Sunday, July 31, 2016


Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

We are surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith. We are not alone in our faith. Everywhere you are, there are fellow believers. Don't let Satan convince you otherwise. Some people don't wear their faith well and are harder to identify, but they are there. There are people around you who understand your faith struggles and issues. There are those nearby who love the Lord like you do. If you are down because you think you are all alone, ask the Lord to show you those who are His.

We are constantly being overloaded by things that weigh us down and impede our progress. Sometimes we are the ones who create the load and sometimes we let others do it to us. There are many things that we carry around needlessly. The things that jump out at me are: the worries of this world, the quest for prominence and success in this world, the drive to please people, the drive for earthly comforts--both now and when we retire, and the sins we hang onto. Whatever it is that is slowing us down in our walk of faith, we must rid ourselves of it, especially the sin that we let hang over our souls. Sin is a powerful deterrent to spiritual progress. It keeps us away from the heart of God. The more sin we allow to hang around, the farther away from God we become and the harder it becomes for us to live in God.

We are running a marathon and not a sprint. In order to endure the race, we must be in good shape spiritually. Sin is excessive baggage that will prevent us from finishing well the race set before us. It robs us of our vitality and prevents us from enjoying the race. If you have unresolved sin issues in your life, you must deal with them if you are going to finish the race.

Whatever it is that may be weighing you down spiritually, get rid of it today. The Lord will set you free from them if you will let Him, and you will be so free that will feel like you are soaring like the eagles.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Heb. 11:17-18 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God's promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, although God had promised him, "Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted."

The faith that Abraham lived was one of absolute commitment, trust, and confidence in God. God promised Abraham that Isaac was going to be the one that God was going to use to keep His promise to him of a nation of people too numerous to count who would possess the land of Israel. Abraham believed God explicitly. He knew it was going to happen. He knew Isaac was going to be the beginning of the fulfillment of God's promise.

Yet, God tested Abraham's belief. He demanded that he take Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and offer him up there as a sacrifice before God. Abraham had no clue as to what God was up to. From all outward appearances it would seem like God had changed His mind and had other plans to fulfill His promise. Yet, Abraham knew in his heart that God would keep His word. He absolutely trusted God's character and knew He would fulfill His promise through Isaac. Abraham did not know how God would do it, all he knew was that He would. Abraham was willing to obey God explicitly. Not only would Isaac die, but as far as he knew, so would the fulfillment of God's promise. Abraham did not waver in his knowledge of God's trustworthiness and faithfulness. God would keep His word.

What an awesome challenge for our faith today! Do we know God well enough to trust Him no matter what appears to be going on around us? Do we have an absolute confidence in God's character that enables us to live without doubting His promises to us? Are we absolutely committed to God?

When we fail to believe and trust in God absolutely, we are in essence casting doubt on who He is. True faith is that which is grounded in the perfect holiness of God's character. It is knowing that God is absolute Truth and He will always be true in all He says. The test of your faith is how you live out what you know to be true. Does your living back up what your belief in God? Do you have an unshakeable trust in God?

Friday, July 29, 2016


Heb. 11:6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

There are many, many people today who try to please God without faith in Christ. They are willing to confess belief in God, but not in Christ as the way to God. They strive to be good people and convince themselves that it is enough in order to be accepted by God. Some will profess to believe in Jesus but their belief in Him is nothing more than lip service. They do not entrust themselves to Him for salvation and strive to make it to heaven on their own.

It is impossible to please God apart from a living faith in Christ because Jesus is the only one who truly pleases God. Jesus perfectly obeyed God and offered himself up as the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus alone is the glory of God personified. There is no way to please God outside of the righteousness and holiness of Christ which He bestows on those who trust Him to be their Savior.

It is not enough to believe there is God; we must believe in God’s way to eternal life. Anyone can make it to heaven if they believe in their heart that God has made himself known to man through the life of Jesus and trusts in Him to be his Savior. Jesus rewards all who come to Him for the forgiveness of their sins with eternal life. There is no other way that God is going to be pleased with you and accept you as His child.

Not only must we have saving faith, we must have living faith. Saving faith translates into living faith for those who have sincere hearts. We live lives that are consistent with our salvation. We allow the Lord to continuously change us and teach us new things. We grow into holiness of life as we live out our faith. If you are not growing, you are not going to heaven when you die. Life begets life. If you are alive in Christ you will produce evidence of it in your life. Faith without works is dead. There is no life in those who do not show evidence of it in their lives.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Heb. 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot see.

How much confidence do you have in the Lord's ability to bring to pass what He has promised? Do you act like it's a done deal, or do you act like maybe it won't happen? The Lord often speaks to us through His Word about what He intends to do. He will speak to us through the voice of His Spirit disclosing His intentions for us. He will sometimes use other people to give us direction. The Lord gives us hope in our times of discouragement and despair knowing that we need a fresh voice from God. He spurs us on with His promises when we need help to keep on moving forward.

