Sep 18 to Oct 3, 2022 – Psalm 91 Series
Oct 4 to Oct 9, 2022 – Psalm 23 Series
Oct 10, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #1 – Psalm 112:1 – blessed is the man that feareth the LORD
Do we praise the Lord for who He is, and what He has already done in our lives? Praise is especially important in our faith, because it puts everything in its proper perspective. God created the world and set the things in motion that make our lives so full and complete. Praise is acknowledging God as the sole provider of every good and perfect thing that has happened, and it is also a statement of faith, giving God glory for what is to come. Praise puts us in a position of worship, the depressing of ourselves, and the magnifying of God. We praise God out of reverence of Him, out of obedience to His Word, and from drawing near to Him and His Word. There is no obedience or praise where there is no reverence, and we as believers must begin and end our faith with reverence for the Lord God. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:1, Godly reverence leading to Godly praise.
”Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”
The word ”praise” means ”to shine, to make a boast about, to rave, to celebrate, to glory in, or to commend”. Do we do any of this in our faith walks? If we do praise God, do we only praise Him when everything is going well? In Psalm 34:1-3, the Bible says, ”I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” We must bless the Lord at ALL times, not some of the time, or when God puts a huge smile on our faces by what He is doing. God doesn’t want ”part-time” praise and worshippers any more than we want a part-time God. In Psalm 111:1, the Bible says, ”Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” Our praise must be from our whole heart, with sincerity and truth. Sometimes, especially when afflicted, we like to withhold our praise, but that is the perfect time to praise God. In Psalm 34:4-5, the Bible says, ”I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” Only after David praised God with his mouth, boasting in the Lord, magnifying the Lord, did God bring the answer of deliverance. Many of us wonder why God doesn’t appear to be listening to our prayers, but is God hearing our praise? In Psalm 150:6, the Bible says, ”Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” Every thing that has breath, including us.
The word ”blessed” means ”how happy”, signifying a state of bliss we have due to having a relationship with God. The word ”feareth” means ”reverence or Godly respect”. In Psalm 128:1-2, the Bible says, ”Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” When we praise the Lord and have Godly reverence for Him, He responds by bringing us into a state of bliss and provision. Many of us wonder why our wells are going dry, but we must ask ourselves, are we praising God? Do we reverence the Lord and live according to his will? If we won’t heed the Word of the Lord, then how can we expect to experience the hand of God?
In John 15:7, Christ says, ”If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” If we won’t come into the unity and oneness with Him, and shouldn’t then wonder why we don’t live blessed lives. Our blessings don’t come by material possessions, but it comes because we understand that God is the Creator and Orchestrator of everything in our lives as believers.
The word ”delighteth” means ”to incline towards, to bend towards, to be pleased with.” In Psalm 119:15-16, the Bible says, ”I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” When we allow the Word of God to be planted so it can grow within us, it will produce the altitude we need to have the reverence and praise we need for God’s presence to manifest in our lives.
The word ”commandments” means ”laws, ordinance, percepts, or instruction”. In Psalm 119:34-36 the Bible says, ”Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” We must seek the Lord for the path to come into subjection to His Word, and draw our focus to Him instead of the world and what it has. God has everything we need, but if we don’t praise Him for who He is, for who He allows us to be, and for the work He has already done in our lives, then how can we expect Him to respond to what we need now?
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 11, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #2 – Psalm 112:2 – His seed shall be mighty upon earth
In the world, a lot is spoken of leaving legacies behind for our children and the people that will come behind us. We want our work here on earth to mean something after we leave this earthly home to go to glory, and we want our seed to continue in the power that we walked in while on earth. Prosperous people leave an inheritance behind, so that the world will be a little less harsh for the ones coming behind them. In order for an inheritance to be left, we have to live our lives here on earth building one. The world leaves a mantle of material possession; money, cars, jewelry, businesses, stock, and investments, but none of that makes one prosperous if they do not have Christ as their Lord and Savior. What mantle will we leave our children, Word or world? Today, we will look at Psalm 112:2, leaving a mighty legacy behind for our seeds.
”His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”
The word ”seed” means ”child, posterity, or fruit”. The word ”mighty” means ”powerful or strong”. In Psalm 25:12-13, the Bible says, ”What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.” When we have reverence for God, that deep Godly respect, we make ourselves available to Him in order for God to teach us His Word and His will for our lives. Many people want the ease of life, and the comfort for our seed, but not want to completely submit ourselves to the Lord. In Genesis 22:17-18, the Bible says, ”That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” God promised Abraham that He would not only bless him, but He would multiply his seed as well, and his seed would be the blessing for all the nations on the earth. There was a reason why God gave Abraham this promise; because Abraham obeyed the voice of God. There were 42 generations from Abraham to Christ, and David and Solomon were in that lineage! God kept His Word!
In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, the Bible says, ”And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” David wanted to build a house for God, but God wouldn’t allow him to do it. God promised David that his seed will build the Lord’s house when David died, and promised to established his throne forever! We know this is true because 2 Peter 1:11 says, ”For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Christ’s kingdom has no end and this is confirmation to the Word of God being truth.
In Psalm 37:25-26, the Bible says, ”I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.” We must recall the goodness of God, how He has kept us, and never left us, how He has shown us great mercy, and bestowed so many blessings upon us. In Ephesians 1:3, the Bible says, ”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”. Because of Christ’s everlasting kingdom, we have been blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing in heaven and access to the very kingdom that we are children of.
The word ”generation” implies an age or revolution of time from birth to death. The word ”upright” means ”straight, just, or righteous”. The word ”bless” implies God kneeling to us in order to bestow a benefit upon us. This means God wants us to know it comes directly from Him, and no one else.
In 2 King 2:14-15, the Bible says, ”And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.” Elijah was Elisha’s spiritual father on earth, and he left behind his mantle, the power of God that He walked in. Elisha took up the mantle and operated in the same power of God ! This is what we should be most focused on leaving behind when we leave the earth; the Word of God at work in the lives of our seed, establishing that no generation will go without salvation and resurrection power! Our seed will never be mighty in the earth without a relationship with the Lord God.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 12, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #3 – Psalm 112:3 – His righteousness endureth for ever
We live in a world where wealth accumulation is sought after more fervently than anything. We have more millionaire and billionaire men and women than at any point in our history, but has that been the answer to the problems the world faces? Are we any closer to God as a people in the midst of all of this immense wealth? Are the wealthy any happier? Maybe, we have been looking at the wrong things when it comes to wealth, and have lost sight of the fact that our true wealth comes from our salvation, from our relationship in God, from the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. In a believer’s life, we have access to the kingdom of God, and we have unlimited access to our Father in heaven. We have the privilege to live as children of God and be co-heirs with Christ. We as believers understand that without God, there is no real wealth, just a bunch of material possessions that would never fulfill us. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:3, true wealth and riches in Christ.
”Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.”
The word ”wealth” means ”enough substance”. The word ”riches” means ”wealth”. The word ”house” pertains to one’s household or family. In Proverb 3:13-15, the Bible says, ‘‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” Wait a minute, so there is something on earth that is more valuable than monetary wealth and riches? Wisdom and understanding are more valuable than all the money in the world. We haven’t gotten to salvation, eternal life, and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and there are still things in this earth that are more valuable than the wealth and riches the world runs after.
In Proverbs 9:10, the Bible says, ‘‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord, and understanding is when we ”know”, or become one with holiness. That doesn’t cost us anything, but it is extremely valuable and can be shared everywhere we go.
In 1 Kings 3:9, after God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked Solomon to ask Him for anything and it will be given, the Bible says that Solomon replied, ‘‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” Solomon could’ve asked for anything and would have gotten it, but he only asked for the understanding and discernment to be king the way God wanted him to be. In 1 Kings 3:10, the Bible says, ”And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.” Solomon pleased the Lord when he asked for wisdom instead of financial wealth, and to show how pleased God was with Solomon, 1 Kings 3:12-13, the Bible says, ‘‘Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” God gave Solomon what he asked for, and also gave him what he wasn’t concerned with, riches, and gave it so there would be no one that could ever compare to him on the earth! Forget what Solomon became for a minute, and what he received from God. All of this happened in a dream, so even in Solomon’s sleep, his mind was on pleasing the Lord! What type of a dollar amount can any of us place on an answered prayer?
The word ”righteousness” means ”blameless conduct, integrity, virtue, or justice”. The phrase ”endureth forever” means ”to last in perpetuity”. In 1 Timothy 6:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Godliness is the goal for believers, to live as God created us; to bear His image and likeness in the earth. Godliness with contentment doesn’t cost us anything, but it is ”great gain”. In Matthew 6:33, Christ says, ”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When the Bible mentions the word ”first” it is the most valuable part, the part that is set apart for God. When we seek the kingdom of God first, pursue it, and bring ourselves under subjection to the kingdom of God, the things we need will be provided. True wealth and riches are available to those who abide in the Lord and pursue his righteousness.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 13, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #4 – Psalm 112:4 – He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous
As believers, we have the privilege to walk in the light of the Lord, living according to the Word of truth. So many people find themselves living defeated lives because they can’t see what is there, lurking in the darkness, ready to strike. Godly prosperity requires us as believers to see where we are going, and in order for us to see that, we must see the way. If our attitude is right before the Lord, it will not only shine a light on our path, but it will also on our lives as well. Truly prosperous people open the door for others to receive some of what God has given them, and as God shines His light upon us, we share that light with others through our love for others. There are character traits of those who walk in the light and live in Godly prosperity, traits of grace, compassion, and righteousness. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:4, prosperous in the light of the Lord.
”Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”
The word ”upright” means ”straight, just, or righteous”. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, the Bible says, ”For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” It is because of Christ, and the blood He shed for our sin that we have access to be made the righteousness of God. Our standing with God is because of the finished work of Christ, not because of anything we can do on our own. When we understand that our wealth in the kingdom of God begins with our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, then we will look to Him instead of looking for things outside of our faith as the source of our prosperity. In Proverb 18:10, the Bible says, ”The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” A prosperous person is secure spiritually, knowing in whom is our refuge, our habitation, and our trust. There are exceptions to every rule, but by and large, a ”homeless” person will have the hardest time becoming prosperous because they have no place to turn, and no place to stay that gives them the security to build true wealth.
The word ”ariseth” means ”to irradiate or shoot forth beams”. The word ”light” means ”a luminary”, also speaking of one experiencing good fortune in the Lord. The word ”darkness” means ”misery, destruction, sorrow, wickedness, or disorder”. The person who walks in darkness can’t see beyond their poor spiritual state. In Psalm 119:105, the Bible says, ”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Spiritually prosperous people have their paths lit by the Word of God, and their lives are patterned according to the Word of God. Money does not make a person prosperous any more than good works produce salvation. In 1 John 1:7, the Bible says, ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’‘ Walking in the light of the Lord, we will come into union with people in love, and experience cleansing from anything that will hinder our victory in Him. In Matthew 5:15-16, Christ says, ”Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” When God shines His light upon us, we project His light in the earth. This isn’t done to make us appear better than anyone, but so we can live a Godly life and point the way to Christ, giving glory to God.
”He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous”
The word ”gracious” means ”merciful, willing to show favor to”. The word ”compassion” means ”lovingkindness, or affection”. The word ”righteous” means ”just, due to conformity to the standard of God.” In Romans 12:2, the Bible says, ‘‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When we conform to the standard of God, our minds are in a constant state of renewal, and we will know the will of God for our lives. In John 1:14, the Bible says, ”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Christ came to this world full of grace and truth, and because the power of Christ dwells inside of us, we have access to the same fullness of grace and truth.
1 John 4:17 says, ”Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as HE IS, SO ARE WE in this world.” True Godly prosperity is living as Christ did on earth; in light, in righteousness, in grace, in truth and in love! There is no great prosperity as believers!
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 14, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #5 – Psalm 112:5 – a good man sheweth favour
As believers of the Lord, God gives us more than what we have asked for and more than we need. In the world we live in, society lives by a different mindset, that never has enough. We live in a society that is Godless, stingy, and impulsive, and the world is becoming more divided as days pass. Believers must set the standard in the earth, in what we say, the message we live by and the work we do. Believers must bless those with the blessings we receive from God, and use the wisdom He’s given to make sound decisions. Prosperous people manage their affairs well and give some of what they have to ensure that someone else lives with an advantage spiritually as well. The prosperous person in the Lord uses what the Lord has given them, but more importantly, becomes who God created them to be. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:5, a diligent steward with the provision of God.
”A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.”
The word ”good” means ”well-pleasing, morally correct, prosperous, or fruitful”. In order to understand the word ”good”, we have to go back to the beginning, to the first use of the word ”good” in the Bible. In Genesis 1:3-4, the Bible says, ”And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” God spoke light into existence, and when it became what He created it to be, He called it ”good”. So a ”good man” is the person who is being exactly who God created them to be, so when God beholds His work in us, He will declare it ”good”. The problem with society is they want to do good things and think that doing good is enough. If we are not being who God created us to be, our lives are being lived in complete disobedience to the will of God.
In Psalm 37:23-24, the Bible says, ”The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” When we abandon our plans, ambitions, and thoughts, allowing God to direct us as He wills, we will come into conformity with His Word, His will and His standards. Many people in this world try to attain wealth absent a relationship with God and absent His direction, but they will always have a void that nothing can fill but God.
In Matthew 25:20-21, Christ says, ‘‘And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” The person who is good takes what God bestows upon them and increase it in the earth in the manner God ordains. So when God takes account of our work, we want Him to declare us ”good and faithful’’ that will show that we have lived according to God’s creative design for our lives.
The phrase ”sheweth favour” means ”to bend or stoop in kindness to someone inferior or of low estate.” The word ”lendeth” means ”to borrow, to join oneself to, to unite with”. In Romans 12:16, the Bible says, ”Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” When we look at someone in need, we shouldn’t look at them as if they are lower than we are. This world we live in looks down upon people who have fallen upon hard times, those who are homeless, poor, in prison, or battling mental health issues. God wants us to identify with them right where they are, not place our standard upon them. If we see people as equals, then we will want them to rise out of the pits of misfortune they find themselves in. In Psalm 37:26, the Bible says, ‘‘He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.’‘ We have to look at people in need with mercy.
The word ”guide” means ”nourish, maintain, or sustain”. The word ”affairs” means ”message or deeds”. The word ”discretion” means ”judgements made in wisdom”. In Colossians 4:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.’‘ Truly prosperous people will manage their mouths, their message, and their actions according to the Word of God. Then they will become a people build upon the foundation of Christ.
In Ephesians 5:17, the Bible says, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is”. The person who is good will always inquire about the will of God for others they encounter, so they can live it out. A prosperous person lives out God’s intended design for their lives.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 15, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #6 – Psalm 112:6 – the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance
As believers, we have a sure place to place our feet, a foundation in Jesus Christ, where as long as our lives are built upon Christ’s foundation, we won’t be shaken. Many people envy the wealthy because of the appearance security they have. They don’t seem to have the worries that ”regular people” have, and that is attractive to a world that is becoming more superficial by the second. The wealthy have wills and a financial legacy to leave their children and family, but without a sure foundation in Christ, the most important legacy to leave behind is cast away like trash. Most people don’t understand that a building will not stand without a sure foundation, and a Godly prosperous person will not stand without Christ being their standard. Without Christ, anything that comes our way can blow us in any direction the wind takes, and there is no security in that. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:6, an unshakable legacy in Christ Jesus.
”Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”
The word ”moved” means ”to shake, to waver, to fall into decay”. In order for us to not be moved, we must rest in a sure foundation. In Matthew 7:24-25, Christ says, ”Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” People think money makes for a sure foundation, but it doesn’t. Monetary wealth and spiritual stability are two different things. The Scripture in Matthew says clearly that the person who hears the Word of God and does it has a foundation on the Rock, which is Christ. That person doesn’t crumble when pressure, adversity or storms come because the Word of God keeps them grounded, unable to be shaken.
In 2 Timothy 2:19, the Bible says, ”Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” When we are rooted in Christ, we have an identity and authority in Him, and have the ability to not serve the iniquity that put us in bondage. Too many people in life try to build their lives on money, thinking that wealth will solve all of their problems.
What happens when they find out that they have amassed a fortune only to then find out what they truly needed, Someone, who died on the cross to ensure that they didn’t have to pay a debt their money couldn’t afford?
In 1 Corinthians 15:58, the Bible says, ”Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” When we are rooted in the Lord, we don’t waver. It doesn’t say that we are ”always abounding in money”, but it says ”always abounding in the work of the Lord.” The person who is rooted in the Lord is always living their lives to please God, doing the things that God is calling them to do. The person who is prosperous in the Lord is led by the Word of God and labors in love, edifying the body of Christ with what the Lord provides. In Hebrews 12:28, the Bible says, ”Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”. When we receive the kingdom of God, we receive a stability that the world can never give, because the kingdom of God is the surest foundation we have. Living on that solid foundation, God gives us grace and the ability to serve God on His terms.
The word ”righteous” means ”just, lawful, someone who brings themselves under conformity to the standard of God.” The phrase ”everlasting remembrance” means ”to be memorialized or to serve as a momento.” This is the legacy we want to leave behind, one of Godliness, obedience, and service. In Proverb 10:7, the Bible says, ‘‘The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.” We want the legacy we have to be blessed because we want people to be blessed by our lives in the Lord. In 2 Samuel 7:16, the Bible says, ”And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” David had a legacy that we still talk about to this day.
In Acts 13:22, the Bible says, ”And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Thousands of years after David’s death, Paul was still preaching about Him! David will forever be known as the man after God’s own heart. What will we be known for? What will be our crowning achievement, faith in God or money?
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 16, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #7 – Psalm 112:7 – trusting in the LORD
The wealthy in the world have security. They have state of the art security systems, panic rooms, safes in their homes the size of small New York apartments, and some have bodyguards as well. Every one of the security measures the wealthy take are constructed by imperfect people, and are equipped with points of vulnerability. Even amid security, the wealthy in the world are afraid of losing everything they have. As wealthy in the Lord we don’t have the fear the world has, because our heart is set on the Lord. Our security is in the Word of God, our protection is under His wings, and our ears are attuned to His Word. When bad new comes, when adverse reports come our way, we can rest in the Lord, and take refuge in His presence. It is in Him that we establish our lives, our hearts, and our thoughts, and watch our lives transform in amazing ways. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:7, a steadfast heart in the Lord.
”He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.”
The word ”afraid” means ”to be frightened”. The phrase ”evil tidings” means ”a bad, adverse, hurtful or harmful report”. In Isaiah 54:17, the Bible says, ”No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” When our righteousness is of the Lord, we live with a heritage, or inheritance, that came through the blood of Jesus Christ. With that inheritance, God’s Word concerning us as believers, is the only thing that we can hold any weight in. If the enemy tries to wage war against us to get us to question our identity in Christ, or if mankind tries to speak ill of us, we don’t have to agree with their report.
In 2 Corinthians, 10:4-5, the Bible says, ”(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. People who are prosperous in Godliness do no allow evil reports to weigh down their thoughts, nor entertain thoughts that are contrary to the Word of God. Our weaponry is spiritual, our sword is the Word of God, and that is the tool by which we understand our standard in the Lord, and also by which we learn to apply that standard.
In Proverbs 1:33, the Bible says, ‘‘But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” What voice are we hearing, theirs, our own, or the Lord’s? There is safety when the report of the Lord is what we receive. Godly prosperous people are very careful with what they listen to. Evil reports can come from anywhere and from anyone, especially in the age of social media, but Godly prosperous people keep their ears attuned to the Lord and to what is edifying, pleasing, or profitable.
The word ”heart” refers to the center of one’s being, or the seat of mankind’s inner nature. This is the deepest place within us. In Proverbs 4:23, the Bible says, ”Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The people who is prosperous in the Lord is the people who allows God to guard their minds and hearts, knowing that it is through the mind and heart that our successes and failures are conceived. The word ”fixed” means ”to make firm, establish, prepare, or build up”. The word ”trusting” means ”to hie for refuge”, implying a safety and security believers have when we rely on the Lord. The word ”hie” implies that we instinctively run towards the Lord for safety when we are afflicted.
What do we do when we get an evil report spoken against us? Some of us retaliate with our own report, some of us believe the evil report, and some of us try to defend ourselves against the evil report, but what are we supposed to do? When King Hezekiah received an evil report from Rabshakeh that Assyria was going to come and invade their land and completely subdue it, Isaiah 37:14-15 says, ”And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,”. Hezekiah spread the evil report before the Lord, and prayed to God for help. The worldly will bring their evil report to their accountant, their lawyer, or someone they feel can handle it, but believers bring their reports to the Lord because God is our refuge.
In Psalm 57:1, the Bible says, ”Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” When we are done praying, we take refuge in the Lord, and let Him handle the evil report.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 17, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #8 – Psalm 112:8 – His heart is established
There is an expectation of adversity that comes with success, and that adversity comes in many forms. It happens with prosperous people in the world, and it happens even more with prosperous people in the Word of God. Believers have an adversary, the devil, who tries to direct us away from the Word of God, who tries to attack us in order to destroy our faith. With success, you are going to have haters, but we need to know that it is not them, but the spirit that is at work in them. When our heart is established before the Lord, we will pray for our adversaries and then watch their offensives against us fail. When they do fail, we can smile, looking at our Lord, who provided the safe place for us to experience victory in Him. As long as our hearts are fixed on the Lord, we will always stand in victory when the smoke clears. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:8, a heart established for victory.
”His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.”
The word ”heart” speaks of the center of one’s being, or the seat of one’s inner nature. This is where the Word of God gets planted to guard our emotions from anything that is contrary to the Word of God. In Psalm 119:11, the Bible says, ”Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” When we plant the Word of God in our hearts, it becomes the governor of our actions. A person who prospers spiritually is the person who stores the Word of God into their mind and heart in order to live it out. Whatever is dominant inside of us will rise to the surface.
In Matthew 12:34-35, Christ says, ”O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” What we put in our hearts becomes treasure, whether it be good treasure or bad, and it will flow through our speech. We must be so careful to watch what we place within, because that can either poison us or give us power. What we place in our hearts becomes a standard within us, so we want to live according to the right standard.
The word ”established” means ”upheld, propped against something or someone solid, or at rest”. This implies a state of peace we have access to as believers. In Hebrews 13:9, the Bible says, ”Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” We want our hearts established with grace because that was the same thing Christ was full of. Grace is divine empowerment, a bridge between what we can do on our own and what we will do in Christ.
In Colossians 3:1-2, the Bible says, ”If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.’‘ When our hearts are established, our perspective changes. People who are prosperous in the Lord are those whose mind remains on the Lord for instruction, correction, direction, and perspective. We want to live the same way Christ did while on earth, so we have to set a guard over our minds and hearts.
The word ”afraid” means ”to be terrified or frightened”. In Psalm 27:1, the Bible says, ‘‘The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” There is nothing to be afraid of when we have the Lord as our light and salvation. What can the enemy do when we see the path for our feet and know that our salvation restores the authority we have in the earth? What can the enemy do when the Lord IS our strength? Perspective. We must see things clearly if we are ever to prosper in the manner that God ordains for us.
The phrase ”see his desire” means ”looks upon with satisfaction, from a place of victory. The word ”enemies” means ”opponent, foe, or an adversary.” In Psalm 91:7-8, the Bible says, ‘‘A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” It doesn’t matter who drops around us, or who loses their battle, because we are in the Lord, we will watch our enemies be defeated. We will see their reports come to nought. We will watch them be confounded that their attacks didn’t work! In Psalm 59:9-10, the Bible says ‘‘Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.” Spiritually prosperous people don’t fight enemies on their own. They turn to the Lord for victory!
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 18, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #9 – Psalm 112:9 – His righteousness endureth for ever
People who are prosperous in the Lord are the biggest givers. If we are to be who Christ is in the earth, we must do what he did. We never read in the Bible that Christ churned out millionaires when He ministered in the earth, giving an astronomical amount of money to the people in need. What did he do? He saw spiritual poverty and healed it. What Christ had, the power of God, He shared fully with all who believe, and when His ministry was complete in the earth, He gave Himself to being the atoning sacrifice for sin. The more God gives us, the more willing we should be to give what we have to others. It is a sign of spiritual strength when we give, because it shows that we trust that God will continue to provide for us. When we use our abundance to bless others God will shine His light upon us in approval. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:9, the generosity of the prosperous in Lord.
”He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.”
The word ”dispersed” means ”to scatter bounty abroad”. The word ”given” means ”to borrow or distribute”. The word ”poor” means ”someone destitute, a beggar, or someone needy”. So we have a mission and people to reach on that mission, but will we do it? In Luke 6:38, Christ says, ‘‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” The reason many of us operate on a spiritual and even a financial deficit is because we are stingy with what we have been given by God. We get what we give. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, the Bible says, ”But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” There should also be the right attitude in our giving, and we should have a desire to be a blessing to others when we give. We should give because we want to, not because we have to. Our giving should produce joy within our souls, and seeing others blessed should make us grateful to God that we can be a conduit for His blessing.
Remember, it is not always about money. Money doesn’t make a person spiritually wealthy any more than good deeds produce salvation. In Acts 3 when the lame man sat at the gate called Beautiful, asking for alms, he saw Peter and John walking by. He asked them for help, and in Acts 3:6, the Bible says, ”Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Peter didn’t have money to give him, but he still gave him something of immense value, something he would have traded all of the money in the world to receive; the ability to walk! When Blind Bartimaeus heard Jesus was coming, he screamed for him, and continued to scream for him until He heard him. The disciples tried to shut him up, but He screamed even louder. In Mark 10:51-52, the Bible says, ‘‘And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” Bartimaeus didn’t ask for money. He asked to see, and Christ gave that to him. When his sight was restored, he could’ve done anything he wanted to do, but he followed Jesus Christ.
The word ”righteousness” means ”virtue, or prosperity”. The word ”horn” is a symbol of the strength and prosperity that the righteous in the Lord walk in. The word ”honour” means ”weight, splendor, glory, majesty, or wealth”. In Psalm 89:16-17, the Bible says, ‘‘In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.” It is only by the name of Jesus Christ will we ever live lives that bring glory to God, and it is by that same name that our giving has power. In Psalm 92:10, the Bible says, ‘‘But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.” When we give what God gives us to others, God enhances our own strength and prosperity in Him, and He pours His Holy Spirit upon us so we can walk in the Lord’s power. God’s never said giving was exclusive to money, because sometimes, we don’t have money to give. Sometimes, people need love, encouragement, the Word of God, healing, or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, the only thing we have to give is our testimony! What are we willing to give from the prosperity God has given us? How can we bring glory to Him?
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 19, 2022 – Godly Prosperity Series #10 – Psalm 112:10 – the desire of the wicked shall perish
Success comes with a price. We are not just speaking exclusively of financial success, but spiritual, emotional, and even relationship success. The price is having people despise you for succeeding, hating you for growing, plotting against you for crashing through the glass ceiling. The old adage says, ”Misery loves company”, and when we prosper in Godliness, there will be people who will try to tear us to pieces. In the age of information and social media, they will try to find information, just to use against us. Old friends will call us ”sell outs” for choosing the Lord’s business over the world’s business, others will try to throw the same dirt we were cleansed from upon us in an attempt to keep us in bondage, and yet still, some will try to turn others against us with a false report. They will see our success in the Lord and it will tear them apart. They won’t succeed against the blessed of the Lord. Today, we will look at Psalm 112:10, the wicked falling before the righteousness of God in Christ.
”The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”
The word ”wicked” means ”morally wrong or bad, ungodly, enemies of God”. The word ”grieved” means ”to be troubled or angry toward righteousness.” The verse begins by saying ”the wicked shall see it”. What will the wicked ”see”? They will see the Godly prosper, they will see our reverence for the Lord, they will see us enjoy our relationship with the Lord, they will see our kids and the fruit of our hands blessed, they will see our light shining in the earth, they will see our kindness towards others, our generosity, our fortitude, our fearlessness, and they will see the power of the Holy Spirit moving and working in our lives. In Luke 7:22-23, the Bible says, ”Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Our work in the Lord will always bear a tangible fruit, and the power of the Lord will be revealed in and through us. Even Christ spoke of people being offended by Him, and he also declared that people will hate us. In Luke 6:22, Christ says, ‘‘Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.’‘ Christ aimed to change our perspective about our haters. He wants us to count ourselves as blessed and favoured by the Lord, so we pay attention to God and not the world’s report. God didn’t promise that people would like our success, but He did prepare us to have the right mindset when it does.
The phrase ”gnash with his teeth” means ”to grind one’s teeth in angry or anguish”. In Luke 13:28, Christ says, ”There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” The wicked are on the outside looking in, looking upon us while we experience the treasures of the kingdom of God right in front of them. The phrase ”melt away” means ”to be discouraged, faint, or to become liquefied”. In Psalm 37:11-13, the Bible says, ‘‘But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” One thing the prosperous in the Lord will have is peace, and the wicked attacks are centered around disrupting that peace.
The word ”perish” means ”to be undone, ruined, or destroyed”. Even the desires the wicked have against us will be destroyed! In Proverbs 11:6-7, the Bible says, ”The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.” No matter what attacks are launched against us, who we are in the Lord will assure us the deliverance and victory we need to prevail. The wicked have nothing to look forward to but failure and destruction if they don’t turn their hearts to the Lord. In Psalm 23:5, the Bible says, ”Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” God didn’t tell us that we wouldn’t have enemies, but He did assure us that He would set us before them at a table prepared for us, and pour His Spirit upon us. A table is prepared for a guest of honor and our God is putting the enemy on notice that we are His! How can the enemy, or the enemies of the cross stand against that?
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 20, 2022 – Philippians 2:3 – let each esteem other better than themselves
What are our motives behind sharing the Word of God? The easy answer would be to share the Word of God so that someone can be introduced to our loving God and understand that He has provided salvation by faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Sharing the Word of God is all about being a conduit for others, not about vaunting our own selves above anyone else. Today, the Word of God is being spread with vile motives; to argue and create division, for one’s own amplified sense of self-worth, and so that the world can see us as important. If we are believers in Christ, then as Christians, we must live as Christ did, and minister as Christ did. Christ never came for His own glory, but He came to serve God and serve us. Who we serve needs to have more importance than us, because their salvation and spiritual development needs to be more of a priority than anything else. Today, we will look at Philippians 2:3, the edifying attitude of ministry.
”Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
The word ”strife” means ”contentiousness, faction, or selfishness”. The word ”vainglory” means ”empty glory, conceitedness, or selfish ambition”. See that the verse says, ”through strife or vainglory”, with the word ”through” implying some of the motivations we can carry for sharing the Word of the Lord. In Galatians 5:25-26, the Bible says, ‘‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.’‘ The key to successful ministry in the earth is what we ourselves live in. We can only extend what we practice to others, and if we are not living in the Spirit, then what will flow through us is flesh. Whenever there is strife or vainglory, it is a recipe for dissension and division, and the Word of God can’t bear fruit where the ground has been defiled. I
n Philippians 1:15-16, the Bible says, ‘‘Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds”. For the people who love serving the Lord for a pure heart and motives, it should bring pain to see or experience someone serving the Lord from a place of contention or conceit. They have completely missed the whole goal of the ministry; to gloryify God by introducing Christ, and to live out the Word of God. In James 3:14-16, the Bible says, ”But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” When people share the Word of God, if their motives are selfish or to cause division, then that doesn’t come from God. That is a life lived in the flesh.
The word ”esteem” means ”to deem, consider, view or regard”. The word ”better” means ”superior”. In Romans 12:10, the Bible says, ”Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. By being believers, we are to see the needs of others with a high regard, especially their spiritual needs. In Galatians 5:13, the Bible says, ”For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another”. Our greatest ministry is in the life we live, and we share the Word of God more in our actions than we ever have with our words. Let our motives and our actions bear the greatest witness of Christ.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 21, 2022 – Isaiah 48:17 – I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit
As believers, it is imperative that our lives are led by the Lord. He knows who we are, what we are created to become, and the steps that need to be taken in order for us to fulfill the purpose He has for our lives. When we were in the world, serving sin, we had no clue where we were going and where that path led, but when we cried out to God for help, He redeemed us from the penalty we deserved with the blood of Jesus. Many times, we have chosen our own way, opting to serve our flesh instead of the Lord. Many times, we had to ask God to deliver us out of tight spots, and He delivered us time after time. God is more than just someone that yanks us out of trouble. He desires to guide us into a Godly life and to experience His benefit in the land of the living. God desires us to live and operate in kingdom power in the earth, but we must allow Him to lead us. Today, we will look at Isaiah 48:17, a loving God leading His children into great success.
”Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”
The word ”Redeemer” speaks of Jesus Christ, the One who bought us back from bondage and spiritual death. Many of us seek the wrong people and means to redeem us from the path we have chosen, but redemption only comes by faith in the blood of Christ. In Isaiah 49:26, the Bible says, ‘‘And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” God doesn’t just deliver us from bondage and spiritual death, He overcame our enemy and victory is now ours as well. To have a Redeemer in Christ means that we are not in bondage anymore, but we have to accept that as truth in our lives.
In Psalm 111:9, the Bible says, ”He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” When He redeemed us, He placed us under His covenant forever, so all of the promises God have been bestowed upon us. The promises are designed to lead us into a life of Godliness, into a life of victory, into life that will bring glory to Him.
The word ”teachest” means ”to goad, instruct, or to impart learning”. The word ”profit” means ”to ascend, to benefit, or to become useful or beneficial”. God wants to do more than just save us, but there are many in the Church that are content with just being saved. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, the Bible says, ”Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” God teaches us who we are in Him, what our calling is, and He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us into Godly usefulness here on earth. This is all done by His Word and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Bible says, ”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The Word of God at work in a believer’s life allows us to bear fruit, and perform the will of God. God doesn’t just want to redeem us, but He wants to ensure that our lives are fruitful, and profitable for the kingdom of God. In 1 Timothy 4:8, the Bible says, ”For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” We should desire to advance spiritually instead of advancing in the world, to seek the things of God instead of the things in the world.
The word ”leadeth” means ”to guide or cause to incline”. The word ”way” means ”a road or course of life”. In Psalm 139:23-24, the Bible says, ‘‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Are we willing to allow God to look into us to investigate and identify what is there? Are we willing to allow God to refine us and bring us into a right relationship with Him? Are we willing to entrust our thoughts to God, so that He can weed out the thoughts that aim to destroy the joy of our salvation and the confidence about who we are in Him?
In Psalm 32:8, the Bible says, ”I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” God knows the best path for our feet, and He knows where we can do the most good and be at our best. It is time that we trust our Redeemer to teach and lead us how to live victorious lives in Christ.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 22, 2022 – Psalm 142:5 – I cried unto thee, O LORD
In times of trouble, where do we turn for the help we need? That is a powerful question, because most believers will find out that even though God is the absolute best choice for us to lean on in trying times, we will try to find our own way out of a situation. Sometimes, we turn to friends and loved ones, and other times we turn to our own thoughts, trying to out think the dilemmas we find ourselves in. Until we pursue God as our refuge and portion, we will always be starving looking to be fed, because God is the only one capable of fully meeting our needs. Life produces adversity, and that adversity can be very difficult to deal with. Praise God that we have a place in the Lord that protects us from the hardships life produces. We don’t have to wait on heaven for our refuge and portion from the Lord. He assures us as believers that we have access to receive His help and protection right now. Today, we are going to look at Psalm 142:5, a great refuge in time of trouble.
”I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
The word ”cried” means ”to shriek from anguish or danger, to cry out”. In Psalm 34:15, the Bible says, ‘‘The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Just as a parent responds to the cries of their children, God responds to our cries as well, and He responds with much better help. In Luke 18:7-8, Christ says, ”And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” God hears our cries and will come to us with the help we need. Sometimes, it seems like God doesn’t move fast enough, but the Word of God says that God will avenge us speedily. This means we can handle the wait, because He has given us power to stand fast while He works on our behalf.
In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, the Bible says, ”For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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.” Paul asked God to remove his thorn three times, but God told him that His grace was sufficient, and His strength would be perfected in his weakness. Sometimes, we ask God for what He has already placed within us. We cry out to God, looking for an outward answer to an inward problem, when God’s grace and strength is enough.
The word ”refuge” means ”hope, shelter, or trust”. The word ”portion” means ”an allotment or inheritance”. In Psalm 46:1-2, the Bible says, ”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea”. Trouble can cause fear if we look at the circumstances instead of looking at our God. If God is a very present help, then that means He is always here and ready to respond on our behalf. Imagine us standing in front of loving parents, but we look right past them and cry out to a complete stranger for help. That is a picture of how we treat God. In Psalm 91:2, the Bible says, ”I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Where is our faith in times of trouble, on God or on the adversity we face?
When we look at the topic verse in 142:5, it says in the middle of the verse, ”I said”. Psalm 91:2 also uses the word ”say”. What does speaking have to do with any of this? In Mark 11:23, Christ says, ”For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.” Our words have incredible power and activate the faith we have in our lives. David didn’t just cry out to God, but he cried out to God while SAYING that God IS his refuge and portion.
What do our mouths utter when we are under trial, words of life and victory or words of defeat? In Proverb 18:21, the Bible say, ”Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” What if our problem in adversity is that we speak death to our victory instead of declaring what ‘thus saith the Lord’? What if the problem is that we give more weight to our troubles that our God?
In Psalm 119:57-58, the Bible says, ”Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.” Our commitment to God is present in our words, thoughts and actions. When we are troubled, may our hearts and minds be set upon God and may our mouths declare victory in Him by faith.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 23, 2022 – 1 John 1:7 – But, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light
Many of us as believers have placed the daunting task of trying to find our own way into holiness. There are more religious people in Church who are void of a relationship with God, who are trying to get to heaven by being a good man or woman. There are people in the Church who are rigid in their expectations of the faith, who are guided by their own impressions of our faith, and they are robbing themselves of an amazing relationship with God in Christ. God gives us the Light, and gives us the Person to follow, Christ, so we can walk in the Light. When we walk in the light, we can clearly see our way and the odds of us stumbling minimizes greatly. It gives us access to oneness with a body of believers, and it also purifies us in ways we never can on our own. We were never designed to walk in our own way. Today, we will look at 1 John 1:7, a believer’s walk in the precious light of Christ.
”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
The word ”walk” means ”to tread all around, to follow, or to live”. The word ”light” means ”luminosity”, and speaks of the person who walks in the truth and holiness of God. So, to ”walk in the light” means that we are to live our lives in truth and holiness. In John 1:4-5, the Bible says, ”In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.’‘ There is a difference between us as believers, who live our lives in truth and holiness, and people who live in darkness, falsehood and sin, who do not understand who we are. Too many believers are so busy trying to fit into a world they don’t belong in instead of living their lives to please God and fulfill His purpose for their lives. In Ephesians 5:8-10, the Bible says, ”For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” When we live in truth in holiness, walking in the light, we become light, truth and holiness. We become what we walk in, whether it be darkness or light.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Christ says, ‘‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” We aren’t created to fit in with the world, but to stand out as a light in the world, allowing our light to shine so we bring glory to God. We are to live out Scripture, not just read and believe in Scripture. The light of God in us allows us to do the things God has called us to do, just like Christ did. He lived in the Light of God, and He was Scripture. God is calling for us to live our lives in the same authority and power that Christ did.
The word ”fellowship” means ”partnership, communion, or social intercourse”. This term expresses oneness within the body of Christ, with all of us working together to fulfill God’s will. In Psalm 133:1, the Bible says, ”Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” It pleases God when His children live in unity. In order for the Church to be one, we must all be living according to truth and holiness that can only be found in the Word of God. When you see a church fractured by division, it is usually because someone, or some people, have drifted away from the Word of God in word, attitude, and deed. In Ephesians 4:3-4, the Bible says, ‘‘Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling”. It should be our ambition to live in the light of the Lord and come into unity with the body of Christ. God desires for His Church to be one. I wonder how disappointed His is in His children, with His Church fractured by denominations, apostasy, dissension, bitterness, and jealousy?
The word ”blood” refers to the atoning blood of Christ shed for us. The word ”cleanseth” means ”to purify or free from filth”. The phrase ”all sin” means ”every offence against God”. In 1 Peter 1:18-19, the Bible says, ”Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Just as the world can not give us what we need to walk in truth and holiness, the world also can not supply what we need for salvation and redemption. This means that we must stop trying to be righteous in our own sight, but take on the righteousness of God by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ shed for the remission of sin. The blood cleanses us from ALL SIN, so there is nothing we have done that can not be covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. In 1 John 2:2, the Bible says, ‘‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The blood of Christ can cleanse us from all sin and the death of Christ on the cross can save any who believe in Him. The word will tell you that we have to keep trying to earn our salvation, but that would be a lie. The work was already done for us, even before we were born. All we have to do is believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive His blood as the cleanser of our sin and sinful lives.
God positions us to walk in truth and holiness, to enjoy unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to experience His power in the earth as children of God. May we walk in the light and live in our identities in Christ.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 24, 2022 – John 8:29 – He that sent me is with Me
One of my biggest fears was to be alone. That feeling was worst than death to me, and there were many times in my life where I kept relationships with people that were extremely toxic just to avoid being alone. Imagine me, being in prison with a life sentence, with hardly any family or friends’ support, having to experience one of my worst fears. When I gave my life completely over to the Lord, I realized that I was never alone, because my loving Father has been with me even when I was in my mess. Now that I live my life to serve God and people, I have experienced God’s presence and I know He is always with me, because His Holy Spirit lives in me. When we live our lives to please God, He always reveals Himself to us, speaks to us, and guides us. Christ knew God was always with Him and so must we! Today, we will look at John 8:29, a God that never leaves us nor forsakes us.
”And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
The word ”sent” means ”to set apart in order to send out for divine use”. This is the same word we get ”apostle” from. In Matthew 15:24, Christ says, ”But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Christ had a ministry that was directed to the Jews, but gave us access to receive God’s promise by faith. Matthew 15:25-28 goes on to say, ”Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Christ was sent from heaven to earth for the Jews, but responded to the faith of Gentiles, and provision was made for us to enter into the kingdom of God as well. Faith in the blood of Jesus Christ is the key.
In Galatians 4:4-5, the Bible says, ”But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Adoption is a term that expresses when a person becomes a parent when they have taken in a child who is not biologically their own and raises them as their own. That’s what God did for us.
Some people mistakenly believe that Christ’s life began at His birth. In John 1:1-2, the Bible says, ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” The Bible then goes on to say in John 1:14, ”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’‘ Christ was always in existence from the beginning, but had an appointed time to become flesh and dwell among us. This is why the Bible said in John 8:57-58, ”Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” The Jews didn’t realize who Christ was, that He is Immanuel, ”God with us”.
The phrase ”hath not left me alone” means ”to let go from one’s notice, attention, care, to let remain, to leave in any place of state”. In John 16:32, the Bible says, ”Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” There are so many believers who walk this earth completely lonely, thinking that they are alone, but if only they knew that God is right there with them they wouldn’t struggle with depression, with suicidal thoughts, with feelings of worthlessness. In John 8:16-18, Christ says, ”And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” We not only have a God who remains with us and in us, but we have a God who backs us with anyone who speaks against us.
The word ”please” means ”to be agreeable, acceptable or fit”. This term suggests that we bear the image and likeness of God, to live out His will on earth, to follow His Word. In John 4:33-34, the Bible says, ”Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Is the Word of God, the will of God and the purpose of God food and drink to us? And, is it necessary for survival?
Christ lived His life to please God, and because of it, the presence of God remained with Christ. Could it be that the reason we are alone is that we have departed from the presence of the Lord?
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 25, 2022 – Proverbs 16:28 – man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth
There are people who seem to be addicted to contention, who walk around with an aim to be divisive and cause tension within a body of people. What if that body of people are the Church, and there are people in the Church who sow problems within the body of Christ. This is how the enemy hinders our productivity as a Church because he causes so many problems that we spend our time addressing problems instead of growing in the faith as a body. Gossip is a poison that infects everyone involved and causes an unfruitfulness in the Church. If gossip can break up best friends, who know everything about each other, then just think about what it can do with complete strangers? God desires His Church to walk in love, to love God with all of our heart, and also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Today, we will look at Proverbs 16:28, rooting out and eliminating gossip.
”A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”
The word ”froward” means ”perverse or fraudulent”. In Proverbs 6:14-15, the Bible says, ”Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.” A froward man has frowardness in him because in Matthew 12:34-35, Christ says, ”O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” It all begins with what is at work inside of us, and that will bear its own fruit. In Proverbs 4:23-24, the Bible says, ‘‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” If everything begins in our hearts, then we must guard what comes into our hearts and what flows from our hearts. We must place a really sizeable distance from perverse speech, from falsehood, from anything that will negatively affect our relationship with God and people.
The word ”soweth” means ”to spread or cast”. The word ”strife” means ”contest, contention, quarrel, or discord”. In Proverbs 6:16-19, the Bible says, ‘‘These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Do we really understand that God hates gossip, when our mouths utter untrue things, when we imagine things that do not please our God. These things are abominations to God, yet these things exist in our churches. Why is that?
In Matthew 13:24-25, Christ says, ”Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” God has sown His children in the earth, but the enemy has sown his children as well, and both have to grow up together. In Ephesians 5:11-12, the Bible says, ”And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Just because we are in the world, doesn’t mean that we have to be of the world, and just because there are people around us who make a living gossiping and spreading division, it doesn’t mean we have to do the same.
In 2 Corinthians 6:17, the Bible says, ”Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” Do we separate ourselves from the perverse, from the frauds, from the gossips that can fill our churches and our lives?
The word ”whisperer” means ”a talebearer or slanderer”. He word ”separateth” means ”to divide or sever”. In Proverb 17:9, the Bible says, ‘‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” The Church is suppose to cover each other in love, not cover for each other, but a perverse person is one that will openly display one’s offence before any that will listen. In Proverb 26:22-24, the Bible says, ”The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him”. People who gossip and spread division in the Church can do way more harm to a person than people in the world, because the Church is supposed to represent a safe place for a person to grow in the Lord. If gossip and division outweighs the kingdom message, then bondage, rather than freedom, will be evident.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 26, 2022 – Proverbs 28:14 – happy is the man that feareth alway
As believers, fearing the Lord is vital. There are blessings in store for those who fear the Lord, and those who fear the Lord will always have an open mind, heart, and ear for the Word of the Lord. This world has lost its fear of the Lord, and a lot of people won’t even identify God as God anymore. Then you look at the person’s life, mind, and heart and it is in shambles, all while they believe that some energy is going to right their ship. Too many people have hardened their hearts to the Lord, and have an overall disregard for the Word of God, sometimes even in churches! I remembered the days I hardened my heart to the Lord and the destruction that followed, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Today, we will look at Proverbs 28:14, a victorious life lived with a softened heart for the Lord.
”Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”
The word ”happy” means ”blessed”. In Psalm 1:1-2, the Bible says, ”Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” The person who is blessed is the person who walks according to the Word of the Lord, and lives their lives to please God. In Deuteronomy 28:1-2, the Bible says, ”And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” When we listen to the Lord with the intention of heeding what we hear, the Lord’s blessings will overtake us, meeting us wherever we are. The blessings of the Lord never depend on outside circumstances, even though God’s blessings will manifest very tangible things for us to seize. In Proverbs 28:20, the Bible says, ”A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” People mistake wealth with blessings, and that is where so many people find themselves in bondage, because their perception of blessings is warped by the standards society has set.
The phrase ”feareth alway” means ”to continuously stand in awe or reverence for God”. In Proverbs 1:7, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Reverencing the Lord will cause us to want to know His Word, to know the things that please Him, and reverencing the Lord will also cause us to grow more as children of God. In Proverbs 23:17, the Bible says, ”Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.” If a sinner’s life wasn’t attractive in some sort of way, then nobody would live in sin. If sinners didn’t have monetary possessions, then people wouldn’t want to take the path they have taken to get what they have. This is why we shouldn’t ever look to the world as a standard for what we should have in our own lives, because their possessions have come at a gross disrespect to God. In Psalm 115:11-12, the Bible says, ”Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.” When we fear the Lord, He responds with the help we need.
The phrase ”hardeneth his heart”, means ”to become stiffnecked, or dense”. This means that nothing of God can come into our hearts because we have blocked God’s access to us. The word ”mischief” means ”adversity, affliction, trouble, calamity, or evil”. In Romans 2:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds”. When we harden our hearts to the Lord, opting to live the lives of the world, there are consequences that come as the result of the choices we make. When I was in the streets, making my own choices from a hardened heart, I was shot multiple times. God didn’t cause me to get shot, but me getting shot was a direct consequence of the choices I made in the world I served. In Galatians 6:7-8, the Bible says, ”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’‘ We get what we put out. If we fear God, blessings come, but if we harden our hearts, destruction is inevitable. Choose this day who you will serve!
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 27, 2022 – Proverbs 16:1 – the preparations of the heart in man … is from the LORD
Mankind has always tried to make the plan for their lives. We think about what we want out of life, and then we plan our lives around the ideas we have. What we fail to realize is that our plans must align with the master plan of the Lord, and if they don’t, then they won’t prevail. As believers we should always align our minds, our plans, and our lives according to the Word and the leading of the Lord, to make sure that what we place our hands to, we will be victorious in. The world somehow believes that if they wish it bad enough, if they grind hard, and if they are thoroughly prepared, that success is inevitable. There may be some good result, but if their plan isn’t God ordained, then there won’t be joy and peace, and most of all, God will not approve of a plan that He doesn’t direct. Gaining the whole world means nothing if the soul is lost. Today, we will look at Proverbs 16:1, a plan authored and approved by the Lord.
”The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”
The word ”preparations” means ”disposings or arrangements.” The word ”heart” refers to the seat of mankind’s inner nature, will, feelings, and intellect.” In Proverbs 16:9, the Bible says, ‘‘A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Mankind can lay out the best possible plan, but without God’s direction, the plan will never work the way we envision it. Too many people try to plan without the Lord, and that is our first mistake. In Colossians 1:16-17, the Bible says, ”For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Everything on earth was created by Him and for God, so why would we be so arrogant to not bring our plans before the Lord? Why would we be just as arrogant to not inquire of the Lord for what His plan would be? Could it be that we are afraid that God may have a different plan in mind than the one we have put together, and to follow God’s plan would mean that we have to abandon our own?
In Matthew 16:24, Christ says, ”Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Every one of the disciples had their own lives, profession and plans before Christ said, ”follow me”, but each one left everything they had to seek a better path. We must be prepared to do the same.
In Proverbs 19:20-21, the Bible says, ”Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.’‘ As believers we must incline our ears to the word of the Lord and be fully prepared to obey. Wisdom is manifested when we apply the Word of God to our lives, allowing it to produce the best fruit possible.
In Jeremiah 10:23, the Bible says, ‘‘O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We must learn and know that we are not capable to direct our own paths successfully without the Lord. Don’t be mistaken by a nonbeliever’s wealth and beg to differ because that is not true wealth, nor is it true success.
In Psalm 37:4, the Bible says, ‘‘Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” The word ”delight” means ”to be soft or pliable, able to be formed”, so when we delight ourselves in the Lord, we allow ourselves to be formed by the Lord however He desires us to be. If we allow that to happen, then we will get the desires of our heart. We know the Word of God to be true, so if a person is a multimillionaire but is out of the will and plan of the Lord, then do they really have the desire of their heart?
The phrase ”answer of the tongue” means ”a reply, whether favorable or contradictory”. The word ”Lord” implies that He is the Supreme Authority. This second part of the verse shows us that God will let us know whether our plans are in His will or not. In Proverbs 21:2, the Bible says, ”Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” God weighs our heart to make sure that we are aligned with Him, before He replies to our plan.
Remember in 2 Samuel, when David wanted to build a house for the Lord? In 2 Samuel 7:3, the Bible says, ‘‘And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.” Nathan was a prophet, the voice of the Lord, and He gave David the go ahead to build the Lord’s house. In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, God replies by saying, ”And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” We can make plans all we want, and they can seem like the most perfect plans ever, but God gives the final approval. David was a man after God’s own heart, and it would be safe to assume that whatever was in David’s heart was consistent with God’s word, but God had other plans. Solomon would build the Lord’s house, not David who wanted to build it. The Lord didn’t consider David’s ambition to be sin, and David still treated God’s response like a victory because He still was getting his heart’s desire.
May we always bring our plans before the Lord to do as He wills. May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 28, 2022 – 1 Timothy 6:20 – keep that which is committed to thy trust … avoiding … science falsely so called
When the Lord put His Spirit inside of us, He entrusted us with something that is more valuable than anything we could ever fathom. In His Spirit there is power, there is life, and there is divine teaching that equips for anything that will come our way. Along our way, God has installed teachers at critical junctions of our lives to teach us how to grow in the Lord and share the Gospel truth with others. We must value the things we learn, and we must keep that knowledge of the Word of God with us. The world has its own knowledge, and the world loves to try to debunk our faith, and get us to step off-track to discuss a bunch of things that have no power, no life, nor any ability to draw us closer to God. We are to avoid conversations that bear no fruit for the kingdom of God, and keep to what we know to be true. Today, we will look at 1 Timothy 6:20, keeping the entrusted Word of God.
”O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.”
The word ”keep” means ”to guard, watch, observe, or obey”. The phrase ”committed to thy trust” means ”to make a sacred deposit into”. Paul is writing to Timothy, the young preacher who Paul is a spiritual father to. He is preparing him for ministry knowing that his time is coming to an end. Paul’s desire is to leave thus earth knowing the Word of God will continue to be taught and spread through Timothy. In 2 Timothy 1:13-14, the Bible says, ”Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” Paul wants Timothy to always remember his teachings, and put them into practice in his life. He wants Timothy to walk by faith and love in Christ, securing the heavenly deposit placed in him.
When the Lord gives us His Word about anything, He is making a deposit into us, intending us to put the Word to practice. The Word of God must bear fruit within us, and we must be much more than a storage device for the Word of God. In Psalm 119:11, the Bible says, ”Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” The Word is hidden within so we can carry it out.
In Titus 1:9-10, the Bible says, ”Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision.” It is important for us to secure the deposit God has made in us by putting the Word of God into practice, because there will always be people who will surface to make sport of the Word of God in order to stir division. In Revelation 3:3, the Christ says, ”Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” If we don’t guard what we have in Christ, people can come along and draw us away from the faith. Timothy received the divine revelation of God and it has been entrusted to him to observe it and obey it. God says the same thing to us, and has given us the same divine revelation. We must put it into practice and live out the Word of God.
The word ”avoiding” means ”to deflect and turn away”. The phrase ”profane and vain babblings” means ”fruitless and wicked discussions”. The phrase ”oppositions of science” means ”the antithesis of knowledge”. The world will try to discount the Word of God with the ‘wisdom of the world’, and try to discredit the truth of God in the process. If we engage with them on their terms then the conversations will always be fruitless because the foundation of the discussion will not be based on truth. In 1 Timothy 1:4, the Bible says, ‘‘Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” The wisdom of the world will always keep the conversation going because it will produce more questions and no answers. The Word of the God is the answer for everything we face in our lives, but the stuff that is called ”knowledge” by the world will only draw us further away from the presence of God. In Proverbs 1:7, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Without the fear of God, there is no knowledge, and the fools of the world have no desire to know the truth of God. In 1 Timothy 4:7, the Bible says, ”But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” We are to utterly refuse the nonsense of the world disguised as knowledge. Godliness should be our focus, to grow in the Lord and to live out the divine revelation He has deposited in us. May we focus on that!
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 29, 2022 – 2 Timothy 2:22 – flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness
There is a standard that we must uphold as believers. There are things we must keep our distance from and things that we must follow after. God gives us the power to make the choice for Him, to walk according to the Spirit, to live out lives with power and victory. God will not force us to serve Him, nor will He force us to call upon Him. He leaves that choice up to us because how deep can our love ever be for God if we have no say in the matter? When we serve the Lord, it should make us want to follow after the things that please the Lord, and want to be everything we were created to be. Christ paid an awful price for our lives, and His sacrifice ensures us access to abundant life, to eternal life, and to a life that will bring glory to God. We will serve whatever we follow after, so let us make the right choice to serve our Lord with all of our hearts. Today, we will look at 2 Timothy 2:22, a pure heart set on following the Lord.
”Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
The word ”flee” means ”to run away from or to shun”. The word ”lusts” means ”a desire or longing for something that is forbidden by God”. In 2 Timothy 2:19, the Bible says, ‘‘Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” When we have Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives, we must live according to the standard God has set for us. In Romans 8:6-8, the Bible says, ‘‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” God wants us to live our lives to please Him, and in order for us to do that, we must have a spiritual mind that guides our lives in the Spirit. That can only be from the Word of God and from the leading of the Holy Spirit, and we must bring ourselves into a state of submission to the Word of God. That is the only way we will flee from the forbidden things, and to abstain from the desires that keep up out of fellowship with God. In Proverbs 4:14-16, the Bible says, ”Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.” God gives us a path to an abundant life, but we must choose to stay away from the path of wickedness.
The word ”follow” means ”to pursue”. The word ”righteousness” means ”uprightness or virtue”, pertaining to the conduct of our lives. The word ”faith” means ”credence or firm persuasion”. In Romans 4:20-22, the Bible says, ”He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” God gives us the power and ability to live lives of faith, which God will declare to be righteousness. Why is that? In Romans 10:17, the Bible says, ”So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our faith comes by the Word of God, and in the Word of God lies the ability to walk according to the Spirit. In Romans 8:4, the Bible says, ”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” When we follow after the Spirit of God, righteousness will be fulfilled in us.
The word ”charity” means ”goodwill and love towards our neighbor”. The word ”peace” means ”tranquility arising from reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus Christ. In 1 John 4:12, the Bible says, ”No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” Love opens the door for God to have residence in us. In Romans 5:1, the Bible says, ”Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. By faith, by receiving the Word of God and applying it to our lives, we will receive the Lord’s peace.
The phrase ”call on” means ”to invoke for aid, worship, or decision”. So we call on God for His help, to bring ourselves low before Him, and to seek Him for direction. This must be done with a ”pure heart”, with our feelings, desires, affections, and impulses aligned with the Word of God. Following after the Word of God is a heart issue that travels to our minds and manifests itself in our lives. May we always live our lives to follow after the standard God has set for our lives. May we develop the courage to put sin in its place, under our feet!
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 30, 2022 – Genesis 26:12 – and the LORD blessed him
A farmer or gardener sows seeds. Those seeds represent a harvest that is soon to come, a harvest that will reap fruit, which also bears seed. This is the same idea God has for His children, to bless us with seed so we can sow it, reap a harvest and continue to sow. God wants us to bear fruit that will remain, fruit that points the way to Christ, fruit that continues to bring glory to God. The concept of sowing and reaping has been distorted over the years by faulty prosperity doctrine, but God has given us way more than money to sow and reap. God created us with His design in us, with the talents and abilities that He has given us, with the experiences that He knew we would encounter that would ultimately bring glory to Him. If we don’t sow what God has given us, we can’t expect to reap the harvest God intends us to reap. Today, we will look at Genesis 26:12, sowing to reap a harvest of true blessing.
”Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.”
The word ”sowed” means ”to disseminate, plant, or fructify”. Issac had to relocate because there was a famine in the land, and he went before Abimelech. As evidence that God knows our thoughts, the Bible says in Genesis 26:2, ”And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of”. Up to this point Isaac never had the chance to say where he was thinking about going. God intercepted his plan at the thought stage, and told him to dwell where He ordained for him to go. In order for us to sow effectively, we must be positioned where God wants us.
In Galatians 6:7-8 the Bible says, ”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” We can’t sow to the Spirit without obeying the Word of God. If we sow disobedience, then we will reap corruption, lawlessness, and destruction, but if we sow obedience we will reap a harvest that extends into eternal life. God wanted Isaac to dwell in Gerar and he was obedient. Imagine the fear he had to experience initially, encountering a famine in the land, where nothing would grow, where there was no water, and the currency of that day was agriculture and livestock. That is our equivalent to cash, stock, bonds, and precious metals. It would make a normal person frantic, but Isaac listened to the Lord.
In Psalm 46:10, the Bible says, ”Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Sometimes we have to be still, physical, mentally and spiritually, and wait on a Word from the Lord, but this is the only way we can guarantee that what we sow will grow.
The word ”received” means ”to come forth, to find or acquire” In Matthew 13:8-9, Chrisr says, ‘‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” We know this passage to be from the parable of the sower. Just as a farmer goes out and casts seed, a believer goes in the earth and casts seed. We cast seed expecting to acquire a harvest but there are two things we must be mindful of: where we cast our seed, and what we call seed. The Bible clearly establishes that the sower who sowed on good soil reaped the harvest, but what is the seed? In Luke 8:11, Christ says, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” If we sow anything but the Word of God on anything other than good soil, we not should expect to reap anything but disappointment.
In John 3:27, the Bible says, ”John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” If everything we receive that doesn’t come from heaven is nothing, the why do we continue to try to receive something that doesn’t come from God?
The word ”blessed” implies that God kneels to us in order to show us favor and kindness. When a parents kneels in front of their children, they want to get close and intimate, to show them that they can meet them at their level. Where does this sound familiar? In Hebrews 4:15, the Bible says, ‘‘For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
When another person can identify with us right where we are, it is a blessing in itself. However empathy is largely forgotten in our society these days, but God shows it daily. In Genesis 26:3, the Bible says, ‘‘Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father”. When we obey the Word of God, He will remain with us, and bless us to be fruitful.
Marshall & Jessica
Oct 31, 2022 – Proverbs 16:8 – better is a little with righteousness
Having everything means nothing without Christ. The world would love to teach that the gains of the world are the measure of a person, and many are led astray by the standards of the world. Hierarchies are developed between the ”haves and have nots”, and wealth is flaunted in the media more than the love of Christ. I remember who I was, living the street life, committing crime for my slice of wealth, but all it brought me was destruction. The people who had ”nothing but” Christ are still out there, living great lives for the Lord while I sit in prison wishing I would’ve pursued true riches in heaven rather than earthly riches that produce no salvation. Knowing what I know now, I am the richest man I know because I have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of me. I have His power, strength, love, guidance, and I have abilities the world could never give. I would rather be a broke believer than a rich heathen any day of the week. Today, we will look at Proverbs 16:8, the perception of prosperity.
”Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.”
The word ”better” means ”good, well-pleasing, favorable, fruitful, or morally correct. The word ”righteousness” means ”blameless conduct, integrity, or moral virtue”, speaking on the right actions and right attitudes expected by God for His people. In Psalm 37:16-18, the Bible says, ”A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.” People assess worth based on what a person has, and even in the Church, people can pass judgement on people who don’t have much financially as if God’s presence and blessings aren’t upon them. In Proverbs 30:7-9, the Bible says, ‘‘Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” There is a real struggle that a believer can have with money, because not enough of it, and it will make them feel like God couldn’t possibly care about their need, and too much, and they can turn their back on the Lord altogether. Our hearts have to be right before the Lord regardless of our financial state, and if our hearts are not right before the Lord when we have little, then why would God bless us with more?
In Matthew 16:26-27, Christ asks, ”For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Gain of itself is not Godliness, and there are many rich people with one-way tickets to the lake of fire unless they repent and make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of their lives. It is almost like standing between a risen Savior and a pile of money, and right to His face going for the money. That is what we do when we make riches our God. In 1 Timothy 6:9-10, the Bible says, ”But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” When we choose riches over God, we are showing Him where our love lies, and trouble will definitely come to our lives as a result.
The word ”revenues” means ”income, produce, gain, or increase”. The phrase ”without right” means ”injustice or wrong”. In Psalm 73:3-5, the Bible says, ”For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.” On the surface, it looks like all the good is happening to the people in the world who are living by their own devices, but our perspective is distorted by what they appear to have. In Psalm 73:16-18, the Bible says, ”When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.” Asaph was bitter by the wealth of the wicked until He came into the sanctuary of the Lord and saw what true riches look like. He then understood that no matter how good their lives looked on the surface, their end would be a destruction they can’t come back from. We must always follow after the unsearchable riches of God, that won’t subject us to destruction, but subject us to eternal life in Christ.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 1, 2022 – Titus 2:7 – in all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works /GOOD WORKS
As believers, the standard for our lives can be found by the Word of God. God gives us His Word so we can know how we are supposed to act and conduct ourselves. Everything we need is in the Word of God, and as believers the Word of God is the standard for us to pattern ourselves after. Otherwise we will always find ourselves deficient in a kingdom with unlimited provision. We can’t just be people who are taught but don’t apply the Word of God. Many times in life, we are the only ‘Bible’ someone will see, and the reflection of the Church will come from our actions and our character. Being the proper example will show others what is the Word and power of God, and also showing them that living a Godly life is possible with God’s help. Our example can lead to someone’s surrender. Today we will look at Titus 2:7, a Godly example of an abundant life in Christ.
”In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
The word ”shewing” means ”to exhibit, minister, present, or keep”. The word ”pattern” means ”a die, stamp, impression, prototype or example”. The phrase ”good works” means ”well-doing, virtuous deeds” are actions that please the Lord because they are done the way God intends for them to be done. We must be examples of the God we serve and Christ who showed us how to live victoriously in Him.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible says, ‘‘Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” It doesn’t matter if we are young, or if we had a past life that was unsightly, we are still expected to serve the Lord and set the proper example of behaviour, love, and how to walk in the Spirit. Some people say, ”Well, I’m not there yet”, which is a lie the enemy wants us to believe, because if we believe that, then we won’t believe what the Bible says in 2 Peter 1:3, where it says, ”According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. God has given us ALL things that pertain to Godliness through the knowledge of Him. This means that, because God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit, we are thoroughly equipped as believers to live Godly lives and to be an appropriate example of the faith.
In 1 Peter 5:2-3, the Bible says, ”Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.’‘ We can feed others spiritually by the example we set as believers. I remember when I lost my sister in 2017, I experienced God’s comfort, peace and power in a way I hadn’t before. I continued to teach the Word, comfort my family, encourage brothers in my prison environment, mediate conflicts, and help prepare people for their freedom all while I was grieving. I didn’t know it, but my behaviour at one of the hardest times of my life became a ministry within itself. Opportunities are all around us to set great examples.
The word ”doctrine” means ”the art or manner of teaching”. The word ”uncorruptness” means ”purity or integrity”. The word ”gravity” means ”honesty or venerability”. These are the things we must set examples in; how we teach, in the content of our hearts, and in truth.
In John 4:24, Christ says, ‘‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God doesn’t want a bunch of people who claim they serve Him but set a horrible example for the faith, because He commands us to worship in Spirit and in truth. There are no grey areas. It is either Spirit or flesh, either a lie or the truth, and it is in our actions that the truth shows its power in our lives. In Romans 8:7-8, the Bible says, ”Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” It is only by the Spirit that we can set an example in our teaching, in our love, in our faith, and in our conduct.
In 1 Corinthians 4:16-17, the Bible says, ”Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.’‘ Paul told the Church to follow him because he followed Christ, so his life would be an example for them to emulate. He then sent Timothy to them who followed him as he followed Christ. God gives us people who have followed God’s standard to show us it can be done, and it shows how real the power of God is in our lives. May we be examples that can be called upon to represent the Gospel of Christ well.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 2 2022 – John 17:21 – that they all may be one /ONENESS / BELIEVE
There is an ultimate desire for us to be one in Christ. Unity in the body of Christ is essential for the effectual working of God’s power in the earth. When we are one in the Lord, we have an unrestricted path to receive the things of the Lord necessary for our lives here on earth. When we are one in the Lord the promises of God become fulfilled in us, and when we speak, our words have life and power the same way Christ’s did when He walked the earth. God didn’t want there to be a drop-off from when Christ left the earth to when the Church was formed, to where we stand now. Somehow, many have broken ranks, thinking that we could do it ourselves, and in the process have resisted the very power God wants to give us. The Church is losing power and influence in the earth because we have disconnected from the source, but God still wants us each to be one with His children. Today, we will look at John 17:21, oneness with the Lord.
”That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
The word ”one” speaks of a union, two becoming one flesh. This oneness is what God desired to have with His children since creation, but mankind’s sin separated us from the bond God wanted to have with us. He sent Christ as the atoning sacrifice for sin, which once again gave us the opportunity to become one in Him. Some believe this is only for the Jews but in John 10:16, Christ says, ”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.’‘ Christ lived to do the will of God, and God’s desire for mankind was also His desire, to take people not just originally of the fold of the Jews and to also bring us into oneness with Him.
John 17 is an intercessory prayer offered up by Christ on our behalf, and in John 17:11, Christ prays, ”And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” Christ was leaving the world, but asked God to not forget about His disciples, and to make us one together the same way He is with God. There is always a purpose when Christ speaks or prays, and in John 17:23, He prays, ”I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Christ desired our oneness with and in Him so we can be complete spiritually, lacking nothing, and so we can bear testimony of God’s love in the earth.
Christ was in God and God was in Christ. In John 15:4-5, Christ says, ‘‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” If we don’t abide in Him, meaning we live and make a permanent dwelling in the Lord, then we have disconnected ourselves from the power to live in the Lord, and to be the living testimony God expects us to be. A branch of a tree can only live if it is connected to the tree, because everything the branch needs is provided by the tree. When we reach after the world’s provision as children of God, we have effectively severed the stream of God’s provision to us, making us unfruitful in God’s design for us. We can’t bear fruit for the Lord if we are not connected, or one, with Him. He is our source for everything we need.
The word ”believe” means ”to have faith, to commit one’s trust to, or to entrust”. The word ”sent” implies that someone is set apart and sent out for a divine and moral purpose. In John 14:11-12, Christ says, ”Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Christ left this world so that we could continue the work He began, so that we could walk in the power that God has ordained, so we could perform even greater works than Christ in the earth. Why aren’t we as a Church doing the same things Christ did in the earth? Simply put, we are not abiding in the Lord and we don’t believe in the mantle Christ left behind.
In John 3:16-17, the Bible says, ‘‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” God sent Christ to save the world from sin, and to bring us back into a state of oneness in Him. May we continue to strive after that oneness in the Lord.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 3, 2022 – Hebrews 1:14 – are they not all ministering spirits / GOD’S ANGELS
We have angels among us. There is a spiritual realm operating according to the Word of God, to perform His Word as spoken. There are angels around us protecting us from harm we don’t see coming, there are angels that dispatch the Word from God to position us where He wills for us, and there are also angels that ensure that we fulfill the Word of God. When God speaks, they go, and their only mission is to do what God told them to do. They possess the power to carry out the Word of God, yet they are humbly obedient do not think beyond the scope of God’s Word. We can all look back on our lives and see where it was a miracle that we made it through some taxing ordeal, or where we received a Word at the absolute perfect time, at a time where we were about to crumble. The angels are some of the unsung heroes in our faith, those that obey the Word of God as spoken, and go where they are sent. If only our lives as believers reflected that stance. Today, we will look at Hebrews 1:14, the angels that minister the Word of God.
”Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
The word ”ministering” means ”functional publicly, or beneficient”. The word ”spirits” means ”an angel, an immaterial, incorporeal being”. Putting this together, this is a member of the spiritual realm that makes things available to be seen in the earthly realm. In Matthew 18:10-11, Christ says, ”Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Let me paint a clear picture. The angels are constantly watching the Lord God, waiting for a Word from Him to act on our behalf. This means they are also always available to carry the Word of God out as spoken. So if God tells them, ”Go protect them”, they go and give protection.
In Psalm 34:6-7, the Bible says, ”This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” When we cry out to the Lord, the Lord hears us, and sends the help we need. When we reverence the Lord, He will send His angels to surround us and save us from whatever has come to do us harm. In Psalm 91:9-12, the Bible says, ”Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.’‘ When we abide in the Lord and the Lord abides in us, we won’t be destroyed when evil comes, but His angels will ensure that we don’t crash if we fall. His angels protect us from physical, spiritual and health dangers.
The word ”sent” implies one being set apart and sent out to perform God’s Word and will. The word ”minister” means ”attendance, service, the office of ministering divine things, or to give aid”. In Genesis 19:15, the Bible says, ”And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” The angels came to rescue Lot and His family from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This response was in answer to the intercession of Abraham on Lot’s behalf to God. Sometimes, the answer to our prayers concerning someone else come right away, and God sends His angels immediately to intervene.
In Daniel 10:11-12, the Bible says, ‘‘And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” We can guarantee that God always hears our prayers, and is ready to respond on our behalf, no matter how long it may seem to us.
The word ”heirs” means ”ones who possess, acquire, or obtain, spoken of friends of God as receiving admission to the kingdom of heaven and its attendant privileges.” The word ”salvation” means ”deliverance from sin and its spiritual consequences and admission into eternal life.” In Romans 8:17, the Bible says, ”And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” God sends His angels to His children the heirs of salvation, to ensure our safe passage into the kingdom of God. God wants us to be glorified with Him in heaven, so His angels are instrumental in ensuring that His will be done in our lives.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 4, 2022 – Colossians 4:2 – continue in prayer / PRAYER / GRATITUDE
Prayer and thanksgiving are two weapons that we as believers have in this earth to bring the enemy under our feet. If we are praying saints, then we have the ability to have God hear us and respond to our prayers. If we are thankful, then roots of jealousy, bitterness, envy, ungratefulness, and even depression can’t enter in. Prayer and thanksgiving are two actions where we bring the things in our lives back to the Lord, and entrust the victory and movement to Him. Where prayer and thanksgiving are, we deny the things of self, the things of the enemy, and we defy the agenda that is contrary to the Word of God. My life has become more fulfilling the more thankful I have become for the things God has given, AND for the things that God has withheld. My life has become more peaceful and purpose-driven because my prayer life is improving. These are things within our ability to bring our worship to God. Today, we will look at Colossians 4:2, the power of prayer and thanksgiving.
”Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”
The word ”continue” means ”to be earnest towards, to be strong or firm, to endure, to be constant diligently, or to devote oneself to”. The word ”prayer” is an oratory of petition to God as an act of worship. The attitude of prayer has to be one of courage, one of persistence, something we hold onto and never let go. In Luke 18:1, the Bible says, ”And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint”. We have to have an attitude about prayer where we pray to God and we don’t give up while we wait for the answer. God desires our prayer, and wants us to come to Him as His children. In Luke 18:7-8, Christ says, ”And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” In this parable, the widow pursued justice from a judge, and was so persistent that he gave her the justice she sought. Simply put, he was tired of her bringing her grievance to him. God will honor this same persistence in us, and will respond to our prayers. When the answer comes, would we have given up by then? In Hebrews 11:6, the Bible says, ”But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Our prayers must be of faith, assurance, belief, and confidence that God will hear us according to His will. Without faith, they are just words that make it harder for God to respond on our behalf.
in Romans 12:11-12, the Bible says, ”Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer”. There is an attitude that we must have when we conduct the Lord’s business, an attitude of eagerness, persistence, joy, patience in all situations, and a desire to always go before the Lord in prayer. When we show God that He matters, He will respond and show us that we matter even more to Him.
The word ”watch” means ”to be alert, vigilant, or attentive”. In Ephesians 6:18, the Bible says, ‘‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”. This means that we shouldn’t shortchange God in our prayer lives by giving Him some cheap prayers like God doesn’t mean everything to us. This verse says ”with all prayer and supplication”. This means we give it all to God, and then we then watch, which means we then look to God for the answer. This means that we are to pray with expectancy, having an attitude where we look for what we pray for. In Matthew 26:41, the Bible says, ‘‘Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We must pray to keep the enemy away. Wars are won by prayer and lost by the lack thereof.
The word ”thanksgiving” means ”gratitude, active grateful language to God as an act of worship”. In Philippians 4:6, the Bible says, ”Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Not only should our prayers be offered in thanksgiving, but as we are attentive to God’s answer, we are to be grateful to God. We are to worship God while we wait, not just look out of our windows for God to show up. We want God to find us in a position to receive what He has for us. In Colossians 2:7, the Bible says, ”Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.’‘ When we pray to our God and are thankful to Him as our act of worship, we grow roots that allow us to be built up in Him. May our prayers and thanksgiving be pleasing to God in all seasons of our lives.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 5, 2022 – Romans 5:10 – we shall be saved by his life /SALVATION
We must never forget where we have been brought from. Too many believers receive salvation and then act like they have never been a sinner before in their lives. They become so high-minded that they then turn up their noses to those who are unsaved and to those who still struggle, making their witness of no effect. We were all enemies to the cross, and we were all headed for spiritual death until Christ took our sins upon the cross, shedding His blood so that our sins would be remitted. All we have to do is confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus, believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, and receive Him into our lives as Lord and Savior. He did so much for us, yet asked so little in return, so this is no reason for us to ever vaunt ourselves above others. God made this provision available while we still wrestled with sin. Today, we will look at Romans 5:10, a reconciliation worth living and dying for.
”For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
The word ”enemies” means ”an adversary, hateful, odious, or hostile towards God”. In 1 Peter 5:8, the Bible says, ‘‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. When we were unsaved, we were adversaries of the Lord, but now that we are saved, the enemy is our adversary and we are now children of God. An enemy or adversary is someone who tries to oppose the will of God.
Remember in Mark 8, when Christ was telling the disciples that He was going to be killed? Peter grabbed Christ and rebuked Him! In Mark 8:33, the Bible says, ”But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” When we were of the world, Satan was our God and the Lord was our adversary, but now that we are saved, the Lord is our God and Satan is our adversary. We must know the difference.
The world ”reconciled” means ”to mutually change toward”. This suggests that when we repented of our sins, we turned back to the Lord and He then turned His face back to us. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, the Bible says, ‘‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” There is only one way that we can be reconciled to God and that way is Jesus Christ. We can try to be as good as possible, we can give everything we have to the poor, or we try our hardest to stay away from sin, but in John 14:6, the Bible says, ‘‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Christ told us the way while he still walked the earth. Christ came and died so that by his death, He could bring all those who believe into the presence of God so we can experience oneness in Him.
The word ”death” refers to the violent death on the cross that Jesus Christ suffered so that we can be saved. In Isaiah 52:14, the Bible says, ”As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men”. Christ was whipped merciless with whips that were said to rip skin open after each strike, beaten beyond recognition before He was nailed to a cross by His hands and feet, and forced to bear unspeakable pain as he fought to keep Himself from asphyxiation. God allowed that to happen to His only Son so that we could become children of God, by faith, in His death. Our sin killed our Lord, but His death saved our lives. Knowing this, do we have any right to turn up our noses to anyone who is in sin or struggling to break free?
The word ”saved” means ”delivered or rescued or made whole from the consequences of sin and death”. The word ”life” speaks of the life or existence in Christ after His death on the cross. In 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, the Bible says, ”Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” Christ lives so that by His resurrection we can have life as well. He died so that the Holy Spirit can dwell richly in us. In John 14:18-19, Christ says, ‘‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” Christ didn’t just save us. His resurrection gave us new life in Him, to be a voice guiding others into the love of the Lord. May we see our reconciliation to God as a gift to be shared!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 6, 2022 – John 12:35 – he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth / THE LIGHT
Society as a whole believes that we have all the time in the world. They teach people to ”live it up”, to splurge and enjoy the pleasures of life, but a lot of this counters the will of God. As believers, we understand that our lives are a vapor, and the next moment isn’t promised. I have heard brothers in my prison environment tell me that they are going to wait until they are ”ready” before they come to the Lord, or wait until they get out so that it would be ”real” that way. They have no real clue that today, our lives can be over and we will have to stand before God and explain to Him that despite all of the evidence He has shown us, we have still chosen to put God on the sidelines. I know brothers in my prison environment who were in top shape pass away unexpectedly, some were unbelievers. Now is the time for salvation because it might be too late tomorrow. Today, we will look at John 12:35, walking in the light of the Lord while there is still time.
”Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.”
The phrase ”a little while” refers to a duration of time. This means that this occurrence operates within the framework of God, and has a beginning and ending. The word ”light” refers to the moral and spiritual light and knowledge which enlightens the mind, soul and conscience, used especially to speak on the Lord Jesus Christ, the great teacher and Savior of the world who brought life and immortality to light in His Gospel.
In John 1:4-5, the Bible says, ”In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The life that was in Christ as He walked the earth was light for us, to see where we need to go, to believe what we need to believe, and to walk according to the Word of God. In John 1:9, the Bible says, ‘‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” We all have access to the Lord Jesus Christ, whether we acknowledge it or not. Christ came and died so that we all had access to salvation by faith in His name, but we have to make the choice to walk in His light. In John 8:12, the Bible says, ”Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Christ is the light and lights the path for us to serve Him with our entire hearts. God provided for us so richly to live according to His Word, and makes it easier for us to see the way.
In John 9:4-5, Christ says, ”I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Why is it that Christ has a sense of urgency to do the work of the Lord, understanding that there was only a certain amount of time for Him to work? How is it that we can be so arrogant to think that the light will remain long enough for us to develop the desire to live according to the light?
The word ”walk” means ”to tread all around or to live”. In John 12:46, Christ says, ”I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ turns on the light in our lives, giving us the ability to walk according to the purpose of God. God gives us the choice to choose light or darkness, life or death, salvation or damnation. We have to make the right choice, and understand that when it is all said and done, today is the only day we have.
The word ”darkness” speaks of moral darkness from a sin-filled life. There are no grey areas in this. Either we walk in the light or we walk in darkness. In Jeremiah 13:16, the Bible says, ‘‘Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’‘ Now is the time to give glory to God, to seek His face, to come out of the darkness and into His marvellous light, because when the darkness becomes permanent, the light won’t ever come on again.
The phrase ”come upon” means ”to seize, take or possess suddenly”. When it end comes, there won’t be a chance to repent. The phrase ”walketh in darkness” means ”to live in sin, absent of Christ”. In John 11:10, The Bible says, But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
We will fail if we continue to walk without the Lord. We will suffer peril and destruction if we continue to walk in darkness, because we have no clue where we are going. John 14:6 says, ‘‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Christ is the only way to God and the only way out of darkness. Choose Him today!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 7, 2022 – 1 Peter 2:23 – he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously / SURRENDER
The world loves to heap dirt upon people, especially believers. What do we do when someone speaks evil of us, when we are falsely accused of things we haven’t done, or when we are attacked maliciously for the good we do, what is our response? To know how to respond when attacked, we must look at the example of Christ, who in the face of some pretty horrible accusations, did not push back, did not fight back, and did not hate those who spoke evil of us. He loved His accusers, and asked God to forgive them and went as far as to give God the contents of His accusers’ mind, so God wouldn’t hold a grudge against them for what they were doing to Him. I sometimes tell brothers in my prison environment when I mediate situations that I have to think for both of us. That’s what Christ did and still does, and I praise God for His love because that paved the way for my salvation. Today, we will look at 1 Peter 2:23, not repaying evil for evil, but entrusting it all to God.
”Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”
The word ”reviled” means ”to be reproached or vilified”. It is to pile up abusive or vile language against someone. In Matthew 27:39-40, the Bible says, ”And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” While Christ was hanging on the cross, suffering, in pain we would never experience, people walked by considering Him evil, questioning His word, questioning His authority, and daring Him to use His power. The same people who walked past Christ making sport of His circumstances, kicking Him down while He was down, are the same people who Christ made the way for salvation. Their hatred could not overpower His love.
In Isaiah 53:7, the Bible says, ”He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Christ could’ve spoken out, He could’ve defended Himself, and He would’ve triumphed over every accusation because He is truth, but He didn’t speak out.
The word ”suffered” means ”to experience pain”. The word ”threatened not” also means ”to not forbid”. Christ allowed them to do everything they did and could’ve stopped them at any time.
In Matthew 26:52-54, the Bible says, ”Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thickest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” Christ could have done away with the revilers, with His accusers, and He could’ve stopped His crucifixion from happening at any time without lifting a finger. All He needed was a word, but He kept His mouth closed, because His only focus was fulfilling the Word of God, and completing His salvation mission on earth.
In Romans 12:19-21, the Bible says, ”Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” We must allow God to avenge what needs avenging, but our job is to love in the face of hatred, to help those who have tried to hurt us, and to be the example of faith that the Lord commands us to be.
Christ showed us that it can be done, so now we must do it.
The word ”committed” means ”to surrender, yield up, or to entrust”. The word ”judgeth” means ”to discriminate between good and evil”. The word ”righteously” means ”equitably or justly”. In Luke 23:34-35, the Bible says, ‘‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.’‘ People were so busy discounting who Christ was, and were so wrapped up in trying to see if Christ would save Himself that they couldn’t see that Christ was only focused on saving them!
