Our weekly devotional has moved to our new website at:
Our weekly devotional has moved to our new website at:
A Mother’s Day poem written in the early 1900’s is:
M is for the Many things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing Old.
T is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H is for her Heart of purest gold.
E is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R means Right and Right she’ll always be.
Put them all together and they spell MOTHER.
Mothers can love, give of themselves, cook, clean, wash clothes, put Band-Aids on scrapes, bring a smile to a child’s face … be the first one up in the morning or the last one down at night. They juggle a lot of things including raising children, working at jobs, managing a home, and sometimes finding time for themselves.
Children need the unselfish love of a mother and long life is promised to all who show honor to them. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.
Mothers make up an extremely important part of our lives. So, whether it’s a Mother’s Day card, dinner out, a hug or a kiss on the cheek, we should show we care. It’s so important to give our love to those dedicated women in our lives who regularly sacrificed for us. If you can still tell your mother you love her, do it. Don’t take her for granted. My mother sacrificed for me in so many ways. I wish I could still tell her that I love her!
Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us to Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
We live in a world where people are becoming more distant, self-centered and uncaring at a rapid pace. Revenge and retaliation have become the norm. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us to Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Bitterness has been defined as “the resentful spirit that refuses reconciliation.” Wrath is defined as “violent, resentful anger; rage or fury” and anger is “a feeling of extreme displeasure, hostility or exasperation toward someone of something”. Paul said all must be put away.
When Jesus Christ becomes Lord of our lives, we should seek to show the same kindness, tender heartedness and forgiveness to others that God shows us. If we treat others as God treats us, we fulfill everything Paul told us to do in chapter 4 of Ephesians.
Our forgiveness to others is patterned after the forgiveness of Jesus towards us. When we think of the amazing way God forgives us, it’s shameful for us to withhold forgiveness from those who have wronged us. He forgives our sin knowing that we will sin again, often in exactly the same way and He keeps reaching out to man for reconciliation even when man rejects Him again and again.
God’s Word puts it like this: even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. This gives us an assurance of forgiveness – that it’s for Christ’s sake. Charles Spurgeon said: “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven thee. Get hold of that grand truth, and hold it, though all the devils in hell roar at thee. Grasp it as with a hand of steel; grip it as for life: ‘God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven me,’ – may each one of us be able to say that. We shall not feel the divine sweetness and force of the text unless we can make a personal matter of it by the Holy Ghost. If anyone here who is a Christian finds a difficulty in forgiveness, I am going to give him three words which will help him wonderfully. I would put them into the good man’s mouth. I gave them to you just now, and prayed you to get the sweetness of them; here they are again! ‘For Christ’s sake.’ Cannot you forgive an offender on that ground?”
It isn’t that we must forgive because Jesus will forgive us. We forgive because He has forgiven us.
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we received new birth into a living hope. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all who believe on Him. However, if He had remained dead and stayed in that tomb as many in the world believe, we would be spiritually dead, without hope and our faith would be useless. We would still be guilty of our sins.
Of course, it was impossible for His death to be permanent because He is God! He and the Father are One. As much as the world denies it, Jesus’ resurrection is well-documented. Paul said that He rose on the third day and that He was seen of the twelve disciples. Later he was seen by more than five hundred people. This miraculous event opened the way for us to experience new birth. Without the new birth one cannot see the kingdom of God. Salvation through Christ involves a transition from an old life of sin to a new life of obedience to Him. The one who is truly born again is set free from the bondage of sin.
By confessing our sinfulness and trusting Him as our Savior, we have become one of His own. Because He is our living Savior we have living hope! One born of God can’t make sin a habitual practice in his life. We can’t remain a child of God without a sincere desire to please Him. Regardless of what one says, those who follow after the things of the world and desire the things of the world demonstrate that they are not truly children of God, but long for the things of the world that Satan can provide.
Just as we can be born of the Spirit by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we can also go back into the world and make ungodly choices and die spiritually. Have you considered your choices?
When we come to God for wisdom, He never scolds us for coming, no matter how often we come to Him. Because God is good and generous and gracious, chapter 1 of James says we should never approach Him with doubt. If we fail to trust Him, we shouldn’t expect Him to answer.
The word “faith” is found only twice in the Old Testament, but it’s found sixteen times in the book of James alone. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that 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. If we approach God without faith, we’ve decided to live life our own way, to make our own decisions, to separate ourselves from Him. When we come without faith, the reason God doesn’t answer is because of our doubt and lack of faith.
James says that a person who prays doubting is like the sea that is blown and tossed about by the wind. That person is encouraged one moment, discouraged the next. Paul uses the same example for immature believers. He speaks of them as tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, in Ephesians 4:14.
The man of faith is a man looking in only one direction for the wisdom he needs. He knows that the God to whom he prays is able and willing to respond to his need. God is able to help us in our trials because He Himself chose suffering. As man, He went through all that mankind experienced, from the little irritations of family life, hard work and lack of money to the worse horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile. Trust Him and come to Him in faith.
Hebrews 1:1-3: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews begins with an idea basic to the Bible: God exists, and He speaks to man. Throughout the ages, God at specific times had spoken to chosen ones. Each encounter was different. The revelation given through the prophets was brought in various ways – sometimes through parables, prophecy, psalms, proverbs, and the like. God spoke to Moses by a burning bush, to Elijah by a still, small voice, to Isaiah by a heavenly vision.
Verse 2 says, In these last days Spoken to us by His Son. It isn’t so much that Jesus brought a message from the Father; He is a message from the Father. The Son doesn’t speak in Hebrews; the Father speaks concerning the Son. The book of Hebrews is the Father telling us what the Son is all about.
In His earthly ministry, Jesus constantly demonstrated the power of His word. He could heal, forgive, cast out demons and calm nature, by simply speaking one word.
Verse 3 tells us he Himself purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. His position alone set Him above all angels. After Jesus provided the forgiveness of our sins by His death on the cross, He took His place of authority at the right hand of God. Nothing has greater authority than Christ. He’s the only way to eternal salvation and the only mediator between God and man.
Jesus did it all for us and went and sat down at the Father’s right side. He sat down because He finished the job. In fact, it was finished when Jesus made that statement from the cross - it is finished. No one or nothing else purchased our salvation for us, Jesus did it all.
God’s ways are mysterious, but they’re good. When you look at world events with so much evil around us, it’s easy to feel fearful and discouraged. We can’t comprehend why God allows such cruelty and suffering. The problem is that God is infinite and we aren’t. Many things are simply beyond our understanding. However, when we reach the limits of our understanding, trusting God will carry us onward.
We too often demand to know “why”? That’s the wrong question to ask God. We should ask: “What should I do in this situation?” or, “What do You want me to do right now?” We can’t change the past, so we should start with the present and seek God to find our way forward. Proverbs 3:5 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Our own understanding is limited and too often, in error. Therefore, we must be enlightened by God’s Word and led by the Holy Spirit. Rather than rely upon our own judgment, we should pray for God’s wisdom and will in all our decisions in this life. Every day we need to live in a close, trusting relationship with God, always looking to Him for direction. When we do this, He promises to direct our paths.
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 8:17: I observed all the work of God—that no one can grasp what happens under the sun. Those who strive to know can’t grasp it. Even the wise who are set on knowing are unable to grasp it (CEB). Solomon knew that no matter how wise we are; we can’t explain all the works of God by our own wisdom. Like Job, we don’t have to know all the reasons; we simply need to trust in the Lord and believe that He does all things well and we’re in His hands.
In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul said, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. In verse 17, he declared the idea that the cross could “be made of no effect” if it were presented with “the wisdom of words”. Then he shows why this is true of the cross and the message of the gospel.
To those who reject the salvation of the cross, the idea of being saved through the work of a crucified man is foolish. The words “message of the cross” sounds totally different to us today, but in the first century, saying “message of the cross” was about the same as saying message of the electric chair – except worse! What message does a cruel, humiliating, instrument of death have? To us “who are being saved it is the power of God”. However, it’s “foolishness to those who are perishing”!
It was impossible for Paul to preach the gospel without presenting the “message of the cross”. The gospel is the “message of the cross”.
In verse 20, Paul said: “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world”?
The wisdom of this world is a wisdom that excludes God, emphasizes human self-sufficiency, makes man the highest authority and refuses to recognize God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. God calls this wisdom foolishness because man has failed to find the truth or come to know their creator. The older I get the more I see the frailty of human wisdom and the secular world view.
The gospel and the “message of the cross” must never be made suitable to philosophy, science, or any other so-called wisdom of man. There’s a tendency in the world to think that the smartest and wisest humans will know the most about God. I call these “eminent theologians”. They may look nice and be good orators, but they either forgot the message of the cross or they never knew it. God can’t be found through human wisdom, but only through the message of the cross. Human wisdom can never bring the true knowledge of the true God.
(From an article by: Larry Alex Taunton)
C.S. Lewis once noted men in the English-speaking world have largely been emasculated, and men in the Church are seldom an exception to this trend.
Few today stand strong for their faith in Jesus Christ and push back against a culture that, in the words of Isaiah 5:20, “calls evil good and good evil”
This is because evangelicals have confused Christ’s command to love others with being likable, as if that were an attribute of God. (It isn’t.) As such, they endeavor to be, above all else, inoffensive and polite. This doctrinal malpractice has given us a generation of men who are what Lewis called “men without chests.”
The idea of fighting for things that matter has never been foreign to me. I fully recognize, as the Athenian statesman, Pericles, observed, “Happiness depends on freedom, and freedom depends on courage.”
I urge you to be offended by the way our God’s name is blasphemed in our country every day; by the 54 million children murdered in the holocaust of abortion since 1973; by the sordid sexual agenda that is eroding the very fabric of Western civilization; by the fact that Christians are dying for their faith, largely at the hands of Muslims, at a rate of 100,000 per year; and, most of all, by the reality that these things are being ignored, trivialized, or celebrated. These are things that offend me deeply, and I hope they offend you, too. Righteous anger has a place within the Christian life. Tap into it. In the words of Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin.”
Evangelical Christians comprise a hefty 26 percent of the U.S. population. I fully believe that if they were to find their voices and their courage, we would see a Great Awakening in America. Indeed, we would see America become truly great again rather than superficially so. But it will, as I say, require courage, because the forces opposing us seem determined to burn this country to the ground. That cannot go unchallenged.
When Jesus said to turn the other cheek, he did not mean to turn a blind eye. The highest calling of a Christian is not to be civil; it is to be salt and light.
In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells us that genuine forgiveness, from the heart, is required of all who have been forgiven. He said, So My Heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
God has forgiven us such a great debt that any debt owed to us is so insignificant in comparison. No one can possibly offend us to the extent that our sins have offended God. This principle of forgiveness must be applied in both the big things and little things done to us.
When a person is unrepentant or unaware of their sin against us, we must keep our hearts open for reconciliation and keep ourselves free from bitterness.
Luke 17:4 tells us we are obligated to forgive one who repents, and when we don’t, we pay a terrible price for our unforgiveness. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to yousaying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.
Jesus teaches that the forgiveness of God freely given to repentant sinners remains conditional, according to the individual’s willingness to forgive his fellow man. We might forfeit the forgiveness of god by having a bitter and unforgiving heart. Jesus wants us to have an attitude of forgiveness rather than a spirit of revenge.
Many of the problems that we as Christians encounter can sometimes be due to our hard attitude toward those who offend us. Who knows how much blessing is hindered because of unforgiveness? Those who offend us may not deserve forgiveness, but for our sake, it’s best to forgive. We’re the ones most hurt by our unforgiveness.
Mark 11:26 says, if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Can we lose our salvation from unforgiveness? It’s not the “unforgivable sin”, but forgiveness is the mark of one truly forgiven. A habitually unforgiving heart shows a bitterness that may mean that a person’s heart has never really been touched by the love of Jesus. Our salvation may be sure, yet we may be “tortured” by our own unforgiveness towards others.