Tuesday, May 31, 2016


II Tim. 1:6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

First of all, do you know what your spiritual giftedness is? What do you do well that enables you to effectively communicate with others the Gospel message? Every believer is equipped with a spiritual gift. The Lord enables every believer so that they can serve Him and share with others the faith. It is important that you know what your gift is. If you don’t know, ask the Lord and others what it is. There is no excuse for not knowing. It is our responsibility to use our gift(s) and if we don’t know what they are, how can we use them?

We are to fan into flame our gift(s). We are to develop our gifts so that we are most effective in our witness and service. In order to develop our gifts, we must first be in training. We must discover ways to be the best we can be for Christ. We must strive to improve upon our gifts. The Lord doesn’t make us the best we can be the moment He redeems us. He molds and shapes us into better servants as we grow in Him. He gives us opportunities to hone our skills. It is our responsibility to fan into flame our gifts. We must keep the flame burning brightly by feeding our souls and using our gifts.

Failing to use our gifts for the Lord will cause us to wither away and die as far as usefulness in the Kingdom of God is concerned. God saves us for usefulness, not uselessness. We must always heed the warnings of Scripture about the fate of those who are useless servants of the Lord.

Monday, May 30, 2016


I Tim. 6:11-12 But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

The first and most important thing for you to know today is that you belong to God. If there is any shred of doubt in your mind about this, don’t mess around and waste another moment of your life. Make sure that you know that you are a child of God. Base your knowledge on God’s Word and not your feelings. If you acknowledge your sins before Christ, believe in your heart that He can save you, ask Him to forgive you and claim His forgiveness for your soul, you belong to God. If you let feelings drive you, you will never be settled in your soul about your salvation.

A child of God runs from all that is evil. He doesn’t mess around. He doesn’t stand around or walk in the midst of it; he runs from it. He understands the affect evil can have on his soul and has nothing to do with it. Instead, he pursues a godly life. He endeavors to live by faith in Christ. He endeavors to let the love of God flow through him. He never gives up and always seeks to be gentle in spirit.

A child of God is not a bystander. He fights for what he believes in. He stands strong and fights well because he is well prepared to fight. He knows that the Gospel is true and well worth fighting for. He is not afraid to readily share with others that he is a child of the King.

A child of God holds on tightly to his eternal life. He is not swayed by the allurements of this life. He stays focused on that which is eternal and lives in readiness daily for his entrance into it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


I Tim. 6:10 For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Most of us are very familiar with this verse of Scripture. We have heard many sermons that have reminded us of its truthfulness. We notice the affect money has on people and often cringe at how it has wrecked havoc in their lives. We look at ourselves and if we are honest have to admit that it has more power over us than we care to admit.

What always strikes me about the power of money over us is that it can cause some people to get so wrapped up in it that they have wandered from the faith in their pursuit of it. There is just something about money and the things it can do, that draws us away from God. We develop a passion for money and it consumes us to the point where we lose grip on our passion for God. God gets replaced in our lives and we find ourselves suffering from spiritual starvation. We get caught up into money’s grip and discover that there are many sorrows associated with it. The more we have, the more we want. The more we want the more debt we are willing to incur that we might get it. The more debt we have, the harder we discover it is to get out of it. On and on the cycle goes.

Wise and satisfied is the soul who seeks to find his satisfaction in the Lord and not what He provides. Wise is he who knows that his relationship with the Lord is all that really matters in life. Wise is he who is able to live in peace and be content in God.

Thank the Lord for what you may have, but don’t let what you have be more important to you than Him. Let the Lord have control of all you have and the desires of your heart and you will not be held captive by the things of the world.

Friday, May 27, 2016


I Tim. 6:8-9 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.

It’s hard to be content with what we have in life, isn’t it? We live in a culture that promotes discontentment. We are told daily that we don’t have enough, that life would be so much better if we had more and better things. We are conditioned to think that more is better. We live our lives with the distorted belief that a lot of "stuff" will satisfy our souls and then wonder why we can never find peace and joy in our living.

The trap of pursuing more is so subtle that few are even aware of its dangers. In order to get what we think we want we have to compromise so much of our souls. When corners are cut to get ahead they soon become a part of our thinking. When we let ourselves do things that we know are wrong for personal gain, we soon lose our consciousness about them being wrong. Soon we begin to do other things that are wrong in other areas of our lives and we become a people barely recognizable from whom we were before we started out on our journey.

It is imperative for the health of our souls that we operate always from godly principles. Compromising God’s ways for personal gain will not only damage, but eventually it will destroy our souls. We will become hardened to the truth and become enemies of God.

I challenge you to examine your heart today. Is there any area of your life where you have taken the easy and convenient path at the expense of the integrity of your heart? Are you living a godly life in all you do? Are you striving always to please God rather than yourself or others?

