Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strong like a Cedar Tree

Today’s Scripture: 1 Chronicles 22:3-4
David provided large amounts of iron for the nails that would be needed for the doors in the gates and for the clamps and he gave more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided innumerable cedar logs, for the men of Tyre and Sidon had brought vast amounts of cedar to David.

Words of Devotion

For many years, Franz Mohr was the chief concert technician for Steinway and Sons, perhaps the world’s most respected manufacturer of pianos. In this position, Mohr interacted with many of the world’s leading musicians. As a committed Christian, he also sought opportunities to share his faith whenever possible.

Mohr compared the process of building a Steinway with the construction of other types of pianos. “In contrast to a mass-produced piano, a Steinway, which is handcrafted, in which only specially selected woods are used, will last almost forever.” Other pianos might deteriorate rapidly, but “not a Steinway.” What made the difference? “It is mainly the craftsmanship and the selection of wood…Since we build only a handful of instruments, we can be selective.”

The Bible tells us that God wanted specially selected wood for certain buildings in Israel. Cedar trees, in particular, were used to build David’s house, Solomon’s Temple, and other important buildings. Why these trees? Though they grew slowly, the resulting wood was durable and long-lasting.

Today, remember that God has a plan for your life. He is the Master Builder who is crafting you to be a masterpiece that stands the test of time, just like those Steinway pianos. You are like those cedar trees that were specially selected to build the Temple. To God, you are not being “mass-produced,” merely rolling off an assembly line.

God is training, disciplining, and guiding you, making you into a masterpiece. Cooperate with Him, and you will be able to endure, stand up under pressure, and bear much fruit for His Kingdom.

Inspirational Prayer: Father, thank You that You have a plan for my life. I surrender my life to You. Help me to be the person You created me to be. Mold me and make me. Thank You. In Jesus’ name Amen

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Here I Am!"

Today’s Scripture: I Samuel 3:4
Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!”

Words of Devotion
Sometimes we forget just how big God is. In fact, we even forget the truth that God is unfathomably big. We are short sighted and self-absorbed so often that we neglect a relationship with a God so amazing. Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart? Have you ever felt the nudging and leading of His hand? That voice that whispers, “Come be with me. Open my word, internalize its truth, I will transform you.” And then you rolled over and went back to sleep? Or you decided to keep watching your favorite TV show instead? If so, then think on this simple analogy:

The President of the United States of America has just sent for you (imagine it’s the President you have most admired), there is a shiny black SUV, men wearing sun glasses, black ties, and ear pieces who have arrived to take you to him. Question: Do you go? Do you answer the call?

Most of us, if not all, would answer yes to this question. We would quickly respond to the call of someone so powerful and important. I’m sure by now you understand where this is headed, but there is none more important, more powerful, or more worthy of our time than God! Yet so many times we turn to things so unimportant by comparison, and ignore the very God who made and saved us. When God calls us, we should be as Samuel was, responding immediately, “Here I am!”

Think about a time in your life when you immediately responded to the leading or voice of the Lord? Did you regret responding? Nope, and you never will.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ishmael Must Go!

Today’s ScriptureGenesis 21:8-13
But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. (Vs 12)

Words of Devotion
If Isaac represents the gladsome fullness of the fruit of the Spirit, then Ishmael represents some pet manifestation of our self-life in which we find comfort and delight and that we do not want to surrender. Some place value on what they have long suspected is not what God would have but that they were reluctant to give up. Perhaps it is some long-standing habit that we have been defending. There can be habits or values in our lives that are really some form of self-indulgence. God may allow them for a while, but the time comes when He says, Now, these have to go.

God says that Ishmael could never share in the inheritance with Isaac. This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6). When the time comes for us to stand before our Lord at the judgment seat of Christ, our lives will be classified into two areas: works of wood, hay, and straw, which are of the flesh; and those of gold, silver, and precious stones, which are of the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). The Lord says to us as he says to Abraham, Ishmael must go. If you refuse to expose, examine, and remove that which is born of the flesh, even though God has said that it hurts you and He has shown you the peace, joy, and love that is the fruit of the Spirit, then you must face this choice as Abraham did.