Often we need help to keep the faith. We need help to stay focused on the workings of the Lord in our lives. We cannot see God and often fail to see what He is doing. We need God's testimonies of what He is doing. We need to hear how God is living amongst us so we can open our eyes to see it happening. Faith is rooted in our awareness of God and His activities. It is letting God involve us in them. It is going beyond what we see and putting our trust and confidence in God's plan for us. It is living in the certainty that God is true to His word and will bring to pass what He has promised.

Is your faith rooted in God, someone else, or yourself? Only God is trustworthy. He alone is able to deliver on His word. He alone is able to tell it like it is without the possibility of err. He alone is able to know the beginning from the end and work all things out accordingly. He alone knows what we need and lovingly supplies it out of the richness of His love and grace for us.

Blessed is he who has a faith deeply rooted in God.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Heb. 10:35-36 Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

When the going gets tough, so many of us get going---in the wrong direction. We don't like the tough times of life and rather than face them with confidence and boldness in faith, we flee from them. We try to avoid tough times. We don't like confrontation and are prone to cower away when backed into a corner. When it makes things easier on us we are prone not to express our faith in Christ. We tend to speak out only when we know that it will be well-received by the company we are in. We act sometimes like we are ashamed of the fact we are children of God.

We are reminded in today's verses that we should never be this way. We are going to face troubles in this life, but we should face them with our eyes fixed on Christ and not our troubles. We should always strive to please Him and represent Him well no matter what happens. What is important is what is before us and not what is around us. We can deal with whatever we encounter in life with confidence and boldness when we are centered in Christ.

When we face difficult circumstances in life we need to pray for patient endurance so that we will not waver or back down in our confidence in Christ or witness for Him.. We need God's help if we are to remain faithful to Him in all things. Daily ask Him for whatever it takes for you to remain strong in Him and be a strong witness for Him. He has promised great rewards for us who are faithful to the end doing His will for our lives.

May the Lord find you faithful today. May we be as faithful to Him as He is to us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Heb. 10:26-27 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover those sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.

We must always let the Word speak for itself. It is a dangerous practice to fit it into our theology and make it say what we want it to say. Let us hear what the Word says to us today. A key word in our understanding of these verses is the word if. This is a conditional state. The consequences of our abandonment of faith are severe.

If we DELIBERATELY continue sinning after we know better, we are in deep trouble with God. Deliberate speaks of intent. Deliberately sinning is not done accidently, but on purpose. It is a determined way of life. It is true of those who have a cheap concept of grace. The thought is that once we are saved we are not going to be punished for sin so it doesn’t matter whether or not we sin. It is taking lightly God’s hatred for sin and abusing His grace. It is essentially saying that Jesus’ dying for our sins wasn’t that big of a deal; it doesn’t affect the way we live.

Receiving the full knowledge of the truth can be interpreted to mean just intellectual knowledge or heart and mind knowledge. I will let others determine that. What matters is the attitude of the heart towards sin. There is no saving grace for those who determine in their hearts to live a sinful life. Sinful conduct breeds sinful consequences. God will never condone sin or excuse it. Sin in the heart will be punished. A sin-infested heart will not enter into heaven. The reality of it is God will condemn all who insist on living in sin and not grace.

Saving grace changes the attitude we have towards sin. We no longer can tolerate living in it. We strive to overcome it. We seek God’s continuous help in identifying it and ridding ourselves of it. Godliness becomes our way of life instead of sinfulness.

How do you feel about sin? Does it bother you when you do it? Are you deliberately striving to not sin? Are you more concerned about your soul’s standing before God than you are the pleasures of sin? When we deliberately sin against God, it is showing God great disrespect. It is abusing His wondrous grace.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Heb. 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back is drawing near.

I cringe when I hear of people who profess faith in Christ and seek to justify staying away from the fellowship of God’s people in worship. I know how bad churches can be. I know the hurts that are inflicted by church people on each other. I know that church life can be detrimental to one’s mental and emotional health. I understand how avoiding the church can seem like a good idea at times. The church is made up of sinners and sometimes it really shows.

However, I believe it is very damaging to the soul to totally dismiss church life because of the actions of people. There is an ample supply of churches available to us so that we can find a church where we can worship the Lord without strife. And if the only church available to us is full of problems, we can still worship amongst God’s people without participating in the strife.

Neglecting the church because of the actions of some of her people is not a good solution to the problem. We need the fellowship of the church. We need to know that we are not alone in our walk with the Lord. We need to know that other people are hearing the Gospel message and identify with it just like we do, even if they don’t live it. We need to come underneath the spoken Word. We need to be in an environment where we will hold ourselves accountable for how we live out our faith. We need to be around a people who encourage us in our faith and spur us on to greater faith. We need to be where we are warned about what happens when we get careless and even neglect our faith. We need to be challenged by others to stay connected to the Lord through prayer and the reading of the Word.

The Lord is coming soon. No one knows how soon it will be, but He is coming for His church. It is imperative that we stay connected to the church through faithfully being a part of it so that when the Lord does come, we will be ready. It is very dangerous and damaging to the soul to let other people or things interfere with our need to be involved in the life of the church. We participate in church life because we love He who is the head of the church and because we need it for the sake of our souls.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Heb. 10:24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.

