Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

God doesn't just talk about love, He shows it and lives it. It is easy to proclaim love for another, but it is another thing to actually show it. God showed us the ultimate example of love by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins. Jesus is God; therefore, He had never been away from heaven. He had always been in the presence of holiness and the glory of heaven. He had always been surrounded by the choir of heaven singing His praises. Jesus left all of that behind Him to spend time on earth to become our Savior. He did not have to do it, but because He loves us, He did it.

He came to earth knowing exactly what He was going to have to endure in order to save us from our sins. He knew beforehand the agony of the cross and the agony of actually carrying our sins upon himself to set us free. He did what He did for us at Calvary willingly because of His love for us.

Love is not just a nice thing to say, it's a life to live. Without actions to back it up, love is a meaningless concept. We tend to toss it around way too much. If we really mean it when we say it, our actions will prove it. We will act in a loving way towards those we say we love. If you are a believer, you will act in a godly love, for He who lives in you is
God himself.

The world doesn't need more talkers; it needs more doers. The world desperately needs to see God's love in action. They will only know God loves them when they can actually experience His love in their lives. We are God's chosen vessels of love to the world.

Monday, November 28, 2016


I John 4:7-10 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God--for God is love. God showed how much he loves us by sending his only Son into the world so we might have eternal life through him. This is real love, it is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

You cannot love God and not love others. God loves everyone, no matter who they are, what they have done, where they live, what color of skin they have, or what church they go to. No one is excluded from God's love for them. We put conditions on who we love, but God doesn't. It is God's will that we let Him strip away our conditions of love. The more conditions we put on whom we love, the less like God we are. If we are not becoming more like God in His love, we are drifting away from God, for God is love.

You cannot love God and not love those in the church. We don't often get along well with each other in the church. The church is very segregated and isolated. We hold one another at arm's length and are suspicious of each other. We lack trust in each other and are fearful on one another. Think about it. How many people from other church bodies do you really know and have fellowship with? How many people from the church down the street can you honestly say you love, especially those churches you have strong disagreements with? When was the last time your church had a community church fellowship without any agenda except to have fellowship and grow in love for each other?

You cannot love God and not love yourself. The heart of love is respect and until you learn to respect yourself, you will never truly love yourself or God. I don't mean an ego gone wild. I mean that you must have enough respect for yourself that you live confidently before God. You don't see yourself as a nobody. Rather, you see yourself as the somebody you are in Christ; you are His child. Loving yourself means you aren't easily swayed by the critical spirit of others or those who simply disagree with you. It means you find your identity in Christ and not in the opinions of others. How we feel about ourselves directly affects how we feel about God and others.

God has shown us what real love is like by sending us His Son to die for our sins. Jesus lived sacrificially and gave His life for us unconditionally that we might be saved. Our natural response to Him ought to be for us to sacrificially and unconditionally engage ourselves in the lives of others. Let us ask the Lord to help us do just that today.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I John 4:4-6 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

The Spirit of God will not lead you astray. He will not let false prophets lead you down a path that takes you away from God. He will not cause you to misunderstand or misinterpret the truth. If we embrace that which is not true, it's because we are not listening to Him. We are listening to the voices of the false prophets instead.

The Spirit is far more knowing, wise, caring and powerful than the voice of the false prophet. When we are in tune with Him, we have gained victory over the deceivers of our souls. We must be careful to discern the genuineness of those whom we listen to. It is one of the reasons why being a part of a local church is so important. We can best learn about the genuineness of the heart of our leaders by observing them in daily life. If their way of living does not match up to the Word they speak, no matter how well they speak, they are not worthy to be followed. It is only as we see the Word lived out in the flesh that we know it is true. Learn from those who speak the truth and live it so that you too can be inspired to live it. You will know the truth, and it will set you free.

Anyone who opposes the Gospel message is not a child of God. Anyone who tries to change the Gospel message is not a child of God. Anyone who will not listen to the Gospel message is not a child of God. Anyone who would selfishly use the Gospel message is not a child of God. Be wise and discerning. Do not cater to such people or listen to them. What they say will poison your mind and soul.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

In order to have a healthy soul before God, we must put into practice today’s verse. There are a lot of people in the church today who claim to be speaking by the Spirit of God. They portray themselves as children of God and they may even believe they are. They come across as strong in their knowledge and easily convince others that what they say is true.

But, it is not enough to just listen and believe what others may say. We must guard our souls by carefully examining what we hear in light of what the Word of God says. We must think for ourselves about things and let the Lord help us to come to reasonable understandings of the Word. Just because someone says something is true doesn’t make it true. We must be diligent about what we believe. Our understanding must always be Biblically sound and reasonable.

