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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

For further study - Galatians 1:1-10

Paul, in his letter to the churches of Galatia, wrote on the authority of the "resurrected Jesus Christ". Jesus was the one who made Paul the apostle, not man, and the author of this book lets the recipients of the letter know on whose authority he was speaking.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the "cornerstone of our faith", is in reality the only authority we have in order to serve Him. But what other authority do we need? With this authority, Paul moves ahead with the central message of this letter to the churches of Galatia. That central message is that a Gentile did not have to become a Jew before he would or could become a Christian.

Later in this book, Paul upbraids Peter for having one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity. In fact, Paul writes that any other gospel than the Gospel, the good news, of the "grace of Christ" is heresy and must not be preached.

Paul actually calls for the preacher of any other gospel to be accursed, verse 9. Paul also told the Christians in Galatia that he was not only made an "apostle" by Jesus Christ, not man, and that he was not the "servant" of man and thus would not seek to please them.

Paul made it clear that he was the "servant of Christ", verse 10, and Him alone. Paul was a preacher, an apostle, made so by the Lord Jesus Christ appointed to preach the "grace of Christ" and serve Him only. This was all possible because Paul had been converted to Christ by what Christ did, dying on a cross to become sin for him and take away man’s sin, verse 4.

Notice what else Paul says about the "grace of Christ" in verse 4. Paul tells the believers in Galatia that they would be delivered from sin according to the "will of God". Rejoice dear friend we will be delivered from sin and this evil world.

That deliverance is yet future when Jesus shouts to call us up to be with Him at the Rapture. We will then be delivered from the "presence of this evil world". What a "blessed hope" that is for each of us as believers.

Sometimes people say, "you believe in the Rapture? You believe in an 'escapism' religion". They are absolutely right. We will "escape" from this evil world and it will be the "will of God". I am looking forward to escaping this evil world and doing it in the will of the Most High God - praise His name.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "grace of Christ" that does indeed deliver us from this present evil world.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

II Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For further study - II Corinthians 12:1-10

As we come to our reading today, I am eager to share several thoughts with you about the experiences of the Apostle Paul. These experiences in the life of Paul will give us insight into biblical principles that we each can appropriate for ourselves.

Let me remind you that Paul was a brilliant man. Some scholars have said he was one of the five greatest minds that ever lived. His writings are masterpieces of literature, from a worldly perspective.

Paul tells us that in order for him to not be exalted above measure, above what he should be, he was given, by God, a "thorn in the flesh", verse 7. We don't know exactly what the "thorn" was except that it was something physical, a physical ailment of some type.

Verse 8 tells us that Paul went to the Lord in prayer to request the removal of the "thorn." It is with this backdrop of weakness that God's divine power is displayed. Just think of the awesome statement from God to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

Even as I wrote God's statement I had to pause to think about it. This philosophy is opposite to what the world, even some elements of the Church, believe is for today. We are told all you do is pray and God will heal you. That was not the case with Paul. God's plan for Paul was to make manifest in his life the power and strength of God in his weakness, his physical ailment.

Notice in verse 10 that Paul says he took pleasure in his infirmities because it was for the "sake of Christ" that this was happening to him. In weakness Paul knew he was made strong. This is such a blessing to each of us as we face everyday with our own weakness. His grace is, indeed, sufficient.

But now look again at the beginning of our reading for today, verses 2-4. Paul writes that he knew a man who about 14 years earlier was caught up into heaven, the "third heaven". Let me explain the three heavens.

The "first heaven" is where the sun and the clouds are located. The "second heaven" is where the stars and galaxies are located. The "third heaven" is where God and Jesus are today. You see the first heaven "by day", the second heaven "by night" and the third heaven "by faith".

Paul spoke of himself as "a man in Christ" and not as one of great worthiness or as one who had achieved spiritual excellence. Paul was "caught up" into the third heaven in the will and plan of God. By the way, the phrase used here "caught up" is the same phrase describing the "Rapture" in I Thessalonians 4:17.

Paul experienced the "Rapture," the event that he had explained to the people in Thessalonica. Remember Paul's last words in II Timothy 4:8, he was looking forward to a "crown of righteousness" as he eagerly looked for Jesus to Rapture the Church into heaven.

