Devotions will be posted Monday through Friday. Friday's devotions will stay up till monday morning. Thank you and God Bless You..
Colossians 4:6 ESV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
A Mournful List of Honors
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honors that the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long-expected King.
1. They gave Him a procession of honor, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, and men and women took part, He Himself bearing His cross. This is the triumph that the world awards to Him who comes to overthrow man’s greatest enemy. Derisive shouts are His only acclamations, and cruel taunts His only songs of praise.
2. They presented Him with the wine of honor. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine, they offered Him the criminal’s anesthetic potion, which He refused in order that he might, in all its unmitigated horror, taste death; and afterwards when He cried, “I thirst,” they gave Him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to His mouth upon a sponge. What wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King’s Son.
3. He was provided with a guard of honor, who showed their esteem of Him by gambling over His clothes, which they had seized as their treasure. The bodyguard of Jesus was a quaternion of brutal gamblers.
4. A throne of honor was found for Him upon the bloody tree. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling toward Him. “There,” they seemed to say, “you Son of God, this is the manner in which God Himself should be treated, could we reach Him.”
5. The title of honor was nominally “King of the Jews,” but this was distinctly repudiated. They really called Him “King of thieves” by preferring Barabbas and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. In this way His glory was turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall nevertheless still gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Gordon was still shaking. He had never meant to hit his son, not so hard, anyway. When his little boy looked back up at him, his nose was bleeding and his eye was swelling. The rage of moments before was completely gone. Spent was the anger that had caused the injury. In Gordon's heart a heavy shame rose up, along with a vow to put to rest the beast called anger that lurked within his heart.
We are all capable of great anger. The passion is within each of us. However, we must rule the passion, instead of letting the passion rule us. God helps us control the beasts within. His is a power to set our hearts right and dispel our evil with His own goodness. Ask God's help, and He will help you to cease from anger and strife.
Prayer: Take from me the bent to anger and harm, Almighty God. Reshape me in the loving image of Your Son. Reign in my heart with peace and love. Amen.
FEELINGS OF ANGER
Ephesians 4:31 - Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander by put away from you, along with all malice
Feelings of anger should prompt us to reexamine what we believe and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish those beliefs. My daughter Heidi helped me with this process one Sunday morning while I was trying to hustle my family out the door for church. I had been waiting in the car for several minutes before I stomped back into the house and shouted angrily, "We should have left for church 15 minutes ago!"
All was silent for a moment, then Heidi's soft voice floated around the corner from her bedroom: "What's the matter, Dad? Did somebody block your goal?" She was blocking my goal to get to church on time, but she wasn't blocking my goal to be the husband and father God wants me to be. The only one who can block that goal is me.
A wife and mother may say, "My goal in life is to have a loving, harmonious, happy family." Who can block that goal? Every person in her family can block her goal--not only can , the will ! A homemaker clinging to the belief that her self-worth is dependent on her family will crash and burn every time her husband or children fail to live up to her image of family harmony. She will probably be a very angry woman, which could drive family members even farther away from her and each other. Her major goal in life should be to become the wife and mother God called her to be.
A pastor may say, "My goal in ministry is to reach this community for Christ." Good goal? It is a wonderful desire, but if his self-worth is dependent on that desire being fulfilled, he will experience tremendous emotional turmoil. Every person in the community can block his goal. Pastors who continue to believe that their success is dependent on others will end up fighting with their boards, praying their opposition out of the church or quitting.
Make it your goal to be what God has called you to be. No one can keep you from reaching that goal but you.
Prayer: Father, help me see Your long-range view of life so I can learn not to blow up at minor, short-term irritations.
Christ in Us, Our Hope of Glory
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
We have been considering the wondrous truth that we who believe in Jesus are in Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). All that God has for us is ours "in Christ." We can now enjoy the benefits of who Christ is and all that He has accomplished for us, because we are in Him. Our present verse adds another extraordinary dimension. Not only are we "in Christ," but Christ is also in us: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
God wants to make something known among all the nations: "to make known …among the Gentiles." The message He desires to reveal is glorious in spiritual richness: "the riches of the glory of this mystery." However, it truly is a mystery, in the New Testament use of that term. A biblical mystery is something that can only be known by the revealing work of God. The mysteries of the Scriptures cannot be discovered or understood by intellectual investigation or personal experience. God Himself must make them known. The Lord does this through the grace-empowered, Spirit-empowered proclamation of His word. Here, the great mystery God wants to unfold is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
What a grand hope this message brings! Jesus, the Son of God, is willing to come and dwell within us to assure us of making it to glory (heaven) some day. Meanwhile, Christ wants to reside at the very core of our being: "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (Ephesians 3:17). As we are trusting in Him, He is living in, and working through, our hearts. Then, from this strategic point of intimacy and access, He gives us heavenly hope. That confident expectation includes the joyous fact that He is coming again: "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Yet, His return is not our only hope. He Himself is our day by day hope: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope" (1 Timothy 1:1). Jesus is our comprehensive hope!
Lord Jesus, my hope, I praise You for the hope You give—anticipation of Your return, assurance of heaven, and daily confidence in Your working in me. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I place my hope and confidence elsewhere. Teach me, help me to put my hope in You alone, in Your faithful name I pray, Amen.