Wander

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5.19-20

According to James, it is possible for a Christian to wander from the truth and lose their salvation sending their soul to death. Paul agreed that someone could be discovered in some sin and need to be restored with a spirit of gentleness, Galatians 6.1.

It is not always easy to correct others. However, it may be necessary. The attitude with which you approach someone who is in error may make the difference between the person repenting or being lost forever. It must be done with firm love, showing the error with the scriptures, 2 Timothy 3.16.

While it is not easy to correct someone, many times it is even harder to be the one being corrected. How do you react when someone comes to correct your behavior? Do you get angry? Do you react in a negative way and allow your pride to make you arrogant? Do you make excuses for your behavior? It is important that you remember that your brother or sister in Christ loves you and does not want you to lose your soul.

#risingjoy #devotional

We struggle to follow

So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” (Acts 10:33 ESV)

Тотчас послал я к тебе, и ты хорошо сделал, что пришел. Теперь все мы предстоим пред Богом, чтобы выслушать все, что повелено тебе от Бога. (Деяния 10:33 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ dear Heavenly Father, we come before you with trembling hearts as we hunger and thirst to know you better as we struggle to follow in the footsteps of Christ our Lord. Bless Christians everywhere who assemble to honor Jesus Christ our Savior and King. Give wisdom and courage to all who preach the gospel, to make certain that we also tell all that has been commanded by our Lord in the Spirit inspired New Testament so that those starving for salvation from sin and eternal life may obey the gospel and be saved. Squash the influence of false teachers who prefer to give their opinions rather than teaching your whole counsel. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Confess and pray

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. James 4.16

It is not true that after you become a Christian that you will never sin. You will. You try your best not to. You are vigilant and alert. However, the devil is constantly on the lookout for a way to make you fall. Many times, when you least expect it, it happens. You do, say, or think something that you should not.

The important thing is not to keep repeating the same sin over and over, returning to our former way of life. Hebrews 12.1 tells us to get rid of every weight and sin that clings so closely and run the race focusing on Jesus. If we confess to another Christian the sin that clings to us, we can receive help in our healing through their prayers on our behalf. Knowing that someone is praying for us to overcome sin and being accountable to them is a powerful tool and can help us to heal.

The prayers of the righteous person are powerful.

#risingjoy #devotional #confession

Physical and mental ability

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

И приблизившись Иисус сказал им: дана Мне всякая власть на небе и на земле. Итак идите, научите все народы, крестя их во имя Отца и Сына и Святаго Духа, уча их соблюдать всё, что Я повелел вам; и се, Я с вами во все дни до скончания века. Аминь. (Матфея 28:18-20 Russian)

Almighty God our dear Heavenly Father ~ we lift up our hearts and offer our hands to you as we consider the authority you have bestowed upon your beloved Son who became our redeemer and friend by suffering and dying in our place. Grant wisdom to every person who teaches the gospel so that we will use all the physical and mental ability you have given so that the message of forgiveness of sins will be known and listeners will obey Christ’s teaching to believe, repent and be baptized according to the Scriptures. Give all Christians the strength and fortitude to remain faithful to our dear Lord until death. We fervently pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Mixed emotions

But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:10-13 ESV)

Но Иисус, уразумев сие, сказал им: что смущаете женщину? она доброе дело сделала для Меня: ибо нищих всегда имеете с собою, а Меня не всегда имеете; возлив миро сие на тело Мое, она приготовила Меня к погребению; истинно говорю вам: где ни будет проповедано Евангелие сие в целом мире, сказано будет в память ее и о том, что она сделала. (От Матфея 26:10-13 Russian)

Our dear Heavenly Father ~ we come into your awesome presence with many and mixed emotions as your little children who come to you often each day for guidance through these troubling times. Accept our feeble attempts to show our highest reverential respect for our Lord Jesus Christ who leads us to our eternal home. Bless all people who make extra efforts to live in such a sacrificial manner that the world sees Christ in your people of faith. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

He’ll make you forget your water-pot

John 4:5-7 says, “Now he came to a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, so Jesus, since he was tired from the journey, sat right down beside the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” (NET)

Read a little further and you’ll find that John 4:28-29 says, “Then the woman left her water jar, went off into the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, can he?”” (NET)

The lesson? Spend enough time talking to Jesus and we, like the thirsty woman at Jacob’s well, will forget all about the “water-pots” that seem so important and exchange them for the source of the fountain that freely flows.

Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 NET)

#Jesus #spiritual-illustration #devotional

Faith and works

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. James 2.20-24

What you believe is important. Faith in God is essential, for without it, you cannot please him, Hebrews 11.6. However, faith, which does not motivate you to act, is useless. Even the demons believe and tremble, James 2.19. Just listening to the word and not living it out is of no purpose, for you are only deceiving yourself.

Abraham is a good example of faith and works. He obeyed when told to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God, Genesis 22. He acted quickly. It is interesting that the Bible does not tell of the emotions that he was bound to be experiencing. That is not what is important. What is important is that his faith in God motivated him to action.

Faith and works go hand in hand. One without the other is useless. May Christians act according to the faith that we profess to have.

#risingjoy #devotional #faith #works

He already knows the answer

Like a parent with their child, there are times when God asks questions or makes requests and the point has nothing to do with gaining knowledge for himself – the point has to do with the gaining of knowledge for the other half of the conversation.

For example, John 4:16-19 says, “Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

Jesus already knew about the woman’s marriage situation. He didn’t ask her his question to find out the truth. Jesus asked his question to see if she was willing to acknowledge the truth. And that acknowledgement led to an understanding about the truth of Jesus.

This same truth remains with us. We’re not forced to answer the personal questions and requests of the gospel in order to allow God to learn more about us … answering the questions and requests of the gospel causes us to learn more about ourselves (Acts 5:1-3; 10:13-15; 24:25; 26:14).

Jesus knows everything there is to know about us (Isaiah 46:10), but answering his questions reveals how much we want to know about him. Think about that the next time you find Jesus asking someone a question.

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25 NKJV)

#Jesus #Devotional #Gospel

Living it out

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. James 1.21-22

The message is implanted within every believer. That is the faith or belief that you have. Without faith, it is impossible to please him, Hebrews 11.6. This message is able to save your soul. However, it is not automatic. Your faith must motivate you to act. You must live out the message.

Many people deceive themselves thinking that just because they believe, it is enough. But, James wrote that if you do not live out the message, merely listening to it, you deceive yourself. Christians in the book of Acts could be seen leaving Jerusalem because of persecution. But, they went teaching others with whom they came in contact. They put their faith into practice. There are examples of people doing good works to help others, another way of putting your faith into practice.

You have to make a choice. You cannot embrace evil and good. It is not possible to serve two masters as Jesus taught in Matthew 6.24. You have to get rid of the evil and filthy things and choose the message that is able to save you.

Choose to live the message for all to see!

#risingjoy #devotional

Incomparable value

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44 ESV)

Еще подобно Царство Небесное сокровищу, скрытому на поле, которое, найдя, человек утаил, и от радости о нем идет и продает всё, что имеет, и покупает поле то. (Матфея 13:44 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord, for the amazing gift of life in or presence on this new day. Bless with the comfort of your Spirit to all children of faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and especially those who are suffering in nations where they are viewed as outcasts even among their own family and friends. Open our minds so that we will recognize the incomparable value of the treasure of truth that brings eternal life to all who trust and obey Christ. Drown out the negative attitudes and influence that many people have toward your message of grace and mercy. We pray fervently in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Unshakeable

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. For our God is indeed a devouring fire. Hebrews 12.28-29

Unshakeable. Strong. Safe. Haven. Descriptions that do not describe many places, certainly not in this world. Yet, these concepts are descriptive of God’s kingdom, of which anyone can be a part.

There is a condition that is required: obedience to God. You do not waltz in by doing your own thing. You cannot talk your way in. No, you have to do the will of God.

Where is that will found? It is found in the Bible, God’s inspired word, 2 Timothy 3.16-17. It does not matter what man thinks is appropriate or what man wants to do to worship God. What matters is God’s will to be carried out by his people.

Let us give thanks for his word. Let us offer worship that is pleasing to him in devotion and awe. God will not share first place!

#risingjoy #devotional

Courage and wisdom

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.* (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV)

Итак облекитесь, как избранные Божии, святые и возлюбленные, в милосердие, благость, смиренномудрие, кротость, долготерпение, снисходя друг другу и прощая взаимно, если кто на кого имеет жалобу: как Христос простил вас, так и вы. (Колоссянам 3:12-13 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ hear the prayers of the people who trust and obey your beloved Son. Grant us courage and the wisdom of your love so that we will wholeheartedly be patient with and forgive one another as we work together in the Vineyard of the Lord. Punish us if and when we become arrogant and unforgiving toward one another so that the world may see Christ living in your children of faith. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

A great day

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10.31

How do you bargain with the Creator of all things? How do you argue for justice when God’s son was sacrificed to redeem your soul if you obey God? What excuse can you give to justify yourself when your actions do not obey God’s commands?

God is loving. He will not condemn anyone. He is merciful. In the end, he will save everyone. These are the things that Satan wants us to believe, if we believe in God at all.

Yes, God is loving and alive! He is not an image made of stone or wood that has been made by a man’s hands to be worshiped. He has executed a plan whereby all men might be saved. However, he has warned that not all will be saved, Matthew 7.13-14.

Once you know the truth and insist on continuing to sin, there is no sacrifice left for you, Hebrews 10.26. In your rebellion, be aware that there will be a day of judgment when you will answer to God for your lack of obedience to him and it will be terrifying.

There’s a great day coming!

#risingjoy #devotional #judgment-day

New day

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40 ESV)

Учитель! какая наибольшая заповедь в законе? Иисус сказал ему: возлюби Господа Бога твоего всем сердцем твоим и всею душею твоею и всем разумением твоим: сия есть первая и наибольшая заповедь; вторая же подобная ей: возлюби ближнего твоего, как самого себя; на сих двух заповедях утверждается весь закон и пророки. (От Матфея 22:36-40 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord for this new day and the pleasant blessings that greet the hearts of believers and even those who refuse to acknowledge your eternal presence. Give us more of the wisdom of Christ who left the glories of Heaven to live among the filth and degradation of this evil and sinful world. Help all faithful believers to come down from their lofty ivory towers and become humble servants to sinners in need of forgiveness and eternal life. Protect us from tricks of Satan as we work to please Christ our Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Your caring presence in our mundane affairs

And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Matthew 20:17-19 ESV)

Enquanto estava subindo para Jerusalém, Jesus chamou em particular os doze discípulos e lhes disse: “Estamos subindo para Jerusalém, e o Filho do homem será entregue aos chefes dos sacerdotes e aos mestres da lei. Eles o condenarão à morte e o entregarão aos gentios para que zombem dele, o açoitem e o crucifiquem. No terceiro dia ele ressuscitará!” (Mateus 20:17-19 Portugues NVI-PT)

O LORD our God ~ thank you dear Heavenly Father for your caring presence in our mundane affairs that must seem very trivial in comparison with what is happening in Heaven. Touch our hearts and minds with a fresh awareness of how startling it must have been for the Disciples to hear Christ Jesus speak about going through intense suffering and death on our behalf. Forgive us dear Lord for the indifferent and scholarly attitude that we may have taken in the past with regard to these inspired words that are able to bring salvation and eternal life to those who trust and obey Jesus as Lord. Bless your Church around the world with leaders with the perfect wisdom of Christ so that they will lead this generation into greater works of evangelism along with good deeds that reflect or solid belief in the resurrection of the dead. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional