Friday, December 30, 2011




Read Revelation 3:1-6

      "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Revelation 3:1b NKJV
* * *
      The church in Sardis may have been an active busy church, but spiritually Jesus pronounces them dead – or at least ready to die. He says, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God." (3:2)
      This church was not looking for the return of Jesus and though there was a spark of life, it was ready to go out. He warns them, “Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” Revelation 3:3b
      Like many cold churches today, Sardis had some who were still trusting in Christ. He says of them, “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” (3:4)
      This reminds me of the parable of the wedding feast where a man tried to enter without the proper wedding garment. This garment is the righteousness which true believers receive when they trust in Christ – sins washed away as white as snow.
* * *
      Father, I am anticipating Jesus’ return, hoping that perhaps our generation will be the one that sees the return of Your Son. Thank you that He is the One who makes us worthy to walk with You in white.
* * *
      "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."    Matthew 25:13 NKJV

Monday, December 12, 2011



Read Revelation 2:18-29

      "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you... Revelation 2:19-20A NKJV
* * *
      The church at Thyatira, much like Pergamum, was influenced by pagan religion and immorality. Like many today, they mixed their Christianity with occult practices. Jesus refers to these practices as the "depths of Satan." (2:24).
      Teachers of this corrupt form of Christianity were followers of demons and will be judged along with Satan in the future. When judgment comes He says, “...all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” (2:23)
     There was still a remnant of faithful believers at Thyatira and to them He says, "Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come” (2:24-25)
* * *
      Lord, these verses remind me how careful we must be about what is taught in our churches. False teaching seems to creep in so easily and true believers need discernment. Keep us in Your Word so that we can recognize counterfeit Christianity by knowing the Truth.
* * *
      "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ," Philippians 1:9-10 NKJV

Monday, December 5, 2011



Read Revelation 2:12-17

      “ hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” Revelation 2:13b NKJV
* * *
      These faithful believers in Pergamum were standing up for the faith even unto martyrdom. “But” Jesus said, “I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:14)
      The idolatrous culture around them, including temple prostitution, was a snare to the church. This was such an important matter that Jesus said “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2:16)
      What a horrible thought that the Lord Jesus himself would fight against a church. We must not take lightly the instructions for purity in the Christian’s life. It is possible to be right in the main, and yet compromise our values in our personal lives and the teaching of the church.
* * *
     Lord, protect our church against the infiltration of false doctrine and immorality. Give us the ‘hidden manna” of Your Word and help us to live consistent lives that are worthy of our “new names” written in Heaven.
* * *
      He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”     Revelation 2:17 NKJV

Saturday, November 26, 2011




Read Revelation 2:8-11

      "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'these things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)..." Revelation 2:8-9a
* * *
     The believers in the church at Smyrna were suffering persecution and all their material goods had been confiscated. Jesus tells them that He sees everything that is happening to them and though they are poor, they are actually spiritually rich in hope for the future. (This stands in contrast to the church at Laodicea who were rich in material goods, but spiritually they were poor.)
     The worst is yet to come for those in Smyrna, as some of them will be cast into prison even unto death. They will suffer for their faith, but for a limited time.  Jesus said, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison - that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days... (2:10a)
    Though some may have to suffer persecution for following Jesus in this life, God’s Holy Spirit will give us the ability to endure. We have all of eternity to enjoy the rewards of a godly life. Jesus said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (2:10b)
* * *
    Lord, at this point in our culture we have not experienced real persecution, but there are many throughout the world who are in prison and have even died for their faith in the past few years. Should we ever have to endure this Lord, help us to depend on You. Even in a time of material blessing, keep us faithful unto death.
* * *
    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."   Revelation 2:11 NKJV

Sunday, November 20, 2011




Revelation 2:1-2

      "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write ..."I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil....” Revelation 2:1a, 2a NKJV
* * *
      The Ephesian believers were diligent in guarding the true gospel which had been given to them. Jesus commends them, “...You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary...” Then John writes the convicting words dictated by Jesus Himself: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4

       In their sincere desire to root out false teaching, a sad thing happened - they lost their love for the very people they were ministering to. After awhile perhaps they viewed everyone with suspicion rather than depending on the grace and love of God to be their guide. Jesus sternly warns,

     “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place -- unless you repent.” (2:5) There would be nothing worse than a once vibrant loving church to lose its light in the place where they lived.
* * *
      I can see from this passage that serving without love is futile. We can be oh so busy and oh so right and yet without love we are nothing. Restore to us a right spirit O Lord. Amen.
* * *
      "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

Sunday, November 13, 2011



Read Revelation 1

      To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood... to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5b, 6b
* * *
      Reading through the book of Revelation, we get a glimpse of the almighty power and glory of God in Jesus Christ. But at the same time we are reminded that this all powerful God loved us and gave His Son to die for our sins. The contrast of Jesus on the cross with Jesus in Heaven is breathtaking. 
      Though His own people rejected Him at His first coming, they will realize what they did in that final hour. John writes, "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him... " (1:7)
      Our Savior as portrayed in the gospels, is now seen by John in Heaven as one "like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters..." (Revelation 1:13-15)
* * *
      Lord, I can only imagine what it will be like to stand in your presence. Perhaps I will fall at your feet like John, but then hear your words of comfort: "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” (1:17b-18a)
* * *
      "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."   Revelation 1:8 NKJV

Sunday, November 6, 2011




Read Jude

      Beloved... I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.   Jude 3b NKJV
* * *
      Jude, the brother of James and of our Lord Jesus Christ writes a very serious letter to Jewish Christians of his day. He reminds them and us, “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit." (Jude 17-19)
      Jude describes these Mockers in highly descriptive terms as "ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 4b) He warns that grave judgment is reserved for those who corrupt the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for their own gain. “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.” (Jude 16)
* * *
      Lord I pray that You will protect our churches from the inevitable rise of apostate men and women. Give us discernment to recognize those who would cause divisions and confusion by their false teaching. Help us to become more familiar with the Truth of God's Word so that we can discern error in our midst.
* * *
      “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God..." Jude 20-21a NKJV

Monday, October 31, 2011




Read 1 John 3-4

      Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  1 John 3:2 NKJV
* * *
      As Christians struggle to live for God in a world that is opposed to Jesus Christ, John reminds us that when we see Christ we will be like him. But even now we can see glimpses of hope as the Spirit works in our hearts. He says, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14a)
      Along with faith in the name of Jesus should come a unique love for others who are in the family of God. “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” (1 John 3:23)
* * *
      Father, the most amazing thing is that You loved me and gave your Son to die in my place. As John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11) Lord grant me this supernatural love for my fellow believers.
* * *
      If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen.    1 John 4:20 NKJV

Monday, October 24, 2011




Read 1 John 1 -2
      But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NKJV
* * *
      John the apostle who walked and talked with Jesus Christ encourages Christians to walk in love toward each other, confessing their sins and abiding in Christ. Even though these are believers, they must realize the reality of sin and spiritual warfare in their lives.
      John explains, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
      Where does this temptation to sin come from? It does not come from God, but from within ourselves “For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:16-17)
* * *
      Lord, I am so grateful that you made a way for us to deal with sin in our lives. Thank you for your faithfulness to cleanse me from all unrighteousness and present me before the Father completely forgiven because of the cross. Thank you that ...this is the promise that He has promised us -- eternal life. (1 John 2:25)
* * *
      "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."    1 John 2:28 NKJV

Monday, October 17, 2011




Read 2 Peter 2-3

      "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you..." 2 Peter 2:1a NKJV
* * *
      Peter writes, “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle...that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,...knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, (2 Peter 3:1a,2a,3)
      These false teachers will question everything from the Genesis account of creation to the promised Second Coming of Christ. They will refute the gospel “even denying the Lord who bought them...And many will follow their destructive ways... “(2:1b-2a)
     Furthermore, they will ridicule believers saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (3:4)
* * *
      Lord, I thank you for the wonderful promise that “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise ... but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (3:9) May we be found faithful until the day You take us home..
* * *
      “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”    2 Peter 3:17-18 NKJV

