Thursday, December 31, 2015


II Cor. 11:13-14 These people are false apostles. They have fooled you by disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.

Stay alert. There are many false teachers and leaders in the church today. There are those who claim to be who they are not, proclaimers of the truth of God. They may appear to be trustworthy, but they are not. They may be good speakers and have a lot of charisma, but they are not children of God. They may be able to gathering a huge following, but they are not speaking for God. It's not hard for Satan to use people who are his to infiltrate the church and lead many astray.

How can we know who are fakes from the real children of God? We need to examine carefully what they proclaim by the Word of God. We must think for ourselves and ask ourselves if what we hear actually makes sense in light of what the Scriptures teach. Do the teachings hold water with what the church has understood and taught for centuries? Are the teachings backed up by the whole of Scripture? What about the personal life of the teacher?

It is hard to know much about the life that many church leaders live today. It's easy to hide behind the mass media without exposing one's personal life. Yet, it is important to know if a person's living backs up his teachings. Does the person use the Word or his position in the church for personal gain? Does the person get involved in local ministry to help those who need it? What kind of reputation does he have amongst those who know him? These are some questions that I believe should be asked of those whom we follow whenever possible.

The Word of God changes lives. Nobody has the power to change lives. Nothing anyone says changes lives, God's Word alone does. Whenever the messenger becomes more prominent than the Word, beware. Satan is not above disguising himself as an angel of light and he often does. Not everyone who purports to speak for God does.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


II Cor. 11:6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I know what I am talking about. I think you realize this by now, for I have proved it again and again.

You don’t have to be an eloquent speaker to be a good communicator of the Gospel. The best speakers are those who speak confidently because they know what they are talking about. If you are not absolutely sure that what you are saying is true, you won’t be very effective in convincing others.

One of the things that made the Apostle Paul such a powerful speaker and servant of God is that he knew what he was talking about was true because he was living it. His life experience taught him that faith in Christ indeed works, just as God told him it would. Paul was in constant touch with the Lord and learned well at His feet. Paul knew that if it worked for him, it would work for everyone.

Paul knew well the truth because he stayed very close to the Truth. He trusted the Lord with his life and often was in grave danger of his life because he refused to bend the truth. Paul knew the Lord so well that no personal sacrifice was too great of a price to pay for Him. Paul was so grateful for what the Lord had done for him that he purposely was totally committed to living for Him, no matter the cost.

You don’t have to be a somebody or be specially gifted in order to have a lasting impact on the world. You don’t have to do things well or speak well. All you have to do is live well for Christ and He will use you as you are. When your words are backed up by your works, you will be heard. The world needs to hear people who really know what they are talking about.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


II Cor. 10:13 But we will not boast of authority we do not have. Our goal is to stay within the boundaries of God's plan for us, and this plan includes our working there with you.

Life would be so much simpler and easier if we would learn to stay within the boundaries of God's plan for us. Instead, we plunge ahead like a bull in a china closet. We give little thought to making sure that what we do is indeed what God wills for us. We plunge into careers and ministries that often we are not suited for. We tackle things that we are not equipped for. We don't bother to take the time to wait before the Lord for His instructions and direction.

The Apostle Paul knew exactly what he was to do each step of his life. He was certain of his calling and would not let himself do anything but what God had called him to do, in spite of all the hardships he endured because of it. For Paul it was far better to obey God than to be comfortable in life. Paul was a preacher and instructor of the things of God. He was well grounded in the Scriptures and under God's direction, expounded on them in word and his writings. He never went outside the perimeters of what God revealed to him.

Paul did not exploit others; he did not use his position as a founding father of the church to rule people. He humbly served the church. He bathed all he did in prayer and lovingly presented the Gospel message wherever he went. He never backed down from or compromised the truth he proclaimed. His only desire in life was to do all he did for the honor and glory of God.

It would do us well to follow Paul's example. Let us strive always to be in the center of God's will for us. Let us not stray from it and seek God's honor and glory in all things as we walk amongst man. Let us preach and teach the Word of God that others may learn of God and be saved. Let us admonish others to live holy lives and be a people fit for heaven.

Monday, December 28, 2015


II Cor. 10:4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds.

If you are trying to resist or defeat Satan without God’s help, good luck. It is impossible to overcome Satan without the help of God. God’s weapons are mighty in power and extremely effective. Let us think for a few moments about some of the weapons God provides for us to use to defeat Satan in our lives.

Our main weapon is Jesus. Our Lord is our righteousness and holiness from God. He alone enables us to stand before God with a pure heart. He makes all of His children right with God. There is no condemnation in Him. When our sins are forgiven they are forever taken from us and forgotten by God. Satan’s accusations are nothing but a bunch of hot air. Jesus declares us acceptable to God and we are in Him.

We have the Word of God in our arsenal. The Word of God is absolute truth and the more we know it and apply it to life, the less of a hold Satan will have on us. God’s Word leads us into a deeper walk with God and trust in Him. Satan crumbles when the Word is properly applied in our lives against him.

We have prayer in our arsenal. Pray keeps us connected to God. As long as we are in close touch with God, Satan cannot get to us. Prayer shields us from Satan. It reinvigorates the soul and empowers us to stand strong and keep on pressing forward in our lives.

We have the fellowship of the church. For all her faults, the church is where we find encouragement, hope, inspiration, instruction, and understanding in our journey of faith. We need each other. We find in each other love and reassurances that help us to not get discouraged to the point where we want to give up.

As long as we pick up and use the weapons God provides us with, we will break down the strongholds of Satan. There is victory in Jesus and we have no one to blame but ourselves when we fall into defeat at Satan’s hands.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


II Cor. 9:10 For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

The Lord gives us the knowledge, desire, opportunity, and tools to do things and expects us to use them. But, when we do, the results still fall back on the Lord and not us. We can't achieve anything in life without the Lord's permission or blessings. He controls the outcome of our labors. Now, why God enables some to achieve much and others little, only He knows. It is not for us to question God; it is for us to thank Him for what we do achieve.

The Lord gives us many opportunities to do good. If we seize those opportunities with humility and gratitude, the Lord will produce a great harvest through us. It is never okay to gloat over our opportunities or think highly of ourselves because we have been given them. We are to serve the Lord out of our love for Him. It is then that He blesses us with a great harvest. We often will not see the harvest as it comes in, but that's okay. We serve the Lord for His sake and not our own. It is never about us. The sooner we accept it, the better our lives will be.

And, we need to understand this about the harvest. We don't value the harvest we reap in the same way the Lord does. The Lord takes into account the heart and its motives. He values our obedience to what He has equipped and called us to do. The size of the harvest has nothing to do with its value in His eyes. Our role is to obey with a joyful and thankful heart and not concern ourselves with the results. We are blessed according to our faithful obedience and not our fruitfulness.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Motives in Giving

 II Cor. 9:6-8 Remember this---a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

So often we put money value on our giving; I think that is a mistake. There are so many different ways we can give to the Lord: our time, energy, giftedness, knowledge, testimony, resources, love, and prayers are some of the things that come to my mind. No matter what we give, if it is not done cheerfully it's not pleasing to the Lord. The Lord can do without our giving. He is far more interested in our motives than He is our giving. The motivation behind cheerful giving is our love for the Lord. If we truly love the Lord, we will not begrudge opportunities He leads us into to give.

The more we give, the better the returns. We cannot expect the Lord to bless us abundantly if we don't do our part and give of ourselves abundantly. It's not a trade off. The Lord does not bless us because of how much we give; He blesses us because we give as an act of worship and adoration.

The Lord doesn't ask us to give what we can't give, but he does ask us to give with a right heart. Every one's ability to give varies, but the motive for all should be the same. We give not for the sake of being seen, but for the sake of our love for the Lord. The measurement of a gift's worth is always the motivation behind the giving. The more love for the Lord we have, the greater the value of the gift---no matter the size of the gift.

Love the Lord passionately, give what you can, and see what the Lord does with your gift. The blessings are rooted in the joy of giving. It is enough to know that we give from love to the One who first loved us. We are truly blessed to be favored by the Lord to be His children.

Friday, December 25, 2015


II Cor. 8:12-13 If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality.

Giving comes from the heart. If you really have a desire to give, then it pleases God when you give. However, God does not want us to give beyond our means to give. Scripture gives us some guidelines to follow, but it does not mean that it is in the best interest of all to follow them exclusively. The Lord honors those who give as He moves their hearts to give. Giving out of duty kills the spirit of giving.

The Lord does not expect us to give when we simply can’t give without neglecting the basic needs of our lives. But, He does expect us to give when our needs are being met and we have the means to give. To not give and use what we have on other things to satisfy our wants is sin.

Sometimes the Lord moves us to give when we don’t have it to give to test our faith. When that happens, give and trust Him to supply your needs. He will not let you down. There should be no confusion about this. The Lord will make sure you know that it is of Him and that you are not being led to give out of false persuasion.

Giving is not just confined to our finances. It involves every area of our lives. The Lord wants our whole involvement in Him. He wants part of our time and talents as well as our treasures. He blesses those who are willing to give back to Him that is rightfully His in the first place.

A willing heart is rooted in a loving heart. If we truly love the Lord, we will not be willing to withhold from Him anything we can give to Him. Let us always strive to let the Lord have His share of every part of our lives.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


II Cor. 8:11 Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have.

The church at Corinth had made a commitment to financially help the church in Jerusalem. They saw the need and responded to it. The Apostle Paul held them accountable for their commitment.

There are a few things to note here that should serve as a warning to us. First, we can get caught up in our emotions and make promises that we may find it hard to keep later on or we may even be unwilling to keep. We need to be careful when it comes to making promises, especially to the Lord.

The Lord does not take lightly our promises. When we make a promise to Him or before Him, He expects us to keep them and He will hold us accountable for it. Our words are our honor and when we fail to keep them, it tarnishes our integrity before both God and man. Promises made that are not kept makes us untrustworthy and reflects on our standing with God. When we promise something as a child of God, we bring dishonor to the Lord's name when we don't deliver.

And, when we stand behind our promises, we should do it enthusiastically. The Lord blesses a cheerful giver, not a begrudging one. He desires that whatever we give, we give from the heart and not from duty. Also, we should never feel compelled to give what we don't have to give. The Lord does not expect us to give beyond our ability to give. Be assured, if the Lord asks us to give something, He will provide so that we can give, whether it's finances, time, talents, or something else.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


II Cor. 7:10 For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.

There are two important things for us to know here. One is that sorrow that leads to repentance is good for us. Sorrow is a genuine regret for what we have done against God. It is accepting responsibility for our sins. It is a deep sense of wrong doing. Repentance is a turning away from sin. It is putting teeth to our sorrow. It is seeking to change our ways and thoughts so that they are pleasing and acceptable to God.

It is one thing to be sorry we have sinned, it is another thing to strive to not do it again. Everybody lives with regrets for things they have done or said. However, when sorrow does not lead us to change our ways, it is good for nothing. Sin leads us away from God. It is a path of eternal separation from Him. We do ourselves no good at all by just being sorry we have sinned. God demands godliness in the hearts of His children. There is no way around it. If we truly repent of our sins, we will show it in our lives.

If your heart is right with God, you will experience sorrow when you do sin. You will not be at peace or comfortable in the presence of God. You will seek Christ's forgiveness and help in not repeating the sin over again. You will want to not sin the closer you walk with the Lord.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


II Cor. 7:1 Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.

It is up to us to take responsibility for purity in our hearts. We must cleanse our hearts of those things which defile us. We must say no to those things which harm our souls and draw us away from God. No one can make you stay away from evil but you. Only you can resist the temptation to allow sin a foothold in your life. Only you can change sinful behavior, thoughts, and attitudes in your life. The Lord will help you if you are willing to help yourself. He won't change anyone without permission. Are you striving to get rid of those things in your life which are sinful?

We must work hard to obtain complete purity of heart. It is what we do if we truly fear God. If we have a proper reverence and respect for God, we will want to have pure hearts before Him. It doesn't come easily and we won't ever achieve perfect purity in this life, but we must work at it. We reap what we sow. Our lives reflect our efforts. Are you working hard to get there? Don't ever be satisfied with where you are at. Our work towards heart purity is never done. Can others see Christ growing in you?

One thing we can do to help ourselves is to pray as we approach those areas that tempt us to sin. If we were to discipline ourselves to pray before we entertain ourselves, read, and go places, I suspect we would be more prone to think about what we are doing and resist the temptations we encounter better. I know I need to take seriously putting myself into positions where I can be easily tempted. How about you?

Monday, December 21, 2015


II Cor. 6:17 "Therefore, come out from them and separate yourself from them, says the Lord. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you."

One of the reasons why so many Christians struggle so much in the faith is because they do not take this verse seriously or they simply ignore it. Most of us do not put much effort into separating ourselves from the world. We don't consider the cost of becoming like the world. We let the world influence us more than we try to influence the world. We think enough like the world that we often don't even recognize sin when we see it or we try to excuse our behavior and think it's not so bad. Like the world, we play the comparison game and see ourselves as being in pretty good shape in light of what others are like.

As believers, we are not to be like the world. Godliness and ungodliness do not mix. We are different than most by the very nature of who we are in Christ. We must have some guts and dare to be different. We must quit listening to the world and letting it influence our thinking. We are to not even touch the filth of the world.

The issue that all of us must address is how much like the world we have become. Is our behavior consistent with how the Word of God tells us we should live? Do we talk like the world or does what comes out of our mouths reflect godliness? Do we dwell on sinful practices or does the things of God dominate our thinking? Do we want what we want or what God wants for us?

If we do not stand out from the crowd and live differently than the world does, we need to re-evaluate our walk with God. You cannot be of the world and live in Christ at the same time. A true child of God lives a holy life, pleasing and acceptable to God.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


II Cor. 6:14-16a Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

The message cannot be any clearer. There is a distinct difference between believers and non-believers and in order to keep ourselves in harmony with God, we must be very careful how connected we are with non-believers. The more we let non-believers into our hearts, the more trouble we are going to have staying close to God. Jesus will not live with the Devil. He will not hang around with you if you are hanging around with the Devil.

Our sinful nature is strong and we are easily drawn into sin. We must therefore, do all we can to protect our souls from its influence on us. Ungodly people will draw us away from God much easier than we will draw them to God. Be careful how much you let ungodly people influence your life. It is far better to walk away from them than to burn in their sin.

It is okay to befriend the non-believer; in fact, we must if we are going to reach them for Christ. But, we cannot let our hearts connect with theirs on a deep level. We must reserve our deep heart connections for the godly, those people who will help us draw closer to God.

Be discerning and wise in whom you let close to your heart.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


II Cor. 6:7 We have faithfully preached the truth, God’s power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves.

It should be the testimony of every believer that he has faithfully preached the Word and that God’s power is working in him. We do not need to be a preacher in order to preach the Word. We preach a sermon every day by the way we live and talk. We are being watched by those who know that we claim to be a believer. Whether we realize it or not, we are making impressions on others daily for Christ, whether it is for good or bad.

It should be our constant prayer that we are good witnesses for Christ. It should concern us enough that we are consciously aware of the life we are living. We should be faithfully on our knees seeking the Lord’s help so that we can live godly lives before man.

There should be no doubt whatsoever to us or others that we are driven by the power of God. We can do nothing or be anything like Christ without God helping us. He should be the one who is seen and gets the glory.

Righteousness is our means whereby we impact the world for Christ. Our only real way to get others to pay attention to what we say is to live godly lives. The more like Christ we live, the more of a difference we will have in others’ lives. Righteousness gives us a leg to stand on. People may refute the Gospel message, but they have no defense for what it does in us. Changed lives cannot be denied, even by the most skeptical of people.

Righteous living is our strongest defense when we are under attack by Satan. When we know that we are living right before God, Satan can say whatever he wants to in order to accuse us and cause us to doubt our standing with God, but when we are living humbly and obediently before God, we know that all is well. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Friday, December 18, 2015


II Cor. 6:6 We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The proof of one’s faith in Christ is seen in the consistent living out of his faith in the world. There should be tangible things in our lives that are consistent with a godly heart. Our living should be enough proof of Christ in us to convince others we are His.

We should have purity of heart. There should be no question about the genuineness of our love for either God or man. There should be a desire in our hearts to not sin. There should be a desire to honor and please the Lord and not ourselves.

We should have understanding. We should be growing in our ability to know God’s Word and how to apply it to our living. There should be a growing understanding of how to love others in a godly way. We should understand how to keep in proper balance life on earth and our eternal life.

We should have patience. There should be a growing ability to not fly off the handle. We should be able to not get in a hurry and wait on the Lord to lead us. We should be able to let the Lord work things out His way instead of trying to impose our ways on His. We should be able to have more patience with people and let the Lord handle them when they mess up.

We should have kindness. Kindness towards others should characterize our hearts.

We should have sincere love. So much of what passes for love is self-centered and driven. We should so love as God loves that no one can question whether or not our love is for real.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


II Cor. 6:3 We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry.

How hard are you trying to live so that you won’t be a hindrance to others who may be seeking God? Are you living in such a way that no one will hear one thing and see something else in your life?

People are not stupid. They can spot hypocrisy. When our walk does not match our talk, they tune us out. Sinful behavior in the lives of professing believers turns people off. Most people will not pay attention to a God who does not change lives. They know their own sinfulness and are not happy with it, but if the Lord cannot help them with it, then they won’t be willing to put their trust in Him to change them.

People will listen to us when they see real changes in us. They pay attention when it is obvious that Christ has made a real and positive change in our livesin our talk and in our walk. We do have a negative or positive impact on the eternal decisions people make by the way we live. If we truly love the Lord we will not hinder someones pursuit of God by the way we live. We daily portray Christ in a positive or negative light.

Ask the Lord to help you be a help and not a hindrance to those seeking Him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


II Cor. 6:1-2 As God's partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God's great kindness. For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.

The Apostle Paul made a very bold statement here. He claimed partnership with God. He knew himself and his relationship with Christ well enough to state he was a partner with Him in His work on earth. Are you confident enough in your relationship with Christ and your service to Him that you can make the same boast?

What were Paul and Jesus partners in? Spreading the Gospel message. It was Paul's passion to tell others about God's great kindness in providing for us salvation. Paul experienced the love and mercy of God in saving his soul and he was passionate about telling others about it so that they too might be saved. It was Paul's life. I wonder how passionate you are today about your salvation.

Does the fact that Jesus saved you from your sins change you and the way you live? Do you value your relationship with Christ above everything else in life? Do you care enough about others to do your best to lead them to Christ? Are you living more for Jesus today than for yourself?

God wants to be in partnership with you. Do you love Him enough to join Him in His work on earth? The Lord is ready and willing to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation. You may not be given another day to partner up with Him. Will you do it?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


II Cor. 5:17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!

No two believers come to Christ exactly the same way. We all travel down a different path of life and experience life in different ways. The Lord meets each of us on our unique paths and draws us to himself. What may work for me would not necessarily be what you need in order to believe and surrender your heart to Christ. He alone knows how to best touch our souls.

No two believers grow in Christ exactly the same way. Some of us seem to grow up overnight, while some of us take years to grow up. Some of us take root right away and begin to show signs of dramatic change, while for others change happens at a snail's pace.

Regardless of how we are changed or how quickly it may happen, the fact of the matter is, we who are in Christ will all change. Jesus changes me. I cannot be who I was before Jesus entered my life. Everything I was is open to change. I am not who I was, I am a new person in Christ. I an under new ownership. I follow new rules for living. I have a new example to follow. If I don't let Jesus have any part of me then I am denying Him as my Lord. It may take a while for the Lord to change me, but change me He will if He is indeed my Savior and Lord.

Jesus is both Savior and Lord. We cannot have one without the other if we are going to live lives that are pleasing to God. In other words, God is never pleased with those who claim Jesus as their Savior but refuse to let Him be their Lord. Jesus is both and it is impossible to live in fellowship with Him without both being true in our hearts. If He is not your Lord, you are not moving in the right direction in your life.

Monday, December 14, 2015


II. Cor. 5:14-15 Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.

Do you do whatever you do out of your love for Christ? Does His love control you to the point where you treat others as Christ would treat them? It is something to think about. One of our greatest challenges as children of God is to act in a Christ-like way towards each other, even when we are not treated in a loving way. If Christ's love controls us we will be compelled by His love to treat others with an unconditional and sacrificing heart.

Jesus died for everyone. Regardless of how awful a person may be, Jesus loves them with all His heart and died for him. He does not want anyone to die in their sins and, neither should we. Regardless of how badly we may be treated by someone, we should always long for their salvation. Our prayers should be for their soul's rightness before God, not our revenge. And, it is not our place to sit in judgment over anyone, only the Lord can do that. We may note the wrong done, but let the Lord handle any judging that may need to be done. Pray for the salvation of those who do wrong and leave it at that.

We have died to the old life we once lived if Jesus is in our hearts. There is no part of our old life that we should hang on to or that should characterize who we are when we become children of God. Jesus changes our character and our desires. We no longer live to please ourselves, we live to please God. Period. If you are still trying to please yourself, you are not pleasing God. If you are more concerned about who others think you are than who God thinks you are, you are not pleasing God.

In Christ, we have new identities. We are not our own, we are His. Pleasing God should be the primary motivator of our lives, always.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


II Cor. 5:10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies.

We know that it is true, that each of us will stand before God someday to be judged, but often we don’t act like it. Many of us don’t take our walk with the Lord seriously. There are many who are not too concerned about how they live out their faith. They say and do things that please them rather than the Lord. They act as if there is all the time in the world to live rightly before God. They don’t pursue godliness. They don’t seek out the Lord through Bible study and prayer. They have an agenda in life, but it is not the Lord.

We reap what we sow. When we live loosely before God, we will be held responsible for it. The Lord will not play games with us on Judgment Day. There justice will overrule His compassion. There will be no more chances, no more mercy. On Judgment Day we will get exactly what we deserve for the life we have lived.

Don’t mess around with God, because He won’t mess around with you. Each one will receive whatever he deserves for the good or evil he has done in his life.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


II Cor. 4:16-18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

Are you weary of the battles you have to fight in your life? Does it seem like you have more than you can handle on your plate? Do you wonder whether or not it is even worth it? Do you wonder if the Lord even cares about your struggles? Do you wonder if it is even true?

DON'T GIVE UP! Take a moment and try to look beyond your circumstances. I know it's hard, but take a moment and consider what God has promised to do for the faithful. Think about it. Life as we know it today won't last very long. There is unending life ahead of us. God declares very loud and clear that there is a heaven and a hell. We cannot see them now, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Nothing in life makes any sense at all if it wasn't true. By faith we know that heaven awaits those who believe and are faithful to Him. Hang in there! God is leading you through this life to prepare you for life with Him. He knows what you need to go through in order for you to become stronger. He knows how to help you through your moment so that you can be better equipped to live for Him both now and for eternity.

What you face in this life doesn't last long, no matter how untrue that may seem. What is ahead of you will make what is behind you seem so trivial. As you gaze upon the Lord you will grow to understand and appreciate your earthly struggles. As you keep your eyes focused on Jesus you will see more and more of what lies ahead. You will get a taste of the glory that awaits you and your appetite for it will get stronger and stronger. What joy awaits those who don't give up!

Friday, December 11, 2015


II Cor. 4:8-10 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Very few of us will ever know from personal experience what Paul went through for the sake of the Gospel. He was a marked man and everywhere he went he faced great opposition. He was often physically attacked and came near to death upon several occasions. He was battered and bruised for Christ’s sake, but he never gave up.

What enabled Paul to go through what he did getting to the point where he would put his life on the line for Christ? Was he some super saint that the Lord was especially watching over? Did he possess something special that no one else was given? I don’t believe so.

What enabled Paul to survive and keep going back for more was his undivided devotion to God? Paul was consumed by the reality of his relationship with Christ. Paul not only talked about his faith, he actually lived it every waking moment of his life. His priority was to live rightly before God. He was consumed by a passion to reach out to the lost for Christ. He was consumed by a passion to edify the church so that she may be effective witnesses for Him. Paul was not concerned about the comforts of live. He was a determined man bent on honoring Christ in the world, no matter what it may cost him personally.

We may not be called upon to live like Paul did on earth. We may be allowed to live in comfort and not be daily threatened because of our faith. We may not experience the sufferings that many face. But, we are called upon to have similar passions for Christ that Paul had. We should strive to become consumed by our love for Christ and others. We should strive to be all that we can be in Christ so we can be all we can be for Christ. Live so that all can see Christ in you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


II Cor. 4:7-9 But this precious treasure---this light and power that now shine within us---is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.

What is your most prized treasure? Where do you keep it? What do you do to make sure it is safe and well taken care of? What is you most treasured spiritual possession? I would ask you the same questions. Which of all your treasures, do you treasure the most? How does your most precious treasure affect your living? You can tell how much you value your treasure by the affect it has on your life. Nothing of real value to you is kept hidden.

Among our many treasures in Christ are the light He shines on our darkened souls and the power He gives us so that we can live in that light and let it shine for all to see. If it were not for the help of our Lord, we wouldn't make it to God. It is impossible for us to enjoy the benefits of Christ's light apart from Him. It is impossible for us to do anything of eternal value apart from the working of Christ in us.

Jesus lives in us, as weak and fragile as we are. He chooses to live in us so that everyone can see that what makes us who we are in Him is because of God's glorious power at work in us. We are not self-made. We are products of God's amazing workings in us.

Left alone, we would never make it. We would never find our way out of our darkness into His light and we would never have the power to pull it off.

"Thank you, Lord, for your amazing gifts of light and power. Help me today to value what You have given to me and are doing in my life. Lord, don't let me ever get away with hiding it. Help me to live in such a way that everyone can see You in me. May all who know me know that You are indeed the living God who lives in me. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


II Cor. 4:4 Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of Christ.

Don’t underestimate the ability of Satan to destroy the soul. He is the most dominating force on earth. He has been given full reign over the world until Jesus comes. He is being used by God to separate the believers from the non-believers. Satan has the power to blind the spiritual eyes of man, and he uses it well. Satan uses all kinds of deceptions to keep people away from God. He is evil to the core and will do anything to deceive and destroy man. Satan understands that his fate is sealed in heaven, that he will spend eternity in hell. He is miserable because of the choice he made to reject God and misery loves company. Satan set himself up as an enemy of God and we dare not lose sight of that.

Those who are blinded by sin cannot see or understand the Good News that is shining all around them. God has made it possible for everyone to believe because He is everywhere. He has proven His realness so clearly that no one has an excuse for not seeking Him. Yet, those who live in sin have no desire to come to the Light because in doing so their sins would be exposed to them and they would then be forced to do something about it. Those in darkness stay in the darkness and have no desire to leave it.

Those in the darkness do not understand the message we proclaim. They fail to see the glory of Christ all around them. Therefore, the only way they will be able to see the realness of Christ is to see Him in us. They may be able to deny that God has revealed himself in nature, but they cannot deny the change they see in us. Let us let our lights shine so brightly in the world that Christ will be attractive to all who see and know us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


II Cor. 4:1-2 And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, we never give up. We reject all shameful and underhanded methods. We do not try to trick anyone, and we do not distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If you are in a ministry be sure that it is from God and not something you decided to do on your own. If you are doing all you do to honor and glorify Christ, then certainly what you do is of God. It should be our constant desire to do what the Lord lays on our hearts to do. It is a wonderful thing to know that what you are doing is of God and not you.

Don’t give up. The Lord is the object of your ministry, not you. You serve for Jesus’ sake, not your own. There is much work that needs to be done and the Lord is counting on you to do your part. If you quit trying, then you are depriving others of the opportunity to learn and grow through you. You may be the key the Lord wants to use to unlock the door to someone’s heart.

Be sure that you do things God’s way. Don’t resort to using methods that are self-serving or that gives the Lord a black eye. The goal is to lift up Christ before the world in an honorable way. We should always strive to draw people to Him, not give them reason to shun Him.

Be careful how you use God’s Word. It is tempting at times to use it wrongly for selfish purposes. It is easy to distort the Word to get people to follow us instead of Christ. It is tempting to distort the Word so that sin is not exposed and dealt with. It is tempting at times to distort the Word to put ourselves in a positive light. Be careful how you use God’s Word.

Remember, God knows at all times what you are doing and why you do what you do. Always tell the truth in love. Conduct yourself in such a way that no one will be able to accuse you of not being honest in your dealings.

Monday, December 7, 2015


II Cor. 3:15-18 Yes, even today when they read Moses' writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

Until Jesus removes the veil, a dark cloud hangs over our heads that prevents us from seeing clearly the light. The veil confines our sight to a very small world that is corrupt and distorts truth. The veil prevents us from being seen for who we really are, wonderfully and uniquely made people in His image. No one can remove the veil that hangs over us except Jesus.

Once the veil is removed, everything changes. We are able to see the Lord: who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing. We are able to see who we are as seen through His eyes. We are able to see why we live and what happens when we die.

When the veil is removed we experience for the first time in our lives true freedom. The Lord releases us to become the person He created us to be. He frees us to become mirrors that reflect the glory and goodness of God. He frees us to become more and more like Him so all can see Him in us.

Some of us have a hard time letting go of the veil. We become comfortable living in a very confined space and we lose sight of the bigger picture of God's grace and love. We resist the effort of God to remove our veil. We hang on as tightly as we can, convinced that it is better to live in our own little world than it is to explore the glory of God's world. We settle for so little when the Lord wants to give us so much.

What about you? Have you allowed the Lord to remove the veil from off your heart? Are you letting Him take you where you have never gone before? Are you living in the freedom He has provided for you, or are you still lingering in the bondage of sin? Are you a pure reflection of God in His holiness, or are you a tarnished mirror?

The Lord wants us to be more and more like Him. There is no better time than right now to let Him help you do it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


II Cor. 2:14-15 But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume.

The Apostle Paul understood what the Lord had done for him and was now doing in his life. He knew the Lord was with him and was using him to tell others about Him. He knew his service to Christ was like a sweet perfume that ascended up to God.

We too are like a sweet perfume before God when we faithfully seek Him out and serve Him. God is well-pleased with all who are faithfully telling others about the Lord and are spreading the Good News. You may not think you are much or are accomplishing much as you faithfully serve the Lord, but make no mistake about it, the Lord sees you and is well-pleased with you. You don't have to be noticed by man in order to be noticed by God. God does not measure our successes like we do. He just calls us to faithfulness. Let your light shine wherever you go and tell as many people as you can about the Lord, and you will be like a sweet perfume to God.

Growing up we often had what we called a testimony time in our services. It was a time set aside for the saints to share what the Lord had been doing in their lives. More and more churches these days are doing away with it, and that is a tragedy. We need those times to bear witness of our Lord. We need to be able to share our love for our Lord in public and talk about Him. It too is a sweet perfume that ascends to the throne of God.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


II Cor. 1:12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have been honest and sincere in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own earthly wisdom. That is how we have acted toward everyone, and especially toward you.

Paul was honest in his self-examination. Because he always sought to do what was right before God, he was sure that he had not done anything wrong before the church at Corinth. Paul humbly declared his innocence. He was absolutely certain that he had been honest with them about their spiritual condition and that he had dealt with them out of a heart of love.

How could Paul be so sure of himself? He totally depended on God’s grace and not on any wisdom of man. Whatever Paul preached and taught, he learned it from the Lord. He spent much time in fellowship with God and he listened intently to what the Lord taught him. Paul was consistent in his living and treated everyone everywhere he went the same way. Paul’s only agenda was to do what God had given him to do God’s way.

How about you? Do you have a clear conscious that you are doing everything right before God? Are you honest and sincere in all your dealings with others? Are you spending adequate time with the Lord in fellowship through His Word and in prayer to make it happen?

May the Lord give you a quiet confidence in all you do that you are doing it right as you walk amongst men. May your walk be a walk of grace. May others know that your wisdom comes from God and not man.

Friday, December 4, 2015


II Cor. 1:3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

We have a mandate from God to pass it on. As we are blessed by God, we are to be a blessing to others. As we experience God's amazing grace, we are to come alongside those who are in need of the same grace in their hour of need and help them. Nothing in life that we go through is without purpose or value. God allows us to discover His ability to help us through all of life's circumstances so that we in turn can help others as they go through them. No one is unique in what they live through. Others have gone through it before them and others will go through it after they do.

See the importance of your life experiences. What have they taught you about God? How have they helped you to become who you are today in Him? Pass it on. You have a story to tell that will help others. Someone must hear what you have to say.  Someone's faith may very well hinge on your testimony.

Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace in bringing you this far in life. Praise Him for seeing you through the harsh circumstances of life. Praise Him for all He has taught you about life, faith, and Him. Praise Him and pass it on.

Praise the Lord today for His wonderful promise. No matter how tough life may get, no matter how much we may have to suffer, there is an abundance of God's help to see us through. Let not your heart be troubled. Don't fret over those things you cannot control. Don't let life overwhelm you. Our God is able to see us through whatever life may bring our way. Let this wonderful truth comfort you. Press on in the all sufficient power and grace of our God. Bring it on, for our God is able to deliver us!

Praise the Lord, and pass it on.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I Cor. 16:13-14 Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.

Be on guard. It is a very dangerous thing to let down your guard when it comes to your soul. All Satan needs is a little crack and he will squeeze in and wreak havoc in you. Satan is always on watch for opportunities, so we must be always alert and on duty to protect our souls.

Stand true to what you believe. Don’t cave in when opposition comes. Know what you believe and why you believe it based on God’s Word so that you will be able to stand. Knowing what you believe comes from diligent and faithful study and prayer. Fellowship with other believers in worship and service are essential. If you don’t stand on what you believe, you will fall.

Be courageous and strong. Don’t avoid opportunities to take a stand for Christ. Boldly let your light shine in the darkness of the world. You have a message within you that must be told. Seize every opportunity you can to let the world know about the Lord.

As you stand strong and serve the Lord, always do it in love. Don’t let pride or self-righteousness get a foothold in you. Live and speak compassionately. Let a genuine concern for the souls of others drive you. People can dismiss the arguments of the head, but they can’t easily dismiss the love that comes from a heart genuinely in love with Jesus.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I Cor. 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Paul had just given us a glimpse of what is in store for us when Jesus comes. He reassured us that living in Christ is not in vain. Jesus is coming again! And when He does, He will gives us bodies fit for heaven where we are going.

In light of this wonderful truth, Paul admonishes us to remain strong and steady. The only way we can remain strong is to take care of ourselves. We must feed our souls with a proper diet of His Word, we must learn how to apply His Word to our lives, and then we must do it. It does no good at all to flex our muscles and admire them. We must use our strength for good. If we don't, we will lose our strength and be good for nothing. Steadiness comes from standing and walking on solid ground. Unless there is some physical reason why we can't be steady, the ground we walk on determines our steadiness. Be sure you walk always on "Christ the Solid Rock."

Do what you do for and with the Lord with enthusiasm. Don't approach your service with a sense of duty. Serve the Lord out of your love for Him. Serve Him for His glory and not your own. When you serve the Lord with the right attitude, nothing you do for the Lord is wasted or useless. God blesses the service of those who serve Him out of love. Good always comes out of a life driven by a genuine love for God.

Jesus is coming again! The very thought of it ought to excite us and spur us on to great service and living. The promise is certain. We who are faithful have a place in heaven reserved for us. Jesus is coming to take us home when our work on earth is done. He knows how we are living and serving and will reward us accordingly. If that doesn't excite you, then you need to get on your knees right now and repent. We ought to live in eager anticipation of our Lord's return. We should live and serve Him enthusiastically each step we take in our life journey. Jesus is coming for me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


I Cor. 15:50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.

No amount of will power or money is going to stop the aging process. God has ordained a certain amount of time on earth and then we die. We don't know how much time we have; it is hidden in the mind of God. It is why we dare not squander the time we do have. We can't assume we know and wait to the ending of our lives to do what is right before God. We can't pretend it doesn't matter how we live. Each of us is going to die on God's appointed day and when that day arrives, it will be too late to change how we have lived.

We are not going to take our earthly bodies with us when we die. Our flesh and bones will lie in the grave and return to the dust from which we came. We are spiritual beings encased in the flesh and when we die we will take on our spiritual bodies. There is a body that is fit for heaven, and one that is fit for hell.

We need to be careful which body we give more attention to in this life. If we spend all of our energy on keeping our earthly bodies in good shape and fail to keep our spiritual bodies in good shape, we have lived foolishly. Of far greater value to us is our spiritual bodies. Our souls will not die. We will live in the spirit forever. What we do now on earth determines where we will live in eternity and how well we will live. You control what type of life you will live forever. Heaven or hell? It's your choice.

Monday, November 30, 2015


I Cor. 15:33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for bad company corrupts good character.

Bad company corrupts good character. We need to come to grips with this truth. We become victims of the company we keep. We tend to adapt ourselves to the standards of the company we keep. Rather than jeopardize friendships, we fail to live by what we know to be true while we are with them. We go along with things that we know we shouldn’t. We begin to talk similar to the way they talk. We often develop similar attitudes they have about people and things. We find it far more comfortable to hide our light under a bushel instead of letting it shine.

We need to be discerning about this. We need to befriend sinners, but we dare not let sinners drag us down into compromising our faith. We need to be careful how deep of a friendship we allow ourselves to develop with sin-controlled people. We need to pay attention to what they say and not be persuaded by things we know to be contrary to the truth.

Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you in your faith. You need people in your life that you can have heart fellowship with, people who you can talk freely to about the things of the Lord. For your soul’s sake, invest your heart in those people who will edify your soul and not tear it down.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


I Cor. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins.

The resurrection of Christ is the most important event in all of history. The Gospel message does not exist without it. If Jesus did not overcome death, there is no saving grace. We are still victims of sin. The Jews are the only ones who could make it to heaven and that would only be if they followed all of God's laws and sacrifices. It would be utterly useless for us who are not Jewish to even try to please God.

If there is no resurrection then God becomes only an inaccessible force in the universe. We would have nothing to put our faith in. God would not be knowable to us as one who knows and understands what it is like to be us. There would be scarcely anyone in heaven. We would have very little hope. There would be no victory over sin.

If there is no resurrection then there is no Bible to turn to for guidance and instructions in living. The Bible would be a book of lies that we could never trust. It would be merely a story book to be read and discarded. No one would be willing to live by it or die because of it.

Yes, the resurrection means everything to us. It is God's exclamation point on His love for us. It is God giving us something worth living and dying for. Because Jesus lives we can get rid of our sins that condemn us to hell. Because He lives, we have hope for this life and all of eternity. Because He lives, we can have a relationship with God and tap into all of His blessings for us. Because He lives, we no longer live under sin's condemnation; instead we live in the freedom of Christ's righteousness and holiness.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; no man comes to the Father except by me. Do you believe this?" Do you? Live your life like you do. Heaven awaits.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


I Cor. 15:3-4 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me----that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.

We have different aspects of the truth that we consider important. Every church body has strong convictions about what is and what is not a right understanding of the truth. We become so set in our ways that we develop strong feelings against those who don't see things our way. We like to stay within the circle of those whom think the way we do. The reason why there are so many different types of church bodies is this very thing. We pick out certain truths within the truth and make them absolutely essential to our faith.

However, we need to get back to the basics. Our greatest need is rally together at the cross. Our message is nothing else but this--that Jesus died for our sins, was put in the grave, and on the third day rose from the dead. Jesus, who lived a sinless life on earth, became our sin sacrifice. He laid down His life so that all who believe in Him would have eternal life. This is the truth we must proclaim. We must set aside our differences in understandings and stand as one on the sure foundation of Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have nothing to say to the world if we don't proclaim salvation in Christ. The world doesn't care about our differences. It doesn't need to know what we think we know to be true about certain Biblical teachings. The only thing the world needs to know is that God loves us and is our Savior and Lord.

It is way past time for the church to dwell on that which is most important. Our message is clear and the mandate to proclaim it is clear. When we fail to stand together at the foot of the cross, look up to see our Savior who died for us, bow before Him in worship, and let the world know about Him, we live in disobedience. It is not about us; it's about Him and Him alone.

Friday, November 27, 2015


I Cor. 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

I believe it is important for us to remember this truth. No matter what we may think we know and understand, we only know partially what is true. There is far more to truth than what we think there is. Because we don’t see things as God does, we often draw conclusions that simply are not completely accurate. We don’t think the way God does about things. His mind is way too complex for us to always be on the same page as Him.

We must strive always to understand truth, and there are certain things we can be confident of that we get it. However, there is always the reality that our ability to understand things is limited by our capability to understand. What we must always understand is that there is room for other interpretations and understanding on some things. Where we may disagree with other believers on, we let the Lord take care of it. It is His business and if He wants to change the thinking of someone, He will do it.

What this means to me is that I must always strive to be gracious about what I know to be true and gracious towards those who I may disagree with. When we get to heaven we will all understand things clearly. We will know everything we need to know; faith will no longer be necessary because we will live in the presence of Truth forever and ever.

Let us always strive to love each other, not just those who agree with us on the truths of Scripture. On those things which God has clearly spoken, let us stand as one on them. On those things which are not clearly spelled out, let us not get hung up on them and let them divide us.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I Cor. 13:4-8a Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.

These verses depict love at its finest. There is no greater love than this, the love of God. We need to take a serious look at each characteristic of God's love and take a serious look at ourselves in light of it. No one perfectly loves like God does, so there is work for each of us to do. In fact, I believe that there is a lot of work for each of us to do.

We profess to be children of God. Therefore, we should be loving each other with the love of God. Yet, we have to admit we don't. Seldom do we let God's love rule our relationships. We do not practice what we preach like we should. If we did, we would not have church spats and divisions. We would be working together for the cause of Christ and we would not let our differences divide us, but we do. We fail miserably in this area of our lives.

We have no control over how others live out godly love, but we do control how we do it. You can do better than you are doing. Where you are failing, try harder. Ask the Lord to help you be a better lover than you are. Ask Him to love through you. Start at home and practice loving those in your family until they notice that you are different. When loving others at home becomes more natural to you, you will find that loving everyone else will become more natural as well.

Set the example for others to follow in love and see just what kind of difference it will make in you, on your job, in the church, and in all your relationships.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I Cor. 12:31 And in any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts.

The Apostle Paul had just reminded the church of what some of the gifts God had given the church were. The list was not all-inclusive and the list was not intended to be for everybody. There are a lot of ways that God molds and equips His children for service. Paul lists some gifts the Spirit had given the church of his day that many today still argue over as to whether or not they are valid expressions of worship. Churches have been divided and even destroyed over them. Our convictions will continue to divide and even destroy fellowships for as long as Jesus tarries. Because we are who we are we tend to box God into our belief systems. We get defensive and close our minds to whether or not there is room in the body of Christ for other ways to worship and serve the Lord than our own. No one is going to change the minds of those who abide by a different understanding of Scriptural application. That is a matter between the Lord and His children.

The important truth for us to grasp today is that no matter what your God-given gifts are, they are to be used for the nurturing and well-being of the body. God does not give gifts to be hoarded; they are to be used. Whatever your gift(s) is, use it for the common good of the body. If no one is being built up in Christ, then use discernment on your usage of your gift. There are numerous ways you can help to strengthen and spur the body of Christ on for service. Our goal is to be positive contributors to the body, not dividers. Do what you do for Christ and not to be seen by man.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I Cor. 12:27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.

Here is a message I wish that we could all get. There is only one body of believers and we belong to Christ. All who are living in Christ by faith are connected to each other. We have no right to exclude any believer from our fellowship. We are to embrace in love all who are in Christ. We don’t have to agree on all things, but we do have to love and support each other. The church has segregated herself over things that don’t have anything to do with our salvation. It is not God’s way.

Every member of the church is a vital and necessary part of it. There is no such thing as an insignificant part of the body of Christ. We all have roles to play. When we deny each other the opportunity to fulfill our role, we are hindering the work of God amongst men. We must find ways to involve every believer in the work of the church. We must learn to appreciate our distinctiveness and work together for the common good of the church.

We must get rid of the idea that everyone has to be like us in order for us to embrace and work with each other. We must learn how to disagree agreeably for the glory of Christ. As long as the church remains divided, Satan is going to gain the upper hand in the world.

Monday, November 23, 2015


I Cor. 12:26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

The question that comes to my mind as I think about this verse is, "Do we suffer with those amongst us who suffer?" It is so easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we neglect those who really need someone to come alongside of them and care as they go through their suffering. Regardless whether the suffering is physical, financial, emotional, mental, or spiritual, it helps to know someone really cares. Many of us mask our sufferings. We pretend all is well when it really isn't. We keep things to ourselves that should never be kept. How can we expect the comfort that comes from Christ when we shut others out?

People are the means in which the Lord often addresses our needs. He hears and answers our prayers through the help others can give. It makes no sense at all to suffer alone when the Lord provides others in the body to help us.

Granted, there is always the risk that someone will not act in a godly way towards us. There is the possibility that some who claim to be in need really aren't in need. There are some who will take advantage of others and bleed them dry under false pretenses. However, can we justify not helping one another out in times of need simply because of the behavior of some? It would rob the body of the joy of living out the Gospel. We need to be wise and discerning, but not cold-hearted.

Look around you. Is there anyone in the church whom you know is suffering? Do you care enough about them to suffer with them? What about you? Are you suffering? Don't deny others the opportunity to show their love for you by keeping silent. We are in this together. No part of the body should ever suffer alone.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I Cor. 12:25 ....This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally.

All members of the body are equals and should be treated as such. No one deserves more honor and praise than another. We live in a world where we like to honor those who are more visible. We praise those who display their gifts more publicly than others. We honor those who others honor and tend to neglect those who serve behind the scenes. However, we dare not forget that what enables some to display their gifts more publicly is the work that those behind the scenes do who are never noticed. Every member of the body is equally important.

What this means for us is that we need to be more careful about how we distribute our praise and thanksgiving in the body. We need to appreciate the service that everyone does in the church. When was the last time anyone thanked the janitor of the church for the job he/she is doing to keep the church building looking so nice? What about the one who does the church bulletins? Who made the coffee everyone enjoyed during Sunday School? Who thanked the ones who came to church early and got everything ready for the worship services? What about the ones running the sound systems? Who puts fresh flowers around the church for others to enjoy? There are so many things that are done that go unnoticed or appreciated.

Isn't it about time that something was done about it? What can you do to help encourage or brighten up someone's day today?

Saturday, November 21, 2015


I Cor. 12:22-24 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

If you are a nobody in the eyes of some, you are a somebody in the eyes of God. If others seem more necessary and important in the church than you, God sees you as equals. If the church seems to be passing you by, you are absolutely essential for her well-being. Don't ever believe the lie of Satan that what you do for Christ is insignificant and unimportant. God has placed you exactly where you are to do what you do because it is important for you to do it for the sake of the church and her witness in the world.

In fact, God gives special honor to those who serve faithfully behind the scenes and who go unnoticed. He rewards us for our faithfulness in service, not our notoriety in service. The adoration of man does not get the job done. Don't sweat it if no one seems to notice or care about what you do. God sees it and great is your reward in heaven. He needs you to keep on doing what He has given you to do. You may never know why it has to be done, but God does. He takes great pleasure in the service of the faithful.

What a privilege it is to serve God who cares about what I do.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I Cor. 12:18 But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it.

God has created the variety in the body. Every single part of what makes up the body is uniquely and wonderfully made by God and placed in the body exactly where He wants it to be. No part of the body is out of place. Each part has a special role to fill because of its placement and unique creation. God in His wisdom knows exactly which part is needed to help the body function properly. If any one part is missing or broken, the whole body suffers. It may be able to compensate and keep on functioning, but it is never quite as good as it would be if the body were whole and healthy.

What is true of our physical bodies is true of our spiritual bodies. We, together, make up the body. Each one of us is a valuable part of the body of Christ. God has made us uniquely different for different functions. We are all equally important for the wholeness and health of the body. If any of us become disabled the body weakens and fails to function as well. If any of us fail to do our part, the body suffers.

You are an essential part of the body of Christ. The church needs you to do what God has created and given you to do. The church is counting on you to do your part. If you don't do what God has created and gifted you to do, the body will continue to function as a body, but not nearly as well.

Also, God knows exactly where you fit best. Many of us are misfits. We serve the Lord, but not where we should be serving. We settle for less, when we should be striving for more. We are happiest and most productive when we are serving where the Lord wants us to serve and in the way He wants us to serve.

Let me challenge you to take a careful look at yourself today. Are you doing what you should be doing for Christ? Are you using your gifts to serve Him? What should you be doing for Him that you are not doing now? You are who you are for the glory of Christ and not your own.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I Cor. 12:12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.

If you are a child of God, you are a part of His body. It doesn't matter what you or others may think about it, you belong. You are worthy to be called a child of God and a part of His body because of the work of Christ on your behalf at Calvary. Don't ever for one moment allow anyone to tell you otherwise. You may not be treated as if you were a part of the body, but you are. You may not see yourself connected, but you are. You belong and are an essential part of the body. Therefore, you need to live like it.

Every body part has a useful function. God makes nobody who does not have a purpose. He knows what we are capable of and needed for. He makes no mistake about whom He places in the work of the kingdom. You have an integral role to play in what God desires to do through you in your world. If you don't know what that role is, ask Him right now to show you. He wants you to get busy doing what you are created to do. You will never find contentment in Christ until you do. You will never know the joy and peace of Christ until you are fulfilling His will for your life.

There is no pecking order in the body. Every body part is equally essential for the health and wholeness of the body. Remove any part of the body and the body is incomplete. The body may be able to function, but never quite as well.

The church needs what you have to offer her. She needs your gifts. She needs your heart of love. There is a place for you to serve in her and if you don't, she will never be quite as healthy as she could be. What are you doing for Christ through His church?

Be the very best you can be at what you do for the glory and honor of Christ in and through His church.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I Cor. 12:11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

We do not determine who gets what gift(s) to use to serve Christ. We don’t get to choose what gift we want. We have no say in the matter whatsoever; it is the Holy Spirit who determines the gifts we are given and distributes them.

The Spirit of Christ is the wisdom center of God. He knows each person and the unique role they play in the Kingdom of God. He knows the capabilities and personalities of each person and distributes gifts accordingly. Each person is matched up with gifts that are perfectly suited for him.

It is foolishness to seek after gifts the Spirit does not give. Whenever we try to do things that we are not gifted for, we will struggle and fail. God does not honor those who try to be who they are not created in Christ to be.

Be content with your giftedness. Do not minimize it or try to hide it. Do what the Lord has given you to do in life with the tools He has given you. Be thankful for the gifts you have been given and not envious of someone else’s. Each of us will be held accountable for our own giftedness and how we used them to bring Christ honor and glory amongst men.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I Cor. 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

God has given every believer a spiritual gift(s). There is no exception. Each one of us has been given a role to play in the church suited to how He has made us and led us through life. Each of us can help carry out the cause of Christ and are obligated to do so. If we fail to do our part in the ministry of the church, it is sinful disobedience. You can't do what you can't do, but are held responsible for what you can do. You are not to try and fill someone else's shoes; you are to fill your own. God made you uniquely you independently of anyone else. There is no such thing as a Christian who is not gifted in some way. We must know our giftedness and use it for the glory of Christ. If you don't know yours, seek out the help of others and God to find it. Failure to do so leaves a big gap in the life of the church that only you can fill.

Also, we are gifted so that we can help the entire church. When we all do our part, the church is whole and healthy. She is then able to be an effective witness and servant of Christ in the world. We do what we do for the sake of the body, not ourselves. Gifts are given to serve the Lord, not to draw attention to ourselves or for our benefit. Because of our sinful nature, we must diligently guard our souls in this. We like the attention, glory, and rewards. We are prone to feast on them and even use them for selfish gain. In order for us to not sin in this, we must stay closely connected to Christ. We must always keep Him first in our hearts so our minds don't lead us astray.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I Cor. 12:4-6 Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.

God is not confined by our understanding of Him and the way He works in the church. We tend to put God in a box and base our understanding of Him on our experiences in life. We say He is all-powerful, knowing, and present, but we do not allow for Him to exist beyond our understanding of Him and His ways.

We confine God to our doctrinal beliefs. We say He does not operate the way others say He does. We question the validity of other ways to worship and experience Him. We question the validity of the gifts other people claim to have from Him. Are we limiting God by our understanding of the Word?

The Spirit, who is the power of God at work in the church, gives every believer gifts to be used for the wholeness and wellness of the body. He does not give everyone the same type of gifts. He does not lead everyone down the same path of experiences in life. He does what He needs to do in order for the body to remain healthy, vibrant, and functioning properly. God knows best how to reach the lost, and He does what He needs to do in order to reach them. He sends workers into the harvest field that are suited for the particular field they are working in.

We need to be careful how we limit what God is doing. Who are we to question the validity of other parts of the body of Christ? Who are we to deny the validity of other people's faith? If Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross is preached, taught, and lived, we don't have the right to sit in judgment on the ways in which others express their faith. God is the one who will judge the heart and actions of His people. We need to let Him do it and not be too concerned about those we disagree with.

We are a body with many different parts. We have different functions and responsibilities. We are different, but equally important. We are united together in Christ. Let us rejoice with one another in that which Christ has done for us, in us, and through us.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I Cor. 11:1 ...And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ's.

In chapter 10 Paul had talked about our freedom in Christ. He emphasized the fact that with freedom comes responsibility. Love constrains us sometimes from doing things we may feel free to do in Christ. Even though he could, Paul refused to do some things because he knew that those who were new in the faith would stumble and fall over it. There was a real problem for the Jews and Gentiles in the early church as they tried to figure out the implication of how their new faith was to be lived out together.

It has always challenged me to be able to say to others, "Follow my example, just as I follow Christ." Am I so like Christ that I have no problem with others patterning their faith after mine? Is there anything about my life in Christ that I wouldn't want others to imitate? Am I confident enough about my pursuit of Christ that I would want others to be like me?

We are being watched by those who know us. Some may very well be making a decision for or against Christ based on what they see in us. Others may be deciding whether or not to take Christ seriously in their lives based on whether or not we do. We have an audience whether we want one or not. What are they hearing from your life? Are you comfortable in having others walk in your footsteps of faith? If not, why not?

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I Cor. 10:31 Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.

This is a very challenging statement when you stop and really think about it. We do a lot of things daily in our lives. We eat, drink, work, play, entertain, be entertained, talk, think, write, read, etc. We do these things and give very little thought to them. They are natural parts of life and we don't consider whether or not they bring glory to God.

Let's be honest about it. Rarely do we actually consider whether or not what we do brings glory or honor to God. Yet, that is what we are told we should do in today's verse. Consider what you normally do in a day's time and whether or not you do those things in a manner that honors God.

What this means to me is that I need to be living so close to God that I would not naturally do anything that would be a poor reflections on the Lord. If I am living righteously then I have no cause to be embarrassed or ashamed of my living. We need to be like Job who stood on the solid foundation of his righteous living. In spite of what others said about him, he knew that he lived doing what is right in God's eyes. He was not careless about his soul, but always guarded it from evil.

Start each day off right and ask the Lord to help you that in whatever you do you will bring glory to God.

Friday, November 13, 2015


I Cor. 10:21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord's Table and at the table of demons, too.

You cannot straddle the fence. You are committed to the Lord or you are not. There is no middle ground upon which to stand. Those who do not take their faith seriously and strive to live for Christ will end up in hell.

You have to make up your mind which it will be. If you choose to live for Christ, you must go all the way with Him. You must seek to grow in His grace and your knowledge of Him. You must seek to honor Him in all you do. You must stay away from those things which crowd Him out of your life. You must stay away from those things which lead you into sin. You must pursue holiness in the way you live, think, and talk.

God does not honor those who are careless in their walk with Him. He does not honor the words spoken to Him that are not backed up by living. He does not honor the worship of those who live like the Devil. He does not honor the things done in His name that come from an evil heart.

The Lord takes very seriously the soul condition of man. He knows those who are His and those who aren't. He is not fooled by our appearances. He commands holy living in His children and He means it. No one will get away with playing spiritual games. Either you are totally committed to the Lord or you are not a part of the family of God.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I Cor. 10:12-13 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to understanding our spiritual strength. We tend to think we are mature and strong enough to not fall into temptation. We see others do it and shake our heads. We judge them for their weakness and maybe even question their salvation. We pat ourselves on the back and relish in the knowledge that we would never do such a thing. Such thinking is dangerous. Sin is a very powerful and subtle enemy. It can suck us into its grasp without us scarcely knowing what hit us. We need to recognize that we all are prone to sin, to wander away from the God we love. We are never going to live sin-free lives here on earth, no matter how hard we try or how good our intentions are.

But, we are not helpless victims in the face of temptation. Everyone faces the same temptations we do, whether they admit it or not. We tend not to discuss our weaknesses, those things that draw us away from God. We want others to see us as we want to be more than we do who we really are.

We serve a God who is faithfully in love with us. He doesn't leave us hanging to fight our temptations alone. He always is there to help us and provide for us a way to resist our temptations. He may use other people to help us, the nudging of His Spirit, His Word, or something we hear or read. He will never let us be tempted beyond our ability to withstand. He gives us ample amount of resources so that we can choose to resist the temptations we encounter. All we have to do is take advantage of what God provides. Sin is always a choice we make.

When you encounter temptations to sin today, think about it. If you go ahead and sin, it's because you want to, not because you have to. God has given you the resources you need to not sin, if you will only use them. The true strength of character is not how we are able to stand on our own two feet and fight, it's how we are able to be honest about our weaknesses and utilize the resources God gives us to withstand our temptations.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I Cor. 9:24-25 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for and eternal prize.

I am not an athlete, but I do know enough about sports to know that the goal is always to win. No matter what level of expertise you may have, if you don't have the determination to try and win, you will lose. No team hangs onto a player who doesn't try to work hard to win. No one wants someone who isn't committed to the process of giving their best effort to win. No one wants to compete with someone who obviously doesn't do their best to win.

Along with determination there must be the discipline to train one's body to win. One doesn't just enter into a race without training for the race. If he did, he would very quickly drop out due to a lack of physical endurance. He who trains the most will have the best chance to win. Winners always go through the process of preparation for the contest. He takes control over his body and mind. He does not waver from his goal to be a winner. He must die to himself in order to overcome the normal resistance of the body to getting in shape. Training is much easier when a person stays in fairly good shape. It takes consistent discipline to stay in proper shape to compete well. What is true of the body is also true of the soul.

We must strive to stay in good spiritual shape so that we will win the race of life. It takes much and consistent discipline. Those who have the greater faith are those who have disciplined souls. They read and study their Bibles, they pray much, and they exercise their faith often. You must keep your eyes on the goal and not let anything distract you. You must give your all to finishing the race, doing the very best you can, determined to win.

Victory only comes to those who prepare well and run well the race of life. Stay determined with your eyes focused on Jesus and you will make it to heaven when you die.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I Cor . 9:22 When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ.

This is a very powerful truth to live by. It takes some time and effort to find common ground with people in order to lead them to Christ. Finding common ground with non-believers is not all that hard. We all know people who don't know the Lord who share our interests. People respond well generally to people who have an interest in the things they have an interest in. It doesn't take too much imagination to find others who share our passions. The harder part is to connect with them in such a way that we can lead them to Christ.

We have to build a real trust with others before we earn the right to talk to them about the Lord. Most non-believers will turn a deaf ear to the Gospel when it comes from someone they don't know well enough to trust. Trust is built over time and it takes effort on our part. We have to not only show our interest in their interests, we have to show an interest in them as people. We need to be non-judgmental of them, even when we don't agree with their lifestyles. We just need to become friends with them and let our living speak volumes to them before we talk about the Lord.

Some people will open up to the Gospel they see us live rather quickly and others will take a long time, depending on their life experiences. We need to ask the Lord for wisdom as to when it would be the right time to talk with them. We need to ask the Lord for discernment on our conversations and the power to live godly lives before them. We need to ask the Lord for help to love them with godly love and to faithfully carry them on our hearts.

We can have a powerful impact and influence on people when we find common ground with them and purposely befriend them so that we might help lead them to Christ. Let us always strive to be someone's friend who needs the Lord.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I Cor. 9:16 For preaching the Good News is something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t do it!

One of the most essential qualifications there is for a true disciple of Christ is a compelling drive to share the Gospel message with the world. The work of Christ in us is so powerful and life changing that we want others to experience it too. Words spoken without substance are just words. The world needs to see what difference Christ makes in the soul of man.

When the Lord has hold of us we no longer see ourselves, we see Him. We no longer want others to see us; we want them to see Christ. Life is no longer about self; it is about Christ. We are compelled by God to tell others about Him.

The need to proclaim Christ is so strong that we become miserable if we don’t do it. As a preacher, I understand this truth. During those times in my life when I wasn’t in the pulpit, I could take it only for so long. The urge to preach was so strong that I became restless and miserable until I was once again in the pulpit. This compelling drive has held true in my life over and over again.

It is a terrible thing when we don’t tell others the Good News. We are miserable because we are not living in obedience to the Lord. We are depriving others of the Good News when we remain silent. There are those who you are uniquely gifted and prepared to reach that perhaps will be in hell if you remain silent.

I am convinced that if we are not driven to share the Gospel with others we are not living rightly in Christ. His presence in us is so overpowering that we must tell others. If we fail to be witnesses for Christ, we will answer to God for it. What a terrible moment that will be when we have to stand before God and give an account as to why we didn’t proclaim the Word when we had the opportunity to do so.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


I Cor. 8:9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a weaker brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble.

Like it or not, freedom comes with responsibility. Freedom is not a license to do whatever we want to do with no strings attached. We have freedom from the destructive and deadly consequences of sin so that we can live godly lives. We no longer are bound by the devastating guilt and shame of sin. We no longer are driven by the compulsion to sin. We are no longer bound by those things that destroy us.

Christ frees us from a life of certain condemnation and gives us a life of certain acceptance by God. We now can become who God created us to be. We can now do what pleases God.

We are not under the curse of the law; we are under the blood of Calvary. We live by grace and not the restraints of the law. Grace allows us to live without fear of condemnation. However, we need to be aware of those around us. Even though we may not be convicted of the wrongness of some things, others who are not as mature in their faith may be. We must show love and respect for others by exercising restraint when we know it may be a problem for others. We must never use our freedom selfishly at the expense of others.

Some things must be wrestled with before God before convictions are established. Where Scripture does not clearly address an issue, we must discern before God whether or not it would be sin for us to do it. Personal convictions vary and we must be sensitive to how our behavior is perceived by others. We can easily be stumbling blocks to them. Let the Lord guide you in this. If He is prompting you to change your behavior for the sake of others, do it, even though it may not be a problem for you. It is the life of love.

Always remember, you have the freedom in Christ to develop certain convictions that are appropriate for your life, and so do all who are in Christ. God does not deal with us all in the same way. There are essentials elements of faith that are non-negotiable for all believers that the Lord reveals in His Word. And there are some things that the Spirit lays upon our hearts that are personally understood and lived. Wise is the child of God who knows the difference.

Don't cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble over your personal convictions.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


I Cor. 8:2-3 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for.

It is so easy to develop the mindset that we know all that we need to know or that what we do know is always the right answer to every issue. Let's be honest. We think we know it all. The longer we live in faith, the more self-assured we become. We like our doctrine and strongly believe that we have the right understanding of Scripture. We grow up and are trained to see things a certain way and close our thinking to any other way of thinking. We don't want to think too much about things and so we make up our minds on matters and that is that. We are right and the rest of the church is wrong. We criticize and judge those who think and live differently than we do. We refuse to have fellowship with those who might be different enough that they become a threat to our thinking. We refuse to embrace the wholeness of the body of Christ in all of its diversity, because they are not "one of us."

We need to hear what today's text is saying to us. We don't know it all. No one has perfect knowledge and understanding. No one can claim to have all the pieces of the puzzle of truth nailed down. No amount of education is going to provide answers to issues that the Lord does not clearly reveal. There are truths that are hidden in the mind of God. We can see things differently and still be united at the foot of the cross. There are things that will only be known in heaven. We filter our understanding through our experiences and upbringings of life. It is okay to not agree on our understanding of things, but it is not okay to disagree disagreeably. As long as Jesus is received as our Savior and Lord, we are family and should be embraced as such.

We need to love each other, support each other, encourage each other, and rejoice with each other as we serve the Lord.