“But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. So, the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:36-39 Paul addressed here the fathers of the unmarried girls. In that day, it was the parents who arranged the marriages, the father in particular. Paul had already said that he was not laying down an ironclad rule for everyone to follow, regardless of circumstances. Now he made it clear that the father had freedom of choice whether or not he would give his daughter in marriage. Even though our modern approach to dating and marriage is completely foreign to the Corinthians, the counsel Paul gave them still applies today. It is a wise thing for couples to counsel with their parents and with their Christian leaders in the church, lest they rush into something which afterward they regret. It is God’s will that marriage union be a lifetime, permanent commitment. There is no place in Christian marriage for a trial marriage, nor is there any room for the escape-hatch attitude. If it doesn’t work, we can get a divorce. This is not God’s way for marriage. Marriage must be built on a firm foundation. That foundation is Jesus Christ and God’s Word. The main message that Paul is trying to get […]
“I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So, I urge you to imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 The Corinthians were Paul’s beloved children in the faith. Whenever we share the gospel with some one and have the joy of leading them to faith in Christ, we become a spiritual parent to them. This does not give us any spiritual authority over them, but it does create a special relationship that God can use to help them grow. The church is God’s family for helping the newborn Christians develop. Paul does not take credit for the conversion. Paul knows that all conversions are through the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul was the father who stood by and watched as God changed their lives. A child may have many guardians and teachers, but he can have only one father. He has a special relationship with his spiritual father. There had been no church in Corinth before Paul came, so even the second-generation believers in the church were a result of Paul’s effective ministry. God’s children need the ministry of many different teachers, but they must never forget the spiritual father who brought them to Christ. Then Paul says an amazing thing. In effect he says, “I call upon my children to take after their father.” It is so seldom that a father can say that. I want my son to be better than me. For the most part it is too often true that a father’s hope and prayer is that a son will turn out […]
“What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.” Hebrews 2:9-10 Many assume that sin is what sends a person to hell. But sin has been paid for by Jesus, therefore the only thing that condemns a person is rejecting the payment for sin. Jesus was the payment. God provided the way in Jesus so to reject Him you are rejecting the only way for salvation. This is a hard truth for some who look for multiple ways to heaven, but Jesus is the only one who tasted death in our place so we could be completely forgiven and righteous before God. God didn’t see the need to provide a different way when he started with the perfect way. The most amazing thing about Jesus is the abundant life He offers to us. It is not just about getting to heaven as the end goal, it is certainly a plus, but it is about experiencing Him in this life. To have this abundant life all we have to do is repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ into our heart. This is the only way to heaven and to have the abundant life here on earth. When Satan brings accusation against us before God, we have Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father giving our defense. Jesus knows all that we are […]
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 This article is very true about what is happening in our nation. Millennials Are Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places “Our professors told us we could find purpose in temporal affairs, yet we somehow lost the sense that we were a part of something greater. We substituted a wholehearted pursuit of “the truth” for “our truth.” The dominant philosophy today is built on a self-focused worldview that everything we need to know can be found on our own. The idea of pursuing one’s own truth requires a great deal of pride. It gives a false sense of comfort to the individual that he or she can look within to determine all that is right or wrong and needs little beyond that. Those who do so, however, find themselves disappointed by the shallowness of the world, lacking answers to difficult questions, and grasping for deeper meaning to no avail. Man’s search for meaning continues. The question at hand is whether young people will continue to cut themselves off from the institutions which offer the deepest opportunity to discover the greater truth which exists beyond our own selves, or instead continue to find themselves persistently unhappy.” (Hunter Estes) We can only find hope and meaning in Jesus Christ. There is a place in our spirit that only God can fill. When we fill that place with Jesus Christ, we find peace, joy and a meaning for life. There is no way we can do this on our own.
