Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
One of the greatest man made inventions of all time is duct tape. When in the military as a mechanic we fixed many things on the go with that tape and a sledge hammer. Those are great for temporary fixes until the right materials can be found to repair the problem. There is one thing that we cannot fix, our sins. Sin keeps us in the dark and away from a relationship with the Father. No matter what we do, nothing on this earth can redeem us.
Because of sin and the separation from God, He gave us a way to be forgiven without paying for it ourselves. The sacrifice of an innocent unblemished lamb covered us. The blood of the lamb poured out onto the altar and was taken and sprinkled on it as well. This was the gift of God’s Grace but we had to be truthfully repentant of our sins and do our best not to continue in them. Now it is written that God actually abhors the sacrifice and shedding of innocent blood which is one of the many reasons He came to us through His Son Jesus. First to teach us His righteousness and what He expects of us, and secondly to end (fulfill) the sacrificial laws. By doing this, our debt to sin was paid in full.
In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him. Colossians 2:10-15 (ESV)
Jesus paid it all. He fixed the damage done by sin the only way possible, with nails. But the nails, the spear, and the crown from which the blood poured onto the earth were only the physical part of our redemption, Jesus fought the Devil and won because death could not hold Him. He knew the right tools for the job and only He had access to them. Because of Jesus we are no longer bound by the chains that hold us. Because of Jesus we have a direct line to the Father. Because of Jesus, we have eternal life. All He requires of us is to believe, trust, and have faith in Him. All He requires of us is to live a right life by living out His example and doing as He asks of us. We must be in Christ we cannot just believe and be good.
We Live because He Died, do not let His death be in vain by ignoring His teachings. We Live because He Defeated Death and broke the chains that bind us. We Live because He Lives and we can face every day with the knowledge that we are redeemed, we are saved by His Grace and Mercy. Do not waste it share it. Love one another as HE continues to Love us.
Rob, Servant of God
The Grace of God has covered mankind since creation itself. Many think that only believers in Christ are covered by God’s Grace, they are wrong. The mission of all Christians is to turn people back to God through His Grace and the Mercy of Jesus. This is also encouraged by Christians thinking that Jews are covered only under the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments and those things are not necessary under grace. Wow are they wrong.
When the Bible is translated sometimes certain words are changed due to the translators ideas or basic theology. The Psalms are sometimes changed so much that certain meanings and truths are lost. In Psalm 136, many English translations say that His Love endures forever. The Hebrew text gives a more encompassing word that gives new meaning and a better understanding of the Covenant Promises. Below is Psalm 136 with the translation from the Complete Jewish Bible.
Give thanks to Adonai, for he is good, for his grace continues forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his grace continues forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his grace continues forever; to him who alone has done great wonders, for his grace continues forever; to him who skillfully made the heavens, for his grace continues forever; to him who spread out the earth on the water, for his grace continues forever; to him who made the great lights, for his grace continues forever; the sun to rule the day, for his grace continues forever; the moon and stars to rule the night, for his grace continues forever; to him who struck down Egypt’s firstborn, for his grace continues forever; and brought Isra’el out from among them, for his grace continues forever; with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, for his grace continues forever; to him who split apart the Sea of Suf, for his grace continues forever; and made Isra’el cross right through it, for his grace continues forever; but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Sea of Suf, for his grace continues forever; to him who led his people through the desert, for his grace continues forever; to him who struck down great kings, for his grace continues forever; yes, he slaughtered powerful kings, for his grace continues forever; Sichon king of the Emori, for his grace continues forever; and ‘Og king of Bashan, for his grace continues forever; then he gave their land as a heritage, for his grace continues forever; to be possessed by Isra’el his servant, for his grace continues forever; who remembers us whenever we are brought low, for his grace continues forever; and rescues us from our enemies, for his grace continues forever; who provides food for every living creature, for his grace continues forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his grace continues forever. - Psalm 136:1-26
Notice how mood and emphasis changes when you read the word grace instead of the word love. God’s Grace is all encompassing and Scripture grants us a look into how all things from the deep past through today are all covered by His Grace. Let’s look at the Mosaic and New Covenants for their similarities.
Covenants Are Made By God’s Grace
God made covenants with mankind. When we talk about Grace vs. Works many point to the Mosaic Covenant and state the different between being under law and being under grace. The problem is that we do not see the similarities between the covenants and understand that the Mosaic Covenant is covered by God’s Grace as well.
Both are based on Substitution of an innocent for the guilty.
God’s Grace is demonstrated clearly in both because the guilty human lives while an innocent, sinless being dies in his or her place. The old system of sacrifice was sufficient for the people if their mind was in the right place and they were truly sorry for their sins. This sorrow leads to the need to repent which when true, works.
Both require repentance of the sinner for the sacrifice to be effectual.
Repentance of sin is the only thing that makes the sacrifice work. One can believe in Jesus and say that he or she is saved but without repenting of all sins, Jesus will not recognize you nor defend you. True repentance is an action because words and feelings are not sufficient for true repentance to take place.
Complete life changes are required for repentance to be real.
For true repentance, a person must be fully honest with themselves and actively remove all the things that cause the sin in their life to occur. All past transgressions must end. It may take a complete life change but when you look at the consequences of sin, true repentance is a better choice.
We all have heard the saying, “His Grace is enough”, and that is true to a point. God’s Grace is enough for us to desire to make positive changes in our lives to affect positive changes in the lives of others. This positive change occurs when sin no longer controls our lives.
Both covenants are under Grace but one had led to the other and is still in effect with minor changes. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it. He came to take the need for the Mosaic Covenant sacrifices away. He took the Abrahamic Covenant and modified it. He came to become the final sacrifice and open the veil so that we had a closer communion with God.
What Does That Mean For Us
Now this may offend Christians who think they are the true Chosen Children of God.
We need to treat ALL People with more kindness and stop enforcing ethnic differences. There is no such thing as a superior ethnic community and we are all of the same race, the human race. We have to understand fully that Jesus first came to save the Israelites so they could spread the Word even though He knew they would reject Him. The Jews concentrate on repentance alone because they had to adjust to no longer sacrificing innocent animals. Others understand the need for repentance and have the heart but they are still waiting for the Earthly Messiah. We need to help them understand that the Messiah is here and they need to read Isaiah 53 (coming up is a discussion on that text) to understand that Jesus is the Messiah they are waiting for.
We are obligated to do our best to follow the Ten Commandments even though we know we will fail. We are obligated to truly repent and change our lives by fighting back the temptations and sins, living for God through the teachings of Scripture. The real question is, do you know the difference between just believing and being in Christ? Jesus and His Disciples followed the commands of Scripture except what was revealed to be man-made and made for man. Our bodies became His swelling place, His temple. Our lives are transformed as we turn back to God.
Brothers and Sisters be in constant prayer and communion with God. Share your faith walk with others. Do not fear man for they can only hurt your flesh.
In God’s Love,
Rob, Servant of God
O the blessedness of the pure in heart, for they shall see God
King David in the Psalms understands what it means to have a clean heart and had the understanding to pray to God for Cleansing. He knew that if the heart was not right then the rest of the body and his soul would fail him. David had a repentant heart and though his life was tormented with disaster, he still kept God’s Word as best he could.
What is the heart?
The heart in Hebraic thinking is considered the whole person to include the mind, emotions, will, and the spirit or inner life. The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god (Psalm 24:4). The person with a clean heart refuses to accept false teachings and idols of man. Another thought on the heart is: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the LORD (Col. 3:22). This is talking about the clear devotion to God in every situation. If we stay on course and do not become distracted and victims of the ways of man, we shall see God. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Cor. 13:12). They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads (Rev 22:4).
Purity Of the Heart
To have purity of the heart we need to keep our mind always on God. This requires us not to confuse the mind with worldly things or ideas that go against the teachings of Scripture. The problem is that we live in an information overloaded driven society that is sometimes hard to get away from. The United States is so commerce driven that everything has an advertisement attached to it. Yes, even this site has advertisements which help support our ministry but we use the funds for God’s will and work not our own. We cannot have duplicity of heart and fully focus on God, it is virtually impossible.
Creation of a Clean Heart
All of Scripture exclaims how to keep a clean heart that wavers in passion for the Truth in God’s Holy Presence. This said we must stay in His Word and trust in Jesus that He hears our plea for repentance and stay the course which leads to oneness in Him. Think of it pretty much like a relationship. When the relationship is connected through unwavering focus, all is healthy and good. When someone does something that makes a separation, the trust and devotion is gone and must be rebuilt to get back into good standing which leads to a healthy relationship. Creating a clean heart is great but keeping it clean, that is the hard part for us.
We have something that some Jews only dream of, a personal relationship with our Savior. We know that we are not worthy of the saving grace and mercy provided for us but because we put our faith and trust in Jesus, and do the best we can to follow His instruction and example as well as repent and change, we are good. The disadvantage is that it is hard for some to change. God knows this He does love all of us but has a special place in His being for those who desire the clean heart and do their very best not to waver. How is your heart health?
Rob Servant of God
It is better to be humble than to seek out acceptance and gratitude. God does not need someone who is famous or boastful in their deeds. When we are well known for what we do for Him, we run the risk of seeking attention through works. Why seek attention for the task that we are given by God since He designed us to be caretakers. When we do works because of our faith we are putting our faith into action without the need for gratitude. If we try to gain popularity because of our works, those works are not due to faith but our own desire to be loved. James said that faith without works is dead but he did not say that we should accept mementoes or payments of gratitude for the works because our payment will be delivered when we meet our Lord and Savior at the gate.
O the blessedness of the meek for they shall inherit the earth Matthew 5:5
The word meek is best translated as humble or lowly. Jesus is quoting Psalm 37:11, But the meek will inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. He is telling us that it is better to lower ourselves in humility than to raise ourselves up. The reality is, no one is more important than another and we should be doing God’s Will in our lives on a daily basis without seeking accolades or fame.
This weekend the family volunteered at the KLOVE Fan Awards and the night before the awards we sat in on a songwriter session where we listened to popular Christian artists truly humble themselves in the sharing of their lives and how their lives turned into song through the Word. They did not ask for gratitude nor standing ovations, they did not desire to be raised up but kept it humble. Though many see them as famous they do not seek the accolades. They are sinners, people just like us but these were given the gift of song to spread the Word to the world.
The avoidance of seeking validation and managing ones appearance means that a person is aware of their inner poverty, or sinful condition, and are free to surrender themselves. This is a willing trust in God to take care of oneself. The person who willfully surrenders to God does not self- seek vengeance or vindication but restoration, their strength comes from the Lord as it says in Zechariah 4:6, Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
So Be Humble
When we have an active faith we are not in it for ourselves but in it to win others for God in the great battle for the souls of mankind against our Adversary. We accept the kindness but ask to keep it on the down low instead of announcing our faithful works to the world. We gain helpers through the telling of our works because of our faith but not by our own mouths. Do not try to be in control of others because the only actions and situations we can truly control are what God gives us to control which is ourselves. So do not be found to have self-assertiveness, or manipulative, deceptive, or violent aggressive behaviors for those are the opposite of meekness. Those that do are demanding acceptance and their own rights in this world and will not receive the blessed inheritance in the next world.
Be of good heart and pray daily placing your life in God’s hands where it belongs. Seek no accolades or payment for your works but humble thyself and God will provide. Share in your iniquity and the saving Grace and Mercy that comes only through faith, belief, and trust in Jesus which is granted freely by God for those who are in Christ. His is the power, and glory forever, AMEN
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.