We test what we hear through the Scriptures and we as well test the genuineness of those who speak to us. Not everyone who portrays themselves as Christians are Christians. It is very hard to determine the genuineness of one’s faith by casual acquaintances. We must be careful in this area. Consistency in walk must be in agreement with the consistency in talk. If the walk does not match the talk, then be especially careful about what you accept as truth.

There are many false prophets who are in the world and in the church. They are full of religious jargon, but there is no real substance in what they say. They distort the truth because they are not being led by the Spirit. Stand guard over your soul by protecting your mind from believing that which is not true. The Spirit of God guides us into all truth, so ask Him to be your guide as you listen and study the Word.

Friday, November 25, 2016


I John 3:21-24 Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God's commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.

God gave us a conscience. It is that part of us that urges us to do what is right and when we fail to feel guilty about it. It is the working of the Spirit in us to help us become godly people. When we are doing right before God, we can come before Him with bold confidence. There is nothing to fear, even though we know God is holy and no sin can be near Him. It is Jesus alone who can keep our conscience clear.

God promises us that when we come before Him with a clear conscience, we will receive whatever we ask of Him. He does that because we obey Him and desire only that which pleases Him. He knows that we won't ask for anything outside of His will for us. And, God's will for us includes only that which is good for us.

God commands us to first believe from the heart in Jesus, His Son. Jesus is God's absolute provision for our salvation and means into His presence. There is no other way we can approach God. None.

Jesus forgives our sins and instills within us God's love. We cannot love God or one another apart from Christ in us. When we live in Christ we will live with each other in a loving way. We will have fellowship with Christ and each other.

The way we will know whether or not these things are going on in us is by the presence and working of the Spirit in us. It is the Spirit of Christ who confirms our standing with God and enables us to live lives that are pleasing to Him.

If there is any doubt at all in your mind today about your standing with God, I urge you to flee to Jesus now and get things right with Him. Linger at His feet until you know for sure all is well with your soul. Only Jesus can give you peace and bold confidence to approach God.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I John 3:21-22 Dear friends, if our conscious is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him.

Having a clear conscious is a key to successful Christian living and an effective prayer life. A clear conscious is the result of a pure heart. There is only one way to keep our hearts pure before God, and that is to stay properly connected to Christ. There must be an active humility before Christ and a desire to not allow sin to take up residence in our hearts. A pure heart recognizes sin when it shows up and deals with it before Christ whenever it is known. A pure heart has a heart sensor that goes off whenever sin enters in. A pure heart does not excuse sin, but confesses it and seeks forgiveness for it. A pure heart is vigilant regarding sin and strives to avoid it.

Having a clear conscious enables us to approach God with bold confidence. We don’t have to fear that we will be rejected by God. We don’t have to wonder whether or not it is permissible to approach Him and ask for things from Him. When we have a clear conscious we are one with God in holiness and we become one with Him in our desires.

The Lord promises us that when we are one with God in fellowship, having our hearts and minds cleared of all that would hinder us, we will have our prayers answered. When our fellowship with God is right, we live to obey Him and we seek to please Him in all we do. We ask for things that honor and please Him. We ask in total submission to His will. We ask knowing that our Father knows best and how He answers our prayers is best for us and others whom we pray for.

So often we don’t have what we ask for because we fail to come before God with a pure conscious. We do not pursue godliness and expect God to be okay with that. We pray out of selfish hearts and often demand our own way. We have not because we ask amiss. First, deal with sin in your heart before Christ. Then, ask from the Lord what your heart desires with a submissive spirit. Boldly ask from Him expecting to receive what you ask for with the attitude always of not my will, but His be done. Then, put feet to your prayers by always living in submission to His Word striving to always please Him.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I John 3:18-20 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other, let us show it by our actions. It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord, even if our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, he knows everything.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were to just pay attention to God's Word? Talk is cheap. We can talk all we want to about loving each other, but until we actually do it, it means nothing. There is far more unloving things being said and done in the church than there are loving things. Think about it. How many churches are there that are not "one of us" does your church have real fellowship with? How many churches in your community do you work closely with to reach your community for Christ? How many churches do you treat with suspicion or out rightly have nothing to do with because you don't agree with some of their teachings? Let's be honest. All of us are guilty of doing it.

Now look within your own church. Can you honestly say that you truly love those you worship and serve with? How do you show it? Are you on speaking terms with everyone? Do you really care what is going on in their lives? Do you desire good for them? Are you willing to come to their aid in times of need?

It matters to God how we treat each other. God's love is an action word. We cannot say that we really love someone until we do things for and with them that prove it. If you are acting like a child of God, you can be confident about your standing before God. God knows everything and He knows if your heart is in the right place, if you really do love othes as you claim to do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I John 3:9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not sin, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God.

