Daily Devotion Archive

The key to a Long & Fulfilled Life

 

From the beginning of time, man has attempted to find the key to a long and prosperous life. Unfortunately, life ends way too soon it seems for some. For others, life is fulfilling, prosperous, and full of joy.

There are many things that one can do to increase the quality of life, such as: Exercise, eating right, refraining from unnecessary stress, and surrounding yourself with good people. Those are just a few.
 
Some people pursue fullness of life in a godly way while others pursue fullness of life in an ungodly way. Proverbs 10:27 speaks of the two outcomes based upon the choice that one makes to either live for God or to live for self.
 
To fear God is to love Him, live for Him, and live by His holy word and way. To live a life for self and self pleasure apart from God and His Holiness is sure to lead to a shortened life. Shortened how? This is in two parts. The life will be shortened either in length of days or it will be shortened in fulfillment in the lifetime of those length of days. One can seem to be living life to the fullest, but without Christ at the helm, that life is anything but full.

 

The life that loves God and seeks Him in everything is a life that is long and full of blessing. No matter the length of days that person has on this earth; you can guarantee that life is full. And better yet, that life is prolonged with no end in sight. To the soul that has their trust in God; that life shall never end! I encourage you to live your life in Godly fear and reverence to His Holy name.

“The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: But the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”

Proverbs 10:27  

Getting Started Right

 

There are certain things that will never turn out right unless it began right. For instance, you can begin construction on a home or building and possess the blueprints and architectural drawings that gives you insight into what the home will look like. There is one crucial thing that must take place for the plans and drawings to come to sustainable life; that is the foundation. If the home does not set on a firm foundation, you can use the best material that money can buy, but one day, the house will show foundational problems. Every purpose of the home rests on the foundation. If that foundation is weak, the entire home is compromised.

Too many times, we forget the importance of getting things started right within our Christian lives. Our week get compromised by making the decision to stay out of God’s house on Sunday. Monday comes and we make no time for the Lord and His word which leads to a ruthless routine on every other day ending in “y.”
 
When we begin our week in God’s house and follow each day up with prayer and devotion, the foundation is laid and it is laid sufficiently. This does not mean that storms won’t come or the ground won’t shake beneath us. It does mean that we have taken the proper first steps to withstand the things life throws at us through God’s help. The surest way our days will turn into a reckless mess is start them wrong. Begin each day in prayer and devotion to God. Start your week in God’s house with fellow Christians. You are sure to lay a firm foundation for your life to rest upon.
 
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: For unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

Psalm 5:1-3

Safety is found only in the Lord

 

Most of us attempt to live in safety and security. If this is not true, why do we lock our doors at night? Why do we wear our seatbelt when we drive our automobiles? Why do we schedule wellness exams at the doctor or schedule routine dental exams? The answer to is simple; we do our best to be preemptive concerning our health and safety. It’s a good practice that gives us peace of mind and also demonstrates care and concern for our ourself and our family too.

David gives us the greatest  assurance and comfort for our safety in Psalm 4:8. This Davidic Psalm zeros in on the reality of where our peace and safety comes from. The Lord is our safety. He is our protection and our peace. Nothings squeaks by the throne of God. He knows and sees all things. When we lay down to sleep at night or rise to face another day, may we rest in comfort knowing our God makes us to dwell in safety. He’s got your back!
 
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: For thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8

The Taste of Good & Bad Fruit

 

The majority of consensus in the medical community agree that the strongest muscle in the body is the masseter muscle located in your jaw. This muscle can produce 55 pounds of pressure with the front teeth and a whopping 200 pound with the molar teeth. That is some serious pressure from such a small muscle.

There is a muscle that is in close proximity to the masseter muscle and this muscle is incredibly powerful. This muscle can be credited for encouraging someone. It can be used to teach, tear down, build up, or destroy. This muscle is the tongue.
 
No one muscle has the influence and power to build upon a healthy life and yet possess the power to bring a life to the lowest of lows. There is power in our tongue. There is no neutral ground with our involvement of its use. We will either guard our tongue and guard what we allow ourself to hear from another, or we will recklessly let ours fly loose and gobble up everything someone else’s may spew.
 
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that there is Life and death in the power of the tongue. Any person that loves what they say or what they hear another say will eat the fruit of that tongue. Here is the question, are you eating good fruit or rotten fruit!The tongue always produces fruit. It’s either good fruit or it’s rotten to the core. May we choose wisely what we say and what we listen to.

 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 18:21

Pride’s Path

 

There is contention everywhere we turn in the day that we live in. Whether it be contention in politics, social disagreements, or simply anything that rubs someone wrong; the contention is very present among us today.

As Christian’s, we are not to legitimize or make excuses for our contentious spirit. We must see it for what it is and the origin by which it comes from. We all know that there are many things that can aggravate us and sometimes even anger us. The word contention found in Proverbs 13:10 means to quarrel, debate, or partake in verbal arguing. We’ve all been there!
 
