Monday, September 30, 2013

Pray Expectantly

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Concerning prayer, Charles Spurgeon wrote, "Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might."

I believe in prayer! I hope you do too. When a Christ follower prays, he/she should do so expecting for God to bring the answer! Why can we pray so expectantly, you ask? There are many reasons, not the least of which is His faithfulness. He is faithful—and just and loving—with an everlasting love!

Raise your voices dear saints. And expect great things from God. There is an old gospel hymn titled, Prayer Bells of Heaven. The refrain goes like this:

Prayer bells of heaven, oh how sweetly they ring,
Bearing a message unto Jesus, our King.
If you are burdened down with troubles and cares;
Ring on and on for God will answer your prayers!

Therefore I say to you, Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Mark 11:24 

We Have A Task

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

There is an legend about a man who tried to save the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorra from sure destruction. He went from city to city shouting and screaming, trying to awaken the people, to warn them of the coming judgment if they didn’t turn from their sins. But, alas, the people didn’t respond. They ignored him. 

One day a citizen said to the man, “Why do you do this? Why bother everyone? There’s nothing you can do or say that is going to change them.” “Well, you may be right,” he responded, “but I also do it to prevent them from changing me!” 

There is a profound truth there. We live in a fallen world filled with Christ haters, which is only increasing. And like the man in the legend, we must do everything we can to keep from being sucked into it! 

So let it rip! One of the benefits of being a warner is that it keeps us focussed on the task we have—furthering the kingdom of God. 

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. Ezekiel 33:6

Friday, September 27, 2013

Eyes Ahead

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Two things happened to me yesterday that are the catalyst for this eDevotion. 

1) I had ANOTHER conversation [one of MANY] with someone who seems to live in the past. The person rarely speaks about anything else, consequently the person is in a continual tailspin—spiraling downward, despite all attempts to minister to him/her. It is literally heartbreaking.

2) While driving home I looked into my rearview mirror. Now, you may be asking, What in the world would that have to do with anything? Well it caused me to think how difficult it is to drive a car to your destination if you only look in the rearview mirror. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that that is a surefire way to crash and burn. 

While it is important to learn from our past, there is no reason to focus on, or live in it. How is it possible to move forward unless we take our eyes off the past and focus on what is ahead—to the great things God has ahead of us! 

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Matter of Choice

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I once read about a man who was beginning to lose his memory. He was sent to a specialist and after a careful examination the doctor told him there was a possible surgical solution. However, it was extremely risky; one so delicate that the slightest mistake would result in total blindness.

The surgeon asked, "So, which would you rather have, your sight or your memory?" The man pondered the question for a while and replied, "My sight, because I would rather see where I am going than remember where I have been."

That story reminded of every Christ follower’s enemy. He constantly digs up our past and reminds us of our failures and our sins. He wants to keep us so wrapped up in them that it hinders our progress in maturity towards Christ.   

Today and every day we have a choice to make! We can choose to be bound by our past failures and the sins that so easily beset us, or we can keep our sight on Jesus, the Author and Finisher [the Perfecter] of our faith. 

Free yourself from the shackles of the past! Keep your eye on the prize! 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

He Intercedes for Us

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

In times of stress and difficulties, when the cares of life seem overwhelming,  I can’t think of anything more comforting than having a friend—someone who “has your back,” as people say today. That concept is right at the heart of the Holy Spirit’s role as a “Helper” [NASB], “Comforter” [KJV], “Counselor” [NIV], “Advocate” [NLT-SE] in John 14:16.

I find great comfort in this passage; the Holy Spirit comes alongside, helping, comforting, counseling, advocating for us all the way to heaven, as well as interceding for all believers, just a Jesus does [Luke 22:31-32; Hebrews 7:25]

And what would our lives be like without the interceding ministry of the Holy Spirit? He understands and knows how to pray for us even when we don’t. His intercession is with groanings—unutterable words. Those groanings [sighs in the original language], is communication between the Father and the Spirit. While we can’t possibly know what they are saying, we can be absolutely sure He is praying for us!

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, A. W. Pink wrote, “Only by His strengthening of the heart are we delivered from being engrossed in the things around us, and our earthbound affections are drawn to things above.”

But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wrestling in Prayer

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

There are probably more memorable men in the New Testament than Epraphras, but you will be hard pressed to find anyone who did anything more important than he did. He was from the church in Colosse, and obviously a dear saint in the Lord. At one point in his life, he even suffered imprisonment with Paul. But the thing that really stands out in my mind is that he wrestled in prayer.  

Working behind the scenes, wrestling in prayer really is hard work. It is the silent ministry that resounds in heaven and unleashes power from above that makes demons tremble!

Clearly the apostle knew of his zeal in prayer from personal experience. But notice what Epaphras prayed for; that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. That was Epaphras’ prayer for the Christ followers in Colossae, and my prayer for each of you, my readers!

As you continue your walk with the Lord, your faith will be tested—to the max. You need prayers, and you need to pray that you will stand perfect and complete in the will of God. Dear Christ follower, never neglect the power of prayer. A silent ministry? Yes. A needed ministry? Absolutely! Prayer matters—on earth, and in heaven! 

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Colossians 4:12-13 

A Christ Follower after God’s Heart

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

It was said of Israel’s King David that he was “man after God’s own heart.” Considering his lust for, and adulterous affair with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How is that description of him possible? A man after God’s heart, really! 

The answer is as simple as it is profound: God did not regard David according to the actions of his sinful nature, but according to the deepest motivations and disposition of his heart. When the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sin, his response was immediate; total confession and repentance—a broken and contrite heart. No excuses, no rationalization, no resistence, no self-justification, no self-righteousness; only the realization of his absolute need for God’s mercy. 

The immediacy and completeness of David's confession qualified him for the Lord's forgiveness and mercy while saving and restoring him to that most treasured relationship of his life, his relationship with the Lord God of Israel.

Neither will God define you, dear Christ follower,  by your failures. It's our love for Him and our honesty before Him that reveals a true walk of faith. So if and when you fall, when you really mess things up, when sin gets the best of you, then come clean. Confess. Take full responsibility for your sin without complaint. Allow the Lord to forgive and restore you completely and then continue on your journey with Him. That was David's heart. And yours? 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalms 51:10-12 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What, Me Worry?

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Alfred E. Neuman was Mad Magazine’s know-nothing icon. He had the ready attitude toward disasters about to befall him: “What, me worry?” I loved reading Mad Magazine when I was a teenager, but that is not the point of this eDevotion.

Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Jewish Believer and an amazing man of God, spent 14 years in Communist prisons where he was tortured brutally for his faith and then lived to tell about it. In his book, The Oracles of God, he writes about acquiring inner peace and tells the following powerful story.

During a tempest at sea when a ship was being tossed to and fro by the angry waves, the wife of a naval officer asked her husband, "How can you be so calm in such a storm?"

The officer drew his sword, pointed it at his wife, and asked, "Why are you calm and unafraid?" Surprised, she protested, "Why should I be afraid? The sword is in the hand of my husband who loves me too much to harm me."

Her husband smiled and said, "This is the source of my calm, too. The wind and the waves are in the hands of my loving Father. Why should I be afraid?"

You may find yourself in a “storm” right now. I don’t expect you to stand with Alfred E Neuman and say, “What, me worry?” But I would encourage you to remember that your are in the hands of our loving Father. He's right there with you, and being there, He will see you through.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Psalms 107:29

Renewal Notice

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t get electronic reminders when something needed to be renewed. We got them through “snail-mail!” Am I alone here or does anyone else remember those days? You’d go to your mailbox and along with all the “junk mail” came the monthly bills and renewal notices. 

While annoying, it was good to get them because they would remind us of the need to renew our licenses, credit cards, membership cards, etc. Didn’t you just hate it when you missed a renewal notice, went to your ATM, and the machine would keep your card and spit out a “Your ATM card has expired, you must renew it” receipt? Or you’d go to the grocery store, pay for your items with a check, and upon showing your identification the clerk would say, “I’m sorry but your license is invalid, you need to renew it!” 

There are other important things that need to be renewed and, sadly, they don’t come with renewal notices. You’ll not find a notice in your mailbox, for example, to renew your love for your spouse, your children, your friends, or God. 

So here you go: “LE-CHA-DESH” (the Hebrew word meaning, renewal). Consider this your official RENEWAL NOTICE. Take time today to renew your love for your loved ones, God, and the things of God. 

The Psalmist knew this only too well. Renewal began by calling out to God. Let’s do it, shall we? 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spirit-Filled Christ Followers

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Here is a biblical truth every Christ follower needs to know; God wants every aspect of your being under the complete control of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Paul’s statement to the Ephesian Christ followers [5:18] is so important. “Be filled” is an imperative (command) in the Greek. 

It takes three ideas to illustrate what “be filled” or “Spirit-filled” means:  

1) to be pushed along; like the pressure of wind filling a sail and pushing a vessel across a body of water. In this case, we consent to the Spirit’s gracious pressure to move us in the right direction.

2) to be permeated; like a German kaesarei (cheese shop). My wife and I lived in Germany for several years as missionaries. While there, we went into many of them. I can tell you without the slightest hesitation, although the room was not “filled” with cheese, the smell permeated the entire shop, giving it a distinct oder. That’s how God wants the Holy Spirit to fill our lives, so that there is no doubt in the mind of others that we possess the distinct and pervasive presence of the Spirit. 

3) to be controlled; this is the PRIMARY meaning of the Greek word to “be filled”—domination or total control. Luke 6:11 is a good example of that idea. The scribes and Pharisees “were filled with rage” when Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. On another occasion, Jesus described the disciples’ reaction to His news that He would be leaving them by saying, “Sorrow has filled your heart” (John 16:6). In both examples, “be filled” signifies an emotion that completely dominates their thoughts—to the exclusion of everything else.

With regards to worldly concerns, being overwhelmed with emotion can be foolish or even harmful. But with regards to the spiritual life, not only is it beneficial, but it is also in complete agreement with God and His Word to be overwhelmed with the Spirit—every thought and action in His full control.  

Don’t be drunk with wine...but be filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guard Your Mind

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Roman soldiers were the best in hand-to-hand combat. When engaged with the enemy, their weapon of choice was a short sword, or dagger. For his own protection, he wore a molded breastplate, which covered a large area—from his neck to his upper thighs. It was designed to protect the soft, vital organs, especially the heart and abdomen.

In both the Old and New Testaments, the heart is a metaphor for the mind, as evidenced by the following:

Proverbs 23:7 - As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Christ followers are also engaged in combat. We often refer to it as spiritual warfare. And our enemy has a primary target as well. It’s your heart, or in the biblical sense, your mind. If he can make you think anything that is contrary to God’s Word, then he has won a great victory. 

So, he attempts to fill your mind with lies, false doctrine, innuendoes, half-truths—anything to blur the line between righteousness and evil so that you will have more tolerance for sin. He passes off offensive behavior as entertainment. He masks cutting, insincere, hurtful words as humor. His goal is to deaden your spirituality. 

Putting on the spiritual breastplate begins when you acknowledge, turn from, and forsake your sin—becoming a Christ follower. That personal, vital relationship with God is the source of true righteousness. And that is the protection, the safeguard we need. 

The question, then, is how do we strengthen our minds? Here are a few ideas: 

Commune  with God in prayer. Read and meditate on His Word. Fortify your mind by seeking God’s grace. Doing this will help you thoughtfully and righteously respond to the temptations you face. 

"Stand firm therefore...having put on the breastplate of righteousness." (Ephesians 6:14)

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

The year - 1941. Europe was fully engaged in World War II. Toward the end of the year, the Japanese ambassador was sent to Washington D.C. apparently seeking peace; while at home, the emperor was planning the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese sent their ambassador to D.C. as a distraction, so the sudden attack on Pearl Harbor would take the United States by surprise.

Distractions are a common tactic in warfare. That is also true in spiritual warfare. Our enemy sends a constant barrage of distractions, to both divert our energies and to keep our eyes off his attack strategy. Whether it's things of the world, getting caught up in issues that are none of our business, personal rivalries, pointless worrying, or fruitless endeavors, let's face it, he wants to distract us from our calling and set us up for the kill.  

Distractions—watch out for them! Pay attention, be aware of this tactic, and never forget it. Then refocus your energy towards the good fight!

...lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2nd Corinthians 2:11

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Day of Atonement is Here

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is here. Beginning this evening, Yom Kippur marks the holiest of all holy days on the Hebrew calendar. It is the climax of the time of repentance (Teshuvah). Starting tonight night and into Saturday, religious Jews from around the world will fast from food and water and read prayers in the synagogue.

Day of Atonement - Day of Covering; that’s what atonement means, covering. In Scriptures, the High Priest would slay a goat and sprinkle its blood on the Mercy Seat [the lid of the Ark of the Covenant] so that the sins of the people might be cleansed [covered], and they could have favor in the sight of God. This clearly foreshadows the Messiah, the innocent sacrifice, whose blood would be shed for our sins.

If you were on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today, not one sacrifice would be offered. The Temple is no longer there. The altar of sacrifice is not there. The Holy Place is long gone. And there is no Holy of Holies with an Ark of the Covenant, no place to sprinkle the blood for the cleansing of sin. Yet there remains some who are convinced their sins will be atoned for by offering prayers, or keeping the Law, or doing good deeds. 

Christ followers believe there is only one recipe for true atonement—trusting in the One who was prophesied long, long ago, that is, Yeshua haMashiach, Jesus the Messiah. Having our sins covered by His blood, our names have been entered in the Lamb's Book of Life.

While Yom Kippur is not a Christian Holy Day, we can still take advantage of it to repent and get right with the Lord. It would be a good time to fast and pray, for yourself and for Israel. We can also look forward [with Paul] to that day when ALL Israel will be saved [Romans 11:26].

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Most Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:11-12

Peace with Joy and Thanksgiving

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Back in the third century Cyprian the Bishop of Carthage wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered, in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy, which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians, and I am one of them."

Christ followers experience this kind of peace with joy, and when they do, others take notice of it—especially in times of trouble. Seldom, if ever, do you see peace in people of the world when they are despised, persecuted, and overcome by the world. But Paul said that is the testimony of those who name Christ as their Savior. 

We live in troubling times and in an incredibly bad world. Our anchor is not found in a false peace that it has to offer. Our peace is from the victorious Lord and it is vastly different [John 14:27]. 

We have victory in Jesus. An old hymn says, “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever!” Let’s live in the light of that, shall we? Trust Christ. His victory is yours and that brings peace. And don’t forget the thanks!

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

In 490 B.C., the Athenians won a crucial and decisive battle over the forces of King Darius I of Persia, on a plain near the Greek coastal town of Marathon. Upon delivering the important message of their victory, the Greek soldier who came to tell the good news died — he had completed the 26 mile course running and bearing good news, and did it totally unreserved until the moment he died. Today marathons are run all over the world, commemorating that very event 2,500 years ago.

Have you ever run in a marathon? I haven’t, but I have friends that have, and their testimony is that it is the most grueling of races. They tell me that no matter how good you are, or how well you have trained, there are times in the race you just want to quit. 

If that’s true, why don’t more runners drop out? Most likely, it’s the prize they hope to win. In our day, everyone who races gets some kind of reward—money, trophies, ribbons, etc. Back in King Darius’ day, only one would receive the prize, only one! And what was the prize? Merely a crown of laurel leaves. 

We are in a race, God’s race, and the prize that awaits us is something far more precious than money, trophies, ribbons, and yes, laurel leaf crowns. Our prize is an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25).  

Are you a runner like the one my friend told me about? Are you tired, weary, just plain worn out? Be of good cheer. Catch a second breath and keep going. You can, you know? Keep pressing on. Press through the weariness. A great prize is waiting for you. And remember, God is with you, strengthening your spiritual legs to keep running in the right direction!  

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 

Raindrops Keep Falling On Your Head

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

A mature Christ follower has learned an important principle: the acquisition of material possessions does not necessarily mean God’s favor and, undergoing extreme trial is neither God’s disfavor or a lack of faith. Likewise, experiencing favorable circumstances does not mean that God is with us and, undergoing trial and suffering does not mean that God is not with us. 

Measuring good/bad, success/failure solely on circumstances is the way of the world. Christ followers are different. We know that we have something better because we have a relationship with the almighty God. A Christ follower can have joy in both good times and bad times. 

Perhaps your are experiencing hard times. If that is the case, if you are facing difficulties, then choose to rejoice in the Lord. We have a greater treasure, and a more endearing victory when our lives are centered on Him—with joy!

That you may be the children of your Father who is 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. Matthew 5:45 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Days of Awe

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Right at the moment, our Jewish friends are celebrating the “Days of Awe.” The Days of Awe is the time between the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, and Yom Kippur,  the Day of Atonement coming up on September 13/14.

One of the themes of Rosh Hashana is called Akedat Yitzchak—the Binding of Isaac. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashana is to remind God’s people of the provision of a sacrifice other than Abraham’s only son. God provided the sacrifice, just as He would when He sent the offering of His only Son, Jesus—THE Sacrifice for all of mankind. 

While I am not Jewish, I plan to celebrate. God provided a sacrifice for my sin, and as a result of that, my name is written in the “Book of Life.” Jesus; the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world—my Savior, who provides forgiveness that is eternal, and whose love is everlasting.

And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. Then he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and placed the wood in order, and he bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And He said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me. Then Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Genesis 22:7-13 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Look Up In Joy!

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

As Christ followers mature, they learn an important biblical truth; humility and gladness go together. Why is that, you ask? Because both the humble and the joyous look up! The humble never look down on anyone—they look up all the time. They have to because they keep their eyes on God. And where is He? Above them. Likewise, the joyous look up. Where else would their eyes turn? Otherwise, they wouldn’t be rejoicing!

The prideful are not so. When it comes to others, the prideful think that they are higher, so they look down. Here’s what we need to do. Together, let's fix our eyes on the Lord and be glad. Those who look up in humility, also look up in joy!

The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. Psalm 69:32 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Heart of Stone - Heart of Flesh

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

The Bible has a lot to say about the heart, and apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the heart is extremely deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). David knew it too, so he prayed that God would cleanse him and purify his heart (Psalm 51:10). Jesus told a large crowd one day that we are blessed if our hearts are pure (Matthew 5:8). And we must never forget that God’s greatest desire is that we love Him with all of our heart (Deuteronomy 6:5).

But we have a problem: SIN! Make no mistake about it, sin hardens the heart (Matthew 13:4, 19), and a hardened heart has consequences of its own. The hardened heart is more resistant to the Word of God. The harder our heart, the less tendency there is to forgive. Likewise, a hard heart desensitizes our receptivness to the Holy Spirit. If we remain in this state over a period of time, our hearts will become like stone—anesthetized to sin.

Fortunately, there is hope for hardened hearts! They can become “soft” again. The solution rests in our loving God. First, He calls us to repent—to turn from, and forsake our sins. When we do, He cleanses us from sin and our misplaced affections (Ezekiel 36:25). Then He replaces the heart of stone with a heart that is tender toward Him and His Word. 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Know Your Enemy; Know Your Resources

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

There is a valuable lesson to be learned from military leaders throughout history: Know Your Enemy! Every Christ follower knows that he/she has an enemy, but many, unfortunately, know little about him. We know for sure that he opposed God and he does not want a single believer to glorify Him. 

He also deceives Christ followers as to who he is and what he can do. He does this in two ways: 1) He convinces some that he is so powerful that he cannot be defeated, and 2) He convinces some that he is so weak that they can defeat him in their own strength and abilities. Either way, the Christ follower comes out the loser. 

Human endeavors are not sufficient to defeat our spiritual enemy. That’s why God has given us divine resources. Paul told us about them in 2nd Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (NASB) Knowing about those resources is as important as knowing your enemy. It’s crucial to insure your victory.

Never over or under estimate your enemy. His wiles are subtle and they are complex. He is cunning as well as deceitful. In and of yourself, you will not be able to anticipate his offensive moves. The way to counter him is to understand your spiritual resources and use them every day.

Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Invest in Eternal Things

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

In my HolyLandSites blog (shamelessly plugged:, I’ve been posting about Egypt. It is a fascinating and enduring country and culture. And what could be more captivating than the Great Pyramids! People and religions are fascinated with them. They are involved in New Age teaching. Some have suggested that aliens from outer space built them. Some think that their shape offers certain cosmic powers. Whenever you hear stuff like this, you know that people are trying to unlock the “secrets” of the Pyramids.

Allow me to let you in on the “secret” of the Pyramids; THEY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN STRUCTURES OF DEATH! They are oversized headstones. Or said differently, they are extra large coffins. They were made for death. They were made to keep dead bodies along with all the treasures of the rotting corpses that were in them.

There is a lesson to be learned from the Pyramids. All works of the flesh end in death—futility! Sure, our endeavors may be grand and glorious for a moment, but there is no life in them; they are monuments of death. If you want to see the end result of the glory of man, look no farther than the Pyramids.

There is something better; it’s the abundant life offered by none other than Christ Himself (John 10:10). Whatever is accomplished in Him lasts for forever—it is an investment in eternity.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)