One of the surest ways we can know that we are indeed saved from our sins is our ability to not sin. Christ changes our desires for sin. He helps us to recognize that which is sin so that we might not do it. He causes us to feel guilt and shame when we do sin for we know that is wrong in God’s eyes. Our attitude about sin changes as we accept more and more God’s standards as our own. Sin becomes more and more distasteful for us as we grow stronger in faith.

A child of God simply cannot keep on sinning since Christ lives in therm. There is a stark contrast between what we were like and what we are now. We take on the righteousness and holiness of Christ and it gives us the ability to walk away from sin. In Christ, our character overrides our desires to sin. We seek to find ways to not sin through Christ who alone can give us the strength to do it.

If you have not changed at all regarding sin, you are not a child of God. As His child, we are constantly growing more like Him and less like the person we used to be. We find that we want more and more to not sin against God. Our growing love compels us to want to please the Lord and not ourselves. There is no room in the heart of God’s children for sinful activity.

John says we can’t keep on sinning if we are born into God’s family. If you can keep on sinning, then you need to examine your heart before God. Guilt and shame plague the child of God who sins. We are driven to our knees in repentance because the desire of the believer’s heart is to live a holy life. Will we still sin? Yes. Will we be okay with sinning? No. Will we sin less as we live in Christ? Absolutely.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I John 3:5-6 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him. So if we continue to live in him, we won’t sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is.

This truth should be taught over and over again in the church. We seemingly forget it by the way we act towards one another and some of the things we do in life. There seems to be a comfort in the presence of sin. We don’t address it like we should, letting it creep into our lives and stay there. Jesus came to take away our sin, not cohabitate with them.

There is no sin in Christ whatsoever, so how can we think that it is okay for us to let sin in our hearts? Sin is what put Jesus on the cross. It is hated by God and will not be tolerated in His presence. Where there is sin, there is broken fellowship with God.

We cannot continue to live in sin and live in Christ. We either live in Christ and stop sinning against Him, or we live apart from Him. A good indicator that someone is living in Christ is that he is not participating in the life of sin. We are not perfect and will sin, but it does not characterize the life of the believer. The will to sin is broken and changed at Calvary. There is guilt and shame associated with sinning that result in repentance.

If sinful habits persist and nothing changes, then true repentance has not taken place. There may be changes in the way one thinks about things, but the heart has not changed. It is what is in the heart that determines how we act, think and feel. If Christ lives in the heart, then we will not act like He doesn’t. Grace does not excuse sin or give us a license to sin. In Christ we are led away from sin, not towards it.

If you find that you have no victory over sin, then you need to repent and ask the Lord to change your heart. If you find you are losing more battles than you are winning against sin, then you need to take Christ more seriously and let Him be your Lord.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


I John 3:4-6 Those who sin are opposed to the law of God; for all sin opposes the law of God. And you know Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him. So if we continue to live in him, we won't sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is.

We must let these verses penetrate deep into our souls. We must understand what God is saying to us about sin. Sin does matter. Sin is not something we can ignore. We must take it seriously. It is what Jesus died to take away from us. When we excuse ourselves when we sin and pretend like it's no big deal, we are in essence saying that Jesus' sacrifice for our sins isn't that big of a deal. We are negating His death. Sin is what put Jesus on the cross. He didn't die for His sin, because He had no sin in Him. He died for our sin, because there is a ton of sin in us.

A true child of God does not continue to live in sin. We do sin, but it is not our normal way of living. We resist the temptations to sin. We deliberately say no to sin. We deal with sin when we fail. We understand our need for repentance. We are sensitive to our heart's need for holiness and seek Christ's forgiveness. We raise the standard of our hearts according to God's Word and strive to live by it. We are uncomfortable in the presence of sin. In other words, sin does matter to us.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and you are continuing to live in sin, you are only kidding yourself. You are not right with God. You don't know Him or understand Him. Jesus came to change us from a people who don't know God into a people who do know Him. And, if we truly know Him, we will become like Him and live in holiness and not sin.

Friday, November 18, 2016


I John 3:1-3 See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure.

All who seek after God apart from Christ is of this world. The world does not know Christ and are in the dark as to who God really is and how to get to Him. History ought to teach us this very valuable lesson. Mankind has always acknowledged the existence of God, but their concept of God has been distorted and taken them on a lot of weird paths. Without a personal relationship with Christ, no one can grasp who God is and how He relates to us.

In Christ, we are children of God and as His children we are able to grasp who God is. We learn from Him how to relate to Him. We learn who we are and who we will become. We can't understand all that we will be when the Lord returns, but we know enough to want to be it. Who we become now is but a taste of who we will be when we are freed from all of sin's influences over us. We will be as Jesus is, pure in heart. We no longer will struggle with sin. We will always live right with God.

