Saturday, December 31, 2016


Rev. 3:4-6 "Yet even in Sardis there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."

Have you noticed? The church is losing its grip. We are not as faithful and careful as we once were. We are not as intense in our love for Christ as we once were. We aren't as hungry or thirsty for the things of God as we once were. There isn't as much fire and zeal in us as there once was. We are not as united as we were before. Sin is not deemed to be the issue it was in days gone by. Our garments have become soiled.

Yet, there is still hope. There are many in the church today who have kept themselves pure. They are diligent for the things of God. They care about sin and strive to live holy lives. They are worthy to walk in garments that are white. They live in victory in this life and will be raised with Christ in great victory when He comes to take us home.

The name of all who keep themselves pure are written in the Book of Life and their names will never be erased. Jesus has written their names down and they are written in the ink of His shed blood. He stands before our Father in heaven and proclaims us as His own. All heaven hears the message loud and clear. Great is the rejoicing in heaven as Jesus claims us for His own!

Hear now this message loud and clear, "All who live faithfully and obediently before Christ today will be rewarded greatly in heaven when they die. He will be rewarded with the crown of righteousness placed on his head as the great cloud of witnesses in heaven rejoice. He will join all those who have gone on before him and bask in the glow of Christ our King forever and ever."

Are you ready to receive your reward in heaven?

Friday, December 30, 2016


Rev. 3:3 "Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again Unless you do, I will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief."

The Lord has the final word. He makes it very clear that if we don't get back to the basics of the faith and hold firmly to them, He will come like a thief and we will be caught unprepared. There is a real problem with over thinking the faith. Knowledge is good and we need to pursue understanding, but when our quest for knowledge and understanding robs us of our childlike faith, we have a problem.

We must never forget; we are saved by God's grace alone. God loves us and extends to us His love through His son, Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the one who purifies the heart and makes us holy. It is the righteousness of Christ that gives us an audience with God. It is what God does for us that makes us righteous. It is Christ alone who washes away our sins and casts them into the sea of God's forgetfulness. It is God who gives us the strength and power to live the life of faith. We dare not ever forget these things.

We need to passionastely remember these things and build our lives on these truths. We can never move away from these truths. We must hold firmly to them. If we don't, we will lose our bearings and not be ready when the Lord comes for us. Stay alert and never lose sight of the wondrous truth, Jesus included you and me when He died on the cross for our sins. It is by His precious blood that we have fellowship with God. He is our wisdom, righteousness and holiness before God (I Cor. 1:30).

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Rev. 3:2b  "I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive--but you are dead.  Now wake up!  Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is at the point of death.  Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God."

It's time to wake up!  Appearing to be right with God and being right with God are two totally different things.  We can put on our Christian faces while being out of fellowship with God.  We can even fool ourselves into thinking we are right with God when we are not. 

We need to be honest with ourselves about who we really are in God's eyes.  We need to get back to the basics and examine ourselves in light of God's Word.  Are we living what we profess to believe?  Are we striving to live pure and holy lives before God?  Are we submissive to Him and striving to serve Him?  Is the Lord the driving passion of your heart?  Are you ready to stand before Him today and give an account of your life?

If you have faith in God, strengthen your faith today; if you don't, it may very well die out.  Get into God's Word and let it captivate your soul and mind.  Learn what it says and prayerfully seek to apply it to your living.  Renew your commitment to prayer.  Spend all the time that you need in prayer to know that the Lord is near.  Learn to trust the Lord in all things.  Take Him at His word and do not doubt.  Let the Lord stretch your faith and make it stronger.

Make sure your heart is right with God today and your deeds will be right before Him.  He will be well-pleased with your living when your heart is right with Him.  If your heart is not right before Him, what you do won't matter.  God will not acknowledge the works of those out of fellowship with Him.

Confess your sins to the Lord today, ask Him to forgive you, and change your ways.  Your eternity may very well depend on it.  If you wait, tomorrow may be too late.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Rev. 2:23 "I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve."

Jesus makes it very clear; He is the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. Jesus knows what you are thinking all the time. I don't know about you, but there are times in which I wish that the Lord did not know what I was thinking. It's impossible to always keep our thoughts in order. We may not express how we feel, but the Lord knows what is going on in our heads. We need to strive as much as possible to keep our minds focused on that which is good and wholesome so it won't be filled with things that are harmful to our souls.

Jesus makes it clear; He know the intentions of every person. He knows why we do what we do. He knows better than we do why we do things. He looks deep into the soul and understands the direction of our souls and how it affects what we do and say. We can fool one another easy enough, and sometimes even ourselves, but we can never fool the Lord.

Jesus makes it clear; we will get whatever we deserve. God never makes a mistake when He doles out justice. He judges us according to His revealed truth. No one will stand before the Lord and receive from Him more or less than he deserves. This truth can either comfort us or frighten us. We need to live in such a way that we are comforted by this wonderful truth. The Lord is a rewarder of those who are faithful to Him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Rev. 2:20 "But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman--that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet--to lead my servants astray."

What kind of preaching do you listen to? In some of the early churches, false teaching entered in. There were people who were proclaiming a different message than the Gospel message and it was leading people of the church astray. We don't know all that was being taught, but we do know that it could not have been consistent with Paul and the apostles' teachings. Many wanted to cling to their traditions and old ways of living in their walks of faith. Many used the Gospel for their own personal gain.

