Month: February 2024

Power in the Name

Power in the Name

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)

When Peter and John encounter a lame beggar outside the temple, they demonstrate the authority and power available to all believers through the name of Jesus.

Though they possessed no money to assist him, they offered far greater riches through Christ – miraculous healing in an instant!

Expect the Impossible

Jesus assured His followers, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move” (Matthew 17:20-21).

As we call upon Christ’s name in faith according to His will, we open the door for the supernatural, limitless resources of heaven to meet earthly impossibilities.

This exciting spiritual truth applies to our physical bodies, relationships, jobs, ministry efforts, cities and nations. Through invoking Jesus’ authority in the unseen realms, we gain access to His resurrection miracle-working power.

“God’s power is always available where the name of Jesus is proclaimed.” Derek Prince

Let us call upon His name with bold expectancy today!

An Open Invitation

In Acts 3, Peter extends an invitation to the gathered crowd who are astonished at the healing they’ve witnessed.

He urges them to repent, turn to God and times of refreshing will come (v.19). The healing of the lame man was intended to point to spiritual restoration.

Similarly, God wants miracles to draw people to Himself – the ultimate source of life and power.

As conduits of His grace, we are privileged to bring the refreshment, renewal and salvation found solely in Jesus. May the power unleashed through Christ’s name open many eyes to His worth.

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Carried Home

Carried Home

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” (2 Kings 2:11)

In this vivid, miraculous account, Elijah’s earthly ministry comes to a dramatic close as he is swept up to heaven by a fiery chariot.

After years of faithful prophetic service, God carries his beloved servant home in a whirlwind – escorted by an angelic escort.

Passing of the Torch

Prior to his departure, Elijah has crossed the Jordan with Elisha, his successor. Before witnessing Elijah’s ascent, Elisha requests a double portion of his mentor’s spirit to carry on the prophetic work.

As Elijah is taken upward, Elisha cries out “My father! My father!” He tears his clothes in grief at the loss of his spiritual father.

Yet in the span of a verse, Elisha’s mourning turns to awe and celebration as he witnesses God’s supernatural power on display. He picks up Elijah’s fallen mantle – symbolic of the spiritual authority being passed to him – and proceeds to part the Jordan with Elijah’s cloak.

Elisha has inherited his mentor’s spirit and position in miraculous fashion.

The Hope of Heaven

Though God may not translate us to glory in a fiery chariot, Scripture offers magnificent hope of the home that awaits all believers.

In Christ, we journey on towards our ultimate heavenly destination, where we will fully know our glorious God. The apostle Paul wrote with conviction, “To live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

May this account stir fresh perspective! As you walk and work for your King, you too shall finish your race and behold Him face to face. Like Elijah, we will be carried home by the Savior you have served.

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Recognizing the Spirit of Truth

Recognizing the Spirit of Truth

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2)

John provides practical advice for discernment in a world with many false teachers seeking to deceive believers.

We can test every spirit by its view of Jesus Christ – specifically whether they acknowledge the core truth of the incarnation.

The Incarnation

The concept of God taking on human flesh at a point in time is central to the Christian faith. Jesus, eternally existent as the divine Son, added humanity to His deity when He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

This mind-blowing, divisive reality – the infinite, unseen God wrapped in fragile human skin – ushered in our salvation. The pure, spotless Lamb of God took on the punishment we deserved.

Those who deny this vital truth reject the very heart of the gospel message.

Exposing Counterfeit Voices

John equips us to differentiate between truthful and deceptive spiritual voices. Those who follow the true Spirit will always affirm biblical teachings about who Jesus is – both fully God and fully man.

When we encounter messages downplaying Christ’s deity or resurrection, we can recognize the voice of false religion rather than divine truth.

Voices that distract from the Son’s centrality should raise instant red flags in our minds. Leaders who stir controversy and division over clear Scriptural principles should give us great concern as well.

We must filter every theological debate through this grid – does it align with apostolic writings on Jesus Christ?

Standing Firm in Truth

As we study Scripture, praying for discernment, we can learn to distinguish truth from warped gospels and false teachings.

We must choose to stand firm, rather than getting blown off course by persuasive arguments or cultural trends that undermine biblical faith.

By anchoring ourselves to the cornerstone of Christ and testing every spirit against this measure, we can mature in spiritual insight and avoid deception. Celebrate the profound mystery: God with us!

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Things Freely Given

Things Freely Given

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

As Christians, we have been given an incredible gift – the very Spirit of God dwelling within us, providing divine wisdom, revelation, and discernment. Through the Spirit, we can grasp the depths of what God has graciously given us in Christ.

Seeing With Spiritual Eyes

Paul tells the Corinthians that believers have “not received the spirit of the world.” On our own, we are like blindfolded people, unable to comprehend spiritual truths.

God has given us His Spirit to open our eyes. He enlightens the eyes of our hearts, revealing the hope and riches of God’s glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18).

The Spirit searches the deep things of God and makes them known to us (1 Corinthians 2:10). With the veil removed, we can understand gospel truths that seem absurd and offensive to the darkened minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Ask the Spirit to illuminate Scripture and give insight into the precious realities you have in Christ.

Discerning All Things

The Spirit enables us to “discern all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15), sifting truth from falsehood. As we stay connected to God in prayer and saturate our minds with Scripture, the Spirit will lead us into truth and prompt our conscience.

We can check ideas, philosophies, and advice against biblical wisdom – assessing if they align with God’s character and priorities. The Spirit guards us from deception, protecting the gospel message entrusted to us. Let us cling to the Spirit’s discernment each day.

Living By the Spirit When we received Christ, we gained the Spirit’s indwelling power and presence. Paul urges us to “live by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) – submitting to His leadership continually. As we walk in step with the Spirit, He will bear good fruit in our lives.

By God’s amazing grace, we have inherited blessings that go far beyond earthly wealth. Cherish this gift of the Spirit and rely fully on His divine enabling.

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End of All Things is Near

End of All Things is Near

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (1 Peter 4:7)

As followers of Christ, we are called to live with an eternal perspective, recognizing that this world is not our ultimate home. Our citizenship lies in the kingdom of heaven, where Jesus has prepared a place for us (John 14:2-3).

Time For Action is Now

With Christ’s return on the horizon, Peter urges us to prepare ourselves by being spiritually alert and clear-minded. The time for passivity and complacency is over.

We must actively pursue closeness with God through prayer, Bible study, community, and acts of service.

Paul echoes this sense of urgency when he writes, “…the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).

Let us wake up, ask God to search our hearts, and align our priorities with His perfect will.

Investing in Eternity

Busyness, distraction, and worldly pleasures can easily numb us into a state of spiritual drowsiness. But Scripture reminds us that this world is fleeting, and Jesus’ return is imminent. Peter calls us to sober-mindedness – to live intentionally and keep an eternal perspective.

“It is possible for a Christian to be ‘intoxicated’ with the things of this life so that he cannot think clearly about spiritual matters.”

Warren Wiersbe

Rather than living for what we can amass here on earth, Jesus urges us to store up heavenly treasures that will last. We do this by stewarding our finances, gifts, and time in ways that further God’s Kingdom.

As Peter writes, “The end of all things is near.” Live with urgent obedience, radical generosity, and undivided devotion to Christ.

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Weapons of Our Warfare

Weapons of Our Warfare

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)

Weapons of the World

The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, who were living in a city that was influenced by many worldly philosophies, cultures, and values. He was defending his ministry and authority against some false apostles who were boasting about their credentials, appearance, and eloquence. He also wanted to correct some of the problems and divisions that were affecting the church.

The weapons of the world are the methods and strategies that people use to gain power, influence, and success in this world. They include things like human wisdom, rhetoric, appearance, wealth, status, violence, and deception.

They are often based on pride, selfishness, and greed. They are designed to exalt oneself and to oppress others.

Why Are the Weapons of the World Ineffective?

The weapons of the world are ineffective because they are not able to deal with the real enemy and the real battle that we face as Christians.

Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but the spiritual forces of evil that are behind the systems and structures of this world. Our battle is not against people, but against the lies, temptations, and accusations that the enemy uses to keep us from knowing and obeying God.

The weapons of the world are also ineffective because they are not able to withstand the judgment and wrath of God. These are temporary, fragile, and futile.

All will perish and be destroyed when God comes to establish his kingdom and his righteousness.

What Are the Weapons of Our Warfare?

The weapons of our warfare are the methods and strategies that God has given us to fight the good fight of faith; including things like the Word of God, prayer, faith, love, grace, truth, and the Holy Spirit. They are often based on humility, service, and sacrifice. They are designed to glorify God and to bless others.

The weapons of our warfare are effective because they have divine power to demolish strongholds. A stronghold is a fortified place that the enemy has built in our minds and hearts to keep us from experiencing the freedom and victory that God has for us.

It can be a false belief, a sinful habit, a negative emotion, or a harmful relationship. The weapons of our warfare can expose, confront, and overcome these strongholds by the power of God.

How Do We Use the Weapons of Our Warfare?

Christians use the weapons of our warfare by relying on God and his resources, not on ourselves and our abilities. We need to recognize that we are not sufficient in ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. We need to acknowledge that we are not wise, strong, or righteous in ourselves, but we have the wisdom, strength, and righteousness of God in Christ.

Use the weapons of our warfare by resisting the enemy and his schemes, not by conforming to the world and its standards. We need to be alert, sober, and vigilant, knowing that the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Christians put on the full armor of God, which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-18

The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. They are the weapons that God has given us to fight the good fight of faith.

Use them with confidence and courage, knowing that God is with us and for us, and that he will give us the victory.

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Your Reward – Don’t Lose It!

Your Reward – Don’t Lose It!

“Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.” (2 John 1:8 NIV)

What Does It Mean to Watch Out?

The apostle John wrote this letter to a group of Christians who were facing false teachers and deceivers. He warned them to be careful not to be led astray by those who denied the truth about Jesus Christ. He also encouraged them to remain faithful to the commandment of love and to walk in obedience to God.

To watch out means to be alert, vigilant, and discerning. It means to pay attention to what we believe, how we live, and who we associate with.

It means to guard our hearts and minds from anything that would compromise our faith or our relationship with God.

Why Do We Need to Watch Out?

It is important to watch out because we have a precious treasure that is worth protecting. John said that we have worked for something that we do not want to lose. What is that something? It is the reward of eternal life that God has promised to those who believe in his Son.

The reward of eternal life is not something that we earn by our own efforts or merits. It is a gift of God’s grace that we receive by faith. However, it is also something that we can forfeit by our own negligence or disobedience.

If we turn away from the truth, if we follow false teachings, if we stop loving God and one another, we risk losing our reward.

How Do We Watch Out?

You watch out by staying close to God and his word. We need to read, study, and meditate on the Scriptures, which are able to make us wise for salvation and equip us for every good work.

We need to pray, worship, and fellowship with God, who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before his glory. We need to obey, serve, and love God, who is able to reward us according to our deeds.

Watch out by staying connected to the community of faith. We need to listen, learn, and submit to the leaders and teachers who faithfully proclaim the truth and guide us in the way of righteousness.

Support, encourage, and care for one another, especially those who are weak, struggling, or suffering. We need to share, witness, and defend the gospel, especially to those who are lost, confused, or deceived.

What Is the Result of Watching Out?

The result of watching out is that we may be rewarded fully. John said that if we watch out, we will not lose what we have worked for, but we will receive the fullness of God’s blessing.

What is the fullness of God’s blessing? It is the joy of seeing Jesus face to face, the peace of being in his presence, the glory of sharing in his inheritance, and the love of being with him forever.

The reward of eternal life is not something that we can take for granted or assume that we already have. It is something that we need to pursue, protect, and prepare for. It is something that we need to watch out for.

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Unshackled Grace

Unshackled Grace

“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”Acts 13:38 (NIV)

In the bustling marketplace of life, we carry burdens—hidden chains that weigh down our souls. Guilt, shame, regrets—they cling to us like shadows.

But here, in the heart of Acts, a clarion call resounds: forgiveness. Not a mere pardon, but a sweeping liberation—an unshackling of our deepest wounds.

Prisoner Set Free

“Through Jesus…

Imagine the scene: a weary traveler, stumbling under the weight of guilt. His past, a prison cell; his sins, iron bars. Yet, the proclamation echoes through the ages: forgiveness.

Not earned, not deserved, but freely given. The shackles fall, and the prisoner stands—redeemed, restored. The cross, once an instrument of death, becomes the gateway to life.

The tomb, empty; the grave clothes, discarded. The risen Christ extends nail-scarred hands—inviting us into the dawn of grace.

Whisper of Mercy

“The forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”

Grace whispers in the quiet corners of our hearts. It speaks of second chances, of redemption woven into our brokenness.

The tax collector, the adulteress, the doubter—all find solace at the foot of the cross. The slate wiped clean, the ledger erased. The Pharisee’s judgment silenced; the sinner’s tears embraced.

The Gospel, not a legal transaction, but a love story—a divine romance. Forgiveness, not a distant concept, but a living reality. The proclamation echoes still: You are forgiven.

Unshackled Life

“Through Jesus…”

As pilgrims on this grace-soaked journey, we walk unshackled. Our souls, once imprisoned, now dance in the light of forgiveness. We extend grace to others, for we know the cost—the crimson price paid on Calvary.

Our words, seasoned with mercy; our actions, dripping with compassion. We bear witness to the proclamation: forgiveness. It’s not a theological abstraction; it’s our heartbeat.

We live as liberated souls, marked by grace, pointing others to the One who sets captives free.

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Triumphant Victory

Triumphant Victory

The Battle Unseen

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”Colossians 2:15 (NIV)

In the quiet corners of our lives, battles rage. Not the kind fought with swords or shields, but the unseen skirmishes that shape our souls.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Colossian believers, unveils a cosmic struggle—a clash between heavenly forces and earthly realms.

These powers, veiled in darkness, seek dominion over our hearts. Yet, there is hope—a radiant hope that pierces through the shadows.

The Cross: A Divine Strategy

“He made a public spectacle of them.”

Imagine the scene: the rugged cross, blood-stained and splintered, standing tall on Golgotha. The very instrument of death becomes the stage for a cosmic drama.

Here, Christ disarms the powers that bind us—the forces of sin, fear, and despair. With each nail driven into His flesh, He unveils their impotence. The cross, once a symbol of shame, now becomes a banner of victory.

The powers are unmasked, their dominion shattered. The cross is not defeat; it is divine strategy.

The Triumph of Love

“Triumphing over them by the cross.”

Love triumphs where might falters. The cross, seemingly a place of weakness, becomes the fulcrum of redemption. In that moment, Christ’s love overwhelms the darkness.

His sacrifice echoes through eternity, reverberating across time and space. The powers, once formidable, crumble before the weight of grace. The cross is not a mere event; it is a cosmic collision—a collision that reshapes history, liberating captive souls.

Our Savior, arms outstretched, declares, “It is finished.” The powers are defeated; love prevails.

Living in the Triumph

“He made a public spectacle of them.”

As followers of Christ, we walk in the wake of this triumph. The powers may still whisper lies, but their sway is broken. We need not fear their shadows. Instead, we embrace the cross—the emblem of our victory.

Daily, we choose love over hatred, forgiveness over bitterness, hope over despair. We live as witnesses to the cosmic spectacle—the ultimate unmasking.

The powers may prowl, but we stand firm, clothed in Christ’s triumph. The cross is our rallying cry, our anthem of freedom.

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Secret Things Belong to the Lord

Secret Things Belong to the Lord

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29, NIV)


This verse comes from a book that records the words and deeds of Moses, the leader and lawgiver of Israel. In this book, he reviews the history and the covenant of God with His people, as they prepare to enter the promised land.

He reminds them of the blessings and curses that will follow their obedience or disobedience to God’s commands.

In chapter 29, he renews the covenant with them, and warns them of the consequences of breaking it. He also acknowledges that there are some things that only God knows, and some things that He has revealed to them.

The Message

What can we learn from this verse and its context? First, we can learn that God is sovereign and mysterious. He has the secret things, meaning that He has the knowledge and the power that are hidden from us.

He knows the end from the beginning, and He controls all things according to His will. He is the one who makes and keeps the covenant, and He is the one who judges and saves.

He is the one who reveals and conceals, and He is the one who speaks and acts.

Second, we can learn that God is gracious and faithful. He has the things revealed, meaning that He has the knowledge and the power that are given to us.

He has revealed Himself to us, and He has revealed His will to us. He has given us His law, His promises, His warnings, and His instructions. He has given us His presence, His guidance, His protection, and His provision.

He has given us His Son, His Spirit, His Word, and His Church.

Third, we can learn that God is holy and righteous. He has the words of this law, meaning that He has the standard and the expectation that are required of us.

He has given us His commands, His statutes, His decrees, and His ordinances. He has shown us His ways, His works, His wonders, and His signs.

He has called us to love Him, to obey Him, to trust Him, and to serve Him.

How can we apply this verse and its message to our lives? Here are some suggestions:

Revere God

Acknowledge that God is sovereign and mysterious, and that He deserves our awe and respect.

Do not try to manipulate God, but accept His wisdom and authority. Do not doubt or question God, but worship and praise Him.

Do not ignore or neglect God, but seek and honor Him.

Receive God

Recognize that God is gracious and faithful, and that He offers us His love and mercy.

Do not reject or resist God, but welcome His revelation and gift. Do not take for granted or abuse God, but appreciate and cherish Him.

Do not forget or betray God, but remember and thank Him.

Respond to God

Realize that God is holy and righteous, and that He expects us to be His obedient and faithful people.

Do not disobey or rebel against God, but follow His commands and instructions. Do not disregard or compromise with God, but heed His warnings and promises.

Do not disappoint or dishonor God, but please and glorify Him.

The secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children. This is the message of Deuteronomy 29:29, and this is the message of the covenant. Let us heed it and live by it.

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God Has Set Eternity in the Human Heart

God Has Set Eternity in the Human Heart

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV)


This verse comes from a book that is attributed to King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived. In this book, he shares his observations and reflections on life, as he searches for meaning and purpose in a world that seems full of vanity and futility.

He explores various aspects of human existence, such as work, pleasure, wisdom, wealth, justice, and death, and evaluates them from a human and a divine perspective.

In chapter 3, he talks about the seasons and cycles of life, and how there is a time for everything under the sun.


What can we learn from this verse and its context? First, we can learn that God is the creator and sustainer of everything. He has made everything beautiful in its time, according to His design and plan.

He has given order and harmony to the universe, and He upholds it by His power and wisdom. He is the source and the goal of all things, and He works all things for His glory and our good.

Second, we can learn that God has given us a sense of eternity. He has also set eternity in the human heart, meaning that He has planted in us a longing and a desire for something more than this temporal and transient world.

He has made us for Himself, and He has given us a capacity and a curiosity to know Him and His ways. He has created us in His image, and He has endowed us with dignity and destiny.

Third, we can learn that God is beyond our comprehension. Yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end, meaning that we cannot fully grasp or understand the mystery and the majesty of God and His works.

He is infinite and eternal, and we are finite and temporal. He is sovereign and wise, and we are limited and foolish. He is holy and righteous, and we are sinful and flawed.

How can we apply this verse and its message to our lives? Here are some suggestions:

Worship God

Acknowledge that God is the creator and sustainer of everything, and that He deserves our praise and gratitude. Thank Him for His beauty and goodness, and for His grace and mercy.