God blesses those who learn to be content and thankful with what He provides with peace and joy all the days of their lives.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


I Tim. 6:6-7 Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn't bring anything with us into the world and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die.

There is perhaps no greater quest in life than soul contentment. The world is a very restless place. What drives the world is the quest for something that will make one happy. Commerce depends on the discontentment of the soul. The promise is made that if we do this, buy this, read this, watch this, etc. we will at last be happy and content. It is an endless pursuit that never delivers what is promised. There is absolutely nothing in this world that can provide contentment for the soul.

Some strive to be content with who they are, but that too proves to a futile quest. Beyond the appearances we portray is the real self. And, if a soul does not have Christ within, there is an emptiness that is never satisfied and an awareness of just how bad we really are.

When Christ dwells in the soul, there is a true sense of peace and contentment for the soul. We discover that Christ is all we want or need. It does not matter what we have or don't have of the world's offerings. We discover that knowing we have eternal life and will spend it with Him satisfies the soul. We discover that only Christ delivers on what He promises. Only Christ gives us the sense that all is well between us and God. A truly content soul can deal with whatever life may bring. It knows it doesn't need the world's cure for the soul's cravings, because Christ satisfies and makes the soul complete.

The richest people on earth are those who live in Christ, whose souls are filled with His righteousness and holiness. They are the ones who will see God in all His glory someday face-to-face.

How about you? Have you found contentment for your soul?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I Tim. 5:19-20 Do not listen to complaints against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses to accuse him. Anyone who sins should be rebuked in front of the whole church so that others will have a proper fear of God.

When will we ever get it right? We are so quick to judge on hearsay. We believe what we hear without checking things out for ourselves. We presume guilt without knowing the heart. We listen to complaints instead of focusing on the positives. We don’t verify what we think is true by the witness of several people. Ministries and reputations have been ruined because of the failure to do things God’s way.

When was the last time a church leader was brought before the church body and rebuked because of sin? It is not done very often and if it is done, it’s not done well. Most of the time discipline is meted out by boards. The goal of all church discipline should be restoration of he who sins to a right relationship with God. It should be done in such a way that the church body will look upon their own souls and be humbled before God. It should never be done to humiliate a leader of the church or to make others feel spiritually superior because they did not do what the accused is accused of.

The goal for all of our relationships in the church should be to be holy before God. We need to strive to keep our souls and fellowships right before God. We should never let sin go, whether it is public or private sin. God is holy and commands us to be a holy people before Him. If it is not our constant goal, then we will never know what it is to be blessed by the Lord with the abundant life He came to give.

However, a word of caution is in order here. Anyone who would accuse another of sin worthy of public chastisement must first examine his own heart and deal with his own sin. It is never okay to ignore one’s own sin and point out someone else’s. We are all guilty of sin before God.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I Tim. 4:16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.

First of all, keep a close watch on yourself. It is easy to let down our guard spiritually. There are so many other things that are a part of our lives and if we are not careful, those things will dull our spiritual edge. We easily neglect our time in God’s Word and prayer. We easily find excuses for not being in church when we should be. We easily can justify ourselves and begin to slip away from God. Watch out! Hold yourself accountable for your spiritual disciplines. It is imperative for the health of your soul.

Keep a close watch over your teachings. Your opinions don’t matter. It is what God says that people need to hear. Be sure that what you pass on to others is the Word of God and not just what you or others think about it.

Stay true to what is right. There are many different ways to think about things, but only one right way. Align yourself up with God’s ways and you won’t go astray. It is when we neglect God’s ways that we lose our way.

God saves all who are in alignment with Him. When we live rightly before Him and correctly handle His Word, we will be saved and we won’t lead others astray. Let us keep a close watch over how we live and what we teach others.

Monday, May 23, 2016


I Tim. 4:14-15 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.

How one gets his spiritual gifts is not the issue here. The point is that we all have gifts given to us by the Spirit to be used for the glory of Christ in the world and we are to use them.

The first issue is identifying our gifts. It is not a matter of whether or not you have any, you do. Every believer in Christ is gifted to serve Christ in and through the church. What is it that you can offer to Christ? Gifts are as varied as there are people. We do things differently than one another and in varied degrees. God gives each of us gifts suited for our personalities, abilities, and character to handle them. Whatever He has entrusted to you to use to serve Him, you are in disobedience if you aren't using them. If you don't know what your giftedness is, consider what you can do well and find a way to do it to serve the Lord in and outside the church.

Spiritual gifts are those things that we offer to the Lord as an act of worship. All of our lives should be an act of worship. We live in homage to the Lord and seek always to please Him. We don't live for ourselves, we live for the Lord.

Throw yourself into your tasks. Don't half-heartedly serve the Lord. Do what you do with enthusiasm and energy. If you love the Lord as you should, you will want to give Him your best efforts. You will want to serve Him so that everyone will see your enthusiasm and desire for the Lord.

This should be on the top of our list of things to do in life. We should always be striving to excel in our ability to serve the Lord. Mediocrity has no place in the life of a person who truly loves Christ.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I Tim. 4:8 Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

Some people are exercise fanatics. They are determined to stay in great physical shape and discipline themselves to achieve it. Some take it further and go beyond what others do. They are determined to reach the max that that their bodies can do. They strive to be amongst the best. Those who exercise a lot know its value. They know that the better shape they keep their bodies in, the healthier they will be. They know that an undisciplined body gets flabby and is prone to fail when strength and endurance is needed.

As important as it is to take care of one's body, it is far more important to take care of one's soul. No matter how great of shape the body is in, it ages and it will fail you. All of us will die someday. However, the soul never dies. We are eternal, spiritual beings and we will live on after we no longer are physically alive. What we do with our souls here on earth determines where we will be eternally. Those who take care of their souls will go to heaven when they die, and those who don't will be in hell.

Spiritual exercise is essential for a healthy soul. We must discipline our souls and feed it properly. We must put it through a rigorous daily exercise program. We must keep it busy. We must strive to put what we feed it into good use. We must work out our salvation. A well-fed soul that is never exercised is a flabby soul that will never stand up in the midst of the adversities of life. Salvation is as much doing as it is believing and trusting. A well-exercised soul is a victorious soul. It is a soul blessed by God, both now in this life, and forever.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


I Tim. 4:7 Do not waste your time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.

Spending time arguing over things seldom accomplish anything good. Rarely does it result in mutual understanding and agreement. Usually it creates ill feelings and a critical spirit. Arguing sets people at odds with each other and destroys the quest for peace.

Instead of arguing, we need to spend our time and energy in training for spiritual fitness. What this means for us is that we focus our time and energy on growing our faith. We spend time studying God's Word to learn how to live godly lives. We seek to understand what we should and shouldn't be doing in our walk of faith. We study to learn more about God and His trustworthiness. No one will grow in faith without a consistent time alone with God in His Word.

Spiritual training involves developing a strong prayer life. We must learn how to stay in touch with God at all times, how to keep God involved in our daily routines. We need to learn how to stay God conscious as we go about our daily business. Spiritual training involves putting into practice what we learn and sharing it with others. We will not retain much knowledge if we don't put it to the test and live it.

Be smart and use your time wisely and constructively. Don't get into wasteful arguments. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Only those who are spiritual fit are able to handle whatever comes their way. Only the spiritually fit are assured of their going to heaven when they die.

Friday, May 20, 2016


I Tim. 4:1-2 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead.

They are everywhere. They are leaders in the church. They are teachers in the classroom. They are influential people in the church and community. They are people who have turned away from the truth. It is easy to put on a front and convince people that you are for real. It is easy to even convince ourselves that we are okay when we are not grounded in the Word.

People turn away from the truth for varied reasons. One of the main reasons why I think people wander away is that they grow complacent and fail to maintain godly disciplines. They stop growing, become stagnant and open themselves up to all kinds of wrong thinking. Most people don’t intentionally set out to be false teachers, but because they don’t intentionally pursue God and stay in His Word, they become false teachers.

Many stray from the truth because they believe the lie that what goes on in the darkness is better than what goes on in the light. They stay in the dark also because they know deep down inside their souls that if they came out of the darkness they would be found guilty of sin and held accountable for it.

We are very susceptible to following false teachers because we ourselves are not good students of the Word. We let others do our thinking for us. We don’t verify for ourselves that what we hear is true to God’s Word. We don’t like a way of life that involves changing so we gravitate to those who don’t proclaim it's necessity. We want an easy road to heaven and love to listen to those who promise it. We like our comfortable living and want to hear how God makes us more comfortable. We want heaven’s blessings without it costing us anything. We like it when people tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear.

Guard your soul. Be a diligent student of God’s Word. Think for yourself about what the Word teaches with an open heart before God. Ask Him to make it clear to you what He is saying. Be sure you sincerely want to know what God is saying. If God confirms what you hear in His Word, then fine. If not, listen to God and not man.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I Tim. 3:14-15 I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I can't come for a while, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and support of the truth.

Paul had a real love for the church. He longed for people to live righteously in the church. He wanted people to know that was true for our individual lives also applied to our church life. We are obligated before God to conduct ourselves in the church in a manner that was pleasing and acceptable to God.

Sadly, we fall so far short of living up to the standards of God in the church like we should. When we get together with other Christians, we can favor some over others. We can be critical of the opinions of each other. We can let pride rear her ugly head and think of ourselves as better than others, or better than we really are. We can ignore those we have problems with. We can let self-righteousness isolate some in the church. We can gossip about others. The church ought to be a loving and caring community of believers, but so often it's something else entirely.

