Saturday, April 30, 2016


I Thess. 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I don't know about you, but I wish the Lord had not put that word always in this verse. How can anyone always be anything, let alone joyful? Maybe the key to success is found in the next sentence. Keep on praying. Prayer certainly helps us to be joyful. How can we not be joyful when we are in the presence of the Lord? Now, I am not talking about what often passes for prayer. Prayer that causes us to be joyful is unhurried and it is focused solely on who the Lord is. It is time spent enjoying the presence of Christ and lingering to get to know Him better. It is not what we normally do. We have our own agendas and when we are done, we hurry on to the next thing. We don't like staying in our prayer closets any longer than we have to. When was the last time you simply waited on the Lord without an agenda? Is it any wonder joyfulness escapes us?

Always be thankful. The more we value life in Christ, the more thankful we will be. We live like it is not that big of a deal. We carry the Lord around like added baggage to an already full life. We often fail to stop in wonder at the life we have in Him, except for maybe at Christmas and Easter time. We scarcely pause to worship Him in love and adoration. We get so caught up into life that we neglect our appreciation for eternal life. We are created in Christ Jesus for worship, thanksgiving, and praise.

We are created in Christ Jesus through faith for fellowship and fruitfulness. Without faith there is no fellowship.

Friday, April 29, 2016


I Thess. 5;14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

There is no room in the work of the Kingdom for lazy people. Lazy people do not get the work done. They become a liability rather than an asset. Lazy people have a tendency to be critical of those who are busy. They are quick to judge and slow to change. Lazy people are not growing people. They lack the incentive to help themselves grow. They are not good students of the Word, let alone doers of it. They are not generally prayer warriors. They always follow and never lead.

We need to encourage one another to step out in faith. We need to spur one another on to service in spite of fear and lack of confidence. We need to inspire others by our example to become bold servants of God.

We need to take tender care of the weak. We should be aware of those who do not have strong faith and come alongside of them to help them. We need to be sensitive to those who are vulnerable and need coaching along the way. We need to get involved in their lives and do what we can to help them become strong.

We need to learn to be patient with everyone. Not everyone thinks alike and not everyone grows alike. We must not become impatient with those who don’t seem to "get it" like we do. We must allow the Lord time to teach and grow others in the faith. We must ask the Lord to exercise patience to all, especially those who have a tendency to mess up more than others. And while we are at it, we need to ask the Lord to grow us. Our ability to help others depends on our own maturity of faith and understanding.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


I Thess. 5:12-13 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.

Some church leaders deserve to be recognized and honored for the work they do for the Lord. They serve humbly and sacrificially. They shy away from the praise of man and are quick to acknowledge and praise others. They are not afraid to get their hands dirty doing tasks that others may be reluctant to do. They are servant-leaders worthy to be followed. They strive to live by the Word of God and carefully protect its integrity amongst those they serve.

On the other hand, there are church leaders who shirk their spiritual duties. Just because they are in positions of leadership does not mean they should be honored. So many are slothful in their duties, they don't work diligently to protect their people from potential false teachings, they like the praise of others, and they serve more out of duty than love.

When church leaders are right with God and serve Him honorably, they should be loved and treated with respect. They should be listened to and encouraged in their labors of love. When there are disagreements with them, we should take the high road and strive to live in peace with them. It takes much cooperation and teamwork to accomplish much for the Lord. Let us do our part as much as it is possible for us to do so.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I Thess. 5:8 But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

The Lord is not the Lord of confusion. He clearly gives us understanding on the things we need to know. He clearly reveals to His children the truths of the Gospel so that we can grow in faith and be more effective witnesses for Him. He protects us from false teachings by making His Word known to us. We, who are children of God, must always protect the light that we have been given so that we can think clearly. Sin darkens the light and that is when we begin to get cloudy in our thinking and confused.

Our protection from darkness is our body armor of faith and love. Faith compels us to stay rooted in Christ. It compels us to seek out truth through Him. It compels us to listen to the Holy Spirit as we read the Word. It compels us to filter all that we hear through the Word. It compels us to get it right so that we don’t get led astray and sin against God. Faith is evident in our desire to accurately know the truth of God’s Word and then live it.

Love is our love for God. If we love God, we will want to get things right. We will want to know what He says and not necessarily what others say He says. Our love for God protects us because we don’t want to misinterpret or misapply what God says. We want to get it right because He is the lover of our souls and we want to please Him.

We think clearly when we we are confident in our minds about our salvation. We know we are saved by how we think about Christ and His role in our lives. Children of God have a desire to let Christ rule their hearts. They have a desire to honor and please the Lord. They want to put into practice the pure life of Christ. They want to honor Him by becoming like Him. They are not content with the status quo but always want to improve the quality of their spiritual lives. The mindset of the redeemed is clearly set on becoming more and more like Christ.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I Thess. 5:5-6 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober.

Be on your guard; do not let Satan lull you to sleep. His tactics are varied, but one of his most effective methods today is to convince us that we must always stay busy. We are led to believe that we just don't have the time to spend with the Lord. For many of us we pat ourselves on the back if we are able to spend 5-10 minutes of our day alone with Him. We are convinced that all we need is a quick "spiritual fix" and we will be just fine. We squeeze the Lord and His Word in whenever we can. We keep so busy that we scarcely even feel any guilt about it. In fact, we consider ourselves in pretty good shape because so many others don't even bother to feed themselves except maybe in church. Our busy lives squeeze out time needed to read, study, and meditate on God's Word. It is no longer deemed to be important enough to invest time and energy into. Even our pastors are becoming too busy. How can we expect to grow in the Lord when we don't even know what He says well enough to think about it and live it?

How can we even think that we can constantly live in the darkness of the world without keeping our lamps burning brightly? Darkness swallows up a flickering light. There is very little value in a light that does not dispel darkness. A light that is not properly fueled soon goes out. The only way to see our way around in the darkness is to keep our lights shining brightly. We will stumble and fall over and over again if we don't.

No one can keep your light lit for you but you. It is your responsibility to keep yourself connected to the Lord so that He can be seen in you. Only you can let Him shine through you.

If you are struggling to keep your light lit, you need to rethink your priorities. There is no excuse for not keeping your light shining brightly. You have the time; it's your decision what you do with it.

Monday, April 25, 2016


I Thess. 5:2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

I live in a state of expectation. I expect the Lord to come just about any time. I do not expect life to go on as it is now for very much longer. I have no way of knowing when the Lord is coming, but when He does, I know that He will catch everyone by surprise. He will not give us any other warnings than what He has already given us in His Word. He will come as a thief in the night.

Since we know that He will come unexpectantly, how should we be living? We should always be in a state of readiness. We dare not get lazy and let our guard down. We must always make sure that we are living holy lives before God. We must be obeying Him in every area of our lives. We must be serving Him and be witnesses for Him. We dare not let the thought that He may not come for a while cause us to get careless in our walk with Him. We must always strive to deal with sin whenever it crops up in our lives.

Since we don’t know when the Lord is coming for sure, we should be actively involved in helping as many people as we can to know Him. We need to be sharing our faith with all that we can. We should be praying for those we know who are lost. We should be taking advantage of the opportunities we have to sow the seed of the Gospel. We should be praying for those who are actively working in the harvest field. We should be striving for the peace and unity in the church and not participate in those things which divide her.

There is no question that Jesus is coming and He is coming at a time we will least expect it. We must always stay ready so that we are not unprepared and left behind when He comes. Are you ready?

Sunday, April 24, 2016


I Thess. 4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before.

What is your main ambition in life? I would dare say that living a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands would not be on your agenda. Most of us want to be noticed. We want to be recognized for what we do or have become in life. We want the affirmation and attention of others. Many will go to great lengths to make it happen. They will strive to be the best in whatever they do. Their ambition is to rise above the rest.

Living a quiet life means that we don’t get caught up in the quest to be the best at what we do. We should do our best and let our best be good enough. It is not healthy to be driven to be on the top. Personal ambition can easily distract us and keep us from being driven to live a life that is submissive to the Lord and pleasing to Him.

Minding our own business seems to be something that is lacking in many of us. There is that part of us that thinks we have to know the details of other people’s lives. We want to hear the latest and often it is with the intent of finding something that makes us look better. Way too much time is spent sticking our noses into other people’s business!

We tend to work more with our mouths than we do with our hands. We tend to want to find ways to avoid work. Shame on us. Work was given to man to do in the Garden of Eden. God knows that we need to work in order to stay busy and not let Satan get the upper hand in our lives. Idleness is fertile ground for Satan to work. It is good for us to do the work the Lord has equipped us and given us to do. And, it is good for us to do our work with a cheerful and thankful heart.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


I Thess. 4:7-8 God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Life's greatest calling is to be a holy people. Every believer in Christ is called to be holy. It is not enough to proclaim ourselves as being holy because He is holy. Talking about being holy and actually being holy are two different things. A holy people are a people who are becoming like Christ in character, thought, and action. We will never achieve Christ-like holiness on earth, but we can continue our progression towards it. We must measure ourselves by the standards of God's Word. We must strive to be far more like God than like the world. We must not settle for mediocrity in our Christian walk. In fact, I do not believe a true child of God cannot live in Christ without growing into holiness.

