Category Archives: Devotional

Hold Fast

2 Timothy 1:13-18

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

It’s easy for me to lose my grip on things these days. During my cancer battle I developed neuropathy on the outside of both of my hands. This includes my outside two fingers on both hands. There is some feeling on the ring finger, but little on the pinkie. Just a numbness That still persists. This numbness makes it very difficult to grip things tightly and to hold on for a long time. It is very frustrating and I am believing God for healing.

But how do we hold onto words? They are not things that we can grip with our hands or fingers. They are not solid objects that have a handle on them. They fly through the air and land on our ears. If it is a language we understand than we do our best to comprehend what is said. We don’t always get the whole message correct, but we usually do our best. Sometimes we completely misunderstand and get frustrated and upset at the words that have come our way. Words are powerful things.

That old adage that says “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is so wrong. The hurt of words can last a lifetime and can destroy a soul. They can also lift us up and edify us to greater things. They can break our souls or heal our spirits. They can make us believe or they can deceive. James talks a lot about the tongue. He says we should not bless and curse out of the same mouth. He says we are known by what proceeds out of our mouth. Jesus said we will give account for every word we speak. How careful we should be before we let words leave our lips.

Paul tells us to hold fast the sound words that he has spoken in faith and love. He wants us to know and understand everything he has said and then stay with it. Holding fast means that we follow those words, that we live those words. When someone loses their tamper or just gets frustrated beyond control, we tell them to “Get a grip”. When we just can’t seem to understand something, we tell others we just “can’t get a handle on it.” Some times when I ask people how they are doing they say “I am hanging in there.”

We all want to hold fast to something. It is so ingrained in us that we use these cute sayings to demonstrate the fact that we need something to hold onto. We can’t go through life in a freefall with nothing to cling to. There has to be something we can reach out to in times of trouble, something we can grab when we are about to fall. The words of the Bible provide that.

Think about it. When we are in a difficult situation, what is it we can hold onto? John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” When we have a tough decision to make, we can turn to Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trus in the Liord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your path.” I can not begin to tell you how many times I held onto that scripture in my life. In times of anxiety, Paul says “be anxious for nothing.” In Philippians 4:6. He tells us God is able to complete the work which He began in us (Philippians 1:6). When we are not sure if we are capable he tells us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). When we can’t make ends meet, he says “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

These and many more verses are things we can hold onto even in our most desperate times. There is nothing too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27). Everything we are going through and all that comes our way will work out for our good (Romans 8:28). God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and He will hear our cry (Jeremiah 33:3). If you’re going through a rough time and don’t know where you should turn, Get a Grip! The Word of God is something you can hold fast and never let go, because it will always be true!

New Blog Coming

Hello to all my fellow bloggers. Many of you know that I have been working on a book that is entitled The A.S.K. Principle. I blogged about this topic extensively a few months ago and I’m going to bring it back on a separate blog. I’m doing this because the book is now in full swing and is at the editors at this time. The publisher that I’m working through also suggest that I blog about the book to enable everyone to be more informed.

I will be sharing with you thoughts behind the book, how the publishing is progressing and excerpts from the book. There will also be posts about prayer and answered prayers. I pray this will be a blessing to you and will build your faith as we go along.

I have no plan as to what days or how often I will be posting on this site. Most of the posts will probably be simple and not very long so I might update it more often. In any case I hope you will follow along as we take a closer look at prayer and how it works in our lives.

I thank you for following this site and I will continue to post here until we finish our study in Galatians. Then I’m not sure which direction I will take with this blog but you can bet that God will direct me somehow. I wait for him to decide what he wants to do with the maintenance man.

Be blessed my friends

Obligation or Devotion

It’s funny how things sometimes come around when you least expect it. This morning I was reading in Isaiah chapter 1.  I personally have been a little lapse in my daily devotional time, and decided Isaiah was a good place to begin investing more time and study.  So you may see a few posts sprinkled in on both Galatians and Isaiah going forward. If something strikes me as a Holy Spirit moment, you will know it!

In Isaiah chapter 1 the prophet points out that Israel is doing the things that God required. They were bringing the daily sacrifices  as prescribed in Leviticus. They were carrying out of the feasts during the seasons He had told him was necessary.. It seems like they doing everything they could to obey the Lord and yet God called all this an abomination!   He was angry with them. In fact, He says it is rebellion and sin.  How can this be?  It is simply because they were doing these things out of obligation instead of devotion.

This morning I also read a post from Don at TLP.  He was discussing how the Corinthians were upset that Paul had asked for an offering for the church at Jerusalem.  They thought he was doing something a little crooked.  Don talked about our giving, and I asked his thoughts on tithing.  Don pointed out that if we start to think we must still follow the Old Testament tithing law, we were under the whole law.  God is looking for our all, not just a tithe.  He is looking for our devotion, not our obligation.

Many times I find myself carrying out the obligations that are expected of me by God. I do my study, I write poems when He gives them to me, I pray for those who need prayer, I lead Worship in my church.  All of these are obligations that I have taken on. And at times I find myself doing them just out of obligation and not out of devotion. Do you find yourself in that situation once in awhile?

Anything we do for God should be done because we love Him and are devoted to Him, not because it is an obligation. In Psalm 51, David writes “To obey is better than sacrifice.” There are many who think they are going to heaven because they pay their tithes, go to church,  and they’re good people. They have fulfilled their obligations. But they lack devotion to God.  If God would and them to give everything and leave it behind they would probably have a reaction like the Rich Young Ruler. He walked away sad because he wasn’t willing to give all.  Am I?  Are you?

Let us always walk with the devotion that God had for us.   Isaiah went on to say that we should come and reason together -though our sins are scarlet they will be white as snow. There was no reason that God had tom give His Son.  There was no reason He should extend His mercy to us.  When we come and reason together with God, He says “I gave my all.  I expect the same from you.”    When I don’t what is my reason?

Do you need to be Repurposed

We couldn’t figure out what to do with the old deck in the backyard. The three-season room that had been attached to it was changed to a walk-in closet, so we no longer had use for the deck. We had always wanted a deck on the front of the house. We just could not afford to buy all the lumber again. While I was recovering from cancer, I finally had time to work on some projects around home. When we took the measurements of the old deck, it amazed us that it would work splendidly to reconfigure it and put it on the front, On Memorial Day, we tore the old deck off the back of the house. By the 4th of July we had repurposed that wood to build the deck on the front of the house. It was a dream come true for my wife and I W enjoyed it the rest of the summer and into the fall. Spring is right around the corner, and we will put in a sliding glass door out to the deck. It will be a great year!

Sometimes, our lives can get to a place where we are like that old deck. Our purpose has worn out, and we are not sure what usefulness there is for us anymore. But God can repurpose out lives if we will just put ourselves in His loving hands. He can mold us and shape us, making us a vessel that the master can use.

Lord, I feel like I am just not doing anything worthwhile for you. I give you this earthen vessel. Please make me into someone who you can use. Make me a vessel that you can pour your love through to those around me.

Our Champion

I was reading a post from Path Without End where he mentioned that Jesus was our champion and it spawned this post.

We have all kinds of champions in life.  The one we think of most when we think of a champion a sporting event winner.  They call the winner of the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or the NBA finals World Champions!  I always found that strange because they don’t play an teams from around the world!  I know that football is a North American sport (our brand of football), but the don;t even match teams up to play for the World Championship with any teams from the Canadian Foot League!  How can they be World Champions?  Or in baseball – it is played in many other countries, yet those countries are not included in the World Series.  The only true World Champion would be the winner of the World Cup, which includes all countries with organized soccer teams.

Individual sporting events also bring us Champions.  Tennis matches, such as Wimbledon and the US Open; golfing events such as the Masters and British Open ad Boxing are all played on a worldwide stage.Other sports are more regional or by country, but they still call the winners champions.

Then there are real life champions.  Those who pioneer a cause or help people out of difficult circumstances can be champions.  I think of Martin Luther King Jr as a champion of the civil rights movement, along with Rosa Parks.  I think of T. J. Watt who personally raised over 33 million dollars for Houston Hurricane relief.  I think of those first responders who gave their lives at 9?11 to save others.  These are all champions and this list goes on forever.

In my own life, I have to say my best friend is my champion.  We have known each other for 60 years and through thick and thin have remained friends.  He saved my life when he pulled me out of an icy pond when we were 9.  He fought on the front lines of Vietnam when he got out of high school.  He brought me to Jesus Christ in his mobile home when we were in our twenties.  He led the attack on Baghdad from the air during Desert Storm.  He has become a mighty prayer warrior my life, and he encourages me in the faith.  He is my champion as well.

M wife is also my champion.  She is my wonderful companion. She is an amazing caregiver.  She is always watching out for my best interests.  She works hard at two jobs all the time – over 60 hours a week.  She is by my side in the good times and the bad, and shows her love to me all the time.  My champion!

As wonderful as all these champions are, they do not compare to the greatest champion of all.  He was seated beside God in heaven one day, and God asked him to come to earth and die for our sins.  God told his son that he would be born a simple child in a manger bed, amidst the livestock and shepherds of the day.  He would not even have a bed and a pillow to lay on.  He would be wrapped in old clothes, not a nice blanket.

He told His son that he would be raised by a carpenter and no-one would know who He really was.  He would learn that trade and work at it for 30 years, becoming a master craftsman.  Then he would go visit his cousin and be baptized, and God would reveal who he was.  H would then spend 40 days in the wilderness and just talk to His Father about what His mission was.

He would then come back and start teaching the people he ways of God.  He would heal all who came to him, with all kinds of maladies.  He would be persecuted by the religious leaders of the day, and be riddled with questions about his real message.

God told his son that after three and a half years of this ministry, he would be tried in court as a blasphemer of the Jewish laws and found guilty.  After that he would face the Roman authorities and they will decide to let the crowd of Jews determine his fate.  Those same Jews who he had healed and taught would cry out to have him crucified.

Then God told his son that he would be whipped mercilessly, a crown of thorns would be dug into his scalp, he would be beaten and spit upon, he would have to carry his cross to Calvary,  God told him nails would be driven through his hands and feet and the cross would be dropped into the ground.  God told him he would darken the skies, and that he would die before the end of day.  And God told him he would rise from the dead to return to the Him.

God old him all of this would need to be done because he would also carry the whole weight of sin upon him when he want to the cross.  He would be the redeeming sacrifice for all of mankind.  The sacrifices in the temple for sin were only a picture of things to come.  God’s son would be the redeeming sacrifice for everyone.  He would be the Lamb of God who died for the sins of all mankind.

After telling his son all this, God asked Jesus if He would do this thing.  Jesus looked at His Father and said “Yes, I will go, because I love these people”.  He came to this earth and everything his Father had told Him came true, and a lot more.  He loved the people as he served them during His ministry, and he faced the cross with the strength of a Champion.

Jesus is our true Champion.  He is the Champion of all mankind.  There is no greater Champion than Him and there never will be.  I was reminded of this song by Carman that some of you may have heard before.  Tt is called “The Champion”.  I end with this.