He had the experience of the Rapture and wanted to go to heaven in that way, instead of by death. I want that also, don't you?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, help me to understand Your strength through my weakness and also eagerly await Your call for me to join You in heaven.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

II Corinthians 11:14

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

For further study - II Corinthians 11:1-15

Paul warns the church at Corinth of false teachers. The apostle reveals to this body of believers that the leader of the false teachers, Satan himself, had a plan to deceive the world - even the Christians, and he will implement this plan in the Last Days.

In II Corinthians 11:1-2, Paul is "aggressively possessive" of the church and its members. God had placed him in a position to do an eternal work. Paul said that his ministry is to equip the growing Christian, chastise the carnal Christian, (of which there were many at this time in Corinth), and warn all Christians of the pitfalls on the road to maturity that lay ahead.

Paul's whole purpose is to present the Church as the Bride, the chaste virgin, to Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, for the Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7-9.

The marriage ceremony takes place after the Rapture and before the 7 year Tribulation period begins. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be celebrated during the 7 years of the Tribulation. There will be conflict on Earth during that time, but celebration in the Heavens.

A part of the process to present the Lord's "espoused wife" to Him at the Rapture, will be to protect the Christian from the "wiles of the devil" until the marriage, II Corinthians 11:13-15. Paul tells the Corinthians that Satan is slick, so much so that the Devil can transform himself into an "angel of light".

"Evil angels" can also be transformed into "apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness". The Devil is powerful and can dupe the world with his evil minions changed to appear on the outside as "good and pure," but are "inwardly demonic".

The exhortation is for each of us to stay alert to Satan in these Last Days. In fact, from now until Jesus Christ comes back to Jerusalem, the Devil will be very active seeking a way to deceive many. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil", Ephesians 6:11.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to prepare my "wedding gown", my "righteous acts", so that my Bridegroom will be very proud.
Monday, April 24, 2017

II Corinthians 6:14

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

For further study - II Corinthians 6:1-18


Our key verse for today's devotional reading is a strong exhortation from the Apostle Paul about how we must live in the last days. The directive to be "not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" is not the trend in Christian circles today.

Please don't misunderstand my thoughts. I am not saying we don't have a relationship with lost people, unbelievers, so that we can lead them to the Lord but this exhortation is about "being yoked" to unbelievers, not relationships.

To be "yoked" is like being "harnessed together in a team" of horses or some animals of burden. We must not "yoke" ourselves to unbelievers in marriage, ministry and mission.

It goes without saying that we must develop relationships with unbelievers, lost people, so that we might have an opportunity to lead them to Christ. In fact, Paul, in the first of this chapter, reports that he was doing all he could to give none offense in anything so that his ministry might not be blamed.

Everything we do should be for the purpose of "approving ourselves as the ministers of God", verse 4Verses 4-10 contain illustration after illustration of how Paul was abiding in the lifestyle that he was exhorting the Corinthians to live.

This is very applicable for us as well today. Reading of what Paul had lived through helps us to understand why the Apostle told us to not be unequally yoked together.

In verse 16 Paul refers to the Temple, the place where the "Glory of the Lord" dwelled in days past; and prophetically, where the Lord will dwell among His people forever.

Paul's application was that we are the "Temple of the living God"; therefore, we must "come out from among them and be separate", verse 17. Remember, at this time in history there was still a Temple in Jerusalem as Paul tells us we are now the "dwelling place" for the Lord, I Corinthians 6:19-20.

Please don't forget, there will be a physical Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem one day. But until then the Lord abides in us, the reason for Paul's example and exhortation to us.

Peter wrote that the Lord was not slack concerning His promise to come back to earth, and that He was not willing that any should perish, He wanted all to come to the knowledge of the truth and come to know Him as Saviour, II Peter 3:9.

If we couple that thought from Peter, with Paul's statement in verse 2, of our extended reading today, we see how we can hurry the return of Jesus to the earth. Paul says, "now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."

II Peter 3:12 tells us that winning people to Jesus in this "day of salvation" can hasten the Lord's return.


PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to make it a point to come out from among those that cause offense so that I can win the lost to You in this, the "day of salvation".
Sunday, April 23, 2017

II Corinthians 5:20

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For further study - II Corinthians 5:10-21

Congratulations on your appointment as an "ambassador". This would be a very high-ranking position for you, and for me, in any of the world’s "human governments". However, the text tells us that you and I are both "Ambassadors for Christ" in the "heavenly government". You cannot get any higher than that. What an honor He has bestowed on each of us that know Him as Lord and Savior.

Did you notice the first verse in the extended reading for today, verse 10? Once again we are reminded that we all will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. As we learned last time, that will be an awesome time.

This truth found in this chapter is to remind us of why we are ambassadors. We are to go forth to the world and be involved in a "ministry of reconciliation", verse 18. The word "reconciliation" is used in the context of making all the facts and figures fit together in perfect harmony. We reconcile our bank accounts so that our records agree with the bank records as it relates to our personal accounts.

The ministry of reconciliation is to find those at odds with the Lord and reconcile them to Jesus Christ. What a privilege He has granted us in ministry – "the ministry of reconciliation".

Now, back to that which the Lord uses to motivate us to be active in our ministry of reconciliation. He reminds us of His “terror”, His holiness that requires Him to sentence people to the lake of fire, eternal damnation, if they reject Jesus, verse 11. Then He tells us of His love that flows through us which will constrain us to be involved in our ministry of reconciliation, verse 14.

Our appointment as an ambassador has some real responsibility. We must be busy at upholding our side of this assignment. We cannot live unto ourselves, but to Him that died and rose again for us, and all of mankind, verse 15.

If you will look at the verse just before our expanded reading, verse 9 of II Corinthians 5, we see that Paul was ready to labor that we might be acceptable to Him, to the Lord. I believe this verse says Paul had an ambition and that was to be acceptable of Him at all times and for all purposes.

We must be ambitious to serve Him as an "ambassador", however, the truth is we serve Him because of the love that constrains us to do so, that love of Christ.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to remember the reasons that I am an ambassador for Christ with the ministry of reconciliation.
Saturday, April 22, 2017

II Corinthians 5:9

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

For further study - II Corinthians 5:1-9

Paul is writing a word of encouragement to those in Corinth about what the time of death will bring to each of us. Most of us look at death as something to be dreaded, something to be avoided at all cost.

As I remind myself, as well as reminding you also, those who are reading this devotional, that death is not the "end all". It is actually the beginning, the beginning of "eternity future". The Apostle brings to our attention that in our present "tabernacle" our present body, there is groaning.

Let me stop right here. Everyday, as I become aware of another ache or pain that I never have experienced before, I usually spend several minutes or sometimes even several hours worrying about what the discomfort may be and what it could become.

Paul is telling us that we will one day put on a new "tabernacle", a new and wonderful "heavenly body". Paul talks about confidence and he reminds us of where the confidence comes from.

The Holy Spirit has sealed each of us into the "Body of Christ". It is the "earnest of the Spirit" that gives us the confidence of where we are and where we will be one day. As we are alive on this earth we are absent from the Lord and we know this by faith, not by sight.

Paul then speaks of another confidence, the confidence that when we die on this earth we go directly into His presence, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, verse 8. At death all born again Christians are transported by angels, Luke 16:22, into the heavenlies, and into His presence.

Now re-read our key verse. Until that victorious time of death when we go into His presence, Paul says He would be ambitious and so should we be the same. Paul wanted to live a life, do the work of the Lord, so that when he saw Him he would be accepted of Him. That should be the same for us, when we see Him we might be accepted of Him.

The very next verse, verse 10, speaks of us then standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul says he wants to be "well-accepted" of Christ at that time. This is a Godly ambition, because at the Judgment Seat we are given "crowns" for those works we have done for the Lord, in His power and for His glory.

Then we take these crowns and lay them at His feet as He sits upon His throne, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for all that He has done for us. We must join Paul in this "Godly ambition", so that we can give Him the glory.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to live a life that will receive reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ so I can show thanksgiving to You, for all You have done for me, as I cast my crowns at Your feet.
Friday, April 21, 2017

II Corinthians 4:5

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For further study - II Corinthians 4:1-18

Each day as I come to my time in the Word of God, devotionally, I am continually amazed at how practical the Bible is for my every day experience of living out my Christianity in the days in which we live.

Today's passage for our devotional is no exception. I won't be able to elaborate on everything in our passage, but let me challenge you to spend time in this passage and "dig deeper" for the "treasure" in His Word.

Paul begins this chapter with the fact that his ministry compels him to not be dishonest even in secret, verse 2. The apostle sets the standard for every person in ministry, and I must remind you that each of us do have a ministry in this life, thus we must follow the standard that Paul sets for us, until He calls us home.

We must walk honest, not in craftiness, not handling the Word of God deceitfully, as related to us in verse 2Verses 3 and 4 reveal how the "god of this world," that would be Satan, is today blinding the  minds of the lost people of our world to the "gospel".

The "gospel", I Corinthians 15:1-5is the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "gospel" is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth", Romans 1:16.

Paul exhorts us to not allow the "gospel" to be hid from the lost. That "gospel" is being hid today from lost people by false teachers, pseudo-ministries and unresolved sin.


I mention "pseudo" or "false ministry" which would be a ministry that allows the "things of this world" to direct how we perform ministry in the "church". Many churches are moving in that direction in order to build a "large" church. The "things of this world" distract from the "purity" of the "gospel" and dilutes the "gospel" so that it is of none effect.

Let me skip over some great "meat" in this passage, some of the "treasure" that you can dig out for yourself in verses 6-16.

The last two verses of our devotional passage for today, verses 17-18, look to the future. They speak of the "hard times" we may be facing today and into the future. Paul encourages us to look at these times as "light afflictions", verse 17, which are but for a moment.


Paul even mentions that the "light afflictions" are the "training ground" preparing us for the future. Paul concludes with a word of encouragement for the church at Corinth and for those of us in churches, worldwide, today.

Verse 18 
says, don't look on the things of today, "things seen", because they are "temporal", for a short time. We should "look upon those things not seen", they are eternal.


See how practical the Word of God, and prophecy are for our daily lives. The current events of this world, our afflictions for today, must not be our focus, we must focus on the "things to come", as revealed in God's prophetic Word, the "hope for tomorrow".

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to keep my focus not on the things of this world but instead on the truths of Your Word as I move through these days and into the future.
Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Corinthians 15:52

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For further study - I Corinthians 15:51-58

In my King James Scofield Reference Bible there is a "headliner" above verse 51 in our extended text for today's devotional. It reads "All believers will not die." This is what I call a "blessed hope".
I've often said I don't want the "undertaker" to take care of me, I want the "upper-taker", Jesus, at the Rapture, to deal with me at the time of my departure from this world.

In other words I want to be in the group of believers who will not die but instead will be "translated" into the heavenlies as Jesus shouts and I am called up to meet Him in the air at the Rapture of the Church. This is my "blessed hope", and yours as well.

The Rapture is the focus in these last seven verses of I Corinthians 15I Corinthians 15 opens with the focus on the "Resurrection" of Jesus Christ. The chapter closes with the "Rapture". I must remind you that it is because of the "Resurrection" that we have the "blessed hope" and assurance of the "Rapture".

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of the procedure of the Rapture. The "archangel" shouts and the "trump of God" sounds and "Jesus shouts". Then the "dead in Christ" rise first and we, which are alive and remain on earth should be caught up to join Jesus in the air, as we enter the heavenlies.

Paul writes the Church in Corinth about the Rapture about five years after he introduced the subject to those in the Church in Thessalonica, I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

In our devotional passage for today we are given more details about this "blessed event". Paul tells us it will happen "in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye", verse 52a. Remember, the "twinkling of an eye" is much, much faster than even the "blink of an eye".

The "dead in Christ" are raised, incorruptible. We that are alive at the Rapture are changed. We put on incorruption and immortality. This all happens faster than you can blink your eyes, and that is fast. We can all then join in the chorus singing in harmony with Jesus, "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?", verse 55.

We'll also join together to sing the "thank you chorus", "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.", verse 57.

Paul concludes this passage with our "marching orders". He tells us to "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord", verse 58. We do this because we know that our labor for Him is not in vain.

Prophecy is so very practical. As we better understand the next event on God's timetable for the future, the Rapture, we see how then we should live until He calls us to join Him in the heavenlies. In fact, the Rapture could happen today. Even so Lord, come quickly, even today.


PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise of the Rapture. Help me to live for You today knowing how close we may be to the Rapture.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Corinthians 11:26

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

For further study - I Corinthians 11:23-30

One of the blessings we have as the member of a local church is to join with others to partake of the Lord's Supper, or the Communion. Paul tells the church at Corinth that they must observe the Lord's Table properly and with no un-confessed sin.

Those who come to the "Lord's Table" without having confessed all of their sins to the Lord are in danger of a serious illness or even death. The Lord wants those who come to His table to be clean before Him.

Paul exhorts the people of the church at Corinth to examine themselves before coming to take of the Lord's Supper. Each of us must look "inward". We must look in at our own lives, starting from the point of our salvation till today, to see if their is any need to be reconciled to God. Then we must be ready to restore our fellowship with God.

Paul also tells us that at the Lord's Supper we must look "backward" to what Christ did on the cross for each of us. We must look back to His death, burial, and resurrection as the means for eternal life.
Then Paul tells us to "look upward". This is the part I really like. We are to look up everyday, awaiting the return of Christ.

We "look in" to see our relationship with Christ.

We "look back" to see what Christ has done for us.

We "look up" in anticipation of the Rapture of the Church.

The Rapture is when we get to be with Christ forever, which could happen at any moment. We are to anticipate His return each and every time we sit at the Lord's Table. Remember, prophecy is very practical.

As you look up continually, eagerly awaiting the Lord's Return, it will help you to be pure, productive, and prepared for the gathering of God's people to be with Him forevermore.

PRAYER THOUGHTThank you, Jesus, for Your death, burial, and resurrection. Please allow our knowledge of this great event to motivate us to live for You, as we anticipate Your return.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Corinthians 10:31

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

For further study - I Corinthians 10:23-33

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Church, lays out the guidelines for the use of the liberty that the Lord has given to us for our Christian life. The apostle writes to a very "carnal church," the church in Corinth, that everything is lawful for him, verse 23, but He gives them then four guidelines for living by the "law of love" in the liberty that God gives.

Paul says that though everything is lawful, everything is not expedient. In other words, everything is permissible but it is not always beneficial. Then Paul sets another standard for what he does. It must edify - it must build up those around him, verse 23.

Paul's lifestyle is not to promote himself or to do those things that bring attention, glory, or advancement for him, verse 24. Paul's goal is to promote the good of others. This type of lifestyle, serving others, is chosen by Paul so that he might bring many people to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, verse 33. Paul's standard sets the bar high for each of us to set as our goal for the life we lead daily in front of others.

These principles in our passage from Paul's writings are worth our reading for today. But before we leave, let me share another principle, a "prophetic principle" as well as a "personal principle". Paul says in verse 32, in light of his chosen lifestyle, that he will not be an offense to the Jews, the Gentiles, or the Christians. This verse goes along with the theme of our reading for today but it also is a key component as you start to study prophecy.

Paul divided humankind into three members of the "human family", Gentiles, Jews, and Christians. Every person on earth is one of these family members. For the first 2,000 years of human history, from Genesis 1-12, there were only Gentiles on the earth.

When God brought Abraham to the Promised Land, He made this Gentile, Abraham, the first Hebrew, Genesis 14:13, and started another people, the Jewish people.

Then, for the next 2,000 years from Genesis 12 to Acts 1, there were Gentiles and Jews on earth, but no Christians. A Jew or a Gentile that believed God for righteousness was a believing Jew or Gentile.

On the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, the Lord started the Church and there then was a third member of the human family, Christians. All these members of the human family are in play from Acts 2 to Revelation 22.

This information is key to understanding Bible prophecy. As we read the Word, the prophetic Word, we must keep this "prophetic principle" in mind. It will help us to know who the Lord is addressing in His prophetic plan and for what time in history.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to approach my study of Your word with the principles that will give me understanding of Your prophetic plan.
Monday, April 17, 2017

I Corinthians 3:8

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
For further study - I Corinthians 3:1-15

The apostle Paul, who wrote our reading today, also wrote to the Thessalonians about the Rapture of the church, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and he told us of the sound of the trumpet, the shout of the archangel and at our Lord's shout, we will enter His presence. It is at that time in the future that the "Judgment Seat of Christ" takes place.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is when every Christian will be judged by Jesus Christ, John 5:22, for his or her labor for the Lord. It is at that time that we will receive either rewards or suffer loss of rewards.