Life's greatest challenge is to a holy people. We live in an unholy world, surrounded by an unholy people. We have opportunity to sin all the time. We are constantly challenged to think as the world thinks about things. We are challenged to take the necessary time with the Lord to be a holy people.

We too easily excuse lack of spiritual growth in our walk with the Lord. We rely on His holiness and think it's okay to be who we are because we trust in Him. It is not okay to live in mediocrity! God created us in Christ to be a holy people, a people after His own heart and like Him in character. If we fail to strive for holiness in our lives, we are rejecting God's plan for us. We are rebelling against Him and denying Him His rightful place in our lives.

Let us always be moving into greater holiness. With the Lord in control of our hearts and minds, we can do it. It is not an option, it is a command from God.

Friday, April 22, 2016


I Thess. 3:12-13 And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everone else, just as our love overflows toward you. As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him.

Not only should we love one another, it should overflow! How many of us can honestly say that we have so much love for others that we just cannot contain it? Yet, this was Paul's prayer for the church. He wanted the church to have so much love for each other that it overshadowed everything else. Overflowing love wards off any internal strife that may arise. It keeps people together and working together for the common good of the body. It nips in the bud anything that crops up that could be divisive or disruptive. It always seeks to edify and encourage.

Getting along in love in the church is not only what we should do, we should get along with everyone else in the same way as well. We should have such love in our hearts for people that we strive as much as possible to live at peace with everyone and strive to be as helpful as we can when we have opportunity to do so.

When we learn to be a loving people, our hearts grow in faith. Faith grows stronger as we love others. When we become a people of love, we become like Christ, holy and blameless before God. God is love and commands us to be a people of love. We cannot live in Christ and not love others. It doesn't mean we will get along with everyone, but as for our part, we will love them regardless of what they may say or do to us. Our desire should always be that the Lord use us as vessels of love in and outside of the church.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I Thess. 3:2b-3 We sent him to strenghten you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from becoming disturbed by the troubles you were going through. But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians.

Paul sent his traveling companion and disciple, Timothy, to the church in Thessalonia to help them in their faith and to keep them on track. Timothy was to encourage the church and keep them from becoming overcome by faith's sufferings.

It is important that we encourage one another in the faith. It is so easy to get discouraged. Sometimes people of faith are our worst discouragers. Some people just seem to thrive on discouraging others, especially if they dare to not think the same thimg about things. Circumstances sometimes are discouraging. The things going on in the world can be discouraging. We need to be surrounded by people who will lift us up and spur us on instead of holding us back and dragging us down. If you don't have encouragers in your life, you need to make some changes in whom you associate with and find people who are good for your soul.

Paul reminded the church that things were not always be easy for them because of their faith. Christians ought to expect troublesome times in their lives. It is normal for us because we are surrounded by enemies of the faith. Those who are not of the faith are enemies of God. If we are being true followers of Christ we will face opposition to our faith by those in the world, and sometimes it will cause us much suffering.

When we have encouragers in our life, we will be much better equipped to face our troubles positively without being overcome by them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I Thess. 2:13 And we will never stop thanking God that when we preached his message to you, you didn't think of the words we spoke as being just our own. You accepted what we said as the very word of God--which, of course, it was. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

It is not always easy to know the truthfulness of what someone is saying these days. There are some very good speakers who can be very convincing who do not speak the truth. Many speak their own ideas and sometimes they clash with the truth. How can we know for sure that what we hear and believe is true?

We must be good students of God's Word ourselves. We cannot rely on what others tell us it means and believe it. We must examine the Word and think it through ourselves. When we do, we must bathe it in prayer with an open mind and heart. We must stay close to God so that we can be certain it's the Holy Spirit who is guiding our thoughts as we study the Word.

If we still do not quite understand what is being said, we turn to reliable sources for answers. We seek out the counsel of people who we know are mature in the faith and have a good grasp of the Scriptures. We also can find insight from what others have written in commentaries and books. It is important that we do our research until we have reasonable cause to believe what we believe God is saying is true.

A good test as to whether or not something is indeed true is that it works. God's Word works. It can be seen at work in others and experienced in ourselves. It stands the test of time. It never fails to do what it claims to do. If what you believe just doesn't seem to work out in life, then be assured it's not from God.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I Thess. 2:7-8 As apostles of Christ we certainily had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we gave you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too.