Don't underestimate who you are in Christ, you are God's child. Don't underestimate God's love for you. And, don't underestimate who you will become in Christ. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. We will be where God is forever and ever. We are heirs to a life with no pain, sorrow, or sin. We will live in perfect peace with God and one another forever. We will live forever in the glory of God and behold Him in all His majestic splendor. Oh, that will be, glory for me!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Don't listen to what the world says about God. God has given us, His children, the truth about Him and the truth sets us free. You are a child of God, live like it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I John 2:24,25 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

We must somehow get this truth today. There are so many of us in the church today who have wandered away from the things we have been taught and should know. Some have gotten so far away from the teachings of the Word that they no longer can be taught by it. They have filled their minds up with so much which is not true that there simply is no room left for the truth. They surround themselves with those who likewise no longer are following the truth.

God’s Word is absolute truth in its entirety. We cannot waver in this conviction. If we do, then we fall prey to all kinds of untruth. We must understand that God spoke to us and had it recorded for us in what we call our Bible. It is unwavering in its authority over us. God said what He meant and meant what He said in all things.

We sit back in amazement and wonder how it can be the way it is, how so many have distorted or disregarded the Scriptures as absolute truth. It all begins when we cease to be faithful to the Word. We adapt it to what we want it to say. We ignore those things we don’t want to do. We make it suit our lifestyles. We fail to take the time to understand it as it is written. We use it for our advantage instead of God’s intended purpose of making us holy. We do not have the right to change God’s intended purpose for its existence. When we do, confusion sets in and we drift away from the faith and God’s fellowship.

The only way we are going to be able to live in fellowship with Christ and our heavenly Father is for us to keep the Word pure. We come underneath its authority over us. We let it change us instead of us trying to change it. We let it do its work in us instead of us trying to work it. There is no way to have fellowship with God other than through our submission and obedience to His Word. Living in fellowship with God never ends and He fills our lives up so we can enjoy this wonderful life He has given us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I John 2:15-17 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from the evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.

How attached to this world are you? Are you living for the enjoyment of the things it offers? Are you caught up in this life and find yourself reluctant to let it go? If so, then stop it! Too much attachment to the world robs you of fellowship with God. You cannot have a healthy relationship with God while clinging to worldly life. What you see in this world is not going to last. No matter how promising it may be, all worldly stuff is fading away and will soon be gone. The things of the world can never fulfill their promise to satisfy the soul. When you crave and cling to the things of this life, you will be disillusioned and dissatisfied. The things of the world are addictive and the more you have of it, the more you will want.

Dear child of God, you must understand this truth. Our life is eternal. It is not tied to the world. Life that satisfies can only be found in Christ. Only the Lord can deliver on the promise to fulfill the desires of the soul. Only Jesus can sever the ties you have with the world so that you can do the will of God.

If you are hanging on too tightly to the things of the world, you need to loosen your grip and let go while you can. The longer you cling, the harder it is to let go. The longer you cling, the less likely you are to find and do God's will for you. The longer you cling, the less likely you will make it to heaven. The longer you cling, the less likely you will be to even want to make it to heaven. The things of this world are evil and from Satan himself. They will never deliver on their promise to satisfy your soul. Seek the Lord now while you can and let loose of your ties to this world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I John 2:15 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.

Have you stopped loving this world and what it offers to you? You cannot be right with God until you do. Let the Lord show you today where your attachments are. Let Him show you who, or what, you value more than Him. Let Him show you how unreliable and unfulfilling the things of the world really are. Let Him show you that all the promises of the world to satisfy the soul are empty lies from Satan.

The bottom line is that when you long for the things of this world and strive to obtain them, you really don’t love the Father. You strive to obtain that which you love. Our actions speak louder than our words. You can claim to love God but if He is not your passion, your words do not mean much. Your soul cannot be not divided on this. You cannot love the Father of truth and the father of lies at the same time. God will not share our affections with the world.

Loving the world is an act of treason for those who claim to love God. It is declaring that what God promises is not true. He promises to satisfy the soul. He promises to give us something worth living for. He promises to reward those who are faithful to Him. He promises to meet our every need. He promises to break our attachments to the things of the world. When we grow attached to the things of the world and rely upon them to make us happy, we are denying that God can meet the needs of our souls, that He is not enough for us.

You cannot live for the things of the world and love God at the same time.

Monday, November 14, 2016


I John 2:9-11 If anyone says, "I am living in the light,"but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves other Christians is living in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble. Anyone who hates a Christian brother or sister is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by the darkness.