When was the last time you gave any thought at all to ways you can encourage others? Chances are this is not one of the things on your list of priorities to do. If we do encourage someone, it’s more of an accident than an intentional behavior. Let us take a few moments and think about this today.

First of all, who do you know that could use some encouragement today? Everyone needs it at various stages of life, so it shouldn’t be hard to come up with someone. Give a name to someone you know who could use some encouragement. Now, ask the Lord to give some ideas on how to best encourage them.

Perhaps you’re someone is going through some physical issue that is causing much anxiety for them. Perhaps there is anxiety over financial issues. Perhaps there are marital issues going on. Maybe there are relationship issues that need resolved. Maybe there is frustration and discouragement over a lack of success with goals being pursued in life. Perhaps your someone is being criticized and not being treated well by others. Whatever the issue, think about ways that you might be able to do good and lighten the load on their shoulders.

Sometimes just being a compassionate friend is enough. Sometimes words spoken help. Sometimes something we personally do is what is needed. Everyone needs to know that someone cares and is there to support them in their journey of life. You cannot truly say you love someone until you are willing to act it out.

Notice that we are to be encouragers to outbursts of love and good deeds. Outbursts are spontaneous reactions. When we are motivated lovers of Christ it generates outbursts of love and good deeds. When we purposely set out to encourage others, we will always find ways to do it. It should come naturally for us. We cannot truly love Christ and it not show in how we relate to one another.

The good news is that when you are an encourager, you will be encouraged by the love of others in your times of need for encouragement. Godly love is characterized by being encouragers. It is simply getting involved in each other’s lives and ministering to needs where needed. Don’t just talk love talk; live it out for the glory of Christ.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Heb. 10:23 Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Do you waver sometimes in your faith? Be honest. Are there times in which you question whether or not it’s all true or if it’s worth all the struggles? I believe it happens to all who live in faith. Because we cannot see or be with Christ physically in our daily walk, we are sometimes overwhelmed by life’s circumstances to the point where it is hard to hold onto our faith. In moments of weakness or weariness, we begin to wonder and perhaps wander. Today’s verse reminds us to hold on tight to our faith.

The journey can be very rough. Some of the faithful are persecuted to the point of death. Some are ridiculed and in the eyes of man made out to be fools. Whatever responses we may encounter or circumstances we may find ourselves in, we must hold on tight without wavering. What we know to be true in the light is always true in the dark. What is true when things are going well for us is true when the going gets rough. God is faithful and true always. He can be trusted to keep His promises to us regardless what life may bring our way. In sickness or health, in life or death, God is true and faithful. God’s Word is trustworthy. What He has spoken is backed up by who He is. Hang on tight to what you know to be true about God and what comes from Him.

If you are going through a time in which your faith is weakening, I urge you to go to the Word and remind your soul of who God is. Read what John says about Him in the Gospels and in his epistles. Read through the Psalms and hear what the Psalmists say about Him. Read the Gospels and meditate on Jesus and what He has to say about His relationship with God. Read the Word and let it refresh your soul.

God’s promise is that when we believe and not doubt our faith will be rewarded. He promises great victory for those who hang on tight with an unwavering confidence and hope in Him. God will deliver on His promise, so keep on keeping on in your trust in Him.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Heb. 10:19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.

We have no right to approach God’s throne apart from Christ. We have no merit to approach Him. We have no access to God apart from Jesus. God can tolerate only those who come to Him through Jesus. Because Jesus is our Savior, we can boldly approach God.

As His children, we do not have to fear approaching God. We need to fear Him, but not fear approaching Him. We must never lose our respect and reverence for God when we approach Him. He is holy God, and holds the fate of our souls in His hands.

As His children, we have the right to approach God. We have an open invitation to approach Him. Jesus shields us with His righteousness. We can boldly bring anything we desire to Him. We can be honest with Him about anything. We can vent our emotions before Him. We can share with Him everything on our hearts and minds. We might as well, He knows all about what we are thinking and feeling anyways.

We can boldly approach God because we know that He loves us and wants to help us. We know that He wants to take our burdens off our shoulders. We know that He wants to shower us with His goodness and bless our ways. We know that He wants to help us make our way home to Him. We know He wants to redeem the soul of every man. We know that He wants to pour love into our souls. We know He wants to heal us and make us whole. Knowing these things are true, let us therefore boldly enter into the presence of our God and dwell there until He calls us home.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Heb. 10:14 For by that offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy.

When Jesus offered himself on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins, something absolutely amazing took place; He perfected all those whom He is making holy. Being perfected is not the same thing as being perfect. No one on earth aside from Christ himself has ever been perfect. It is impossible for us to be perfect. We will never get to the point where we cannot be tempted and then fall into it. Being perfected means that we are completely saved when we come to Christ for our salvation. There is nothing else that can be done for us. Christ completely makes us presentable to God as His children. We are seen by God through the righteousness and holiness of Christ. We are fit for the Kingdom of God.

It is a mysterious and wondrous thing Christ has done for us. No one can fully grasp how amazing it is to be seen by God as perfectly fit to come into His presence. No one can fully grasp how a perfect God can tolerate a sinful man in His presence.

Those who are perfected are those whom Christ is making holy. This is an ongoing process that never stops. We are always being worked on. It is Christ’s mission to make us holy. We cannot have fellowship with Him if we are not letting Him make us holy. He will not change us against our will, but if we are willing, we do become a holy people. If we resist His work within us, we cannot claim to be His children. There is a definite working of God in us that causes us to change if we are indeed His children. We are permanently declared to be perfected when we let the Lord have His way in us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Heb. 9:27-28 And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

After we die, our fate is sealed. We will go before God in judgment. It will be the only time some will ever see God. If they have rejected Christ during their lives, His memory will be etched on their mind for all of eternity as they reap what they have sowed in the pits of hell. For some, it will be the beginning of an eternity in which they will see and enjoy God in all His holiness and glory for all eternity.

Death is the finality of life lived on earth. We die once and that is it. In the same way, Jesus died once. There was no need for Him to do anything else. His death on the cross was everything that needed to be done for our salvation. He perfectly satisfied God’s wrath and made it possible for sinful man to be united with God in oneness of heart and life. The door to heaven was opened up for all who come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins to enter in.

When Jesus comes again to earth, it will be to gather together all of His children and usher them through the door He opened to heaven where they will live forever.

Are you eagerly waiting for Him to come and gather together His children? Or, does the thought of it make you uneasy and frighten you? Jesus may come for you today; are you ready?

Monday, July 18, 2016


Heb. 9:22b Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.

Early in the life of the Israelites, God established a way for sinful man to deal with his sins. It involved the sacrificial offering of approved animals. Blood had to be sprinkled on the altar and around various parts of the Tabernacle. It was essential because God put the life of all living creatures in the blood. It is the most essential part of the body. It is what carries the oxygen throughout the body. If there is no blood flowing, there is no life.

In doing this, God prepared the way for the death of Christ for our sins. Life had to be given for life. Animal sacrifices had to be made often because they could only cover up the sins of the people, not do away with them. As long as the sacrifices were made, they would not be subject to God’s holy wrath. They were imperfect offerings that were acceptable until Jesus came. Jesus was the perfect offering. He lived life without sin and went to the cross as a perfectly righteous and holy sacrifice. His death was the perfect sacrifice and it is sufficient to take away the sins of all who come to Him for all time.

If Jesus had not died, we would still be lost in our sins. We would still be under the Law and have to offer animal sacrifices. But, Jesus did die, was buried and rose from the dead. He is seated in heaven at God’s right hand and ministers on our behalf before God our Father. Anyone who desires to be made right with God must first be made right with Christ. He must come to Christ acknowledging his sins, confess them to Christ and ask Him for forgiveness. Only then can God forgive us and adopt us into His heavenly family.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Heb. 7:26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has now been set apart from sinners, and he has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.

The high priest is he who stands before God on behalf of others and offers a sacrifice for their sins. Before the coming of Christ, the high priest was allowed to enter the most holy part of the temple to offer blood before God on first his own behalf, and then the people's. First for his own sins because he too was a sinner in need of forgiveness. Once his heart was pure he could then go to God for the people. It was the most sacred duty he had and he could only do it once a year. He had very strict procedures to follow, and if he didn't do it he would die.

Jesus did away with the high priestly role when he died for our sins because He became our high priest in heaven. He is holy and blameless having never sinned before God. He did not have to make atonement for His sins since He had none. His death was the ultimate sin sacrifice, sufficient to wash away the sins of all people for all time. His sacrifice was the perfect sacrifice sufficient to appease God's wrath against sin. He is now in heaven working to make holy all who give their hearts to Him, preparing them for heaven when they die.

He is now in heaven where there is no sin, standing before God on our behalf. He makes it possible for God to look upon us with favor and pleasure. He has the highest place of honor in heaven as He sits on God's right hand ministering there on our behalf. He is there as our advocate and intercessor for our souls.

He is worthy of all our adoration, worship and praise. Let us never take Him for granted and give Him on earth the honor and glory He deserves, even as He receives it in heaven.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Heb. 7:25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.

Never doubt the ability of Jesus to save you or anyone else who comes to Him for salvation. Anyone who wants a personal relationship with God can have it. Anyone who wants God on their side can have Him. All that anyone has to do is to come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. It is very easy to enter into a relationship with God, but one of the hardest things for anyone to do. Why? Because we don't want to lose control over our lives. Satan convinces us that if we let Jesus have control of our lives we will no longer be happy. We will no longer be free to do what we want. What Satan doesn't tell us is the truth. He is the father of all lies. He is incapable of telling the real truth.

Letting Jesus take control of our lives and being our Savior and Lord,, frees us from the self-destruction that happens when we live in sin. He frees us up so we can participate in and enjoy the blessings of eternal life instead of temporal life. He frees us up so we can make sense out of ourselves and life.