There are a lot of different things being proclaimed in the church today that are different than what is proclaimed in God's Word. Some churches have changed the Word of God to suit their own interpretations of it. Some have softened the message and no longer preach about God's holiness. Some declare that hell is not real and we don't have to concern ourselves about it. Some take a more universalistic approach and declare that there are many ways to God other than Jesus. There are so many different spins on the truth of the Gospel that the Word of God is no longer considered to be infallable and relevant to our daily living. Some add to it and take away from it what they want in order to suit their own whims.

It is imperative for the wellness of our souls that we be diligent students of God's Word. We must not take an intellectual approach to the Word without a heart approach. We must let God speak to us and guide us into all truth. We must submit to its authority over us and have nothing to do with any teachings that go contrary to it. God has clearly made known to us the way of holiness and we must follow it. Without it, no one will see God.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Rev. 2:14 "And yet I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you who are like Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel."

One of the things that has become common in the church is the presence of people who trip others up in the faith. Some troublemakers are very easy to see and others are hard to find. If the church is sincere in wanting to do things God's way, she will break fellowship with those who teach or preach things that would cause people to not live holy lives. Holiness is a mandate from God and essential for our getting into heaven. Therefore, the church must not allow anyone to lead others away from holy living.

There are some people who trip up the faith of others who are not easily noticed. We need to be on the lookout for them. We need to shun anyone who would pull us away from holy living. Anyone who would entice us to sin must not be allowed into our lives. Anyone who would discourage us from living holy lives must not be in our fellowship. Anyone who would promote all heaven and no hell must not be listened to. Anyone who would promote God as love and not holy love must not be tolerated. Anyone who does not spur us on to holy living is not good for us. Anyone who would minimize sin's impact on us because of grace should be avoided. Anyone who is a hinderance instead of a help to us is not good for us.

We must be careful who we hang around with. Our goal is to remain pure before God and anyone who influences us to not be pure must not play a prominent role in our lives. It is not easy to keep our souls pure before God and letting people into our lives who work against us is not a very good idea.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Rev. 2:9-10 "Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The Devil will throw some of you into prison and put you to the test. You will be persecuted for 'ten days.' Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Some believers know very well what it is to suffer and be persecuted for their faith, while for others there is very little knowledge of what it is like. The early church lived in a very hostile world towards Christianity. Christ changed everything; He made enemies of the Jewish community that did not accept Him as the promised Messiah and He was deemed to be the enemy of the Roman world who was threatened by His claims of kingship over mankind. As a result, Christians were the target of much persecution, even to the point of death for many. In many parts of the world today, the same thing holds true. Many religions of the world despise Christians and often will persecute them, even to the point of death. The world in general despise Christians because of Christ's standards of holy living that they refuse to accept, let alone live by.

On the other hand, in many parts of the world, suffering for Christ is not very well known. There may be public scorning for one's beliefs and ridicule, but that would be pretty much it. What needs to be understood though is that the closer we get to the Lord's coming, the more likely it is that the body of Christ everywhere will be subject to persecutions and sufferings.

Jesus reminds us here to remain faithful. We need to strengthen our faith every chance we get so that we will be strong enough to remain faithful when the tough times come upon us. If we are able to remain faithful, even if it is in the face of death itself, great will be our reward in heaven. The time to grow strong in faith in today, tomorrow may be too late. Draw near to God and stay there. If you do, you will be able to stand up and be faithful regardless of what you may face in the days ahead.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Rev. 2:4-5 "But I have this complaint against you. You don't love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don't, I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place among the churches."

Do you love with the same intensity as you did when you first fell in love? Take a moment and think back. What was it like when you first discovered true love? I remember that my whole outlook on life was one of excitement and focus. I enjoyed being in the presence of my wife-to-be and it was all I cared about. I lived for the moments when I could spend time with her. It gave me great joy and renewed hope. I remember that I would not let life get to me because I was in love and knew she loved me. It was true when I fell in love with my wife, and it was true when I really fell in love with God. The issue now is, "Do I still love my wife and God like I did at first?"

How far have you fallen away from the time you first fell in love with God? Does He excite you like He once did? Do you long to be with Him like you once did? Do you see life positively and hopefully like you once did? Are you as focused on Him like you once were? Does knowing God bring you great joy? Are you living to please Him like you once did? If not, what has happened? What have you allowed to come between you and God? What has become more important to you than your relationship with God?

Listen! Turn back to God while you can. Don't waste another moment of your life drifting away from Him. Turn back to Him and renew the love you had for Him when you first got to know Him. Repent of whatever sins you have allowed into your heart. Repent of your neglect. Repent of your failure to stoke the fires of your love. Repent and turn back to God before your heart turns so cold you won't even want to. Don't let your light grow so dim that the darkness swallows it up.

Today is the day for your turning back to God. Now is the time for you to rekindle the flame of your love. Tomorrow may be too late. Right now is the moment God has given you to repent. Will you do it?

Friday, December 23, 2016


Jude 25 All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen.

Give God the glory. He alone is able to save us. He gives us salvation through Jesus our Lord. Jesus came to earth for no other reason. He died on the cross of Calvary so that you and I could become His children.

God alone is worthy of our adoration and praise. He alone is glorious and majestic. He is all powerful and all authority belongs to Him. We behold all that He has created and our souls are filled with awe. He displays His glory, majesty and power through all we can see and in the things we can't see. Man is constantly discovering new things in creation that bear witness to God's indescribable glory, majesty, power and wisdom.

God rules over all He has made; He holds it all together by the sheer power of His word. Nothing happens in creation without His knowledge and permission. He alone is able to rule over all things. He always has exercised authority over all things, and He always will. Things happen at His command and someday He will command Jesus to come to take us home to heaven. He will command the events needed to create the new heaven and earth to unfold and the transformation will begin.

God alone is worthy of our adoration and praise. Let us praise His wondrous and holy name today. To God be the glory now and forever. Amen.

Thursday, December 22, 2016



Jude 24 And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.

Glory is the radiance of God, the spendor and majesty of God. All glory should be attributed to God. We use glory in a secular way to describe someone in their natural state. The glory of God is God seen for who He is in His holiness and love. It is the natural state of God's perfection and purity. It is acknowledging God as set apart from everything and the absolute standard for all that is good. It is declaring that God is and there is none other beside Him.

It is God who is able to keep you from stumbling. When we cling to the Lord as we should, we will remain steady and not keep stumbling over sin and ourselves. We will do what is right before God. It is when we let go of the Lord in the moment we are in that we stumble and fall. The more we cling to the Lord, the less likely we are to fall.

It is God who will bring us into His presence. It is God who knows the way and He is committed to helping us make it home to heaven if we will let Him lead the way. It is God who knows what we need for the journey, and He supplies it. It is God who knows how to ward off the enemy of our souls, Satan. It is God who keeps us moving, even when we feel like giving up.

It is God who will get us home free from sin. As long as we live in the righteousness of Christ, we are considered to be innocent before God. We are accepted in the presence of God strictly on the merit of Christ's righteousness. As long as we stay closely connected to the Lord, we have peace with God and are welcomed into His presence.

It is God who gives us great joy. There is no greater joy than to know that God does not condemn us. The joy of salvation is God's guarantee that we are going to be with Him someday in heaven. No one or nothing can take joy out of our hearts when we live life in Christ alone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Jude 20-23 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. Live in such a way that God's love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren't contaminated by their sins.

What are you building your life on? There is only one foundation that means anything and lasts, and that is your relationship with Christ. When life is over on earth, there is nothing that can hold you up as you face God on Judgment Day except your faith in Christ.

Note that Jude calls this faith a holy faith. Holy faith is a faith that is life-changing. It is not just giving lip service or allegiance to God. It is a life that is sold out to Him, a life that is deeply affected by God in Him. A life set apart from sin for all to see.

We are to pray as we are led along by the Holy Spirit. Much can be said about this, but let me just say this: In order to be led by the Spirit we must be willing to wait before Him to learn where we need to go and we must follow Him willingly. Most of us are in way to big of a hurry to get somewhere to wait, but wait we must if we want the Lord to lead us.

Live in such a way that God can bless you as you wait for eternal life to unfold for you. This doesn't mean you can put your life on cruise control. We must live faithfully and serve faithfully as long as we have opportunity and breath.

Our living must be characterized by mercy. We are to reach out to those whose souls are in jeopardy. We are to come alongside them and strive to help them find their way to God, especially those who profess faith in Him. If you know of someone of faith who is struggling and drifting away from God, be merciful and lovingly help them find their way back to God.

We need to show mercy to all who will listen, but be careful. As you reach out to others, protect your own soul. Don't let the sin of others infiltrate your soul. Stay prayed up and in the Word so that you won't get sucked into sin. Do all you can to help others while you stand guard over your soul.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Jude 22-23 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.

Life is tough and at times the life of faith is tough. Some of us at times really struggle holding on to faith. Instead of judging one another for their struggling faith, we should show each other mercy. We do this by being compassionate towards one another. We come alongside each other and lovingly seek to help. We offer guidance from the Word. We pray with and for one another. We offer understanding and not condemnation. We patiently help each other get our footing back on solid ground.

Some people of faith are hanging on by their fingernails. They are wandering away from God and barely show any resemblance to a child of God. We are not to sit by idly and watch them get closer and closer to hellfire. We are to show compassion for them by getting involved in their lives and try to guide them back to Christ. You cannot say you love someone’s soul and let them self-destruct. We must care enough for each other to rescue all we can from the flames of God’s judgment. If you don’t care enough to get involved, you need to pray and ask the Lord to change your heart.

Some people have no faith in Christ at all. We are to show them compassion and reach out to them with the love of Christ and the Gospel message. In doing so we must always be on guard and protect our own souls, lest we fall into the sin that ensnares them. It is easy to be influenced by sinful practices or thinking and we must never let down our guard.

Don’t ever think that you are too spiritual to not be contaminated by sin. It happens all the time and we must always diligently keep our hearts pure before God. If sin does creep into your soul you must confess your sin and seek Christ’s forgiveness. He who ignores or harbors sin in his heart drives God away from him and makes fellowship with God impossible.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Jude 21 Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you.

There is a way to live that prevents God from blessing us. We are to protect our souls so that we don’t fall into that way of life. God desires to pour out His love on us, but because He is holy He cannot do it if we are living in disobedience.

The outpouring of God’s love on our souls overwhelms the soul. Just to think about the fact that God, the creator and sustainer of all things, chooses to have a love relationship with us, is too much for the soul to comprehend, but He does. To live in the warmth of His love blesses the soul.

Consider for a few moments what it is like to be loved and taken care of by God. Consider what the Lord saved and kept you from. We can only imagine the type of life we would have lived if God would not have reached out in love to save us. Look back and think about how the Lord has impacted your life. Consider how He has carried you through the ups and downs of living. Consider how the hope you have in Christ has sustained you through life’s difficulties. Consider how the Lord has provided for your daily needs of life. Consider the people He has brought into your life since you were saved. Consider how He has given you understanding over many things that were foolish and dark to you before you were saved. Consider who you have become and are still becoming because of your love relationship with God. We are so wondrously and richly blessed by our Father who loves us and treats us with such kindness and goodness.

As you think about these things, thank the Lord. Let your heart swell up in praise to Him from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him knowing that the best is yet to come. We will be with our Lord for eternity! We can only imagine what that is going to be like, to be with He who has redeemed our souls. There is coming a day soon in which faith will give way to sight. We shall see our Lord face to face! We will live forever in the glory of God. The Lord is waiting in heaven to greet us as we come home so He can lavish upon us the blessings He has stored up for us.

We now wait for that day to unfold. While we wait, let us live in such a way that God’s love can bless us.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Jude 20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.

We must continue to build our lives on the foundation of our holy faith. First of all, faith is holy living. We don’t often think of it in this way, but it is. Faith is a process of becoming like Christ, who is holy. It is changing who we are to become like who He is. Faith is a life of excellence before God. If our faith is not moving in that direction, then our hearts have not been truly saved. We are to build our lives on holy faith. Holiness is the goal for all living in Christ.

No structure will survive without a good and proper foundation. A foundation is tailored to fit the building that is built on it. So it is with the soul. The foundation of the soul is that which makes us holy. Anything that works against making us holy must be discarded. We must be diligent pursuers of all that makes us holy. It begins at Calvary and includes faithful learning from God’s Word, prayer and serving the Lord.

Led by the Holy Spirit, we are to be a people of prayer. The Spirit actively works in God’s children to develop within them a prayer life. Prayer is essential for godly living and being a godly witness in the world. We need to pray for the vitality of our souls. We need to pray for the wellness of others’ souls. We need to pray for the working of the Spirit in the world to convict people of their sins. We need to pray for those who are in the world laboring for Christ. We are to pray, not to impress others, but to align ourselves up with God so that His will on earth will be done.

We are to pray always, not just when we feel like it, but when we don’t feel like it as well. We are to pray whenever the Spirit prods us to pray. There are times when we are led to pray when we don’t have any clue as to why. When the Spirit is working in people’s lives, He often bids the children of God to pray without them knowing anything except to pray. Don’t disobey the promptings of the Spirit to pray. Our Father knows best. He knows who, or what, needs immediate prayer. Sometimes we don’t even know what to say, or are so overwhelmed that we can’t even utter words, but that is okay. The Spirit knows the heart of man and will utter the words we can’t say before our Father. Prayer is a partnership with God to accomplish on earth what God desires to be done. Prayer is good for our souls and accomplishes much when led by the Spirit.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


III John 11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.

Don’t let the poor execution of faith in others throw you. There will always be those who profess faith but do not live up to the standards of faith. How someone else lives out faith should not determine how you live it out. You are responsible for your walk of faith. You must be determined to follow that which is good. You must follow the example of those who do good. You must focus on doing that which you know is right in God’s eyes. God will deal with those who are bad examples. You do what is right before God.

Those who do good are those who are right with God. Goodness is seen in those who live by godly principles and standards. It is consistently living what is known to be true. Those who do good are children of God.

On the other hand, those who do not do good are not children of God. It does not matter who they claim to be, the proof of salvation is in the living. Those who live by sinning against God are not children of God. I know this may rile some feathers, but I can’t understand God’s Word any other way. A righteous heart produces a righteous life which produces righteous fruit. I see nothing in the Word that would allow me to keep on sinning against God and still be His child.

Saying we can get away with sin because we profess to be His children, cheapens the holiness of God. It also cheapens Calvary. Jesus did not die on the cross to make allowance for sins. He died to take away our sins. If you think that what we do after we accept Christ as our Savior doesn’t really matter because we live in grace, I challenge you to rethink your position. Sin matters to God and it should matter to us.

Friday, December 16, 2016


II John 10-11 If someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite him into your house or encourage him in any way. Anyone who encourages him becomes a partner in his evil work.

We need to be aware of those who would teach things in Jesus’ name that are not Biblically sound and true. We need to be knowledgeable enough about the truth that we can tell when someone is preaching or teaching another gospel. We need to examine the Scriptures and think for ourselves to discern whether or not what we hear is the truth. God gave us brains to use and we should use them. Don’t let others do your thinking for you.

When we encounter those who are not proclaiming Biblical truth, we should not entertain them or encourage them in any way. We should point out the truth in a loving way to them and not let them get by with false teaching. If their hearts are right with God, they will change their ways of thinking and proclaim the truth. If they have rebellious hearts, they will not change and we are not to have fellowship with them. If we fail to expose false teachings we are in essence supporting the false teachers. We are telling them and others that what they are saying is okay and we become partners with them in their false teachings.

We must stand guard over the truth at all times. We are protectors of the integrity of the Gospel message and God holds us accountable when we fail to do our job of exposing false teachers and their teachings. This means as well when godly teachers and preachers say things that don’t ring true with the Word, we must bring it to their attention and expose that which is false in order to prevent them from leading others astray. If they fail to listen, have nothing more to do with them except pray for them and those they expose to their false teachings.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


II John 8-9 Watch out, so that you do not lose the prize for which we have been working so hard. Be diligent so that you will receive your full reward. For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But if you continue in the teachings of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son.

It is so easy to slack off in our Christian walk. It is so easy to get into a coasting mode. We are not prone to work very hard at keeping our walk with the Lord fresh and sharp. We get so caught up into other things and take the Lord for granted.

The rewards of heaven are beyond our imaging. The Lord is preparing great things for us to enjoy. The stuff He uses is the fruit of our lives on earth. The more faithful and diligent we are in our walk with Him, the greater our reward will be. It is possible to make it to heaven and lose out on what might be our greater rewards. We don't know what all the Lord wants to do for us, but we hinder Him from what He can and wants to do by the way we live. Heaven's rewards are the natural fruit of a live lived rightly in Christ on earth.

We must be very careful how we treat Christ and His teachings. We easily can read into the Scriptures what we want them to say. There is great danger in trying to make the Lord say what He has not said. God said what He means already and we do not have the right or authority to go beyond what He has said. We must strive to understand what God has spoken and apply it to life. Do not let the words of man deceive you. Jesus has spoken clearly about eternal life and how it plays out in life. Listen to Him. He alone is the way to God. His life alone is our standard for living and loving. We cannot add to or take away from anything He has said.

If we continue to live the life Jesus has shown us and taught us, we will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son. If we don't, we won't. It's as simple as that. It is good soul food for us to consistently read and meditate on the Gospels where we have recorded the life of Christ. It is not the only soul food we need, but nothing else makes sense without it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I John 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

It is so easy to get involved in things that become more important to us than our relationship with God. We get preoccupied with life and tend to put the Lord somewhere down the list of priorities in our lives. We don’t do it intentionally, but it happens often. Unless we are very diligent about our relationship with Him, the Lord is crowded out as the focus of our lives.

In order for the Lord to remain as the number one priority in our lives, we must diligently work at keeping Him there. We must not neglect our time in the Word or go to it as almost an afterthought in our lives. It takes time to discover the treasures of God’s Word. It takes time to think seriously about the things we read. It takes an open heart and mind to hear God speak from its pages. It takes time to comprehend what God is saying. There is no greater investment of time than to take the time we need to unravel the treasures of God’s Word. False doctrine plagues those who take God’s Word casually and give it only a nominal amount of time in their lives.

We also must take time to pray. If you don’t have the time to pray, your life is way out of whack. Prayer is an absolute necessity in order to keep the Lord number one in our hearts. We must get alone with God. We must spend time to worship Him as we pray. We must take the time to let Him examine our hearts and lead us to repentance. We must take the time to pray for others and the church.

We must take the time to serve. Our living must always be governed by the Lord. We must see life as a relationship with the Lord. It is good for us to have Jesus in mind as we go about our daily living. It is important for the health of our souls that we seek always to honor Christ in what we do. It is good for the soul to think often as we live about the Lord being with us always.

In order to keep away from those things which would keep the Lord away from the throne of our hearts, we must not neglect our great salvation. We must discipline ourselves and always stand guard over our walk with the Lord. We will never live in victory if we let the Lord off the throne of our hearts. He must always be the number one priority in our passions. He must be in our thoughts as we go about our daily living. We must temper all we do in light of our relationship with Him.

Staying away from anything that may take God’s place in our lives takes work. It takes purposeful living. It takes a determination to guard our souls against everything that would crowd the Lord out. God is a jealous God and He demands His rightful place as Lord of our hearts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I John 5:18 We know that those who have become part of God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot get his hands on them.

God’s children do not make a practice of sinning. Period. There is so much emphasis placed on God’s grace today that many of us have taken a lax attitude about sin. There seems to be little concern about how we live our lives as long as we commit ourselves to Jesus as our Savior. Grace does not give us a license to sin. Grace changes us so that we no longer make it a practice to sin. We strive to please God by not sinning instead of striving to please ourselves by sinning. This truth must be understood by all believers. Grace does not give us an excuse to keep on sinning!

When Christ saves us He grabs hold of us securely and when we are in His grasp, we are deeply influenced by Him. He is righteous and holy and in His hands we too become righteous and holy. The key to stop sinning is to rest in the grasp of Christ who is holding you. We let Him be the focus of our attention and as long as He is, we will not fall into the habit of sinning.

Satan cannot get to us and lead us into sin as long as Jesus is our shield and defender. It is when we step out from behind His protection that we fall into sin. We have no one but ourselves to blame when we sin because Jesus is more than capable of keeping us from it.

We know these things are true, but we find ourselves still sinning from time to time. It is going to happen because we don’t always put into practice what we know to be true. The allurement of sin is always before us and it overpowers us in our weak moments of life. Praise the Lord for He always forgives us when we confess our sin before him and seek his forgiveness.

Our greatest need is to strive to always keep our relationship with Christ strong through the daily disciplines of prayer, Bible study, witnessing and serving. Only then will we be able to resist the urge to sin against God. Satan is unable to get to us when we have the shield of faith guarding our souls.

Monday, December 12, 2016


I John 5:16-17 If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. Every wrong is sin, but not all sin leads to death.

One of the ways you can know that you are truly connected to God in love is how you react to those around you when they sin against God. When we who are God's children sin, God does not reject us as unfit for His kingdom and cast us out. He graciously brings our sin up, reminds us of how awful sin is to Him, convicts us, leads us to repentance, forgives us, and leads us forward in love. We are to treat each other the same way. Instead of judging one another and treating each other harshly because of sin, we should be kind, gracious, and forgiving. We should never let the sin of a repentant heart keep us from embracing the sinner in love and having fellowship with Him. But, sadly we do. Instead of coming alongside of them in prayer, we cast them aside and treat them as unworthy of our fellowship. Shame on us.

There are times in which we have to sever fellowship because of unrepentant hearts. That is not the issue here. Here we are dealing with our heart attitude towards those who really do want to do what is right before God. We need to pray for them. If they don't recognize their sin, pray that the Lord will make it known to them so that they can repent. The goal always in Christ is restoration to a right relationship first with God and then others. Human relationships cannot be right until first our relationship with God is right.

What is the sin that leads to death? I believe it is a stubborn and willful rejection of God. It is an unwillingness to listen to God. It is a desire to have nothing to do with God. It is a heart that is spiteful towards God. Such a heart cannot hear God speak about sin and all sin leads to death of the soul.

We all sin, but we all are not bound for hell because of it. God forgives the sin of a repentant heart and judges the sin of the unrepentant heart. There is nothing that we can do when someone refuses to repent of sin. However, it is not for us to judge others. We are to continue to love them in spite of their sin and let God deal with them for their sin.

Is there someone you know who needs the love you have withheld from them because of their sin against you? It is a sin to not love those for whom Christ died. Confess your sin and ask the Lord to show and teach you how to love them.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


I John 5:14-15 And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.

We ask many things from the Lord. Much of what we ask for we don’t get because we ask for things that are not in line with His will. When we ask for things that are in line with His will, the Lord grants what we ask for. So the issue becomes making sure that what we pray for is in line with His will.

Praying in the will of God means that we pray for those things which are consistent with His character and His will for man. God desires that all men be saved and then grow into holiness. So, anything that helps to make it happens will be granted to us. Think about what you pray for. Do you ask for anything that is not consistent with God’s holy nature and love? Do you ask for things that are not consistent with God’s desire to save souls and make them holy?

God wants you to grow in his grace and in your knowledge of Him. Do you do ask for things that do not serve to make it happen in you? If God were to grant you what you pray for, then how would it work in your life to aide you in the process of being made holy?

The Lord delights in answering prayers that are in line with His will. Every prayer of His children is an answered prayer. He knows best how to line up our prayers in accordance to His will for us. Sometimes His response is to give us what we ask for, sometimes He delays his responses, and sometimes He refuses to give us what we ask for.

Each prayer offered up to the Lord should be clothed in thanksgiving for we know our loving Heavenly Father always is at work for our good and His glory and our prayers are answered accordingly. We give thanks as well for we know that the Lord’s response is always on time. We don’t always understand His timing, but we trust Him and know that our Father always knows best when to grant us our requests. We do not give up praying for we know that persistence in prayer always is rewarded for those who pray in God’s will.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


I John 5:13 I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.

John wrote his letter to the body of Christ so that there would be no question amongst them that they indeed had eternal life. There are many different things we can point to that assure us that indeed we are children of God.

Lip service gives way to living service. A child of God is not an idle bystander. He is an active participant in the household of faith. He is putting faith into action. He not only talks about loving others, he is doing it. He is striving to daily live in obedience to God’s commandments. He is actively letting his light shine in the darkness of the world, sharing his faith whenever he can.

You know you have eternal life when you are never satisfied with what you already know and have in Christ. You long to grow in Christ and are endeavoring to do so. You seek out more understanding through His Word and don’t shy away from spending quiet time with Him in prayer.

You have eternal life when you love others in similar fashion as God loves you. You seek the good of others and not their harm. You reach out to them when they are in need. You are an encourager and not a discourager to their faith. You act graciously towards them and extend forgiveness when they wrong you. You dwell on their goodness and not their shortcomings.

You know you have eternal life when your faith rules your life. A child of God is one whose body, mind and soul are faith driven. There is a desire to always live within the constraints of the Gospel. There is a constant awareness of the presence of Christ. There is a driven desire to always do what is right before God. There is a continuous readiness of the soul for Christ’s return.

You know you have eternal life when you cherish the time you can spend with the Lord in His Word and in prayer. You get it. You understand how important it is to the health of your soul to feed it with proper spiritual food.

Yes, dear friend, we can know for certain that we have eternal life. Think on these things.

Friday, December 9, 2016


I John 5:11-12 All who believe in the Son of God know that this is true. Those who don't believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don't believe what God has testified about his Son. And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. So whoever has God's Son has life, whoever does not have his Son does not have life.

John is talking about the evidence that determines whether or not we are truly God's children, our love for God and people. God is love and His children are lovers. It can be no other way. Christians are distinctly different than non-Christians in this. Non-Christians are first and foremost lovers of themselves. Christians are first and foremost lovers of God and then others. As believers we must love ourselves, but it doesn't stop there.

It is a very serious thing to call God a liar, but when we live like we are nothing more than lovers of self, aren't we in essence doing just that? God says that His children love beyond themselves and when we act differently, we are by practice saying that what God says is not true. We cannot indeed by His children if we can't or won't love those for whom Christ died.

Jesus is the greatest testimony of what God's love is like. He was sent by God to die for our sins, and that is exactly what He did. In Christ we have eternal life because He broke the back of the law's condemnation on sin. He did what no one else could do; He satisfied the just wrath of God against sin. He who knew no sin became our sin sacrifice.

Whoever lives in Christ has eternal life with God, and whoever does not live in Christ does not have life and is doomed to an eternity in hell. There is no wiggle room in this.

Is Jesus your Savior today? Are you loving others even as you are loved by Him?

Thursday, December 8, 2016


I John 5:3-5 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn’t difficult. For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

You can say you love God, but if you are not living in obedience to His Word, you are not loving Him. Obeying God is the surest way to determine whether or not there is a love for God. No one can love God without obeying Him.

Obeying God is not difficult at all. When we love Him, we want to please Him. We want to follow Him. We want to imitate Him the best we can. We want to honor and respect Him. We have a natural desire to obey Him. If you are having trouble obeying God, you need to get alone with Him and get your heart right with Him.

As we obey God and trust in Christ, we become victors over the evil of this world. Those who live in defeat are not lovers of God. You will never know victory over sin while cheating on God. You both love Him and live for him, or you wallow around in sin. A failure to love God is the root cause of all sin. If you are struggling with sin issues, you need to flee to Calvary and get a love bath in the blood of Jesus.

Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and will win the battle over your sins. Embrace Jesus. Set your affections on Him alone and you will overcome the hold sin has over you. Let Jesus be Lord of your life and Satan cannot hold onto you. It takes more than a mental embracing of Jesus to live in Him; you must embrace Him with your heart and let Him control it.

All who love God and show it by keeping His commandments overcome the world and all of its sinful allurements. Great is the reward of those who live victoriously in Christ.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I John 5:2-3 We know we love God's children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that is not difficult.

There are many different ways to know for certain that we are indeed children of God. Two of the most basic are to love God and obey His commandments. To love God involves a lot of different things. When you love God, you want to spend time with Him. You look forward to being alone with Him. He stirs up an excitement in you. You want to please Him in whatever you do. You strive to always be faithful to Him. You long to know Him better and you do all you can to learn as much about Him as you can. You do not ignore Him, neglect Him, or bring shame to Him. You are more concerned about His honor and glory than you are your own. Your life is about Him, not you.

If we truly love the Lord we will obey His Word. We won't pick and choose what we want to do. We will take seriously what God says and strive to do it. We will get rid of sin in our lives. We will strive to keep our souls pure by keeping sin out of them. We will strive to live peaceably with others and treat them with kindness, love, mercy and grace. We will let our actions proclaim our faith and tell whoever we can about Jesus and our love for Him. We will be involved in His church and what we can to serve Him there. We will protect the integrity of God's Word and let it govern our lives.

We know our love for God is real when we can love His children in a godly way. We are not driven by selfish desires or motives. We embrace them as our brothers and sisters, regardless of our differences. We do not let anything become an issue between us that keeps us out of fellowship with them. We live graciously with others and let the Lord handle what needs to be handled in their lives. We pray with them and for them without reservation. We treat them as we want them to treat us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar, for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?

John continues his discussion about the love of God and he really hits a nerve with this verse. John says that it's not true if we claim to love God and still do not love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us think about this for a moment.

We all know people in the household of faith that we don't get along well with. Our personalities might clash, we may not see things the same way, or we might have some issue with one another that we can't seem to let go of. Whatever the reason may be, there are simply some people that we would prefer to not have fellowship with and we feel uneasy being around them. Let's be honest; it's true isn't it? We don't always have good feelings about one another. So, how can we deal with it in light of today's Scripture? How can we say we love God and still have problems getting along with some people?

I believe one thing we must do is to differeniate between our feelings and facts. Godly love is far more than how we feel. It involves commitment, a willingness to put others before ourselves, and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others. It is treating others with respect no matter how we feel at the moment. It is about purposely striving to live at peace with others. It is a determination to move beyond our hurts and issues and accepting others graciously as precious children of God. It is treating one another with dignity and honor. It is striving to be like our Lord in love, not letting our differences keep us out of fellowship with one another.

How do we accomplish living by godly love? There is no shortcut. We must stay in close fellowship with the Lord. We must spend daily time with Him in His Word, prayer and worship. We must always strive to honor Him in how we relate to others. We must always remember that it's about the Lord and not us or how we feel. Is it easy to do? No, but it is doable. Let us be a people of grace, loving one another as we are loved by God.

Monday, December 5, 2016


I John 4:18-19 Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.

Perfect love, the love that God has, expels all fear. There are many different types of fear that plague us. Most of us have something we are afraid of, whether it be people, insects, animals, or whatever. The one thing all fear has in common is that it cripples us. Fear prevents us from going ahead and doing whatever it is we are doing at the moment. Until we are able to overcome our fear, we avoid whatever it is that is causing it.

In the Bible there is a fear that is good. It is fear as it relates to God. In this sense fear is a reverence and respect for who God is. Every believer needs to have a fear of God. We must not have such a warped understanding of God that we have no respect for Him in His holiness or reverence for Him in His glory. When we lose that sense of who God is, we have no real God to worship and serve.

There is a fear that grips the heart of man when it comes to God's judgment. We won't know what it is like to stand before God face-to-face until it happens. When we realize that our eternity is in His hands and His decision is final, it can be a very scary thing. However, the love of God takes that fear away from us. Jesus is the flesh and bones of God's love. When we are living rightly in Jesus, we have nothing to fear when it comes to God;s judgment. God blesses and not curses those who are in Christ. If you are afraid of what it might be like for you as you stand before God, then you are either not living rightly in Christ, or you don't have the right understanding of what Jesus has done for you when He saved you.

In Christ, love has been perfected. The love of God has infiltrated our souls and we are now able to love one another, in the same way as God loves us, unconditionally and sacrificially.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


I John 4:17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world.

Notice that as we live in fellowship with God, changes take place in our lives. Our hearts change in such a way that the character of love that flows through it changes. Love is that part of us that produces goodness. It is the desire within us that defines who we are and determines what we do. The character of our souls is determined by the objects of our love.

Living in God produces godly love. God is absolute love and He changes imperfect love into His love. The more we live in fellowship with God, the more like Him in love we become. It is a natural process and we cannot avoid it happening. If God is not the object of your love, you are not a child of God. If you are not becoming more like God in His ability to love, you are not a child of God. God is love and those who live in God will too become like God in love.

We should be consistently growing in our love relationship with God. In order to do that, we must be consistently in fellowship with God. We must be reading the Word of God faithfully and meeting with Him in our prayer closets. You will never grow in love with God if you take lightly the necessary disciplines of the faith. Spiritual progression produces spiritual fruit which produces spiritual service which pleases God.

Living in God calms our fears of facing God on Judgment Day. Our hearts are full of His love and we rest in that love. We approach God with confidence knowing that we are His and He is ours.

Because we are His, we are like Christ here on earth. We act like Christ commands us to. We think about life in a way that reflects the life of Christ in us. We reflect the presence of Christ in all we do. We produce the fruit of the Spirit and we are known as a child of God. There is no fear in our souls because His perfect love casts out all of our fears. We know there is nothing to condemn us before God because all is well between Christ and us. We live in His love and act out His love in all we do.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


I John 4:16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

One thing that I want you to really know is that God loves you so much. I want you to think about how much He loves you. Think about how bad off you were before Christ came into your life. Think about how miserable you really felt inside of you before you experienced Christ’s love and forgiveness. Think about those times you stubbornly rejected His love. Think about His faithfulness and patience with you since He saved you. Think about what a difference He has made in your life and outlook on life. Think about your blessings from God, the good things he pours into your soul because Jesus lives in you. The love of God for us is so much greater than we can even imagine!

We can trust God because we know He loves us so much. We know that He will only treat us with goodness. We know that He will always work in us to help us become the best we can be in Him. We know that because He loves us, He will never go away or turn His back on us and stop loving us.

God is love and His children love as He loves. We cannot love any other way when Christ lives in us. His love overwhelms our natural way of loving. He changes the character of our love so that we become more and more like Him in His love. His love is the natural fruit of living in relationship with Him.

If you are a child of God, you will be a channel of His love. If you are not characterized by His love, then you are not a child of God. Think about how you relate to people. Is it obvious to them that you are a child of God because of how you act and talk? If you are a child of God, you will be an encourager. You will always seek the good of others. You will actively bring Christ into their lives by the example you set before them in how you are loving them.

The true measure of your standing with God is how you love and whom you love. A true child of God will not just love those who love them.

Friday, December 2, 2016


I John 4:13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he is us.

I don't know about you, but there have been times in which I have wondered if it could all be true. I stop and think about what I know to be true in the world around me and what I believe to be true of what I cannot see. In moments of weakness or times of trouble I have wondered if I might be basing my life on what I want to believe instead of what is for real. It is during those times of doubting that I discover just how true it all is. The Spirit of God speaks to me and reassures me that I do not believe in vain. It might be through the Word of God, the beauty and mystery of creation, something I hear, or just the peace I sense in my soul because of forgiven sin.

I know that God is in me and I am in God because the Spirit of God does for me and through me what no one or anything else ever could. There is a mystery to how He works, but it is undeniable that He does. I marvel at the way God confirms His life in me. I marvel at the changes He has made and continues to make in me. I marvel at how He continues to draw me to Him and keeps me from self-destructing.

God has given His Spirit to all who accept Jesus as their Savior to give them confidence that they are indeed children of God. He has given us the Spirit to help us make Jesus Lord of our lives. He has given us the Spirit to empower us to live for Christ now and lead us home to heaven when we die.

There is never a moment in which the Spirit of God is not with us when we live in Christ.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


I John 4:11-12 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.

It is unnatural for God's children to not act in love. Loving others should be as natural to us as breathing and eating. God is love and when He lives in us, we take on His nature. The thing that stands in our way is sin. We are born sinners. We are born with an inclination and desire to sin. Without Christ in us we have no help to keep us from sinning. We act and react in sinful ways. When we are in Christ, He helps us to change from being sinful in nature to godly in nature. There should be a progressive change in our nature. We should become like Him in His holy love.

It should be our desire to be a people of godly love. We should want to treat others lovingly. We should want to be helpful and encouraging to others. We should want to set aside our differences and have fellowship with others. We should want others to be blessed and enjoy a good life.

When we can't love others, especially those in the faith, we have a heart issue with God. The Lord can, and longs to, help us, but we must be willing to let Him. He will give us loving hearts if we ask Him to. He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of love, if we ask Him.

If you have a hard time loving someone, let the Lord change you. It may not happen overnight, but He will help you if you sincerely ask Him to. The more you pray for a change of heart, the more change you will see in your heart. It is God's desire for you to change. He wants to fully express His love for others through you. Will you let Him?