Paul reminds us that the church is not ours; it's God's. We dare not forget that Christ is the head of her, not us. The church is God's chosen body to uphold the truth of the Gospel. She is given the responsibility to support the Gospel message and by example live it out. When we don't practice in the church what we preach in the church, the world will ignore us, and rightly so.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I Tim. 3:6-7 An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. Also, people outside of the church must speak well of him so that he will not fall into the Devil’s trap and be disgraced.

It is so tempting to put people into places of service before they are ready for it. In many, many churches there is a shortage of good leadership. Many churches find it hard to find people who are willing or able to be a part of the leadership of the church, so what they often do is put people in place who are relatively new in the faith. Elders are elected who have not yet been tested in the fires of life. Many elders have not yet been developed in their Biblical thinking to the point where they can make Biblical decisions about matters that come up in the church. Many elders are still immature in their faith and are unable to humbly handle being in a position of leadership. Many stumble and fall because they just aren’t ready to be put into such a role.

It is important to always examine the life of a church leader. There must be evidence outside the church that elders are walking the walk. It should be evident that elders are real in their profession of faith. And, those outside the church are the ones who really know whether or not one’s faith is real. It is easy to be godly in a church setting where everyone is godly (or at least pretend to be).

When a church leader stumbles and falls because he was not ready to lead, the cause of Christ is damaged. It is fuel for the fire for those who are not believers. It gives many non-believers cause to judge believers as being hypocrites. It keeps many away from the church.

If you are in a church leadership position, you need to be on your knees daily. You need to be in the Word, learning and growing in Christ. You need to always strive to have a humble heart before God and man. You should hold yourself accountable before your church family for how you are walking with Christ and your church family should hold you accountable for it. In fact, I believe it would be good if you were to ask your church family to hold you accountable for your prayer life, Bible study times and service to the Lord. It would also be good to withhold participation in passing judgment on others if you know in your heart things are not right between you and the Lord. Integrity and humility are key parts of being a church leader.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I Tim. 3:2 For an elder must be a man whose life cannot be spoken against. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home and must be able to teach.

There are many reasons why the church selects people to lead them, and many of them have nothing to do with God’s standards for election. We select people on the basis of personality, power, position in life, family connections, etc. Most of the time spiritual maturity is not the main factor in why certain people are selected to serve in the church.

An elder is a leader in the church. He is one who shows in-depth spiritual qualities. His life is consistent with his profession of faith. He is one who is known for his godliness. He is not hypocritical, but consistently applies Biblical truth to his living within the church and community in which he lives. An elder has high moral standards. He is loyal always to his wife and does not waver in his love and commitment to her. An elder displays spiritual fruit in his life. He is not hot-headed. He has control of his emotions and does not react before thinking. He is not foolish in the way he lives, knowing the value of time and using it wisely. He takes an interest in others and is not reluctant to entertain them in his home. He is mature enough in faith that he is able to teach others.

The church that takes the spiritual maturity of her leaders seriously is a church that grows spiritually. There will be strong emphasis on Biblical teaching and making disciples. She is a church that holds her leaders accountable for godly living. She is a church blessed by God.

Monday, May 16, 2016


I Tim. 2:6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time..

Jesus did not die for just a select few. He died for everyone who would believe in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. Salvation has no limitations or favorites. Anyone anywhere and at any time can be saved. We must never assume anything about anyone's soul. The power of Christ to save the worst sinner on earth is more than sufficient to save him.

We should pray for those who aren't saved. Pray that their hearts will be made tender, that they will have ears to hear the voice of God. Pray that the Lord will send messengers to them with the message. Pray with faith believing in their salvation at the proper time for their souls. Pray without ceasing, knowing that the Lord is faithful and will do all He can to bring them to salvation. Pray knowing that the Lord is not willing that anyone would leave this life without salvation. Pray that we will have the same compassion of our Lord for lost souls, whether we know them personally or not.

How many lost souls are on your heart's prayer list? If you don't have a list, ask the Lord to lay some soul on your heart. No one will be saved without the work of the Spirit on their heart and it is prayer that moves the Spirit to act.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


I Tim. 2:5 For there is only one God and mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus.

There is only one who is worthy enough to approach God on his own merit. There is only one who can keep God's holy wrath in check. There is only one who can make us presentable and acceptable to God. He is Jesus. Without Jesus as our mediator, no one would escape God's wrath and judgment. No one would make it to heaven when they die. No one.

Our only hope before God is Jesus. We cannot by-pass the cross and make it to God. Jesus alone is our righteousness and holiness before God. If you are trying to make it to God any other way, you will die in your sins. You can never be good enough or do enough to make yourself acceptable to God. We are saved from God's wrath only through the shed blood of Christ on Calvary.

