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.

Friday, November 6, 2015


I Cor. 7:30-31 Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.
So, what is your excuse?  What keeps you from doing the work God has given you to do?  If you can honestly say that you are doing what God has given you to do, I thank God for you.  I praise Him for you and your service to Him.  Keep up the great work!
If however, you know that you are not doing what God has given you to do, shame on you.  I plead with you to pray about it.  You are in disobedience and need to repent of your sin.  God has been so good to you and yet, you are doing your thing instead of God's work.  You ought to be ashamed of yourself.  There simply is no valid excuse for a child of God to not be working in the Kingdom of God.  You were not saved to sit on a pew; you are saved to serve the Lord.
In whatever way the Lord has blessed you with this world's goods, you should be using them to serve the Lord.  Don't amass stuff for your comfort and enjoyment and neglect the work of God.  Nothing in this world is going to last; it will all pass away.  The only thing that will never die out is that which flows from God.  Nothing in this world will give you peace of soul.  Nothing in this world is worth living for. 
Peace, joy, happiness, contentment, purpose for living, hope, and anything worth living for are all rooted in Christ alone. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I Cor. 6:1-2 When you have something against another Christian, why do you file a lawsuit and ask a secular judge to decide the matter, instead of taking it to other Christians to decide who is right? Don't you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide these little things among yourselves?

It is so easy to take people to court. The reasons vary, but the courts are full of people suing other people over often trivial matters. I believe one of the reasons why there are so much of this going on is that we are driven by selfishness and greed. We want what we want and we don't care how we get it. If we have to make life miserable for others, then so be it.

We, as the body of Christ, should be different. We should not allow self-interests or greed drive us to treat others in an ungodly way. We ought to love each other in Christ and when differences arrive, settle things with godly advice and wisdom and not the guidance of the secular world. There may be times in which going to court is unavoidable, but it should be done only if all other means of reconciliation and restoration have failed. Church business should be done in the church, not the courts.

When it becomes necessary for the church to decide matters amongst her members, it should always be done at the feet of Jesus. Prayer should always guide and govern our thinking so that the will of God can be discerned. Wisdom is needed to resolve disputes and godly wisdom comes from the Lord, not judges. People who know the Lord who refuse to be reconciled with those they disagree with are sinning against God. We are to strive to do our very best to live in peace with each other. How we settle our disagreements speaks volumes about the integrity of our hearts before God.

If we don't know how to resolve our differences and get along with each other, how can we expect anyone outside the church to take our witness seriously?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I Cor. 5:6 How terrible that you boast about your spirituality, and yet you let this sort of thing go on. Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all we be affected?

There was a terrible sin going on in the church at Corinth. One of the church members was having an affair with his, mother. It evidently was going on in public and no one in the church seemed to care too much about it. The sinning parties were a part of the church. They were not held accountable for their sinful actions.

Yet, the church was testifying to their godliness. They were professing faith in Christ and encouraging others to do so. They didn't seem to believe that what one of them was doing mattered as far as their witness was concerned.

The church is a community. The lives of the community are intertwined. What is done in the community affects the whole community. When sin rears its ugly head in the church, it cannot be ignored. The witness of the life-changing Gospel is directly affected. The standards of the Gospel have no value if they don't change the living of those who profess to live by them. When godliness is compromised, the body is weakened and soon many parts of the body are infected. When sin is allowed to be displayed in public, the church loses her right to proclaim the Gospel. It is hypocrisy to preach one thing and then to blatantly live another.

We need to be careful that we don't go on a witch hunt and make public every sin that is committed in the body. Some sin affects the integrity of the body and some don't. We all sin and all sin should not be made public. Some sin should only be dealt with between individuals and God. Others may be between two individuals. There should be great caution used when sin is exposed and dealt with publicly. Great harm to lives and the cause of Christ can happen when we don't.

It's a terrible thing to ignore sin in the church. It is equally terrible to bring to public light every known sin in the body. Let us be wise in how we deal with sin. Let us be certain that our actions are directed by the Lord and not us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I Cor. 4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God's power.

Many people talk a good talk, but walk a poor walk. It's easy to claim to be who we are not. It is easy to be a "Christian" on Sunday and a non-Christian on Monday. No matter how much, or how well, we present the Gospel message, the important thing is how well we live it. God is not impressed by what we say and what we say won't sway Him when it comes to judging the heart.

Those who are truly children of God live what they proclaim. They are one in spirit with the Lord and allow Him to govern their lives. A child of God seeks to live better the Gospel message than he has before. He strives to not do anything that will dishonor the Lord. He will draw from the Lord the strength and power he needs for daily living. Holiness will be more than a word to him; it will be his way of life.

So few will make it into heaven who think they will make it simply because they are more talk than walk. Many will miss out on heaven who serve faithfully in the church. God judges the heart and if the heart is not right, what is done won't matter. He wants us to do what is right before Him and to serve Him well, with the right motives. If we do what we do out of love for Him and with the desire to honor and please Him, then we are indeed children of God.

You cannot be a child of God and by-pass Calvary or not let the Holy Spirit have control of your life.

Monday, November 2, 2015


I Cor. 4:5 So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful. When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.

Don’t jump to conclusions about another person’s soul. We are so prone to do it. We see what we think determines the status of one’s soul and judge whether or not someone is a child of God or not. While there are certain things that should be true of every believer’s life, we must be very careful about this. We don’t know the heart, only God does. Only God is able to determine whether or not a person is worthy of being his child or not.

We must understand that not everyone has the same knowledge and understanding of God’s ways. We are responsible for living by what we know to be true. The more aware we are of God’s ways, the more like Christ we must be. There is no excuse for disobedience. We must live by what we know is true.

I believe as well that if we are ignorant of God’s way yet have the opportunity to learn and know His ways that we will be held responsible for not knowing. We cannot plead innocence when we fail to take advantage of the opportunities we are given. God requires of us responsible learning.

The Lord will expose all of our heart’s hidden secrets. He will examine our every motive. He will determine rightly and justly every soul and reward those who are truly His. It is not our right or role to judge another’s soul. Instead, we are to love one another with the love of Christ. We are to build each other up and not tear each other down. There is no room in God’s family for self-righteousness that leads to condemnation.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I Cor. 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that isn't what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

It has often been said, "Let your conscience be your guide." There is the assumption that we all know the difference between right and wrong and we will sense guilt or shame when we are tempted to do wrong. While in principle this may be good advice, it simply does not work for many people.

Sin plays havoc with the conscience. Sin can deceive us, distort our perception of right and wrong, and destroy our desire to do right to the point where following our conscience can easily lead us into sin. It is not too hard to look at ourselves in the mirror and feel pretty good about what we see. We may think we are doing alright, when in reality we aren't. When our sense of right and wrong is dulled by sin, our standards are way too low. It is not how we see things that matter, it's what God says about things that matter.

The Lord is the one who will judge us and decide whether or not we are right before Him. The standard upon which He judges us is His holiness as revealed in His Word. He tells us clearly how we are to be, what we are to do, and what ought to be on our minds. It is the Lord we must please, not ourselves.

Can you look into the mirror of God's Word and still say your conscious is clear?