The Bible reveals the ugly origin by which this contention comes from. It’s none other than pride. If we fail to see the origin, we will only concentrate on the “why’s” of our contention which leads to legitimization in every case. May we humble our heart toward the Lord and run from contention.

 

Proverbs 13:10—“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”

Why Be Afraid?

 
In this world that we live in, we don’t have to look around very much to see many things that cause us to fear. Whether it’s wars or rumors of wars, disease, famine, civil disobedience, or maybe a slumbering economy. There is always things to dwell upon that breed fear in our heart and mind.
King David began Psalm 27 with this question: “Why should I be afraid?” His focus was upon the Lord and all that the Lord has and continues to provide for him. When our focus is turned toward the Lord and His provision, our fear will begin to dissipate.
 
David declares that the Lord is his Light and his salvation and then follows up with the question, “why should I be afraid?” He lights our path indeed. He illuminated our dead soul and brought us from death to life in His glorious salvation and redemption. When we dwell on the fact that our soul has been redeemed and our pathway has been illuminated, what other question is there to be asked other than, “Why should I be afraid?” Thank you, Jesus, for your saving grace and pathway of illuminated truth!
 
Psalm 27:1– “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?”

Happy For The Word

 

There are too many blessings to count that we’re gifted with when Christ saves us from our sins. He washes our sins away. He establishes our goings. He creates us in a clean heart. He saves, seals, and one day will deliver us into His eternal presence. I could go on and on about the benefits of being a child of the Highest King.

One gift that has been given to us that we fail to cherish as we should; that gift is the Word of God. Each of those benefits that I named are all found in the Word of God! The Bible is the living and breathing word of God! The embodiment of the Holy Spirit is the Word of God. The word of God is our navigation system through life. It teaches us, corrects us, cuts us, and then soothes us. If our heart was more centered on the Word of God, our faith would be so much stronger. The Bible tells us so: Romans 10:17—“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
 
Christ was teaching in Luke 11:28 following a deliverance of demon possession. As he expounds upon the subject, a woman yells out: “Blessed is the womb of your mother that gave birth to you and the means by which she nursed you.” Jesus responds with where the true Happiness lies. It lies with those who have the word of God and practice it. This truly puts the significance on the word of God in our life. I trust you have read your Bible today, if not; take time out right now to schedule some quiet time to get into His word.

 

Luke 11:28—(Jesus said) “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

The Crossroads of Christianity

 

From the moment a person is born-again, there is a continual crossroads that lies ahead. One turn at the crossroads leads us to worldly patterns and advice; the other leads us to Godly pattern and instruction. There is no hope of happiness and surety for the Christian that takes the path led by the ungodly and worldly instruction. There is only one pathway that leads to happiness and strength in the Lord.

As Christians, we are to minister to the lost. Our main objective should be delivering the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to them. If we fail to keep this the main objective when interacting with the unsaved, we will likely begin to follow their worldly paths and listen to their ungodly advice. This is unwise and leads to a miserable and incomplete Christian life.
 
As Christian’s, may we stay close to the instruction of the Lord. He will never lead us astray. His way is never to harm us or leave us incomplete and empty. Our job is to evangelize the lost, not blend in with them and adapt to their ways. There truly is a Crossroads in Christianity. We will either take the pathway that leads to strength and maturity, or we will take the path that leads to worldly pattern and instruction. Choose wisely! A pig can be washed and groomed to look an like the cleanest animal around, but a pig always goes back to the muck and mire. If you find yourself dissatisfied in the muck and mire, get up, get out, and go home to Jesus.
 
“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. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season; His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalm 1:1-6

Pure Worship

 

Being a Christian gives us opportunity to serve and minister to countless people in a wide range of difficult circumstances. Two people groups who are often forgotten are widows and orphans. Most of us are so busy with life and work that our head stays down to the ground plowing forward.

James lays out for us what “pure religion undefiled” looks like. The word religion that is used in James 1:27 means worship. He gives us an example of what pure worship without defilement would be. Visiting the fatherless and the widows in their affliction.

There is not much glamour or accolades awaiting the persons who minister in this capacity! At least from men that is. James goes on to include that we’re to minister as such and also keep ourselves unspotted from the world. This means that we too are to remain undefiled from the world.

Ministry and worship of God in a pure way leads us to live a life of un-defilement before the world. May we all be challenged to worship our Lord in a pure way with pure hands. If you know a widow that has no one and is in need, step up to help her where you can. Find a way to minister to the orphan. These are people and needs close to the heart of God!

James 1:27—“27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

“A Loose Tongue Leads to a Lousy Faith”

 

There are things that should be evident in a born again Christian that stands out conducive to our professed faith. Paul labeled these in Galatians 5:22—24 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Often in a Christian Church service, you will see lips singing, hands raised in worship, and sounds of agreement such as Amen, Praise God, and Hallelujah. These things that are seen and heard lead people to believe that those lifting hands and chanting those words of worship are religious or better yet, the real deal.
 
