Proverbs 2:1, 2, 4, 5

My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding…  If you seek has as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. - Proverbs 2:1, 2, 4, 5


The separation between God and humanity began when sin entered the Garden of Eden.  Humanity was cut off from the wisdom of God as a result of sin.  Ever since then, we have found it difficult to understand and interpret our circumstances and conflicts.  We need the wisdom of God to understand these things and know God.

James makes it crystal clear that there are two kinds of wisdom in the world.  In James 3:15-17, earthly, human wisdom is compared with heaven's wisdom.  Earthly wisdom is sensual, demonic, envious, and self-seeking, causing confusion and every kind of evil.  God declares that this kind of human wisdom will never achieve knowledge of Him!  In contrast, "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (v.17).

How can we gain this heavenly wisdom?  James assures us, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).  Clearly, heaven's wisdom is a gift from above.  When we acknowledge our spiritual destitution and our own inability to deal with the conflicts of life, and turn in faith to God, He will give His gift of wisdom.  With this kind of wisdom, we learn to see things from heaven's viewpoint as God begins replacing our spiritual destitution with spiritual insight!

Lord Jesus, how we desperately need Your wisdom and understanding as we navigate through life.  Help me every day to depend totally on You for the wisdom that comes as a gift from heaven.  Amen.

Thank you Norman Hunt - Canton, GA

Exodus 31:18

When He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. – Exodus 31:18


Hebrews 1:1 says that in the past God spoke “at various times and in various ways… to the fathers by the prophets.”  There have been times when God spoke to people in a literal voice.  When God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, it was amidst the sounds of thunder and trumpets (Exodus 19).  When God spoke to Elijah, it was in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  There were also times when God spoke through dreams, for instance, when He gave dreams to Joseph (Genesis 37).  In New Testament times, God primarily spoke to people through the Old Testament scriptures, but that wasn’t His final word either.

The writer of Hebrews says that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2).  Only at the coming of Jesus do we begin to understand His full significance.  As we draw near to Jesus, we come to understand that His is the full, complete, and final word of God to us – even if we have to yet hear all of it.

Lord, I am grateful that You not only love us but also lead us in this new life!  I know that there have been times I didn’t see or feel Your presence, but Lord, by faith I know You were there!  Thank You for Your ever-present Spirit.  Amen.

2 Samuel 7:29

Let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.  2 Samuel 7:29


Lord, thank You for this new and wonderful day You have created.  I pray that You would guide me through this day and that I would be sensitive to follow in all the ways that You choose to lead.  Amen.

Matthew 6:1

Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Matthew 6:1


Dear heavenly Father, please guide me today.  Give me strength to walk the path towards Your kingdom.  Be with my friends and family that are struggling and ease their worries by opening their heart to Your will and Your way.  In Jesus' glorious name.  Amen.

Matthew 16:19

And I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Matthew 16:19


What a tremendous opportunity the church has been given to unlock the doors of understanding for lost men, women, boys, and girls to the glorious gospel of Christ.  Jesus' mention of "the keys to the kingdom" was a figure of speech familiar to the disciples.  On another occasion, referring to the religious experts of His day, Jesus said, "Woe to you lawyers!  For you have taken away the key of knowledge.  You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered" (Luke 11:52).  It was the role of the rabbis to unlock the doors of understanding and knowledge.  They were instead locking the doors and keeping people from understanding.

Jesus tells today's church that we have the keys to the kingdom.  We have been given the gospel, the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Along with those keys comes every believer's responsibility to use them.  Nothing that the Enemy throws at us should deter us, slow us down, or cause us to give up, because we possess the keys of authority.  The power of heaven binds what we bind, and the power of heaven looes what we loose.

The only thing that can come between the power of heaven and these keys of authority is sin.  Isaiah 59:2 says, "Your iniquities have separated you for your God."  But we know from 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, God will forgive and cleanse us.  So we must do all we can to stay close to Jesus, remembering that He told His disciples, "Abide in Me, and I will you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4).  Apart from Jesus we are nothing!  May we abide in Him, and help others come closer to Him as well.

