Psalm 39:1, “I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.”
Our tongues are great, God made them to be used for His glory. It becomes lethal if untamed. It’s a very small thing but has such great power. This makes me wonder whether the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth so that we will be inclined to hear more and speak less. I know the power of the tongue because I’ve said things I wished I did not, they cut deep like a sharp knife. It’s like a gun, once fired; it’s gone and cannot be retrieved. I hear people say, “Take back what you just said” as a figure of speech. I also hear some say, “speak your mind”, very dangerous request. Proverbs 18:21, tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…”. This verse is often used by prosperity preachers to tell their listeners that they can create their reality by how they speak, that you are what you speak. This is not correct, all the verse is saying is that a man may do a great deal of good, or a great deal of hurt, both to others and to himself, according to the use he makes of his tongue. Continue reading
2Kings 6:8-23, “21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” 22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
The world is hostile. We have enemies in every corner and greater enemies against believers. Other religions are more tolerated than Christians in dealing with challenges that face Christians. While the fierce battle against Christians is to wipe them out of the map, the strategy God has often given believers is not to engage the enemy with the same battle plan as they do but fight God’s battles God’s way. God’s given strategies are many times unconventional in our judgment, they don’t make sense but they are mighty through God and we must learn by the word of God how best to fight. Continue reading
Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…”
David wrote Psalm 23 toward the end of his life, and therefore it is his reflection of God’s work in the life of David. David had the following experiences: tending sheep, defeating Goliath, being chased by King Saul, anointed King of Israel, committing adultery, repenting of his sin, etc…. To say that David had a full life of vast experiences would be an understatement. Many of us are familiar with this most popular Psalm but what snapshot of David’s life was he thinking of when he wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…?” Was Goliath on his mind, or one of his many battles that he led? I believe that David reflected on the time his sheep were hunted by a lion or a bear that could easily devour and carry them away. However David was the sheep, and he was not being hunted by a foreign army, or even any such enemy of Israel, he was being hunted by an enemy lion, with the attributes of Satan who seeks to steal kill and destroy, that was supposed to be on his side. Continue reading
1Corinthians 9:25-27,“All those who compete in a race use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So, I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something-not just the air. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others”
Are you a winner or are you a loser in the race of life? You can’t be both.
Christian life is a lot like running a race or playing a game. It requires discipline, training, caching, determination and sheer hard work. There is a goal to be reached and reward to be won at the end of the race for those who win the race.
Just as the goal of any team or individual playing a game or running a race is to win in order to receive a crown, trophy or a reward, so should be the goal of a Christian. We are called to run our race diligently here on earth so we can live victorious life and finally receive the crown that Jesus our master and chief coach has prepared for those who will win the race. There is a wonderful party planned in heaven for the winners. That is why you and I must run and fight persistently against all odds and ends, obstacles, limitations and intimidations of the devil. In our race, the enemy of our soul and a body is the Satan. Continue reading
Matthew 26:20–22, “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say to you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say to him, Lord, is it I?”
At the Last Supper Jesus is eating with His twelve and speaks about betrayal. This is perhaps the worst gesture that a “friend” can do to another friend, even worse than death, because one has to live with the fact that betrayal meant a complete hardening of the heart in the midst of the relationship. Jesus makes the statement that one of his “friends” there would deny him, and when He did everyone of them became sorrowful and looked introspectively saying “Lord is it I?” No one pointed fingers at Judas as if he had a big hook nose and devilish horns coming out of his head. The Scriptures point out that two of the disciples went against Jesus at his hour of need. Peter denied Jesus and Judas betrayed Jesus, so what’s the difference, or are they not the same? Continue reading
JOB 2:3, “ Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
What do you see the world recognizes? Money, Fame, Power, Prestige, Talent, etc…. What are some of the things that you have been recognized for in your life? Are they awards you’ve won, degrees you earned, positions you’ve raised too, a certain financial status that you’ve obtained? We must realize that what we value, and what the world recognizes is certainly NOT the same as what God recognizes. Sure almost everyone appreciates recognition for things they have done, but it’s an entirely different ball game when the God of heaven looks upon your life and measures it from his perfect perspective, which is vastly different from yours, perhaps even offensive to you. God is not recognizing Bill Gates in heaven because of a huge earthly success and the plethora of money that he earned. Yes, he worked hard, and did a lot of good with his products and software which most of us are probably using right now to read this devotion. Continue reading
Philippians 2:12-13, “12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”
As I continue to study closely the writings of the Apostle Paul, I discover a common thread in how he says things about himself and how they came about. If I was to use the movie setting to make his overall point, Christ is the main character/cast while he took the supporting role. This is important because the supporting cast have a role to make the main character shine by how they fit in. Apostle Paul took the supporting role depending on God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit to empower him to become what God had in store for him.
The tragedy of today, many believers want to be the main character in the movie, the songs are about man, the books stores are filled with “how to be” books. People even have back up plans for running their lives, marriages, churches, leading people to the Lord. In short leaning on self and not on the sufficient power of God to save and keep. Continue reading
Romans 1:28 “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.”
Moral perversion brings mental perversion. Paul writes about those that did not like to retain God in their minds and how their minds were affected by such a decision. The mind is a very powerful place. Perhaps the human mind is one of the most powerful things on earth next to God. With the mind, humankind has placed men on the moon, we can send information by the click of a button around the globe, we can breathe underwater using SCUBA gear, etc…. our mind controls our actions, and whoever or whatever controls our minds will certainly control us. Continue reading
Romans 1:21-23, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
We looked at Romans 1:19 and how Paul spoke about those who “knew” God by Creation, and how this alone leaves the relationship with Him at the level of what we may refer to as an acquaintance. This level of knowing God is sufficient to make man responsible, but is not by itself sufficient to accomplish His salvation.
Paul continues in Romans 1, about knowing God where he spoke about those that “knew God.” If these people knew God, why did they display a lack of thanks to Him, and why foolish, darkened hearts that worshipped idols? The Greek word used here for “know” is “Ginosko” which means to allow, be aware of, feel, or perceive, etc… Continue reading