Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 4:10-13

Proverbs 4:10-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 5:11-12

Psalm 5:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You [a]defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:11 protect, lit. cover

Afternoon Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [a]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:19 reckoning

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 8:28-30

Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 4:1-9

Proverbs 4:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Security in Wisdom

 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 5:9-10

Psalm 5:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

For there is no [a]faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:9 uprightness

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Galatians 3:26-29

Galatians 3:26-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

Sons and Heirs

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Be Transformed and Not Conformed

Over the next couple of Sundays, I will be looking at Paul’s letter to the Romans and concentrating on chapter twelve of that letter. As I was reading and doing research on the topic of being a living sacrifice, it came to me that sometimes we forget that we need to devote our lives to Him and in service to Him in accordance to His will and live a life that follows the teachings of His son, Christ Jesus. To say that one is a Christian is easy, but to be and live as a Christian daily is the hardest and most difficult thing to do. 

We are constantly tempted to return to our old sinful ways. We are bombarded daily with false teachings, the sinful nature of this world and with continuous attacks from both Satan and those in this world that would stop at nothing to destroy Christianity and wipe it away once and for all time.

When you think about it, Satan’s goal is to have everyone deny the existence of God and His Son and become disobedient to His will. It is as simple as that. But, remember what Jesus said to the seventy-two that he sent out as “lambs among wolves”.

In chapter ten of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus sends seventy-two disciples, in pairs, to visit cities and towns that he planned to visit. In short, they were to prepare the way just as John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness and prepared the way for the one “coming soon who is greater than I am”.

Upon returning to Jesus, those seventy-two disciples joyfully reported that even the demons obeyed them when they used Jesus’ name. Jesus told them that they had been given authority over all the power of the enemy. So, Satan and his minions have no authority over you. You have been given the power to rebuke him and to stand firm while being covered with the armor of the Lord. 

With that, we are empowered to live a life devoted fully and completely to the Lord and should live life as a “living sacrifice”. A sacrifice, in this sense, is to be done by giving thanks and being thankful at all times. We should rejoice and be glad in all those things we do in the Kingdom of the Lord.

That means that we should not be copying the behaviors and customs of this world. When we do, we give in to temptation and begin to move away from the path of righteousness. It is so easy to do. Think about how many times daily, if not hourly, that you are tempted to do things that are contrary to the laws and the will of God. I am not immune to those temptations. None of us are. We are constantly under attack. But, we have been given authority over Satan. We have the power to rebuke him at every attack. We are covered in the armor of God and no spiritual attack can penetrate or compromise His armor.

Remember God has transformed you from one that walks in darkness to His child that has been made holy. You are His and he gave up so much for you. 

Paul, in chapter twelve of Romans, writes, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Being a living sacrifice starts by changing the way you think. If you think about the things of the world constantly, you will fall prey to the temptation of this fallen world. If you think about God’s gift of salvation and realize that you are nothing without Him, then you will seek out His will in all that you do.

When we change our mindset, we consciously decide not to follow the ways and customs of this world and we live a life devoted to God and in His service.

Jesus, in his parable about the sower in chapter thirteen of the Gospel of Matthew, tells us, “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.

If you don’t change your mindset and look to God’s will which is good, pleasing and perfect, then you will soon find yourself slipping back into your old ways and the behaviors and customs of this sinful world. 

Paul, in chapter four of his epistle to the Philippians, writes, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Once again, it starts with a mindset change that results from being transformed by God and not being conformed to the behaviors and customs of this world. 

Devote yourself to what is good and pleasing to the Lord in all that you do and say. Don’t allow the enemy a foothold in your life. He will exploit it and work to deceive you and help crowd out the message by tempting and luring you with wealth and the worries of this life.

Remind yourself daily that you are a child of God and He is there with you. Rely solely on His strength and not your own. If you trust in the flesh, it will disappoint you every single time. If you place your trust in God, He will lift you up in victory and protect you. Remember God has given you His armor and provides you with all that you need physically and spiritually. 

In 1997, Apple launched a simple, but effective marketing campaign with an equally simple and straightforward message. It consisted of two simple words that changed the minds of individuals - “Think Different”. That marketing campaign struck a chord inside people and changed their minds not only about Apple but also their concept of personal computing. The difference between a good marketing campaign and a great one is profoundly changing the minds of people forever. That campaign did just that.

In keeping with a simple message that has a profound impact, I ask you to “think godly”. When you do that, I can assure you that you can stay true to the Lord by being a living sacrifice and stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 John 4:4-6

1 John 4:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:31-35

Proverbs 3:31-35 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34 Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 5:7-8

Psalm 5:7-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward [a]Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:7 Lit. the temple of Your holiness

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Matthew 18:19-20

Matthew 18:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 “Again[a] I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 18:19 NU, M Again, assuredly, I say

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Spiritual Wisdom

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God [a]ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 2:7 predetermined

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:27-30

Proverbs 3:27-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

27 Do not withhold good from [a]those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,
When you have it with you.
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30 Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 3:27 Lit. its owners

Friday, January 17, 2020

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 5:4-6

Psalm 5:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil [a]dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 5:4 Lit. sojourn

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Matthew 5:43-48

Matthew 5:43-48 New King James Version (NKJV)

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 5:44 NU But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
  2. Matthew 5:47 friends
  3. Matthew 5:47 NU Gentiles