James teaches us that outward appearance and acts of religion are not an accurate way to see someone’s genuine faith or as the KJV puts it, Religion. James says if someone seems to be religious but can’t keep his/her tongue in check, that person’s religion is in vain. The one thing that we give a pass on as a Christian too often is our loose tongue. There is so much pain, hurt, and deception that could be avoided if we’d only keep our tongue in check.
 
James teaches us that those that seem to be religious but can’t keep their tongue in check have deceived their very own heart. We should not be so consumed with appearing to be religious; instead, we should bridle our tongue to demonstrate that we are in obedience to Christ. It’s important to note that Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a person, and His name is Christ Jesus. By God’s help, I am working on this very struggle daily. I encourage you to do so as well. We can look the part all we want, but if our tongue is out of control, our faith is too!
 
James 1:26 “26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

“Law & Liberty”

 

There are two words that are not synonymous but do go hand in hand when looked at through the lens of New Testament scripture. Those two words are Law and Liberty. When we hear the word “Law,” our mind instantly goes to restriction. When we hear the word “Liberty,” we most often think of freedom.

James teaches us how the two go hand in hand when we are in Christ. Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the Law of God, also known as the Mosaic Law. No man has ever been ever to keep the Law of God until Jesus Christ came along as God in the flesh. Jesus kept every single aspect of the Law of God!

If we look to Christ in obedience to His word, there is great liberty. Dr. J. Vernon McGee likened this to having liberty to drive up and down the freeway. There are laws that must be maintained to keep the liberty of driving the freeway. If we break those laws, there are consequences to pay.

If we live our Christian life by looking to Christ in all that we say and do while applying biblical principle, we will live and walk in freedom and liberty. Obeying the word of God leads us to total freedom in Christ. He and His word are enough! Never view the parameters He sets for us through scripture as limits; instead, view them as limitless Liberty in Him for us.

James 1:25—“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”

“Mirrors Only Reveal”

 

Each day that we awake, there is one thing that most of us have in common; we see ourselves revealed in a mirror. We either use a mirror while brushing our teeth or getting ready for work, school, or some place we’re going for the day.

Mirrors are an incredible help to us. They reveal things that otherwise we could not personally see. They reveal blind spots while driving, they reveal objects coming toward us in certain intersections. A mirror gives us a great advantage on addressing things that need attention.
 
James tells us that hearing the Bible is like a mirror. It will reveal exactly what we are and the things that we need to address. However, when beholding ourself in a mirror, the mirror never jumps off the wall and brushes our teeth for us. The mirror will never take the initiative to fix our hair, wardrobe, or cosmetic flaw. That mirror that gives us every bit of knowledge to stay in our lane or that a car is coming around the curve in a blind spot; it will never drive our car for us. We must take what the mirror reveals and do something with it.

 

Merely hearing the word of God is likened unto that mirror. It will reveal some extremely important things to us; things that we need to change. These things are detrimental to our spiritual health and well being. But here is the thing, we must take what the Bible reveals to us and put action to it. May we not be hearers of the word only; but let us be doers of the word as well. Otherwise, we are like that person who sees their self in the mirror and walks away forgetting everything the mirror revealed. Be a doer of the Word, not merely a hearer.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

James 1:22-24  

“Taking off the Filth”

There is no place for a Christian to play fast and loose with wicked living. The Bible calls us over and over to Holiness and Holy living. If we find ourself looking for a reason or an out to live in an ungodly manner, we are looking to fulfill our own carnal desires while rejecting the word of God.

James does not sugarcoat how we are to handle ungodly living. He clearly instructs us to take it off. He likens it to a coat that one would put on. We are to lay aside wicked living and nature. In it’s place, we are to receive the implanted word of God.

 

The saying has been handed down through the ages and I am unsure who deserves credit for it but it sure is a treasure of truth. “Sin will keep you from the Bible, and the Bible will keep you from sin.”

 

Lord help me to run to the word everyday of my life. So long as I am running to your word, I’ll be simultaneously running away from sinful and immoral living.

James 1:21 “21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

“Action leads to Reaction”

 

The things that we allow ourself to hear always leads to things that we allow ourselves to say. Most of us at some time or another have been taught or at least heard the saying: “You become what you are around.” No truer words have ever been spoken.

What we hear affects us greatly, whether its negative or positive. James tells us to be quick to hear in James 1:19. The preceding verse is referencing the word of truth. This is the word of God. We are to be quick to hear the word of God.

 

We are to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. The latter two totally hinge upon hearing/practicing the word of God. It is so vitally important to have a healthy intake of the Word of God. To do so is an action that guides our reaction. Nothing will control our attitude, our tongue, and our anger like the word of God.

My challenge to you today is to begin reading and practicing God’s word today. Do not put it off. Nothing is of any greater importance as a child of God than the digesting of his Holy Word. The absence of His Word in our life will let the reins down on our tongue and attitude. Make it a daily practice to read and apply the Word of truth.
 
James 1:19–20  “19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”