Sunday, January 31, 2016


Eph. 1:19-20 I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms.

Evidently the church in Ephesus had not yet discovered how great the power of God in the life of the believer is. They were a struggling, young church and Paul had spent a considerable amount of time with them. He had placed Timothy to oversee the church in order to help them grow and become the people God wanted them to be.

Like so many in the church today, they knew just enough to know they were saved from their sins. They had not yet discovered how God works in the life of the believer to help them grow so they can be used of God to reach the world. They had not yet fully surrendered themselves to the lordship of Christ. They had not yet gotten to the point where they were able to discern truth on their own and understand the deeper things of God. They knew simple things, but not what they needed to know to live in victory.

It is so important for us to not be satisfied with what we know or where we are at in our walk with the Lord. We need to constantly be growing and becoming more like Him. We need to stay focused on the development of our souls, pursuing holiness of life. We need to be submissive and obedient to the Lord at all times.

If you are in a spiritual rut and not growing more in godliness of character, then I challenge you to pray about it. Pray that the Lord will light a fire in your soul. Pray that you will once again have a hunger and thirst for God. Pray that as you read the Word you will discover new and deeper truths for your soul. Pray that you will no longer be satisfied with who you are in Christ. Pray that you will be in a position in your walk with the Lord that He can effectively use you for His glory in and outside the church.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Eph. 1:18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
I would love to have a pastor like the Apostle Paul. He had a genuine heart for the people of the church. He was always teaching them and guiding them into a deeper walk with God. He put himself on the line as an example to be followed. He prayed over the church often and asked the Lord to watch over her and bless her with a deeper walk. Paul was an encourager and always admonished people to be looking ahead instead of behind them.

In our text for today, Paul expresses his heart's desire for the church. He longs for the church to be so caught up in the Gospel light that she would become captivated by the wonderful future in store for her.

Part of the reason why so many struggle in their walk with the Lord is that they live no farther than the moment they are in. If things are good, they are good, but if things are bad, they are devastated and thrown for a loop. So many of us are controlled by our circumstances to the point where our faith is dictated by them. Many of us cannot handle things that make life difficult for us. They tend to turn on God and blame Him for their difficulties. They get the idea that if the Lord really loved us we would not have to suffer or go through hard times.

When we understand the bigger picture and get excited about what is in store for us in eternity, we are far better equipped to handle things that would otherwise upset us. We need to be a heavenly-minded people. Whatever we go through in this life is only temporary. As children of God we shall live forever in the glory of God's holiness. Life then will be all good and never bad. There will be no trace of sin or it's devastation. God has things in store for us that we can't even begin to imagine. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and not your circumstances.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Eph. 1:15-18 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
What a wonderful thing it would be to have a Paul on our side! Think about it. Who wouldn't benefit from having someone pray constantly for them. I know I would! The prayer of Paul wasn't for repentance. It wasn't for superficial things. It was a prayer of purpose. Paul asked the Lord to bless the church with spiritual maturity. His desire was that the body of Christ would have the resources of God that would enable them to become more godly in their thinking and living.

Spiritual wisdom and understanding, knowledge of God, the light of God to guide us, hope for the future, and an awareness of how rich and glorious this life we have in Christ, are all essential to a healthy soul. Would anything change if we were to be in constant prayer for one another for these things? Of course it would! We are to carry one another's burdens to the Lord, but it shouldn't be all that we carry to Him. We should love each other enough to want each other to continue to grow into spiritual maturity and blessings. We should ask the Lord to help each other become stronger in faith and more Christ like in daily living. And, I believe that if we were to pray constantly for one another in this way, the burdens we bear will be less of a burden to us. We will be better able to handle what life throws at us, because we will to properly connected to our Burden-bearer.

If we are in constant prayer for the good of one another, we will have very little time or desire to find fault with each other. We will be far less likely to dwell on each other's weaknesses. We will be less likely to complain. We will be less likely to play the comparison game. We will be less likely to be jealous or proud.

It is a good thing for us to pray good for each other. It pleases God and moves Him to bless us and those we pray for.. If you are not praying for the good of others, there is no better time than right now to do it. Pray, and watch the Lord work to accomplish some great things in the church for His glory.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Eph. 1:14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

God dwells in the heart of the believer by means of the Holy Spirit. When we become children of God we become dwelling places for the Spirit of God. When the Spirit is in us things begin to happen; we are changed. The work of the Spirit is to make that which is unholy holy before God. It is a process that never stops. He uses the Word of God to chisel away all that is unholy and has to go. He replaces the stuff that has to go with godliness. We slowly, but surely, take on the nature of our holy God. The active work of the Spirit in us is God's guarantee that we are indeed His children.

The Spirit is God's guarantee that the Word of God works for us. We are a people of the Word and God always stand by His Word. What God promises to do in us, for us, and through us He will do. We dare not question what God declares. Only those who dare to believe everything God declares are able to live holy lives.

We ought to be a people of much praise to our God for all He is doing on our behalf. We ought to never take it for granted or lose sight of it. God is doing amazing things in the lives of His children. To God be the glory forever and ever! We owe to our God all that we have become and will become in Christ. Let us always strive to be a people whom the Spirit can mold and shape into a people after God's own heart.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Eph. 1:4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Wow! What a wonderful truth to dwell on today! Before He even made the world, God loved us and chose us to be holy and without fault in His eyes as we live in Christ. Before He made the world, God knew He would make us as the objects of His love. He knew exactly how He would make us and what needs He would instill within us. He knew how to make us so that we would be able to love and be loved by Him. He knew exactly how every detail of what makes us human needed to fit together. He knew how to place every minute detail together in such a way that we would be unique to all other living creatures.

God chose us, the objects of His love, to be holy and faultless as we live in Christ. God knew that we would have a desire to live in sin when He made us. He knew that with the ability to love Him would come the ability to not love Him. He made us anyhow because He had so much love to give and wanted to be surrounded by those who would love Him in return. He knew that many would rebel and reject His love and that He could not stand to have them around Him because of their sin. Therefore, He planned to provide a way for those who wanted it to be made pure and holy in His eyes. He lovingly decided before we were ever made to become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Only God could change us from objects of His wrath to objects of His love.

God knew that what we needed was holiness of heart. He is holy and only holiness can be near Him. In Christ we are made holy. The closer we live in relationship to Him, the more like Him we become. And, the more like Christ we become, the more we please God and are embraced in His love and invited to draw near.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Gal. 6:15 It doesn’t make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.

The only thing that really matters as far as God is concerned is whether or not we have been changed into a new and different people. Jesus saves us to change us and if we are not changed we are not His. There are many different ways in which He changes us.

He changes the way we think about life, others and ourselves. We come to understand that life is not meaningless, that it indeed has a purpose rooted in Christ. We discover that every person has a soul and is of great worth in God’s eyes. We discover that we are special to God and that He chose us to be His children. We discover that all of life revolves around Christ and not us.

He changes the way we feel. In place of sinful passions He installs godly passions. He tempers our feelings that are fueled by sin and gives us the ability to react in a more godly way. He gets to the root of our feelings and transforms them into a more acceptable way of feeling.

He changes the ways of our hearts. He works to transform our motives into that which pleases God. He redirects our motives so that we live to please God and not man or ourselves.

He changes our desires so that we will want to seek after the things of God. He keeps working on us so that we will want to spend time with Him in His Word and prayer. He instills within us a desire to be in fellowship with His children. He changes the desires we have for the things of the world to desires for the things of God.

The many ways God changes us should be obvious to all, including ourselves. We should be able to take a regular examination of ourselves and see progress. If we are not changing like we should, then we are not properly connected to Christ.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Gal. 6:14 As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world died long ago, and the world's interest in me is also long dead.

He could have, many would say he should have, but the Apostle Paul refused to brag about his accomplishments and pedigree in life. Paul was on top of his world before he encountered the living Christ and was forever changed. Paul was on a fast track for success in the religious community. He had it all going for him and no one was stopping him.

When Paul entered into a relationship with Christ, the only thing that then mattered to him was his salvation. Paul understood the worth of his salvation. He understood what Jesus did for him at Calvary and how it changed his life. He lost all interest in what his life was all about. He no longer cared about the things he had valued so much before Christ. He knew how wrong he had been and poured himself into his new life in Christ. His interest quickly became to study and understand the Scriptures and how they were fulfilled in Christ. He was consumed with a passion to pass on to as many people as he could the wonderful Good News of salvation and he warned people about what would happen if they rejected it.

As a result of his changed life, the world lost all interest in him. Paul was heading in a totally different direction and in fact, he was often persecuted for his faith, many times to the point of near death. He quickly became the enemy of those who refused to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. Paul became for us an example worthy to be followed. Nothing in life should matter more to us than our salvation and our living in Christ.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Gal. 6:9 So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

It is so easy to get tired of what we are doing and give up trying. This is especially true when it seems like we aren’t making any difference at all in people’s lives. We have a need to know that we are not wasting time and energy on something that’s not working. We measure success by results we can see and not by what we can’t see.

God is different. He measures results by the impact it has on the heart of man. God knows what difference we make in the thinking of others. What is planted in another’s life may not ever be seen by us, but it is always seen by God. We need to grasp this important and wonderful truth. No labor of love done in Jesus’ name is a waste of time or energy. It is always good for us to do good.

Satan wants to weary you. He wants to get you discouraged and move you to give up your efforts to do good. He wants to put a stop to the good you are doing. Protect your soul and don’t listen to him. God says that your living and serving have eternal value. God says that anything done for His honor and glory will be blessed by Him and used by Him to help others.

God promises that our labors are not in vain. In due time, we will reap a harvest of blessings. We may not see the harvest, but in eternity we will. God uses what we do and adds it to what others do and reaps the harvest at the appropriate time. He knows when it is time to bring it all together. He knows the heart of man and exactly when it is time to reap the most spiritual good.

Keep on doing good and let the Lord bring forth the results. Don’t let discouragement get a hold of you. Don’t ever give up. The Lord of the harvest blesses those who faithfully serve Him to the end.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Gal. 6:7 Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!

Satan wants to lead you astray. He wants to convince you that you can ignore God and His Word and it doesn’t matter. He wants you to believe that there are no real consequences to leaving God out of your life. He doesn’t want you to know that no one can ignore God and get away with it. He wants you to believe that you can stray from God and get away with it.

We always reap what we sow. Sometimes we live with the consequences of our behavior in this life and sometimes we will pay the price later. Either way, we reap what we sow.

There is an important truth here that we must know. When the Lord saves us from our sin, He doesn’t always remove the consequences of our sins from us. We often are victims of our sinful behavior. Some relationships that are broken will never be fixed. Some health issues will linger and haunt us the rest of our lives. Some penalties to society must be paid. Sometimes we will pay for the rest of our lives for the sins we committed. The Lord helps us deal with the consequences of our sinful choices, but He doesn’t always remove them from us.

Take life seriously; take faith seriously. Each of us reaps what we sow. Live to please God always and you will not be burdened in life with the consequences of bad choices.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Gal. 6:4-5 Be sure to do what you should for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

There is personal satisfaction in knowing that we have done things right. When we live in Christ sincerely seeking to honor and glorify Him we can know that God is pleased. Knowing we please God should free us up from the need to compare ourselves with others. It doesn’t matter how we stack up to others as long as we are living to please God. When we stand before God we will not be judged in comparison to others, we will be judged in comparison to how we have lived by the Word of God.

Each one of us is responsible for our own conduct. No one can live our life for us. We have to answer to God for how we have lived in response to what we know about Him and His Word. The more we know about God, the greater our responsibility will be for what we do in life. Once we know the truth, we will be held accountable for making that truth a part of our living.

We dare not let this awareness pass in one ear and out the other. It has to stop in our minds and get hold of us. There will be no excuse for our failure to live out what we know. Ignoring God’s revealed truth is deep trouble for our souls. God does not take His Word lightly and neither can we.

Examine your life today. Are you living in such a way that you can boldly stand before God knowing that he is well-pleased with you?

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Gal. 6:4 Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

What should you be doing with your life? Do you know deep down in your soul that God wants you to do something different than what you are now doing? Are you in the occupation you should be in? Are you living where He wants you to live? Are you behaving in a way that pleases Him? Are you striving to be at your best in what you are doing? In other words, does your living bring satisfaction to your soul, and to God?

If you can answer the above questions positively, then you won't need to compare yourself with others. It is enough to know that you are living right before God. Pleasing God is all that matters in life. It is God to whom we will answer to. He is the one who will bless or curse our living. How we are doing compared to other is a dead end street. It gets us nowhere fast.

Each of us is responsible for our own conduct. Whatever the Lord requires of you is what you should be doing. You don't have to please anyone but God. Don't get hung up on the comparison game. It doesn't matter how you are doing compared to anyone else. All that matters is how you are doing in relationship to God's Word and His direction in your life.

And, don't let anyone discourage you from doing what you know the Lord wants you to do. People have opinions that may or may not be in agreement what you know God wants you to do. Obey God no matter what. Persevere until you do are able to do what you do well. Stay focused on the Lord and He will enable you to do it. Listen to God and only those who encourage you. It is then that you will find great satisfaction in what you do in life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Gal. 6:3 If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.

There are some in the body of Christ who unfortunately set themselves apart from the rest of the body and don't respond to the needs of others. They deem themselves too important or busy to get involved. They get wrapped up into themselves and forget that they are but one part of the body. Or, they get so wrapped up into their personal responsibilities that they let others do that part of ministry. What they fail to realize is that in order to truly be a part of the body of Christ, we are intricately related to each other and involved in each other's lives. We need each other and must depend on each other. We are not isolated from any other part of the body. We must all function together as a whole in order to be who Christ created us to be.

Every member of the body of Christ is a servant to the other members. We are in the body to minister to each other's needs. We cannot lay claim to membership and isolate ourselves from any other part of the body. It is foolishness to act like we are a somebody when in reality our actions show we are a nobody.

Don't fall into the trap of idleness because you think you are a somebody. Faith without works is dead and so is knowledge without works. Your work is important, but so is every other member of the body. It is our mandate to love each other, and you can't love someone and lord it over them.

Ask the Lord to show you someone in need today and a way that you can help him.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Gal. 6:2 Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

We are to share our troubles and problems, not to keep them to ourselves. There are a lot of good reasons why this is necessary. The more we keep our problems to ourselves, the more isolated we become from intimate fellowship with other believers and God. Keeping everything in does nothing but weigh us down and wear us out. Without an outlet, our troubles can give us headaches and ulcers. We can become depressed and lose our sense of life being something worth living for. We can easily develop a mindset that life is a negative thing instead of a positive one. We can revert to blaming God for our troubles instead of seeking Him out for fellowship, worship, and help.

When we go into our self-imposed shells, we deprive others of the joy of drawing near to our hearts, taking our hands, and walking with us through our difficulties. We deprive them from being a blessing to us and growing in their own fellowship with the Lord.

Sharing is a good thing; it is the way of Christ. You cannot have the love of Christ at work in you without a giving spirit. We not only are to share the good things of life, but we are to share the bad things as well.

However, a word of caution is necessary. Be discerning in whom you share your troubles with. Not everyone is mature enough to handle what you need to share. You must be certain that you can trust those you share with to keep matters confidential and to be able to give godly counsel. If you don't want the whole world (or church) to know what's wrong with you, don't put matters into the hands of those who can't protect your heart.

Everyone needs someone to share their inner self with.. Whether it be your spouse, a trusted friend, your pastor, a family member, or a counselor, we all need to talk about issues we face in life. Don't keep it in. If you do, the space your troubles and problems take robs you of the space Christ should have. If you are troubled today, seek out someone who can come alongside you and help you. You will be glad you did.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Gal. 6:1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Yes, it is possible for Christians to be overcome by sin. To overcome means to be overpowered by, to become a victim to. No one is so strong spiritually that they cannot sin. Paul says that when it happens, the rest of the body of Christ has a loving responsibility to help their fellow Christian be restored to a right relationship with Christ. We are very good at messing this up.

We can be good at pointing out the sin we see in others, but very bad at doing it in a loving way. So often we get on our soap boxes and berate a fallen brother or sister and pat ourselves on the back because it wasn't us. We chide others for doing things we would never imagine ourselves doing. We want to fix others without regard for what needs to be fixed in us.

When dealing with another person's sin, there must be a gentle and humble spirit that drives us. We must understand our own tendencies to wander from the right path. We must understand that if the tables were turned and we were in the other person's shoes, we too might have very well had been the one who had sinned. We must understand that it is only by God's grace at work in us that we are able to keep from sinning at all.

We have a loving responsibility to come alongside of each other and deal with our sins, but not in a condemning, self-righteous way. We should always deal with sin in our lives with the goal of restoration to Christ. We must care enough for each other that we don't make matters worse by taking an "holier than thou" attitude. We too are sinners and could very easily fall into the same temptation that caused our brother to sin.

Dealing with sin in others and ourselves should always be first bathed in humble prayer before God. And, when we do sin, we should not resist the efforts at restoration. The true sign of a heart that is right with God is a humble and contrite heart. When sin is exposed we acknowledge it and confess it, whether it is the Spirit of God or man who exposes it. As we wait before God with broken hearts, we become a holy people, a people after His own heart.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Gal. 5:25-26 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

Are you out of formation? Are you letting the Spirit of Christ guide you in every area of your life? Be honest with yourself, are you in step behind the Spirit, or do you try to lead the way?

We often try to decide which parts of our lives we will let the Spirit lead us in. We try to maintain control over certain aspects of our lives. We like to do certain things or think about some things that we don’t want to let go of. We like where we are at and don't want to change. We know that it's not right, but we enjoy the momentary pleasures they bring. However, there is a price to pay.

If the Spirit is not in front of us leading the way, we will sin. We will continuously live with the guilt and shame of our sin and we will never get victory over our it. We will not only experience problems with God, we will experience problems with those around us. We will become proud of ourselves, we will become an irritation to those around us, and we will be plagued by jealousy towards one another amongst other things. In other words, we will be miserable.

Let the Spirit lead you through life. Let Him guide you into all that is true about you and change you. Let Him empower you so that you don't fall into the grip of your sinful nature. Let the Spirit be your guide so you don't lose your way. He will help you if you will let Him.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Gal. 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

The message is clear: if you belong to Christ, you will no longer be controlled and driven by sinful desires and passions. There will be an awareness of the wrongfulness of sinful behavior, thoughts, and attitudes. There will be a sensitivity to what pleases God and what doesn't. Granted, we grow into our awareness, but grow we will.

Without the help of Christ, we are slaves to our sinful nature. We will sin naturally. It is not something we can do anything about. Jesus changes our desires; He changes our character. His presence prevents our sinful nature from rearing its ugly head.

Our ability to resist the temptations to sin is directly related to our relationship with Christ. If you are having problems with sin in your life, you need to draw closer to the Lord. You cannot sin as long as He is near to your heart and in your heart. Think about it for a moment. Whenever you sin, it's because the presence of sin is more powerful at the moment than the presence of Christ to you. The only way we can resist the urge to sin is to reclaim Christ's presence at the moment. Sinning is a choice and therefore a responsibility we can't avoid. You have no one to blame but yourself when you fall into sin. Satan has no more power over you than you let him have.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Gal. 5:22-23 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

Every believer should be defined by these qualities of character to some degree. We are all different and we will major on different ones, but the transforming work of the Spirit will manifest itself in all of the above in us. There is no one who is controlled by the Spirit who will not take on these traits in their life.

If you do not see the fruit of the Spirit in you, then your heart is not right with God. It is impossible for us to live in faith and not show the evidence of that faith in our lives. We must be growing and showing the fruit of the Spirit in how we live.

Notice that we can’t pick and choose which one of these traits we will have in our lives. Fruit is a singular noun which tells us that all of these traits should show up in us. No one is going to do all of these well, but all will do all of these to some degree.

We should regularly examine our hearts to see what we need help with. The Lord will help us to become stronger in our weak points if we will but ask Him to and let Him. We must strive to be honest with how we are doing. Otherwise, we will never improve the quality of our life in Christ. Admit to yourself where you have failed, confess it to the Lord, and with His help get to work on making your weakness stronger. There are nine fruit characteristics listed so there is enough to look at each day of our lives to see how we are doing.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Gal. 5:17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from conflict.

If you are not in the middle of a spiritual warfare taking place in you, you are not living right with God. The Spirit of Christ is constantly fighting against Satan for control of your heart. The two are on opposite sides and will never get along.

Satan wants to destroy you. He wants to suck the life right out of your soul. He will do everything that he can to keep you from doing what pleases God. His desire is to draw you as far away from God as he possibly can. He never has, and never will, have your best interests in mind.

On the other hand, the Holy Spirit always has your best interests on His mind. He desires to lead you closer to God. He longs to see you gain victory over sin so you can have a deeper fellowship with God. He wants you to know the truth so that it can set you free from Satan’s hold on you. He wants to teach you the deeper things of God so you will know them and live by them. The Spirit always is leading us out of darkness into the light of God’s glory.

God allows us the freedom to choose whether the Spirit or Satan rules over our hearts. We choose who will gain the upper hand. We choose whether we will pursue godliness or follow our sinful desires. We determine who claims victory over our souls.

Who is ruling your heart today? Are you helping or hindering his efforts to rule you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Gal. 5:16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.

It really isn't all that complicated. In order to break sinful habits we need to develop godly habits. We need to exercise our souls in order to get them into good shape. We need to discipline ourselves to make our souls strong.

What we put into our minds affects our souls so we need to be careful what we dwell on. We must deliberately strive to avoid being entertained by sinful behavior which means we need to be selective in what we choose to watch and read. We need to be careful what we listen to. We need to stay away from those places where sin is the main attraction. We need to resist the temptation to follow the crowd and not let others determine for us what sin is or isn't.

We need to be godly-minded if we are going to not cave into our sinful desires. In order to develop a godly mindset, we must consistently feed our minds with godly things. We must faithfully read and study the Word of God. When we do, we must allow ourselves the time needed to gain insights from God that will help us grow in grace. Reading the Word and never gaining new and useful insights does the soul very little good. The more we learn what God says, the more likely it is that we will live by it.

We need to be Spirit sensitive. It is natural for a soul who is seriously seeking God to be led by the Spirit of God. We get into trouble with sin usually because we get lazy about seeking God. We get too comfortable with where we are at and are led to believe that we are strong enough to resist sin's temptations and therefore let down our guard. We must always keep our relationship with God the number one priority of our lives. We must pursue Him diligently so that we will want to not sin against Him. The Spirit of God will guide us through the Word of God into holy living as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Gal. 5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.

Here is a truth we must know well. We have great freedom in Christ, but not freedom to indulge in sin. Sin has always been, and always will be, unacceptable to God. Sin condemns the soul to hell, it alienates us from God. Sin is always bad for us and should always be considered our enemy and not our friend.

We are free in Christ, free to indulge ourselves in the richness of Christ’s love and grace. We are free to resist sin and pursue godliness. We are free to grasp the truthfulness of God’s Word and how to live it out in our lives. We are free to understand the value of our eternal souls and the preciousness of human life. We are free to value the things that God values. We are free to enjoy the true meaning of love, joy and peace that only are found in Christ. We are free to know the joys of serving others and not others serving us.

Sin darkens the soul and binds us up in that darkness so that we cannot grasp these things. Sin enslaves us and deceives us into thinking that our enslavement is true freedom. Sin keeps us away from experiencing true freedom, the freedom of knowing God and the wonders of His life in us. When Jesus sets us free from sin, we are truly free.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Gal. 5:4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

Reread this verse. Do you see what I see? Paul makes a very bold statement. If we are trying to make ourselves right with God by keeping the law, we are not connected to Christ. If we are relying on what we can do to be right with Christ, we are not His. Our salvation depends solely on the work of Christ in us. HE saves us and keeps us. There is nothing we can do to make it to heaven on our own. Our good deeds are the result of our being saved, not the cause of it.

Paul goes on to suggest that when we begin to think that it’s about our efforts, we have fallen away from grace. Now, you can’t fall away from something you never had. So, we as believers must be very careful about this. We rob Christ of His glory when we assume credit for what He has done. How far away from grace can we fall before we no longer are in grace? I will let others debate that issue.

If we properly understand that the work of God in us is accomplished through Christ alone, we will never have to worry about our standing with God. Any relationship with God we have depends on Christ alone. He alone is the giver and keeper of our salvation.

Examine your soul faithfully that you might not rob Christ of His glory in you.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Gal. 5:1 So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Christ has really set us free. It is not wishful thinking; it is a declaration from heaven. All who believe in Jesus and embrace Him as their Savior are forgiven and their sins are forgotten. We no longer are victims of our sins; we are victors. We no longer are a people without hope. We no longer are compelled by our nature to sin against God. He has radically changed us, the way we think and our standing before God. There is no leftover sin in the heart of those forgiven by God. When Jesus purifies the heart, nothing is left behind to haunt us.

Now that we are made free in Christ, we must make sure that we stay free. Sin blinds the soul and robs us of our fellowship with God. Sin left unchecked is like cancer to the soul. It keeps on growing infecting more and more of our soul until we are consumed by it and die. We have a responsibility for the health of our souls. We must take a powerful stand against sin, guarding our souls against it. We must not allow sin to gain the upper hand over us. We must deal with it as it comes into our hearts. We must not neglect our need for repentance. We must resist Satan’s efforts to put us into situations whereby we will be tempted to sin. We must not tempt God by putting ourselves in tempting situations.

We are saved and kept by grace alone. Don’t let Satan enslave you again by thinking you can do what only Christ can do, keep you connected to God. Our salvation is rooted in Christ alone. Only His righteousness and holiness will get us into heaven. The more effort you put into trying to keep yourself saved, the more frustrated you will be. Trust in Christ and His atoning work on the cross alone and you will indeed be free.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


Gal. 3:26,27 So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him.

Two things jump out at me in these verses today. The first is that we ALL are children of God when we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. There is no preferential treatment in the family of God. The Kingdom of God knows no boundaries and human distinctions. Children of God vary in language, culture, status in life, and worship expressions. God does not disown any of His children simply because they are not all the same. He has created variety in His family and we must be very careful what kind of opinions we develop about those who live and worship differently than we do.

The other thing I notice is that all who are in Christ are made to be like Him. Jesus does not save us to be different than He is. We are saved to become like Him. His Spirit is constantly at work in us to change us into the likeness of Christ. Some of us need more changing than others, but we all need changing. No one is exempt from the workings of the Spirit. The process begins at Calvary and ends in Glory. We need to be aware of what needs to be changed and then let the Spirit work on us to bring about the changes.

Let us thank the Lord today that the kingdom of God is no country club with exclusive membership and that the Spirit is at work in us to make us more like Jesus every day of our lives.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Gal. 3:24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God.

The law was very important and useful in the spiritual life of the Israelites before Jesus came. It made it very clear that everyone was a sinner in need of a Savior. It made it very clear that no one could be made right with God by keeping the law. It made it very clear what God's standards were and what would happen when man did not meet them. The law made it very clear that without God's help, no one could claim to be righteous before Him. The law taught man what to do in order to be righteous before God.

Until Jesus came, no matter how hard man tried, he failed in his quest to be righteous before God based on their ability to keep the law. The Scriptures tell us of those who were righteous before God because of their heart for God, not what they did. Those who believed God and put their trust in Him alone were accepted by Him.

When Jesus came, He fulfilled the law's demands for righteousness. He lived a sinless life and died a sinner's death and through Him we are made righteous before God. It is through the merit of Christ's life, death and resurrection that we now have fellowship with God. In Christ it can be said that we have hearts after God's own heart. In Christ we find all that our souls need. In Christ alone do we find our way to heaven.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Gal. 3:13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

It is very clear that it is impossible for man to keep the Law of God. No one can by his sheer will power live out perfectly the law’s demands. Every one of us is guilty of law breaking. We are all sinners in God’s eyes.

God intentionally gave us a law no one could keep. He made sure that no one could be made righteous by his own efforts. He made sure that no one could bypass the cross and make it to heaven. Disobedience to God’s command to obey is always sin. We are cursed by God without a Savior.

But, we have a Savior! Jesus died in our place. He took upon himself our death sentence. He set us free from the certain death the law demands. His life and death perfectly satisfied the just demands of God’s holiness against sin. Jesus removed the barriers that keep unholy man from have a relationship with a holy God.

Let us never take our salvation for granted or let it grow old to our souls. Let us always give thanks to Him who saved us. Let us always live lives of gratitude for He is worthy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Gal. 2:20-21 I myself no longer live, but Christ Jesus lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.

I is taken out of the equation when we surrender our hearts to Christ. It is no longer us who are in the driver’s seat. It is Christ who directs the way in which we live. It is all about Christ and no longer about us. We succumb to His purposes and seek to please Him in all things.

Our lives are lived in gratitude for Christ dying on the cross for our sins and saving us. We never lose sight of what Jesus has done for us. Our gratitude moves us to always live for Him and through Him.

We understand that our ability to live in Christ is dependent on Him and not ourselves. We live by faith and not by sight. It is the work of Christ in me that makes me a child of God. It is His working in me that enables me to stay true to Him. It is by grace that I come to Him and it is by His grace I am kept in Him. It is impossible for me to save my soul or keep my soul. If I could, then Christ would not have had to die for my sins. In fact, if I could do anything to ensure my going to heaven when I die, then the life of Christ on earth would be life’s greatest waste. Christ would have lived and died in vain. Instead of His life being a display of God’s love for us, it would have revealed God to be cruel in letting His Son die for us. Jesus did for us what was impossible for us to doHe saved our souls. He does for us what we cannot do---He keeps us secure in our Father’s love. He will do what we cannot do---He will open heaven’s doors for us and welcome us home when we die.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Gal. 2:19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ.

The Apostle Paul did not always have it right. There was a time in his life in which he really tried hard to please God by obeying the law of God. He was driven to excel in law keeping and he was respected by his peers because of his zeal. He was a Pharisee and had risen to the top in his day. He was widely recognized as a very religious man. Yet, Paul knew that he wasn't good enough. Deep in his soul he knew that he could never be good enough.

Paul knew the Scriptures. He knew them better than most and he knew that no matter how hard he tried, he always came up short. He couldn't meet his own expectations for godly living, let alone God's. He knew there had to be something missing in his understanding and life.

When Paul had his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, his life was forever changed. Jesus opened his eyes so that he could understand that He was the fulfillment of the law Paul was so obsessed by. Paul understood for the first time that Jesus is our righteousness, not what we do. Paul understood that apart from Christ he would never gain God's approval. So, Paul changed his ways.

Instead of trusting in his efforts, Paul put his trust in Christ and discovered what it was to have a living relationship with God. He became a totally different man. Christ set him free from himself so that he could now be made holy in God's eyes. As with Paul, so it is with us. Christ, and Christ alone, is our righteousness. He alone makes it possible for us to be children of God, both now and forever.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Gal. 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Trying to please people is futile, a total waste of time. There is no way that anyone is going to please everyone all the time. No matter how hard you try, there will always be those who think you are doing things wrong. Many will think that they can do what you do better. All that being a people pleaser will get you is frustration and gray hair before your time.

Sadly, it seems like there are far more people pleasers driving the world than there are those who are trying to please God. The church is no different than the world in that regard. We give honor, respect, and position to those who please us the most. We put people on pedestals where they don’t belong. We stroke the egos of many to the point where they get big heads and actually believe the adoration we put on them is justified. We often play a major role in the downfall of our leaders by giving them a false sense of who they are and their worth.

Instead of trying to please people, we must strive to always please God. We must evaluate our thinking and doing in light of God’s standards and quit trying to do it by ours. It is to God that we will give an account, no one else. We cannot serve Christ and live to please people. The Lord will not share His glory with anyone else. He will not honor those with divided loyalties. He will not be pleased with anyone who is bent on pleasing people or who accepts the adoration or praise of others as if it was deserved.

Are you a people pleaser or a God pleaser?

Sunday, January 3, 2016


II Cor. 13:5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test.

First, the Apostle Paul is addressing the church at Corinth. He is challenging them to take an honest look at themselves and determine whether or not the faith they profess and teach is for real. He reminded them of the fact that if Jesus was indeed the Lord of their church, it would show. Jesus in the house means that the house shows it. Where Jesus is, there is a noticeable likeness to Jesus. What is true of the church is true for those who make up the church, you and I.

Are you up to the challenge? Are you willing to take a serious and honest look at yourself to see if your faith is genuine? How does your faith hold up in the daily grind of life? Does your faith make a difference in how you look at things, the way you handle things, and the way you approach things? Does your faith influence the reasons why you do what you do and say what you say? Does your faith determine what you are living for? Does it make a difference in how you handle the tough times of your life? Do others see Jesus in you wherever you are at?

Test yourself. If you cannot honestly say that Jesus has changed you and how you deal with living, then can you honestly claim that He is your Savior? Jesus in not an ornament we wear around our hearts; He is a changer of our hearts. Jesus always makes changes in us to make us holy in God's eyes.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


II Cor. 12:8-9 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."

This verse is familiar to most of us. Most of us have been reminded of it many times. Let us not let our familiarity of it take away from us its powerful message to us.

The Apostle Paul was very intense and had suffered much for Christ. His whole life was a life of service. He had some kind of a physical problem that he wished he did not have. Speculation is that he had poor eyesight, but the Word does not tell us. Whatever it was, Paul asked the Lord for healing, three times. He did not give up or stop believing that God could, and maybe would, heal him.

Notice that Paul’s prayers were not casual prayers. He begged the Lord to heal him. It was something that Paul wanted the Lord to do from the depths of his heart. He saw his problem as a liability and not an asset. He believed that he would be better able to serve the Lord without this problem.

However, the Lord knew better than Paul about what he needed. The Lord denied Paul’s request. He knew that he would be better glorified through Paul’s limitations than through his strengths. The power of God is seen more through our weaknesses than it is through our strengths.

When the Lord works through us in spite of our inabilities and limitations, He gets the glory and not us. It is not what we can do that matters; it’s what He can do through us that matters. He is the one who matters, not us. We must understand this important truth. It is Christ who must be glorified and honored, not us. We must learn to lean on His strength, not our own.

All we need is the Lord. He can and will work through submissive hearts regardless of our limitations. Don’t let Satan convince you that you are of no good to the Lord because of your inabilities. We are most usable when we rely on His strength and not our own.

Friday, January 1, 2016


II Cor. 12:6 I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it. I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and my message.

If anybody had reason to boast, it would have been Paul. He was a very well educated man and was well on his way to the top early on in his life. He was very passionate about his beliefs and it showed. He was highly respected amongst his peers and there seemed to be no end to his potential.

After his conversion, Paul could still boast about many things. He was the most prominent leader in the early church. He was very passionate about the Lord and wise beyond his years. He established churches wherever he went and was a great disciple-maker. He taught people everywhere the deeper things of God and no one in the church doubted his trustworthiness. He was a leader amongst men and wrote much of the New Testament.

Yet, Paul was not one to gloat about himself. He didn’t want the attention. His sole desire was to bring Christ to people. He wanted others to see Christ and to focus on Him. He wanted people to hear the message and not see the messenger. It was all about Jesus and not about himself.

We should have the same spirit as Paul. It can never be about us. Our sole purpose ought to make Christ known and not ourselves. We must guard our souls from wanting the attention. We must purposely direct the attention to Christ. It’s not about us; it’s about Christ. Our living should always be such that others can see Christ in us.

Don’t rob the Lord of His glory by letting yourself be the center of attention and not Him.