Liberated to Serve

Sunday, July 4, 2021

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.

Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 20, 2021

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).

Since today is Father’s Day, we dedicate today’s devotional to the godly (Christian) fathers.

What is a godly father? Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible (today’s Scripture in particular), fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant.

  • On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned).
  • On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.

A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that they should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.

He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.

Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture.

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

ARCHIVED: “What does the Bible say about fatherhood?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘buckler?’

Proverbial Prophecy #5

Friday, June 18, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Circa 970 B.C., the Holy Spirit moved Solomon to write Proverbs: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men… and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five…. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-32,34).

Unfortunately, decades later, Solomon abandoned God’s wisdom and followed Satan’s wisdom. This present evil world system led him to apostasy (pagan idolatry): “But king Solomon loved many strange [foreign/Gentile/heathen] women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…. Then did Solomon build an high place [shrine] for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods (1 Kings 11:1,2,7,8).

Dying and disappointed, Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. Like the Antichrist’s followers yet future, Solomon replaced the one true God with idols—philosophy, wealth, romance, entertainment, et cetera. As Christ said in Matthew 7:24-27 and Luke 6:47-49, Israel can be the wise man (Proverbs) or the foolish man (Ecclesiastes). Likewise, in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, we can be the wise man (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon) or the foolish man (non-Pauline).

Proverbial Prophecy #4

Thursday, June 17, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

The first chapter of Proverbs closes with: “[31] Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [32] For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. [33] But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Unbelieving Israel will reap what she has sown!

In addition to foretelling the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, John the Baptist notified them of the outpouring of wrath. They could accept his water baptism and the subsequent Holy Ghost baptism, or the fire baptism would consume them: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). As we know, Israel rejected Messiah and demanded His crucifixion. Therefore, the Antichrist will now enter and deceive them: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).

The Antichrist will be under the Devil’s control, endowed with satanic wisdom, a brilliant philosopher like this world has never seen: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The Antichrist will use the wisdom of this world—condemned in 1 Corinthians chapters 1–3—to mislead Israel. Proverbs is God’s wisdom for Israel’s believing remnant, that they survive the deception resulting from the Antichrist’s whorish religious system (Revelation 17:1-18). Hence, Proverbs repeatedly warns against uniting with the “strange woman” (2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5; 20:16; 23:27; 27:13).

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Proverbial Prophecy #3

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Resume reading the first chapter of Proverbs: “[20] Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: [21] She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, [22] How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? [23] Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.” Here foretold is John the Baptist’s ministry to Israel: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). For centuries, the Jewish people have not been listening to the LORD’S prophets; thus, a change in mind is necessary. They need to think Divine thoughts to prepare for Messiah’s arrival.

As per Proverbs 1:23, John the Baptist also preached of the impending outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11; fulfilled in Acts chapter 2; cf. Joel 2:28,29). Alas, King Solomon writing in Proverbs foresaw Israel’s nonstop rejection of Messiah—Matthew through John, and early Acts. Therefore, the LORD wrote through Solomon: “[24] Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; [25] But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: [26] I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; [27] When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. [28] Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: [29] For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: [30] They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”

Divine wrath and judgment now loom over apostate, unbelieving Israel….

Proverbial Prophecy #2

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Keep reading: “[10] My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. [11] If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: [12] Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: [13] We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: [14] Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: [15] My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: [16] For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. [17] Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. [18] And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. [19] So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”

Jesus told this parable (Matthew chapter 21): “[33]…There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: [34] And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. [35] And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. [36] Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. [37] But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. [38] But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. [39] And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.”

Had Israel believed Proverbs, they would not have conspired to kill Messiah Jesus….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are ‘curious arts?’

Proverbial Prophecy #1

Monday, June 14, 2021

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:1-4 KJV).

Friend, did you know the Book of Proverbs is really a book of prophecy?

Courtesy of shallow religious tradition, Proverbs is usually viewed as nothing more than a collection of assorted, interesting, witty expressions to be haphazardly applied for daily Christian living. Moreover, we are often advised to read through the Book of Proverbs over the course of one month (31 chapters roughly corresponding to 30 days). While non-Pauline Bible Books do frequently contain transdispensational or interdispensational concepts—facts that pertain to more than one or even all dispensations—we should exercise great caution when reaching outside of Romans through Philemon to find God’s will for us, His words to and about us.

The key to understanding the Book of Proverbs is chapter 1, for it establishes the context of all 31 chapters. Contrary to popular belief, Proverbs is actually not about the Dispensation of Grace at all: it has absolutely nothing to do with us the Church the Body of Christ. When we look at its opening chapter, we begin to see how Proverbs is God’s wisdom for the nation Israel as she experiences the end times. Read today’s Scripture again, and then its subsequent verses: “[5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: [6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. [7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. [8] My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: [9] For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

As mounting deception infiltrates Israel during her program’s last days, God has provided her with profound insight so as to protect herself. Let us continue reading the chapter to see just how specific Proverbs is in guiding Israel into Divine revelation….

A Higher Education: It Is Up to You!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 KJV).

Fifteen years ago today, I graduated high school. Consequently, we dedicate this devotional to high school students who are nearing graduation.

Are you about to graduate high school? What would God have you do afterward? Go to college? Trade school? Something else? What career should you pursue? If you do plan on education after high school, where should you attend school? These are tough questions, and while God’s Word does not answer them, you can make decisions that conform to sound Bible doctrine—that is God’s will.

In today’s Scripture, Paul encourages downcast Timothy. Timothy was considerably younger than the Apostle Paul. Older people who are teaching false doctrine are intimidating young Timothy: “Tim, you are too young to teach God’s Word. Let us handle it.” Young Timothy conceded, became silent, and allowed the (“older and wiser”) false teachers to continue teaching their damnable heresies (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:5-8). Paul replied, “Timothy, Speak up! Let no man despise thy youth!”

Christian youth can be just as effectual in their station in life as Christian adults. The lost world is watching us Christians, and we need to be sure that our actions are in accordance with the sound Bible doctrine we claim to believe (lest we be guilty of confusing the already-puzzled unbelievers). Whether “young or old,” our speech, our lifestyle, our acts of love, our determination, our belief in sound Bible doctrine, and our separation from that which God hates, is the way we communicate to the lost world God’s Word and its preeminence in our lives and hearts (today’s Scripture).

Above all, dear graduates, whatever you do post-graduation, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). After all, it really is not your life—it is Christ’s life in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4), so He alone deserves the glory! 🙂

*Based on a Bible study by the same name, which can be read here. Also, see the study “The Spirit-Filled Student.”

By the way, you may also be interested in reading this archived special-edition study about my own college experience.

Not Showboats!

Monday, May 17, 2021

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Many years ago, a brother who was teaching on today’s Scripture was wise and careful to point out a striking fact. Indeed, we are to study to shew ourselves approved unto God, and not be showboats!

“Showboat” is an informal title for someone who performs outrageously or ostentatiously to draw attention. Such a pretentious person is also called a “show-off.” Brethren, it is completely (!) unacceptable (!) for us to use dispensational Bible study for an occasion to the flesh. Father God never intended us to utilize His Word rightly divided as a way to show others how “smart,” “studious,” or “religious” we are. Denominationalism can be summarized as display—people intentionally behaving a certain way with the sole purpose of impressing onlookers. Are we denominationalists? No! Then why would we want to act like them?!

Dear saints in the grace ministry, why do we study the King James Bible dispensationally? Our attitude, not our activity, matters the most—and God knows what our intention really is! We should ask ourselves questions. Do we rightly divide the Word of Truth to worship the Lord, to learn about what He is doing today, so that we can then, by faith, join Him? Or, do we rightly divide the Word of Truth to be at the center of attention, engender fights, and think ourselves superior to others? Be careful!!! Do not let Satan corrupt the Lord’s ministry!!!

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-5).

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 9, 2021

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 33 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Archived: “What does the Bible say about motherhood?