The Most Painful Thing I Have Ever Seen

In college, I was an emergency medical technician (EMT) and worked in a trauma center as a trauma technician. It is safe to say that I have pretty much seen “everything”.  I have seen injuries and illness that were painful and proved to be fatal. But, for me, none of those memories are the most painful thing I have ever seen. The most painful thing I have ever seen is when a brother or sister walks away from the Lord.

In 1 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul tells us, “4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”

As I look at people in my life that chosen the path that Paul writes about, I have literally cried for them. Walking away from the Lord is far greater and dangerous than any illness or injury. As you read this, I am sure people come to your mind that describe what Paul wrote. Take time today for pray for them. Pray for their eyes to be open, their heart to be changed, their lives to be transformed.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Jesus in a Sentence

Have you ever struggled to tell someone about Jesus? Believe it or not, it can be done in 1 sentence!

In 1 Timothy 3:16 it states, “16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

It couldn’t be said any better.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

The Model of a Man

In my opinion, there is nothing more “manly” than to see a man praying, serving and honoring the Lord in his home, his community and in his church. Honestly, it took me a long time to realize that. For many years, really decades, I was a “closet” Christian. I could act like a Christian when I was at church, but never anywhere else because I was afraid I might be mocked or ridiculed. When I took my first true step with the Lord, everything change. I stopped being invisible and made my faith a part of who I am all of the time. I realized that it takes a real “man” to show his faith regardless of what others may say or think. As men, we must make a stand for our faith and for our Father.

In 1 Timothy 2:8 we read, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;”

There is nothing more powerful than a man that walks his faith at all times, with everyone and everywhere. As we come to the end of another year, this is my prayer for all men reading this devotional. May we all enter into 2014 with praying hands everywhere, without wrath or doubting.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Are You a Trial or a Trophy?

When I graduated from high school, I went on a survival trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (I didn’t know it was a survival trip at the time). There were many great experiences during this trip, including spending 24 hours isolated from everyone else without water or food to draw closer to the Lord. I remember one night when we were sleeping out in the open and it began to rain. It was cold, we were wet, and I was miserable! I wanted to go home, I thought the trip was the worse thing I had ever experienced. As we were sitting in the rain, there was an individual with us that began to sing praises and give thanks to God. What was he thinking! Have you ever felt like me that night when nothing seemed right and you didn’t think that things could get worse?

In 1 Timothy 1:16 Paul wrote, “16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” Paul saw his trials as a model and source of encouragement for those around him.

What about you? When you go through difficult times, do people see you as a “trial” or do people see you as one of God’s “trophies”? Let your trials be a trophy of God’s grace and mercy for all to see. Remember, when it is cold and raining in your life, that is the time to sing and give thanks.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

What Are Your Five Things?

All of us go through trials. In fact, I think that it is safe to say that a good percentage of the people reading this devotional are going through a trial(s) right now. The challenge in our walk is not whether or not we will go through trials, the Bible promises that those who walk with Christ will. The challenge before us is what will we do in the midst of our trials.

The Apostle Paul is often referred to as the Apostle of Joy. In fact, the Book of Philippians is referred to as the “Book of Joy”. Paul taught us that even in our trials, we are to have joy. In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul writes, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Here is my challenge for you today: In your trials, name 5 new things each day that you are thankful for. You will find, as you do this, that there is a lot more to be thankful for in your life that you are even aware of.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Is There Unity or Division?

Is there unity or division? That is a pretty loaded question and it really depends on what the question is related to. We know that unity on a sports team is one of the key factors for that team to be successful. We also know that people that cause division can create unnecessary problems and inflict needless wounds in those around them. Unfortunately, we don’t just see this in society, but we also see it in churches.

In Romans 16:17-20 Paul writes, “17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”

Division is one of the most effective and damaging weapons that the enemy uses within churches. With division, he can create church splits, cause people to walk away from the Lord, and cause pastors to leave ministry. The local church, your church, doesn’t need division, it needs prayer and fellowship. What the Lord has put together, let no man or division, break it apart.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Who Is the Judge?

It has been said that within the first 5 minutes of a job interview, the person doing the interview has already determined if they like the applicant. Five minutes is long before all of the answers have been given. Five minutes doesn’t seem like a long enough time to make such an important decision about who to hire, does it? We might not think that it is a smart way to interview people, but did you know that society spends the majority of their time judging those around us?

In Romans 14:12-13 it states, “12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” Paul tells us that we should spend our times focused on ourselves, not those around us.

The next time you feel the urge to “judge” those around you, take a moment to first look yourself in the mirror. When you stand before God, you will be called to account for your own actions, not the actions of those around you. As you give your account, what will the Lord say about you?

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

If You Knew the Time….

I have often wondered what would I do if I knew the exact time and day that I would leave to go to Heaven. Are there specific things I would want to tell my wife and boys? Are there places I would want to visit? Are there physical activities I would do that I haven’t yet done? Is there any sin in my life that I would stop so I could be “ready” for my time? What would you do differently if you knew the time and day of your death?

In Romans 13:11-14 we read, “11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Paul tells us that we need to be ready right now because our salvation is “nearer than when we first believed”.  He then tells us to “make no provision for the flesh”. Is there sin in your life, right now, that is preventing you from being “ready” for Heaven? Since we don’t know the time or day, we need to be ready now. Spiritual death may take years, but physical death occurs in the blink of an eye. Be ready now so you won’t be sorry later.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

How Much Do You Owe?

It seems more and more, we owe. We owe businesses, we owe schools, we owe family and friends. It seems that no matter how hard we try, we find ourselves getting deeper and deeper into debt. Now, I realize that I am talking about financial matters, but do you know that we also “owe” when it comes to our spiritual lives?

In Romans 13:8-10 Paul writes, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,”“You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

There may be many things that we “owe” in life, but none greater than the love of the Lord to those around us. As you look at your day today, how are you showing it to those around you? As you look at your day today, how much do you owe?

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

You Can Be Made Whole

Recently, our family was the victim of identity theft. Through our own error, we used a fraudulent website to purchase something for our sons. Luckily, we caught it quickly, immediately called our credit card company and cancelled our credit card. We did this so no damage would be done to us. Luckily, we were made whole and received a new credit card within a few days.  Did you know that it is like our walk with the Lord?

In 1 Peter 5:10 we read, “10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

When we sin, and we all will, we are to call out to the Lord. He and only He can restore us and make us perfect, make us stronger and make us whole.  One more lesson — if something looks “too good to be true”, it probably is.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!