I really like Paul's imagery here. There is nothing like a loving mother who watches over her children and ministers to their needs. A mother feeds her children what is good for them at each stage of their lives. Babies require baby food, not junk food. As a child grows older, mom weans her child off of baby food and gives her children solid food. She knows that she has to be discerning as to what kind of food she makes available to them as much as possible. As they get older, they will want more junk food than is good for them and mom tries to control their intake as much as possible. Mothers do what they know is best for her children because she loves them and wants what is best for them. She wants to see them grow up to be healthy adults someday.

We should be like the Apostle Paul in this regard. We, too, should have a real interest in the spiritual growth of God's children. We should want to see each other grow up into spiritual maturity, useful servants in the Kingdom of God. It is not an easy task to do because, like growing children, we don't often know what we need and what we shouldn't have. We have much to learn about ourselves and how to become who God wants us to be.

Let us strive to love each other as we are loved by God. Let us set aside our personal agendas and seek the spiritual well-being on one another. Let us take a real interest in the spiritual maturity of others and share with one another God's Good News every chance we can. Let us be a people who are willing to do whatever it takes to help one another become the people God wants us to be, a people after His own heart.

Monday, April 18, 2016


I Thess. 2:6 As for praise, we have never asked for it from you or anyone else.

The Apostle Paul was a very humble man. He only had one desire in life, to honor and glorify Christ through his living. He was a man who lived a life worthy to be followed. He is still highly respected in the church today. We are still learning from him and honor him as one worthy to be followed. He had great insight and wisdom from God.

Yet, in spite of his position in the church and the respect the church had for him, he never sought out the praise of man. He was not concerned about whether or not he was popular. He did not thrive on the attention of others. In fact, the opposite was true. He thrived on the sufferings he endured at the hands of man because he preached and taught the Gospel message. All that Paul was concerned about was the spreading of the Gospel and bringing souls to Christ. He was passionate about leading others into a much deeper walk with the Lord than they had ever known before. He was driven by the desire to prepare others for the certainty of death.

We need to imitate Paul in this. Seeking the praise of man is a dead end street. It's not important whether or not people like what we do as long as we do it to honor and glorify the Lord in what we do and say. There will be people who will want to lavish praise on us, especially if we are talented and can do some things well. Ask the Lord to keep your soul humbled before Him at all times. Ask Him to protect your soul so that you seek to honor and glorify the Lord and not yourself. He alone is worthy of adoration and praise.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


I Thess. 2:4 For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts.

Paul understood who he was in the church and why. He was a messenger sent by God to the church and he was approved by God for the task. God does not send people out to do a task that are not approved by Him for the task. In order to be approved by God, one must have a holy heart and be totally committed to Him. Paul clearly met God’s requirements. Living in fellowship with God and being right with God consumed Paul’s life. He had no other desire in life than to give his all to the Lord and the Kingdom of God.

Paul was trustworthy. God entrusted Paul with the Good News. God knew Paul would not mess it up. He knew he would be faithful and not preach another Gospel. He knew Paul would tell it like it is and not worry about how others might receive it. His duty was to proclaim the Gospel and he did it with determined passion. He was not a people pleaser. He was not concerned about anything but living rightly before God.

We must be good imitators of Paul. We have but one agenda as children of God, and that is to serve the Lord with determined passion. We are not in the people pleasing business. In fact, if people are pleased with us all the time, we are not being faithful messengers of the Gospel. The truth always is opposed by those who don’t want to live by it. We share the Gospel messenge regardless of whether someone wants to hear it or not. How it is received is between the listener and God.

We must never forget, God knows our hearts. He knows not only what we do, but why we do it. We need to be careful that we don’t serve the Lord with wrong motives. Those who please the Lord have pure hearts in all they do. They serve Him out of love, not duty.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I Thess. 1:2-3 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and your continual anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wouldn’t you like to have a pastor like Paul, one who you knew appreciated you and was constantly praying over you? I can only imagine what the church would be like to have spiritual leaders like that, people who genuinely cared about the souls of the church.

Paul did not focus on the negative things within the church. Instead he thought about their faithful work, their loving deeds, and their focus on the Lord’s coming. It is so easy to magnify the flaws of others in our minds and prayers. It is easy to point out flaws in others to the Lord and ask Him to fix them. But, Paul wasn’t like that. He chose to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. It would be wonderful if a church was so good that there would not be room for the negatives to crop up, but unfortunately that generally is not the case.