Dr. Barnhouse, Preacher & Theologian, once wrote, “Early in my ministry, I had the idea that I must strike out against all error wherever I saw it... if error was in some fundamental leader with whom I was in 95% agreement, I swung hard at the 5%”. 

This made Dr. Barnhouse a highly controversial figure, often unmercifully sharp and dogmatic. This zeal for truth became an Ishmael in his life. Then he tells how there came a time when the Spirit of God taught him to love, and he faced the choice—Ishmael had to go. He had to learn to be more understanding and more tolerant of some of the variant views of others.

Dr. Barnhouse wrote, “Some time ago, I published a New Year's resolution expressing regret that I had had differences with men who are truly born again. The results of that resolution were astounding. In the years that followed its publication, my ministry has been transformed”. 

The closing years of his life show much of his mellowing and of the sweetness of the fruit of the Spirit in one whom before had been so harsh, critical, and demanding.

I don't know what form Ishmael may be taking in your life, but I know there are times when God says to us, simply, “This must go”. There can be no manifestation of the life of the Spirit any longer until this is dealt with.

Abraham obeyed. Early in the morning, he got up and took bread and a skin of water and, though it cost him heartbreak to do it, sent Hagar and Ishmael out, so that he might have the fullness of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I ask that I would sincerely long to be a completely yielded vessel of Your joy and strength and peace. May I have the grace to cast out Ishmael and find the fullness and joy of Isaac.

Life ApplicationOld habits and thought patterns can become comfortable. Do we respond obediently when God asks us to put them away so our inner healing can bring lasting joy?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hope Amidst Fear

Today’s Text: Isaiah 32:1-2
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

Words of Devotion

This King was promised by the mouth of God through the hands of men. Acting as a herald of the Lord, Isaiah prophesied there would come a King who would “Reign in Righteousness”. For one in danger, He would act as “a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm”. For the thirsty soul, He would be as “streams of water in a dry place”. For the heavy burden and the wounded, He would be “like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.” Jesus then is the Savior of body and soul, the temporal life and eternal. Our fears of the present may be eased by the assurance of this promise, that when we look to Jesus amidst the grief of life, He will be as “cool water in a burning desert”.

When the tempest rages, with thunder clashing and whirl winds blowing, He will stand unyielding as our strong tower (Psalm 61:3). In His righteous and just reign, He will be the answer in both fears that plague men: fear of today, and the greater fear of tomorrow. 

As Jonathan Edwards, a Christian preacher and theologian stated,

The fears of a terrified conscience, the fearful expectation of the dire fruits of sin, and the resentment of an angry God, these are infinitely the most dreadful. The fear of eternal condemnation is suffocating when realized. If this promised King who is now ruling does in fact reign in justice, then he must deal justly with sin and evil. We ought rightly to fear at this epiphany”.

As Edwards continued on,

Christ, by his own free act, has made himself the surety of such, he has voluntarily put himself in their stead; and if justice has anything against them, he has undertaken to answer for them. By his own act, he has engaged to be responsible for them.”

Our fears, though at first rightly founded, become as a dead seed planted in our hearts which blossoms to full joy once we are found alive in Christ.

Rejoice today, as Jesus is our strong tower for today, and our assurance of salvation for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Favor of God

Today’s Text: Daniel 1:8
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

Words of Devotion

There are two things we can learn from Daniel’s response to the king’s decree that they eat a certain food and drink wine (Daniel 1:5). First, we learn that Daniel remained faithful to God when it seemed as though God was not faithful to him. Daniel just had his home destroyed by the king of Babylon and was subsequently taken into captivity (Daniel 1:1-4). To many of us it may seem as though God had not taken care of Daniel and his fellow Israelites. Even though it appeared that way from a human perspective, Daniel stayed faithful to God and His commandments; even when it came to food.

Second, we learn that Daniel looked for God’s favor above man’s favor. We know that he was taken captive because of his handsome appearance and knowledge (Daniel 1:4). He possessed what was required to succeed in the Babylonian King’s court. But, instead of working his way through the ranks, as all the other young men undoubtedly tried to do, he chose to find favor with God by obeying God’s commandments. He did this rather than doing what was expected of him by the ambitious men surrounding him.

