The Root of the Matter

Today’s Verse: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. ~Colossians 2:7 Someone has said that many times, how we start determines how we finish or our result. The church at Colossae had become stunted in their spiritual progress due to false teachers who were seducing them concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul successfully dealt with the false teachers and their doctrine, he then went to the root of the matter. That is, these believers were hindered in their discernment and growth because they were not properly rooted in Christ. Every plant that grows, flourishes, is fruitful, and is strong must be well rooted.

Lazarus, Come Forth

Today’s Verse: And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. ~John 11:43 The family of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was very close to our Lord Jesus Christ. Until we get to John 12, we see Martha and Mary interacting much with Jesus, and Lazarus is quietly in the background. Lazarus was the baby brother who was in the shadow of his two older sisters. Lazarus was possibly shy, introverted, and wanting to avoid the spotlight. Lazarus was a good man, but perhaps he was scared of being a sold-out disciple for Christ. However, this changed in John 11-12. This morning, let us see what changed about Lazarus after he “came forth” at the summons of our Lord Jesus. We see

Clap Your Hands

Today’s Verse: O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. ~Psalm 47:1 Clapping our hands is typically done after a performance. It is an expression of applause and appreciation of something we enjoyed and felt was well done. We clap our hands in acknowledgement of someone being bestowed an honor. We clap our hands at the end of a masterful concerto or an orchestra performance. The Bible gives us three settings where clapping is appropriate and acceptable. Let us clap our hands in adoration. “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” The psalmist is encouraging us to clap our hands to worship the Lord for His awesome greatnes

With or Without?

Today’s Verse: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; ~Philippians 1:10 As a kid, whenever I bought a hot dog from a vendor, they would ask, “With or without?” This meant: do you want your hot dog with mustard and condiments, or just plain? I like my burgers and dogs “loaded,” so I always said, “With.” However, there never failed to be a time, when other people were with me, that at least one said, “Without.” This morning, we see four things that Paul said we must do without. We must be without offense. “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”

Praying Without Ceasing

Today’s Verse: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; ~Colossians 1:9 There are things we do every day that we take for granted: things that we do that are without ceasing. We breathe without ceasing. Our heart beats without ceasing. We blink our eyes without ceasing. We think without ceasing. Some of us probably talk without ceasing. These are continuous practices we do that we seldom think about as being important functions of life. Paul encourages us about a practice that we must do continuously that has a very beneficial product: prayin

Help When It's Needed

Today’s Verse: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1 Have you ever cried out, “Help”? If you have, you need assistance immediately. When help is needed, we are overcome with fear, anxiety, and morbid thoughts. There are times in life when the help we need is not available and we do not know what to do. This morning, we have a scriptural guarantee of help when it is needed. We see an unmovable shelter. “God is our refuge.” Have you ever traveled by foot or been on a hike when a severe storm has broken out? If you have, you know the importance of finding shelter to cover and protect us. God is our refuge. In fact, He is the rock of our refuge and a mighty

Never Say No to The King

Today’s Verse: And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? ~2 Samuel 19:34 Have you ever turned down an offer from a king? Our devotion this morning centers on a believer who walked away from an opportunity of a lifetime. It teaches us about the tragic mistake of having such a negative view of yourself that you talk yourself out of the possibility of receiving a blessing. This morning, let us see how Barzillai said no to his king. We see the invitation. “And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.” King David was grateful for Barzillai’s act of generosity in bringing an a

What's Written on Your Face?

Today’s Verse: And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. ~Acts 6:15 “Written on your face” is an idiom that means your facial expression tells the person looking at you what is concerning to you at the moment. It is a message you convey by your facial expression. Our faces can speak a thousand words. We are told that the council of Pharisees saw Stephen’s face as it had been the face of an angel. I don’t think any of those men had ever encountered an angel, but they knew enough about angels to make a powerful description of what they saw when looked at Stephen. We see that Stephen was holy. His face indicated the closeness o

How Not to Stumble

Today’s Verse: Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. ~John 11:9 There have been many mornings when I have been up when it is still very dark outside. Thinking I know my surroundings well, I will make my way downstairs, then to the kitchen to brew my morning coffee. On some occasions, I have stumbled on an object on the floor or on a chair leg because I tried to find my way without turning on the light. Stumbling is not fun. Stumbling can result in injury. Stumbling can be dangerous. Stumbling teaches that you should not walk in the dark when you cannot see. This morning, let us see how no

Fast and Furious

Today’s Verse: And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. ~2 Samuel 2:18 I tend to like to do things fast. I like to walk fast, think fast, and get things out of the way as soon as I can. Being fast can be an asset, but it also can be a liability. Sometimes, we can talk too fast, and that doesn’t help the ones listening to us. Sometimes, we can be moving so quickly that we miss important details. Being fast and furious refers to being reckless due to the speed in which something is being done. This morning, let us see a man named Asahel, who was noted for his speed. We see the rating. Asahel was one of three broth

Thinking Alike

Today’s Verse: For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. ~Philippians 2:20 You are probably familiar with the phrase “great minds think alike.” It is a complimentary statement that means two or more people think in terms of the same accomplishment or action. Without discussing anything, they are alike in their thought process. Paul was concerned about having the right person represent him at Philippi. The only man who was likeminded to him was Timothy. We see Timothy, the son. “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father….” Timothy was the fruit of Paul’s ministry at Lystra and Derbe. Timothy was saved along with his grandmother, Lois, and his mot

The Golden Touch

Today’s Verse: And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. ~Genesis 39:3 The golden touch is taken from a fable about a king who was incredibly rich. Whatever he touched turned to gold. It is a now a term that describes someone who is successful at anything he touches. He is able to start successful businesses. He is successful in making good investment decisions. Whatever he touches turns to gold. As we read the first few verses in Genesis 39 about Joseph in Potiphar’s house, whatever he did prospered in his hand. Joseph seemed to embody the golden touch in his life. We see the property. Joseph came to Potiphar as his purchas

Hard Thoughts

Today’s Verse: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? ~Matthew 6:25 Our nation and economy are struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. Several people I know are not working due to their companies being shut down; unemployment is at a high; and there is the daily concern of when this will “all go away.” I spoke with someone who is concerned about having baby formula, diapers, and enough money to pay down some credit card bills. This person is having some very hard thoughts about what is going on. Maybe you are or someone you kno

Walk the Talk

Today’s Verse: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, ~Ephesians 4:1 In the first century, most of the travel that people did was by foot, or by walking. They did not have the advanced transportation capabilities as we have. It was not unusual for a man to walk 4-8 hours per day or up to 30 miles if he walked an entire day to get to a different location. Walking is good for your health. Walking is the most basic health exercise all of us can do. Walking should be an exercise, enjoyable, and for endurance. “Walk” is used to describe our spiritual direction and progress. Paul uses the word “walk” eight times in Ephesians


Today’s Verse: Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ~Ephesians 6:13 In life, we are called upon to make important decisions. We are identified by the decisions we make. This identification tells others what we believe and what is important to us. We call this “taking a stand.” Paul tells us that we are in a spiritual conflict: a real war that is spiritual. The sight of war, sounds of war, and summons to war can cause us to question, shake, and retreat. So, realizing that we could be faint of heart towards battle, Paul said four times, “Stand.” We see a command. “Stand therefore….” “Stand against….” “

Marathon Man

Today’s Verse: As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. ~Joshua 14:11 People who run marathons are a rare breed. They are a special minority of athletes who train and live their lives to participate in a grueling running event of 26.2 miles. According to Wikipedia, the marathon got its name from the Greek soldier Pheidippides, who ran from the battlefield in Marathon all the way to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians. We use the word “marathon” to describe any event that requires exceptional endurance. Caleb is not noted for running a marathon during his lifet

Opened Eyes

Today’s Verse: Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? ~John 9:10 Has anyone ever sarcastically said to you, “Open your eyes”? It is a way of calling our attention to something that is right in our view, but we did not see it. It is also a way of referring to someone seeing the truth of a matter. This morning, we see a vital lesson about the importance of having opened eyes. We see the impairment. “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.” Blindness is an incurable condition. This blind man had never seen anything from the day of his birth. His destiny was to be led by other people, to beg for sustenance as he became of age, and to be despised by

A Handbreadth

Today’s Verse: Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. ~Psalm 39:5 A handbreadth is a term of measurement. It is the measurement across the widest area where the fingers join the palm. It is a short measurement. David was saying that the days of his life were very short. Imagine opening your hand and blowing upon it. This is a very sobering illustration of the shortness of life. There is the vanishing. David is describing the brevity of life. He said, “Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth.” James said, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? I

A Thing Incredible

Today’s Verse: Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? ~Acts 26:8 Today, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. It is the greatest of miracles because Jesus, Who was dead, raised Himself from the dead. Paul called it “a thing incredible.” The word “incredible” means something beyond belief or, even, unbelievable. It was incredible, but it really happened. It is incredible because it is true. It is incredible because the crux of our faith rests on the evidence and reality that Jesus rose again from the dead. It is incredible because of the proof. When Jesus arose on that morning, the Roman seal was broken. For anyone

The Garden Tomb

Today’s Verse: Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. ~John 19:41 The idea of a garden brings to mind green grass, beautiful flowers, overhanging trees, and a peaceful setting. The Garden of Eden was, perhaps, the most beautiful garden setting ever on Earth. We are told of a garden setting close to where Jesus was crucified. In the setting of that garden was a cave that was owned by a man who had it prepared for his sepulchre when he was to die. This morning, let us visit this tomb that was the place where Jesus was laid. We see the procurement. “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Je

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