I want to apologize for not posting a devotional today. Today was one of those taxing, trying days that help to refine and shape us into the Potter’s image. I do plan on posting a devotional tomorrow, and I want to thank you all for supporting the blog and reading the devotionals. I pray we all will continue to walk in His light.
The blog is back. After about a four-month hiatus, the blog will be returning back and better than before. It won’t be exactly like it was before though. The website will now be updated daily with other content in addition to the devotionals you’re used to, though those will remain a staple of the site. I want this site to be better than it ever has been. To that end, I want it to be more than just a one-way conversation. I want it to be a community of like-minded people walking closer with God every day, encouraging each other and lifting each other up. If you’re on board, subscribe to the blog via the widget in the sidebar. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.
Deuteronomy 23:5 – Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the Lord thy God loved thee.
The Lord loves us. He cares for us as a father and protects us. Like any good father, He keeps us from harm. In fact, he takes the curses of the devil and turns them into blessings; He takes what was meant for evil, and uses it for good. We have no reason to fear the devil and his power. We serve a much more powerful being, a loving and protecting God.
Further Reading – Isiah 54:17 – No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Romans 13:11 – And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.
The Christian church began waiting for Christ’s return. Biblical writers from thousands of years ago speak of the soon coming of Jesus. From the time of His ascension, they prepared and waited for His return. They believed His promise with such passion, even though they would never witness the event.
We are as close to the Lord’s coming as a generation has ever been. But, we no longer eagerly expect His arrival; preparation for heaven is no longer at the forefront of our minds. The closer we are to the great and terrible day of the Lord, the less and less of our attention it warrants. To borrow from the words of an advent hymn, Christ’s coming is soon, even at the door. If that thought isn’t in our hearts, our hands will never find the urgency to complete the tasks due on that day. Rekindle the fire in your heart for the Second Advent. Look expectantly for the coming of your Lord. For His coming is nearer now than when we first believed.
Further Reading – Romans 13:12-14 – 12 The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in lewdness and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.
Link to the hymn mentioned above: “The Coming King is at the Door”
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God has not given us a spirit of fear… Fear is a trait directly from the devil. Instead, God has blessed us with power, the same power, in fact, that was with Christ Jesus during His time on Earth. He has given us a sound mind, that we may discern the great and marvelous things of God. He has given us love, even before we loved Him, and He sent His Son as a result of that love. But most importantly, we have been given the privilege of salvation and the promise of an ever present Comforter. Reject Satan’s gift of fear and embrace these wondrous gifts of God.
Further Reading – Isiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
Our tongues have more power than we realize. The tongue’s power is easily recognized on a large scale. Whisper campaigns, rumors, and lies have destroyed many a great person. However, the tongue’s most effective destruction is done towards a most unsuspecting victim: the speaker. Our own words have destroyed us. Too often, we speak about ourselves and our circumstances with depression and hopelessness coloring every word. Such an attitude ruins and discourages ideas before they even see the light of day. But, the same tongue that has the power to destroy, has the power to give life. Speaking in faith, not wavering, changes a person’s entire outlook. But the blessings are not just limited to the speaker. Words of life bring hope and joy to the listener and the speaker alike.
Our tongues are a mighty, little member that should never be underestimated. Like every great power, it can be used for evil, or for good. Use your tongue for good. Speak life, faith, and peace.
Further Reading – James 3:5 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
1 Peter 3:10 – For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Mark 4:4-8 – 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
The sower in Jesus’ parable broadcasted his seed. This method spreads the seed on the ground around the sower instead of planting it in careful rows. As a result, he wasn’t picking and choosing exactly where he wanted his seed. He simply spread it about and he knew what fell on good, prepared ground would grow.
Different gardeners prefer to sow their seed in a myriad of different ways, but all sowers of the Word should broadcast. The Word of God should be shared non-discriminately with every heart in our path, whether we deem its ground good or not. The harvest will determine the condition of the heart, but for now, the sower’s responsibility is to simply sow. Do not fret about the preparation or condition of the soil or the cultivation of the seed. As sowers, that is not our responsibility. We must simply sow.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for theLord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 4:3 – Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Those of us who garden (and some who don’t) know that a large portion of seeds are grown, or at least started, inside. While the weather is still frosty, fragile seedlings flourish on windowsills and under heat lamps. However, there comes a time where gardeners must go out and sow in their gardens; no good gardener does one without the other.
This concept may seem simple, but it so often escapes us in our church communities. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to have the world as our garden, sowing the Word of God in every heart. However, we too often become comfortable sowing inside our churches. We care for and nourish a thriving flock and forget the hearts outside the church prepared for the Word. Our churches are lush and plush and the outside world is barren.
Jesus sowed the gospel to all and we must follow His example. Change comes one member, one believer at a time. Make it your mission to go out and sow to those around you, not just the members of your church. Who knows? The seed may fall on good ground and yield a 100 fold harvest. You won’t know until you sow.
Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Matthew 28:19, 20 – 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Psalm 143:10 – Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
The way of righteousness is foreign to human feet. We desire the things of the flesh naturally and walk in its path. It is not in our hearts to do right or to even desire right. We are born in sin, shaped in iniquity, and hardened in it all our lives (Psalm 51:5).
There is, however, hope. There is a God in heaven who longs to change our desires and replace our natures with His. He wishes to teach us to do His will and to walk in the ways of righteousness. If only we would relinquish our stubborn, iron wills and pray the prayer of David: “Teach me to do Thy will…lead me into the land of uprightness.”
Psalm 25:4 – Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
Psalm 119:33 – Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 – 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Numbers 14:9 – Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.
The Lord has given us all a promise of Canaan. Whether or not we will have a taste of it now or must wait until heaven, the land of milk and honey is promised to all who are His. Too often though, His flock resembles fearful, doubtful Israelites more than ransomed, righteous saints. A group too afraid to claim God’s promises and doubtful enough to long for a life of bondage.
Brothers and sisters, trust God and take Him at His word. The things he has promised to His children will surely come to pass, we need only believe. When obstacles block your path to Canaan in the coming days and weeks, adopt the mindset of God’s servant Joshua: “The Lord is with us. Fear… not.”
Romans 8:31 – What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Matthew 17:20 -And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.