It matters what we think about others, what we feel towards them. Some people hurt us and sometimes very deeply. It may be physical, emotional, or mental. However it may be, we sometimes get hurt and it may alter our lives completely. For some, the damage is so severe that life becomes very difficult and it affects our ability to live in victory in Christ.

Yet, John tells us that we must love and not hate those who hurt us. It is not impossible to love those who hurt us, otherwise God would not have instructed John to write it. Our biggest hurdle to move from hate to love is our will. We do not want to change. We like to live with an attitude of hate because it somehow makes us feel in the right. We have been wronged and the other party is guilty. We want to take matters into our own hands and see that justice is served. We want revenge. Therefore, we savor our feelings and resist the need to change. However, if we are to be right with God we have no choice, we must move from hatred to love. The question is, "How is that possible?"

God is love. The only way we can love those who hurt us is for us to immerse ourselves in God. We must determine in our hearts that we need God. We must know that it is impossible for us to change apart from a deeply rooted connection with God. We must seek God. We must enter into His presence as often as possible. We must consistently draw near to God until we know that our heart changes. We must first experience the love of God for ourselves before we can love those who hurt us. There is no other way to move from a hate-filled heart to a love-filled heart.

A true child of God does not linger in the darkness of hatred. In fact, he is incapable of living in hatred. God is love and when God is in us, we become vessels of love. As long as darkness envelopes the soul, God is not there. God is light and love and where He is they fill up His dwelling place.

Dear friend, if you are struggling to forgive and love someone today in your past or present, spend all the time you need in the presence of God. Do not shortchange yourself. Wait on the Lord and He will change you. He will fill you with a heart of love. Pray about this until you pray through.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


I John 2:9 If anyone says, "I am living in the light," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.

It is not possible to love the Lord and not love His children.  Let us stop for a moment and think about this.  Think about those who are a part of the church that you have strong disagreements with because they don’t believe as you do.  Think about how you feel about them.  It’s easy to sit back and judge them because they don’t see "the light" in the same way you do.  It is easy to question whether or not they are even saved.  We develop strong feelings about those who are not walking in the light as we are walking in the light.

Yet, the Word teaches us that if we are living in the light, we will embrace all who are believers in Christ.  We may not understand their thinking or approve of their living, but that doesn’t get us off the hook.  Our responsibility before God is to love all those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We don’t always know for sure who are saved, but it really doesn’t matter.  We are to be channels of God’s love to the church and world.  Godly love should define who we are.  It should be evident in all we do and say.  We are to live out godly love and let the Lord deal with the rest.  God is love and as His children, we inherit His love.

If we let our differences alienate ourselves from other parts of the body of Christ, we are living in darkness and not the light.  Something to think about as you think about your attitude towards those who you don’t know or understand within the body of Christ. And, it's something to think about when you consider your attitude and feelings towards those within the church who you have problems with, those who may have wronged you and caused you grief and pain. To love God is to love others. Godly love is not selective love; we are to be vessels of love to all because God loves us and everyone else, too.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I John 2:3-6 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, "I belong to God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. But those who obey God's word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.

Being saved is more than just saying you are. A true child of God will obey the Word of God. There will be a conscious and determined decision to strive to live according to the teachings of Scripture. There will be a desire to learn and understand the Word so that the Word can have its proper affect on how life is lived. It's not too hard to figure out those who are trying to obey the Lord from those who aren't. The difference between the ways of the Word and the world are like night and day.

One of the sure proofs of a life lived in obedience to God is the love that comes from the heart. We obey God because we love Him. We love Him because it is the natural response of a heart who has been forgiven and filled with the presence of Christ. We love Him because we are so grateful for His forgiveness and willingness to adopt us as His children. We love Him because of His willingness and efforts to change who we were into a people like Him. We love Him because of His loving provision for our needs now and for all of eternity. If we are true children of God, we cannot resist the urge to love Him back, for He first loved us. He sought us out to save us. He is the one who prepared us for the day of our salvation. There is no greater love than the love of God for us and then the growing love we have for God.

He who claims to know God and yet does not love God and obey Him is a liar. The Truth is not in Him. Are you telling the truth when you say that you love God?

Friday, November 11, 2016


I John 2:3 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments.

It doesn’t take much to understand this simple, but profound, truth. Satan wants us to be in doubt about our salvation. He wants us to focus on the uncertainty of our salvation instead of the certainty of it. He wants to convince us that we can’t really know for sure where we stand before God. He wants us to believe that we are not worthy of salvation or that we aren’t being good enough to be saved.

John reminds us today that the proof of our salvation is not in our feelings or thoughts, it’s in our obedience. Those who are truly saved are those who strive to obey God. Obeying God requires us to know what God commands. In order to know what God requires of us, we must be students of His Word. We must read the Word with open hearts and minds, prayerfully seeking how it applies to our living. We must humbly accept God’s instruction and be willing to change when we fail to live it.

