Saturday, January 20, 2007


There is a battle going on in this world that is more dangerous than the one in the Middle East. It is all around us and yet we cannot see it with the naked eye.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)

The prince of this world is vying for the souls of men. He would distract those of us that believe in Christ with the allures of the world, the promises of power and please, if we let him.

You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. Ephesians 2:2 (NLT)

But, we are NO LONGER under satan’s “princeship”. We are no longer slaves to sin. We no longer live for those things that bring temporary pleasure. Since we accepted the free gift of Salvation offered by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we LIVE FOR CHRIST.

We must put on GOD’S armor (Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel of Peace, Faith, Salvation) and use GOD’S WORD as we go about our lives. It is not OUR armor, it is HIS. GOD’S armor cannot fail, but it is up to us to put it on!

However, we must first understand our spiritual position before we can have spiritual power.

  1. We are seated with Christ in the heaven realms far above all of Satan’s principalities and powers (Ephesians 2:6).
  2. The very power of God is available to us through the indwelling Spirit (Ephesians 3:14-21).

What is it that can defeat us as children of Christ? Of whom shall we be afraid? Paul gives us the answer in Romans 8:35-39 (KJV)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God has already won the victory through His Son Jesus Christ. We cannot be defeated if we remain in Christ. Thank Him for His armor and put it on! Immerse yourself in His Word and PRAY without ceasing. Onward Christian soldiers…


Thursday, January 18, 2007


How we conduct ourselves with our friends is a great way to tell what is really in our hearts. One can see our love, our generosity, whether or not we are honest in all things, basically what we are really “made of.”

Paul is reminding the people in the church at Corinth that he has always dealt with them with the utmost integrity. His conduct among them has been one of holiness, purity, selflessness and godly sincerity.

Notice also that Paul tells them he does not put on a “different face” for the rest of the world. He conducts himself among strangers with that same purity and godliness that he does with his fellow believers.

It is important that we be of one mind, the mind of Christ, in our dealings with all peoples so that no cry of “hypocrite” can be heard regarding our conduct.

For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness* and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (NASB)


KJV - uses simplicity (haplotēs) and godly sincerity, where haplotes means singleness of mind or sincerity without thought of self.

NASB – uses holiness (hagiotēs) and godly sincerity, where hagiotes means holiness or sanctity.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary points out that these two words could have easily been confused by the scribe copying a manuscript. I point that out to say this, God’s Word is reliable even when a different word is chosen by the scribe. The underlying meaning of the passage is that Paul has spoken to the church at Corinth with the utmost integrity, which either word (hagiotes or haplotes) supports.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


“I’m in too deep, nobody can help me. I’m in so much trouble, there’s no way out.”

Have you ever heard someone talk that way? Perhaps you have even felt that way before. I’m hear to tell you that there is One for whom no situation is too difficult, no problem so big it cannot be conquered. His name is Jesus.

Listen to Paul as he tells about his trust in Him:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:8 - 10 (NASB)

A friend of mine pointed out the other day that some believe that Paul’s statement in verse 9 refers to Paul’s actually being killed and raised to life again by God. This is the passage they were referring to from Acts 14:19-20:

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.

Whether or not this is what Paul was referring to in the 2 Corinthians passage, we do know that God DID raise people from the dead:

1. Son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17: 17-23)

2. Shunammite’s son (2 Kings 4:32-37)

3. Young man laid in Elisha’s sepulcher (2 Kings 13:21)

4. Widow’s son (Luke 7:12-15)

5. Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-55)

6. Lazarus (John 11:43-44)

7. Dorcas (Acts 9:37-40)

8. Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12; Hebrews 11:35)

And of course, Jesus himself was raised after being in the tomb for three days.

Is it any wonder that Paul put his complete trust in him? You and I may have problems that seem insurmountable to us. But to God they are easily overcome when we come to Him for help.

Set your hope on God…and He will deliver you.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


In today’s world there are many who do not know what it is like to have a father. Certainly, they had a biological father, but that doesn’t mean that he was around to raise them. Many today are raised by single moms and the concept of father is but a distant notion.

It is not like that with our heavenly Father.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NASB)

Not only is God the Father of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but He is the

Father of mercies.

The word mercies is from the Greek word oiktirmos which is defined by Thayer’s Greek Dictionary as:

1) compassion, pity, mercy

1a) bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion

1b) emotions, longings, manifestations of pity

God is the Father of Compassion. Just as an earthly father causes a child to come into the world, God the Father is the source of compassion. You may feel compassion from someone toward you, but God is the original source of that compassion. And, He is the best at showing compassion. It is His nature for, as the scriptures say, God is love (1 John 4:8).

4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB)

In our scripture for today God is also called the

Father of all comfort.

Comfort is an easy word to grasp. It means to come along side someone and help them feel better. I want you to notice that He is not merely the God of comfort, but the God of ALL comfort. He is the source of any real comfort that you experience.

The Greek word used for comfort here is the same root as the word used for the Holy Spirit when He is referred to as the Comforter (John 14:16). What greater comfort could there be than knowing that in the midst of all of our problems here on this earth, we have the Comforter who is with us everywhere that we go providing direction, wisdom and the actual presence of God in us.

Praise be our wonderful God who is the

The Father of our Savior, Jesus Christ,

The Father of compassion,

The Father of ALL comfort and

THE Heavenly Father that loves us even now. Amen

Monday, January 15, 2007


There was a good amount of discussion this last week about the grace and peace of God. Paul uses both these words as a greeting in many of his letters:

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:2 (KJV)

Is there more to these words than mere greeting? I would have to say yes, particularly because grace and peace are imparted from God to us. Let us look to Ephesians 6:12 at an example of how God is gracious toward us.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

God tells us in this same passage (vs. 14-18) to equip ourselves to handle this spiritual warfare. He tells us to put on the defensive armor of:

  1. Truth
  2. Righteousness
  3. The Gospel of Peace
  4. Faith
  5. Salvation

And have ready our only offensive weapon, our sword,

The Word of God

Finally, in verse 18, He tells us to pray always and with perseverance. We are to live our lives in an atmosphere of prayer, a constant communication with our Commander in Chief, God Almighty.

What, you may ask, does that have to do with “grace and peace.” As I pondered that question, I realized how fortunate we are to have a God that loves us so much. He spares us, by His grace, from seeing the evil forces that are encamped about us. Most of us would probably drop dead from fright!

His grace has spared us from experiencing the floggings, the stoning and the shipwrecks that Paul went through. We all experience trials, but not necessarily because of our faithfulness to Christ. Many of the trials that we encounter are just a part of living in this world. Yet, even in those, we experience His grace as he holds back Satan’s forces from harming us even further.

It is when we come to fully recognize His awesome grace that we then experience His incredible peace that passes all understanding.

Are you going through trials? Recognize that God the Father may have something to teach you in each situation. Realize that He is holding back spiritual forces that could cause it to be even worse and thank Him. That is His grace at work in your life. When you understand this, His peace will wash over you as a gentle wave of warmth.

May the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ be ever realized in your life and may His peace calm your soul in the midst of all your trials. Amen.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Let’s see, would you rather somebody was thrilled to hear you speak or that they dreaded the thought of hearing your voice?

That’s what Paul was up against when he was telling people about Christ.

But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NLT)

So what kept Paul going? What can keep us headed down the right path?

The answer is, “the right motivation.” Doing what we do for the right reason is the only thing that will allow us to be successful as we go about doing the Lord’s work until He comes again.

Notice how Paul puts it in verse 17 of the same chapter,

You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

There are people in our day who “preach” for personal profit rather than what Paul gives as the right reason, “knowing that God is watching us.” They simply show up on Sunday to collect a paycheck. Also, notice that Paul points out that with the right motivation, we have the authority given by Christ and, may I add, the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you want to be successful? Examine why you do what you do. Look at what your motivation is. If you are motivated by pleasing God and being obedient to Him that is great! If not, you had better fix it!!!