Only Jesus is qualified to be our mediator before God. He alone faced life's many temptations and yet never sinned in thought or deed. Only Jesus is good enough to make it to heaven on his own merit.

A mediator is one who stands between two parties who have a problem between them and tries to help them resolve their issues in a peaceful and acceptable way. God and man have a huge problem, it's called sin. God is holy and His holiness demands that sin be judged and cast away from Him. There is zero tolerance on God's part regarding sin. Man is sinful to the core. He is born that way. God and sinful man are enemies. Even though God loves man, He cannot accept man because of his sin. Jesus came to be our Savior and mediator. His death on the cross made it possible for God to accept us as His own. Because of Jesus' sinless life he was able to take our sins upon himself and cast them into the depths of hell where they belong. He rose from the grave as our sinless sacrifice and went back to heaven with the power to forgive us when we confess our sins to Him. He stands between God and us and makes it possible for us to have peace with God. He alone is able to keep God's wrath from falling upon our souls and condemning us to hell. For God so loved us that He gave us His Son to die for our sins and be our mediator forever and ever.

Thank you, Jesus, for what you have and are continuing to do for us to rid us of our sins and make us acceptable to God.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


I Tim. 2:1-2 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.

No one is beyond the reach of need for prayer. We should never buy into the notion that some people are too far gone to pray for. The Lord can change anyone, no matter how bad they may appear to be. No one will be saved apart from the work of Christ and Christ works in response to our prayers.

When you do pray for others, pray for God's mercy. No one deserves to be spared God's wrath, but all who are in Christ are spared. Pray that others will share the mercy of God with you. Pray that they will respond to God's mercy and seek Him.

Give thanks to the Lord when you are praying. Thank Him for all that He has done for you and thank Him for His love for those whom you are praying. Thank Him in advance for what He is going to do in their lives. Thank Him for the privilege of being chosen to pray for them.

When you pray, remember those who are in authority over you. The more authority a person has, the more need He has for prayer. Pray for both your civic and spiritual leaders. Anyone can misuse his power and authority. Anyone can abuse their authority and take advantage of others whom they have power over. Pray that the Lord will keep them in line so they will not let their sinful natures lead them into a misuse of their power and authority. Pray that they will understand that they are accountable to God for how they exercise their power and authority.

Prayer works and when we pray for others, we are much more likely to live in peace and quietness. Our failure to pray opens the door up to all kinds of evil and we have no one to blame but ourselves when it happens. We can do something about the world around us; we can pray.

Friday, May 13, 2016


I Tim. 1: 19 Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.

Far too many of us struggle spiritually unnecessarily. It's our own fault, really. We are prone to not hang on too tightly to our faith. We want the Lord to be there for us to bail us out when we need Him, but prefer to do our own thing as much as possible. We like the benefits, but not the discipline. We want what the world offers as much as we do what the Lord offers. We want to enjoy our lives with as little demand on us as possible. We get wrapped up in the world and often let it dull our senses of what is right and wrong from God's perspective. Many have no problem with ignoring their consciences so they can enjoy the momentary pleasures of sin.

The result of such a lack of concern about the faith often causes people to make a real mess of their lives. They have nothing solid upon which to stand on. They are often confused about God and listen to those who are false teachers and those who even question He is real. They get to the point where their faith is shipwrecked, sometimes to the point of no return.

The only way to stay the course of faith is to cling tightly to Christ. We must never take our focus off of Him. We must pursue our relationship with the Lord passionately. We must refuse to let anyone or anything shake our confidence in Him. We must lock in on the Lord as if our life depends on it, because it does. Cling tightly to your faith in Christ. Dig deeply into the Word of God. Wear out your knees in prayer. Cling tightly to your faith, even when it makes no sense at all to you. Cling tightly and never let go and great will be your reward in heaven.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


I Tim. 1: 15-16 This a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they too, can believe and receive eternal life.

There was no other reason why Jesus came into the world; He came to save sinners, you and I. We must never take this lightly. Jesus loves us and came to save us from certain life in eternal hell. This marvelous truth should so captivate our thoughts that we are driven to our knees in gratitude and worship our wondrous Savior and Lord.

I don't know how you perceived yourself before you came to Christ. Paul saw himself as the worst of sinners. No matter how good of a person we thought we were, without Christ we were in the same boat as Paul. We were sinners underserving of God's love and favor. Like Paul, we ought to be amazed at the fact that Jesus bothered with us. Our sins made us enemies of God and deserving of His wrath. You without Christ were the worst you have ever been. Whether you were the best or worst of sinners, you were still an enemy of God, undeserving of God's forgiveness and mercy.

Jesus saves us so that we can tell others this simple truth: "If God can save me, He can save you, too." We each have a story of redemption to tell. We ought to be telling it over and over again. No one is beyond God forgiveness. God is patient with the lost and anyone who is willing can be saved. Our lives are a living testimony of what God can do.

Praise God for His marvelous patience, mercy and love! Redeemed! Shout it from the rooftop to all who will listen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I Tim. 1:4 Don't let people waste time in endless speculation over myths and spiritual pedigrees. For these things only cause arguments, they don't help people live a life of faith in God.

How much time is wasted over arguing over things that really don't matter? Probably a lot. We sometimes get into some interesting "discussions" that end up doing nothing more than cause hard feelings that sometimes results in broken fellowship that is never quite restored. How sad!! We need to be careful about what issues we choose to get defensive over. As much as we would like to think otherwise, our opinions really don't matter all that much. What does matter are those things which help us and others to grow in faith.

We need to focus our attention on things that edify the soul and the source of those things is the Word of God. The Word of God should never be argued over. We can have different understandings on interpretations and applications, but they should NEVER be allowed to sever relationships in the body of Christ. We should agree to disagree agreeably on our different understandings and move on to how we can help each other grow in faith.

If we truly love each other as God loves us, we will work very hard to live peaceably with each other and work together for our common good and Christ's glory on earth. Loving each other ought to disarm those things which divide us. As long as Christ is the focus of our faith and we rally around the cross, we should accept one another as brothers and sisters in Him and help each other become a holy people, a people after God's own heart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


II Thess. 3:10-11 Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: "Whoever does not work should not eat." Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people's business.

Paul is chiding the church because there were some lazy people in the church and they were causing some problems. These people had way too much time on their hands and were sticking their noses into other people's business. They were not working to take care of their daily needs but were instead relying on others to take care of them. They were like a lot of people today, they had no problem being a burden to others.

Paul did not put up with such people. His message was very clear, "Whoever does not work should not eat." God helps those who try to help themselves, but He does not honor laziness. Unless there is some obvious justifiable reason for a person not to work, the church should not support them. When the church, society, or an individual supports those who are too lazy to work, they become enablers and a part of the problem and not the solution.

Laziness is a heart issue and through the Scriptures God puts people to work. Nowhere will you find God encouraging lazy people to continue in their ways. Part of the problem so many people have is that they make up their minds to not work to meet their basic needs in life. They rely on the church or the government to take care of them.

Idleness and laziness breeds sinfulness. So often when such people mingle in society, they find criminal and immoral things to do in order to survive. They take advantage of the generosity of others and have no qualms about doing so.

Do what is right before God and work hard. Don't be a busybody and meddle in other people's lives. Work to meet your own needs and the needs of your family.

Monday, May 9, 2016


II Thess. 3:6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stay away from any Christian who lives in idleness and doesn't follow the tradition of hard work we gave you.

Sounds kind of harsh doesn't it? Paul is telling us to stay away from lazy Christians. Why? A couple of things come to my mind. One thing that hanging around with lazy people does for us is that it encourages us to become lazy as well. When we are lazy, it encourages those who follow us to become lazy also. There simply is no room in Christian living for laziness. Staying spiritually sharp and productive is hard work. Idleness causes us to neglect those things we must be doing in order to stay close to the Lord.

Another thing that idleness does is it hinders the work of the Gospel. We are mandated to go and tell, not sit and wait. We are to stand on the promises and not sit on the premises. We are to be aggressive witnesses, not idle worshipers. The world will not come to us wanting the Gospel message. We must go to them and try to create a thirst for it.

The way most of us engage ourselves in the life of the church tends to make us lazy. We pay others to lead us in worship. We like to sit back and let others lead. While it is necessary to have leaders, it easily allows us to do nothing. We enjoy and appreciate what others do, but as long as they are doing what they do, we get the idea we don't have to become engaged. We become spectators instead of worshipers and servants. Is it any wonder many of us have become soft and unable to be productive servants of the Lord?

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, work for the night is coming in which no more work on earth will be done. Today is our day of opportunity to bring Christ to the world. Don't blow it because you are too lazy to seize it

Sunday, May 8, 2016


II Thess. 2:15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on everything we taught you both in person and by letter.

Paul had been reminding the church that the Lord is coming back to right the wrong. Judgment is coming on the earth against those who reject God and His Word. It is going to happen and Paul reminds them here to stand firm and hang on tight to the Lord and His ways. There are times in which it means we desperately hang on. Doubts, discouragements, defeats, disillusionments, and despair are all part of life. We must never stop hanging on, no matter what comes our way. Eternity is at stake.

We live in a very unstable and unsteady world. People are lost and are staggering around trying to find some semblance of meaning and purpose to their lives. People are grasping for whatever their depraved minds tells them will bring them a sense of pleasure and enjoyment in their desperate lives. People everywhere are without hope and are seeking whatever reason they can find to keep on living.

Stand firm on the solid foundation of God's Word. Trust in what God says. Live diligently by its precepts. It is the only truth there is in the world. Don't listen to the opinions of man or trust what they say. Listen to God and what He says.

Keep a strong grip on everything you have been taught from God. Don't let go of what you know is from God. He will never lead you astray. He will always tell you what you need to know. His only desire for you is that which is good for your soul. We live in a very perilous time and it is imperative that we cling tightly to the Lord.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


II Thess. 1:11 And so we keep on praying for you, that our God will make you worthy of the life to which he called you. And we pray that God, by his power, will fulfill all your good intentions and faithful deeds.

Are you worthy of eternal life? In order to be worthy of eternal life, we must be living holy lives. We must be striving to stay away from sinning against God. We must be living to the best of our ability by the Word of God. We must not cater to sin and those who live in it. We must be living always in a state of readiness for Christ's return.

Notice that it is God who makes us worthy. It is the work of God in us that makes us fit for heaven. The Holy Spirit is constantly molding and shaping us into a people after God's own heart. It is the Spirit who is constantly teaching us new things to apply to our lives to make us more holy. It is God's expectation of us to be holy and He is working to make it happen as long as we let Him. However, He will not make us into who we have no desire of being. We must love Him enough to want to be a holy people and we must trust in His work to make it happen.

It behooves us to pray and ask the Lord to do His work in us. Our greatest need is to be holy before God. Without holiness, we shall not see God. We must be open to the Lord having His way with us. Our sinful nature wants to resist the changes God needs to make in us. We must pray faithfully and sincerely that we will let the Lord have His way with us. We will then find that what we intend to do and what we do will line up with God's will and be pleasing and holy before Him.

He has the power to make us worthy of life in Christ. The question is, "Will we let Him?"

Friday, May 6, 2016


II Thess. 1:7-8 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaiming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

There is coming a certain rest for God's children. No matter how bad things may be for us here on earth, Jesus is coming to take us out of it all and put us in a place of eternal rest. Jesus is coming for us and when He comes, there will be no doubt about it.

Paul is referring here to God's final judgment on earth after the tribulation period has ended. There is coming a time when the church will no longer be on earth to hold back evil. During those days there will be great persecution against those who choose to trust in God. There will be a massive rejection of God and an embracing of evil. Instead of following God, people will be following the Antichrist. This turning away will last for seven years and then God will bring to a close the reign of evil on earth.

He is coming with the hosts of heaven, in flaming fire, to bring judgment on those who have rejected God and those who have chosen to not obey God's Word. Everyone makes choices daily as whether or not they will let God be in their life. Everyone makes daily choices as to whether or not to live by God's rules or not. God has given everyone ample knowledge of right and wrong so that no one will have any leg to stand on when God's judgment falls on them.

If you choose to ignore God and His Word, you can be assured that you will come under God's judgment. God will wait only so long for you to change your ways and let Him be your Savior and Lord. Don't mess with God because you will lose.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I Thess. 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that holiness is my passion. I cannot read God's Word without seeing God's holiness everywhere. He is holy and commands us to be holy. No one will be in heaven who is not holy in heart. In heaven there is perfect holiness.

It is my heart's desire that everyone reading this today will be made holy in every way. I long to see God's children live like they are holy. I long to hear things coming from their mouths things that would not make me question their holiness. I long to see them treat others out of holy love. I long to see people in the church be a people who truly after God's own heart.

Sadly, it is common amongst us to see those who are not blameless. We often let down our guards and fall into sin. It is not unusual for us to see church leaders make the news because they have failed to live up to their profession of godliness. Moral failure is everywhere. Actions and attitudes often betray our witness. We don't live blameless lives like we should. We will never be perfectly blameless on earth, but we certainly can come a whole lot closer to it than we normally do.

Jesus is coming back for His church and we should be striving to be found blameless when He comes. How can we do that? By our own willpower and strength, we can't. The only way we will be found blameless before God when Jesus comes is for us to live daily, moment-by-moment in Christ. We must invest our time and energy into living holy lives. We must adequately feed our souls and spend time alone with Him consistently. We must live humbly and obediently before Him. We must always strive to let the Lord have His way in us and with us. God is faithful and will keep us blameless if we do our part and remain faithful to our pursuit of holiness in Him.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



I Thess. 5:22 Keep away from every kind of evil.

Let's be honest with ourselves today. We don't do the best of jobs with staying away from evil things. We know we can't avoid it entirely because we live in an evil world. But, how hard do we really try? Do we deliberately not go where we know there will be sinful activities? Do we not linger and watch what we know to be sinful? Do we avoid evil conversations (talk laced with bad language, sexual overtones, gossip, etc.)? Do we entertain ourselves with stuff that we know are not good for our souls? We must take responsibility for protecting our souls and minds from evil if we want to stay pure in God's eyes. Our failure to do so boils down to the will. We can do it, if we want to do it. The next time you are in the presence of evil, pause to ask yourself if you would linger there if Jesus were physically standing beside you. And remember, although He may not be with you physically, He is there with you. He sees all and knows all, including your deepest thoughts and motives.

We will stumble and fall down, but we can control a lot of our stumbling and falling. All we have to do is say no to the evil we are confronted with in our lives. We can stay away from those things and places that would lead us into temptation. We are responsible for protecting our souls from evil. How well are you doing? You have no one to blame but yourself when you sin. And, God will blame no one but you when you sin.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


I Thess. 5:20-21 Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

Prophecies are not limited to just the end times. They include anything God reveals about the future. Many predictions are made in the name of God about life. Unless they are clearly verified by God's Word, accept them with extreme caution. God only speaks from the context of His Word. He never says anything that contradicts or conflicts with His Word. Never. Therefore, be discerning about what you believe about the future. Test what you hear in light of God's Word. If His Word is in agreement, then you have reason to believe it is true. So many of us are way too quick to accept and believe what we hear simply because someone who is supposed to know what he is talking about says it. Examine everything you hear in light of what God has already said.

What you already know for sure God has said is both true and good. Do not let Satan confuse you about it. Don't doubt God's Word, no matter how convincing someone's words may be. All Scripture comes directly from the mind and heart of God. It is absolutely true in everything it says from beginning to end. Unless you stand on that truth, you will be led astray. It is very important that we understand this, especially in these days, because we live amongst so many smooth talkers and people who have personality plus. If we are not careful, we get caught up by the messenger instead of the message.

Prophecies are anything that speak of what God is going to do. Pay attention to them, but always put them to the test of God's Word. Be wary of anyone who adds to or takes away from what God has already said. God never contradicts himself. Hold on to that which is true and good. Let it guide your living.

Monday, May 2, 2016


I Thess. 5:19-22 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil.

We stifle the Holy Spirit whenever we do not hear or listen to what He is saying to us. He speaks to us mainly through the Word of God and there are so many different ways we fail to hear Him speak as we read it. We often read it with our minds already made up as to what it says, instead of just reading it for understanding of what is being said. We do not set aside quiet time when we read it so we can hear the Spirit speak. We do not read enough of it to get a sense of what is being said. We do not read it with our minds engaged. We do not read it with the idea that we can learn new things. We don't read it knowing we need to hear from God.

We stifle the Spirit when we shut out the Word being proclaimed. We sometimes hear the Word proclaimed and do not evaluate it in light of the Word. Instead of thinking over a text for ourselves, we blindly accept what others say about it. We need to put everything we hear to the test of God's Word before we accept it. In order to do that, we must engage our minds when the Word is being spoken.

We need to hold on to that which is good and discard that which is not. If we hear the Word being spoken, we take that which is good and discard that which is not good. Just because someone may say it is true, doesn't make it true.

We are to keep away from every kind of evil. In our minds there should be a warning sign in front of evil when we encounter it. WARNING: DANGER AHEAD. DO NOT GO ANY CLOSER. IT IS DEADLY TO YOUR SOUL. We dare not take evil lightly. Stay away from it for the health of your soul.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


I Thess. 5:19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.

To stifle is to hinder. Do not hinder the Holy Spirit in what He wants to do in your life and through it. He wants first and foremost to connect you on a deeper level to God. He wants to lead you into holiness of living. No one can hinder Him from getting it done but you.

The Spirit wants to lead you to a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. You will hinder Him when you don't open up the Word and meditate upon it. You must be still in His presence and listen to what He is saying to you as you read it. You must be willing to embrace it as He reveals it to you.

You hinder the Spirit when you put off until tomorrow what you can do for Christ today. You hinder the Spirit when you insist on carrying out your own agenda instead of the one He gives you. You hinder the Spirit when you keep your faith to yourself and don't let it influence how you live in the world. You hinder the Spirit when you wrestle with Him over control of your life. You hinder the Spirit when you don't take advantage of the workings of His power in you. You hinder the Spirit when you take for granted what Christ has done for you and live as if it was a thing of the past instead of the present. You hinder the Spirit when you waste your opportunities to be a witness for Christ. You hinder the Spirit when you treat prayer as an option instead of a necessity in your life.

When you stifle the Spirit, you are robbing God of his rightful place in your life. You are treating God with contempt. You are denying Him lordship over you. You are stifling your fellowhip with God. And, without fellowship, there is no fruitfulness. And without fruitfulness there is no joyfulness and thanksgiving. Without joyfulness and thanksgiving faith is dead.