God has given us ready access to His Word. He exposes us to its teachings in many different ways so that we have no excuse for not knowing His commandments. God does not leave us in the dark and then expect us to keep His commandments. The more we know and understand His Word, the more responsibility we have to live by it. Whatever knowledge we have, we are to live it.

As we submit to the authority of God over us, the more knowledge we are given, thus increasing our responsibility to live holy lives. No one can claim innocence in this. God makes available to us all the resources we need to submit to Him and obey Him. He who does not obey God is living in sin and cannot have fellowship with Him or know that indeed he is saved.

If you belong to God you will obey Him and become like Him in your character.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


I John 2:1-2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

The Word is given to us to help us to know what is sin and how not to do it. God does not want any of us to sin, even though He knows we will. Knowing our spiritual weaknesses that causes us to sin, God provided for us a Savior who not only can forgive us, He can help us to not sin. Jesus is on our side. Whenever we do sin, He is there to stand in-between God and us so that God in His anger will not destroy us. Jesus pleads the case before God for all who are in His care and sins. He does not go to the defense of those who are not His, they are on their own to answer to God, they have no protector. In Christ there is forgiving grace. He honors those before God who honor Him. There is no sin that He cannot and does not forgive if there is genuine sorrow for it. If we are genuinely sorry, we will change and not continue to live in our sin.

Jesus pleases God completely. He did what He was sent here to do. He lived a sinless life so he could die a sinner's death. He became the perfect sacrifice for sin. There was nothing left undone that had to be done for us to be forgiven by God. He forgives us, but not just us. He forgives all who come to Him for forgiveness. There is forgiveness for everyone in the world if they want it. No one is beyond the reach of God's love and forgiveness and love. No one.

God is not happy one bit when we sin. He hates it. But, when we do sin, we have someone who can appease the wrath of God, Jesus our Savior. God can only forgive us through Christ Jesus our Lord. He allowed Jesus to come and provide a way for us to be forgiven for our sins because of His love for us. He has no desire to see anyone die and go to hell. Turn to Jesus and let Him take care of your sin problem.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I John 1:8-10 But if we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

If you have been in Christ for any length of time at all, it is so easy to convince yourself that you are right with God and have no sin. Let’s be honest about this. When was the last time you actually saw yourself as being guilty of sin? I believe that we are good at this because we fail to give much thought to what might be sin to us. We are not prone to examine carefully the things we say, do, read, see or hear in light of God’s holiness. We don’t often examine ourselves to see how much we think like the world thinks about things. When we see our lives in light of the Word and God’s holiness, we have to admit that indeed we are guilty of sin.

God declares us guilty of sin and we are only fooling ourselves when we think otherwise. You and I are guilty of sin. In fact, to think otherwise is in itself sin. It is a prideful attitude to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We are to be humble in heart before God knowing that we fall short of His holy standards and that we need His help. John goes so far as to call us liars when we claim to not have sin in our hearts and he is right on.

The good news is that when we confess our sins to the Lord, He is faithful and just and will forgive us for our sins and purify our hearts. I am not suggesting that we need to stop and confess sin every time we mess up, but I am suggesting that we should consistently be aware of our sin and seek Christ’s forgiveness as the Spirit prompts us to. We are not to live in condemnation, but neither are we to ignore our need for forgiveness. The Lord will never refuse to forgive those who come to Him with humble and broken hearts over sin.

Peer into God’s holiness. See yourself as God sees you. What sinful thoughts or deeds do you need to confess before Christ today?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I John 1:7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.

If is the key word in today’s verse. Not all who claim to be in Christ live in the light of God’s presence. To live in the light of God’s presence means that we become saturated with the glory of Christ. It means that we become holy before God. It means that we take on the mindset of God regarding faithfulness to the truth as being the way to live. It means we take on the heart of God regarding sin.

We can only have true fellowship with others when we live in the light of God’s presence. We are not able to set aside our sinful attitudes and behaviors without it. We cannot change how we think about others without God’s help. We cannot stop thinking more highly of others than we ought without God’s help. We cannot stop thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought without God’s influence. We cannot stop being self-serving without God’s help.

We can only live as we ought with each other through the shed blood of Christ at Calvary. What we are unable to do for ourselves, Christ does for us. He purifies our hearts so that we are not driven or controlled by sin. He changes our attitude about ourselves and others. He unites instead of dividing people. What cannot happen without Christ is made possible in Him. We can live at peace with each other. We can be one in heart for the glory of Christ. We can work together to reach the lost when we are controlled by Christ. We can have a genuine love and concern for one another in Christ.

Where there is strife and divisions in the fellowship of the church, there is an absence of the lordship of Christ over the church.

Monday, November 7, 2016


I John 1:5-6 This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth.

We must understand this powerful truth. God is pure light. There is no hint of darkness in Him whatsoever. There is no possibility that sin will ever be a part of who God is. God always separates himself from sin and is repulsed by it. He hates sin. Sin cannot come anywhere near to God.

When God enters into our hearts, He passes on to us His attitude about sin. He changes the way we look at sin. Sin becomes an issue with us because it is everything against the nature of God. We develop a repulsion for sin. The more we are controlled by God, the more strongly we will feel about sin. It should never be acceptable to us to sin against God.

How we feel about sin is an indicator of how holy we really are. No one will ever feel the same way God does about sin, but we should not be comfortable with it and tolerate it as much as we do either. God changes us and we no longer are habitual sinners. We develop a resistance to sin when we live in Christ. We stop doing the things we once did. We develop the ability to do what is right in God’s eyes instead of that which He hates.

If we are not uncomfortable with sin in our hearts, we are not right with God. If we continue to do that which God calls sin, we are not right with God. If we leave the sin in our hearts alone, we are not right with God. If we are not bothered by the sin we are surrounded with, we are not right with God. Sin and God’s holiness are like water and oil; they simply do not mix.

Jesus died to take away our sin, not to tolerate it in us.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I John 1:3 We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ.

This is the heart of all witnessing, just telling others what we have personally experienced with Christ. What we say can be argued against, but there is no denying the changes that take place when Jesus changes the heart. Telling our story is telling His story. We need to be telling others about who we are today compared to who we were before Christ. We don’t gloat over our past as if it was some badge of honor we wear, but we recall our past to acknowledge what Jesus has done and to praise Him for it.

The goal of all witnessing should be so that others may have fellowship with us in Christ. It should be our heart’s desire to be able to enlarge our circle of people we can have fellowship with in Christ. Every lost soul is a potential soul mate in Christ. Without Christ there is always something missing in our relationships. No one can understand and appreciate the influence of Christ in us without experiencing it themselves.

It should concern us when we deny ourselves fellowship with other believers because of differences in understandings and lifestyles. We are all different and we need to get over it. Christ unites the body, never divides it. We label ourselves and often let our labels keep us away from those who are labeled differently. Shame on us! It grieves God’s heart when His children can’t, or won’t, get along. We are not in competition for lost souls!

We should have friends who are not believers, but we cannot have fellowship with them in Christ. If we care about their friendship and souls, we will not be shy about sharing with them what Jesus has done for us. There is no greater witness than the witness of what Christ has done for you and in you.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I John 1:1 The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life.

The thing I get from this verse is that John is sharing from his own encounter with Jesus his faith in Him. John was one of the disciples who was with Jesus during His stay on earth. John daily walked with Jesus, talked to Him, and witnessed the things He did and taught. Jesus had a profound impact on John's life. He changed everything about John and what he understood about himself and life. John was so impacted by Jesus that he simply shared with the world what Jesus had done for him.

John, like countless others who have followed him, knew from personal experience that Jesus is God. He was very close to Jesus while He was on earth and knew deep within in his soul that Jesus is God. Once a person knows Christ from deep within his soul, he discovers that there is nothing else worth living for.

We are no different than John. We have a story to tell. We may not be led by the Spirit to put it down on paper for the world to read about it, but we can share our story. Everyone in Christ has a story to share how Christ has affected their life. There is no magic formula for being a witness for Christ. We don't have to be a Biblical whiz. We don't have to know all the steps of the Gospel message. All we need to know is what the Lord has done for us. We need to know what difference Jesus has made in our lives and share it. If we truly have been touched by the Master's hand, we cannot contain it. Our lives, words, and expressions will show it. We cannot be with Jesus without it being seen. Our witness is a natural expression of what Jesus has and is doing in our lives.

Whenever you can, just tell your story. Tell all who will listen the difference Jesus has made in you. No one can deny your personal experience if it is backed up by your life. People can argue over words and deny their truthfulness, but they cannot deny the difference Christ makes in the lives of the redeemed.

Friday, November 4, 2016


II Peter 3:17-18 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don't want you to lose your own secure footing. But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Warning! There are wicked people all around us, even in the church. Their agenda is not to help us, but to tear us down. They want our confidence. Many simply want our money. They are not concerned about us personally. They want us to believe what they are telling us without questioning whether or not it is true. They are good at what they do and can be very persuasive. If we are not careful, many of us will be led astray.

The only safe and secure footing we have is in Christ. Anyone who would undermine our relationship with Christ is to be avoided. Anyone who would distort in any way God's Word is to be avoided. Anyone who would suggest we follow them instead of Christ is to be avoided. There is no alternative way to God. Jesus is the way, truth and life. He alone has our best interests at heart and is worthy to be followed. He alone wants to help you. He alone can be trusted with your soul.