When we let Jesus take over, He becomes our defender before God. There is no one else who is worthy to approach God. He alone is able to move the heart of God. The Father, Son, and Spirit are all perfectly one. They are God. Therefore, when we let Jesus control us, we have God on our side. And, God is our protector and provider. He will take care of us and not allow harm to come our way. He will never look the other way when we come to Him with Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Jesus lives forever to plead with God on our behalf. He is never, ever, off-duty. There is never a moment in which Jesus is not before God on our behalf. He prevents God from, in His anger over sin, sending us into hell. Jesus alone is able to keep us from self-destruction. He alone is able to keep us right with God.

Make sure you never let Jesus out of your sight or shut the door of your heart on Him. He is the only hope you have for life in and with God.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Heb. 6:4-6 For it is impossible to restore to repentance those who were once enlightened--those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come--and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people to repentance again because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting him, holding him up to public shame.

There is much division within the church as to how these verses are to be best understood and applied to life. There are many Biblical scholars on both sides of the fence as to whether or not a true believer can forfeit his salvation. Taken at face value, these verses clearly teach that if he can, then it’s impossible for him to be brought back to repentance if he turns away from God. I will let those more knowledgeable than I am debate the issue.

What I want us to consider today is that this should never be an issue to be debated in the church. We should be spurring each other on to a deeper walk with the Lord at all times. We should be watching out for each other’s soul and caring enough for each other to bring to light those things which are not right before God. We should be praying for each other consistently. We should be holding each other accountable for the disciplines of faith. We should be mentoring each other so that the desire for God would not grow cold or go out. We should be so involved in each other’s lives that we will never want to stray from God.

If anyone’s love for Christ does die out, it’s because we have failed that soul. We have not lovingly embraced and nurtured that soul. We have not prayed for that soul as we ought. We have not done our part to draw that soul back into a loving fellowship with Christ.

There is no chance whatsoever of losing our salvation if we stay connected to Christ. It is a moot point if we are living obediently to Christ and taking responsibility to help others in each other’s walk. No one should ever be left alone to fend for themselves in spiritual matters. No one can stay connected to Christ without help from others. Surround yourself with godly people and embrace others in their faith. Together we will make it to heaven.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Heb. 6:1 So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.

How much do you know about the deeper things of faith? Are you knowledgeable about how to live a holy life? Do you know how to distinguish between truth and error? Are you knowledgeable about God’s history with man and His future plans for him? Are you keenly aware of what God calls sin and the consequences we face if we do sin against Him? Do you know enough about holiness to make you want to live in it? Are you able to handle whatever comes your way because you are well-grounded in the Word of God?

There is a great lack of maturity in the thinking of God’s children. There is a sad contentment with the minimal understanding of the Christian life. There is so much emphasis placed on salvation and little placed on growth in faith. Discipleship is not a priority in most Christians' lives. We put all our energy on evangelism and neglect the nurturing of the faith of those who are saved. Quantity trumps quality. We shy away from the training of the soul in righteousness.

It is not God’s will for you. God wants you to go deeper in grace. He wants you to grow in your ability to put into practice holiness of life. He wants to teach you greater truths and increase your understanding of His ways. He wants to make you into an effective servant. He wants to equip you so that you can be of help to others. He has much better plans for you than the elementary things of the faith. He has great blessings in store for you that are reserved for those with pure hearts before Him. God longs for you to become a victor over sin and not a victim to it.

Surround yourself with those who can help you on this journey of faith. Get close to those who will challenge you and inspire you to greater faith. Don’t settle for less when God wants you to have more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Heb. 5:14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong, and then do what is right.

Most believers are not good eaters. They are content on eating the bare minimum of spiritual food. They are content with not growing up. They tend to like being dependant on others. They don’t like to move beyond their comfort level. They acquire a taste for the bare essentials of the faith and are unwilling to try something else. Because they are content with where they are at, God withholds solid food from them. He does not force feed anyone and allows them to continue to act like babies if that is what they want to do.

However, to not grow up is contrary to nature. God created us to grow into maturity. His desire for us is to become adults in our thinking and living. He knows that only the mature are able to live righteously before Him. He knows that only the mature will survive the tests of faith they are sure to encounter. He knows that only the mature are going to be able to ready for the day of His return.

Becoming mature in faith requires proper training. It involves commitment, sacrifice and perseverance on our part. It requires us to consistently be exploring new truths to feast on in His Word. It requires us to spend quality time in prayer, feasting on His presence. It requires us to train our ears to hear God when He speaks. It requires us to willingly put into practice the things the Lord teaches us.

The more we feast on the spiritual food God provides for us, the more food He provides for us. He constantly gives new food to try for those who are mature in faith. And the more food we try from His hand, the stronger we grow in faith. Blessed are those who have an insatiable appetite for those things which make the soul grow into holiness of life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Heb. 5:13 And a person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't now much about doing what is right.