Christ was interceding on their behalf before they would even realize that they needed it. In Luke 23:46, the Bible says, ”And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” When His work was done, He gave up the ghost, committing His spirit to God. This is how Christ handled accusation. What will be our example?
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 8, 2022 – 1 Peter 2:24 – his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree / RIGHTEOUSNESS
Jesus Christ paid the cost for our sin when he hung on the cross, His shed blood remitted our sins forever. He is the perfect atoning sacrifice for sin, and the finished work of Christ ensures all who believe on His name the right to eternal life in heaven. The work of Christ does more than just save us from our sin. His finished work gives us the power to live Godly lives in Him, to experience abundant life through Jesus Christ, and to operate in kingdom authority while on earth. When Christ nailed our sins with Him on the cross, He also overcame the enemy and we have the same power to overcome the enemy as well. We are children of the Most-High God because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and we have been made whole by the sacrifice He made for us. Today, we will look at 1 Peter 2:24, dead to sin but alive in Christ.
”Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
The word ”bare” means ”to carry, take up, or offer up”. The word ”sins” means ”offences against God, especially our sin nature”. In Matthew 8:16-17, the Bible says, ”When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Christ was a deliverer before He got to the cross, He gave us a physical representation of what He would ultimately do in the spirit when He died on the cross for our sin. He took our sins and bore our iniquity when He hung on the cross. He experienced physical torture to give us a heavenly gift, one that would give us the life He gave up on the cross.
In Hebrews 9:28, the Bible says, ‘‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” While under the law, there was a yearly sacrifice for sin, and each person expected to have to sacrifice every year for the rest of their lives. However the animal sacrifices were not enough to satisfy the sin debt mankind incurred.
Those who believe and receive the free gift of salvation have made Christ their Lord and Savior, and will have the privilege of being received by Him when He comes back for His Church. In John 14:2-3, Christ says, ”In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Christ’s death on the cross was by design for Him to then go and ready our new home, so that when the end comes, He will come back to reclaim His Church. While He is preparing a place for us, we have the power to bring the kingdom of God down to earth.
The word ”tree” signifies the cross that Jesus Christ was hung on, where He died for the sins of the world. In Colossians 1:20, the Bible says, ”And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Christ died to bring us into a right relationship with God, where we will be children of God and heirs to the promises of God.
In Hebrews 12:2-3, the Bible says, ”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. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Christ took upon Himself the physical nature of man, an unfamiliar experience, and in the process of taking our sins upon Himself on the cross, He experienced something He never had before: the absence of God.
The phrase ”dead to sins” means ”to renounce, or to die to the sinful nature of our former person.” The phrase ”live unto righteousness” means ”to walk in Godliness, holiness, or piety”. In Romans 6:10-11, the Bible says, ”For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We must acknowledge that we died to our sin, and we must live lives that show that we have renounced the former things in our sinful lives. At the same time, we must walk according to the Word of God, showing in our lives that we are reborn in Christ. Only our lives will reveal what nature we are under.
The word ”healed” means ”made whole or cured”. Christ suffered for our healing, was hung on the cross so we would be cured of our sinful nature. We have the privilege of being alive in Christ. We can only receive healing and renewal by receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, and so passing from death to life.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 9, 2022 – Jonah 2:2 – I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me / HUMILITY
Sometimes, our poor decisions can put us in so very tight places. Other times, our direct disobedience to God can put us in predicaments that we can’t get out of on our own. I have been through a couple of these moments through the course of my life, and I currently am housed in prison, where it is going to require a move of the Lord for me to regain my freedom again. Jonah was disobedient to the Lord’s command to go and preach to Nineveh as directed by the Lord, but to him, there was good reason. He held a personal distaste for the people in Ninevah with their pagan ways, and didn’t want to be the person that gave them the Word from the Lord to repent. Instead of heeding the Word of God given directly to him, he fled in the opposite direction. We have to be the ones that find great success in obedience. Today, we will look at Jonah 2:2, Jonah’s cry for help and repentance.
”And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”
The word ”cried” means ”to address by name, to call out to; to summon”. The word ”affliction” means ”tightness, anguish, adversity, distress, or trouble”. One has to guess that if Jonah is stuck in the belly of a great fish, he is not silently asking the Lord for help. Sure, Jonah did wrong by disobeying the Lord, and some would feel that he deserved all parts of his punishment, but it did not stop Jonah from crying out to the Lord for help!
In Mark 10:46-47 the Bible says, ”And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” As children of God, it is totally natural for us to cry out to our Father when we have need. Knowing He is near, we must call upon Him for the help we need. Even when we mess up big time, we must still call upon Him.
In Mark 10:48, the Bible says, ‘‘And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” Sometimes, when we cry out to the Lord, people will try to silence us as if they really understand what we are going through, like us crying out to God isn’t necessary. What if the person who is trying to silence us is our own thoughts and feelings? I remember feeling unqualified to ask God for anything because I had taken life, and what would give me the right to ask God for anything? Blind Bartimaeus cried out all the more, and so must we. If Christ wasn’t going to hear him, it wasn’t going to be because of a lack of effort!
The word ”heard” means ”to eye, pay attention, or answer”. In Mark 10:49, the Bible says, ”And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.” When we call out to the Lord and won’t be deterred, won’t be denied, and won’t give up, the Lord will call us to Himself. In Psalm 120:1, the Bible says, ‘‘In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.” God is listening, but sometimes, it is in our cry where God knows it is time to respond. Parents, or anyone who has raised children, know that there is a certain cry a child gives that will make them drop everything and respond. Are we crying out to the Lord like that?
The phrase ”belly of hell” means, ”the innermost part of the grey, pit, or world of the dead”. In a belly of a great fish, there is almost a certainty of death that awaits what’s inside. In Lamentations 3:55-56, the Bible says, ”I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.” God hears us when we cry out to Him, especially when our cries are the cries of repentance. What type of parent would see their children crying out to them and then stand there and do nothing?
In Psalm 18:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” I know how it feels to cry out to the Lord from the depths of my agony, even agony I brought onto myself, and God heard me. God knows when our hearts are sincere, and He will answer. In Mark 10:51-52, the Bible says, ”And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Christ responded to Bartimaeus, and gave him his sight. God responded to Jonah and caused the fish to spit him onto shore. What type of freedom will God give us who call upon Him with a sincere heart?
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 10, 2022 – Hebrews 13:1 – Let brotherly love continue /LOVE
Out of everything a believer can do on earth, love is the most important thing we can do. Love comes from God and it is our way of manifesting the presence of God on this earth. When people experience our love, they experience God, because God IS love. Christ taught us that all of the laws of the prophets hang on us loving God and loving people, and if love was our mission on earth, there would be no reason to consider evil or darkness at all. God gives us such a powerful way to live our lives, and that powerful way is love. Sometimes, the people we love can make it so hard for us to love them, but love isn’t just displayed when people make it easy, but when it is truly manifested people can be incredibly difficult. I have been one of those unlovable people who have been blessed to experience the love of God and people, and I know from experience how life changing that is. We must walk in love as believers so people can see with their own eyes how real the Word is. Today, we will look at Hebrews 13:1, a continuous supply of love given from us.
”Let brotherly love continue.”
The phrase ”brotherly love” means ”fraternal affection, the love of Christians one to another out of a common spiritual life”. In John 3:16-17, the Bible says, ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” God loved us when we were enemies to the cross, when we walked according to our own way. God loved the unlovable, and His love was made known when He gave us Christ as the atoning sacrifice from sin. Love is going to always precede a love action. We know love because of what love does. Too many people walking this earth still think that love is an emotion like fear, and in that understanding, they are more inclined to move according to how they feel instead of what they know. God sent Christ to be that atoning sacrifice, but He also sent Christ to bring salvation and not condemnation. Love doesn’t produce condemnation, but release from bondage.
In Romans 12:9-10, the Bible says, ‘‘Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. As children of God, we receive the deepest love imaginable from God as He gave Christ for us, so we can experience His love, but also His power. We must love completely and fully, and by loving our God, we will have a strong distaste for the sinful life we once lived, and we will develop a strong taste for the Word and the will of God. When we love someone, we place them above ourselves, and we tend to them as if we are doing it for ourselves.
In Joshua 22:5, the Bible says, ”But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Our loving God will make us desirous to follow the Word of God, and will make us available to be used, so God can do with us as He wills. We cleave to those we love, and the cleaving is the process where we become one flesh with those we love. Loving God makes us want to serve Him, and loving people makes us want to serve people. This type of behavior pleases God.
In Mark 12:30-31, Christ says, ”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Christ showed us that there was no greater commandments on this earth than to love God with everything we are, and love our neighbor as ourselves. In this commandment, we will fulfill God’s intent for mankind when He created us, to be instruments of His love and His good purpose. In 1 Peter 1:22, the Bible says, ”Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”. Love purifies our souls, and love is in direct obedience to God. God just doesn’t want us to love people. He wants us to pour a continuous love feast upon them!
1 John 4:7 says, ”Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Our knowledge of who God is is clearly tied to our love, and our new birth as believers is tied to our love. May we love richly from the depths of our being, according to God’s Word and good pleasure. If love is the greatest gift we can give, then why are we being stingy with it?
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 11, 2022 – Hebrews 13:2 – be not forgetful to entertain strangers / GOD’S ANGELS
Believers are expected to be givers, to practice hospitality towards those in need. We never know who we might bless with our generosity that may have a direct line to the provision God has in store for us. We shouldn’t give from the position of looking to gain something from it, but we should give freely from the love that we have in our hearts towards others. Christ saw the need of the people He served in ministry, and met those needs from a mindset of compassion. We must do the same. There were people I looked out for that were able to open doors for me, springing me into new areas of faith and understanding of who God is. Hospitality should be natural, not something scripted or done for show, but something that is done from the wellspring of love that is in our hearts towards people. It shouldn’t matter if it is an angel or a regular person, our hospitality should be the same. Today, we will look at Hebrews 13:2, exercising Godly hospitality towards all people.
”Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
The word ”forgetful” means ”to neglect, lose out of mind, or lose sight of”. The phrase ”entertain strangers” means ”to be hospitable towards people”. In Matthew 25:34-36, Christ says, ”Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Hospitality has a heavenly reward, and God has provided kingdom provision for those who look after Christ, according to this Scripture. How can we look after Christ, and provide anything for Him? Christ answers this question in Matthew 25:40, which says, ”And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” So, what we do for others is the same as us doing it for Christ, so we must look at people the same way we would look at Christ. We can’t rank people and fix in our minds who we will help and who we’d allow to go without. That doesn’t please the Lord.
In Romans 12:13-14 the Bible says, ”Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.’‘ Yep, we are to not only care about the needs of the saints, but we are also to care about the needs of the people who curse us as well. God expects us to bless those that curse us, right? This is further evidence that we can’t pick and choose who receives our hospitality. In 1 Peter 4:8-10, the Bible says, ‘‘And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Hospitality must come from a heart of love and covering, understanding that God has blessed us to be a blessing to others. God gives us more than enough for a reason, and it is so we can extend some of what we have been blessed with to supply the lack of others.
In Acts 4:32-33, the Bible says, ”And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” When we have a heart of unity, we will always look after the needs of others. An attitude like this allows the flow of the Holy Spirit to be unobstructed.
The word ”angels” means ”messengers of God”. The word ”unawares” means ”unwittingly”. This suggests that we will never know who we are serving, so treat everyone like we are serving the Lord directly. In Genesis 18:2-4, the Bible says, ”And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.” Abraham didn’t have to be asked, nor did the three men who appeared have to express a need. Abraham sprang into action and began serving them, asking them what they needed. He didn’t care if it was a pauper or a prince. He just had a heart for service. His hospitality led to him receiving something from the Lord he desired deeply; a son. Imagine the things God could birth in us if we had a heart that is willing to serve others….
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 12, 2022 – Hebrews 13:6 – The Lord is my helper / FEAR OF MAN
We live in very perilous times. Violence is constantly projected in the news, war is a constant threat to our safety and the safety of others, and campaign commercials incite more fear than produce results. There are places where Christians risk their lives daily for the faith, where it is forbidden to possess or read a Bible. There is an enemy who is so persistent in his attacks on the believers, that his aim is to completely derail us from making it to our divine purpose. We live in a world where a Facebook post can completely break someone down, where an Instagram post could lead to someone’s destruction. With so much carnage, destruction, and division in the world that it can imprison us if we let it. We can either look at what is happening in the world or what is happening in the Word, and if we are looking at what is happening in the Word, we will see that we have deliverance in the Lord from all things that come against us. Today, we will look at Hebrews 13:6, deliverance in the midst of peril.
”So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
The word ”boldly” means ”to exercise courage or confidence”. In 1 John 4:17, the Bible says, ”Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” Boldness has nothing to do with arrogance. Boldness is assurance in who we are and whose we are. In judgement we will exercise confidence, not in what we are able to do against judgement, but because Jesus Christ paid the cost to ensure that His finished work would allow us to stand up to anything that comes our way. In Hebrews 4:15-16, the Bible says, ‘‘For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Once again, our boldness isn’t because of anything we have done, but because of the victory Christ won over the world, and over death. Because of what Jesus Christ has done, we can come to the Lord in courage, confidence, and assurance to receive the help at the time we need it.
In Hebrews 10:19-20, the Bible says, ”Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”. The old way of trying to handle adversity by ourselves is gone when Christ became our Lord and Savior. We can come into the most holy place with confidence that we have every right to be there, and that He has set us apart as believers for a divine purpose. Because of who we are in Christ, we should have confidence in where we stand.
The word ”say” means ”to utter, or declare”. What we say as believers out of sour mouths carries so much weight. In Proverbs 18:20-21, the Bible says, ”A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” What we say as believers can activate reality, so we have to make sure that our speech reflects faith and not fear.
In Psalm 91:2, the Bible says, ”I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Is the Lord our refuge? Is this what we declare when the enemy comes in opposition to us? In Mark 11:23, Christ says, ”For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.’‘ It is all about our faith and what we say out of mouths.
The word ”helper” means ”rescuer”. The word ”fear” means ”to be afraid of frightened”. In Psalm 27:1-2, the Bible says, ”The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.” There is no reason to fear when we are in Christ, our enemies will stumble and fall when they try to attack us.
In Psalm 34:6-7 the Bible says, ”This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” We are protected, so there is no reason to fear what anyone can do to us.
In 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Bible says, ”Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” We have victory in Christ because we are the children of God. Let us take our rightful place in faith and victory instead of fear.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 13, 2022 – James 1:22 – but be ye doers of the word / LISTENING, HEARING, ACTING
It is important for every believer to hear the Word of God. Hearing the Word of God positions us to understand who God is and understand His plan for mankind. Hearing the Word of God also allows us to understand who we are in Christ Jesus, and what authority and power comes to us from being children of God. Hearing the Word of God also gives us the knowledge that God has given us the power to overcome the enemy, and we no longer have to accept the lies the enemy has told us. Believers must know that we have to go far beyond just hearing the Word of God, that we have to apply the Word of God in our lives. When we become doers of the Word, we will then have the opportunity to see the Word in action, and the power of God can be manifested in us. Being a hearer of the Word of God is similar to wiring your house electrically, but being a doer of the Word of God is when we flip the main breaker, allowing us to activate everything in the house. Today, we will look at James 1:22, being doers of the Word of God.
”But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
The word ”doers” means ”performers”. The word ”word” here is referring to the Word of God, written, spoken or implanted by the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 7:21, Christ says, ”Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Sitting in Church merely listening to the Word of God is not profitable for the kingdom of God. Sure, the hearer can learn more about the Word of God, but if they never perform the Word of God, they will never see how real and alive the Word of God really is. In Luke 6:46, Christ says, ‘‘And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” God doesn’t want to have a superficial relationship with His children, where we acknowledge His title, but never make Him Lord.
The word ”Lord” means ”supreme in authority, or controller”. In Psalm 37:23, the Bible says, ‘‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” When Jesus Christ is Lord, we will allow Him to order our steps, direct our actions, and we will walk according to the Word of God. In 2 Corinthians 8:11, the Bible says, ”Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.” God gives us the ability to do His Word, and He also plants inside us a readiness to do the will of God. If God has provided us every means to do His Will and we don’t do it, then we would be operating in disobedience correct?
In Luke 6:47-48, Christ says, ”Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” The person who does the will of God by performing the Word of God will have a sure foundation that will survive any storm that comes their way. God protects and provides for those who are doers of the Word of God.
The word ”hearers” means ”listeners”. This is similar to us telling our children to clean their rooms, and they respond by saying, ”Okay”, but never touch the room. What good is that? In Luke 6:49, Christ says, ‘‘But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” The person who hears the Word of God but never does what it says, is the person who is going to suffer great destruction. This won’t only just affect the person who hears only, that person’s disobedience can also negatively affect their family, their children, their friendships, and even their jobs. Everything can be subjected to ruin by our disobedience. Think not?
In 1 Samuel 15:22-23, the Bible says, ”And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” Saul was rejected from being king because he heard the Word but wasn’t a doer of the Word.
The word ”deceived” means ”beguiled”. In Galatians 6:7, the Bible says, ”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” We deceive ourselves when we think we can just listen to sermon after sermon, read books by pastors, and then do none of it. God doesn’t honor His word not being followed.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 14, 2022 – Luke 1:37 – with God nothing shall be impossible / EVERYTHING POSSIBLE
It is not easy to believe in something you can’t see. It is not easy to trust in an invisible God to provide for a visible problem. Many of us have been sorely disappointed by people; by family, friends, our significant other, which makes it even harder to place our full trust in God. It is hard to see possibility in everything when life has broken you into pieces and you have no clue how you are going to make it through the day. It is difficult to believe in God to accomplish His purpose in us when we can’t even find the thing He is calling us to do. Oh yeah, God never once said that faith in God would be easy, but without faith, we will never please God. So in order to have faith in the ”impossible” we must understand that in Christ, all things are possible, and faith is relying on God despite everything we see or don’t see. It is trust in the God who has authored our lives that will bring about the miracles, signs, and wonders that we hope for. Today, we will look at Luke 1:37, God the God of the impossible.
”For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
The definitions to all of these words are self-explanatory, but the word ”impossible” means ”unable to be performed”. The champions of faith, believed in God when it made no sense whatsoever, and they trusted their stability, their lives, and their direction in the Lord. In the text of Luke, two amazing things happen. First, the angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias and Elisabeth, and in Luke 1:13, the Bible says, ”But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” The angel came as an answer to their prayer, which was prayed a long time before.
This can be evidenced from Luke 1:18, the Bible says, ”And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” Zacharias and Elisabeth probably gave up on having a child long before the angel showed up, and stopped believing that God would bless them with a child. What happens when our pastors stop believing in what they pray for? Zacharias was a priest but didn’t believe, even with the appearance of an angel with a word from the Lord.
This is evidenced by Luke 1:20, which says, ”And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” Could it be that our unbelief prevents us from seeing the possibilities in the ”impossible”? In Matthew 13:58, the Bible says, ”And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Christ wanted to heap and work kingdom wonders, but the people’s unbelief stopped the flow of miraculous power from reaching them. The problem isn’t God. The problem is us!
We have two cases in Luke 1. One case is Zacharias and Elisabeth, who were well past the age of conception, but received the miracle from the Lord despite the unbelief of Zacharias. Makes us wonder if Elisabeth was the one who held out hope, even though the Scriptures doesn’t give an account of her response to the prophetic word of God. The other case is Mary, who was a virgin who knew not a man. God took two people who were ”too old” to have kids, and allowed them to conceive, and then took a virgin, and would cause her to conceive without a man!
In Luke 1:34-35, the Bible says, ”Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’‘ Mary believed in the word that came from the angel of the Lord, and asked how God’s will was going to be done under this type of circumstance, most likely because it was something that defied everything she was taught. Her response to the Word of the Lord concerning God being the God of the impossible, was faith.
Luke 1:38 says, ”And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Look at what she said. ”Be it unto me according to THY word”.
See, our problem as believers is we are trying to rely on science, medical reports, bank statements, or relationship reports to gauge what God can do compared to them.
We look at the problem first, then look at God, but if we look at God first, we wouldn’t see a problem, but an opportunity.
That was the difference between Zacharias and Mary. Zacharias saw the impossibility first, but Mary saw God first.
In Matthew 19:25-26, Christ says, ”When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Even though this passage is talking about salvation, it still pertains to faith, because as long as we look to man for our provision, for our healing, for our miracles, then we will constantly see impossibility.
In Mark 9:23, the Bible says, ”Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” All things. Not a few or some things, but ALL things. Believers aren’t seeing the miracles from the days of Christ and from the church in Acts in their lives because they have stopped believing and have chosen to see impossibility instead the God of the impossible. It is all about perspective, so what do we see, God or our mountains? With God and with God alone, all things are possible.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 15, 2022 – James 4:17 – him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin / GOOD WORKS
I remember hearing Maya Angelou quote ”When you know better, you’ll do better”. It is pretty easy to comprehend but we still must apply it to our lives. How many times as believers have we known the right way to take, the right thing to say, or the right thing to do, and still go in the opposite direction? How many times have we blatantly disobeyed the Word of God, thinking it was the absolutely best thing for us? The Word of God is going forth in the land at unprecedented rates, and more and more people are becoming void of excuse when it comes to the knowledge of God. We are all receiving the Word at some point in the day, but God doesn’t want hearers, but those who hear the Word and live it out. How can we say that we want to walk in power, but we won’t follow the Word of God, which will give us that power? Today, we will look at James 4:17, the sin of omission rendering a believer powerless.
”Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
The word ”therefore” is a word used by a writer who is summing up a point they have made. This directs us to read the whole Chapter 4, to understand the context. The Word of God is so deeply inter-connected, that context is vital to understand. In Chapter 4, James is preaching about not loving the world as believers, not speaking harshly against other believers, and not assuming that tomorrow ‘is promised’ because we say it. James not only gives us what not to do, but also what do in these situations, and now he is challenging us to make the right choice. The word ”knoweth” means ”to perceive or apprehend”, but the definition goes much deeper than that.
The word ”know” is a relational term that expresses a union between two separate things. In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says, ”And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” When we know the Word of God, we become one with the Word of God and something is conceived in the process. There is always something conceived by this oneness, and in John 8:31-32, the Bible says, ”Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
There is an order to things as believers. We receive the Word of God, we then obey the Word of God and live according to it, and then comes the oneness which conceives truth. We can never be one with anything we refuse to follow, and we can never access the power of God if we are not one with the Word of God.
In John 15:4-5, the Bible says, ”Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” When we know the Word of God there is a oneness we have with the Lord, and that allows us to bear fruit for the kingdom of God.
The word ”do” means ”to exercise, perform, of accomplish”. The word ”good” implies a moral sense of virtue, but this always goes deeper than this. The word ”good” also implies God’s spoken or written Word being fulfilled the way He intended it to be. In Genesis 1:3-4, ‘‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” God spoke, calling for light. The light appeared as He spake it and He declared it good, because it fulfilled His Word. When we ”do good” it goes deeper than just doing good deeds, but it goes into what God requires of us, as believers. When we are one with the Word of God, but we don’t obey the Word, there is no good in it.
The word ”sin” means ”offenses against God”. In 2 Peter 2:20-21, the Bible says, ”For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” We have escaped the sentence of spiritual death, and have been given the beautiful gift of salvation, and from it, we have a new way to live our lives. We have a new life as new creations in Christ, and the opportunity to live with a clean slate. To disobey the Word of the Lord is to turn our backs on that to serve disobedience.
In John 15:22, Christ says, ”If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” We are without excuse as believers, and the people in the world are becoming without excuse also. God has been making Himself known in the earth, but who will obey?
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 16, 2022 – Ephesians 6:4 – ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath / CHILDREN
As believers, parents have a God obligation to bring up their children in the Lord. We live in a world where Sesame Street, Sponge Bob Squarepants, and Dora the Explorer are raising our children, living also in a world where our children are more likely to be taught outside of the home things that are ordained for parents to teach. Because their is failure for parents to take their rightful places in the home as believers, we are okay with our children not going to Church, we are content with them not reading the Word, so we must be okay with them not fulfilling their God given purpose. For those who are hands-on with their children, it is important to not break a child’s spirit with our fears and cynicism, our with anger. Instead of pushing our children to be frustrated, closed-minded, and negative, we much encourage our children to seize the things of God for themselves. Today we will look at Ephesians 6:4, raising our children to follow the Word of the Lord.
”And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
The word ”father” means ”a male parent”, but also extend to parents in general. The phrase ”provoke unto wrath” means ”to push to enrage or anger”. In Colossians 3:21, the Bible says, ‘‘Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Parents must not put their children in a position that breaks their spirit, that destroys their individuality, or frustrate them from going after their purpose in God. I have always been a writer, and as a child whose home life was broken by the time I was 4 years old, my method to deal with my parents’ split, and our being completely removed from my Momma’s house was to write about it. My Auntie who took us in, read my journal behind my back and punished me for writing about my unhappiness with living with her and my uncle. Instead of helping me process what was happening to us, my spirit was broken for not having a voice. We have to be careful what we teach our children, because it can change their whole way of life. In Matthew 18:6, Christ says, ‘‘But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” God is watching how we parent, and the last thing we want is to cause our children to stray away for the Word of God, or completely tear them down from maximizing their God given potential.
The word ”nuture” means ”tutorage, education, training, instruction and correction”. The word ”admonition” means ”to call attention to, to mildly rebuke, warning”. The word ”Lord” means ”supreme in authority, or controller”. In Proverb 22:6, the Bible says, ‘‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
While inside, I learned how to train people physically with weights and cardio, and at one point, I was running high-intensity cardio classes of 30. In order to train effectively, communication is extremely important. I had to explain what we were doing, showing them how to do it, and to learn how to steer them past their belief in themselves without breaking their spirit. I had to encourage whose lagged behind, and I had to find a way to make it hard but fun. I also had to monitor their form, and correct them if they performed a workout incorrectly, because injury can result.
Similarly in families, to train up children in the way they should go, we must learn the Word, learn how to apply the Word, and we must show them how to live the Word out, being willing to correct them with gentleness and understanding. This means we can’t be parents who send our kids to Church when we don’t go ourselves. In Psalm 78:3-4, the Bible says, ‘‘Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.’‘ We can learn from our fathers/parents, and we can teach our children, but not effectively without God’s involvement.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, the Bible says, ”And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’‘ We have to make sure the Word of God is planted in our hearts, so when we learn how to walk according to the Word of God, we can be good parents to our children. We can then guide our children into holiness, not to a broken spirit.
In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, the Bible says, ‘‘Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” We can only train our children with what we ourselves have received. May the lessons we learn in the Word be the teaching points for our children. They need us!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 17, 2022 – 1 Peter 3:8 – love as brethren / LOVE
In a well known hymn, one of the lines says, ”Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love”. In a world where people are trying to be identified by their career, their notoriety, by their sexuality, or by their monetary possession, believers have the easy task of being known by their love. Loving someone else doesn’t depend upon them, even though some people can making loving them incredibly difficult upon first glance. When we love as believers, we develop the mind of Christ towards our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and that will allow it to be even easier for us to exercise full and unconditional love towards them. Love doesn’t fail because it doesn’t stop, and it also seeks out the good in others. When we love, we put them first. As believers, we have the Spirit of God in us, and because God is love, that is our limitless supply! Why would anyone possess something so powerful and not use it? Today, we will look at 1 Peter 3:8, the life-changing power of love.
”Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous”.
The phrase ”be ye all of one mind” implies us being unified in the faith. People can be unified for ungodly reasons, and for a long time, I was unified in gang activity. There was nothing Godly about that! So we must be careful to make sure that we are connected to the things of God, to kingdom principles, to love. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, the Bible says, ”Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Our connections are extremely important, because people who are connected will feed each other and feed off of each other. Remember the famous saying, ”Birds of a feather flock together”? We will typically become who we connect ourselves to.
In John 15:4-5, Christ said, ”Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Abiding in the Lord should make us desire to fellowship with other believers, understanding that we are all one. Together, we can do incredible things, but apart, we are nothing. Our strength is in our unity, unity with the Lord and unity with each other. The Church in Acts moved powerfully in the world because they were all of one accord, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spread the Gospel message throughout all the world. We can have that same Church today!
The phrase ”having compassion one of another” means ”to have a fellow-feeling, to be sympathetic, or to be mutually commiserative.” In Romans 15:5-6, the Bible says, ”Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’‘ God gives us what we need to come together as one, but we must all look to Christ as the example to be followed. Our unity in the faith brings glory to God because the world should see us and see Christ. In Philippians 3:15-16, the Bible says, ”Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.’‘ We have the example of Christ, and if we walk in Him, then we will have the same mind for the Church as well.
The phrase ”love as brethren” expresses the fondness and affection that believers in Christ have for each other. We are absolutely supposed to love people in the world, but the world should really see our love for each other. The word ”pitiful” means ”tender hearted”. The word ”courteous” means ”to he friendly in mind or kind”. In 1 Peter 2:17, the Bible says, ”Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” These are all actions, so the only way we can be like minded in the faith and love our brethren is if we show it. Words have power, but actions show how powerful our words really are.
In Romans 12:10, the Bible says, ”Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. When we put others first, we show them that they matter, that we are family in more than just title, but are divinely connected in Word, deed and love.
In Colossians 3:12-13, the Bible says, ”Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering”. It would be a lot easier if we were to give others what we have received from the Lord. He desires oneness, so we should desire it too!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 18, 2022 – 1 Peter 5:7 – casting all your care upon him / SURRENDER
In life, we are going to have great moments, and we are also going to have trouble. It is important for us to know where to go for anything that comes our way. The world has ‘it’s’ own system in place plus psychologists, therapists, or friends, who we can convey our problems to, but believers in Christ have God to convey all of our troubles to. We have to be careful with whom we share our struggles, to make sure we are placing these delicate matters in the hands of someone with the answers to the problems and concerns we face. As believers we must take our issues to the Lord to be sure we receive Godly perspective, and Godly direction, so that we triumph and do not fall flat on our faces. God does not will for us to turn to the world and use therapists and psychologists on speed-dial as the answer to what we face, because they can only treat issues, but it is His will that we bring what we face to Him, so He can provide the solutions. Today, we will look at 1 Peter 5:7, the proper place to bring our problems.
”Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
The word ”casting” means ”to throw upon”. The word ”care” means ”distractions, solicitude, or discouragement”. Christians are supposed to throw all of our discontentment, all of our despair, and all of our suffering upon the Lord, trusting in Him to do what needs to be done in our lives. When we think of throwing something upon someone, it signifies that we no longer want it upon us! Sometimes, we need to get in a position where all other avenues have failed, because that is when we have the chance to see that God is the only avenue.
In Psalm 55:22, the Bible says, ”Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” When we think of the word ”sustain” we should think of provision, because God will always provide for us no matter how great the need.
This is why the topic verse says, ”Casting ALL”, because God doesn’t just want the troubles that we can’t handle, but He also wants the ones we think we can handle.
In Proverbs 18:10, the Bible says, ”The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” We must believe in our hearts that God holds the answers to all things we face, including the troubles we encounter, and deeply learn that He is willing to meet our every need with His provision.
In Matthew 6:25, Christ says, ‘‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” It is not God’s will that His children battle anxiety, nor is it His will that we fret about things that He has already provided for us. God gives us the opportunity to come before Him and leave our concerns with Him, casting them off of us, and throwing them upon Him.
In Psalm 37:5, the Bible says, ”Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” When we entrust our course of life to the Lord, we put it all in His hands. In response, God hears and moves on our behalf. In Psalm 37:7, the Bible says, ”Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
Rest? Wait patiently?
In this day and age? The world wants microwave answers and the world as a whole seeks out immediate gratification, but our God works by process. Patience is key. I remember times I moved too hastily, thinking God wasn’t listening, only to receive His answer the day after I tried to go about it on my own. Talk about damage control! Because I moved instead of trusted, I then had to spend time cleaning up a mess that didn’t have to be, if I had just trusted in God to do what I should have known He would do.
The word ”careth” means ”to take interest in, to be concerned with, to matter, or to take care of”. In Philippians 4:6-7, the Bible says, ”Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’‘
God doesn’t want us to be concerned with anything on this earth. He wants us to throw ALL upon Him. If we are anxious, panic-stricken, depressed, or frustrated, then that means we haven’t cast our cares upon Him, that we aren’t entrusting the answers to God.
In Hebrews 13:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” God is always here, ready to respond to matters of our heart. He loves us and He desires us to know that He is there for us whenever we call. Are we willing to trust in Him to be God?
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 19, 2022 – Exodus 4:12 – I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say / LISTENING, HEARING, ACTING
Are we willing to speak the things God commands us to say in the place He commands us to say them? The easy answer is yes, but what if the word God give us to speak is against a family member, a friend, or even a spouse? Would we be willing to risk comfort or even the relationship to say ‘thus saith the Lord’? God is not unreasonable in His requests to us to declare His Word, but sometimes we treat what He is asking of us like as too much of a sacrifice and not enough of a reward. Society has taught us that the ”messenger can be shot” for speaking the truth, but God didn’t create us to live our lives for our own pleasure. What if the word that God gives us is the very thing that will truly change someone’s life forever? What if the word God gives us is the confirmation they needed to make a choice for the Lord? We live in a cancel culture society, where one could be considered a castaway for speaking the truth if it damages the wrong sensibilities, but do we please man or please God with what we say? Today, we will look at Exodus 4:12, speaking with the mouth God gives us.
”Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”
The word ”go” means ”to walk or depart”. The phrase ”be with thy mouth” implies that God will personally give us the word He wants us to say. Too many people are afraid to speak a word that comes from the Lord because they don’t feel qualified, saved enough, or holy enough to speak the God’s truth. Moses was terrified to speak a word that came from the Lord because all he kept seeing was his own personal inadequacy. In Exodus 3:11, the Bible says, ”And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses completely missed the point that God called him by name, gave him His purpose, and told him what the plan was. In Exodus 4:10, the Bible says, ”And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.’‘ Sometimes we doubt the word of the Lord because we don’t think we are good enough. So before God can get the Word out through Moses, who already set up a million roadblocks to prevent him from being God’s choice. Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house, school by the best teachers, but here he sits, unqualified in the presence of the Lord.
In Isaiah 50:4-5, the Bible says, ”The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” The thing about God is, He doesn’t care about what we deem to be our qualifications, because when He calls us to speak a word that comes from Him, He will qualify us by giving us what we need to say. The question is, will we listen to the Lord and receive what He has for us to say? We can rebel and shut our ear, but what fruit is disobedience going to bear? Even though Moses wrestled with God concerning his perceived skill set, he still obeyed the Lord and spoke to Pharaoh.
The word ”teach” means ”to instruct, point out, or direct”. The word ”say” means ”declare, pronounce, or speak”. In Jeremiah 1:9-10, the Bible says, ”Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” When the Lord gives us a word to speak, that word will have power to plant and uproot, to raise up and cast down. What if that word God needs us to speak is the word that brings salvation to a household, understanding to the misguided, or what if that word is necessary to cause the backslider to repent?
In Luke 21:14-15, the Bible says, ‘‘Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” God doesn’t want us to put our own spin on what He is giving us to say, which is why He doesn’t want us to think about what we will say. What if someone received a word from the Lord and then our word to them is confirmation of that word they received from God? What if we adjusted what God gave us to say to them? The word wouldn’t confirm, but confuse.
In Numbers 22:35, the Bible says, ”And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.” If this unbeliever was expected to only speak God’s word and nothing else, what about us? What God gives us to speak, we must speak.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 20, 2022 – Isaiah 54:10 – neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed / KINDNESS / PEACE
Sometimes, when life is turbulent, and we experience severe difficulty, we question whether or not God has removed His hand from us. This world is going to hell in a hand basket, and it is becoming more and more Godless by the second. Suffering is present on all parts of the globe, and it is hard to see the Lord in the midst of struggle. There is a huge difference between how we feel in the face of suffering, and what is truth in the face of suffering. The truth is, God hasn’t left His children, and He hasn’t removed His love from His children. God is always there, ready to pour His love upon any who ask Him in faith, assured that He will never leave us behind. Even when Israel was exiled for their disobedience, God had a plan already in place to restore His children unto Himself. The same God then is the same God now! Today, we will look at Isaiah 54:10, the unfailing mercy of God.
”For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
The word ”depart” means ”to withdraw, or recede by contact”. The word ”removed” means ”to fall or decay”. The topography may change like it will in the Millennium, but it doesn’t change who God is towards us. In Psalm 46:1-3, the Bible says, ”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” We always have the Word of God that assures us of who He is in the face of every circumstance. It says that God is ”a very present help”, so His Word says that God hasn’t gone anywhere, despite how it looks. Even when nature acts in a way that strikes terror, our God hasn’t gone anywhere. Even when we mess up big time, and find ourselves in prison for a long time, God is right there. When our family and friends die and life as we know it seems shaky and uncertain, God is right there. It is all about perspective. What do we see in the face of changing climates and changing circumstances? Do we see God or do we see trouble?
In Isaiah 51:6-7, the Bible says, ”Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” When we see things flipping on their head and it seems like we are in an earthquake that doesn’t end, God is right there, and if we are willing to hear the Word of the Lord instead of see what is destroyed around us, we would understand that He has given us salvation, that he has bestowed righteousness upon us. There is nothing to fear because God is with us, and His Holy Spirit dwells in us.
The word ”covenant” means ”a compact, alliance, agreement or a treaty”. The word ”peace” means ”wellness, safety, prosperity, and good health”. In Psalm 89:33-34, the Bible says, ”Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” When God makes a covenant with us, He doesn’t break it, and His covenant is always designed to benefit those in covenant with Him. In Hebrews 10:16-17, the Bible says, ‘‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” God desires us to experience oneness with His Word planted inside of us. This was given to us through salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and it secures us in Him forever.
In Isaiah 55:3, the Bible says, ”Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” An everlasting covenant doesn’t have an end, but if we don’t hear the word of the Lord, we will operate on what we feel and not what the Word of God says. The word ”mercy” means ”compassion, lovingkindness, or pity”.
In Isaiah 54:8, the Bible says, ”In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” Our perspective will fail if we take our eyes off of the Lord, and focus on a dying world. The Word of the Lord is security for all who receive the Word in faith, and there is no worry when the world experiences destruction. We are clothed in victory!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 21, 2022 – Isaiah 54:13 – all thy children shall be taught of the LORD / PEACE
Since I have given my life to the Lord and committed my life to serving Him, I have really been blown away by what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me. When I sit down to compile these devotionals, I study to prepare myself to put them together. I look up words in the concordance, I look up reference verses, and I think on my introduction. There have been so many times where I have had a whole devotional approach planned, and on the fly, the Holy Spirit completely flips my plan on its head, and gives me something completely new. I didn’t have to plan or prepare, because the Holy Spirit gave me every verse, and put the explanations on my heart to share. When the Holy Spirit was leading the charge, the peace that came over me was amazing because I knew for certain that nothing came from me. When we are taught of the Lord, He gives us everything we need to know so it is not on our shoulders to figure out this life we live. But will we submit to His leading? Today, we will look at Isaiah 54:13, awesome instruction of the Lord.
”And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
The word ”children” means ”the builders of the family name”, referring to Christians, believers in the name of Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:14-16, the Bible says, ‘‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”. When we allow ourselves to be led by the Lord, it really solidifies our identity, and we know exactly who we are. The enemy would love to get us to question who we are, but the Word allows this identity to be planted in our spirits.
The word ”taught” means ”instructed or discipled”. As children of God, we will receive great instruction from the Holy Spirit, which is us being ”taught of the Lord”. In John 14:26, Christ says, ”But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Christ promised us the Holy Spirit that will take us to school, and teach us whatever we need to know. God doesn’t want His children poorly equipped to live our lives as believers because we don’t know what we need to do or say. In 2 Peter 1:3, the Bible says, ”According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. We receive all things to live a Godly life through knowledge of Christ, which means that as children of God, heirs of God, He will teach us His Word to make sure that we are both educated and established in him.
In Jeremiah 31:33-34, the Bible says, ‘‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Because of God’s covenant with us, He will plant His Word in our hearts and minds, establishing the relationship between us and Him, and also so we can receive our teaching from the Lord. Think about it, I am doing Bible devotionals daily from prison, where I have been for 19 years. I never went to seminary, but God has taught me by the Holy Spirit right where I am. He is willing to do the same thing for all of us, but we have to ask and make ourselves available to receive from Him.
In James 1:5, the Bible says, ”If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” He is always ready to teach us, but we have to be willing to receive his teaching.
The word ”peace” means ”wellness, prosperity, good health, and safety”. God didn’t promise just peace, but ”great peace”. In John 14:27, the Bible says, ”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The peace God gives is something that can’t be comprehended by the world, and it is something the world can’t even come close to supplying.
In Psalm 119:165, the Bible says, ‘‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” When we operate in the knowledge and peace of God, the enemy doesn’t have a point of entry, because there is no vulnerability. This world is suffering because we have stopped listening to God’s teaching. That has to change.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 22, 2022 – Exodus 15:13 – thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation
God loves His children, and desires to lead us in the way we should go. A good parent knows what is best for their children, and whether it is through a wilderness or through a land flowing with milk and honey, a good parent is always going to show their children the right way to go, and the right thing to do. God does this on a much better level. God delivered Israel from the slavery of the Egyptians through many signs and wonders, but He didn’t end the work with freedom. Israel had a promise to walk into, and God’s mighty hand ensured that not only would they experience the promise, but He also ensured that the wilderness would build a resiliency in them to overcome fear to seize the promise. God is doing the same leading, but instead of leading us into the promised land like He did with Israel, He is leading us into salvation and eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord! Today, we will look at Exodus 15:13, God’s hand of leading in His children’s life.
”Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.”
The word ”mercy” means ”lovingkindness, goodness, faithfulness, or compassion”. The phrase ”led forth” means ”to guide into a proper or right direction”. In Psalm 106:8-9, the Bible says, ‘‘Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.” When we became the children of God, He put His name upon us, and also put His name on the line when He delivered us. God has done some incredible things in our lives, so there is no doubt of the One who has saved and delivered us.
The word ”redeemed” means ”to buy back from spiritual death and physical bondage, to pay the ransom, to act as a kinsman redeemer”. In Psalm 77:15-16, the Bible says, ‘‘Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.” We were redeemed by the arm, or the power of God, and when He redeemed the Israelites from Egypt, the waters parted in a display of the power of God. In Psalm 77:20, the Bible says, ‘‘Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Sometimes, God is going to lead us through people, but will we be obedient to the one, or ones, He sends to lead us?
God doesn’t lead us anywhere He hasn’t already been. Sometimes in the face of struggle, it is hard for us to understand that God has already been through our struggle and has blazed the trail to our victory. In Job 23:10-11, the Bible says, ”But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.” In order for God to know the way that we take, He had to have been there before. Would it be wise for us to take directions from someone in a new city who has just moved there the same day?
In Hebrews 4:15, the Bible says, ”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” God sees everything from heaven, and went further to send Christ to this earth, to experience this life from victory to show us how. God wants to make sure that His leading not only deals with our physical direction, but also our spiritual well-being. In Isaiah 63:12-13, the Bible says, ”That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?” God gave Moses power to part the waters, so everyone could see that it was the Lord and only the Lord who has delivered them from the Egyptians. God did this so we wouldn’t fail in our own efforts to be free.
The word ”guided” means ”to protect or sustain”. The word ”strength” means ”power or force”. The phrase ”holy habitation” means ”a sacred or consecrated temple”. See, God isn’t just delivering us from something, but God is delivering us TO something. In Psalm 91:1-2, the Bible says, ”He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” God is delivering us so that we can dwell safely in His presence, so that we can experience the protection of His covering. In Psalm 78:54, the Bible says, ‘‘And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.” God’s leading has protected us from certain death and inevitable harm, but His leading has also ushered us into His presence, where we will experience the kingdom forever!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 23, 2022 – Ephesians 5:17 – understanding what the will of the Lord is
God has a purpose for our lives, one that He desires for each of us to understand. He is always ready to reveal Himself to those whose hearts are open to Him, but He also continues to try to penetrate the hearts and minds of people who have closed themselves off to doing His will. When we became children of God, we exchanged our will, our ambition, our desires, and our goals for the will of God, entrusting that God knows what is best for us, and only He can lead us into our destiny. God never desired for His children to be in the dark concerning His will for our lives. He not only wants us to know His will, but He wants us to understand His will so we won’t deviate from the path. The reason many of us find ourselves out of the will of God is because we have found ourselves disconnected from the source. The Bible is God’s plan for humanity, and in the Word, we are shown how to live our lives in the will of God, so that He can hear from us and we can hear from Him. Our faith walk is a relationship, not religion, and the more we build our relationship with the Lord, the more He reveals His will to us. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:17, understanding God’s will for our lives.
”Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
The word ”wherefore” is a term used to sum up a previous point. This verse will make great sense when it is brought into its proper context. Paul is encouraging the Church in Ephesus to follow Christ, and walk according to the Word of God. In Ephesians 5:15-16, the Bible says, ”See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” God desires for us to know what is going on around us so that we can walk accordingly. Many people are led astray because they have no clue about the enemy that lurks, hoping to catch us in a weak or vulnerable moment. God desires His children to be able to see correctly, from all perspectives, and understand what we are seeing. We live in some strange times, where many are being led astray because we are not operating in the wisdom He has given us.
The word ”unwise” means ”foolish, mindless, stupid, ignorant or unbelieving”. In Proverb 1:7, the Bible says, ‘‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The person who doesn’t want to be led by the Lord and pattern their lives by the Word of God is a fool because they refuse to live their lives according something sure, unfailing, and proven. In Proverb 9:10, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Wisdom begins with reverence for the Lord and his Word. The unwise are people who know the Word of God, yet choose to go the other way, those who choose not to obey, and there are those who somehow believe that their way is better. This world is trying to pattern itself around the knowledge of the world, and we are breeding ”scholars” of philosophy and knowledge like never before, but this world hasn’t gotten one step closer to God in the process.
The unwise think they can merge light and darkness, and fail miserably in the process. In Colossians 4:5, the Bible says, ”Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Instead of walking in the Word of God around people who are unbelievers, we are thinking, acting and responding no different than the world. If people don’t know we are believers, then what are we really walking in?
The word ”understanding” means ”bring together in the mind, to comprehend, or to grasp concepts and see the proper relation between them.” In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Bible says, ‘‘Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We must study the Word of God in order to understand it, and we will never be able to have true understanding without it.
The word ”will” means ”purpose, determination, or choice”. The will of the Lord is in the Word of God, and more is revealed specifically to us through our relationship with the Lord. In John 15:14-15, the Bible says, ‘‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” When we are friends with the Lord, He reveals Himself to us and we learn His secrets.
In Romans 12:2, the Bible says, ‘‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We have to shed the world’s system from our lives and seize the Word of God as truth. It is the only way we will be able to prove, or establish by evidence, the perfect will of God. It is only by the Word, no other way!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 24, 2022 – 1 John 4:4 – greater is He that is in you
So many believers live with the lie that they are powerless to the advances of the enemy. Many people attribute the devil as being the cause of their misery and destruction without once considering that when Christ shed His blood on the cross, He completely overcame the world. Because we are in Christ, we have that same victory over the enemy, and we have the Holy Spirit in us as a Great Teacher and also as a warning system against the false teachings that are spread in the Church. We are to weigh what we receive with the Word of God, and if it isn’t aligned to the Word of God, then it has to be cast away. The enemy doesn’t have authority over believers anymore, but he will frequently attempt to enter through our lack of knowledge, our ignorance, or our disobedience. Having the Holy Spirit within us means that the enemy can’t enter unless we make room for him, and that shouldn’t be. Today, we will look at 1 John 4:4, overcome through the greatness of God in us.
”Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
The phrase ”little children” is used by John to express the type of loving relationship a father has with his children. The word ”children” means ”a builder of the family name”, so God has anointed John to position us to walk according to the Word of God. The first six verses in 1 John 4 are dealing with false teaching, and how we, as believers, must weigh the word we receive and actually put the word to test. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Bible says, ”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’‘ We must understand that the Word of God is what we must use to weigh what we receive and also what we must use to weigh ourselves. Reproof is our ”double check”, and it is essential for every believer to use the Word of God to check what we are receiving into our spirits.
In Hebrews 4:12, the Bible says, ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Without the Word of God breaking things down to its smallest parts, we won’t be able to see the inaccuracies in false teachers. We will rely on how it feels instead of how it actually is.
The word ”overcome” means ”to subdue, conquer, prevail, or get the victory”. This verse speaks of us overcoming ”them”. Who are the ”them” in this verse? In 1 John 4:3, the Bible says, ”And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” False teachers who have been spreading false teaching in and outside of the Church, but we have overcome them. We have only been able to overcome because Christ has overcome, and the same Spirit of God that was in Christ is in us!
In John 16:33, Christ says, ‘‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Christ didn’t just come to overcome the world, but He has also come so that we have peace. Our God is not going to leave us unequipped to handle the enemy’s advances, because in 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Bible says, ”Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” As children of God and the builders of the family name, God’s Word and our relationship with God has provided the victory over false teaching and over the enemy’s advances. If we don’t have victory, then we are fighting with the wrong weapons!
The word ”greater” means ”larger, mightier”. We have the Holy Spirit of God in us, and He is far mightier than the enemy. The Holy Spirit leads us into sound doctrine, evidencing our identity in Christ, and what the Word of God says we have access to as children of His kingdom.
In Ephesians 6:10-11, the Bible says, ‘‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” If we robe ourselves in the Word of God, if the Word of God is planted deep within us, and if we live the Word of God out in our lives, we won’t have anything in us that will consider the lies of the enemy.
In Colossians 1:13, the Bible says, ”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” God has not only delivered us from the enemy, but He has given us power over the enemy as well! Victory is in Jesus Christ!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 25, 2022 – John 1:9 – that was the true Light
In Christ, we have the Light of God dwelling on the inside of us. This Light has filled us with the revelation of God and has given us the understanding of how we must live on this earth as believers. When we walk in the Light, we experience the pathway to salvation, the fellowship and oneness with God, and we also experience the power of the Holy Spirit working on the inside of us. As long as we remain in the Light, we can clearly see the path we must take, and it is virtually impossible for us to be led astray. The enemy tries to bestow darkness upon us so we stumble, so they tries to implant lies into our minds and hearts, to cause us to walk according to the lies, instead of walking according to the truth of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is that truth, He is that Light, and He is the only pathway for us to live a Godly life in Him. Today, we will look at John 1:9, experiencing the true Light of Christ.
”That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
The word ”Light” refers to Christ, and means ”luminosity that shines and manifest itself upon us”. This verse says ”true Light”, so that means there are false things in life that present themselves as light. There is knowledge in the world, but it is not the Word of God. There is philosophy in the world, but it is not spiritual truth. There is a non-local domain, but it is not the Spirit of God. All the world’s knowledge tries to pose itself as ”light” and people walk around as though they are ”enlightened”, but have no light in them.
In John 1:3-4, the Bible says, ‘‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The Creator who made everything also made light, and the life of God is our light. We don’t understand how important light is in our lives.
In Genesis 1:3, the Bible says, ”And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” The first thing God called for in creation was light, and God went a step further. He clearly distinguished light from darkness by separating the two. When God separates these two things, He establishes that one has nothing in common with the other.
In John 8:12, the Bible says, ”Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Christ is the light of the world and as long as we remain in His presence, we will always be in the Light.
The word ”lighteth” means ”impart moral or spiritual truth, to enlighten, to brighten, to make to see.” This can only be given by Christ. In 1 John 1:7, the Bible says, ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” So much is given to us as believers when we walk in the Light.
Salvation is huge because it solidifies our place in the kingdom of God forever. Fellowship is very important. As Psalm 133:1 in the Bible says, ‘‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Then, we will be cleansed in a way we could never accomplish on our own, a cleansing that makes us acceptable in God’s sight.
In Isaiah 49:6, the Bible says, ”And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” God not only wants to give us the privilege of walking in the Light, but He also wants us to be symbols of His light in the earth. He wants to preserve us in His salvation. God already brought the Gentiles into the equation before salvation by faith in Jesus Christ was made available by His death on the cross. God desires that we know Him, and come into a relationship of oneness with Him.
In Romans 1:19-20, the Bible says, ”Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”. God wants us to know His will and He shows us that He wants us to know this by manifesting Himself to us. God doesn’t make it hard for us to know Him, but rather we make it hard when we look for everything other than what God provides.
In 1 John 2:8, the Bible says, ”Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” The same light that was in Christ when He walked the earth is now in us, so the same truth that is in Christ, is in us! Because of the Light of Christ, we are now children of the Light!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 26, 2022 – Revelation 2:2 – how thou canst not bear them which are evil
God sees us. There were times in my life where it didn’t feel like God was watching, and one thing after another came and knocked me down. Every time I stood up again, I was knocked back down. Through my tears, through my heartache and through my struggle, I asked God if He saw what this was doing to me. God not only saw, but He sent help, encouragement, comfort, and still required that I continue to encourage, help and comfort others even as I hurt. As we serve the Lord, sometimes it can feel like a thankless job, and we can wonder if God sees us toil in His name. He does! There is a huge difference between what we feel, and what is actually real, and just because we may feel that God isn’t watching, doesn’t make it true. God sees everything and His Holy Spirit dwells in us as believers, so God misses nothing. He has us covered in all situations! Today, we will look at Revelation 2:2, the all seeing eye of God.
”I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”.
The word ”know” is a relational term expressing a oneness between two different people. The best way to explain the word ”know” is to go the its early use in the Bible, where it says in Genesis 4:1, ‘‘And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” When God ”knows” us, He has become one with us, and in the process, something is conceived. The word ”works” means ”deeds, performance, or labour”. The word ”labour” expresses what the work can produce, ”weariness, toil, and trouble”. People have the mistaken belief that serving the Lord won’t make them tired sometimes, and that serving the Lord won’t produce trouble sometimes, but be sure, it will produce both.
In Galatians 6:9-10, the Bible says, ‘‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
The word ”patience” means ”cheerful endurance, perseverance, or constancy”. Even when it gets tiresome and troublesome, God has already empowered us to make a choice, to not accept weariness as we measure of faith and our mentality. If we press through the struggle, we will reap the harvest, because our work produces fruit! We must look for those moments where we can be helpful to others for the kingdom of God.
God sees us. In Psalm 1:6, the Bible says, ”For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” What doesn’t our God know?
The word ”bear” means ”tolerate”. The word ”evil” means ”depraved, worthless, or injurious”. In Romans 12:9, the Bible says, ”Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” We are supposed to hate evil, and not be able to stand Godlessness around us. It should grieve us the way it grieves God.
In Judges 6:11-12, the Bible says, ”And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” God’s people were starving. They were overtaken by Midian because of their disobedience to the Lord, and the Midianites destroyed all food sources in an attempt to starve Israel to death. Gideon was faithful and found a way to grow and hide wheat. God saw him, and saw his tears, his heartbreak, and his agony about what was happening. God saw something else! God saw who He was and entrusted Israel’s deliverance to him. God sees our faithfulness in an unfaithful world.
The word ”tried” means ”to examine scrutinize, or test”. In Psalm 139:1, the Bible says, ”O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.” We must search people the same way God searches us. In 1 John 4:1, the Bible says, ”Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We can’t take people’s word for it. We have to use the Word of God as a gauge because we will know them by their fruit.
The word ”apostles” means ”ambassadors of the Gospel, delegates chosen by God, those sent by God for a divine purpose”. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, the Bible says, ”For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” As God clearly sees us, whether we are right or wrong, He has given us sight by His Word, to see the right and wrong in it. May we use the eyes God has given us to see clearly what is in us and what is in others.
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 27, 2022 – Isaiah 60:21 – they shall inherit the land for ever
There will be a time in believers’ lives when they will be without sin, and surrounded with righteousness. We will dwell in a place that belongs to us, and we will live there forever. Having lived in so many places where moving became more normal than staying, I have rest in the fact that my dwelling in the Lord is secure and is mine forever! Heaven is an extraordinary picture of the perfect life, and as believers, we all look forward to experiencing this with Christ. The beauty about God’s plan for His children, is that we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience the kingdom of God. We have access to God’s kingdom and its provisions right now! Too many of us have given up on this earth as we look towards heaven, but who said we can’t have a little heaven on earth? Today, we will look at Isaiah 60:21, the future glory of Zion in the here and now, in us!
”Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”
The word ”people” means ”a congregated unit, tribe, flock, or nation”. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible says, ”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” There is a big difference between the creation of God and the children of God. The children of God conform to the image and likeness of God, and live their lives to please God. It doesn’t mean that we won’t be sinless, but it does mean that we have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and His blood has washed us clean from all sin.
In 1 Peter 2:10, the Bible says, ”Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.’‘ Being children of God isn’t automatic, and just because we were created by God doesn’t make us children.
In Romans 8:15-17, the Bible says, ”For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Children of God and people of God, have received the spirit of adoption, and God has not just become our God, but He has become our Father. It is important to understand what being the people of God represents now and in the times to come.
The word ”righteous” means ”just or lawful”, and it is term of moral and ethical significant, signifying the conformity to a Godly standard. In Revelations 21:27, the Bible says, ”And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Being the righteous in God grants us access into the kingdom of God, and allows us to partake in its provisions.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, the Bible says, ”For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Christ made the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross for us so we would be made righteous in the sight of God, and become His righteousness in the earth. The word ”inherit” means ”to take possession, seize, or obtain as the result of a death”. In Hebrews 9:16, the Bible says, ”For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” The death and resurrection of Christ activated life in us who believe forever.
The word ”branch” means ”a shoot or descendant”. The phrase ”work of my hands” means ”the product or activity of God’s power, means, or direction”. In Psalm 24:1, the Bible says, ”The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Creation is the work of the hand of God, but He goes further by allowing us to become exactly who He created us to be.
In Ephesians 2:10, the Bible says, ”For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” We are the pride and joy of God’s creation by being the children of God, and He created us in Christ to personify the image and the power of God. In John 15:2, Christ says, ”Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” God created us as His children to bear fruit in this earth, to represent the kingdom of God right here and now. To glorify the Lord is to bring light and attention to Him, and to reveal that all the credit is His. We can do that in our lives right here and right now!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 28, 2022 – Exodus 23:20 – Behold, I send an Angel before thee
God has a place prepared for us as believers. Christ left earth to prepare a place for us, so we can live where He is. Sadly, God also has a place prepared for those who won’t believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both places are eternal habitations, prepared for the choice that we make. Praise be to God for the breath in our lungs right now that still give us time to make the right choice. As believers, we are not on this earth navigating alone. When we submit our way to the Lord, He gives us a new path. On this new path He has sent at least one angel to guide us, to protect us, to bring us into the place God has destined for us. No matter how dangerous the path appears to be, no matter how dark things seem, God will ensure that we get to the place He has prepared for us on earth, and in heaven. Will we trust our way to Him? Today, we will look at Exodus 23:20, guided by angels into the place prepared for us.
”Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”
The word ”behold” is a term that means ”lo, or see”, suggesting that one fixes their attention upon what is being said. God wants our undivided attention, because He wants us prepared for everything we will encounter on our journey. The word ”send” means ”to appoint”. The word ”Angel” means ”to despatch as a messenger, a messenger of God, or an ambassador”. Do we really understand that God has appointed an angel or angels to ensure the Word of the Lord is performed in our lives. They makes sure we receive the Word that is spoken, and protect us to ensure that the will of God is fulfilled.
In Psalm 34:7, the Bible says, ”The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” To encamp round about suggest surrounding us, that makes sure that nothing ill comes our way. In Exodus 14:19, the Bible says ”And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them”. God cared about the comfort of Israel on their journey, making sure that the sun wouldn’t cook them alive, and making sure they wouldn’t freeze to death at night. We know about that from the stories about the wilderness, but God caused the angel to go behind them, which caused the pillar of the cloud to go behind them as well, forming a wall to protect them against the Egyptians. The Angel of the Lord, at the Word of the Lord, went from leading them with the wonders of the Lord, to protecting them with the same wonders!
In Exodus 32:34, the Bible says, ”Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” Even when Israel sinned against God by making the golden calf, God’s protection and leading didn’t stop. The Angel still went before them even though God has to dole out some punishment. For the person who feels like they have done wrong and God has removed His leading and His angels, this proves that thought wrong! In Exodus 33:1-2, the Bible says, ”And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite”. God has a place designed for us to be, and He will lead us to that place, and drive out anyone who will threaten His will from being done in our lives. The angels are responsible for leading us in our destiny and protecting us from ourselves and anyone else that threatens to alter the purpose God has set for us.
The word ”keep” means ”to guard, protect, or preserve”. The word ”way” means ”course of life, or mode of action”. The word ”prepared” means ”to set up, establish, provide, or ordain”. In Psalm 91:11-12, the Bible says, ‘‘For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.’‘ Angels will keep us from crashing, and they are ordained by God to attend to us.
In Joshua 6:2, the Bible says, ‘‘And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.” God prepared a place for Israel, and had the place prepared for them while they were still enslaved in Egypt, and the angels led the children of God into their promise. That is the same thing God is doing in our lives, leading us into our promise. He has angels protecting us from harm, leading us into our destiny, and ensuring that we get there as God ordains. We are never alone!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 29, 2022 – 1 Corinthians 9:24 – so run, that ye may obtain … the prize
As believers, God has given us our own races to run. These races can send us in different directions, cause us to do different things, and cause us to reach different people, but we are all obligated to run our own race, fulfilling the purpose that God has set for us. A lot of us run into problems when we try to run another’s race, one that we haven’t trained for, but their race is for them and our race is for us. All of our life experiences good or bad has served to prepare us for the race we have to run, so everything in our lives, past and present, is necessary to the running and completion of our races. My good and bad experiences have served a great purpose, because right from my prison environment, God is allowing me to reach others for the Lord, and allowed me the privilege to accomplish things I never have before in my life. We all have our race to run, but also, we are responsible for the race we have. Today, we will look at 1 Corinthians 9:24, running a race to receive the prize.
”Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”
The word ”run” implies a forward, continuous, hasty movement. The word ”race” is a word that is associated with purpose. Back them, a race was run along the perimeter of a stadium. A race is a fixed destination, with a beginning and an ending. In Hebrews 11:3, the Bible says, ”Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” God framed the world, so that means that He set borders that put a limitation on what we can do and where we can go. He also framed us by His Word as well, so we can freely operate in the midst of His framework. Our race was created in the framework of God. In Galatians 2:2, the Bible says, ”And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” Our race will define who we speak to publicly, and who we speak to privately about the Word of God, and the framework our race will also determine who we will ultimately reach. Because I have the experience in growing up in Church and living the street life, I have experiences to reach people for the Lord that others don’t have, because I have a perspective that others may not have. If I try to run my race from the perspective and experience of someone else, I will crash and burn.
In Galatians 5:7-8, the Bible says, ”Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.” God will never hinder us from running the race He is calling us to run. God is not going to make it harder for us to complete the race He has set for us. God will not cause us to disobey His Word, but makes it easier for us to follow Him.
The word ”receiveth” means ”to seize, obtain, or attain”. The word ”prize” refers to the award the runner of the race is given after winning the race. Now, how can we all run our race, but only one person wins? Simple, because we are all running our own races! In Philippians 2:15-16, the Bible says, ‘‘That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” God desires His children to stand out, shining because of His light, and in our race, we must cleave to the Word of God in order to run our race effectively. We don’t want to run a purposeless race, nor do we want to lose the very race God gave us to run.
The word ”obtain” means ”take eagerly, or possess”, in allusion to public games: to obtain the prize with the idea of eager and strenuous exertion; to grasp or seize upon”. This means that our race is going to take work, will be tiresome, but will be worth it!
In Philippians 3:13-14, the Bible says, ‘‘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.” Forward is the only way to the crown! We must press toward our finish line!
In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, the Bible says, ‘‘have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’‘ We want the end of our lives to reflect that we have run our own race, we have been faithful through it, and we finished strong. God never put us in a race He didn’t design us to win! Run your race!
Marshall & Jessica
Nov 30, 2022 – Luke 21:36 – watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy
As believers, we must always be on our guard. We live in a world that is constantly shifting, constantly changing, and the enemy is crafty, devising new schemes to knock us of course. When we keep our eyes open, we are able to see what is around us, and when we keep the Word of God in our minds and hearts, we will be able to spot false doctrine whenever it tries to surface. There are a lot of things happening in our world that are causing God’s people to be led astray. The concept of ”you only live once” is causing great recklessness in behavior and thoughts, and some believers are using salvation as a license to now practice lawlessness without eternal punishment. This shouldn’t be. Our desire as believers should be to connect more with God, through prayer and study, so that when He calls upon us, we can stand before Him worthy of His call. Today, we will look at Luke 21:36, watching and praying as believers of the Lord.
”Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
The word ”watch” means ”to be sleepless, or to keep awake”. It implies an alertness to the things of the Spirit, and also the things of the world. The word ”pray” means ”to beg, petition, or make a request to God”. In Matthew 26:41, Christ says, ”Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Christ knew what was coming and commanded His disciples to watch and pray. He knew that they were going to be afflicted when He was persecuted and subsequently crucified, and wanted them covered. Christ knew then that the idea is amazing, but the application would come with difficulty. Life can produce situations where it can be hard for us to pray. Life can also produce situations where we may resist receiving the Word of God.
In Matthew 13:22, Christ says, ”He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” To watch also means to shake off anything that will hinder our faith walk in the Lord, and make our prayer life unfruitful. In Matthew 24:42-44, Christ says, ‘‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” We have to live our lives as if God could interrupt at any moment, as if Christ can come back at any time. If we know God is right here with us, then it should change our attitude and our actions.
In Mark 13:35-36, Christ says, ”Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” We have to be on our guard always, by paying attention to God’s Word and by building our intimacy with the Lord through prayer.
In Ephesians 6:18-19, the Bible says, ‘‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel”. We are supposed to stay in prayer according to the Word of God, and also praying that God gives us the words to speak and the actions to do in order to please Him in our life.
In Philippians 4:6-7, the Bible says, ‘‘Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We are supposed to pray in all situations with thanksgiving in our hearts, and God responds with His everlasting peace.
The phrase ”accounted worthy” means ”to deem entirely deserving’. The word ”escape” means ”to flee out”. God desires us to be removed from the things of the world so we don’t ever experience the penalty behind their choices. God desires His children to stand in the face of Godlessness, making the choice to serve the Lord with everything we are. In Ephesians 6:13, the Bible says, ‘‘Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” We don’t have to stand alone, watch alone, or pray alone. God is always there because His Holy Spirit is always in us as believers.
Psalm 1:5 says, ”Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” God wants us to stand before Him in power and victory through our faith in Jesus Christ. We must watch and pray so we can abstain from the way of this world.
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 1, 2022 – John 4:34 – My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work
Jesus Christ came to earth with a purpose to fulfill. Every day spent on this earth was bringing Him closer to the purpose God had for Him, and Christ was obedient to that purpose, no matter met Him along the way. As believers, God has given us His purpose as well, along with an expectation that we are to fulfill our purpose on earth the same way Christ did. There are going to be many twists and turns in our lives, and also there is an enemy that will fight tirelessly for us to fail at completing our purpose, but we have to stay the course. How important is it to us to fulfill our purpose in life? Is it as important as eating and drinking? Is fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives more important than the relationships we try to hold on to or the things we are unwilling to let go of? Until God’s purpose for our lives become our sustenance, and obeying God’s Word what we live on, we are always going to live incomplete lives. Today, we will look at John 4:34, the great importance of doing the will of God.
”Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
The word ”meat” means ”food or sustenance”. The word ”do” means ”to perform, complete, or accomplish”. The word ”will” means ”decree, determination, or purpose”. In this part of the passage, the disciples went out to buy food while Christ sat at the well, ministering to the Samaritan woman. While the disciples were tending to their own personal needs, Christ tended to the needs of a whole village. The disciples returned with questions about why Christ was talking to the Samaritan woman, because it was not the practice of Jews to associate with Samaritans. Christ showed the disciples what was more important, that the spiritual food of obeying the Word of God was more important than feeding our faces.
In Job 23:11-12, the Bible says, ”My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” When the Word of God is food to us, there will be an unquenchable desire to seek the Word of God out in every aspect of our lives. When the Word of God is food, our desire is for the Lord, to please Him everywhere we go and in everything we do.
In 2 Timothy 2:4, the Bible says, ”No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” God’s agenda is the only agenda for our lives, and we should live our lives to please the Lord. God’s Word should be seen as necessary as food, but sadly, many believers don’t feed themselves on the Word as much as they feed themselves with food.
The word ”sent” means ”to dispatch for a divine purpose”. Christ was sent by God to perform His will and God sends us in the same way. In John 6:38-40, Christ says, ”For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Christ knew what His purpose was and lived His life to fulfill it. We have the same obligation in our own lives, but most of us want to fulfill our own desires.
In Matthew 4:3-4, the Bible says, ‘‘And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The enemy tried to play on Christ’s hunger from fasting, and enticed him to operate in a way that was contrary to the Word of God. In Matthew 4:1, the Bible says, ‘‘Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Prior to this temptation, Christ had received a Word from God that led Him into the wilderness, and He followed the Word. Then the enemy tried to take Christ’s focus from the Word of God and place it on his own needs, something Christ refused to do.
The word ”finished” means ”to accomplish or complete, reaching the intended goal”. In John 17:4, Christ says, ‘‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” We want to finish our race, and accomplish the purpose God has for our lives, the same way Christ did.
In Ephesians 5:17, the Bible says, ”Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” To accomplish the will of God for us, we must understand what God’s purpose is. To do that, we must remain in His Word and intentionally ask Him what His will for our life is. May the Word of God become as food and drink to us!
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 2 2022 – Psalm 100:4 – enter into his gates with thanksgiving
What are we thankful for? Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving, a day where family and friends come together, eat really good food, and promote thanksgiving for the things and people we in our lives. The holiday started when American settlers and Native Americans came together and had a feast, and exercised thanksgiving, but why is this a one day thing? Shouldn’t every day we wake up in the morning give us something new to be thankful for? Shouldn’t the air in our lungs, the food we eat, the people we have, and the things God has blessed us with make us thankful? I remember one Thanksgiving I was homeless, but two of my friends took me in and we celebrated Thanksgiving together. I am in prison for yet another holiday, but there is still much to be thankful for. Christ is still seated at the right hand of the Father, and God is not done with me yet! Today, we will look at Psalm 100:4, entering the presence of God with thankfulness and praise.
”Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
The word ”gates” means ”an opening or door”. The word ”thanksgiving” means ”adoration, specifically a choir of worshippers, an offering or sacrifice of thanks”. This word depicts worship by the presentation of songs of thanksgiving and praise that extol the mighty wonders of the Lord. In Psalm 95:1-2, the Bible says, ”O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” Entering into His gates implies us coming into the presence of the Lord, to experience the splendor of His majesty, to have the joy of just being with our Father. Our thanksgiving should be out of love and admiration of our God, for all He has done for us, and our thanksgiving is not a silent event that we hold to ourselves. Our whole lives should be lived in thankfulness, and should reflect who God is in our lives.
In Psalm 27:4, the Bible says, ”One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” Do we seek to be in the presence of the Lord with everything in our being? Is that the one thing we ask the Lord for, the privilege of being in His presence? This is what clearly defined David as a man after God’s own heart, because He always sought the presence of the Lord, and because of it, He was always thankful.
The word ”courts” means ”a yard enclosed by walls or a fence”. The word ”praise” means ”laudation or a hymn”. Ever notice that the Bible says ”his gates” and ”his courts”? When we enter into his gates and rest within his courts, we are under God’s protection, under His provision, and we are received by Him with love and open arms.
In Psalm 66:16, the Bible says, ”Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” Whether it be by song or by declaration, we should be able to tell people what God has done for us.
In Psalm 66:19-20, the Bible says, ”But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” The fact that God hears us and hears our prayers is enough to come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise. Our prayer life should reflect thanksgiving and praise as well!
In Psalm 34:1-3, the Bible says, ”I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” If we are blessing the Lord at all times, then our desire should be to be in His presence at all times, and our desire should also be to share God’s goodness with others so they can bless the Lord too. The idea of thanksgiving and praise is to make God bigger in our minds, hearts, and lives, and give Him the glory in everything we do.
The word ”thankful” means ”to revere or worship”. To ”bless” means ”to bend knee in worship or salutation”. In Psalm 96:2-3, the Bible says, ”Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.” We are to keep His name proudly in our mouths, declaring His goodness everywhere we go. We are to lift the name of the Lord high, showing people who our God is.
In Psalm 103:1, the Bible says, ”Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” If our praise and thanksgiving isn’t coming from the deepest place in us, we aren’t going to live our lives in true thankfulness, and it will show.
What are you thankful for? Where should our praise go?
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 3, 2022 – 1 Peter 5:5 – God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble
What is a body of believers without a Head? Christ is the head of the Church and we are the body, so whatsoever is commanded by Christ in the Word of God, we must do. God not only desires our submission to our Godly head, but also requires that we submit to the heads of our churches that are ordained to govern us. I remember when the Covid pandemic first started, and the prisons where shut out to outside volunteers, I was so starved for the taught Word of God. I even wrote pastors, because I craved headship, someone to teach me as I taught others. At times no earthly headship was available, I realized that the Holy Spirit taught me then in ways that helped usher in who I am today. Submitting to God, our elders in Church and to each other, helps ensure that the Body works for the glory of God, because then we wouldn’t be serving ourselves, but rather God and others. Today, we will look at 1 Peter 5:5, in humble submission.
”Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
The word ”younger” means ”new or youthful”. The word ”submit” means ”to subordinate, obey, or put oneself under”. The word ”elder” means ”older, senior, speaking of the presbytery”. In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible says, ‘‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The elders have an obligation to God to train us up in the way we should go, to prepare us to serve the Lord and live abundant lives in Him. Our pastors and leaders in the Church are responsible for the Word of God being taught with clarity and accuracy, and they are see to the cultivation of an environment of spiritual growth.
As the ”younger”, we must receive the Word of God and obey it. The word ”younger” does not necessarily reflect age, but newness as believers in Christ. In Luke 18:16-17, the Bible says, ”But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” We have to receive the teaching and leadership of our elders as if we are little children, having the attributes of submission, obedience, and trust for the Word of God. Children blindly trust their parents and the people in authority over them, and this is why it is extremely important for our elders to bring the Church up in Spirit and in truth. In Luke 17:2, Christ says, ”It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” There is a consequence to those who mislead our children.
The phrase ”be subject one to another” suggests that we are to build each other up in the Lord. So we receive the instruction and we build each other up in it. In Romans 12:10, the Bible says, ‘‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. When our eyes are trained on the Lord, we then understand who His children are and we then will treat each other the same way we would treat the Lord. In Ephesians 5:21, the Bible says, ”Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Our reverence and worship to God makes it easier for us to submit to each other.
The word ”be clothed” means ”to gird one self for labor”. The word ”humility” means ”lowliness or modesty”. So we are supposed to walk in lowliness, understanding who we are in the face of God, and also in the light of what we are called to do. In Philippians 2:3-4, the Bible says, ”Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” When we submit ourselves to others, their well-being is going to matter to us. We will always use our low estate to help edify others in the Lord.
The word ”resisteth” means ”to range oneself against, to oppose”. The word ”proud” means ”haughty”. The word ”grace” means ”Godly favor or divine influence and power upon the heart.” The power of God doesn’t go to the powerful in their own minds, but to those who present themselves as empty before the Lord, seeking to be filled.
In Isaiah 57:15, the Bible says, ”For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” God makes a home for Himself in those who worship Him, for those who recognize that all things come by His hand. God uses His eternal power to help build us up in Him, but what do we use our power for?
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 4, 2022 – Titus 2:11 – the grace of God that bringeth salvation
God doesn’t hide who He is from the world, nor does He keep Christ hidden from people. There are so many pastors who preach on television, others on the radio, and even more who use social media to spread the Word of God. There are churches everywhere and people who go to different countries to share the faith in places the Gospel isn’t received. God is going to show Himself to all men, but we have a choice to accept Him as our Father and accept His Word as truth. Many people choose to ignore the Gospel and not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but there will come a time where no one will be able to say, ”I didn’t know”. Because the blood of Jesus Christ was shed to save all mankind for sin, the word has to go out to all men, correct? If the Word doesn’t go out, then Christ died for nothing because no one will hear the Gospel, believe the Gospel and be saved. Today, we will look at Titus 2:11, the manifestation of salvation to all men.
”For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
The word ”grace” means ”divine influence upon the heart, divine empowerment, or Godly favor”. Grace builds a bridge between where we are and where God desires for us to be. Grace accepts us as whole even though we have fallen short. If anyone has ever had money trouble and could not pay a bill, or the rent, on time, we are familiar with a ”grace period”, a time set aside for us to make good on what we owe. In Romans 5:8-10, the Bible says, ”But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” God loved us when we were unlovable, and made the provision for salvation while we were still in our mess. God was a friend to us while we were enemies to the cross, and He desires for us to be one with Him. God knew that we would amass a huge sin debt that we would be unable to pay, and He stepped in and provided Jesus Christ to perfectly atone for our sin.
In 1 John 2:1-2, the Bible says, ”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” God doesn’t desire for us to live in sin, but He desires for us to recognize that He has the answer for our sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, and if we would place our faith in Christ and receive Him as Lord and Saviour, then our sin debt is paid in full!
Some people discount God’s grace, telling themselves that they have to clean up their act first, then come to God. I hear this all of the time in our prison environment, but it is a well-positioned excuse. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, ”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” How can we work to clean ourselves up for a gift that cleans us up totally? It is similar to taking a shower in order to earn a bath!
The word ”salvation” means ”deliverance from the penalty of sin and eternal death”. Our God has brought deliverance to us through he blood of Jesus Christ, not because we are pure or special within ourselves. God did it despite who we are, and what we have done! Christ died on the cross nearly two-thousand years ago, so the gift was provided before we were even born to sin! If salvation came through our works, not only would we not be saved, but we would have found a way to lose our salvation altogether. In Romans 5:15, the Bible says, ”But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” The sin of Adam ushered in death, but the grace of God is ushered in life through Jesus Christ. When we grasp that it is a gift, one that we didn’t pay for or earn, then it may be easier for us to receive it.
The word ”appeared” means ”to shine, manifest, made known, made conscious of”. This grace appears to ALL men! In 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, ”The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God wants everyone saved, even though some won’t choose salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
He still makes the gift available to all, and shows Himself to all men. Christ says in John 12:32, ”And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” There is not a scenario where people won’t know about this gift of salvation. The question is, what will we choose?
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 5, 2022 – Proverbs 15:3 – the eyes of the LORD are in every place
God sees everything. There is nothing in our lives that God misses, whether it be good or bad, yet many of us act like we can hide ourselves from the Lord. It is scary to think that God sees everything, especially when I have done a world of wrong in my life, committing offences before God that brought sore displeasure to Him. It is also refreshing to know that God was watching when I have done things that made Him proud that I was His child. It should also be reassuring to know that God is watching when we struggle through things in life, because God is more than willing to provide the answer to our struggles. Knowing that God is watching makes it easier to step out in faith, makes it easier for me to climb mountains or speak to them, and gives me peace through every situation in my life knowing that God is watching. Ever see the confidence and courage of a child when their Daddy is watching? This is how we should be children of God. Today, we will look at Proverbs 15:3, the all seeing eyes of God.
”The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
The word ”eyes” doesn’t just mean a term of vision, but it also means ”knowledge, or presence”. The word ”Lord” means ”supreme in authority, controller”. God not only sees everything, but he knows everything. In Colossians 1:16-17, the Bible says, ”For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” God created everything in the earth, including the things that are seen and the things that are unseen. If I was a creator and I created something invisible, I would have to know where it is at all times, correct? It is no different with God.
So if God sees everything, what about Christ? Shouldn’t He see everything too?
In John 1:47-48, the Bible says, ”Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” Christ saw Nathaniel in a place where it seemed impossible for Him to have been seen him. This blew Nathaniel away, and in John 1:50, the Bible says, ‘‘Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” He attributed Christ as Deity because Christ did something only God can do.
What else can God see? In Hebrews 4:12-13, the Bible says, ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Not only does God see us physically, but He also sees our thoughts and intents, the stuff we don’t want God to see.
The Word of God is God, correct? Everyone is wide open before God inside and out, and nothing is secret from Him. Think not?
In Mark 9:22-24, the Bible says, ”And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” This man brought his child to the disciples to get the demon removed from him. When it didn’t work, he brought the child to Christ. Christ saw that the father struggled with unbelief, so before He healed his son, He dealt with the father’s unbelief. Christ saw what was happening within him!
The word ”beholding” means ”to peer, watch, or observe”. The word ”evil” means ”wicked, moral wrongfulness, or bad. The word ”good” means ”well-pleasing, fruitful, or morally correct”. In Job 34:21-22, the Bible says, ”For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Our God sees what is working in us, and He also sees the path we take.
In Jeremiah 32:19, the Bible says, ”Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” God sees the good in us and the bad in us, and despite what He has seen, He has still made provision for salvation, redemption, and restoration for us all. God sees what we mean in our hearts when we pray, He understands our fear, confusion, and anger, and He sees us clearly. We serve an amazing God!
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 6, 2022 – John 12:36 – while ye have light, believe in the light
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. It doesn’t matter how much good we do, our lives are still but a vapor. What we do in this life of ours is up to us, but as believers, it should be our desire to live unto the Lord every day we live. Living for the Lord, we have the privilege of walking in His light, receiving the manifestation of His Word, experiencing the power of His Holy Spirit, and having the grace of God completely transform our lives. What if our lives ended today? What would the testimony of our faith be? Have we taken Christ for granted, made His sacrifice of no consequence to us by our unbelief, or have we backslidden, going right back to the life we had been delivered from. One day, our lives are going to be over, the world as we know it will end, and will have wanted to establish it that Christ is our Lord and Savior, and His blood has bought us back from the penalty of sin and death. Today, we will look at John 12:36, seeking the Lord while we still have the chance.
”While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”
The word ”light” means ”luminosity, or manifestation”. The ”light” represents Christ. In John 9:5, Christ says, ”As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Christ is the light of the world, and our salvation rests upon our believing in Him. Christ is letting us know that we don’t have forever to place our faith in Him, the same way He let people know when He walked the earth. In John 8:12, the Bible says, ‘‘Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Our fruitful lives as believers hedge on us walking in the light of the Lord. We walk in life when we walk in the light, which is what God desires for us. In John 10:10, Christ says, God wants us to live abundantly so He desires that His light shine brightly upon us. We can’t succeed as believers by walking in darkness, we have to walk in His light, and that light is Christ.
The word ”believe” means ”to have faith in, to entrust one’s spiritual well-being”. Believing in the light is placing our full trust into the finished work of Jesus Christ, receiving Him as Lord and Savior, and living like Him in the earth.
In John 3:16, Christ says, ‘‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Our faith in Christ is tied directly to the life we live on this earth and the life we will live when are in glory. If we believe in the light, we will live abundant, meaningful lives in the Lord, and we will then live eternally with the Father when our lives here are over. If we forsake the light and live our lives in darkness, we will face a death that can’t be erased. Christ is extending an invitation for us to believe in His name and partake in the divine kingdom life God has prepared for us who believe.
In Revelation 3:20, Christ says, ”Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” God wants us to dine with Christ, to have a relationship with Him with a place at His table, and with Christ having with a place at ours. God wants so little from us, but He gives us so much in return.
The word ”children” refers to offspring, kinship, or sonship. The children are the representation of Christ, which is what we should be as believers. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the Bible says, ‘‘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.” An ambassador goes into another land as a representative of the land they have come from. The job of an ambassador is to attend to the agenda of their home land, all while building successful bridges between where they come from and where they are now.
That’s what we must do as children of the light. In 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6, the Bible says, ‘‘Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” There should be a difference between who we are and who the world represents themselves to be.
The word ”hide” means ”to conceal oneself”. There will come a time when Christ will be hidden from us, and then it will be too late to repent, seek salvation, and receive eternal life. In Romans 13:11, the Bible says, ”And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Let us begin to live like tomorrow is not on the table. Today is all we have.
Marshall & Jessica
Dec 7, 2022 to Jan 6, 2023: Jesus Christ – The Mystery Uncovered Series