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And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: And let not the husband put away his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (KJV) We've watched too many fairy tale romance stories from Hollywood. We've believed all too many lies telling us to “follow our hearts.” We've allowed ourselves to be inundated with fraudulent statistics about likelihoods and improbabilities. We are not here to please ourselves. We are not here to fail. We are here to obey the Lord, and to give Him pleasure every day of our lives, and to be over-comers. As we become mature in Christ Jesus, we find that there is far more joy and satisfaction in obeying the Lord and seeking His pleasure than there is in trying to fulfill our own misaligned desires. In the case that your spouse is cheating on you and having sex with someone else, divorce is allowed. It is not commanded, but it is allowed. And then you are allowed to take a new spouse. In the case that your spouse is terribly abusing you, you can get away from that person. You can live somewhere else until you can work things out. God can change that person too. What else? Why else would you want to divorce your spouse and make yourself disobedient to the Lord your God? Because of your lust? Because you don't “feel” the love you once felt for your spouse? Because the one you are married to gets on your nerves? Grow up! You are supposed to be serving your spouse and helping that person to improve. It's not about feeling good. It's about doing what is good for the other person. It's about realizing you need the Lord Jesus even more than you thought you did. He's the only One who can get you through this. If you were such a great spouse yourself, perhaps you could deal more gracefully with your spouse? Or, perhaps all is well with you and your spouse? Good! Teach others what you have learned. We each need all the help we can get. This generation needs to see some examples of what it really means for a man and a woman to fulfill their vows – for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, 'till death do we part. We who are currently married in Christ are the ones who need to set that example. Let's call on God together to give us the strength and maturity to do so. What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus – together. Amen.

Here is a very interesting study. No comments. Just the Word: Is God is our Savior? Or is Jesus is our Savior? They both get the title Savior. Could it be both are united? Who can save except for God? Can mere angels save a person's soul? Could it be that Jesus is God? JESUS OUR Savior

GOD OUR Savior

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Titus 1:4 1 Timothy 2:3 To Titus, my own son after the common faith: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and our Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 1:3 Titus 2:13 But has in due times manifested his word through Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious preaching, which is committed to me according to appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus the commandment of God our Savior; Christ; Titus 1:4 Titus 3:6 To Titus, my own son after the common faith: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ our Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. 2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance will be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever . Amen.

Titus 2:10 Not purloining , but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared , 2 Peter 1:1

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Savior, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever . Amen.

And if any man think that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. – 1 Corinthians 8:2 (KJV) I know we need the Lord Jesus. This is the one thing I know. I need Jesus. Did you know that in being right you can be wrong? It is true. What good is your being right if it harms another person and belittles them? I am not speaking of sharing the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ with others. We should always do that. Even if such knowledge seems to hurt a person, it does not. In the end, the knowledge of Jesus can only save a person's soul. Rather, I am speaking about wielding your own knowledge of the Word (or any other factual information) in such a way as to do damage to another. Let me give one example: Perhaps you know something about a person. Maybe you know a certain person is struggling with a certain sin. You have the facts. You think you are going to help the person by telling everyone about the person's struggle. You have now injured someone's reputation, possibly without repair. In being right, you have now been wrong. You were right in your knowledge, but you were wrong in your application of it. That's just one example, and likely a poor one at that. You most certainly can think of a better example to fit your own circumstance. There is a godly rule given to us in the Scriptures about our communications. The words that come out of our mouths should not go forth to prove that we are right, especially at the expense of others. Rather, we ought to find ourselves so confident in God's love that we don't have to prove ourselves right to people. Our words ought all to be tailored specifically to the benefit and spiritual building up and strengthening of others. Do you think you know something great? Great! There is nothing new under the sun. Even if it is new to you, it is not new to God. Choose your words wisely. Be careful what you share with others and how you share it. Make sure your motive is from God and for the good of others. Your own self is supposed to be dead. Have you killed it yet? None of us yet knows anything as we ought to. Just the same, we have to walk in that which we do know. And we know it is good to serve God and bless others. What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We will guard our hearts and control our tongues. We will seek the Lord's guidance in applying the knowledge He has given us. We will speak when Jesus says to speak. Otherwise we will keep quiet. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen. This one thing we know: We need the Lord Jesus. Amen.

. . . Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies. – 1 Corinthians 8:1 (KJV) When you are first able to ride a bike, you are just thrilled to no end that you seem to have mastered a new sport. You could likely care in the least if the person next to you is good at riding a bike or not. You are just excited to have your bike up and running, defying the laws of gravity that used to pull you down to the ground every time you tried, and learning new tricks. That's knowledge. Knowledge is all about me and what I know. Knowledge is about getting. Knowledge puffs up. Charity is teaching the other person how to ride that bike. Charity doesn't beat the other person up for not knowing how to ride the bike. Charity helps the other person off the ground and teaches them that there is hope on the other side of every fall. Charity is all about you and how I can serve you. Charity is about giving. Charity builds people up. Life is hard. Everyone has trials. Everyone has tribulations. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone needs help. (Most especially that “tough guy” person who seems to need help the least!) It is not good enough for us to know that someone is in error. That's just riding the bike. We've got to come along side to help. When that person gets road rage and shows you their favorite finger, they need help. They need someone to come along side without getting offended and show a better way – most likely by example in this particular case. That person needs charity. When that person gives you the worst service you've ever received at your favorite sit-down eatery, they need help. You don't know what they are going through. You don't know if they know Jesus or not. You don't know if your charity, patience, kindness may change their life for ever. Maybe I'm writing this devotional to myself. Or maybe you need it too. Maybe you need help? I certainly do. I'm going to call on Jesus for my help. I know He's right here with me, waiting for me to call on His name. Jesus is right there with you, too, waiting for you to call on His name. Are you going to call on Jesus too? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we are going to serve the Lord Jesus. We will need all the help we can get. Thank God for the Holy Spirit Jesus sent into our hearts. Hallelujah to Jesus! Amen.

Do all of you not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? – 1 Corinthians 9:13 (KJV) Here is a Scripture we definitely need spoken to us in good old fashioned plain English. The pastor is supposed to be able to have his natural living from the tithe and offering that is brought into the house of God. This is what the Word of God says. Some today say that the tithe was good for the Old Testament times when the priests lived from the legalistic offerings given back then. These people say the tithe doesn't apply in the New Testament. Hogwash! We should not only give as much as the folks in the Old Testament gave, but we should desire to give more! Our love for God ought to flow to His people and His house, the local church we attend, right through our pocket books. Why? What does money have to do with love? Why do preachers always end up asking for money? Because it's scriptural. Look, all people will either serve the true and living God, or the world system. That's what the Bible says. And you can't serve both. In other words, which one are you gripping more tightly? Your money, or your God? Jesus gives you that money and the ability to earn it anyhow. Is it such a burden that He ask you to spend a measly 10% on Him who you say you love? You ought rather to want to spend as much of it as you can on Him. And the way He says you can do that is through the tithe and offering you give to the local church. It is a step of faith. You know that money is not always spent how you would want it to be. You know that once it is out of your hands, you no longer have control of it. Can you let go? Can you trust God? Or will you rob God and deprive His servants of their due wages? I don't write this for my gain. I am not a pastor of your local church. I gain nothing from your tithe and your offering. I write this because it is the truth of God's Word. If you are obedient, then I spiritually benefit in the blessing you receive from God. They that minister God's Word to the congregation of the local church are to live from the preaching of the gospel. We are to give our tithe and offerings generously and with a cheerful heart so that our ministers may take great joy in their service to our Lord. We want them to be free from financial worries so that they can focus on praying for us and studying the Word of God. They watch out for our souls as under-shepherds together with Jesus Christ the Great Shepherd of our souls. Let's bless God. Let's bless our pastors. Let's graciously and generously give out tithe and our offering as though we were giving it directly into the very hand of God Almighty. What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus with joy and thanksgiving. All glory to His holy name. Amen.

For this reason let him that thinks he stand take heed lest he fall. – 1 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV) Does someone think they've got the corner on the truth? Let that person check their own heart. They may be filled with silent pride. Does someone think their doctrine is pure? Let that person evaluate themselves to see if they be in the faith. They may be only practicing a form of godliness – doing all the right things – without knowing the power of God – walking in the Holy Spirit. Does someone think they are such a good example for all to follow. Let that person ask the Holy Spirit to search their heart. They may be of the ones that say, “Lord! Lord! Didn't we?” only to hear, “Depart from Me, you wicked who practice lawlessness; I never knew you.” Are you progressing with the Lord Jesus daily? Or are you just satisfied to be living a pretty decent life apart from all your youthful lusts? Are you growing and maturing and allowing the Holy Spirit to search you out and show you all your faults daily? Or have you come to believe that you are pretty well off? Pride can look like humility. Sin can look like godliness. Selfishness can look like selflessness. Have you fallen on your face before the Lord God Almighty, like Isaiah, and realized that you have absolutely no goodness of your own? Do you realize that without God's influence in your life you really can do nothing of any value? Or are you still in your sin of believing that there is goodness in you aside from God? David's fell in to his greatest sins when he seemed to be on top of the world. When it seemed the king could do no wrong, is when he did the worst. For this reason let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. The Lord wants you to get into His presence right now in prayer and praise. The Holy Spirit is prodding you to spend time with the Master. It is His holiness that you need. Will you come? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. What else matters? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. – 1 Corinthians 10:24 (KJV) Do you have a large sum of money sitting in the bank? Why? Who is it for? Are you saving it for some tomorrow that may never come? Could you bless someone else with it today? If your neighbor asks you to go one mile with him, go two. If your neighbor asks for your outer garment, give him your inner garment also. Do to others what you would have done to you. Christianity is not about following a bunch of rules. It is about following a Man. His name is Jesus. Jesus is a giver. He relinquished all the treasures of Heaven to come and live with us so that we might see how to live. God so loved the world that He gave . . . and He gave until it hurt. Oh we're all good. But are we really godly? Are we really giving of ourselves first to God and then to our neighbors? Or are we just happy that we think we have a free ticket to heaven now that we don't sin like we used to? No person can serve God and mammon. We cannot have our allegiance lined up with the things of God and the things of this world. We cannot cling to Jesus and cling to money at the same time. Doing so will rip us in two. We will love the one and hate the other. Or we will resent that fact that we have to give up the one for the sake of the other. Are you really serving God? Do you really love Jesus? Does He have full control of your pocket book? Are you spending more on others than you spend on your own comforts? We are not here to bless our own selves while our friends and neighbors first suffer lack then perish for lack of the knowledge of Christ which dwells in us. We are here on this earth to do 2 things and do them well: First and foremost, we are here to praise and worship the Living God, Christ Jesus our Lord. Secondly we are here to be an example of Him on this earth so that others may come to know Him. Jesus is looking for servants who will give up their own life for the sake of others. Will you be such a servant? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

For why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? – 1 Corinthians 10:29 (KJV) Here is another Scripture which people like to take and twist out of context. They like to say things like, “It's OK for me to watch R rated movies; I don't feel convicted. Don't judge me. I have grace to do this.” Or they say things like, “It's OK for me to drink alcohol in my own home. As long as I don't get drunk. Don't judge me. I have grace to do this. Don't infringe on my liberty.” Or . . . well, fill in the blanks. Grace does not override the law of God. Grace does not give us liberty to sin. Grace is not a license to re-write the Word of the Lord. Those things that the Bible clearly teaches we are not to do, we are not to do. Period. The Bible says I will set no evil thing before my eyes. I am not to watch evil on TV or at the movies and think that it is OK. What enters in through my eyes goes into my soul. It affects me whether I realize it or not. And it does not affect me for the good. The Bible says for me to be sober. The Bible says for me to not even look at alcoholic drink. Jesus certainly did turn water into wine. Study it out and you'll find that was the best wine – of the sort that is non-alcoholic. I am the temple of the Living God. I am not to destroy that temple, or the Lord will destroy me. I am not to partake of alcohol or other intoxicating substances for my own pleasure. If there ever were a medicinal use for consumption of alcohol, it has since been disproved and replaced with true medicine. There is no reason for me to drink even one glass of wine. What else? What other liberty do people like to bind themselves into? Paul says all things are legal for me, but I will be taken captive by none. Only the love of God and His work will captivate me. What has you bound? What takes your time away from the Lord and working His will in your life? TV? Work? Entertainment? Leisure? Fishing? Fellowshipping? Anything that takes your time and attention away from the Lord Jesus can become an idol. The law of liberty demands that such things are removed from our lives. Jesus bought us to set us free to Himself. We are free to worship. We are free to pray. We are free to praise. We are free in order that we may serve the Lord with thanksgiving and joy every moment of every day of our lives. Are you free? Really free? Have you even thought about it? Or do you just say it because someone told you that He who the Son set free is free indeed? Are you really free indeed? Jesus is calling us to be free. He wants you to serve Him without constraint and without restraint. He wants you to drop off every weight and leave behind the sin that so easily entangles. Jesus wants you to take on His burden and His yoke. Will you? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Hallelujah, He has made us free to serve Him! Hallelujah! Amen.

To another divers kinds of tongues; To another the interpretation of tongues: – 1 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) OK, we need to talk about this subject again. There are those that despise the gifts of God. There are those that say all prophesy is of the devil. There are those that say all miraculous signs and wonders are evil tricks to deceive the ignorant. There are those that say speaking in “unknown tongues” is not the gift of God, but rather a sign of heresy. Where do such people get their information? On what truth do they base their claims? They certainly are not using sound Biblical theology. They certainly are not teaching what the Bible says. The Bible says, “do not despise prophesies.” Rather, discern whether what a person is saying lines up with the Bible and the Spirit of God or not. If it lines up, keep it. If it does not line up, let it go. It is the Pastor's job to rebuke and reprove an individual that gives prophesy in error. That's not your job. The Bible says every good gift comes down from the Father of lights in Heaven above. Miracles – true miracles that serve a godly purpose and bring glory to God – are among these gifts. Oh, there are signs and wonders that come from the evil one, but they are fairly clear to see for anyone who abides in the Word. Certainly not all miracles are evil. The Bible says we are to pray with our understanding and we are to pray in the spirit. We are to sing with our understanding and we are to sing in the spirit. In a gathering of the people of God, one is given the gift of tongues. Another is given the gift of interpretation. All can be blessed. If I speak in Zulu or Aboriginee or some other exotic language, do you have a clue what I am saying? Do my sounds even seem like a language to you? Do angels all speak English? What about the Lord? Does He have a language in Heaven that none of us can understand without His aid? Or is He limited to our languages? Can God not have His way in our gatherings? The Bible says it is mockers and scoffers who come in the last days and speak evil of things they know nothing about. Don't be evil. Don't be a mocker or a scoffer. Don't speak evil of things you don't understand. Rather, confess that there are things you don't understand. Acknowledge there are some things you have not yet experienced with God. Admit that maybe you are not even open to experiencing some of the things the Bible says God has for you. Then you will be much closer to pleasing God than if you speak evil of His good gifts. There will be no mockers or scoffers in Heaven. But there will certainly be languages there that you currently can not understand or even recognize as being a language. Who gave you the right and authority to determine if my praying in the spirit must sound like something you understand or approve? Who gives you the right to say I can't do something that God clearly commands I can and should? Go one step further, who gives you the right to denounce God's good gifts and refuse something He has offered you in His loving kindness? If God wants you to have something, who are you to say, “no”? If you deny the Lord's will, can you truly call Him Lord? Then He is not in charge, but you are. What are you going to do? Are you going to serve the Lord? Or are you trying to have Him serve your

wants and needs? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Hallelujah to His name. Amen.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13:1 (KJV) It may be that a person can speak in the languages of men and the languages of angels. It is very apparent then that these are two different sets of languages, both available to people via the Holy Spirit. Certainly no man has written down nor knows the interpretations of the languages of angels. Certainly there are some things we just do not understand with our natural mind. Surely there are communications in and from Heaven that we cannot possible comprehend or even recognize as intelligible sounds. Glory to God! He can do as He pleases. It may very well be that the Holy Spirit gives people the ability to speak in the languages of men and the languages of angles. For what purpose, you say? How do you know if God has chosen to command His angels through the lips of people or not? Do you know where God's throne is in Heaven? How does a leg miraculously grow back to the amazement of doctors who know much more about the human body than we? What man is there that God has ever sought out for counsel as to how to run His day? People may indeed speak with tongues of men and tongues of angels. But do they have love? And with their love, do they have gifts which they are bestowing on God and one another in the body of Christ? Love and gifts are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they are mutually inclusive. He who loves gives gifts. He who gives gifts loves. For God so loved the world that He gave. If you really love God – not just with a feeling or a sentimental emotion – you will keep His commandments. His commandments are not hard to keep. All who love the Lord Jesus keep His commandments. All who keep His commandments love Him. Jesus has commanded us to seek the good gifts. Only we are to seek them with love. We are to seek them in obedience to the Holy Spirit and for the benefit of God's people on earth. Otherwise we are like the mean person who thinks it is OK to treat people rudely because that person has given so much from his or her riches. Have you ever known a mean-spirited rich person? For a short time, it is nice to receive their gifts. But in the end, their meanness drives you far away. So it is with the gifts of the Spirit. Practicing love does not excuse us from using the gifts God gives. Rather love compels us to use them generously and seek more of them for the benefit of others. Love is not the greater gift. Love is the motivation which should drive the gifts. Love is not the end all, do all. Love just the glue that holds everything else together. It is good to give money. But a person can have their financial needs met and end up in hell. It is good to give food. But a person can have their tummy filled and still end up in the fire. It is good to give time. But a person may consume all your time and yet not find their way to Jesus. The better gifts are the gifts of the Spirit. The Lord works through these gifts toward the salvation and building up of the souls of people. We can only give that which we ourselves have. So let us fervently seek the better gifts.

God is a generous God. Jesus is looking for servants who will receive and give the gifts He so desires to give. Will you be such a servant? Will you allow the Lord Jesus to equip you for the blessing of people toward the salvation of their soul? Will you receive the good gifts of God? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We will obtain all that He has for us so that we may be well-equipped to do His work here on earth. We will seek the better gifts. And we will share them in charity, which is love. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:3 (KJV) There are people who will twist Scripture to get you buy into their doctrine. They will say that which is perfect is come, so the gifts are no longer needed. They will say love has come, so some the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer needed. They will say we've grown up into love, so we no longer need the lesser perfect expression of the gifts. When did that happen? And if supposedly growing up into love excludes certain gifts by Scriptures such as the 13th Chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, then other things are excluded as well. In the same breath, Paul speaks of love being the prerequisite for speaking in tongues of men and angels, prophesying, having supernatural understanding & wisdom, having faith, bestowing gifts to the poor, and self-sacrifice. Are we to give up all these things? Are we to not have understanding? Are we to not have faith? Are we to stop giving? Are we not to give ourselves as a living sacrifice to God? We cannot pick and choose what parts of the Holy Spirit are still alive today. No part of God has died. The Holy Spirit is complete and active and alive. Only, some of us may not be allowing Him to have His fullness expressed in us. Paul speaks of tongues and prophesy and wisdom and knowledge and understanding and giving and sacrifice in the same context because they are all equally part of God's desire for us in the day we live. No one gift or attribute is higher than another. They are all equally part of who God is in us by His Holy Spirit . . . that is if we indeed have His Holy Spirit dwelling in us. What if I never gave to the poor? Wouldn't it be silly for me to say there is no such thing as giving to the poor? Wouldn't you, who have given to the poor, think it strange if I said God stopped the practice of giving to the poor 500 years ago when such and such happened? Wouldn't you scratch your head in awe and wonder how I could disbelieve something I saw you doing right in front of my face? That's what some people will have you believe though. They will have you believe the Holy Spirit stopped giving us certain gifts some time ago – even when they see us using those gifts! They have no Scriptural evidence of such a thing. (They twist Scripture to try to back up their claims, but they don't have Scriptural evidence.) No place in the Bible does it say that any of the gifts will be stopped while we yet remain on earth. No place in the Bible does it say that such and so a gift will or did stop on such and such a date. God is not a buffet meal. We can't have it our way with God. He wants to have us completely or not at all. And He wants us to have Him completely or not at all. We can't pick and choose which parts of the Bible fit us today and which don't. Salvation itself is a total exchange of all we thought we were for all that God wants to be in us. If we don't have that exchange taking place in us, we better check our own selves to see if we even be saved. Jesus is looking for servants who will serve Him in His Spirit and in the Truth of who He is. He will not accept those who serve their own image of who Jesus is. Serving one's own image of God is called idol worship. No idol worshipers will enter the gates of Heaven.

What about you, friend? Will you serve Jesus in the fullness of who He is? Will you let His Word challenge your belief and change the way you live your life? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Charity never fails: But whether there be prophecies, they will fail; whether there be tongues, they will cease; whether there be knowledge, it will vanish away. – 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV) “Here it is!” someone will say. “Here is Scriptural evidence that tongues has ceased.” “There, right there! Read it for yourself: Whether there be tongues, they will cease.” When the season comes for the fruit on a tree to ripen, the fruit ripens. At some point, if not picked, the fruit falls to the ground. It is no longer useful for human consumption. (But if the tree never had fruit, it was entirely unfit as a fruit tree. The vine dresser would cut that tree down so it wouldn't take up space that could be used by fruit producing trees.) That's sort of what this word “fails” means in 1 Corinthians 13:8. It means that love will never fall of or quit being useful. Right now love is useful. Forever love will be useful. Prophecies are useful for now. When once what we've prophesied about has come, then they will not be useful anymore. When once we are fully in the presence of God in Heaven, there will be no more need to speak about what is coming. There will be no more time. We will not speak about what is coming but simply what is. Prophecies will then have no more use. They will “fail” or fall off from use. Tongues are useful for now. They transcend our own language and our own understanding to speak forth things we know not of. When once we are in perfect union with the Father in Heaven above, we will no longer need tongues. Indeed, we will no longer need languages. We will all speak one language of which we certainly do not know any of its words now. Tongues will then “fail” or fall off from being useful. We won't then need tongues anymore. Knowledge is useful for now. In order to live in such a way that is pleasing to the Lord, we must know what is wrong and right. When once we are in Heaven, there will be no right and wrong. Everything in Heaven will be all right. We won't need knowledge of right and wrong. Such knowledge will then “fail” or fall off from us. Then we won't need such knowledge anymore. We need the gifts of God today. They haven't ceased; none of them. People may refuse to receive certain gifts for certain reasons. But the gifts have not ceased. It is an insult to refuse a gift from a person, you know? Is there something God has been trying to give you that you are refusing? Are you insulting God because of your religion? Or because of what people may think? Or because of your comfort zone? Today is the day to receive all that God has for You. He has so much more than just a free ticket to Heaven. Jesus came that you might have life and life more abundantly. Will you receive it? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. If He wants to give us something, we have already determined, we will receive it. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Amen.

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that all of you may prophesy. – 1 Corinthians 14:1 (KJV) Can you imagine the Lord commanding us to do something we cannot do? Of course Jesus does not do that. When Jesus told the woman to “Go and sin no more,” Jesus meant it. He was not just speaking figuratively. Jesus had set her free from the bonds of sin so that she may go forth and no longer sin by choice. Certainly she would make some mistakes along the way, but she would not longer choose sin. Jesus does not command you to do anything you cannot do. He does not tell you to seek spiritual gifts that you cannot find. Indeed, Jesus says that if you seek you will certainly find. All the gifts are available to you right now, in God's timing, for God's perfect purposes, expressed the most in the assembly of the saints for the building up of the body of Christ. Tongues, interpretations, prophecies, healings, miracles, helps, discernment, word of wisdom, word of knowledge – all are yours in Christ to serve Him. The Lord has commanded you to chase after love. You are doing this well enough. Now, are you desiring the spiritual gifts of God that you may serve Him with them? Are you hungering for them? Are you desperate for them? More importantly, are you desperate for Jesus? Do you long for more time spent with Him every moment of every day? Are you hungry for all that He has for you? Jesus says that “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled,” “Those who ask, receive.” Those who are not hungry are already full of something else . . . perhaps their own religion or a high estimation of their own state of affairs. Maybe they are full of self. It is possible, like Judas was, they are filled with the devil. Such won't be filled with the goodness of God until they really hunger for it. You have to want the things of God. Jesus will not make you do anything. The Holy Spirit won't even force you to be saved. You have to have a hunger deep in your spirit driving you to seek the things of God. Are you hungry today? If you are not, you can pray to God that He make you hungry for all that He has for you. Jesus wants you to want Him. He wants you to receive every good gift that comes down from the Father of lights in Heaven above. What are you going to do? As for me and my household, just knowing about Jesus is not enough. We want to serve Him. We don't have the strength or the resources in and of ourselves. We are daily filled to overflow with the Holy Spirit. We ask for His gifts and He gives them. Freely have we received. Freely do we give. Hallelujah to Jesus! As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: For no man understands him; howbeit in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. – 1 Corinthians 14:2 (KJV) You know, the Lord Jesus is a not a person to mess around with tricky words. If He didn't want us to speak in tongues, He would simply tell us so. But He does not tell us so. Rather, the Holy Spirit brings us revelation from Jesus that we are indeed to speak in tongues. The Lord goes a little further. He instructs us that when we pray in tongues we are praying in the Spirit. This is that type of prayer that Jude tells us builds up our most holy faith. Nothing else builds up our most holy faith but this type of prayer. Tongues is a gift we really need. Certainly we don't run around praying in tongues all the time in the public market. Certainly we don't have to have it to be saved. Certainly we don't have to have it used to bring a public message every time we come to church. Certainly, like all gifts, there are proper ways to use it and proper times to not use it. One thing is certain though, we need it. Why is there so much contention about this beautiful gift? Why do so many people refuse it for what the Bible clearly says it is? Why are there so many false doctrines built on either the denouncing of or the perversion of this gift? The gift of speaking in unknown tongues is powerful! It builds up our most holy faith. Speaking in tongues surpasses our own intellect and understanding. It takes an extra measure of courage and faith simply to put this gift to good use. Men nor the devil may jump in on the conversations we have with God while we are using the gift of unknown tongues. The gift of speaking in tongues is powerful! All of God's gifts are here to stay. Each of God's gifts to us in Christ Jesus has beautiful and wonderful uses in our lives that we may not even understand. These gifts are all vital to our walk with the Lord. We cannot live the lives the Lord Jesus intended for us without these gifts. And we can all have them. He who asks will receive. He who seeks will find. To he who knocks, the door will be opened. But are you hungry for more of what God has for you? Are you thirsty for the fullness of God in your life? Or are you just complacent to wear a title, practice a little religion, and lord over your own life while you tout around the title of Christian? On the cross, Jesus paid for the total exchange of all that you were in your sins for all He wants to be in you. The only person who can stop that exchange partially or fully is you. Will you allow Jesus to get all He paid for? Or will you deny the Lord? What are you going to do? As for me and my household we will serve the Lord Jesus. We are seeking to find all that He has paid to be in us. We are asking that the exchange be made wholly and completely. We are knocking on the door to the storehouses of Heaven – not so that we will be blessed according to our standards, but so that we will bless the Lord Jesus by receiving all He paid for us to have. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the church. – 1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV) Someone is certainly saying in their heart, “Why all this talk about unknown tongues?!?” Good question indeed. And it is a good question to be aimed at the Author of the Bible. He is the one who gave us all this discussion about the subject. We need the gift of tongues. It builds up our most holy faith. It strengthens us in ways that no other thing can. It edifies us. Some ignorant person will argue, “Yeah, but it is better to build up the church!” And indeed, in a gathering of worshipers, it is better to build up the church. That's why the 5-fold ministry uses the other gifts (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophecy, teaching, etc.) more predominantly in our services – to build up the church. This is also why we need to be at church – to have our faith built up. It is good for us to properly use the gifts Jesus has given us to build up our own faith. When a child grows up and becomes a man or a woman, we don't expect them to keep living off of mom and dad's resources for ever. Sooner or later, they learn to provide for themselves. And yet they are still family (hopefully). The parents don't quit being parents. The sons and daughters don't cease to be sons and daughters. They simply all contribute to each other. It becomes a two way street of giving and receiving instead of a one way street of giving or receiving. We need the gift of tongues. We need our faith built up. We need to be strengthened. Otherwise, we will be spiritual weaklings. Oh, we can be saved without tongues. We can even be strong in the faith without tongues. But we can be stronger in the faith with tongues. The Lord paid a great price on the cross so that we might be all He wants us to be. And we can only be what the Lord wants us to be by receiving and utilizing all the gifts He gives us. The gift of tongues is a very personal gift available to each and every one of us . . . if we will only seek it. What about you? Are you going to be all that Jesus has paid the price for you to be? Or will you hamper His work because of some fear of yours, some doubt, some disbelief, some teaching of men or doctrine of demons? Will you ask for and receive the gift of tongues? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We gladly receive and use every gift He gives us. We want Jesus to get, in us, all that He has paid for with His very blood on the cross of Calvary. He has so much more for us than just intellectual understanding and comfortable religion. We want it all. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

I desire that all of you all speak with tongues, but rather that all of you prophesy: For greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. – 1 Corinthians 14:5 (KJV) This is the Lord Jesus speaking to each of us through His Holy Spirit. He doesn't say, “Stop speaking in tongues and prophesying.” Jesus doesn't say, “Only use these gifts until such and such a date.” Rather the Lord has Paul write to us, “I want you all to speak with tongues and prophesy.” The “rather” here (look it up) doesn't imply one gift verses another. The gifts are not mutually exclusive. They work together in tandem as the Holy Spirit desires for the purpose of glorifying God and strengthening the body of Christ. Prophesy is not to be preferred over tongues. It is simply more useful in the public assembly of believers. And it is only more useful in the situation where tongues are not interpreted. Otherwise, tongues and prophesy have the same usefulness in collective worship. A person can pray in tongues and sing in tongues quietly to themselves all day long. No interpretation is necessary for such use of the gift. This use is personal – strictly between God and His worshiper. So you may hear the person next to you praying and singing in tongues in a public worship gathering. There is no problem with this. The gifts have not died. They may not be being put to use in some people, but they have not died. How can part of God die? How silly. People need to be careful when they start saying parts of God's Word are no longer applicable for us – especially in regards to the New Testament. For when one takes away from the Word of God, one cuts his or her self off from part of the blessing of God. And who can have the wisdom and knowledge and understanding to say which certain parts of the Word are “OK” to use today and which are “Not OK”? One who does so might as well throw out the entire counsel of God. Some people don't hear the voice of the Lord speaking to them today. Some of these erroneously say, therefore, that God doesn't speak directly to people anymore. How silly! They may have closed their own ears so that they don't hear from God. But God still speaks. Jesus is the living Word. His sheep know His voice and another voice they will not follow. Don't follow the voice of ignorance. Just because you don't understand something, don't say it isn't possible, useful or of God. If it is in the Word, you owe it to yourself to search it out and ask God to help you understand it. Remember, you didn't even understand salvation when it was first presented to you. Jesus desires to take you places and show you things you have never experienced before. Don't be part of an organization that clearly contradicts what the Word of God says. Do not quench the Holy Spirit or blaspheme Him. Rather seek God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Be a doer of the Word in Spirit and in Truth. Don't be a hearer only, deceiving your own self. Today is the day of God's favor toward you. Right now is the time to be saved. Right now is the time to receive the Holy Spirit into your heart. Tomorrow may be too late. What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We pray you will join us. God bless you.

Wherefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. – 1 Corinthians 14:13 (KJV) How could anyone with common intelligence, fully in their own right mind, not influenced by outside sources, read all this talk of the gift of speaking in unknown tongues and yet be persuaded that the gift is of the devil? Such a persuasion is absolutely absurd. It is the persuasion which is of the devil. The gift is not of the devil. But they do not want to hear. They do not want to understand. They do not want to see. They have hardened their own hearts and made themselves blind, deaf, and dumb. For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said , This is the rest with which all of you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: Yet they would not hear. – Isaiah 28:11-12 (KJV) Somebody has fooled them. They have heard another Gospel other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible. Someone has twisted the Scriptures and twisted their minds. They are being robbed and abused and imprisoned. And many of them like it this way, because there are less requirements on them when they are in bondage. But we are not so. You are not so. We seek the Truth of God's Word. We ask for all that God has for us so that Jesus may be well pleased in us. We knock on the doors which the Lord Jesus set before us and expect them to be opened. When we speak in tongues in personal prayer to God, there is no need for interpretation. The Lord can make known His will and His mind to our very hearts. When we speak in tongues as a communication to God's people in the assembly of believers, it is our responsibility to ask for interpretation. To whom much is given, much will be required. The one who speaks to the congregation in tongues must ask the Lord for interpretation. (Why would Paul even bother to teach us all this if we were simply not to speak in tongues? How silly!) The interpretation may come through the person who spoke in tongues, or it may come through another. The Holy Spirit works with the gifts through what ever believer He chooses for His own purposes and pleasure. But the responsibility to ask for interpretation remains upon the one who speaks out loud in tongues. There must be order in the church. We would know that it was wrong if the preacher was preaching and suddenly someone stood up and sang a song of worship to the Lord so loud that it interrupted the preacher. That is not order. That is not right. Worship is good. Singing to the Lord is good. But that timing would not be good. So it is with every gift, and tongues included. There is a right way and time and place for every good gift to be practiced, and always in love. God has many good gifts to give to you. Each one has a purpose in your life. Will you receive all that

the Lord Jesus has for you? Or will you tell Him what you think you need, all the while calling Him, “Lord”? (Think about it) What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we cannot seek to make Jesus our servant and yet call Him, “Lord.” That just doesn't make sense. Instead, as for me and my household, we will let Jesus tell us what to say, and think, and do, and receive. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord, Jesus. Amen.

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. – 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 (KJV) For anyone who has not experienced praying in the spirit, praying in unknown tongues, it can be a very uncomfortable and strange thing. We know. We were all there once. None of us was born into this world speaking in the spirit. We all had to come by the gift in due time after once we were saved. But if anyone is still thinking that there is no such thing as praying in the spirit in unknown tongues today, they ought to carefully consider this Scripture. If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays so I will pray in the spirit. I will also pray with my understanding. This is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, God's people, through the apostle Paul. He says praying in tongues is praying in the spirit and is good for building us up in our spirits. Jude says the same, commanding us to pray in the spirit always, building up our most holy faith. A couple things are clear then. One is that we won't understand what exactly is happening when we pray in tongues. The second is that we need to pray in tongues. We don't have to understand it all, and we won't. Who can “figure out” God? If you think you can, you do well to think again. You weren't here when He spoke the worlds into existence. You did determine how things would work. You didn't even have a say in the matter. You can't “figure out” God with a mathematical equation, or a masters thesis, or a scientific theory. Will you have your spirit built up to be all that Jesus wants it to be? Will you rob God of His reward? Will you surrender to His ways? Will you forfeit the doctrines of man and simply take God at His Word? Jesus is saving those who will surrender to Him completely. Jesus will only be your Savior once He is your Lord. This calls for your total submission to Him in love. Are you willing? (No one is ready, really, but are you willing?) What are you going to do? As for me and my household we will surrender to and serve the Lord Jesus. In our household, what He says goes. Jesus is the Lord. His Word is our authority. As for me and my household, we have determined to take God at His Word. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. – 1 Corinthians 14:39 (KJV) forbid: Koluo (ko-loo'-o) 1. to hinder, prevent forbid 2. to withhold a thing from anyone 3. to deny or refuse one a thing It is one thing to be ignorant. It is another thing to know something God says to do and not practice it. Both of these are bad enough. But woe to the person who tries to prevent the good work of God! Woe to those who oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit through Paul ends a lengthy discussion about tongues with the command to never hinder, prevent, or forbid the use of God's gift of speaking in unknown tongues. And yet, do you know? There are churches today which call themselves Christian and build entire doctrines against the use of of the gift of speaking in tongues? Shame on them. Don't hinder the gift of speaking in tongues. Don't prevent it. Don't forbid it. Don't withhold it from anyone – it is God's gift to man; how dare you stop anyone from enjoying it? Don't deny the gift of speaking in tongues. And don't refuse it. These are not my commands. These are not the commands of any man. These are the commands of the Lord recorded by the Apostle Paul. These commands carry the same weight as every other command of God. If you do not murder, but you deny the gifts of God, you are convicted of sin by the Holy Word of God. If you do not commit adultery, but you tell people that speaking in tongues is “of the devil,” you are convicted by God's Word as a transgressor. If you do not steal, but you stop people from receiving God's good gifts, you are a thief in God's eyes. Don't be a person who disobeys God's commands. If you say you love Him, you will keep His commands. Don't quench the Holy Spirit. Don't insult God's good gifts. If you don't understand, then don't say anything. You are better off to hold your tongue than to let it cause you to burn in hell. God is good. He is generous. The Lord loves to give. God so loved the world that He gave. He wants you to be filled with all His goodness. He wants to change you from what you used to be into what He is going to make you. You can't even imagine all that God has for you. Will you receive from God today? Will you make up your mind to trust Him even when you don't understand Him? Will you determine in your heart today that Jesus really is Lord – almighty controller of your life, the one who calls the shots, provider, boss, instructor, counselor, and the one who makes you into what ever He so desires? Will you decide in advance that no matter what Jesus wants for you, your answer will be yes? Jesus is looking for such to serve Him. Jesus will not be Savior to anyone who does not allow Him to be Lord. Will you serve the Lord Jesus? What are you going to do?

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We will do what He says to do – no matter what it may cost us. We will be what ever He says for us to be – no matter how much it goes against what we thought before. We will receive all that Jesus wants to give us – whether we understand it or not. This is our decision. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. May He be well pleased in our service. Amen.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be all of you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as all of you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) Did you know? The Father has work for us to do. That's right, once we are saved, there is work to be done in God's kingdom. We can't work for our salvation. Work won't keep our salvation. But all who are truly saved will do the work of the Lord Jesus. What is this work of the Lord Jesus? Some men asked Jesus that one time. Jesus replied that His work was to do the will of the Father. Even as the Father sent Jesus into the world to do His will, Jesus has so sent us. Our work is to do the will of the Father. Great! You say. What then is the will of the Father? Good question. I am so glad you asked. The Father's will is that none should be lost. The Father's will is that all should come to the knowledge of salvation in Christ Jesus. The Father's will is that we should be in constant fellowship with Him by praying in our spirit. The Lord's command is that we proclaim the good news and make disciples of all people everywhere. Are your neighbors disciples of Jesus? Do they even know about Jesus? Have you spoken to them about Jesus? Are you really ensuring the Father's will is done? It is not enough to just be good. Buddhist monks and Mormon missionaries seem to be pretty good. But that's not enough. Such people, though good, are spreading a false message of hope. Only Jesus saves. Period. All religious roads do not lead to heaven. Jesus is the narrow way. Jesus is the only way. There is no other way to the Father but through Jesus. Jesus is the only One who could give His life as a sinless sacrifice to pay the price for our sins. There is no amount of goodness, kindness, happiness, or religious practice in the world that can take away our sins. It is only by the blood of Jesus that we are washed and made completely whole. And all we have to do in order to receive this washing is to die to our ways and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord. We have to admit that we aren't good directors of our own life. We have to do what Jesus says. The first step in doing what Jesus says is to admit that we are not holy and that we need Jesus to make us holy. Then there are a lifetime of steps after that one. Jesus has a lot to say to us! Are you ready to do what Jesus says? Are you ready to be steadfast and unmovable in the work God has for you? Are you ready to see all people everywhere made disciples of Jesus Christ? It starts with you. You are the first one to fulfill the Lord's desire that none be lost. You must be saved. Then, in time, you too will lead others to Jesus. Why not start right now? What are you going to do?

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. We will remain steadfast in the work He has given us to do. We will not be moved. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Now thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes made known the savor of His knowledge by us in every place. – 2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) Everywhere we go and in everything we do, we are to be as the sweet smelling aroma to all those around us of a life sacrificed to God in obedience to His Word. Everywhere we go. Whether it be at work. Whether it be at the store. Whether it be at the lake or on the mountain. Our lives are but for one purpose: To serve the Living God with gladness and thanksgiving. In everything we do. Whether it be relaxing on a Saturday. Whether it be working the graveyard shift 10 days in a row. Whether it be cooking dinner or vacuuming the carpet. Our lives are but for one purpose: To serve the Living God, Jesus Christ, with gladness and thanksgiving. Some people say, “Isn't it enough that you serve Him on Sundays and some Wednesday nights? Do you really have to talk about Him ALL the time? Isn't there more to life than just Jesus?” Those people don't understand. I am in love. Jesus is my life. He is the lover of my soul. I don't want to think of anything but Him and His love for me. I get drunk on His love. I get high on His touch. His Spirit is my passion. I worship Him. Worship isn't just singing a song and obeying a few rules. That's dead religion. Worship is adoration and infatuation. Worship is total surrender. Worship is intimacy: Two becoming one. Do you love Jesus? Do you worship Him in Spirit and in Truth? Are you His sweet smelling savor everywhere you go and in all you do? Or do you only have a godly aroma in certain crowds on certain days? Do you put on your spiritual perfume around Christians to smell the way they want you to? Do you put on a different spirituality around non-believers so that they won't be offended? That's not love. That's compromise. No people paid the price for your soul. No person will ever love you like Jesus loves you. Nobody will ever be as faithful to you as Jesus is. Will you be faithfully His? Or will you flirt with who ever seems to approve of you at the time? The Father is looking for those who will serve and worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. Will you be one of them? If you don't feel such a passion for Jesus, that's OK. True passion is not about feelings. It is about a decision. True love, true passion, is about a choice and a commitment. Will you choose to love Jesus no matter how you feel? Will you commit to being His living sacrifice everywhere you go and in everything you do? Will you really love Jesus? What are you going to do? As for me and my household, we will serve, love and worship the Lord Jesus everywhere we go and in

everything we do. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Jesus. Amen.

DEVOTIONS January 2010  

Daily Devotions to encourage, inspire, challenge, and instruct . . .