Growing in our faith in Christ is not an option, it's a necessity. If you are not growing in Christ you are on a slippery slope and could lose your grip on Him. It is absolutely essential for you to keep your eyes fixed on Christ, and Him alone. He alone is able to save your soul and present you before God as fautless, fit for heaven. He will complete in you your salvation if you stay focused on Him. Strive to keep growing in grace and your knowledge of Him and God's special favor will be upon you.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


II Peter 3:14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God.

We live in a time of expectation. We expect the Lord to come soon. We expect Satan to be taken captive to harass us no more. We expect there to be a time in which we can actually live the Word of God without failing. We expect that all believers will soon be able to live humbly and honorably with each other in love and peace. We know these things are going to happen and we wait in anticipation of it. Until that day comes, we must do the best that we can.

We must make every effort to live pure and blameless lives. Every effort means every effort. We must do our best to stay pure and blameless before God. We know what we are to do; now it is up to us to do it. We must put forth the effort to be pure and blameless. We must do the things that will enable us to stay pure and not do the things that make us impure. We must not neglect disciplining our souls so that when we are tempted we will have the desire to say no to it.

God will not keep us pure and blameless without our doing our part. Godliness is not a given; we must purposely strive to obtain it. We must take seriously our need to be saturated by God’s Word and to be in our prayer closets. We must take seriously our need to desire to please God and not ourselves or others. If you are not putting in the effort, you will never live a pure and blameless life before God. We need to be as concerned about our souls as we are everything else that is a part of our living.

The reward of our effort is peace with God. Those who are pure in heart and blameless in living are not guilt-laden. They do not have shame because they sin against God. They are able to rest in the security of God’s love and grace. They are indeed blest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


II Peter 3:11 Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living!

First, it is a fact that God is going to bring this world we live in to a close with fire. He doesn’t tell us just how that fire will come. It is interesting to me that there is enough fire power in the nuclear weapons now being stored around the world to literally destroy the earth as we know it. All it would take would be for the wrong person to hit a button and the destruction would begin.

In light of the certain and unpredictable coming fire from God to destroy the earth, we ought to take life seriously and live in readiness for it. God commands us to live godly, holy lives. If we are saved by the blood of Christ we are expected to move forward by God’s grace into holiness of heart and living. There is no way that we can justify not becoming a holy people.

Holy people react strongly against sin that wants to invade their lives. They do all they can to protect their souls from sin’s temptations. They keep their souls strong by faithfully and consistently exercising spiritual disciplines. Holy people respond to others out of godly love and strive to always live at peace with others. Holy people value the things that make them stronger in faith.

If we are not living as a holy people before God and He comes for us, we will answer to God for it. God is holy and will not tolerate unholy living by those who claim to be His own. Holiness is His measuring stick. Are you ready for the Lord’s coming? No one knows when the Lord is coming back, all we know is the certainty of it and the importance of our being ready for it. If you are holy, as He is holy, you will be ready.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


II Peter 3:10-11 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything in it will be exposed to judgment.

The day of the Lord is set in heaven. No one knows when that day will come except God. When that day comes it will catch everyone by surprise, like a thief in the night. Why doesn't the Lord want us to know when it will be? He knows the heart of man. He knows that if we knew, we would wait until the very last minute to get right with Him. The world would be void of the good that could be done if His people were living instead of waiting. Our sinful nature is such that we will not concern ourselves with living in and for Him until we absolutely have to. He also knows that life is so fragile and if man were to wait, many who could be saved will be lost for eternity because death came upon them before that day and they weren't ready to die. In His great love for us, God in mercy hides the day the Lord is coming from us.

When the Lord does come, there will be no mistaking it. The Lord is going to change everything we know to be real. All creation will be affected by it. There will be a sound that will reverberate throughout all of creation followed by a purging fire. All the earth will be exposed and judgment will come. It will be a time that will cause all men to tremble with fear, except for those who are ready for it. For those who are saved, it will be the greatest moment in all of history. It will be a day of celebration beyond words. It will be the day in which we will see the Lord!

Judgment Day is coming, whether we are ready for it or not. We may be here physically for it, or we may be in the grave waiting for it. Either way, it's coming. If we are not in Christ on the day of its arrival, it will be too late. The Lord gives us ample time and opportunity to be saved and if we pass them up, there will be no mercy shown.

Are you ready for Judgment Day? If you die before it comes, it will be your judgment day. Now is the day of salvation. He who waits for another day, may never see another day to get ready. Live each moment of each day as if it were your judgment day. It very well could be.