The procedure for this awesome time before the Lord at the "Judgment Seat" is found in our reading for today. The reality that we will one day stand at the "Judgment Seat" is awesome as we consider the events that will unfold on that day.

Verse 12 tells us of the two categories of works that we will be judged for at the Judgment Seat.

There are the "wood, hay and stubble" works and the "gold, silver, and precious stones" works. Those wood, hay and stubble works are works we did after becoming a Christian. These are works that we have done in our own strength and for our own glory. The gold, silver and precious stones works are those works we did in His power, for His glory.


Let me remind you that works are not for salvation, but a result of salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8-9. Works are what follows because we are "created unto good works" after salvation, Ephesians 2:10.

All of our works from either category will be judged, actually by fire, and what remains will be that which indicates whether we gain rewards or suffer loss. Naturally, those wood, hay and stubble works will be burned up.

The gold, silver and precious stones works will be purified in the fire and bring us rewards for the works we have done for Him and for His glory and in His power.


These works are the "righteous acts" we do during our lifetime as a Christian. The righteous acts then become our "wedding garments" that we, as the bride of Christ, will wear when we are married to Jesus Christ.

This "marriage ceremony" will precede the "marriage supper of the Lamb," Revelation 19:7-9. It is exciting to consider the wedding garment we will wear at that ceremony for our groom, Jesus Christ.

However, it is a bit concerning to realize that one day, possibly very soon, at the Rapture we will stand face to face with Christ and have to respond at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This should motivate each us to get things in order so we will be ready to face Jesus. It could be today!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to do all works in His power and only for His honor and glory.
Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

For further study - I Corinthians 2:1-16

I love our key verse, verse 9, it is a promise of things that God will give me and you, if you know Him as Lord and Saviour, things that I can not even imagine. My eyes have not seen them, my ears have not heard them and my heart is void of what these things might be that will come to me in the future.


What we do know is that God has prepared these things. Because I love Him they will come to me. I feel like a little child who has the prospect of receiving "something special" from someone special. In order to receive from God this "something special" we must not only love the Lord, but we must be "born again," become a "new creation".

Verse 14 states that the "natural man," a lost person without Jesus Christ, will not be able to know about God's gift. Whatever God would count as special, the lost person would consider it all foolishness. The gifts coming from the Lord will be better in focus as we study through the Word of the  Lord, the Bible.

Paul explains in this passage the ministry of the Holy Spirit in communicating to the believer what God wants him to know. The first method that God uses to communicate to man is "inspiration", verse 13.

Paul says it wasn't his words and his wisdom but the Holy Spirit breathing into him, as He did into some 40 men over 1,500 years, 66 books, the Bible; with God's message for humankind, II Timothy 3:16.

These "truths" or "revelation" were also God-breathed and given to men, men the Lord Himself chose. None of the prophets received these truths by his own will but were Holy men of God and were able to speak prophetic truth as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, II Peter 1:21.

Maybe the most exciting thought in this passage is that we as Christians have the Holy Spirit living in us to not only empower us but also to teach us through "illumination", a third ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told His disciples that He must go, but He promised that when He had gone, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach us. And notice, the Holy Spirit would not only teach us but teach us things to come, John 16:7-14.

I must admit that after over 50 years of studying God's Word there is much more than I can imagine that the Lord has in store for me, in the future.


PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for breathing into Godly men, Your Word, and then sending the Holy Spirit, the one who gave men Your Word, to dwell within me and teach me Your Word.
Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For further study -I Corinthians 1:18-31

In the passage for our devotional reading today we see how those today who exalt "human wisdom" will one day come to an understanding that man's wisdom is "foolishness in the things of God".

That's how Paul begins our devotional passage, which is an excerpt of his letter to the very "carnal church" in Corinth. What a powerful truth, that which seems to be "foolishness" to those of the world today who are not saved, not believers in Jesus Christ for eternal life, how they consider the "preaching of the cross" foolishness.

But Paul tells those of us who do believe that we came to that belief by the "preaching of the cross" which is to those of us who believe, the "power of God," verse 18.

If we take a closer look at the philosophy of this world today, and its people, they are bound up by "human wisdom," the knowledge and intellect of man. Even the "church," the institution ordained by God on Earth, has appropriated that "humanistic" philosophy, that "human wisdom," which they have made key to their "pattern of life".

Paul uses this letter to the Church in Corinth, who had bought into this philosophy and he revealed to them that man's wisdom was "foolishness". God's wisdom is what we should long for. It is very evident in what is termed "post-modern Christianity" in the Church today that they have allowed for "man's wisdom" to take control of leadership and ministry.

In fact, Paul even said that the foolishness of God, verse 25, is wiser than men. Verse 27 reveals God's plan for this matter. God has chosen the "foolishness of this world to confound the wise".

Paul realizes that many in this world must have "signs" to believe what is of the Lord, verse 22, especially the Jew. If one has to have a "sign" to believe, "faith" will not then spring forth.

Hebrews 11:1 says that "faith" is the substance of things "hoped for," the evidence of things "not seen". If we must have a "sign" before we believe then we don't have "real faith".

"Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," Romans 10:17. The Jew and some others require a "sign" and the Gentile craves for wisdom, the wisdom of man, verse 22. Both are the opposite of God's design for the Church and it's ministry and worship.

Paul sets the standard, verse 23, "we preach Christ crucified". Not only crucified, but resurrected, ascended into heaven and one day coming again. Now that is "real wisdom," God's wisdom.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to stay in the Bible for the Godly wisdom that will carry me through life and into eternity future.
Friday, April 14, 2017

Romans 14:10

But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For further study - Romans 14:1-13

Paul is writing to the church in Rome, in chapter 14, at least the first part of the chapter, about a problem among the people of the church.

There are those who are saying, "We can eat this or that but we must not eat the other." Then there are those who say, "We esteem this day more important than any other and you don't do that." Paul addresses these issues in several ways.

Paul says whatever we eat, if we are Christians, it's unto the Lord, verse 6. Also, what day we esteem, that will be done unto the Lord as well. In fact, Paul says, if we are alive we are living unto the Lord, or we should be doing so, verse 8.

Then Paul exhorts the Romans, as well as each of us today, to stop judging one another any more. Paul says what must be judged is that we must not put a stumbling block or occasion to fall in our brothers way, verse 13.

Paul then asks the question, "Why doest thou judge your brother, verse 10, especially in light of the fact that we are all going to stand before the "Judgment Seat of Christ" one day.

This is not a judgment to determine whether we are saved or lost. That will be determined before we ever get to the "Judgment Seat of Christ". There will be only "saved" people at the "Judgment Seat of Christ".

Verse 12 states that "Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God". The "Judgment Seat of Christ" takes place right after the Rapture of the Church. When we leave this earth at the time that Jesus shouts to call us up to join Him in the "air", I Thessalonians 4:13-18, we stand before the Lord right at that moment, in the "twinkling of an eye", I Corinthians 15:52.

After departing earth we are "face to face with Jesus", in order that we can give an account of ourselves. It's at the "Judgment Seat" where we are judged to determine that our works are those which qualify as our "righteous acts", Revelation 19:8. These "righteous acts" make up our "wedding garment" for the "marriage ceremony" and the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb".

Also at the "Judgment Seat" we will be given "crowns" as rewards, crowns for bringing our bodies under subjection, I Corinthians 9:27; for being soul-winners, I Thessalonians 2:19; for not yielding to temptation, James 1:12; for helping young believers grow in the Lord, I Peter 5:1-14; and for eagerly looking for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, II Timothy 4:8.

We will then take these crowns to the throne, where Jesus is seated, and we cast them at the feet of Jesus in thanksgiving for what He has, is, and will do for us, Revelation 4:10.

Paul has a great question for each of us as we close our time in the Word for this devotional, why do we judge our brothers and sisters?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to live today, Lord, knowing I will stand at the "Judgment Seat of Christ", to receive crowns to cast at Your feet in thanksgiving. Help me not to judge others, but to make sure I am not a stumbling block.