Lord Jesus, help me to be faithful every day to use the keys of the kingdom of heaven to point people to You.  Thank you for making possible the way of salvation!  Amen.



Timothy 3:16, 17

The Importance of Scripture

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  – Timothy 3:16, 17

Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of the fact that God has a plan for each of our lives.  The devotion from a few days back (June 16, 2012) makes it plain His plan for us includes conforming us to the image of Christ.  But the fact of the matter is we often think we know what is best for our lives and have a plan that contradicts His plan.


We have the notion that if we search Scripture and discover His plan for us, it will not be a plan that is beneficial for us and we will miss out on a “fun” life.  So we set out to do it our way and eventually find ourselves disheartened, disillusioned, and discouraged with life.  But God says that if we dig into the Word and discover His ways, it will be profitable for us – we will know the truth, be corrected in our wrongs, and discover the right way to live.  Only then can we become mature believers, equipped to live a life that is pleasing to God.

It is true on His path you will miss out on some things.  Things like fear of the future, because God’s Word says that you will spend eternity with Him.  Things like depression and anxiousness, because God says that He gives peace that is different from what the world can give.  Things like loneliness, for He says He will never leave you.  Things like purposelessness, for His plans are to give us a future and a hope.  You will miss out on the guilt of sin, for He says He will always be faithful to forgive those who repent.  

Begin a quest to make Bible study a part of your daily lifestyle.  The benefits are out of this world!*

Father, Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts.  Help me to discover more of Your through the Bible.  My desire is to live a life that is pleasing to You, so correct me and guide me through Your Word.  When You come back to earth or when I go to be with You, may You find me complete and mature as a result of Your Holy Spirit teaching me through the pages of Your Word.  Help me hide Your Word in my heart so that I won’t sin against You.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

*Mike Whitson, Indian Trail, NC  From  The Pathway to Discipleship



Matthew 7:2

The Unchanging Law of Judgment

With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you —Matthew 7:2

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).


Romans 2:1 applies it in even a more definite way by saying that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. To begin with, we do not believe the statements of the Bible. For instance, do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.”

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). He went on to say, in effect, “If you do judge, you will be judged in exactly the same way.” Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners— if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.


Galatians 5:13

Follow the Law of Love

by Joyce Meyer - posted June 21, 2012

You, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.  Galatians 5:13


Sometimes as we go through life, we hurt people without even knowing we are doing it. I am a very straightforward individual and that is a good quality, but I have also had to learn to be sensitive to what others are going through as I approach them in conversation. What we say at one time may be totally inappropriate at another time. We are indeed set free by Christ and have the right to be ourselves, but the law of love demands that our freedoms not be used as an excuse to be selfish.

Just because we feel like saying or doing a thing does not mean it is the best thing for the situation we are in. If you were talking to a person who had been sick for quite a long time, that would not be the best time to tell them how good you always feel. Or, if you were talking to a person who just lost their job, that would not be the best time to tell them about the pay raise and promotion you just received. Jesus died so we might enjoy freedom, yet He also makes it clear in His Word that we should serve one another through love.

God's word for you today: If you make others happy, you will be happier yourself.



James 1:17

We need to be aware of the love of God. Pay attention to what He's doing in your life, and know that every blessing is from Him. (James 1:17)


1 John 4:16, 17

1 John 4:16, 17

One of the goals of a Christian marriage is to have two little “i”s. This goal can begin to take shape as we learn to love our spouse the way our heavenly father loves us; unconditionally. One of the results of unconditional love is the “expectation” box begins to empty back into the “desire” box. Write down some ways you can love your spouse unconditionally this week.




Romans 8:29

Whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Romans 8:29


Although this verse is controversial regarding the issue of predestination, the primary message of the verse is meant to encourage us in our walk with Christ.  We can expect a lot of difficult day in our pilgrimage serving the Lord: loss of job, family crises, health problems, financial stress, betrayal, misunderstanding, and a host of other challenges.  One of the main points of Romans 8:28, 29 is that we can rest assure that our Lord will use all of our life experiences, including the negative ones, to make us look more like Jesus – His ultimate goal and plan for believers.  So when the exigencies of this life land right on top of us, instead of running away from them, questioning “Why?” or praying for them to depart (although that is not a bad thing to do), why not let each be filtered through the fact that God intends to use them to help us look more like Jesus? 

Recently I looked at my sister and found her beauty quite staggering.  When she was a little girl, there was not the slightest hint that she looked like my mother.  Even in her young adult life, no one ever saw the resemblance.  But now she is almost the exact image of my mom.  The day you receive Christ as your Savior, you had very little resemblance to Him.  Even after baptism, the likeness could scarcely be seen.  But as you respond to the difficulties of life with the mind of Christ, you become more and more like Him.  One day, because of His predestination, you will look just like Jesus.

Heavenly Father, You have desired that all should come to repentance, that none should perish.  Thank You for allowing me to be a part of Your wonderful heavenly family.  I am so thankful that I am not as I once was.  I am not everything that I ought to be now, but by Your grace and mercy, I will one day be everything that You have intended me to be.  May the circumstances of this life conform me to look more like Jesus, who is the truth. Amen.

Thank you...

Shared From Mike Whitson, Indian Trail, NC

Your way




Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19


Revelation 18:23

The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore.  For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.  Revelation 18:23

In the scripture passage today, God did for His people what they could not do for themselves.  He vanquished an enemy from their lives.  Babylon was a destructive, influential controller over the Israelites for a very long time.  God pronounced an irrevocable judgment that freed His children from that sinful stronghold.


Jesus warns us in Luke 11:24-26 that if we remain void of His presence and power as we attempt to rid ourselves of sinful habits, we will revert to those same habits, which will become accompanied by even worse controlling factors.  It is one thing to replace old habits; it is another for God to do a cleansing work in our lives.  It is one thing to resolve to do better; it is another for Christ to make us new creations.  Who is controlling your life?  You?  Has the flesh returned with even more sinister influences?  Or has Christ vanquished the enemy of sin and taken up residence in your life where He presides?

Whatever controlling demons your need to be rid of – whether it is drugs, illicit sex, alcohol, greed, lust, or desire for power – remember that only the power of the Holy Spirit can pull those strongholds down.  When He replaces them with Himself, they will never be able to control your life again, just as Babylon would never be allowed to reign over Israel again.

The question now becomes, has the Holy Spirit regenerated your life?  Did old things pass away?  Did all things become new?  Can you sin now, and not receive discipline from God?  If not, then ask Christ to forgive you and cleanse you today.

Father, You are so good and holy, and You do for me what I cannot do for myself.  I thank You that You love me and have given Your love to me even while I was unlovely.  Reveal to me anything about me that is not submitted to You.  Please fill me with Your presence and power so that I may live victoriously over the desires of the flesh.  Empower me to know who I am in Christ that I may stand against the attacks of the Enemy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Deuteronomy 12:19,20

You shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among your.  And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.  Deuteronomy 12:19,20


Living on the East Coast, we hear about the paths of coming hurricanes every year.  The National Weather Service is continually trying to improve the warning time they can give people with a storm is heading their way, believing that the longer warning time a person has to evacuate an area, the better chance they have to flee the impending storm.

Through God's Word and Spirit, we are warned of an impending storm.  This is not a weather-related storm of wind and rain, but a storm of evil that Satan desires to send against every believer.  God's Word is clear on how we are to respond to a warning of impending evil: we are to flee from it.  We are not able to stand and fight the wiles of the devil.  He is called the deceiver for a good reason.  Because of this, God tells us to flee evil.

In our humanity, we often feel as though we can flirt with evil and remain pure.  But why should we think so highly of ourselves?  God's desire for us is to do just what Joseph did when he was pressured by Potiphar's wife to commit sin.  Scripture tells us, "She caught him by his garment, saying, 'Lie with me.' But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside" (Genesis 39:12).  We are to flee temptation as quickly as we can.  If we're hesitating and struggling, we need to pray about the sin we are desiring to commit and depend on God's help to make the right choice.

The Lord desires His followers to strive for holiness in their lives because He is holy.  We should desire to model Christ to all those around us, and we will never do this as long as we allow evil to be part of our lives.  Do you desire to be more like Christ?  Do you desire to show Him to the world?  If so, you must learn to flee evil when the deceiver seeks to tempt you to sin.  

Father, I confess that in my humanity, I am tempted by evil each day.  I also confess that I cannot withstand the devil on my own.  Help me flee any evil that comes into my life.  Lord, I desire to be more like You each day.  Help me to be close to You and clean in Your sight every day of my life.  Amen.

Leviticus 25:17

You shall not oppress one another, by you shall for your God; for I am the Lord your God.  Leviticus 25:17


Father, help me to fear You as You would have me fear You.  I desire to live a life that is honoring and pleasing to You.  I know I can't do this without a proper, biblical fear of You, my Creator and sovereign God.  I love You, Father, and pray that my life pleases You.  Amen.

Matthew 1:20

While he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 1:20


The Bible warns that individuals can have the appearance of being godly, but when they are examined closely, they are far from God.  The Pharisees were seen as the godliest of all the Jews.  They prayed so that all could hear and they fasted so that all could see.  They tithed and gave offering, but Jesus showed that their hearts were far from God. 

While the Pharisees had an outward appearance of godliness, they were disobedient to the will of God by refusing to receive Jesus as the Messiah.  Compare then with the carpenter from Nazareth named Joseph.  When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant with Jesus, Scripture says that he was going to leave her.  However, when the angel revealed to Joseph that this was true, he was obedient to the will of the Father.  Joseph took Mary as his wife and helped raise Jesus.  Because he chose to be obedient to the will of God, he was able to be an integral part in the "God Incarnate" theme of the Bible.

Is it your desire to be a godly person?  If so, make obedience to the will of God your highest priority.  Choose obedience to God over fame, fortune, popularity, or political correctness, and then watch how God will bless this in your life.  As a pastor, I've often said that if I had one word to preach to those who are saved, it would be the word obedience.  This is what God desires from us, because when we are obedient to Him, we reveal the truest form of godliness.

Father, I confess that there are times when I am disobedient to You and for this, I ask for Your forgiveness.  My desire is to be obedient in everything You ask for me.  Help me to be an example of true godliness for others to see.  Help me live a life that is pleasing to You! Amen.

Shared by: What Are the Characteristics of a Godly Person?  Marty Jacumin, Raleigh, NC



1 Chronicles 28:9

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind;  for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.  1 Chronicles 28:9


While you and I may not have the riches or power of Solomon, we still have one thing in common with him - the lure of pride.  We would do well to heed the advice that David gave his son, and recognize that the Lord knows our hearts, understands our thoughts, and wants us to seek Him with our whole being.  Here is the only antidote for pride: bathing ourselves continually in the reality of all that God is.  The gospel was not only the best news you had ever heard when you came to faith in Jesus; it is the best news you will hear today, because it will keep you from the self-destructive power of pride.

Father, I know that the less I seek You, the more self-reliant I become.  Please give me a hunger and thirst for You.  Help me to swim in the ocean of Your grace so that I will gain a deeper understanding of all that You have done for me.  Awaken me, Lord, to the gift of Your grace in Jesus, and help me to live in dependence upon You.  You are my sufficiency and my boast.  My I decrease that You may increase.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

Lord Jesus, Your strength and loving sacrifice are the source of my strength and love.  Help me to be sensitive to the burdens that weigh down my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to enter lovingly into their burdens alongside You.  Please give me eyes to see the needs of others, strength to walk alongside them, and grace to look like You in burden-bearing.  Your strength is perfect and Your grace is sufficient not only for my need, but also for the needs of my brothers and sisters that I will undergird.  Help me fulfill Your law of love.  Amen.

Isaiah 30:21

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.  Isaiah 30:21


God is not looking for talent, charisma, personality, or skill; He is looking for obedience.  Here is a great truth: obeying God is the most spiritual thing you can do.  But it is not the easiest thing to do.  Obedience has adventure in it.  God often moves in a way that disrupts and interrupts our lives.  We look for the convenient: God looks for the compelling.

Obedience has anxiety in it.  We view insecurity and instability as being outside the will of God, when it may be the very center of God’s will for us.  God drags His disciples from a comfortable and calculable life into an adventurous one.  The biblical program is that God is on mission and ask us to join Him.  When we join God on His mission, He has to get us from where we are to where He is – usually that’s quite a stretch.

Obedience has adjustment in it.  Obedience requires us to make the need adjustments in our lives to align with God’s will.  How long has it been since you sat down in a quiet place with an open Bible and an open heart and allowed God to speak into your situation?

Obedience has allegiance in it.  The essential prerequisite to know the will of God is a willingness to do it.  Regardless of our circumstances, our faith must stand tall.  God needs no heroes (He is the hero), just obedient children.  Solomon said the conclusion to all his wisdom was, “Fear God and keep His commandment” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Obedience has abundance in it.  Our perceived adversity could be full of God-given opportunity because  God only blesses obedience.  Hymn writer John Sammis had it right: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Heavenly Father, I want to be an obedient child.  But like Paul, I often find that I do that which I should not do and don’t do what I should.  Whisper in my ear today, “This is the way, walk in it.”  Hedge me in so I must walk the path You have for me.  Strengthen me to walk in faithful obedience to Your will.  Amen.



John 15:12-13

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13 ESV)

So what is love really? In the English language we have one word for love. We use this word to say…

I love that pasta dish.

I’d love to go on a hike in the woods.

I sure miss you bro. Love you man.

I’m really glad you are my wife. I love you baby.

But we don’t mean the same thing with the word love in each of those phrases. The Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, actually has 3 words that are translated as “love” in English:


Eros — physical, sexual, sensual love. From which we get the modern word erotic. Eros is about chemistry, physical attraction, passion, sexual desire, and romantic love.

Phileo — brotherly or friendship love. This where the city Philadelphia derives its name- “the city of brotherly love.” Phileo is about companionship, camaraderie, partnership, mutual affection, or giving and receiving.

Agape — unconditional love. The word “agape” was not used commonly in ancient manuscripts, save the New Testament. Many scholars believe that early Christians used and possibly even coined the word. Agape is all about unconditional, selfless, and sacrificial love- the love displayed by God through Jesus. There is this underlying idea of total commitment to the object of love even if it doesn’t deserve or desire it.

The problem with agape love is that it’s risky and dangerous, because if you choose to love someone else and expect nothing in return, to look out for their best interests at the expense of your own self-interests, at some point you are going to get burned, at some point the love is not going to be reciprocated. That’s exactly how Jesus loved us, and only through Jesus can we love others with this fantastic agape love.

Which of three Greek words for love most often describes how you love others? What prevents and hinders you from loving others unconditionally?

2 Samuel 22:29

"For You are my lamp, O LORD; And the LORD illumines my darkness.”

2 Samuel 22:29


There is a darkness that is all yours. It is the stifling cloak of guilt, or the cavern of private fears, or the abyss of confusion. Visitors to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico reach a point deep underground. The guide tells everyone to be seated, and turns off the lights. The darkness is so deep; people can’t even see their hand an inch from their eye. One match seems a torch. Not only does Jesus Christ drive the darkness from the cosmos, but He illumines mydarkness—and yours, if you are in covenant with Him through Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me with your light so that I can see clearly through this day.  Lift up my eyes and my soul so that I will shift my path from darkness to Your light.  In Your Heavenly Name, Amen.

Hosea 6:6

I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.  Hosea 6:6


Oh God of heaven, I realize You are looking into my heart today.  You see all the filth and ugliness it contains.  All things are open and naked before Your all-seeing eye.  With the blood of Jesus, bathe me on the inside so that I may be pleasing to You.  May the mediations of my heart - my motives and attitudes - in every situation  I face be acceptable to You.  By Your grace, may I live in true devotion to Your glory, Amen.