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 In this devotion I am going to continue to write about how Jesus saved us from death and gave us the life that is life more abundant. When Jesus appeared, a mighty battle took place between Jesus and Satan. All the destiny of the world and the human race depended upon the out-come of this battle. If Satan could find or produce one tiny flaw in the life or character of Jesus, Satan would have control over Jesus and would have won the battle. This battle started when Jesus’ ministry started. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus went into the wilderness to be alone with God and prepare Himself for what He knew was about to happen. This was when Satan tempted Him. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2) This is the point at which Satan tries to tempt us, when are weak and don’t have the strength to fight. Satan offered Jesus the world and all that is part of the world, but Jesus never gave in to these temptations. Jesus defeated Satan by the Word of God. “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:10) Satan did not give up on this battle. This battle continues in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus fought this temptation with […]
“You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.” Romans 2:1 Paul in chapter one had just finished describing the ungodliness and unrighteousness of humanity in our rejection of God. These sins are what happen when we reject God. The Jews would applaud Paul’s condemnation of the Gentiles. The Jewish nation and religious pride encouraged them to despise the Gentiles and have nothing to do with them. Paul was talking to the Jews as we start into chapter two. Paul used this judgmental attitude to prove the quilt of the Jews, for the very thing they condemned in the Gentiles, they themselves were practicing. The Jews felt that they were free from judgment because they were God’s chosen people. But Paul affirmed that God’s election of the Jews made their responsibility and accountability even greater. God’s judgment is according to truth. He does not have one standard for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. As we read Paul’s list of sins, we cannot escape the fact that each person is guilty of at least one of them. When the Jews condemned the Gentiles for their sins, the Jews were really condemning themselves. Read what Jesus had to say about Jews that felt they were more spiritual than the Gentiles. “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I […]
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5 If we are going to live in the spirit, we must transform our minds. We must have a mind that is set on the things of the spirit. We must redefine normal Christianity so it lines up with God’s idea of normal, not the definition that we as Christians have learned to accept. Several years ago I was praying for a gentleman to be healed in his back. The Holy Spirit moved so strong in our presence that God healed my knees. I was not praying for the healing of my knees. Yes I needed this healing, but I had never prayed for them to be healed. To be honest I never thought about asking for God’s healing. Why did I not think about God’s healing? Because my mind was not on the spirit, but on the physical? It was on the flesh. I was thinking worldly not about the Kingdom of God. I have not had pain in my knees since that night. Living in the spirit means that we bring the Kingdom of God to earth. In the Kingdom of God we see joy, peace, wisdom, health, wholeness. We see the power of God moving in our lives and the lives of others around us. Living in the spirit we allow God to operate in our lives, in our community, in our churches, in our schools. All of my Christian life I have prayed for revival. I have always wanted to see God perform His great power. More than ever before I feel that I am closer to seeing this revival. The change has been that […]
“Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mark 15:34 Good Friday. It doesn’t seem much like a Good Friday. During these last three hours of darkness, Jesus was in agony, wrestling with the powers of darkness and suffering His Father’s displeasure with the sins of man. Never was there three such hours of darkness since God created man. It was the turning point of this great affair. It was the time of man’s redemption and salvation. God could not look on sin and at that point He had to abandon His Son on the Cross, because all of our sins were upon Jesus. In Psalm 22:1, David felt the same as Jesus that he had been abandoned by God. “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?” Have you ever felt that way? In your darkest hour, you feel that God is nowhere to be found. You pray and the sky feels like an iron curtain that you cannot get through. I have been there. Just remember that it is always darkest before the dawn. God loves you and He will never leave you. “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79) Praise God Sunday is Coming!
“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” Habakkuk 2:1 As we start the year 2018, we need to look back at 2017 and see what God has done. To me this year has been both a time of stress and a time of rejoicing. God gave me this scripture at the start of 2017. I really did not know the full meaning of this verse and how it was going to change my life. God told me many years ago I was to write books, and as I always do, I did not listen as I should have. As we always do, we feel that we know more than God. Yes, to a point I answered this call on my life, but only part of it. I have for many years been writing newsletters and devotions, but God told me that I was to write books. Well in March I published my first book. As I did this, the peace that passes all understanding filled my soul. I am finally in the will of God for my life. When God spoke to me, I answered His correction and changed the course of my life. Then my life went downhill. The doctor told me that I had prostate cancer. I had surgery in July and God was with me. Then the week of my surgery, my brother went home to be with the Lord. He also had cancer. My recovery from my cancer and my loss of my brother, has been more of an emotional and spiritual recovery than physical. I know this sounds strange, but I praise God for 2017. I have much to be thankful for. […]