In the previous verse, we are told to grow up in the faith. There were many in the church who were spiritual babies who should have been spiritual adults. These people did not understand the deeper things of faith and had to be spoon fed. Their faith should have shown signs of maturity, but they were far from it.

There are many repercussions with a child of God who never grows up. Not only does it affect his own living, it affects those people who could benefit much from a much more mature friend. Immature Christians often give Christianity, and thus Christ, a black eye. They say and do things that are not honorable before God or man. They often influence others to follow in their footsteps and fail in their faith walks.

An immature Christian has a hard time distinquishing between right and wrong. They lack clear Biblical boundaries to govern their behavior. They are not able to hear the voice of the Spirit and often stumble and fall into sin. They are easily mislead and confused as to what is or is not sin. They are very inconsistent in their walks of faith and are generally those who keep the pot stirred up. They are usually the ones who create division in the church.

God requires His children to grow up. There comes a time in which each of us needs to be weaned off the milk and start chewing on steaks. We need to let go of ourselves and let the Lord have His way in us. It is God's plan and when we don't cooperate with Him, it is disasterous for us and the church.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Heb. 5:12 You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need somone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food.

There is a very real Scriptural and spiritual deficiency in the church today. There are many people who attend church all their lives and have very little real awareness of basic Bible texts and how they affect faith. There are many who have no real understanding of salvation and sanctification. There are many who do not have a Bible at home, and if they do, never open it during the week. There are many who have never talked to anyone about soul issues because they are confused themselves. There are many who do not know how to pray or get very flustered if they are ever asked to pray.

It is way past time for Christians to grow up. We must accept responsibility for our spiritual deficiencies and commit ourselves to spiritual growth. If we cannot grow in the church we attend, we must find a different church to go to. We must commit ourselves to helping ourselves to grow. We must read our Bibles on a consistent and regular basis. We must discipline ourselves to pray in private and move to being able to pray in public. We must spend time with spiritually mature people who can teach and lead us. We must not go along with the crowd but instead, determine in our hearts that we will let Jesus have control of us. In other words, we need to grow up and grow up fast.

We need to grow into maturity in faith and we must be willing to reach out to others and help them to grow. The church desperately needs people who can lead, teach, and be worthy examples to follow in the faith. It is not normal for a child of God to not grow up and it's not normal for the church to not grow up. Don't be part of the problem; be part of the solution. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord daily.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Heb. 5:11 There is so much more we would like to say about this. But you don't seem to listen, so it's hard to make you understand.

Are you a good listener, or do you like to talk a lot? Generally speaking, being a good listener takes work. Most people would rather talk than listen, even if they don't know what they are talking about. Most people want to be noticed and talking is one of the best ways to get attention.

However, we learn the most when we listen rather than talk. While we are talking our minds are not thinking or meditating. We aren't hearing much of anything of significance as long as we are talking. But when we are listening, we are giving our minds an opportuntiy to work. We absorb information and once learned, can find useful application for it.

It is especially important for us to be good listeners when it comes to eternal truths. We need to learn how to engage our minds when we hear God's Word. We need to learn how to take what we hear and apply it to our living. We never gain understanding by not listening.

We need to learn to listen to God when He speaks to us and His messengers who speak to us. We need to listen well enough to recognize the voice of God when He speaks. The Lord makes it possible for us to understand what we hear, but we must be willing to be still and listen for Him to speak to us. Those who know how to listen well grow the best in Christ.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Heb. 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

Is there ever a time in which we don't need His mercy and grace? We all need God to withhold from us what we deserve for our sins and give us His wonderful gift of forgiveness and blessings. We all need to stay on God's good side where there is help for us in our struggles with sin. We all need what God has provided and offered to us. No one is able to be accepted by God without His help. No one will be allowed into His presence without His help. Our greatest need is to continuously seek God's help in our daily living.

Because God has provided all we need to live in victory in Jesus through His Spirit, we are to come boldly into His presence. We are to not hesitate to approach God and ask for His help. We are not to approach Him in fear, because Jesus has taken away our sins and made us approachable to God as His children. We can boldly approach God because we have the right to as His children. We can boldly approach Him because we know that He is able to do whatever needs to be done to help us in our times of need. We can be bold because we know as our Father He will discern between what we need and what we want and only give us those things which are good for us. We can be bold because we know that God is perfect love and will help us to become more and more like Him as we continue to trust Him.

What an awesome privilege we have! Let us make it a point to take full advantage of it and continuously boldly approach God with all our needs. It is there where we will not only find our help, but also the restoration of our souls. It is there where we will learn to love Him more and how to praise Him more. It is there where we will be equipped to face life victoriously and make an eternal difference in the world in which we live.

The more in the habit we are to come before God, the bolder we will become in our approach.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Heb. 4:15-16 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

Isn’t this the best news you could ever hear? Jesus, our High Priest, understands our weaknesses! How is that possible? How can Jesus, who is God himself, the creator and sustainer of all things who has no beginning or end, understand what it is like to be us? There is only one way that anyone can understand those things that make us weak and that is to face them himself. No matter what your weaknesses are, Jesus faced them. He was tempted to sin just like you are. He faced the all out attack of Satan on His soul. Satan left nothing on the table. He did his very best to get Jesus to sin when Jesus was the most vulnerable. Yet, Jesus did not sin.

We can boldly approach God’s throne asking for His help because Jesus is there for us and understands not only what we are facing, but how to help us not sin. We can boldly face God with our weaknesses knowing that there is help for us that is sufficient for our needs. It doesn’t get any better than this!

When we take to God all that tempts us, we find mercy and grace to help us. God does not leave us hanging. We are not turned away because we are weak; we are given help to overcome. We are not punished for being weak; we are given mercy. We find in Christ strength in His grace to overcome. Don’t delay. There is help for you today and everyday in the presence of God. There is never a day or moment in life whereby you don’t need Jesus’ help to overcome your weaknesses. Won’t you let Him help you? Wise is he who calls upon the name of the Lord before his weaknesses surface and haunts his soul.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Heb. 4:12-13 For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Nothing in all of creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.

The reason why we should make spending time in God’s Word a priority in our lives is that it is full of living power. When we come underneath the scrutiny of the Word, we are moved to address issues in our lives that need changed. We are cut to the heart and our sinful thoughts and deeds are exposed. The Spirit convicts us so that we might change and serve the Lord with pure hearts. The Word always demands more of us than we demand of ourselves. We need to know what God knows about us. We need to know our sinful thoughts and deeds so that we might repent of them and have pure hearts.

God knows all about us. He knows those things which are hidden from the eyes of man, including our own eyes. He strips away our own righteousness so that we may take on the righteousness of Christ. God exposes our sins now so that when we stand before Him, we will not have to fear that are sins will be exposed then and be judged. It is God’s Word that exposes our sins. Anyone who is sincere about their faith will be sincere about the time they spend in the Word.

It is far better to listen to God’s voice now and repent than to ignore it and have to explain to Him later why we didn’t do it. It is not too late to come under the scrutiny of God’s Word and live under its authority over us. Today you have the opportunity to submit to God and make His Word a priority in your life. Please don’t pass up the opportunity. You will regret it if you do. No sin is worth trying to hide or hang on to.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Heb. 4:11 Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God as the people of Israel did, will fall.

This is a message that must be heard and believed. Disobedience is a major determing factor as to whether we will make it to heaven or not. Disobedience is sin and must be dealt with before God. There is no rest for the soul who does not obey God.

Now, in order to obey God, we must know what it is we are to do and not do in our walk of faith. There is no way we will know what to do if we don't spend adequate time in the Word of God. We must read it, meditate on it and listen to it as much as we can. It is impossible to know what God commands us to do by just listening to what others tell us. It is our responsibility to do all we can do to learn from God. The more we learn, the more we grow in faith and our ability to live it out.

We must do our best in our walk of faith. Most people do not do their best to obey God. No one perfectly obeys Him, but most people don't seem to care enough to put much effort into it. They take advantage of God's grace and believe they will get by with it. Holiness is not on the radar of their minds. They pay more attention to getting ahead in the world than they do getting ahead in faith.

People stumble and fall into sin simply because they do not obey God. They rely upon themselves for strength and quickly learn that it never works, but they keep doing it. Our only chance of living in victory over sin is to humbly strive to obey God in all things. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we fall.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Heb. 3:12-14 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

I don't think we are as careful about our own souls as we should be. For those of us who are actively serving the Lord (and if you're not, shame on you!), it is much easier to give instruction than receive it. We become lazy about our own souls. We are not as diligent about protecting our souls from evil as we should be. We allow evil thoughts and desires to find a place in our hearts. We must be aware of our own need to stay away from evil and keep ourselves pure before God. Sin will lead us away from God. The more we sin, the farther away from the Lord we drift.

We must be diligent about warning each other about wandering away from God while we can. The day of opportunity for us to draw near to God is now. We must do what we can before the heart becomes so deceived by sin that it becomes hardened against God. We dare not let up on our pursuit of godliness, first in ourselves, and then in the lives of others.

If we are faithful to the Lord and pursue him with pure hearts, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. What in heaven is reserved for us is given to all who live faithfully in Him until he calls us home.

Are you as firm in your faith today as you were when you first believed? Be honest with yourself. Should we not be more firm? What has happened? Don't waste another moment of opportunity. Renew your commitment to the Lord before you drift far enough away that you don't even care.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Heb. 2:3 What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself?

Indifference to the Gospel is the death keel of the soul. It is a very dangerous thing to not take the provisions of God for our salvation seriously. Most who believe will accept with their minds that Jesus is man’s salvation, but they don’t accept Him with their hearts. It is not what we believe about Jesus that saves the soul. Only a life commitment to Him through the repentance of our sins saves us from an eternity in hell.

I believe this is an issue that all believers need to take to heart as well. Many who profess faith in Christ are indifferent to the Gospel message. They do not conform to the image of Christ. They do not let the Spirit of Christ work in them to change them into godliness of heart. They do not engage themselves in spiritual disciplines that create growth in godliness. They treat their salvation as a trivial matter. How can God be pleased and accept those who are indifferent to their salvation?

How can we expect to escape God’s consequences if we neglect salvation? For those without Christ, the consequence is eternity in hell where they will forever think about what they have done. For the believer the consequence is a miserable life lived on earth. There will many battles fought and lost with Satan. There will a constant tension between the Lord and the heart that is not totally committed to Him. There will be life lived without the blessings of God, no peace or joy in their salvation. There will be a life lived that is stunted and of no real use in the work of the Kingdom.

If you are indifferent to your salvation, repent now while you can. Ask the Lord to break the chains of your indifference. Ask Him to purify your heart and give you a passion for the things of God. God’s favor rests upon those who regard their salvation as first importance in their lives.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Heb. 2:1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

Listening very carefully to the truth is good soul protection. But, just listening to truth is not enough. We can hear the truth, learn it well, and even proclaim it well, but if we don't embrace the truth from our hearts, it is to no avail. Many people drift away from the truth because they never allow the truth to change their heart. We can even convince ourselves that we are living in the truth when in reality the truth is not living in us.

The only way truth can make any difference at all in our lives is through our personal relationship with Him who is Truth. Jesus is truth personified. He is the only one who can take the written Word and make it the living Word. It is not enough to know the truth; we must know Him who is the Truth as well. Knowing about Jesus is not the same as knowing Him. Hell will be full of people who listened well to the truth but who never really knew the Truth.

The only way to know Christ is through a personal commitment to Him at the cross. We must come to Him with our sins, confess them, seek His forgiveness, and embrace His forgiveness. We must give Him permission to come into our hearts and clean house. We must let Him change us and redirect our lives into lives of service for Him.

When we let Jesus take over our lives, we won't drift away from Him. It is when we wrestle with Him over control that we stumble and fall. As long as you try to control your life you will drift away from the Lord. He will not force you to listen or submit to Him.

Are you listening carefully to the truth you have heard from Him?

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Heb. 1:3 The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

How we relate to Christ and treat Him is how we act towards God. What we believe about God directly affects what we think about Jesus. Let us pause for a moment and consider what we do think about God. Is God for us whom He reveals He is, or have we put Him into our own little boxes within our comfort zones? Is God all powerful, all knowing, perfect holiness, and everywhere we are? Is God as demanding on us as the Scriptures reveal Him to be? Or, have we limited God to that which we are comfortable with, what we want Him to be?

I am convinced that God should make us uncomfortable. We should always see God as one who is perfect in all things good and who calls us to become like Him. There should always be an edge to our relationship with God. We are not who we should be or could be. We do not measure up to God's standards and He knows we don't and will hold us accountable for it. We should always respect God in His holiness.

We should respect God in His glory. God radiates himself throughout all of creation. We see God in all He has made if we but take the time to observe and appreciate what we see. We see God in His workings in human life. Each changed life is a witness to God's power and greatness. We see God in history as He preserves the faithful and faithfully acts according to His Word. God is seen in His glory by all who open their eyes to see. He reveals His glory to us through His Son, our Savior and Lord.

At the same time, we should respect Him in His love. Jesus is God's love in action. Jesus becomes for us what we are not on our own. He is our righteousness and holiness before God. He makes it possible for us to live by God's holy standards. We become holy to the degree we allow Jesus lordship over us. We dare not rest in His love and think that our work on earth is done. We must strive to constantly apply grace to our lives with the intent of becoming more like Him in His holiness. We must work out our salvation. We must not minimize the importance of becoming a holy people, a people after God's own heart. To not become holy mocks the name of Jesus.

Friday, July 1, 2016


Philemon 4 I always thank God when I pray for you, Philemon......

Praying for others is a good thing. We ought to be praying for one another. Who is not in the need of prayer? I know I am. We do pray for others, especially when they are in need. But what about those times in which they are not in need? Do we think to pray for others just because they come to our minds and we want God to bless them? It seems to me that we ought to pray for one another often. We don't know what is going on in someone's life at the moment they come to mind. Perhaps they are in great need but have not told anyone about it. Some of us are private by nature and do not want to share our struggles. It might very well be that our unsolicited prayers may make a huge difference in someone's life. There is always a good reason why the Lord brings people to our minds.

Thanking the Lord for others is a good thing. We all need to be encouraged and appreciated. There is no better way to show it than to pray for one another with thanksgiving. I can't help but believe that it warms the heart of God when His children are mentioned in prayer with thanksgiving. When was the last time you paused and just thanked the Lord for someone? It's not too hard to thank Him for people we know and love, but what about those we don't know, disagree with or don't like? Daily thanking the Lord for someone is good for the soul.

We often find the Apostle Paul thanking the Lord for people. It would do us well to follow His example. It is very hard to stay at odds with those we thank the Lord for. In fact, I would suggest that when you do find yourself having problems with someone that you stop and give thanks to the Lord for them and do it often. Most issues that we have with one another will soon fade away and the peace of God will rule our lives and govern our relationships.