Daily Bible Devotions: You Be the Judge

Daily Bible Devotions: You Be the Judge

In today’s society, we often hear the admonition to not “judge” others. The Scriptures say “judge not lest you be judged.”

Yet, in 1Corinthians, Chapter 5, the apostle Paul gives explicit instructions to the church at Corinth that they should judge the actions of their members and actually put out one of their members because of his sinful lifestyle.

The issue of judging or not judging has long been misinterpreted and misunderstood by those who are both inside and outside of the church. Those who are part of the church have become reluctant and fearful in many cases to exercise the authority and responsibility that God has given us for carrying out the assignment of the church. Those on the outside think that as church members, we should not dare to speak against what God clearly defines as sin.

Let’s make it clear, there is no prohibition against judging the actions of others. On the contrary, if a person is clearly engaged in ongoing sin, living a lifestyle that is contrary to the Word of God, we must try to first convince them of their wrong lifestyle, and if it persists, put them out of the church for their own good.

Allowing them to continue as a member, holding leadership roles, etc, will only give them a false sense of security in their lifestyle and cause others to see it as license to do the same, putting their own soul in danger of judgment from God.

Judging actions is not a bad thing. When done with love, compassion, and concern for the well-being of others, it is a tool of mercy, bringing us into line with God’s standards, qualified to receive His blessings.

But, also keep this in mind today. Paul’s admonition is about judging the actions of those inside the church, where we must uphold God’s standards. In verse 13, he makes it clear that God judges those outside of the church. Our responsibility to those outside of the church is to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will convict them of sin and draw them into relationship with Jesus Christ.

At that point, we must begin to teach the principles of Godly living and hold each other accountable to living a life of holiness that is pleasing to God.

I’ll close this with a question. Would you rather be judged by God, other people, or yourself?

This is a point we don’t often consider, but wouldn’t it be better if we took some time to take a long hard look at our own lives, inspecting our own motives and actions, repenting of sin and seeking to please God with our life? Why wait to be judged by others?

You be the judge.

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Daily Bible Devotions: Do All to the Glory of God

Daily Bible Devotions: Do All To the Glory of God

“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Is your life a testimony to God? Before taking action or making decisions do you consider what God will think about your decision or action? Will God be honored by your actions?

In day to day life, we are asked to make choices. On the job, at school, running errands, simply living life, we must choose where we will go, what we will do, who we will associate with, etc.

Have you considered how these choices might affect your testimony, your ability to bring honor to God and lead others to Him?

Along with choices comes temptation. As human beings we are always being tested and confronted with temptations to satisfy ourselves, with no regard for others.

As Christians, we cannot ignore our responsibility to the world around us. We must always evaluate our choices from a standpoint of serving others with what we know about Christ.

The apostle Paul says in verse 33 that he doesn’t seek “his own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

Today, consider your choices. Will your decisions and actions serve the physical and spiritual well being of others? Will those choices bring glory and honor to God?

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Daily Bible Devotions: Who Do You Serve?

Daily Bible Devotions: Who Do You Serve?

“…you cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

Have you ever tried to keep everybody happy? Impossible Task!

The word “mammon” is an interesting word. Some have translated it to mean money or riches. Others translate it as “Mankind.” Regardless of how you interpret it, the meaning of the verse is clear. If there is any thing or any one in your life that holds the top position or is trying to share the top position in your priority list with God, then you will find yourself in a compromising position.

We cannot completely serve God and keep people around us happy all the time. We certainly can’t keep other things or other people at the top of our priority list and keep God happy.

Make up your mind today. Will you turn your life and decisions completely over to God and be subject to His will or would you prefer living under someone or something else’s authority?

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8

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Daily Bible Devotions: Are You a Credit Thief?

Daily Bible Devotions: Are You a Credit Thief?

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

During my childhood years, there was a phrase that I heard from time to time. It went something like, “You know, that guy is so good that he would give you the shirt off his back.” In time, I understood that people were being commended for the good deeds that they did, and their generosity toward others.

After I came to know the lord, that phrase took on a different meaning to me. It occurred to me that if we did good things for others, but didn’t tell them why or by whose power we were able to do those things, it could easily be mistaken for our own goodness. When we allow the attention and credit to be attributed to us, we not only steal the honor and glory that are due to God, but we also miss an opportunity to share the Gospel with those around us.

Don’t miss your opportunity today and don’t be a “credit” thief. Give credit where credit is due and honor the one who created you and saved you through His sacrifice on the cross.

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Daily Bible Devotions: Be a Copycat

Daily Bible Devotions: Be a Copycat

“Then answered Jesus and said to them, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things He does, these things the Son does also.” John 5:19

This passage opens a fairly complicated issue as to how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relate to one another. There is not room here to delve deeply into this topic, but there is something that we can learn from Jesus’ statement.

We are to look to God for the example of how we should live. Jesus’ life gives us the example of how we should relate to others and to God. At the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us to “teach them the things that I have commanded you.” This simplifies the issue somewhat for us.

If we will follow Jesus’ example in prayer, ministry to others, and obedience to the will of God, then we can expect the same results.

Don’t try to “reinvent the wheel.” Jesus has already given us the roadmap to follow. Trust Him and do what you see that He has done.

Be a copycat. Take your opportunity today to do what Jesus would do.

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Daily Bible Devotions: God Loves You

Daily Bible Devotions: God Loves You

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

For Christians, this is one of the most well known Scriptures of all. But, sometimes I believe we have forgotten how great that one verse really is. In that one verse, God reveals to us His love, compassion, mercy, and grace.

The word “believes” in this verse is not simply a “head knowledge” of who Jesus is, but rather it is total trust in who He is. He is perfect provision for the forgiveness of sins and for the power to live a righteous life in an unrighteous world.

Take some time today to consider all that this verse means to you. Let it sink into your thoughts and actions. Recommit yourself to total trust in Jesus Christ today.

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Daily Bible Devotions: God Keeps His Promises

Daily Bible Devotions – God Keeps His Promises

Read Genesis 28:10-22

The Lord makes a promise to Jacob in verse 13 – “The Lord said, “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father, and the God if Isaac: I will give you the land that you lie upon, I will give it to you and your descendants.”

Jacob sets up a landmark, a marker, as a reminder of his encounter with God and the promise that has been made.

God kept his promise.

God also makes promises to you, promises that are for you and your descendants. What are they? How have they impacted your life?

Start a journal today. Write down the things that God is saying to you. Leave it as a landmark, a marker for those who will follow you.

Just as our forefathers have left us documentation of God’s goodness, we should also leave a record of God’s faithfulness to the next generation.

Your journal can also help you to reach others for the Lord. Your story of God’s faithfulness in your life will help others to see that God will be faithful to them as well. Use it as a witnessing tool and as a legacy for your family.

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Daily Bible Devotions: There’s Something About That Name

Daily Bible Devotions: There’s Something About That Name

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, There’s just something about that Name.”

This is a line from an old song that rings in my ears and comes to mind often. It was one of the first songs that I learned after giving my life to the Lord. It is such a great experience, just sitting and meditating on who Jesus is and how He has impacted my life.

I never want to lose that wonder and awe at His mercy, grace and power.

Take some time today to really think about Jesus. Your most powerful tool for sharing your faith is your own testimony.

Write out an explanation of how you came to know Him as Lord and Savior. Renew your wonder and awe today in the presence of the Almighty, Living God.

“All things were made by him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4

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Daily Bible Devotions: A Heavenly Workout – 1Timothy 4:7-8

Daily Bible Devotions: 1Timothy 4:7-8Daily Bible Devotions: A Heavenly Workout – 1Timothy 4:7-8

“Reject profane and old wives’ fables and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

For a man who is past middle age, exercise becomes more important, yet mostly remains unappealing. It’s such an effort, a chore of sorts, an inconvenience in a busy day. And then, once is not enough. It must be done daily in order to produce a result that is temporary, at best.

Obviously, not everyone feels this way. Health and exercise has become a multi-billion dollar industry. People spend a lot of time and hard earned money on staying healthy, trim, and fit, trying to extend their life here on earth to its maximum.

In this passage, the Apostle Paul sees fit to put things into perspective for Timothy. He points out that “bodily exercise profits a little,” it’s a good thing, but there is a more important issue, spiritual exercise.

Let’s consider a portion of this phrase, “exercise yourself toward godliness.” What does it mean?

The phrase implies ACTION. It must be intentional. Just as you have to make up your mind to spend some time on a treadmill or bicycle to work out your muscles, you must also make an intentional choice to act on what you know from the scriptures.

Just as your muscles must be exercised on a regular basis in order for your body to remain functional and healthy, so too must you exercise the gifts that God has given you.

In verse 12, Paul tells Timothy to “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.” BE AN EXAMPLE. Apply what you know to be true from the Word of God to your own life. Lead others to Christ by demonstrating a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.

If you were trying to become fit and healthy, would you follow the advice of a trainer who weighs 500 pounds and sits around eating donuts all day? Or would you find someone who is athletic and energetic, who models a lifestyle of health and fitness?

If you want to become more effective at helping others to follow Christ, you must apply yourself intentionally to being a follower of Christ yourself.

Paul sums it up this way:

1Timothy 4:15-16

“Meditate on these things; give yourself ENTIRELY to them that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

So what are you waiting for? Assess your current spiritual condition. Are you a bit ‘flabby’ on a spiritual level? Do you need to spend more time studying God’s Word or communicating with God through prayer? Are you an example of spiritual fitness for those around you?

Make up your mind today that you are going to apply yourself to spiritual fitness. After all, as Paul points out in verse 8, it has a “promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

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Daily Bible Devotions: Are You Qualified? – 1 Timothy 3

Daily Bible Devotions: IntegrityDaily Bible Devotions: Are You Qualified? – 1 Timothy 3

Are you qualified to hold the office of a bishop or a deacon? You should be!

I’m not asking if you WANT to be a bishop or a deacon. That’s beside the point for our purpose today. I’m simply asking if you are QUALIFIED according to the standard laid out by Paul in Chapter Three of his letter to Timothy.

I am often asked, “How can I be more effective at sharing the Gospel with others?” Part of the answer lies in the character traits in this chapter.

I won’t go through the list here. Read it for yourself, 1 Timothy Chapter 3. Prayerfully consider each item in the list. Ask yourself whether your life reflects that value or characteristic, or if maybe you need some work in that area.

When your life lines up with the traits in the list there are at least two results:

1) Verse 7 – A good testimony among those who are outside. Those who do not know the Lord will respect you and note your lifestyle and integrity. This will open the door for opportunities to share your faith.

2) Verse 13 – You will obtain a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. This idea builds on the first. With a sound reputation inside and outside of the church, you will gain confidence and boldness in sharing what you know about Jesus Christ.

In 1 Samuel, Chapter 12, the prophet Samuel addresses the people of Israel in regard to their sin. In verses 1-3, before he begins to deal with the issue of correction, he asks a bold question. He basically asks them to inspect his integrity and reputation. They cannot find anything to hold against him.

They then listen to what he has to say and repent of their sin. In their eyes, Samuel’s reputation has given him the right to speak and be heard.

Could you ask the same sort of question that Samuel asked, to the people who know you best? Are you confident that your own life, your testimony, could bear the scrutiny of others?

I’m not saying that you and I have to be perfect in order to witness to others. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. But, as a whole, do our lives line up with the character traits and practices outlined by God in His Word?

Are you qualified? Inspect your life. Focus your attention on personally developing the character of Christ. Then, you will become more effective at reaching others with the Gospel.

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