“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” John 1:1-2.
Most of us cannot but jot down a few appointments on a calendar and strive to meet them, but looking back on a day, we can see just how nearsighted we are. As we try to understand God’s plan to redeem sinful man, it’s easy to believe Jesus as just another figure in a line of greats: Adam, Noah, Moses, David …. But, Jesus is different.
He is from the beginning, being both God and with God, through whom all things were made. His Only Son’s part in His plan of salvation is integral, but what was the Second Person of the Godhead doing before “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”?
He was the instrument of Creation and spoken to by the Father in Genesis 1:26 as He and the Father are one (John 10:30). Some believe it is Jesus to show up in various theophanies (appearances of God) throughout Scripture … perhaps even Melchizedek himself, in whose order Jesus has become our High Priest forever. He even made His own mother who would give birth to Him.
Do you believe that as God, Jesus is the ‘I Am’?
#Jesus #Word #devotional #dougkashorek
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted” Romans 6:17.
“Thank, God!” we exclaim when even trivial things go our way, but few think about how we are acknowledging God’s intimate attention to the details of our lives and how we’re going to the Creator in prayer with thanksgiving.
Even atheists call the holiday we celebrate at this time of year by its name but don’t really think about to Whom we are giving thanks. Giving thanks has become so flippant that our eyes graze over the hundreds of times in Scripture God is thanked.
Like the nine lepers who did not return to give thanks, we are great at asking God to do stuff for us or give us stuff but don’t take the time to let thanksgiving be part of our prayers.
Do we have reason to thank Him? Over and over again. Just the verse above alone is reason to run back to Jesus, fall down before Him, and give Him thanks. We used to be slaves to sin, but He entrusted us with a form of teaching that we could wholeheartedly obey. We spiritual lepers, healed of our affliction, have a lot to be thankful to God for.
Do you truly give thanks to God?
#dougkashorek #Thanksgiving #devotional
“… ‘You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us’” Ezra 4:3.
In this era of inclusion and bending of the rules to accommodate everyone, the drawing of a line of fellowship by the returning exiles sounds really harsh to us. But, it is God who draws it.
It was precisely because His people had erased His line and drawn it where they pleased that they had ceased to be His people and had compromised with the beliefs and practices of every nation around them.
As Ezra had to tell those of the surrounding peoples who opposed them, “You have no part with us,” Nehemiah needed to a few years later when he sought to rebuild the walls.
But why not extend fellowship? Doesn’t God love all people? Yes, but with God a person is either in or out. It’s tempting to want to call seemingly good and loving folks who are doing great deeds “Christians,” but God draws the line still by whether they are in or out of Christ.
It is up to us to have the courage to hold the line and build the wall in the face of opposition or give in to the pressure to re-draw God’s line.
Are you courageous to stand for God?
#devotional #fellowship #love
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” Acts 8:4.
This statement has always run counter to what I’ve observed in the my two decades of ministry. If evangelism is to happen, then every factor in people’s lives have to be perfect. After things are going well in the marriage, with the kids, with finances, at work, and with friends, then life is stable enough to think about telling someone else about Jesus. But, as long as even just one piece of our life’s puzzle is out of place, then we shrink back into ourselves to lick our wounds and figure it out.
Guess how often Satan is going to make sure that you have a struggle going on if it will keep God’s people from preaching the gospel? Always.
Not Christians in the first century! Like coals of a fire when a large log is thrown onto them, they spread and catch onto other tinder. How frustrated Satan must have been during the early decades of Jesus’ church! Nothing he threw at them worked; those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
How could that be us again? We tell of other things that are important to us. The gospel must become important. Our faith must grow.
Are you telling the gospel?
#evangelism #devotional #struggles #gospel
“Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion” Ecclesiastes 9:4.
Hope, that anchor for the soul, is in short supply today. I meet people everyday who feel defeated in their lives. Perhaps it’s a change they’ve failed to make in their lives. Maybe it’s circumstances they are currently trapped in. Or, possibly they or someone they love have not obeyed the gospel for salvation. Their declaration is always the same, “It’s hopeless!” Continue reading
“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more” 1 Thessalonians 4:1.
When we justify our choices by our situation, we live in order to please ourselves as Eve did when she “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” We set ourselves up on the throne of our lives as the ultimate authority over ourselves. When we sow to please our sinful nature, God warns us in Galatians, that we “will reap destruction.”
Instead, we are told in 2 Corinthians to “make it our goal to please Him.” Being resurrected with Him, we live for Him. We must please Him, not us.
And we do this, this chapter tells us, by living sanctified, that is, holy or set apart. We do this by avoiding sexual immorality, not wronging our brother, living a pure and holy life, loving each other, and living to “win the respect of outsiders” and “not be dependent on anybody.”
Just as the Thessalonians were doing this already but needed to be urged “to do this more and more,” so must we.
Who do you live to please?
Plattsburgh church of Christ
Here’s a thought that I’m going to work in during my sermon based within the context of Luke 7:36-50 (Simon the Pharisee and the woman sinner).
“If you owe someone 1,000$ and your neighbor owes 10,000$, and the note is due the next day, but you’re both out of work, who’s in trouble? – That’s why we’re all dependent upon the mercy of God through the Son of God who can pay off our notes through his blood.”
Read Luke’s account of what happened that day in a Pharisee’s house and the point becomes clear.
I thought you might be able to use it for a devotional thought or a sermon seed.