use those things of God for their own purposes, but have failed in all attempts.  They are the wolves in sheep’s clothing that have deceived many.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20).

We are warned to be careful of false prophets.  Just because a person or group of people say things that sound godly or claim to do things that are godly does not mean that they are of God.  Maybe they copied something they saw or terminology they heard, thinking these things were needed to manipulate the things of God for their own selfish purposes.  The scriptures tell us many will say they prophesied in Jesus’ name, many will say they cast out devils in his name, and many will say they done many wonderful works in his name, but he will say to them that he never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23).  Just be sure that the ones you follow are known by “The One” they claim to follow.

As always, we pray that our commentary will inspire and abundantly bless you as well as greatly inform you.  May you also be the better for having read this.  If blessed by this message, please share that others may be blessed also.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Devotion: God Has Reconciled Your Spirit


“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

If any man be in Christ, that is, when a man comes into a basic union with the risen Lord, he is a new creation.  Old things, the old life are passed away at that moment of salvation:  all things that are, at the moment of salvation, become new.  What are the old things that are passed away and what are the all things that are become new?

So, if you be in Christ, then you be a new creature or creation.  This is not talking about anything physical becoming new but a new creation in the spirit.  When you are renewed or made brand new, you are new in the spirit not new in body.  If you were bald before being reborn, you will be bald after being reborn.  The same applies to being overweight, if you were overweight before, you will be overweight afterwards.  God has changed your spirit and only deals with the spirit part of your threefold nature.  He does not deal with your soul or your body.

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:23).

In the epistle, Paul makes mention of our whole spirit and soul and body.  Paul has described man as a tri-partite being, made up of three individual parts.  Basically, you are a spirit being, which has a soul, that lives in a body or a house.  As you look at the creation of man, you can see these three parts coming together to make man, but that is a discussion for another day. “God is a spirit” (John 4:24) and so are you.  Once you were spiritually dead (alienated and separated from God and sin conscience), but when you are reborn you are reconciled to God.  It is like having a radio where you are unable to tune into the WGOD frequency.  But when you are born again, your radio will then have the ability to tune into the WGOD frequency.  You have the same old radio with a new ability much like having the same old body but a new inner self.

When you are born again, your spirit is instantly renewed but your body is the same old sinful creature and it will continue to do whatever you allow it to do.  You have to deal with your body.  Your mind and body wants to live in sin but you can make them both to follow the spirit inside of you, which is your spirit.

“Do not let sin control the way you live do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.  So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:12-14 NLT).

Therefore, do not allow your body to dictate to you what it will do.  Do not let sin rule in your body any longer; do not obey the old sinful desires that once controlled you.  Your body has an evil nature, wanting to do the same self-fulfilling, sinful things it has always done and it will continue to do whatever you allow it to do.  Do not allow your body to dictate to you what it will do.  You must die to self, crucifying your sinful nature that is on the inside of you.  You must put to death each and every one of those desires that are contrary to the word and the will of God (Mark 7:21-23).

“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).

God has not given us the punishment that we desire for our sins.  Neither has he rewarded us for our wrongdoings or our iniquities.  Just as the heaven is high above the earth, so is the greatness of his mercy towards those who reverence and worship him.  And as far as the east is from the west, so has he removed our sins far away for us.  But nothing here states that he has removed our ability to or our capacity for sin.  You see, God has wiped our slate clean, forgiving us for all of the self-fulfilling, sinful evil natured things that we had done in our lifetimes, but he did not remove the nature that has held us captive for so long.  Remember, God only deals with your spirit and does not deal with your soul or body.  You have to deal with those two.

We pray that today’s inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read this.  If you blessed by this message, please share it so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Friday, July 3, 2015

Devotion: God Loves You


Real love is not our love for God, but his love for us.  The following is taken from chapter four of the first epistle of John.

Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better.  But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love.  God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through his death.  In this act we see what real love is: it is not our love for God but his love for us when he sent his Son to satisfy God’s anger against our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too.  For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other God lives in us, and his love within us grows ever stronger.  And he has put his own Holy Spirit into our hearts as a proof to us that we are living with him and he with us.  And furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now tell all the world that God sent his Son to be their Savior.  Anyone who believes and says that Jesus is the Son of God has God living in him, and he is living with God.

We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly.  God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.  And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy because he loves us and we love him too.

We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.  So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.

If anyone says “I love God,” but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn’t love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen?  And God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too (I John 4:7-21 TLB).

God loves every one of us so much, he sent his only begotten son, so that through him, all who believes in the son will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16-17).

We pray that these passages will abundantly bless you and that you will be the better for having read this.  If you blessed by this message, please share it so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Devotion: What Does God Want From Me?


In the immortal words of Jesus Christ, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Luke 8:8).”  The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God.  The Bible does however; reveal to us that God was in existence from the very beginning, before anything was brought forth (Genesis 1:1).

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God (Psalm 90:2).”

From the onset, we see that God was in the beginning, with what appears to be no discernible beginning and no discernible end.  According to the psalmist, he is from “everlasting to everlasting, he is without beginning or end, and he is eternal, for he is God.”  The Bible does not reveal how God came to be.  Many have pondered this question throughout the ages and the best anyone has ever been able to do is theorize.  The simplest answer to the question as to where God came from is, he didn’t because he always was.  But now, can you accept this as the answer?

We know for some, just accepting that “God always was” is not an answer, especially one that you are willing to accept.  We understand because, in the past, we pondered that very same question as to where did God come from.  However, for us, when we explored the possibilities, all we got were endless questions.  No matter what answer we explored, there always another “where-did-come-from” question that came up.  Our desire to find a satisfactory answer was a never-ending process that led us to questioning the very existence of God.  That became a very dangerous road for us, since we have always believed in God’s existence.  At that point, proving his beginnings became less and less important for us.  Then we read a passage in the book of Hebrews that gave us a different perspective on the whole existence thing.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

It basically told us that when we come to God we must first believe that he exists.  In addition, it went on to say that we also must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Then we got to thinking about the reward, what could it possibly be?  We discovered that the reward is God himself.  The more we hunted for, looked for, and sought after God, the more God revealed himself to us.  But there was something that made this search for God different from the times we had searched before.  In the past, in the archives of our consciousness, resided that one endless question, “Where did God come from.”  We finally resolved that issue, by deleting that question from our archives and accepting the answer that “God always was.”  As we stated earlier, the passage in the book of Hebrews gave us that different perspective on the whole existence thing.  We had seen where the passage told us that when we come to God we must first believe that he exists.  And we had seen where the passage told us we must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  But here is the revelation on what we did not see before, which helped us to delete that endless question.  Apart from the conviction that God exists and is the creator of all things, it is impossible for us to be all that God wants us to be.  “For without faith (the conviction) it is impossible to please him.”

Apart from the conviction that God exists and is the creator of all things, it is impossible for us to be all that God wants us to be.  And we want to be all that God wants us to be, so we now accept that answer to the endless question.  God is from “everlasting to everlasting, he is without beginning or end, and he is eternal, for he is God and he always was.”  And since we chose to come to God, then we have already come to terms with his existence, meaning we already believe that he is.  Otherwise, what would be the point of trying to come to terms with something that we absolutely do not believe in or believe exists.

As always, we pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Devotion: Was God A Bad Guy?


Remember our study on “The Characteristics of God, his nature, his character, and his personality.”  Remember we described God as being a “god of integrity.”  If you recall, we mentioned “there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts” (II Chronicles 19:7), “God changes not” (Malachi 3:6), and “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18) as three traits that God had chosen to be part of “his nature, his character, and his personality.”  For us, these three traits are “the standard of measure” by which all interpretations of scripture, as they pertain to the “nature, character, and personality” of God, are compared.

There appears to be many misconceptions about the God that so many claim to serve.  One of the biggest misconceptions is the belief that the God of the Old Testament is much different from the God of the New Testament.  It appears that the God of the Old Testament is portrayed as “a God of wrath.”  In stark contrast, the God of the New Testament is portrayed as “a God of love.”  Is it possible that God is one way in the Old Testament and completely another way in the New Testament?  Many have even stated that as you read through the events of the Bible and the relationships God had with people, God is progressively revealing himself to man.  That appears to be great for man today, but what about all those back in the beginning.  Did he leave them short in their understanding of who he was?  Did he not impress upon them how he operates?

Can it be true that God has progressively revealed himself to man over time?  Is it possible that God left “any” of our prior ancestors short in their understanding of who he is?  Do you really think that God did not impress upon those before us, how he operates?  If this be the case, then God himself has given us an advantage over those who came before us.  More importantly, God has shortchanged those who were back in the beginning by not giving them the same opportunity as us.  And though it may not appear to be so, our “standard of measure” dictates that God had to reveal himself to those before us in similar or like fashion.  If not, then he showed partiality or a preference to one over another, which totally contradicts what we see in our “standard of measure.”  The one thing that we have learned, things are not always as they appear to be when it comes to the things and workings of God.

In order for the man to understand what God wants of him, God has to reveal himself to man.  In saying that, God had to reveal himself to the first man and then to all men following the first.  He could not progressively introduce himself as time went by and not show partiality to those in a future time.  This is important because once we know who God is, from the beginning, then we will forever know who God is, because God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).  This means that whatever God did in the beginning is the same thing that God is doing today, for he is unchanged.  If God changes one thing, even in the slightest, that he did from the very beginning, then he lied because he did in fact change.  And according to scripture, “there is absolutely no injustice, immorality, unrighteousness, or wrong doings with God” (II Chronicles 19:7).  And we find in scripture that God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), for “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).  We trust that you can see from this brief commentary how our “standard of measure” works.

We pray that our commentary will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW