Thursday, January 31, 2013

How willing are we to follow Christ?

I am not going to give a devotion on this topic today.  I'll just let these verses say it all. God bless you.

Luke 9:57-62

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Warning! Some Causes of unfruitfulness and a consequence

Within the Parable of the Sower we find 3 things that can choke the word of God. The verses that speak about those three things are Mark 4:18-19. 

Mark 4:18-19
18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

A consequence for not bearing fruit

In Luke 13:6-9 we find another parable concerning bearing fruit. We are told about an owner of a fig tree who looked for fruit on his tree and found none. And how the owner gave orders to cut it down.

Luke 13:6-9

6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

Since being unfruitful can lead to serious consequences we too should be serious about removing the things that choke the word of God and render us unfruitful. 

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sin can be a hard taskmaster that won't let us rest

God leads us to work and be diligent in whatever service we do for Him. Yet He is not a hard taskmaster. He also leads us to rest too.

But in the verse below we can see that the pursuit of wealth can be wearisome. It can be a taskmaster that keeps driving a person hard in order to obtain more and more. It robs that person of needed rest.

Proverbs 23:4
Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it.

When a person is not obtaining enough rest tiredness is not the only symptom. We all know from experience that when we are tired we are more irritable, more negative and unhappy, have trouble concentrating, are quicker to lose our cool and our low resistance can set ourselves up for sickness.

I don't want this devotion to give the impression that the unbalanced pursuit of wealth is the only area that can weary us. Several areas of sin rob a person of rest. Can you think of times when you were pursuing after something out that was not God's will and you didn't rest when you should have? Did that desire keep you from going to bed? Or keep you from taking a day off etc.? So let us ask God to open our eyes and reveal to us any sinful area that are driving us hard and robbing us of God ordained rest. Obtaining this knowledge can be an added deterrent to slipping into that area of sin.

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

In the pit - God delays - God answers - Then a song of praise

Psalm 40:1-4

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

In this Psalm David seems stuck in a desperate situation. He has prayed about the situation but did not get an immediate answer to prayer. This is clear since he stated that he "...waited patiently for the Lord" ( v.1)

But as David waited with patience God heard him and answered him (v.1). He brought him up from the situation he was stuck in and brought him out to a stable place (v.2)

God's answer was so good that David couldn't help but break forth in praise (v.3). In fact the answer was so wonderful that it blessed others too. Many that knew about David prayers being answered feared and put their trust in the Lord (v.3).

We too may need to be patient for answers when in a difficult situation. But God is able to bring us out and bring us to a stable place. His good answer can put praise in our mouth. And as God helps us it can minister to those around us too. 

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Jesus Christ spoken of in advance by Isaiah

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (
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