This is very similar to what many of us deal with as we work our way up the corporate ladder in the business world today. Decisions like, “Do I stick with my morals, or do what all the others did before me to make my way up?”, or, “Is God really going to care about this minor detail I don’t obey if I use my new found position to positively influence others?”

Resolve, like Daniel, to seek first God’s favor before men’s, and seek position into his presence, rather than position in a corporation.

Do you seek God’s favor, even when it appears as though He’s placed you in an adverse situation?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jesus' Yoke Is Easy And Light

Today’s Text: Matthew 11:28-30

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Words of Devotion

The word “yoke” can be foreign to those of us living in an industrialized nation. Basically, a yoke is a piece of wood that is used to hold two animals together, usually oxen, to help them share the load in pulling a till or a buggy of some sort. The key here is that the yoke allows the animals to support each other in pulling the heavy weight.

As we live our lives, we are often times yoked by many things. We might be yoked with a personal decision that is weighing heavy on us. We might even be yoked with a spouse who helps us in the hard times. We can even be yoked to sin as the Israelites were with Baal (Numbers 25:3). No matter how you look at it, we are yoked to something, whether good or bad.

Jesus tells us to come and take His yoke and we will find rest. Interestingly Jesus doesn’t say He will take our burdens and attach His yoke to it and we stand by and watch. No, He takes us under His yoke and carries those burdens with us along the way. In turn, He takes the majority of the burden and makes it “light” for us.

We also “learn” from Jesus as we carry the burden with Him. This allows us to learn to change from the inside instead of repeating the same wrong things over and over.

 Is there something pulling you down that you haven’t given to Jesus today?

Take off your yoke and join Jesus in lightening the load.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How Far Is Too Far?

Today’s Text: 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 

“Everything is permissible”- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

Words of Devotion

The church in Corinth was struggling with their newfound freedom in Christ, and with that they were asking a question that Christians have been asking for years “What can I get away with and still call myself a Christian?”

Instead of giving them a nice little list of Christian rules, the Apostle Paul tells them they are not even asking the right question. Instead of asking the infamous “How far is too far?” question, Paul challenges them to ask this question instead: “What can I do to benefit others? How can I intentionally seek to help others, even at the risk of some of my freedoms?” It is a totally different question. It is a question that can change our lives.
Ask yourself this question right now: 

How am I setting up other people to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus?

That is the heart of what Paul was saying to the Corinthians and it is still applicable to us. Yes, we have a freedom in Christ. Yes, we have the right to eat, drink and be merry. We even have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What would it look like if we were willing to sacrifice those freedoms to benefit others?

It is so profound that Paul uses the word “seek”, because it implies being intentional with your actions. When you played Hide and Seek as a kid and you were the “seeker”, you were very, very intentional at seeking (or else you weren’t very good!).

What can you do today to intentionally seek the good of others? What can you do today to help someone grow closer to Jesus?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Moses’ Prayer Part 4 – God’s Presence

Today’s Text: Exodus 33:15

Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.

Words of Devotion

Do you ever become more passionate about completing the task and accomplishing the mission than about knowing and experiencing Jesus? Maybe you worry more about checking off your Christian list of things to do than to feel the presence of God? Moses realized that the Promised Land (and really any blessing from God) meant absolutely nothing without God’s presence. Moses only wanted the Promised Land if it was the byproduct of knowing and following God. The big danger for many of us is that having a great ministry or succeeding can be more important than, experiencing, and following Jesus.

Moses understood that the only thing that set him and the Hebrew people apart was the presence of God. Whether you are doing life and ministry in Atlanta, New Brunswick, Burlington, Mexico, Haiti or Indonesia, the only thing that sets you and the people you are ministering to apart is the presence of God

In fact, we can have the most talented people, abundant resources, cutting edge strategy, and even be doing all the right things and without God’s presence it just won’t matter. It is only as God leads us and works through us that we can become the aroma of Jesus to the world around us (2 Corinthians 4). It is only as we know, experience, and follow Jesus that we can make an eternal difference where God has placed us.

Do you really want to know and experience Jesus more than anything?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moses’ Prayer Part 3 – Humility

Today’s Text: Exodus 33:13

If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”

Words of Devotion

As we reread Moses’ prayer today, we are struck with the humility with which Moses asks God to continue revealing His ways.  If anyone had firsthand experience of watching God work, it was Moses.  Here are a few examples:

-God speaks to him through a burning bush (Exodus 3).

-God uses Moses to prophesy 10 plagues on Egypt (Exodus 7-11).

-God works through Moses to split the Red Sea (Exodus 14).

-God gives Moses the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20).

-God speaks to Moses as a man speaks to a friend (Exodus 34:34).

Moses had seen God do some amazing miracles. Moses was the first person to read God’s law.  Moses had an incredibly intimate knowledge of God… Yet he prays, “Please show me your ways.”

If Moses realized he had not arrived, then there’s a good chance we have not either.  Throughout scripture and history the best leaders are those who posture themselves as life-long learners.  Solid spiritual leaders continuously lead out of the overflow of what God is teaching them. As we pray, there should be a sense of humility in our prayers for a guidance that only God can give. Learn from Moses today the man considered to be one of the most humble (Number 12:3).

Is there sense of Humility in your prayers?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moses’ Prayer Part 2 – The People

Today’s Text: Exodus 33:12 

One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’

Words of Devotion

We are continuing our series on the prayer of Moses in Exodus 33:12-13.

Moses knew God had called him to lead the people into the Promised Land, but he also knew he could not do it alone. Moses is pleading with God; let me know who you will send with me. As Moses is praying this prayer he probably remembers his father-in-law, Jethro’s, advice in Exodus 18:18-27. Jethro sees Moses trying to lead all the people by himself and says, “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself”. His father-in-law wisely knew Moses needed a team of capable, trustworthy, Godly leaders around him.

We see this pattern throughout scripture. King David had his mighty men. Jesus had his 12 disciples. Paul always had a team of people involved in his missionary journeys and church planting ventures. This idea of needing others can be tough sometimes. We are surrounded by a culture that exalts the idea of the lone ranger in movies, as business men (a self made man), and even the idea of being able to do everything from your computer without having to speak to another human for help. 

We also need to remember that as Christians we are part of a body of believers who all have been gifted by God to do specific tasks (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). We can’t live this Christian life alone and need Godly men and women by our sides as we live this life here on the Earth. Just as Moses needed a group of people to help him in leading the Israelites, so do we here today in our personal life.

Who has God sent with you to live your Christian walk today?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moses’ Prayer Part 1 – Desperation and Dependence

Today’s Text: Exodus 33:12-13

One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’  If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”

Words of Devotions

Many times when we don’t know how to pray, we can look at the prayers in the Bible and learn from them. We are going to look at the prayer of Moses, who God has given a mandate to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land, which was no small task. They were a ragtag group of former slaves with no real military experience who were on their way to take over the land of Canaan (a.k.a. the Promised Land). They also had a penchant for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

It’s pretty obvious from this prayer that Moses knows he is in over his head. In fact, if you read through the Old Testament book of Exodus you’ll see that as Moses seeks to follow God and responds to what God is doing, he is constantly finding himself in over his head. God keeps bringing this guy back to a place of desperation and dependence.

If we take a step back and look at the narrative of scripture, or at people throughout history that God has used in significant ways, or even at our own lives, we’ll see this pattern: God keeps bringing those who desire to be used by Him back to a place of desperation and dependence. This desperation and dependence for God keeps us from thinking we have put our lives all together, being arrogant or prideful in our success, and allows us to experience the Creator of the Universe working through us.

Have you been praying with a desperation and dependence toward God lately?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Holy, Holy, Holy

Today’s Text: Isaiah 6:1-3

“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted…Seraphim stood above Him…And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”

Words of Devotion

In 1823, Reginald Heber was sent to India to serve as Bishop of Calcutta. While he was in India, Heber, an Oxford scholar, became the first person to create a hymn book which organized hymns according to the church calendar. It was after he died in 1826 that this book was published. 

One of the hymns he wrote was for Trinity Sunday, which is celebrated today by many Christians throughout the world. This hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” expressed Heber’s grasp of the holiness of God and the importance of the Trinity. 

Heber’s hymn was based on a study of Isaiah’s vision in which he saw “the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted.” It was a life-changing picture of God’s holiness. Overwhelmed, Heber described how, “Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.” God was both “merciful and mighty.” 

He spoke of saints who adore God, “casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea,” and “cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee.” God was eternal; He “was, and is, and evermore shall be.” Heber realized that no sinful man could see God’s glory. “Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity.” He wrote that “all Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea.” 

Today, allow the Spirit of God to fill your heart with wonder at His majesty. Worship and adore God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. “Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons blessed Trinity!”

Inspirational Prayer: Father, may the whole earth be filled with Your glory. Thank You that Your Spirit is My Comforter and Helper. Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins. In His name Amen.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Godly Response to Criticism

Today’s Text: Proverbs 15:31-33

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.

Words of Devotion

No one likes criticism, but encountering some is inevitable, so we need to learn how to respond in a godly way. Although you might be tempted to become defensive or angry, remain calm and listen. The words may hurt, but great benefits come to those who carefully consider what is said.

If we refuse to accept reproof, we'll limit our potential for Christlike character development and spiritual growth. Some of life's best lessons come through difficult experiences. If God allowed the situation, you can be sure that He wants to use it in transforming you into His Son's image. Whether the criticism is valid or not, whether it's delivered with kindness or harshness, your goal should always be to respond in a way that glorifies the Lord. Remember that you are responsible only for how you handle yourself, not for how the other person is acting.

When a criticism comes your way, be quiet and listen until the other person has finished. Make direct eye contact to show attentiveness and respect. When your critic finishes, thank him for bringing his concerns to your attention, and tell him that you will consider what he's said. Ask the Lord if the accusation is valid. Let Him search your heart and either affirm your innocence or convict you.

Every rebuke is an opportunity from God. It's a chance to let your Christian character shine by showing love to your critic. If he is angrily attacking you, your respect and kindness become a powerful testimony. Criticism is also an occasion to humble yourself and accept the Lord's correction.

Inspirational Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Help me be grateful for what you did for me. Help me to accept criticism and unfairness as you did, and not complain. Help me pray for those who have hurt me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Must Obey

Today’s Text: Mark 10:32-34 

They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear.

Words of Devotion

The disciples were “amazed.” What was so amazing? They were walking directly into Jerusalem and were amazed because Jesus was “walking on ahead of them.”

Earlier, He had warned them that He would “be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him” (Mark 9:31). As they approached Jerusalem, Jesus affirmed this prophecy. He knew what awaited Him.

To the disciples, Jerusalem must have seemed like a place to be avoided. They must have been surprised when Jesus announced that this was their destination. They were amazed and astonished by Jesus’ leadership, walking ahead of them. 

However, while they were afraid, Jesus had no fear. Although they were hesitant and reluctant, He was bold and decisive, ready to embrace the trials ahead of Him.

The disciples reacted in ways that are typical for human nature. How hard it can be to embrace the paths and make the decisions that involve uncertainty or danger! In our flesh, we naturally desire to remain in places with minimal risk.

Yet, if we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must learn to embrace whatever God calls us to do. We must trust in Him as we follow His leading, regardless of the opposition or challenges we might face.

This doesn’t mean we should be reckless or irresponsible. But it does mean we must place the will of God above our own personal convenience, pleasure, or will. As God calls us, we need to be ready to do the tough things we would like to avoid, put off, or ignore.

Today, submit your life anew to the lordship of Jesus. Be ready to go where He wants you to go and do what He wants you to do. He will transform your life!

Inspirational Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I commit my time, talent, and treasure to You. Use me for Your Kingdom. I trust You and will follow wherever You lead me. In Your name Amen

Monday, June 4, 2012


Today’s Text: Luke 23:34

 “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Words of Devotion

Ruggiero Leoncavallo was a rising star. Born in Naples in 1857, he became a successful composer, particularly after his opera, “Pagliacci,” premiered under the baton of Arturo Toscanini in 1892. Seeking to build on this success, he discovered the novel, La Vie de Bohème. This, he believed, was the story upon which he could base his next great opera. 

He was distressed to learn that another composer, Giacomo Puccini, already was writing an opera based on the same book. Nonetheless, Leoncavallo continued with his project. 

Puccini was first to finish his work, and his opera, La Bohème, became a sensation. Leoncavallo also finished his opera, but after a fairly successful debut, it was quickly forgotten. In the aftermath, he never could forgive Puccini, and the two men never spoke again. Crippled by bitterness and unforgiveness, Leoncavallo was stuck with the label of “one-opera composer.” 

A spirit of unforgiveness can creep into any person’s life. Just like Leoncavallo, our lack of forgiveness can poison our attitudes and even lead to physical or emotional anguish. 

Jesus said it was important to forgive others, because without forgiving others He would not forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15). Also if we are “at the altar,” we are to be ready to forgive those who have something against us. We even are to leave our offering and “go; first be reconciled to your brother and or sister, and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24). 

Forgiveness is so important that, while dying on the Cross, Jesus took the time to forgive those who were crucifying Him. As He demonstrated, we are not just to forgive our friends, but also our enemies. Forgiveness is not an option, but a cornerstone of the Christian faith—a key to mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and the healing of relationships. 

Have you been wounded by the actions or words of someone?

Have you forgiven them? If not Christ as not forgiven you! 

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Inspirational Prayer: Father, thank You for Your forgiveness. Reveal any person whom I need to forgive so that I will have Your forgiveness. Help me to make things right with them. In Jesus’ name Amen

Friday, June 1, 2012

Does God Lie?

Today’s Text: 1 John 5:6-13

Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. (Vrs 10b)

Words of Devotion

One of the most common experiences of life is to act upon the word or testimony of another person. We will do the most amazing things in response to the simple declaration of a person we have never met before. I had the privilege of leading a youth group on a mission trip. We were to replace a ruff and paint the house. Most of the teens had never been on a mission trip before, and I was not sure what we would run into. But we had been given assurance, by means of a letter from a person in Indianapolis, IN, that someone would meet us at every place we would go and would help us to get through the entire project that lay ahead of us. On the strength of that letter, some twenty-five of us committed ourselves to the tender mercies of a stranger and discovered that it all proved true. The word of that letter proved true, and on the basis of it, we committed ourselves to a considerably risky venture.

Is not God more dependable than people? If you will take the word of a stranger and act on it, can you not believe the Word of God, especially when He has caused the testimony to be written down by the eyewitnesses of these events? In addition, when faith is exercised on the basis of that objective testimony, a confirmation of the Spirit is given within that makes it wholly believable. Can you not exercise faith on that basis? John says, if you refuse to do that, then you are treating God as though He were a liar.
Dr. H. A. Ironside* used to tell of a man who had doubts about whether he was a Christian. He got down on his knees and said, “Now, Father, I want to settle this question. Show me whether I have eternal life or not”. And opening his Bible, his eyes fell on this verse from 1 John 5. He said in his prayer, “Father, I don't want to make You a liar, and it says here that if I don't believe the testimony that You give about the Son, I'm making you a liar. I don't want to do that”. What is the testimony? 

So then he would read the next part, and this is the testimony, and he stopped right there. He was so overwrought that he put his thumb over the rest of the verse and said, “Lord, it says here that if I don't believe the testimony that you gave concerning your Son, I'm making you a liar, and I don't want to make you a liar. I believe that I have what that testimony is right under my thumb here, and I'm going to take my thumb off and read it, and Lord, help me to believe it, because I don't want to make you a liar”. With great trepidation he raised his thumb and read, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in the Son” (1 John 5:11). All of a sudden it came home to him. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). No matter what else he may have, no matter how religious he may be, if he has not received the Son, he does not have life. He entered into peace and became a preacher of this great truth.

Life ApplicationDo we find it easy to believe a trusted friend, or even a stranger or the daily media, but doubt what God says in His Word? Are we making God out to be a liar?

Inspirational Prayer: Thank You, Father, for this powerful reminder that my salvation is secure because You cannot lie. Grant to me the faith to take Your promises at face value.

*If you would like more information on DR H.A. Ironside: