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.