Adore Him for His greatness and glory, and for His love and faithfulness. Surrender to Him as your Lord and Savior, and trust Him as your Father and Friend.

Seek God

Recognize that God has given you a sense of eternity, and that He is the only one who can satisfy your deepest needs and desires.

Ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and to guide you in His truth and will. Study His Word, and listen to His voice. Pray to Him, and commune with Him. Serve Him, and follow Him.

Humble yourself before God

Realize that God is beyond your comprehension, and that you need His wisdom and grace. Do not lean on your own understanding, or rely on your own strength. Do not question or challenge God’s ways, or resent or rebel against God’s purposes.

Do not boast or brag about yourself, or judge or condemn others. Rather, submit to God’s authority, and depend on God’s power.

Seek God’s forgiveness, and extend God’s forgiveness. Learn from God’s correction, and grow in God’s likeness.

God has set eternity in the human heart, and He invites us to know Him and love Him. This is the message of Ecclesiastes 3:11, and this is the message of the gospel. Let us heed it and live by it.

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Power of Humility, Gentleness, and Patience

Power of Humility, Gentleness, and Patience

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

When we think of the word “power,” we often associate it with strength, might, and dominance. However, the Bible teaches us that true power lies in humility, gentleness, and patience.

In Ephesians 4:2, we are called to be “completely humble and gentle” and to “be patient, bearing with one another in love.” These three virtues are not only essential to our spiritual growth but also to our relationships with others.

In this devotional, we will explore the power of humility, gentleness, and patience and how they can transform our lives.

Power of Humility

Humility is often misunderstood as weakness or lack of confidence. However, true humility is the opposite of pride and arrogance. It is recognizing that we are not perfect and that we need God’s grace and mercy.

When we are humble, we are free from the burden of trying to prove ourselves to others. Instead, we can focus on serving others and putting their needs before our own.

Humility allows us to learn from our mistakes and grow in our faith. It also helps us to be more compassionate and understanding towards others.

Power of Gentleness

Gentleness is often associated with being soft or passive. However, gentleness is a powerful virtue that requires great strength and self-control. When we are gentle, we are able to control our emotions and respond to others with kindness and compassion.

Gentleness allows us to be peacemakers and to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. It also helps us to build trust and deepen our relationships with others.

When we are gentle, we are able to see the good in others and to encourage them to be their best selves.

Power of Patience

Patience is often described as waiting without complaining. However, true patience is much more than that. It is the ability to endure difficult circumstances without losing hope or faith.

When we are patient, we are able to trust in God’s timing and to wait for His plans to unfold. Patience allows us to persevere through trials and to grow in our faith.

It also helps us to be more understanding and forgiving towards others. When we are patient, we are able to see the bigger picture and to trust that God is working all things together for our good.


The power of humility, gentleness, and patience cannot be overstated. These three virtues are essential to our spiritual growth and to our relationships with others.

When we are humble, gentle, and patient, we are able to reflect the love of Christ to those around us. We are able to build deeper relationships and to make a positive impact in the world.

Strive to cultivate these virtues in our lives and to be a shining light to those around us.

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The Soul That Sins Shall Die

The Soul That Sins Shall Die

“The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18:20


This verse comes from a chapter in which the prophet Ezekiel addresses a common proverb among the exiled Israelites: “The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” (Ezekiel 18:2)

This proverb implies that the children are suffering for the sins of their ancestors, and that God is unjust in punishing them. Ezekiel rejects this proverb and declares that God judges each person according to their own deeds, not according to their family history.

He also affirms that God does not delight in the death of the wicked, but rather desires them to repent and live. (Ezekiel 18:23)

The Message

What can we learn from this verse and its context? First, we can learn that God is fair and righteous. He does not hold us accountable for the sins of others, nor does He let us off the hook for our own sins.

He evaluates us individually, based on our choices and actions. He does not show favoritism or partiality, but treats everyone equally and impartially. He is the perfect judge, who knows everything and sees everything.

Second, we can learn that we are responsible and accountable. We cannot blame our parents, our children, our circumstances, or anyone else for our sins.

We cannot rely on our heritage, our status, our achievements, or anyone else for our righteousness. We have to face the consequences of our own decisions and actions.

We have to answer to God for our own lives. We have to repent and obey God for our own salvation.

Third, we can learn that God is gracious and merciful. He does not want us to perish, but to live.

He does not take pleasure in our suffering, but in our joy. He does not condemn us, but offers us forgiveness.

He does not reject us, but welcomes us. He does not leave us, but helps us. He does not give up on us, but restores us. He does not hate us, but loves us.


How can we apply this verse and its message to our lives? Here are some suggestions:

•          Examine yourself. Ask God to search your heart and reveal any sin that you need to confess and forsake. Do not justify, rationalize, or minimize your sin, but admit it and repent of it.

Do not compare yourself with others, but measure yourself by God’s standards. Do not presume on God’s grace, but appreciate it and respond to it.

•          Trust God. Believe that God is fair and righteous, and that He will judge you and others according to His justice.

Do not doubt, question, or resent God’s ways, but accept them and submit to them. Do not fear, worry, or despair about God’s wrath, but hope in His mercy and love.

•          Follow God. Obey God’s commands and do what is right in His sight. Do not rebel, disobey, or compromise with sin, but resist it and overcome it. Do not conform, imitate, or follow the world, but be transformed and renewed by God’s Spirit.

Do not seek, love, or serve the things of this world, but seek, love, and serve God and His kingdom.

The soul that sins shall die, but the soul that repents and believes shall live. This is the message of Ezekiel 18:20, and this is the message of the gospel. Let us heed it and live by it.

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Guarding Against Unbelief

Guarding Against Unbelief

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

Subtle Danger

The author of Hebrews warns believers here about an insidious threat – creeping unbelief toward God resulting in heart-drift. How easily we become apathetic, cynical, or disillusioned in our walk with Christ.

Circumstances, disappointments, weariness or worldly values can slowly erode childlike trust. We begin questioning God’s goodness, minimizing sin, or casually skipping spiritual disciplines. Before we know it, an unbelieving heart has supplanted once-vibrant faith.

Scripture exhorts us to actively guard against subtle drift. Nurture a heart tender and receptive toward God. Shield it from faith-sapping lies or distractions.

Stay alert to unbelief’s danger. Protect the precious gift of childlike trust.

Exposing the Roots

To guard our hearts, we must identify unbelief’s roots. Often it springs from frustrated expectations – we didn’t get what we wanted from God.

Focus shifted from delight in God’s presence to treating Him as a means to an end. We sought His hand more than His face. Unmet desires bred resentment. True faith rests in God’s character, not just His benefits.

It cherishes intimacy with Him above all else. Even amid confusion, pain, or unanswered prayer, it still worships and adores.

Ask God to check your motivations. Are you seeking abundant life in Christ or just temporal blessings? Remain fixed on the Giver over the gifts.

Cultivating Childlike Trust

Unwavering faith requires nurturing childlike humility and wonder. We must cling to God with wide-eyed dependence, believing without demanding explanations.

Children trust easily – they ask few questions yet expect good from loving parents. Jesus said we must receive His kingdom as a child (Luke 18:17).

Approach your Father eager to obey, quick to believe. Don’t let past disappointments harden your heart into skepticism. God invites you to rediscover awe, delight, gratitude, and hope.

Taste and see that He is good!” (Psalm 34:8) The joy of unconditional trust far exceeds the fleeting pleasures of unbelief.

Anchored in God’s Faithfulness

Lastly, guard against drift by anchoring in God’s proven faithfulness. Like the Israelites, we easily forget His past rescues, miracles, answers to prayer and provision. Our spiritual amnesia fuels faithlessness. That’s why God commanded His people to regularly recount His deeds (Deuteronomy 6).

We must rekindle amazement by remembering divine works. Review God’s track record in your life. Recall with specifics the times He answered prayer, guided, provided, intervened or redeemed.

Let these testimonies reignite childlike awe. Our faithful God is worthy of complete trust!

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Taming the Tongue

Taming the Tongue

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

The Heart’s Overflow

In this sobering verse, James warns that unchecked speech exposes worthless religion.

Our tongues reveal the true state of our hearts. If our faith lacks authenticity, our mouths will betray us. They overflow with bitter criticism, gossip, lies, and impurity, exposing our spiritual bankruptcy. But the redeemed heart produces good fruit – words of grace, truth, encouragement, and worship.

Does your speech bless others and glorify God?

Or does a restless tongue reveal a wayward soul?

Pray for the Spirit to purify your heart’s wellspring. As you abide in Christ, your words will refresh many.

Danger of Verbal Toxins

Like toxic chemicals poured into a river, our unwholesome words pollute relationships and poison our witness. James says such careless language deceives us about our spiritual state.

We think ourselves godly while inflicting harm with verbal daggers. But true religion requires control of the tongue. With God’s help we can harness its potential for blessing rather than cursing.

Ask Him to check any impulse toward gossip, complaining, deception, or retaliation. Make your speech a fountain of life! Guard your mouth; season words with grace.

You will be amazed what fruit a tamed tongue can bear.

Choosing Edification

If our words regularly tear down rather than build up, something is amiss in our hearts. The Spirit produces speech meant to edify and benefit those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).

God calls us to speak words of hope, truth, wisdom, gratitude, and testimony of His goodness. Through Spirit-empowered speech, we point others toward Christ.

We must tune our ears to Identify speech that dishonors God and redirect it toward praise. Pause frequently to ask, “Do my words build up or inflict harm?” Then adjust accordingly.

Blessing of Listening

Lastly, full control of the tongue requires learning the art of listening. We must temper our desire to be heard with an openness to understand others.

The book of James exhorts us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19). Humility listens well. Choose to limit monologues and self-focused chatter. Offer your full attention when others speak.

Seek clarification before passing judgement. Listening earns the right to be heard. It fosters understanding and demonstrates Christlike honor.

As you listen deeply today, your words will be fewer but full of wisdom.

Tongue’s Power and Potential

Our tongues hold immense power, for good or evil. With the same mouth we can worship God or wound people. James likens the tongue to a small rudder steering a great ship or a spark igniting a forest fire.

Like a restless evil, it needs constant guarding. But controlled and consecrated to God, our speech blesses multitudes. Words heal wounds, lift hearts, spread truth and joy.

Determine today that your tongue will build up Christ’s kingdom. Yield it to the Spirit’s cleansing fire and fruitful purpose.

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Faith Through Action

Faith Through Action

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:18

Faith Lives Out Loud

James makes a bold statement here – true, living faith will inevitably result in action and good works. Faith is more than internal belief or vocal proclamation. It reveals itself outwardly through changed priorities, Christlike character, and hands put to work for God’s glory.

Vibrant faith cannot stay bottled up inside. It overflows into practical deed and selfless service. Is your faith loudly on display through works of mercy and ministry? Or does it stay hidden in silent profession lacking outward proof?

Ask the Lord to ignite action born of devotion. Let your faith roar to life through tangible expressions of His love. Your beliefs were meant for breathing, moving, and serving. Put feet to your faith!

No Room for Complacency

It’s easy for faith to grow stale, sedentary, and complacent over time. We settle into routines of religious habit but lose spiritual vitality. Our talk exceeds our walk.

James will not allow such lifelessness! He understood that faith demands ongoing action and energy. We cannot rest on past deeds but must actively exercise faith daily through righteous works. Regularly examine your life for areas of complacency.

Are you holding back from acts of compassion, forgiveness, or generosity? Shake off sluggishness through fresh obedience. A dynamic faith will not permit passivity. Ask God to awaken new purpose and zeal.

Bearing Kingdom Fruit

So what does authentic faith look like in action? The Book of James provides vivid pictures – caring for orphans and widows, taming the tongue, resisting worldliness, submitting to God’s will. In other words, faith is revealed through bearing spiritual fruit that honors the Lord.

As Jesus taught, we recognize true disciples by their fruits of righteousness. Is your life marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and the other fruits described in Galatians 5?

God desires to cultivate an abundant harvest through you! Stay rooted in Him and watch your faith multiply into righteous action.

Stepping Out In Courage

Vibrant faith requires courage to step out of comfort zones. We must take risks, seize opportunities, and boldly obey God’s voice. The righteous life is an adventure!

When we feel the nudge to minister to someone in need, share a testimony, give generously, or pray a daring prayer, faith propels us forward despite fears or inconvenience. We trust God to use faltering but willing vessels.

Ask Him to enlarge your capacity for courageous action. Move ahead in the power of the Spirit! Our small steps of obedience make a big difference in advancing God’s work.

Affirming Our Hope

As we walk by faith through trial or uncertainty, our actions affirm hope in God’s promises. We cling to truth, obey despite unanswered questions, and serve others despite personal need.

We choose to believe God’s plans are good, His purpose unshaken, His redemption near.

Even simple acts like praising in pain, forgiving amid injustice, or giving in lack express faith that our God holds the future. He is pleased by such courageous trust. Hold fast to hope through obedience!

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Aligning Our Hearts with God

Aligning Our Hearts with God

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3

Ask with Pure Motives

This verse gives us keen insight into why some prayers go unanswered – wrong motives. We ask for things to satisfy our own selfish desires, not to align with God’s kingdom purposes. We pursue temporal pleasures rather than eternal significance.

But the Lord searches the heart, discerning why we ask for what we do. He refuses to fund endeavors fueled by fleshly appetites rather than spiritual ones.

Examine your recent prayers. Do they center on comfort, entertainment, or success? Shift your focus to intercession for others, petitions for spiritual growth, requests for open doors to share Christ. Pray with pure motives – to know Jesus more, to make Him known.

As your heart realigns with His, you’ll find prayers powerfully answered!

Desires Versus Needs

Our wants and wish lists often reflect surface-level desires rather than core needs. We ask for vacations, purchases, or experiences that may provide fleeting enjoyment but not deeply satisfy.

Meanwhile, we neglect to request provisions for growth in grace, passion for the lost, or boldness to follow Jesus wherever He leads. But when we pray for courage to share our faith or opportunity to serve, God delights to grant these needs.

As David sought after God’s own heart, he discovered lasting joy. As Paul prayed for spiritual power, churches were planted. Ask the Lord to exchange your desires for His – to crave steady communion with Christ above all else. Watch needs eclipse wants.

Kingdom Focus Over Personal Fulfillment

It’s tempting to view prayer as a path to personal fulfillment, comfort, and success. But its truer purpose is aligning our hearts with God’s kingdom goals. We don’t pray primarily to enhance our lives but to exalt His name, establish His reign, and enrich others.

As Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer, we petition first for His name to be hallowed and kingdom to come. When our motives elevate His glory over our gratification, prayer grows powerful and effective.

We gain holy boldness to ask great things of God, knowing He desires to display His might through humble, trusting hearts. He invites us to partner with Him through kingdom-focused prayer

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Value of Wisdom

Value of Wisdom

“And he said to the human race, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

Wisdom Begins with Reverence

In a world obsessed with wealth, power, and pleasure, we need to refocus on what holds real value. This verse teaches that true wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.

More than mere respect, the fear of the Lord is deep awe, reverence, and submission to God. It’s recognizing His unmatched greatness and bowing humbly before Him.

Do you approach God with a trembling, obedient heart?

Proper fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. It realigns our priorities and perspectives. When we stand in awe of the Almighty, earthly troubles grow smaller. Pursuit of selfish gain loses appeal.

Focusing our minds on His majesty floods our hearts with priceless wisdom. Ask the Spirit today to instill godly fear and wisdom within you.

Understanding Through Obedience

The second half of this verse equates understanding with shunning evil. As we walk closely with God, listening to His voice, wisdom produces moral discernment. We gain ability to spot wickedness and walk the other way.

Understanding guards us from foolish choices and the heartache they bring. We develop spiritual instincts to flee anything disruptive to our intimacy with Christ. But this understanding only flourishes through obedience.

As James 1:22 states, we must “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Active surrender to God allows Him to sharpen our discernment.

Obedience and wisdom feed one other in a beautiful cycle. Are there areas of obedience God is calling you to? Take steps to submit today. Watch understanding blossom!

Greater Worth than Riches

Proverbs 8 lavishes praise on the excellency of wisdom, declaring it more valuable than rubies, gold, or silver. All the money in the world cannot purchase wisdom! It springs from a heart surrendered to the fear of the Lord.

A life applied in obedience to God blooms with discernment and insight no amount of wealth can replicate. Don’t envy those with overflowing bank accounts or prominent positions. Covet instead the priceless wisdom only God provides to the humble and obedient.

He is eager to grant it to those who earnestly seek Him. Treasure time spent in the Word, in prayer and worship, allowing healthy fear to take root. This is investment into eternally precious wisdom!

Pillars of Spiritual Maturity

As we journey through life with Christ, may we build our homes on the twin pillars of godly fear and spiritual understanding. One leads to the other in a cycle of growth and maturity.

When we awake with an awe-filled heart, eager to revere and obey God, He directs our paths and grants keen discernment. As we then walk out that obedience, the wisdom He imparts strengthens our resolve to honor Him above all.

This day, commit yourself fully to this beautiful process. Determine to treasure nothing above intimacy with God. The rewards of wisdom He bestows on the faithful heart are beyond measure!

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Unbreakable Bond

Unbreakable Bond

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29)

The Bible contains an amazing promise from Jesus that should give every Christian great comfort and confidence. Jesus says in the Gospel of John that God the Father has given believers to Him as a gift, and that no one can ever take us out of God’s hand.

Salvation Comes from God’s Grace

First, Jesus tells us that Christians belong to Him because God the Father has given them to Him. This means that our salvation does not depend on anything we do to earn it. Instead, it depends completely on God’s grace and love towards us.

Before time began, God chose us and set His love upon us. He saved us and adopted us as His own dear children, not because we were worthy, but because He is so gracious and kind.

Since our salvation comes as a free gift from God, we can be sure that He will not change His mind later and turn His back on us. He knew all our flaws and failures ahead of time, and he saved us anyway.

His love lasts forever, because God Himself lasts forever. Our security is based on God’s faithful promise, not our own efforts.

God Rules Over All Things

Jesus also reminds us that God His Father is greater than all. As the eternal Creator of the universe, God has supreme power and authority over all that exists.

No one can compete with Him or threaten Him in any way. Every king and every ruler must ultimately give account to God.

This means that God has the power to protect us and keep us safe no matter what may come against us. No enemy, no sickness or tragedy, no hardship or danger is too much for God to handle or shield us from.

God is mightier than any force in heaven or on earth. We can take refuge in him because nothing can overcome His strength and love for His people.

No One Can Snatch Us from God’s Grip

Not only is God supremely powerful, Jesus says, but He also holds on tightly to those who believe in Him. No one can snatch us out of His hand—we are gripped firmly by the Almighty Creator who loves us!

Just as a loving parent holds onto a small child to keep them from wandering into danger, God cradles us in His mighty hands. He keeps his eye always on us, guiding our steps. He surrounds us constantly with His comfort, strength and love.

We do not keep ourselves safe from enemies or hardship through our own power. We rely fully on God’s power and faithfulness towards us. Our confidence comes from understanding that the eternal, almighty Creator of the universe has promised to hold onto us tightly forever.

He will never forget us or let us slip through His fingers. His grip on our lives will never loosen or grow weak.

United with God Forever

This intimate bond between God and His people was made possible through Jesus. Jesus is God in human form who lived among us. He died and rose again to pay for our sins, making reconciliation between God and man possible.

Now Jesus invites us to be united with Him and with God the Father in a relationship of love. He wants us to know Him, enjoy close friendship with Him, and reflect His love out into the world.

Because of Jesus, Christians do not relate to God merely through laws or rituals. We have intimacy with God—we are united to Him by Jesus Christ our Lord! God embraces us as His own dear children and promises to keep us safe, loved, and secure in His hands forever.

Understanding this incredible privilege should inspire our deep love, gratitude and reverence for God our Father, now and for all eternity.

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Future Glory with the Father

Future Glory with the Father

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:24

Everlasting Joy in His Presence

What an incredible promise we have in this verse! Jesus prays to the Father that those who believe in Him will one day be with Him in glory.

Not only will we be in His presence, but we will behold His glory – the very glory that the Father has given Him. Just imagine what it will be like to see our Savior face-to-face and witness His majesty and splendor.

The joy will be beyond anything we can experience on this earth. His glory will be staggering, breathtaking, and astounding. And even more astonishing is that He wants us there with Him!

He longs for us to be united with Him in paradise. What an honor to be desired by the King of kings! Let this truth fill you with hope and excitement for the future.

Our pain, tears, and struggles will vanish, replaced by everlasting joy in His wonderful presence.

A Love Before Time

This verse also reveals the eternal nature of Christ’s love for us. He speaks of the Father loving Him “before the creation of the world.” And because of this love, the Father gave Him glory which He now desires to share with us. Isn’t that remarkable?

Before time even began, before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs, Christ’s love for us already existed. This magnificent, unconditional love transcends space, time, and circumstance. It will never fade or falter.

Meditate on the depth and constancy of His love. Let it overwhelm you and transform you. No matter what happens in this life, nothing can separate you from it. You are adored with an everlasting love!

Certainty of Eternity with Him

As Jesus prays these words on the eve of His crucifixion, He speaks with complete certainty about the future glory that awaits all believers. He doesn’t say “if” or “maybe” we will be with Him in paradise.

No, He says definitively that we WILL be there by His side, beholding His glory! We can be absolutely sure of this. It’s a promise etched in stone. One day we will enjoy intimate fellowship with Him in a place of indescribable beauty and joy.

With this hope secure, press on; your trials are temporary but your reward is eternal. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

The splendor of heaven infinitely outweighs the suffering of earth. Just imagine – soon we will be home with our Savior!

Our Certain Hope

As you go through your day, remember that you have an incredible hope ahead.

Jesus guarantees that if you have put your faith in Him, you will one day be united with Him in eternal paradise.

Let this promise give you strength and perspective when trials come your way. The pain is only temporary, but the glory is eternal.

Stay focused on Him, your loving Redeemer who desires your presence with Him. You are deeply loved, now and forevermore!

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Representing the One Who Sent You

Representing the One Who Sent You

Luke 10:16 – “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Authority Not Our Own

When Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples to preach and heal, he gave them authority to carry out those ministries in his name.

Their authority came directly from him. Jesus said whoever listened to them, listened to him. And whoever rejected them, rejected him and the One who sent him – God the Father.

The authority of the seventy-two was not their own but derived from being representatives of Jesus.

Weight of His Commission

This is an immense responsibility! The disciples went out proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God with authority from heaven’s throne room.

People’s reception or rejection of them meant reception or rejection of Christ himself and the Father. That’s no small commission!

The disciples represented a direct delegation from the highest possible authority. Their message and actions carried eternal weight.

Faithfulness in Small Things

At first glance, the disciples were a seemingly ragtag group to bear such a sacred charge. Yet God often chooses the small, unimpressive and ordinary to carry his authority.

It’s easy to feel our words or deeds for Christ are insignificant. But there is no greater privilege than representing the Son of God to the world, no matter how humble the assignment.

Each act of faithful service matters.

Hearing from a Holy Envoy

The flip side is that every Christian today carries this same gravity as the seventy-two. Those we interact with are, in effect, hearing from a representative of the Lord himself through us.

Our character and conduct have significance beyond ourselves.

We must consider carefully how to represent Jesus well to others through both speech and action. What an honor to serve as His envoy!

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Celebration in Heaven

Celebration in Heaven

Luke 15:7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Lost Being Found

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables about things that were lost being found – a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son.

The stories illustrate God’s joy when even just one sinner repents and turns to him.

Jesus says there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. Heaven celebrates each time someone lost is found!

A Dramatic Rescue

Picture the intensity of the search when the shepherd realizes one sheep is missing. He urgently leaves the entire flock to comb the wilderness until he locates that lone, lost sheep.

When he finally finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and returns home eager to tell everyone the good news.

In the same way, God intensely seeks out each individual who is lost in sin, rescuing them through Christ.

The Extravagant Party

In the story of the prodigal son, when the wayward young man finally returns home, the father throws an enormous feast to celebrate. No expense is spared.

The lavish party expresses the great joy in heaven over a sinner changing their life’s direction.

God spares no effort or resource to reclaim his lost children. Each heart that turns to him prompts a celebration.

Our Part in the Rejoicing

As followers of Christ, we play a role in these stories.

We are the search party helping the shepherd comb the wilds for lost sheep. We are the woman sweeping diligently until she finds the lost coin. We are the older brother inviting in the prodigal sibling, extending grace and forgiveness.

Our actions and attitudes bring joy to heaven when they contribute to someone being found.

Be sure and join wholeheartedly in heaven’s celebration whenever the lost are found.

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When the Son of Man Comes

When the Son of Man Comes

Luke 18:8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Delayed Return

Jesus told his followers the parable of the persistent widow to illustrate the importance of praying and not giving up.

At the end of the parable, He wonders aloud if at His return He will find people persisting faithfully in prayer. The implication seems to be that His return and the final establishment of God’s kingdom will be delayed.

From our limited human perspective, Jesus’ coming again feels delayed. Generations of believers have lived with the expectation that it could happen in their lifetime.

Yet century upon century passes without the consummation of all things. Like the persistent widow, the faithful feel worn down waiting for God to act decisively.

Corruption of the World

Jesus hints at one reason for His delayed return being that it provides time for more people to repent. God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish. However, the extra time also allows evil to spread widely.

Without the Son of Man’s intervention, injustice and unbelief corrode society like a cancer.

No human effort can permanently stem the tide. The world’s terminal condition necessitates divine action.

Need for Faithfulness

While we cannot control when Jesus returns, He calls us to faithfully persist in prayer and godly living no matter how long it takes.

It is easy to lose heart, give in to apathy and become distracted with secondary matters. Jesus’ question confronts us: When the Son of Man comes, will he find this kind of persevering faith on the earth?

We must press on faithfully, not doubting the Son of Man’s eventual return. The corrupt world’s night is far gone. The day is near. Keep praying!

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Dawning of a New Day

Dawning of a New Day

Malachi 4:1“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.

The prophet Malachi lived during a spiritually dry time for the people of Israel. They had grown apathetic and nonchalant about following God’s ways.

Their worship had become empty ritual devoid of meaning. Spiritual blindness clouded their vision.

Yet Malachi assured the people that better days were coming. The present darkness would give way to a new dawn. God’s light would pierce the gloom and usher in an age of righteousness, justice and restoration.

Arrival of the Son

Malachi spoke of this coming day being heralded by a messenger who would prepare people’s hearts. This messenger turned out to be John the Baptist, who proclaimed the imminent arrival of God’s kingdom and called people to repentance.

Not long after John, God’s own Son stepped onto the stage of human history. In Jesus, the rising Sun arrived to scatter the darkness of sin and death.

Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus made a way for people to be reconciled to God and experience new life in relationship with their Creator.

Judgment of Evil

Malachi warned that while the coming day would bring salvation, it would also bring judgement on the wicked and unrepentant.

Jesus affirmed this, stating that his return would be accompanied by a separation of good from evil, light from darkness. Those who stubbornly clung to sin would face the fire of God’s refining judgment.

The prophets used vivid imagery to depict this purging of evil. Now, having heard the good news and seen the light, no one has any excuse to remain in darkness. The day of reckoning is coming.

Hope for the Future

For those who follow Jesus, his return is not something to dread but to eagerly anticipate. It represents the full realization of God’s purposes – justice, peace and the restoration of all things.

On that day, the darkness will be banished for good and the Son will shine in all his brilliance. What a glorious future we have to look forward to!

Until then, we live faithfully in the present, reflecting God’s light to others and pointing them to the Son.

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Riches to Relationship

Riches to Relationship

Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

What’s Holding You Back?

When the rich young ruler sought Jesus, Christ perceived the hidden barrier keeping him from full surrender – his wealth. Though morally upright, money owned his heart.

Jesus longs for our absolute affection and willingness to leave everything to gain Him.

What comfort, possession, or dream might you struggle to release? Identify potential competitors to God’s reign.

Trading Earthly Treasures

Jesus invites the young man to exchange fleeting riches for eternal reward by liquidating assets to bless the poor.

Helping the needy reflects Christlike compassion that stores up heavenly treasure.

As we detach from materialism, we gain deeper intimacy with God. He fills the gaps left by forfeited idols. The trade is always worth it!

Lord, You’re My Greatest Treasure

Jesus, reveal any subtle thing wrestling within me to lay everything at Your feet. Riches mean nothing compared to knowing and following You. Give me grace to cling to You alone as my greatest treasure and joy.

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Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Mark 11:15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves

Out with the Old

Have you ever felt God nudging you to do some spiritual “spring cleaning” in your life? Just as Jesus drove out the money changers from the temple courts, there are attitudes, habits, and mindsets in our hearts that prevent us from fully experiencing God’s presence.

Like a good spring cleaning, it may feel uncomfortable at first to finally address and remove things weighing us down.

But as Jesus demonstrated in the temple courts, he wants our lives to be filled with his vibrant, living presence – not crowded out by lesser things.

Sweeping Away the Clutter

Once the merchants were gone, Jesus powerfully taught the crowds daily in the temple courts. Similarly, as we make room for God by removing anything that distracts us from pursuing him wholeheartedly, we open ourselves to hear from him more clearly.

Spring cleaning takes effort, but the reward is a cleaner, less cluttered home.

Likewise, intentionally removing distractions and obstacles in our spiritual lives takes work, but enables us to experience more of God’s presence and peace.

As the warmer weather arrives, consider what needs “cleaning out” in your heart to make more room for God this season.

A Place Set Apart

After teaching in the temple courts, Jesus and his disciples returned to Bethany each evening. Though he devoted himself to ministering in Jerusalem by day, he prioritized time away in a quiet place by night.

Likewise, we need both: serving God in our everyday lives, and setting apart time to be alone with him. If we’re only active, we’ll burn out. If we only retreat, we’ll miss opportunities to bless others.

Rhythms of work and rest, community and solitude, keep our souls in balance. Daily we need space to pray, reflect, and realign ourselves with God away from the rush and noise.

When our souls are nourished by time with God, we’re empowered to serve and share his love generously.

Take time to sweep away distractions, open your heart to God, and discover the new life he desires to grow within you.

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Reward in Secret

Reward in Secret

Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

Religion as Performance

Jesus confronted religious leaders obsessed with outward appearances.

They distorted faces while fasting to elicit public praise for their “sacrifice.” Religion became mere performance to impress.

This tendency lurks in each of us. We love to highlight spiritual disciplines to feel admired by others for “superior” devotion. But the applause of people provides a cheap substitute for God’s reward.

Adjust Motives

If public commendation overly fuels your spiritual practices, re-calibrate your motives.

Draw near to God for an audience of One. Do good anonymously. Let His “Well done!” satisfy.

Don’t fast, serve, or give to be noticed. God’s pleasure is reward enough. Fix eyes on Jesus, not people. Shed pretense and pursue authenticity.

Lord, Examine My Heart

Lord, reveal any impure motives driving my actions – the subtle thirst for accolades and stature. Renew in me a selfless heart consumed with longing for Your approval alone. Let Christlike humility shape my faith.

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Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Honor the Lord

Honor the Lord

Proverbs 3:9Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops.

More Than a Tithe

Giving a tithe recognizes God’s provision. But honoring Him with wealth goes further – it involves acknowledging His complete ownership.

We are stewards, not owners. Holding resources loosely allows kingdom investment.

When God is honored as sole owner, earthly assets can be leveraged for eternal gain. But tightly clutching possessions obstructs His work. We must maintain open hands.

First Place in Everything

“First-fruits” represent the earliest and best harvest crops.

Similarly, God calls us to give Him premier time, talents, and treasures – not what remains after self is satisfied.

Seeking God’s kingdom first positions everything else in proper perspective. He becomes the guidance for financial decisions when honored first.

Lord, All I Have is Yours

Lord, forgive me for how tightly I grip earthly resources. Remind me that all I “own” originates in Your hand. Give me wisdom to honor You with wealth and hold it all loosely. Use it for Your glory, not mine.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration