Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Devotion: Don’t Give Up!

Have you ever felt like giving up?  Well, do not feel like this is a feeling that is exclusively yours.  It is not.  We have all felt like giving up, giving in, and/or giving way.  But know that this “feeling of giving up” is not of God; it is of the devil.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).  “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16).

God does not want us to give up.  God wants us to be strong in him and in the strength of his mighty power.  God wants us to put on the whole armor that he has been provided for us so that we will be able to stand firm against all of the wiles or strategies of the devil.  God wants us to put on his full armor so that we, having done all to stand, will be able to stand in our times of evil.  Among the articles of armor listed, God says above all, “take or hold up the shield of faith” so that we will be able “to quench or stop the fiery darts of the wicked.”

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:12).

We are told “to fight the good faith of faith.”  Did you notice that there is nothing in this passage that says God will fight this fight for us?  No, we are told to fight this fight, this “good fight of faith.”  This is something that God has to us to do which means that this is something we are not only supposed to do, but something that we can do.  Armor is for fighting and God has provided us with “the armor of God” to fight.  He has provided us with “the shield of faith” that we may “fight the good fight of faith”

Most people have no idea just how powerful pure faith is.  Scripture tells us, “if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can move a mountain” (Matthew 17:20).  We are told that with faith the size of a mustard seed, there is nothing that we cannot do, “for nothing shall be impossible.”  In fighting this “good fight of faith,” we must also be aware that it is very possible for us to “fight the bad or incomplete fight of faith.”  This happens when we allow doubt, unbelief, or even fear to nullify or cancel out our faith, which we believe can be “as a mustard seed” as well.  Therefore, let us rid ourselves of all doubt, unbelief, and fear so that we do not have that “feeling of giving up.”  We need to let our faith be bigger than our fear, our doubt, and our unbelief.  We need to learn to “fight the good fight of faith,” so that we can overcome that “feeling of giving up” and continue to lay hold to the eternal life that God has provided for each of us.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).  “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9 NLT).  “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isaiah 7:9 NIV).

Therefore, remember to stay the course, assured that God, who have begun good work in you will continue that good work in you until the end.  Keep the faith, by being strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.  Put on all of God’s instruments of war so that you will be able to stand and “not give up” in the time of evil.  Always, always, fight the good fight for the true faith, holding tightly to the promise of eternal life, to which God has provided.  And never, never give up, give in, or give way, but stand strong in your faith for at the right time you will reap a harvest of blessings.

As always, we pray that today’s 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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Devotion: Be Quick To Listen

It is sad but true, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply” (Stephen R. Covey).  The biggest problem with our ability to communicate with each other is the fact that most of us do not listen to understand what someone else is trying to say, we listen for the sole purpose of having a response.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19 NIV).

Scripture tells us that we all should listen more and talk less.  The reason we should listen more and talk less is that when we are talking we are not listening.  By not listening, we tend to miss many revelations, those important little things that could take our understanding to another level.  You see all things are important when it comes to the things of God, no matter how trivial they may appear to be.  There is so much information to tell, so much information to share, and still so much more information to find.  So much so that unless you get all the information at one time, a lot of it gets lost long before we can get to the next session.  But we do not listen to hear, we listen with the intent to reply.  Have you seen the evidence?

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4).

In this present day, it is evident that the time has come where people do not listen to the truth.  Because the price is too high and the sacrifice too great, people have little to no patience for getting the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that comes from God.  They are not be moved by true teachings but are moved by their own desires.  They go around looking for teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.  They have found a multitude of teachers to satisfy their own fancies.  They do not listen to what the Bible says but will, without fear and reverence follow their own misguided ideas, obscured perceptions, distorted consciences, incomprehensible doctrines, and perplexing theories.  They have turned away from listening to the truth and they follow foolish stories perpetrating as “revealed truth.”  God tells us “that his people are destroyed because they lack knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).  This lack of knowledge has not come from a shortage of knowledge but from our rejection of knowledge.  Have you seen the evidence?

People often get upset when you teach them what is in the Bible rather than what they presume is in the Bible.  However, the better we know the Bible, the better we can rely on it in times of stress.  Sometimes we need to look at life from a different perspective.  And in order to do that, we have to listen to others without reply.  Sometime you just have to listen to everyone and learn from everyone because nobody knows everything but everyone knows something.  None of us are perfect nor do we have a perfect understanding of all of the scriptures.  So many of us are at different levels of understanding in our walk to discover the truth about the things of God that we should not discount anyone’s ability to help propel us to the next level or to give us a different perspective on things.  But in order to do that, we have to learn to listen.

As we have said numerous times, words can be manipulated to say many things, so check out everything to make sure it is in line with the word of God.  “Knowledge is power and misinformation will lead to your destruction,” but the truth will set you free (John 8:32).  Remember God is our only source for revelation knowledge; all others are guides, leading us to some destination.  We just need to make sure that the final destination is where we want to go.  Explore the endless possibilities contained within your ability to listen and be quick to listen and slow to reply.  “A person's most useful asset is not the head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help” (Unknown).

Today’s inspirational message talks about “listening without reply.”  As always, we pray that this commentary 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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Devotion: Be Heaven’s Ambassador

Do you know that you are “an ambassador?”  Most people do not realize that they themselves are in fact “ambassadors.”

According to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary, “an ambassador” is

“a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.”

Basically, “an ambassador” is “an authorized representative or messenger.”

“Don’t you realize that you can choose your own master?  You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal).  The one to whom you offer yourself—he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave” (Romans 6:16 TLB).

Non-believers believe that since they have not formally committed to following God and do not subscribe to any form of religious authority or religious belief system, they see their non-belief as being “independent free-moral agents,” not representing anyone or anything.  They believe they are working independently of any commitments or obligations to any supreme or governing entity but we see from this passage that this is not exactly the truth.  According to this scripture, the one to whom we choose to be our master is the one to whom we become a slave or “an ambassador.”  For the non-believer, because they have made the conscious choice not to serve God, have unknowingly chosen to become slaves to sin and are “ambassadors” to principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world, which includes the master puppeteer, Satan.  For the believer, because they have made the conscious choice to serve God and follow Christ, have  chosen to become slaves of righteousness and are its “ambassadors.”

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:17-20 TLB).

Through what Christ did on the cross, God made peace and brought us back to himself.  And in doing this, God gave us “the ministry of reconciliation,” entrusting us with his message of reconciliation.  But this honor of preaching this news of peace belongs to those who are in Christ.  Those who are in Christ be a new creature, a new creation if you will.  Remember, it was through his death that Jesus took two groups (Jew and Gentile) and made them part of himself.  And in making them a part of himself, Jesus was able to fuse the two together into a new creation, into a new man.  It is this new creation, this new man that are “the ambassadors for Christ, his representatives.”  God uses this “new man” to urge others to come into his favor, to be at peace with him, and to be reconciled to him.

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1).  “For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (I Corinthians 3:9).

We are God’s coworkers, workers together with God.  We are God’s partners, working side by side with God.  We are “the authorized representatives or messengers” of God.  We be “Heaven’s Ambassadors,” ambassadors for Christ, entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation, preaching the news of peace, urging others to come into God’s favor, to be at peace with him, and to be reconciled to God.  The question that you have to ask yourself is “Am I good ambassador or am I bad ambassador?”

We trust that today’s inspirational message will give you a new perspective on your role of being “Heaven’s Ambassador.”  We pray that this message will bless you, as well as inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If you are blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Monday, February 13, 2017

Devotion: You Are A Spirit

As we look at the creation of man, we can actually see man being created with three distinct parts; spirit, soul, and body.  We know that man was created in the image and after the likeness of God.  According to the first chapter of Genesis, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26).”  Many people have a hard time reconciling the fact that mankind is “created in the image and after the likeness of God,” but the original man and the original women were “created in the image and after the likeness of God (Genesis 1:27).”  And since each of us are a copy of the original man or the original woman, then we too were “created in the image and after the likeness of God.”  Now, when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” he was not referring to the image that you see when you look in the mirror.  Jesus tells us “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), which means you must be a spirit as well.  Wow!  You are actually a spirit being, created in the image and after the likeness of God.  Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite told Job and his two friends that “there is a spirit in man” (Job 32:6-8).  This statement implies that the spirit, which is in man and man himself are not the same.  However, this does not mean that your spirit is not similar to the form that you see in the mirror because throughout the Bible, God is described as having features such as “hands, arms, face, and back parts” (Exodus 33:22-23), but you are a spirit being first.  What you see in the mirror is your physical body.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7).

We see from scripture that God formed, molded, or shaped man’s body from the dust of the ground.  We also see this fact strongly emphasized by God after the fall of man.  God tells man that he is but dust; “for it was out of dust that he was taken and it is to dust that he will return” (Genesis 3:19).  Now we have the physical body, formed from the dust of the earth, but there is no life in this body.

“… and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7).

Now we have the lifeless body, which God breathed the breath of life into and the body comes to life.  This breath is the same breath that God “gives to all living things” (Numbers 27:16).  When we die, we see the creation process in reversed.  We already know that our bodies return back to the dust from where it came, but “our breath,” the breath that God breathed into our nostrils, “returns back to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

“… and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

Then, there is the soul, the thing that man became.  Man became a living soul after God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.  The soul is defined as the nonphysical aspect of a person, which contains person’s most important feature, his or her essence.  This is where the deepest and truest nature of a person can be found.  It is here that the most complicated human attributes can be found, such as a person’s consciousness, thoughts, feelings, and will.  The soul is where a person’s emotional and moral nature and be found.  This is a place where the most private thoughts and feelings are hidden.  The soul is the thing that gives each person his or her distinctive character.  It is also believed to be the one part of man that continues to exist after the body dies.

“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 this passage, 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, asking that our “entire spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  So the reflection that you see in the mirror, that physical body that you see, is made of dust and to dust is where it will return.  However, within the reflection is that real you; a spirit being that has a soul, all living inside of that image in the mirror.

“... This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit” (Zechariah 12:1 NLT).<

To summarize, you are a spirit created in the image of God that became a living soul, all living inside of a body.  We pray that today’s inspirational message will give you a new perspective on what it means when it is said, “you are a spirit being.”  We also pray that this 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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Devotion: Actively Receive

“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” (John 3:16).  “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?

Just about everyone is familiar with or has heard of John 3:16.  It says that God so love the world that he gave his only begotten to save us.  And even though God so loved the world, the “everlasting life” spoken of here is “conditional,” which means that in order for us to receive this “everlasting life,” we have to do something.  Receiving this “everlasting life” is contingent upon us “believing in his only begotten son.”  According to this passage, if we “just believe in this only begotten son,” then we will not perish but will receive this “everlasting life.”  Though it appears that God has freely given us all of these things, nothing in the verses suggest that receiving this “everlasting life” is automatic, but conditional.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

While God is extremely patient with us, not wanting or desiring that anyone of us to perish, he has once again made our salvation “conditional,” meaning the in order for us to receive this “salvation,” we again have to do something.  Receiving this “salvation” is contingent upon us “coming to repentance.”

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

Everyone is given the power to become a son or daughter of God, but again becoming “a child of God” is conditional.  Everyone who “receives his only begotten son” and who “believes on his name” is freely given or receives the right to become a child of the Almighty God.  This means that unless the conditions set forth by God are met, then “no one receives that power to become a child of God.”  You see, everyone is “a creation of God,” but not everyone is “a child of God.”  In order “to receive” what God has freely given us all, which includes “salvation, everlasting life, and the power to become a child of God,” we each have “to actively” meet the conditions that God has set.  Make the choice to “actively receive” all the God has to offer and all that he has freely given because nothing is automatic; everything is conditional, conditional upon you doing something.

As always, we pray that today’s 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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Devotion: Jesus Is Coming Back

Do you believe that Jesus is coming back?

“When is all this going to happen?  I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows.  That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.  When people are saying, ‘All is well; everything is quiet and peaceful’—then, all of a sudden, disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is born.  And these people will not be able to get away anywhere—there will be no place to hide.  But, dear brothers, you are not in the dark about these things, and you won’t be surprised as by a thief when that day of the Lord comes.  For you are all children of the light and of the day, and do not belong to darkness and night.  So be on your guard, not asleep like the others.  Watch for his return and stay sober.  Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk.  But let us who live in the light keep sober, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the happy hope of salvation” (I Thessalonians 5:1-8 TLB).

Scripture says that Jesus is coming back and he is coming back “like a thief in the night.”  Will you be ready for his return?

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief!  Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed” (Revelation 16:15 TLB).

Are you watching continually for Jesus to return?  Do you have your clothing ready?  Is your “cloak of grace” intact so that no one will see your nakedness and shame or will others see your sin and punishment because “you have left the cloak behind?”  Be forewarned, he will come suddenly, unexpectedly, and abruptly; will you be ready?

“Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.  Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun.  Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.  Don’t be fooled by what they say.  For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness (the man of sin) is revealed—the one who brings destruction (the son of destruction).  He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship.  He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (II Thessalonians 2:1-4 NLT).

But don’t be deceived about his return for there are certain events that must take place first and then comes the day of the Lord.  Jesus is coming back, will you be ready?

As you read today’s inspirational message, we pray that it will be a blessing to you and that you will share it with others that they may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Monday, January 2, 2017

Devotion: Make Room For Jesus

Do you make room for Jesus in your life?  Be honest, because we do not ask for our knowledge, but for yours.  You see, as believers, we claim to love Jesus and we claim to have a relationship with Jesus.  But if we have to truthfully describe that relationship, the one word that comes to mind is “complicated.”  By “complicated,” we are saying that our relationship with Jesus is “a little hard to explain and understand.”  Most relationships involving Jesus are “one-sided.”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:13-14 NIV).

Most believers know that Jesus gave his life for us because he loved us.  Yes, Jesus laid down his life for us because he considered us “to be his friends.”  And in return for this friendship, he only ask that we do what he has commanded of us.  But this is where things get a little “complicated” and a little “one-sided.”  Our relationship with Jesus has become “a little hard to explain and a little hard to understand” because we have allowed the cares of this world to affect and define our relationship with Jesus.  We allow the demands from our family, the demands from our jobs, the demands from our friends, and the demands of just trying to survive this life to dictate the kind of relationship that we have with Jesus.  Because of these demands, demands that we have prioritized, we have no time nor do we make room for Jesus.  So, when we ask if you make room for Jesus, it is truly for your knowledge only.

Most believers have placed Jesus in a position, that if they get a moment, a spare moment mind you, at the end of the day, they try to dedicated that time to Jesus.  The problem with this thought process is that they tend to run out of time before they get to Jesus or are so tired that they just to have anything left and tend to fall asleep.  However, in their time of need, in their time of crisis, when they feel there are no other options, they suddenly make room for Jesus.  When they need him, their priorities change and suddenly they find themselves making time for Jesus.  When they find themselves in such a situation, at the end of their rope, his name is the first name they call out.  “Help me Jesus,” “Save me Jesus,” and “Have mercy on me Jesus,” are just a few of those calls for help that come to mind.  Yes, we have a “one-sided complicated” relationship with the one who gave his life for us.  But it does not have to be that way.

“Look!  I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking.  If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 TLB).  “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-17 NIV).

Jesus is standing at the door, knocking, wanting to come in and fellowship with us.  All we have to do is open the door and make a little room for him, make a little more time for him.  Jesus laid down his life for us, because he considered us to be his friends.  In return, he asked that we do what he has commanded.  In doing this, we will find that his joy will be in us and our joy will be made complete and overflowing.  Make time for Jesus in your life and change the description of your relationship with him.  No longer see the relationship with the one you claim to love as “one-sided and complicated.”  Make room for Jesus in your life.

We again give thanks to God for this avenue that he has given us to share his word through our commentary.  We also thank God for the accompanying inspirational message that he also provided.  We continually pray that God’s grace will be upon you and that these devotionals will be a blessing to you.  If you are blessed by them, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW