Devotional Passages 3/13/18

Precursors

John the Baptist (arguably the founder of the original ‘First Baptist Church’), made the way ahead of the coming messiah. He wasn’t the light, but he pointed to the light (Jesus).

John 1:7-9 (HCSB)
He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.
The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

We act as precursors as well.

Jesus gave us his light to shine in us, to illuminate a dark world.  We like John the Baptist, are precursors as well.

To what you might ask. Actually several things is the right answer.

Our lives as Christians points the way to Grace. It is that light living in us that, is in  fact our testimony of God’s grace acting in us, which tells the world that we are different. Tells the world that they can be different through that same grace that Jesus is willing to impart on each and everyone that would surrender to Him.

We also are precursors of Heaven and eternal life.  We don’t always realize it but a Christians life post-salvation is a preparation for living in glory with our savior. Each day to grow in His love, mercy and grace. Constantly, pressing forward to be as worthy of the robes of righteousness that Christ has adorned us with, as we may.

Not perfect by any means, but we should every day exhibit more and more someone becoming more prepared for an eternal existence with the creator of Heaven and earth.

Then the final thing we point to is the coming of our Lord and Savior.  He is coming and we and our lives can and should point to that fact with all that we do and say.


Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.


Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB)
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus


Luke 12:31 (HCSB)
But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you.


Deuteronomy 31:8 (HCSB)
The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.


Psalms 29:11 (HCSB)
The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace.


1 Peter 5:6-7 (HCSB)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.


Psalms 46:10-11 (HCSB)
“Stop your fighting — and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Selah


Psalms 125:1 (HCSB)
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion.
It cannot be shaken; it remains forever.


Psalms 55:22 (HCSB)
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.


Isaiah 41:10 (HCSB)
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand


Psalms 56:3-4 (HCSB)
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. 
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?


Exodus 14:13-14 (HCSB)
But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”


Are We Saul?

Acts 9:3-4 (HCSB)
As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Every time I read this passage, I think to myself; am I persecuting the one that has given me His Grace and Mercy by my actions of defiance to Him?

Our lives, given to Christ, are not our own. But yet we tend to desire to hold back from what it is that He would have us be and do.

Are we Saul?


Who Are We?

Isaiah 45:9-11 (HCSB)
“Woe to the one who argues with his Maker — one clay pot among many.
Does clay say to the one forming it, ‘What are you making?’ Or does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?
How absurd is the one who says to his father, ‘What are you fathering?’ or to his mother, ‘What are you giving birth to?’”
This is what the Lord, the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, says: “Ask Me what is to happen to My sons, and instruct Me about the work of My hands.

I read this, with tears. Who are we to challenge our maker? Who am I to question the direction of the one that allotted me Grace, for the measure for which I was inapplicable of being in conformance of?

I’m going to post this at my desk, so I’m always reminded of who I am and who HE IS.


Psalms 100:2-5 (HCSB)
Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His, — His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations


Romans 8:31-32 (HCSB)
What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?


1 John 2:15-17 (HCSB)
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.


2 Samuel 22:4 (HCSB)
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies.


 

Devotional Passages 3/12/18

Colossians 3:16-17 (HCSB)
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


2 Peter 1:4 (HCSB)
By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.


2 Peter 3:8-9 (HCSB)
Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.


Romans 1:20-21 (HCSB)
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.


Genesis 1:1 (HCSB)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


Hebrews 1:3 (HCSB)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.


No God Other Than Yahweh

Isaiah 44:6 (HCSB)
This is what the Lord, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, says:
I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but Me.


James 1:5-7 (HCSB)
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.


Ephesians 6:2-3 (HCSB)
Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.


John 6:38-40 (HCSB)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


Isaiah 46:10 (HCSB)
I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.


Job 23:13-14 (HCSB)
But He is unchangeable; who can oppose Him?
He does what He desires.
He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me, and He has many more things like these in mind.


Psalms 115:3 (HCSB)
Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.


Ephesians 2:7-9 (HCSB)
so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.


Psalms 37:3 (HCSB)
Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.


Psalms 84:11-12 (HCSB)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity.
Happy is the person who trusts in You, Lord of Hosts!


John 3:17-18 (HCSB)
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.


Mark 2:17 (HCSB)
When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


1 John 3:8 (HCSB)
The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.


Malachi 4:2 (HCSB)
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.


Devotional Passages 3/11/18

Colossians 2:6-7 (HCSB)
Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.


Deuteronomy 7:9 (HCSB)
Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.


Psalms 42:1-2 (HCSB)
As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?


Psalms 103:13-14 (HCSB)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.


Genesis 1:26 (HCSB)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”


Devotional Passages 3/10/18

Romans 12:2 (HCSB)
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.


1 Peter 3:13-15 (HCSB)
And who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed,, but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.


Romans 8:26 (HCSB)
In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, with unspoken groanings.


Revelation 5:13 (HCSB)
I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!


John 1:16-17 (HCSB)
Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


The Righteous Will Live by Faith

Take in the verse below, considering what the Righteousness is defined by Grace.

Romans 1:16-17 (HCSB)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel,, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith,, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

When you consider what is involved in the act of Grace in our lives, it at first seems to be a very simple. We trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin and He blesses us with His Grace. The phrase t the end of this passage indicates so much more. ‘The righteous will live by faith”. Both faith and trust are tightly bound together. Faith is the spiritual commitment of trust.

In other words, because we trust what God (Jesus) says, we invest that trust in faith. The greater that investment in trust, the stronger grows our Faith, the more our joy and love blossoms. Because we Love Christ we obey Him.

John 14:15 (HCSB)
If you love Me, you will keep My commands.

Trust to faith to love to obedience; obedience to ‘Repentance”. Jesus said:

Luke 5:32 (HCSB)
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Are you beginning to see a chain of events taking place here? We aren’t done yet, because it is by this repentance (changing of our course both cognitively and spiritually) that the course we plot our actions on is altered to be in keeping with the will of God.

Isaiah 61:10 (HCSB)
I greatly rejoice in the Lord, I exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a groom wears a turban and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

We see in that blessing of Christ’s Grace on us, we now are wrapped in a robe of righteousness. It’s not ‘our’ righteousness, it is Christ’s, which he has put on us.

Romans 3:10-12 (HCSB)
as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.
There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good, not even one.

Our living righteous is not us, but Christ living in us. Thus, “The righteous will live by faith“, is proven out.

There is more to this, as Grace isn’t a ‘one and done’ proposition. We are taught by the Holy Spirit, new things. These erupt in conviction. Because we have faith and trust in what He says, this conviction leads to repentance. Repentance further applies Grace even more. More grace, by faith; continually clothed in His righteousness. Indeed, the righteous shall live by faith!

Hebrews 10:38-39 (HCSB)
But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him.
But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.

Through our faith in Christ, we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. By His Grace which clothes us in that righteousness, we obtain ‘life’.


2 Corinthians 5:7-10 (HCSB)
For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.

Devotional Passages 3/9/18

The Life-Giving Spirit

Romans 8:1-2 (HCSB)
Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.


2 Timothy 1:9 (HCSB)
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.


Joshua 1:9 (HCSB)
Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.


Isaiah 43:1-2 (HCSB)
Now this is what the Lord says — the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel — “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”


Psalms 56:3-4 (HCSB)
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Note from Kip: This one speaks to me clearly today. This is the morning of my last day on the job with my, ‘for the moment’, current employer.

The exit interview is scheduled for 10AM this morning. There are no interviews that I’m waiting to hear back on the results. There are several resume’s out and one or two, decent prospects for a new job.

But, even though, I should by human standards be very concerned over not just what is transpiring, but what is more importantly ‘not transpiring’ today (at least at this moment in time).

Roughly, 10:20 this morning, I will walk out of this building; unemployed and that is okay. Not because it is what I want, but because it is in God’s hands and I trust him. See it’s when we have trust that our ‘faith’ goes into action.

I’m human, flesh, and as a result I can’t say that I will not feel a flush of panic at some point. Regardless, I know He is with me. More importantly I know that He loves and cares for me. He is also willing and able; even when I’m not.

‘His rod and His staff, they comfort me’. I am His and I am at peace.


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (HCSB)
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power, is perfected in weakness.”
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.
So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Matthew 16:25 (HCSB)
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.


Matthew 16:26 (HCSB)
What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?


Note from Kip:
Can you imagine what was running through the heads of those that heard Jesus read this prophecy, then sit down and calmly say what you just heard, I’ve completed that; it’s done!

Not even considering how powerful being in His presence was to begin with, He was a master of communication. The thought that this provoked had to have impacted every single person in ear shot.

Luke 4:18-21 (HCSB)
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.


Matthew 11:29-30 (HCSB)
All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.


Psalms 27:14 (HCSB)
Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.


The Cure for Anxiety

Matthew 6:25 (HCSB)
“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?”


Ephesians 3:16-21 (HCSB)
I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


Ephesians 2:17-18 (HCSB)
When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.


Luke 12:48 (HCSB)
But the one who did not know and did things deserving of blows will be beaten lightly. Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.


The God of Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (HCSB)
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God