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