What do we think about when we pray for one another? Think about it for a moment. Do you thank the Lord for what is going on right with a person and pray that it continues? Or, do you focus on the negatives and ask the Lord to change them? One of the reasons why we are prone to dwell on the negatives is that in our minds it makes us look better than they do. And when we see ourselves in a positive light, we are not prone to see our own flaws and failures and repent.

Let us strive to change our ways. Look at others in a positive light. Thank the Lord for the good that you see in others and it will have a profound effect on how you react to them. You cannot truly love someone who you look down on. You are far more prone to care about those whom you love. The Kingdom of God is built on the positives and not the negatives. It is God's will for us to love one another and work together for His glory.

Friday, April 15, 2016


Col. 4:5-6 Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.

Sadly, many professing believers live foolishly amongst those who are not saved. They do not take a stand for Christ by not refusing to participate in unholy things. They do not guard their tongues. They do not protect their eyes from unholy things. They do not speak out when they have opportunity to share Christ. They compromise their standards when asked to do so for personal gain. Instead of such foolishness, we are to live wisely among those who are not saved. We are to stand firm on truth and not waver in our commitment to it. We are to always do what is right in God’s eyes.

We are to make the most of every opportunity we have to be witnesses for Christ. In our living and talking we ought to be gracious and effective witnesses. It doesn’t happen by accident or overnight. We need to continuously develop our faith. We need to take the time to invest in the development of our souls. We spend time in the Word to discover and grasp its truths. We spend enough time in prayer so that we can have real fellowship with God. We put into practice the things we learn so that we can be effective in our witness to others. We become knowledgeable of truth so that we can help others and not lead them astray. We purposely strive to act and speak graciously towards others. We strive to always be right in our declaration of truth.

The time we spend developing our souls into godliness is the best investment of time we will ever spend. We become wise in the things of God and attractive to those who are not Christians seeking to find God. People everywhere are searching for answers to life. They are trying all sorts of things to discover purpose and meaning to their lives. We need to diligently take care of our souls so that we will have the right answers for those the Lord brings our way.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

To devote one's self to prayer means that there is a commitment to pray. Prayer is deemed to be a necessity and not a safety valve in time of need or desire. Prayer is an attitude of the heart we live by. It is intentional. It is a natural part of how we live out our lives. Prayer is an expression of our heart's desire for God. It is the soul's lifeblood. It is our first response, not an afterthought.

When we pray, we are to have an alert mind. We are to be aware of what we are praying for We are to pray with purpose. We are to pray in tune with the heart and will of God. We are to pray intellectually and not just emotionally. We are to pray knowing what we need. We are to pray as well knowing what we don't need.

When we pray, we are to have thankful hearts. A thankful heart is Christ-focused. It is a heart that is sensitive to who the Lord is, what He has done, and what difference He is making in one's life today. A thankful heat understands what might have been true in his life had not Jesus saved him from his sin. A thankful heart is mindful of the riches of grace and the resources of heaven that are his to enjoy and employ. A thankful heart does not take for granted life in God or the things of God.

Prayer with thanksgiving guards the soul from vain repetitiousness and self-centeredness. Prayer is not a duty, it is a privilege. Prayer is not something we do quickly so we can rush into something else. It is a waiting on the Lord, basking in the glow of His presence, savoring our time with Him. If we don't have time to wait before Him, we will soon dry up spiritually and wander away from Him.

Prayer is intentional, knowing that the Lord is our lifeblood. It is a time of drawing from Him what we need for life and giving Him what we don't need. It is a time for soul cleansing and refreshing. It is a time in which we let Him carry our life burdens so we can be free to live the free and full life He died to give us.

Prayer is fellowship with God, and if you aren't praying, you are slowly dying spiritually.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Col. 4:1-2 You slave owners must be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master--in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

The application of these verses for us today would be for those who are in positions of authority over others. Whether it be in the church or in the public arena, believers have a responsibilty before God to treat those under them in a God honoring way. Sometimes the pressures of the job we are in works against us. There is the temptation to be demanding and unfair to others under us. There is also the temptation to feed off of the power and authority we have and let it affect how we treat others. How do we avoid mistreating others? Paul offers us a couple ideas.

First, we need to be a people of prayer. In order to treat others right, we must stay right with God. We must stay close to the Lord at all times. We must come humbly before God and be willing to listen to Him. We must learn from Him how we must conduct ourselves and then do it. When we are close to the heart of God, we are going to be kind and gracious. We are going to strive to help others bring out the best in them. We are going to care for them as people and not look at them as just numbers to use. We are going to strive to be honest and fair at all times. We are going to deal with others out of our love for God. Prayer changes how we treat one another and it is an absolute necessity if we want to be a people after God's own heart, regardless if we are in positions of authority or not.

We are to pray with alert minds. We are to be aware of the needs around us. People are needy. A godly leader is sensitive to people who are in need. If people are hurting, there is an awareness and he prays for them. He does what he can to minister to those in need. He is compassionate and not judgmental.

We are to be thankful. Life offers some of us greater opportunities than others. Some are blessed with good jobs that pay well. A godly person does not take for granted his position in life; instead he gives thanks to the Lord. No one deserves the blessings of life and we should be grateful for the life we have. No matter what our lot in life is, we are blessed. There are a multitude of people who will never know the blessings you enjoy and take for granted. Daily we ought to thank the Lord for His blessings, love and grace.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Col. 3:25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites who can get away with evil.

Everyone stands on equal ground before God. He does not care who you are, what you do, what you have accomplished in life, what your wealth or influence may be, or what stature you may have with man. Each one of us is personally responsible for how we live our lives. No one will get away with sin.

We must recognize and accept this truth. We live in a day in which we put people on pedestals. We are quick to ignore or condone sin in the lives of our leaders. We seldom challenge them on how they are living out the faith. We don’t like to stick our noses into other people’s personal lives and convince ourselves somehow that it’s none of our business.

Or, we may go to the other extreme and get way too nosey. Some of us may always look for faults or sins to expose. Some will hold leaders to a much higher standard than they themselves are living or are willing to live.

God shows no favoritism. We are all held up to the high standards of God’s Word. No one will get away with anything. We will reap what we sow as we stand before God in judgment. We will be defenseless as we hear God tell us our destiny. God knows the heart. Each one will be judged on what He sees there.

Only those in whom Christ dwells will be found pleasing and acceptable to God and where Christ dwells there is righteousness and holiness lived out daily.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Col. 3:23-24 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.

These verses have been the bedrock of my walk with Christ. The Lord laid these verses on my heart shortly after I began walking seriously with Him. I believe that every believer must put forth the best effort he can muster in the things he does in life. All of life is a witness for Christ and if we are slothful in what we do, it is a reflection on Christ. We dare not give the world just cause to reject Christ because we fail to honor Him in what we do.

It is easier to work hard when we approach our work cheerfully. How can we cheerfully do mundane work? We believe in our hearts that what we do we do it for the Lord. Our work and living is to honor and please our Lord. We do them cheerfully because we understand how loved and blessed we really are by the Lord. We are cheerful because we appreciate our lives and blessings from God. We are cheerful because we know that soon this life will be past and only what is done for Christ will last and matter. We are cheerful because we know that all of our life is an offering unto the Lord and He loves a cheerful giver.

If you are struggling with your attitude, remember these things. Remember that the Lord has an inheritance for you that is far more valuable and precious than anything your heart or mind can imagine and He is waiting to give it to you. Remember always that it is Christ you are serving and not man. Remember, and go out and live your life to the fullest in Christ.

Delight yourself in Christ, give Him your best effort, and you will enjoy the abundant life He has promised to give those who diligently seek Him.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Col. 3:17 And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Whether we like it or not, everything we say and do represents Christ in some way. We either present Christ to others in a positive light or a negative light. What we do and say matters a great deal. We need to take an honest look at how we portray Christ to the world.

I believe one of the reasons why so many are turned off by Christ is that they don’t see much of Christ in those who profess to believe in Him. Being in Christ is not reserved for our Sunday meetings. We represent Christ every day all day long. It is imperative for Jesus’ sake for the body of Christ to take more care about how they live in the world. People who need the Lord need a people who live well for the Lord in every area of their lives.

People notice how we live. They listen to what we say and if there is a discrepancy between the two, they are quick to judge us and turn off our message. People will jump at the chance to justify themselves and their unbelief. It matters a great deal how we come across to others as children of God.

Our hearts should be so enamored by Christ that they are filled with thanksgiving and praise to God, our Father, for His wondrous plan of salvation and the workings of His grace in us. Gratitude is an attitude that is befitting for the child of God. It is what we are if we are truly living in Christ.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Col. 3:16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

It is up to you whether or not God’s Word will dwell in your heart. In order for you to know the richness of God’s Word, you must let it in. You must spend time in it, meditating on it, feasting on it. God’s Word makes one wise.

He who knows well the Word can use it to teach and give counsel to others. It is an essential part of the faith walk. We all need wisdom from the Word. We need others to help us understand Truth better and others need us to help them. Together, we are made strong it the faith.

When the Word of God captures and drives the soul, there is much joy in the heart. The heart swells up in praise and thanksgiving. The promises of God move the soul in worship. A joyful heart is a thankful heart.

We deprive our souls of the best of what God has to give us when we starve ourselves of His Word. There can be no songs of praise and thanksgiving in the heart if the Word is not in the heart. The words of Christ give life and if applied to life give abundant life. If you find yourself not singing God’s praises and giving Him thanks from the heart, you need to make His Word an essential part of your daily life.

Friday, April 8, 2016


Col. 3:14-15 He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.

Make no mistake about it; God knows our sin and will hold us responsible for it. No one gets away with sin. No one. But, when we humble ourselves before Christ, admit our sins, and seek His forgiveness, God destroys all the evidence. He puts on the cross our just punishment. He forever washes away our sins. We no longer are condemned to die for our sins; instead, we are given new life in Christ.

In Christ, we are freed from the hold Satan has on us. He is rendered powerless. He may nag us to death, but He cannot lead us unwittingly into God’s judgment. We are given in Christ the power to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God. We no longer are victims; we are victors in Christ.

At Calvary Jesus publicly put to shame all the forces of evil. He put Satan in his place. He forever is known as the enemy of God; the object of His wrath. Satan, and all those who are his, are doomed to spend eternity in hell. There is no hope for him or any who would reject the love of Christ.

In Christ all of our sins are gone. We inherit the righteousness and holiness of Christ. Forgotten is the condemnation we deserved for our sins. We now have eternal life in Christ. We will someday be in the presence of God with Him if we do not get weary and give up the good fight. In Christ, we will not faint; we will make it home.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Col. 3:12-14 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Hear what the Word is saying to us today. Listen and understand it. God chose you in Christ because He loves you and He chose you to be holy. Do you know for a fact today that God loves you? How do you know it? What difference does it make for you to know it? Are you a holy person? What is there about you that verifies that it is true what you think about you?

Holiness is a life lived apart from sin, a life that strives to submit to and obey the standards of God as revealed in His Word. Some of the characteristics of holy living are found in today's verses. Take another look at them. Do they describe who you are? You may not have it altogether, but you should see some of them in you. How you treat others is a good barometer on how you are doing. If you are growing into a holy heart, you will have a compassionate heart that treats people with kindness and love. Your first response to others will be that of love. You will not let anything they do or say keep you from loving them.

If you find it hard to love someone, you will flee to the Lord and ask Him to love them through you. He will change your heart into a heart of love if you will let Him. You cannot consistently pray for the good of someone without the Lord giving you a heart of love for them. You cannot become whom the Lord wants you to be, and created you to be in Him, until you do.

Love is what binds us together and love can only be found at the foot of the cross. Jesus takes away all that keeps us from loving each other and binds us together in perfect harmony. When we don't get along it's because we haven't lingered at Calvary with our problems.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Col. 3:9-10 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.

What have you taken off? What difference has the Gospel you profess to believe in made in your life? What don't you do that you did before? What attitudes do you have now that you didn't have before about life and people? The reality is that if nothing noticeable has changed in you, then what you believe with your head is not what you believe in your heart. When Jesus is in us, we no longer can live in sin or maintain sinful attitudes. He won't let us. His Spirit convicts us of sin and moves us to confess sin and change.

In the place of our old way of life, Jesus gives us a brand new life. It is a life built on the foundation of godliness. It is a life that never quits becoming more like God in character. It is a life that is never satisfied with what is, but is aware of the need for constant growth and change. When Jesus lives within us, we have a constant hunger and thirst for more of His life. We want who He is to be who we are.

Let the Lord renew your heart today by striving to learn more and more about Him in all His glory and honor as God within you. Keep learning what you can't do that you did before and what you can now do that you couldn't before. Learn all you can about this new life in you. The Lord wants you to enjoy it to the fullest and the more you learn from Him, the more you can enjoy the life He gives. He who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will not only be satisfied, he will feast on the riches of God's wondrous love and grace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Col. 3:5-6 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don't be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God's terrible anger will come upon those who do such things.

Putting to death is to no longer let sinful things be a part of who you are. It is no longer living under the influence of sinful desires. It is refusing to participate in sinful things or practices. It is walking away from sinful temptations. It is squelching sinful desires. It is changing the course of our natural way to live and instead strive to live to honor and please God.

There are many things that the world deems to be good. There are many things that appeal to us and cause us to want them. We need to keep our desires under control. When what the world offers us become the driving force in our lives, it's greed. It causes us to want the world's offerings more than we do a healthy relationship with God. It is sin and we must be concerned about this. If we are not careful, we will develop greater priorities in life than God. We will be led away from God and into sin.

Paul warns us that those who do not put away from them sinful desires and greed will face God's wrath. God will not fight for our allegiance; He lets us choose whether or not we will serve Him and love Him more than anyone, or anything, else in life. You cannot love the Lord and hang on to worldly desires or participate in worldly activities. You cannot love Him and desire something else more than Him. God commands all of our heart loyalties. We cannot live in Christ with earthly attachments.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Col. 3:5a So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.

Notice, we have a responsibility to put out the life of sin in us. We have to do our part if we are going to live in victory. God does not take away from us our desires. We still tend to want to sin and we must gain control over those desires. We must stand up to temptation and say no to it. We must resist the urge to pursue the things on earth that draw us away from God.

In order for us to be strong enough to put to death our sinful desires, we must take control over what we do in life. We must be students of God’s Word, which means we become more than casual readers of it. We must read the Word with a need and desire to learn its hidden treasures. We must be disciplined enough to spend daily time in it. We must be willing to listen to what it says and seek to apply it to our living. The more we study the Word, the stronger our faith becomes.

We must also put into practice what we learn. Knowledge alone does the soul no good. We must keep striving to develop the kind of life God says we should be living. Becoming holy in practice should always be our goal.

Strength of faith is found on our knees. We must discipline ourselves to be a people of prayer. It takes more than a casual thought to be a people of prayer. We need to discipline ourselves to wait before the Lord, spending quality time with Him on a consistent basis. Sunday morning prayer time in church is not going to cut it. Daily we need to spend time alone with the Lord, sitting at His feet, waiting before Him.

It is the strong in faith who will be able to put to death the sinful, earthly things that attract us and lure us away from God.

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Col. 3:1-2 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.

One of the biggest reasons why there is such shallowness in our spiritual lives is that we have allowed our thoughts to be dominated by earthly things. We are primarily concerned by the things we find on earth. We thrive on the rewards found in the world and pursue the earthly pleasures available to us. We listen to the many voices of the world to the point where we scarcely hear the voice of God.

We will never grow into a godly people until we accept our actions and take responsibility for them. We must understand that in order to be the people whom God created us to be in Christ, we must get our priorities straight. As children of God, we must retrain ourselves to set our sights on the realities of heaven. We must learn all we can about Christ and heaven. We must keep our thoughts focused on what is before us, not on what is around us or behind us. We are not citizens of earth; we are citizens of heaven. We invest our lives in the things of heaven, not the things on earth.

The more into Christ we become, the less attachment we will have for the things here on earth. Only when we become heaven-minded do we find ourselves and something worth living for.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Col. 2:19 But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.

Those who are living life without being connected to Christ are lost and bound for hell. Those who are living in Christ show it by how they live. We cannot be connected to Christ without showing His nature. We become like Him, holy and righteous before God.

If we are living in Christ, we are being properly nourished and we grow in godliness and spiritual strength. If we are weak and anemic, it's simply because we have blocked the path of God's nourishment for our souls. We cannot be open and receptive to God and His Word without growing and becoming more like Him.

If anyone is struggling to grow, he is not properly connected to Christ. A healthy soul is constantly changing and becoming more like Christ throughout his life. If no change ever happens, then the soul is not connected to Christ, regardless of words once spoken. Jesus in us naturally makes us different than we once were. The progression of the process of change varies with each of us, but all who know Christ do change.

Friday, April 1, 2016


Col. 2:13-15 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. In this way God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.

Without Christ, everyone is spiritually dead. We can never be good enough to get rid of our sins on our own. We can never do enough to cancel our sin debt to God. We can't do it, but God can, and He did.

God made us alive in Christ. What this means is that our sins are all forgiven. All means all. Every one of our sins are forgiven by Christ when we come to Him and sincerely repent of them. He did away with all the charges against us. He wipes the slate clean. We must know that every sin we commit is noted in heaven and held against us. Without Christ in us, we have nothing to stand between God and us. With Christ in us, we have His righteousness and holiness standing between us and God.

In Christ, God destroys the hold that sin has on us. Satan is rendered powerless to hold us captive to sin and its condemnation. We have the ability and desire to not sin when Christ lives in us. When we stumble and do sin, it's because of our failure to stand up and resist in Jesus' name, not His inability to help us. Satan cannot touch or harm those who are living and growing in Him.

The cross of Calvary stands always before us as a testimony that it is true. Our victory is in Christ alone. He totally disarmed all the forces of evil and stands before us as the way, truth and life of those seeking God.