Friday, February 26, 2016

The Sin of Pride

                                    The Sin of Pride

                                      Obadiah 1:3
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Obadiah’s message was charging Edom with the sin of pride, and noting their arrogance would  not be ignored. God judged Edom harshly for the sin of pride and the violent acts against Israel. There were other sins committed against God and Israel, and the quarrel between two brothers, Jacob and Esau, affected their descendants for over 1,000 years.

Pride seems to be the number one reason why God’s people are not usable in the work of God. Whatever it may be that keeps us from dying to self and living for God is ultimately the sin of pride. What will it take to bring someone to the point of brokenness? And, how much will we be willing to lose to save face or keep our pride in tact?

Why do we act out in such overwhelming bouts of pride and arrogance? We are sinners! “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:16). We don’t understand the incredible sacrifice of God on our behalf, or realized the abundant grace, provision, and love, He has entrusted to those who believe. Why would we want to make life altering decisions based on self or pride, when we don’t know the future, the fruit it may bear or the finish of our life? Jesus said, “...for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5b).

Apart from being born again you cannot begin to overcome the deep-rooted sin of pride. If you do not know Christ, I encourage you to bow your heart, head and knee to the most Holy God. Believe in who He is–––repent of your sin and receive His full forgiveness.

Lord, I confess my sin of pride.

Friday, February 19, 2016

There's Encouragement in Christ

There’s Encouragement in Christ

                                      Philippians 2:1-4  
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 

Divisiveness, selfishness, and sowing discord among the brethren is usually generated by only a few people in the church. When Paul wrote, “ if there is any consolation (encouragement) in Christ,” he was saying, “if there is any help, counsel, or coming along side to be someone's helper,” then do this. God has extended to every believer His great affection and mercy which in the end should result in oneness in Christ.

“ Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind,” communicates, make my joy complete by thinking the same way that I do in loving all believers compassionately and affectionately as Christ has shown to us. Selfishness can consume a believer and in the end, leads to a life of destruction. This kind of life breeds anger, resentment and jealousy and is often clothed in piety promoting ones own spiritual abilities. Paul’s heart was to bring oneness to believers, true joy, fellowship, love for one another, esteeming one another in the compassion and mercy of Christ.

My Christian friend, encourage unity, oneness among other believers and put aside indifference that produces strife, conflict, division and opposition. If it hurts my heart that Christians disregard and neglect other Christians, what do you think it does to the heart of God?  Are you esteeming others before yourself? Is your agenda first place in your life or are the needs of others more important? True unity comes from a heart that cares for others more than caring for oneself.

Lord, may I put others before myself showing mercy and affectionate compassion.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Someone We Treasure

                   Someone We Treasure

                                     Mark 12:29-31
"... And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Figurative definition: Anything or anyone we value, love, cherish, prized, or have a deep affection for.

Someone we treasure we treat with loving kindness holding them in the highest regard.  We show great respect to those we cherish and exhibit consistent compassion. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26). We are careful not to let anger overtake us, but keep our hearts with all diligence in accordance to the Word of God. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. ” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

We share the Gospel with those we hold dear and teach them about Christ and His great mercy towards us. With an unconditional love, that only our Lord can give, we show deep affection to those we highly value. “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (I John 3:11). Someone we treasure we remember them in their special moments and their changing seasons of life. Someone we love we encourage by: exalting the Savior, “Oh,  magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:3). By expounding the Scriptures, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ” (2 Timothy 3:16). And, edifying those that are of the household of faith “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Lord, thank You for Christ, our treasure.

Friday, February 5, 2016

What Does It Mean to Be a Widow?

      What Does It Mean to Be a Widow?

                                        Psalm 68:5 KJV
A father of the fatherless, and a judge (defender) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Most of you that read this devotion will not understand the position of the widow. The purpose in writing about the widow is to plead for her and try to explain the tremendous loss and overwhelming feelings of grief that accompany the reality of death. Scripture says, “A judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” The word judge means, “defender and advocate.” Here, in His holy habitation, God is her support, guardian, Lord, master, teacher, advisor and counselor. What comfort that brings to the widow in her need of solace.

Numbness is a word many widows would  use to explain the aftermath of shock in the passing of life. Some may ask themselves, “Did this really happen or am I dreaming?” “What just happened? Am I going to be all right? What will I do now?” The immense feeling of loss begins to take hold and then unexpectedly, everything seems to appear in part. Where you use to go to church together you now find yourself traveling to church alone. Bedtime is hard now because you use to share the events of the day together and maybe even laugh a little. Now, there’s no one on his side–––all is still.

If you know a widow, please call her, spend time with her, and allow her to cry with you. It does take some time to go through the grieving process of death, so be patient with her. My Lord was so wonderful to me during this difficult time of my life. He walked me through the valley of the shadow of death and prepared for me a table in the wilderness where my cup was running over. I lingered in the book of Psalm for over a year and through that journey He comforted my soul and He changed my life forever.

Lord, I thank You for Your comfort during my time in the valley.