July 29, 2010

The Joy of the Lord – devotional (20100729)

Filed under: Devotionals, Inspirational — Tags: , , , , , , — Christopher @ 6:35 am

The Joy of the Lord

by Greg Barolet

As I consider Matthew 20, I find that the laborers complained because they worked all angry-mob day and received a certain wage. Then those who worked just part of the day received the same amount as the ones who gave it their all throughout the day. They grumbled because “they thought they would receive more” (v. 10). I can see them digging, wiping the sweat from their eyes, muscles aching with pain, saying to themselves or to those who worked the same amount of time: “I deserve a great deal more money today then those who worked just a few hours.” Can you see their faces when each worker received the same pay?

I have been a Christian now for twenty-eight years, and I can attest to the fact that I and others act the same way as these laborers. Why? Because we forget to do all things to the glory of God, we forget to emulate Christ who said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many” (v. 28). He gave us His all, even His life. He was last, but God the Father made Him the first.

“The last will be first and the first will be last” (v. 16). Jesus said that many times, to be sure. Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and we are to do the same without grumbling and complaining. How do we do that? By being in the Word. The Word of God is a transforming agent in our lives. If we have a desire to be first in notoriety, we will have our reward in full here, not in heaven. We may grumble because of hardships we might be enduring. But this only shows that our thinking is askew. We think we don’t deserve difficulties. Yet if we don’t put Jesus first, we will be bitter, not better, when the bumps in the road come our way.

We are to do all things unto the Lord whether or not we get recognition, and the joy of the Lord is surely felt when we serve others. But how do we endure hardships and discipline from the Lord? We understand that it is for our good (James 1:2–4). God is transforming us into the image of Christ. We therefore glorify God by being last, even though the world will not understand this, because God’s ways are contrary to the ways of the world.




July 12, 2010

Loving Christ-MacArthur devotional (20100712)

Filed under: Bible Study, Commentary, Devotionals, Scripture — Tags: , , , , , , , — Christopher @ 10:08 am

"This precious value, then, is for you who believe" (1st Peter 2:7). (NIV,KJV,ESV)

First Peter 2:7 speaks of the believer’s affection for Christ as contrasted to an unbeliever’s rejection of Him. The first part of that verse could be translated, "To you who believe, He is precious." "Precious" means "valuable," "costly," "without equal," or "irreplaceable." Christ is all that, but only believers recognize His supreme value and regard Him with affection. Affection for Christ is the bottom-line characteristic of true believers. Believing in Him and loving Him are inseparable.

In John 16:27 Jesus says, "The Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed." In Matthew 10:37 He says, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Believers have a compelling and surpassing love for Christ.

To His antagonists Jesus declared, "If God were your Father, you would love Me"(John 8:42). Anyone who truly loves God will love Christ.

Those antagonists claimed to be children of God, but their deception was revealed when they tried to kill Jesus for preaching God’s truth. They were in fact children of the devil (v. 44).

In John 14 Jesus adds, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. . . . He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him. . . . If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (vv. 15, 21, 23- 24).

Many people are confused about what it means to be a Christian. But you have the privilege of clarifying the issue as you esteem Christ highly, love Him deeply, and demonstrate your love by obeying His Word. May God bless you richly as you pursue that goal today.

Bible verse for the day – 1st Peter 2:11-12

Filed under: Scripture — Tags: , , , , — Christopher @ 7:39 am


July 6, 2010

False Fears (devotional 20100705)

A “thank you” goes out to Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries for sharing today’s devotional


So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children did likewise, and their children’s children – – as their fathers did, so they do to this day. (2nd Kings 17:41)

It is dangerous to be kept in a land that is full of idolatry. The people of the land will quickly notice if you do not pay homage to their gods. They will actively seek to make sure that you bow to their gods. However, the believer is under obligation to obey the commands of the one true God who has given clear commands: “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall fear the LORD.” When the believer is kept in foreign lands he will be pressed to submit to strange gods or to honor the one true God.

In this passage of Scripture we find that the people of that day do what many of this day attempt to do. They took the route that claims to fear the LORD, but at the same time they continued to serve their idols and the sad tragedy is that they corrupted their families in the process. In America, religion seems to be a popular fad that helps people to look good in society. Church buildings are as common as gas stations and there is one available for whatever taste a person may have. People who go to the buildings once a week are considered to be those who fear the LORD. However, the great populations of those who claim to worship God are deeply committed to their idolatry.

If the truth be known the amount of money spent on hobbies far exceeds what is given to the LORD. The number of hours given to personal interest far exceeds the time spent in the Word of God. The amount of sporting facts memorized far exceeds the number of verses in Scripture memorized. The songs of the world are on the heart of the confessing believer far more clearly than the Psalms of David. The excitement for the events of the world far exceeds the excitement of the proclamation of the Word. The fervor for gluttonous eating far exceeds the feasting upon the things of God. The desire of the heart will reveal who is the true God.

Dearly beloved, it is undoubtedly true that many in the church today claim to fear the LORD, but in reality they have not abandoned their idols in the least degree. This text ought to urge you to search your own heart for idols and by the power of the Spirit to tear them down. Oh, that you would fear the LORD and serve him only.

J. Randall Easter, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Briar, Azle, TX.
II Timothy 2:19

“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” –John Calvin


July 2, 2010

Integrity Upheld – Blackaby devotional (20100702)

Filed under: Blackaby Devotionals, Inspirational — Tags: , , , , , , — Christopher @ 1:00 am

As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever.
Psalm 41:12

Joseph was a righteous man who had cultivated a reputation for godliness in his community. Then word spread across the community that Mary, the woman to whom he was engaged, was expecting a child. There would be many who would assume the worst of this apparently scandalous situation. Joseph probably experienced gossip from some, ostracism from others. Yet he was a man of integrity, aware that God knew the truth of his relationship with Mary.

At times, God will be the only witness to your righteous behavior. Sometimes God is the only one who will understand yourrighteous,Got-Fruit,right motives. Sometimes you will do all you know God has asked you to do, only to face ridicule from others. At such times all you can do is maintain your integrity, trusting that God always keeps His eyes on you. God looks favorably upon those who walk with integrity, doing what they know is right, regardless of how others perceive their actions.

The most important thing is not that people know the truth. The most important thing is that you are a person of integrity before God. When no one seems to understand why you have done something or when others question whether you have done all you should have done, your confidence should not be in the hope of vindication in the eyes of others. It should be in the knowledge that God keeps you in His sight. If you have this confidence, it will be enough to sustain you.

Henry and Richard Blackaby
Experiencing God Day-by-Day

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