Monday, October 10, 2011




Read 2 Peter 1
      His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us ... 2 Peter 1:3 NKJV
* * *
      Peter writes this second letter to remind believers of all they have received in Christ. They have been saved by faith in Him and have been given “...exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature...” (1:4)
      Now it is time, he says, to build on that faith in their relationships. He instructs them to “add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. " (1:5b-7)
      This growth in grace and knowledge is not optional for the believer. “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:9 NKJV
* * *
      Lord, I thank you that as believers we can expect to see growth in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us to be diligent in examining these areas of self control and brotherly kindness. When things are difficult in our homes, communities or churches, give us perseverance and the ability to endure. Most of all give us kindness and love.
* * *
      Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 2 Peter 1:10 NKJV

Wednesday, September 28, 2011




Read 1 Peter 4 - 5
      ... Be serious and watchful in your prayers, and above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:7b-8 NKJV
* * *
      Peter continues to encourage Christians to grow in love for the brethren. He urges us to pay close attention to relationships as husbands and wives and believers in the church. He writes, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God...If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies...” (4:10, 11b)
      He calls for humility in the sight of God and men, trusting that He will supply our needs. He exhorts us to “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
* * *
      Lord, I want to cast my cares upon you today. Help me to realize that I am not alone but can minister to others with the “ability which God supplies.” Help me to reflect Your love in all I do, especially in my own family. Help me to respond to attacks by the enemy with steadfast faith.
* * *
      Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.     1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

Friday, September 23, 2011




Read 1 Peter 2 - 3

      "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV
* * *
      To the scattered and persecuted churches, Peter narrows his message down to the simplicity of faith: Set aside the issues that divide you and focus on the “pure milk” of the Word, growing in your faith and your Christian relationships. In regard to those outside the church, “...always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15b)
      Our love for one another in the churches will be the greatest witness of the sincerity of our faith. Peter urges, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9
* * *
      Lord, I pray that I will be a blessing to my fellow believers, focusing on our common faith rather than the issues that would divide us. Help me to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in Jesus Christ to anyone who asks.
* * *
      "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.” 
1 Peter 3:10-11 NKJV (quote from Psalm 34:12-14)

Thursday, September 15, 2011




Read James 5
     Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded . . . You have heaped up treasure in the last days. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury . . . James 5:1-3,5a NKJV
* * *
      James, in writing to the believers of his day, was also speaking of the final days preceding the Lord’s return. These passages are becoming more relevant every day as we watch the dismantling of financial institutions and hear of the fraud and greed which has caused millions of people to lose their homes and businesses.
      When the pressures of life come along for us, we also are tempted to grumble against each other. We need encouragement to be patient and look up, because our Lord is returning. James reminds us, “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9)
* * *
      Lord, these are frightening times. Help us to trust in You no matter what difficulties lay ahead. Give us the patience to fellowship in unity with other believers as James said, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another. . . The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
* * *
      Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7 NKJV

Thursday, September 8, 2011




Read James 4

      "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:6b-8a NKJV
* * *
      James continues to address the conflicts among Christians and the temptation to live in a materialistic worldly manner. He says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (4:4)
      The source of the infighting according to James, was covetousness and arrogance. “Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”(4:2b-3)
      In regard to arrogance he says, “Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. ( 4:13-14)
* * *
      Lord, this passage speaks to my heart. We spend so much mental energy just worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Help us to keep our eyes on You and not forget to ask for the provision of our needs - and for wisdom to use your gifts rightly.
* * *
     ...Instead you ought to say,"If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:15-17 NKJV

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



Read James 3
     But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God James 3:8-9 NKJV
* * *
      James had heard reports that these Christians were arguing among themselves. While some were living in poverty, others were flaunting their wealth. James calls for humility because all are rich in Jesus Christ. He speaks to the sin of envy saying,
      “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, (and) demonic.” (James 3:13-15)
* * *
      Lord, I know how easy it is to lose control of our tongues. Whether it be in anger or in gossip, the damage our words can do is unspeakable. Help me to think before I speak and especially to refrain from gossip about someone who isn’t present. Forgive me for the times I have done this.
* * *
      Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:16-17 NKJV

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



James 1
     If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting... James 1:5-6a NKJV
* * *
      James is writing to persecuted Hebrew Christians scattered into neighboring gentile cities. They faced both financial hardship and temptation as they struggled to live the Christian life in an immoral culture. James tells them to ask of God, who is willing to grant wisdom along with all good and perfect spiritual gifts.
      Neither persecution nor temptation originates with God. Persecution comes from without, but temptation comes from the heart. James writes, “Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. James 1:13-14
      While Paul had to deal with Jewish leaders who insisted that Christians keep the Old Testament law, James was dealing with the permissiveness which assumes that it doesn’t matter how we live. The book of James is very timely for the issues that Christians face today.
* * *
      Lord, I pray that you will grant the stamina and wisdom we need to glorify You in an ungodly culture. Purify our hearts with the washing of Your precious Word, for we know that every good and perfect gift comes from You.
* * *
     “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Read Hebrews 13 
     Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 NKJV
* * *
     Although I had memorized this verse years ago, I did not understand the context until I studied the entire letter to the Hebrews. Earlier he writes, “... for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.” (10:34-36)
      The cost of declaring faith in Christ was loss of employment and confiscation of property. Many accepted it joyfully but some were tempted to fall away. He encourages them to endure, “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." (Hebrews 13:14-15)
* * *
      Lord, the apostles sang praises in prison; Your people endured persecution and even martyrdom for declaring faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to live joyfully even when circumstances are difficult, offering the sacrifice of praise to Your name as we live out Your plan for our lives.
* * *
      Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead ,...make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20a-21 NKJV

Wednesday, August 10, 2011




Read Hebrews 11-12

      "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." Hebrews 11:1, 3 NKJV
* * *
      This is the inspiration section of Hebrews. Some call it the “Hall of Faith.” These Old Testament believers didn’t have the clear picture of redemption that we have in the completed Scriptures. They saw it by faith from afar off, believing in God’s promise of a Messiah. They obeyed what God told them to do, even when they didn’t fully understand. For them, and for us, the requirement for pleasing God was believing Him. For "...without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (11:6)
* * *
      Lord, reading about these heroes of the faith, we are put to shame. Help us to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." Amen.   Hebrews 12:1b-2a 
* * *
      "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth....But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."   Hebrews 11:13, 16 NKJV

Wednesday, August 3, 2011




Read Hebrews 10: 1-25
      Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 NKJV
* * *
      In the midst of persecution and trials the Hebrew believers were struggling to keep the faith. This encouraging letter reminds them that the holiest place of the temple has been opened by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now they can draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith to fellowship with God Himself. Don’t give up, but rather, “let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (10:22-23)
* * *
      Perhaps these Christians found themselves irritated with their fellow believers in the presence of all the outside pressure. Maybe they were tempted just like we are, to just drop out for awhile and blend in with the culture. Why put ourselves with a group of people who sometimes don’t even get along?
* * *
      Help us Lord, to remain faithful to you and to our fellow believers. Give us the motivation to follow this admonition in Hebrews:
* * *
      And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Thursday, July 28, 2011



Read Hebrews 7 – 8
...He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 NKJV
* * *
      These Hebrew Christians were familiar with the sacrificial system and the priesthood. They were also aware that their priests were sinful human servants who had to offer a sacrifice for their own sins before they could approach God for the sins of the people. They were appointed as imperfect mediators between God and men.
      Jesus in contrast, is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (7:26a-27)
      As the ultimate, sinless sacrifice, Jesus became the perfect mediator for all who would believe in Him. On the basis of the cross of Jesus Christ, our sin debt is settled “once for all.” We are sealed with the Holy Spirit unto everlasting life, and when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
* * *
Lord, how can I express my thankfulness to You for being available every day to intercede for me. Help me to live for You, for I am no longer my own, I have been bought at a price. Help me to glorify You in everything I do.
* * *
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.    1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Read Hebrews 5 - 6
      For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Hebrews 5:12 NKJV
* * *
     In the midst of persecution both physical and spiritual, these Hebrew believers needed encouragement. Some doubted their salvation, perhaps because of the areas where they felt so weak. This letter is to assure them that they have a high priest in Jesus Christ who already paid the price for their sins.
      Those who continually go back to the beginning to renew their salvation “crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:6 NKJV
      Instead, they (and we) must press on in patience toward spiritual maturity. “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.”(6:9) We should not be discouraged because “God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (6:10)
* * *
      Lord, I pray that you will help me and the members of my family and church as we grow toward maturity in the things that matter. Help our spirit of apathy when things become difficult and keep us true to Your Word. Thank you for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
* * *
      And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.   Hebrews 6:11-12

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



Read Hebrews 3 - 4
     ...exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.    Hebrews 3:13 NKJV

      Writing to Jewish Christians, the author of Hebrews reminds them of the penalty of unbelief. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because they did not believe God. “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest. (4:2-3a)
      The rest that comes to the children of God in our day is through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In our struggle against sin, He is the one who gives us rest. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  
Hebrews 4:15-16
* * *
      Lord, I come to you today bowing before your throne to find grace to help in my time of need. I pray for discernment that comes through your indwelling Holy Spirit. Examine my heart and thoughts and show me the way you have prepared for me and my family. Thank you that I can enter your presence with boldness because of the intercession of Your Son.
* * *
      For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.    Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

Friday, July 8, 2011




Read Hebrews 1 -2

     In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.   Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV
* * *
     The book of Hebrews begins by introducing Jesus, the Son of God, and Creator of the universe - the One who actually knows what happened because He was there when it all began. But Jesus was not only there at the beginning, He remains as the power who holds it all together. “God’s Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. "(1:3a)
     There is no other power in the Heavens or on earth superior to Him. The author of Hebrews writes, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor..." (2:9a) 
     Jesus voluntarily gave up His exalted position to identify with us and pay the ultimate price for our sin. so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  (2:14b-15)
* * *
     Thank you Lord that you paid the ultimate price for our sin and that we can trust You as the One who sustains all things. Because of your sacrifice on the cross, the end of life here is just the beginning and death has lost its sting. Amen.
* * *
     Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV

Saturday, July 2, 2011



Read Titus 2 and 3
     Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.   Titus 3:8b NKJV
* * *
     Paul’s letter to Titus instructs him to appoint godly men as elders of the church. These men will have a difficult job ahead of them because there are already disputes among the people. “Remind them,” he writes, “to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.   (Titus 3:1-2)
     The quest for a gentle peaceable life should begin at home, so he tells Titus to gently instruct the older believers to live consistent Christian lives as examples for the young people. For instance, the older women were to “admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4-5)
* * *
     Lord, help us to make every effort to be at peace with those in the church and without. May our behavior reflect the graciousness of your mercy toward us. When our hearts are troubled, give us peace and wisdom to know how to respond.
* * *
     For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.  Titus 2:11-12 NKJV

Saturday, June 25, 2011



Read 2 Timothy 3-4

     But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come    2 Timothy 3:1 NKJV
* * *
      Paul tells Timothy that his own ministry is about to come to a close. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he gives us some insight into what will happen prior to our Lord’s return: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good..., lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. " (3:2-5)
     In other words, the world will become an increasingly perilous place in the last days. In the face of this, what is Paul’s challenge? "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2) Even though people will not want to hear the truth, Timothy is to preach it anyway.
* * *
     Lord, forgive me when I have been hesitant to answer those who deny the truth of Your Word. Give me courage to speak rather than remain silent when the name of Jesus is blasphemed. Grant me also the wisdom to know when I should remain silent and simply live the message.
* * *
     All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.   2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

Sunday, June 19, 2011



Read 2 Timothy 1-2

     For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.   2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
* * *
     When Timothy took on the pastorate of the church at Ephesus there were already false teachers at work. Paul speaks of two men in particular “who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.” (2:18) But he encourages Timothy to stand fast to what he has been taught, in spite of the fact that some have followed these men. Paul continues, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His...” (2:19)
     Paul urges Timothy to join him in willingness to suffer for the cause of Christ and to “Flee also youthful lusts; and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2:22)
     Citing his own example he says, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."(1:12)
* * *
     Lord, it is such a comfort that You know those who are yours. Sometimes it is necessary to stand alone in regard to the truth of Scripture. Help me to be gentle in presenting the gospel and the truth of the resurrection.
* * *
     And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.     2 Timothy 2:24-25  NKJV

Monday, June 13, 2011



Read 1 Timothy 4-6

     For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10-11 NKJV
* * *
     Timothy had a very difficult job ahead of him. He was charged with the task of correcting false teaching. He had to do this in a way that would be accepted by those who were older than he in age, though perhaps not in the faith. He had been trained by his godly mother and grandmother and also by Paul himself to “be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith...” (4:6a)
     Paul writes, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (4:12)
     Concerning Timothy’s preparation, the apostle urges, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine”, (4:13-15) thus making it clear that he is not only to teach right doctrine but also to show his faith by his works.
     Paul warns about greed saying, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (6:10-11)
* * *
     Lord, like Timothy, I want my life to be an example of what I believe. Today I pray for the enabling power of Your Holy Spirit in my life.
* * *
     But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.   1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV

Monday, June 6, 2011




1 Timothy 1-2

     This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  1 Timothy 1:15
* * *
     Timothy had been a disciple and traveling partner of the apostle Paul. Now he is the pastor of the church at Ephesus. Paul begins this letter to him by expressing his thankfulness for God’s mercy in his own life.
     He refers to himself as the “chief of sinners” whom Jesus came to save, because he was at one time a persecutor of Christians. “However,” he writes, “for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)
     In relationship to unbelievers, Paul writes, “I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”   (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
* * *
     Lord, I pray for our President and for all in his administration that they will acknowledge your authority and that we may lead godly and reverent lives among our neighbors. Thank you for showing mercy to me, a sinner.
* * *
     “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all...”   1 Timothy 2:3-6 NKJV

Tuesday, May 31, 2011




Read 2 Thessalonians 1-3

     Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.  2 Thessalonians 2:15 NKJV
* * *
     Paul writes this letter to correct false teaching about the Lord’s return. “Now, brethren,” he writes, “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)
     Paul goes on to explain the events that will happen prior to the Lord’s return to earth. He tells them of the coming evil world leader who will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”   (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
     Even though this man of sin will not be revealed until after the “gathering together” of believers, (2:7-8) the spirit of antichrist was and is already working in the world. Paul reminds them and us that “the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” (3:3)
* * *
     Lord, it is so evident in our day that the spirit of antichrist is at work. Help us to keep our eyes on You and not be discouraged as Your coming draws closer. Above all, help us not to grow weary in serving you and others in Christian love.
* * *
     "...But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. " 2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV

Thursday, May 19, 2011



1 Thessalonians 4-5

     God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 NIV
* * *
     Paul includes some very practical instructions in this letter on how to live the Christian life. Very clearly he says, "it is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality." (4:3) He says that when someone wrongs his brother in this way, he is really sinning against God and God will hold him accountable.
     In regard to those who would tend to be lazy or obnoxious toward outsiders he says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (4:11-12)
     Paul reminds them and us that we are in a spiritual battle and will be until the Lord returns. The time of Christ’s return is not as important as being ever ready and expectant. He writes, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him." (5:9-10)
* * *
     Lord, I pray that I will live my life in a way to win the respect of my friends and neighbors. I know we are surrounded by principalities and powers that would like to see us fail. But Lord, Your Holy Spirit within me is enough and today I am asking for Your guidance and strength.
* * *
     "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it."   1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV

Wednesday, May 11, 2011




Read 1 Thessalonians 1 - 3

     And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.    1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV
* * *
     Paul began his letter to the church at Thessalonica by saying, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord. In spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” (1:6-7)
     Paul was a model for them and they became a model for other churches. He commended the testimony of these faithful believers by saying, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.   (2:19-20)
     The Bible tells us that we will receive rewards when we get to Heaven and stand in the presence of our Lord. What will those rewards be? I do not know for sure, but I know that it will include the joy of seeing people there – those we have influenced for eternity.
* * *
     Lord, I pray that my life will be a light to those around me. Give me a joyful, thankful heart for all of the blessings you have given me and my family. Let us be a model to other believers in faith and obedience, so that they will be our glory and joy in Heaven.
* * *
     May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.    1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV