Category Archives: Daily Devotions

Rich Man, Poor Man


“Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity [falsehood] and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient [needful] for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:7-9

To pass the test of life, one test you may have to pass is the test of poverty. If so, the Lord has some advice for you. See your poverty in the proper perspective. Because in the Lord Jesus Christ you are highly exalted, no matter how poor you are. Having Christ, you are richer than the richest man on earth without the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you have gone from rags to riches.

Did you know that many of you would do better being poor than being rich?

Some people can stand almost anything but prosperity. This is what our passage in Proverbs is saying.

Actually, it’s very hard to be poor and it’s even harder to be rich. The rich man may have an easier time in life, but he has a harder time passing the test.

The Lord does not tell the rich man to renounce his riches….just to properly assess his riches. It’s not wrong to have money. Some of God’s choicest of saints were extremely wealthy. Abraham is an example. But the rich man is to see his riches from a proper perspective.


No Closet Off Limits


“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18

God tells us to be filled with His Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit of God means first, repentance, then resistance of the devil, and then renewal. It means there’s not one room in your temple where God is off limits. There’s not one closet He doesn’t have a key to. You are filled with the Spirit in your church life, in your business life, in your sex life, in your political life, and in your social life. In the big things and the little things, in your money, in your exercise, in your sleep, in your eating, in your lying down, and in your waking up. You give Jesus the keys to it all. Then when you are filled with the Spirit, there’s no more room for Satan.

If there’s room for Satan, the Spirit is grieved and I am not filled with the Spirit. Repentance, resistance, renewal! Don’t try to repent until you’re honest and face your sin. Don’t try to resist until you’ve repented. And don’t try to be filled until you resist, until you choose against Satan and yield to God’s blessed Holy Spirit.

God Puts Things in Proper Order


“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord…” 2 Peter 1:2

Have you ever noticed how God puts things in sequence in the Bible? For example, the Bible says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.” It never says “peace and grace”—always “grace and peace.” Why? You’ll not know peace until you know grace.

The Bible also says “Believe and be baptized.” Not “Be baptized and believe.” If you were immersed or sprinkled before you gave your heart to Jesus and truly believed, you haven’t been “baptized” at all. True baptism follows true belief. There is another order that God has put in the Bible. Not only grace and peace, not only belief and baptism, but repentance and faith. Always in that order: repentance first, then faith. If you’re having difficulty with faith, try repentance.

There’s nothing so damning, so debilitating, as sin in the heart. The writer of Hebrews says, “Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.”

Our Most “Besetting” Sin


“…and the sin which doth so easily beset us…” Hebrews 12:1b

In this part of our verse, Paul is no longer talking about good things that might become bad things. Now he’s just talking about bad things. The word beset means “to tangle you up.” Can you imagine a person trying to run a race with a long flowing robe entangling him or some rope around his feet? No, he wants to be free so he can run.

What is the sin that so easily trips us up? Weights load us down; sin trips us up. Either one can make you a poor runner and keep you from running the race. In Hebrews 11 and 12, Paul is talking about faith. The whole race we’re running is the race of faith. Hebrews says we live by faith; therefore, we run by faith.

Most of us say, “I wish I had better faith, stronger faith.” Do you know the reason you don’t have more faith than you have? Sin. You say, “Now wait a minute, pastor….” No, friend, the Bible says, “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.”

Unbelief is not a mental sin; it is a moral sin. It doesn’t come out of the head; it comes out of the heart. “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.”

Take Off that Overcoat!

running in overcoat
“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us….” Hebrews 12:1

If you’re going to run a race, how do you prepare yourself? First, you’ve got to lay the weights aside. Notice athletes. They run in very light clothing. The less weight, the better. One thing you’ll never see is someone in the Olympics, running in an overcoat. It’s not going to happen. They get as light as they possibly can. You have to lay aside every weight.

The Greek word weight does not mean something that’s sinful. It just means something that burdens you, that holds you down. There are some things that are not bad in themselves. Nothing wrong with an overcoat. You just don’t wear an overcoat when you’re running a race. Paul said: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Friend, it may be some recreational habit you have. It may be some cottage in the woods. It may be some acquaintance, some hobby, too much television or sleep. Paul is saying, “Something may be lawful for me, but if it’s not expedient, if it doesn’t speed me on my course, then I need to leave it alone.”

Ask yourself, “Is there something in my life that’s hindering my walk with Christ? Something that’s holding me back? Is there something that is excess baggage? Something keeping me from being all I ought to be for the Lord Jesus Christ? Whatever it is, if you want to win the race, lay it aside. Good things become bad things when they keep you from the best things.

Paying an Extra Price

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course” Acts 20:24

Do you pay a price—some extra time in the morning—to get into the Word of God? Do you pay the price of being ridiculed because you keep your Bible on your desk in the office or bow your head and thank God for His gracious goodness to you when He gives you a meal? Are you willing to be different? Will you finish your course?

When you’re running this race, you’re going to find out that you’re running right against the grain. Don’t get the idea that there’s the broad road and the narrow road, and the narrow road runs alongside the broad road, and over there a bunch of people are going this way, and over here you’re going in the same direction.

No, there’s the broad way, and here you are, right in the middle of it, going the other way. Against the grain. What we believe starts at a different source follows a different course ends at a different conclusion …and there is a price to pay.

Frankly, today we don’t like that idea of a “price to pay.” We say, “Well, I’m saved by grace, and so I’m just going to float on into heaven on flowery beds of ease.” No. A disciple is one who follows his master, obeys his master, and there is a price to pay.

Are You Looking for an Easy Way to Serve God?

An-exhausted-runner--001BIBLE MEDITATION
“…and run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1c

The word “patience” here doesn’t mean the ability to thread a needle, but literally means “endurance.” It means bearing up under some load, some challenge.

Are you looking for an easy way, a cheap way, a lazy way to serve God? All honey and no bees? A life of ease? You just want to say, “O, I’m so happy in Jesus.” Listen, this business of running this race means that you’re going to be at it with all of your heart.

You may be on a sick bed or in a wheelchair. But none is excluded. We are to run with endurance. When you watch someone running, do you notice how intense he is? If you’re in this race, you need to pray over it, you need to weep over it, you need to study over it, you need to work over it.

This matter of being saved and running the race is a full-time occupation. God does business with those who mean business.