Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 4, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Philippians chapter 2

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

A church ought to shine as a bright light in this dark world. When a church shines its light it makes the heart of God glad. We shine by loving one another, working together with one mind and purpose, and by having the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is not selfish, nor does it try to impress others, but it looks out for the interests of others and for the church as a whole. The Christian is bright light when he or she is willing to suffer so that others might hear the Gospel. What are you and your church willing to do in order that others might hear the Gospel? Paul’s life was poured out in order to advance the Gospel. He said, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Timothy also ministered with Paul and truly had the church’s best interest at heart. Paul said, “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philippians 2:20-21) Paul loved Timothy like a son. He had the mind of Christ! Epaphroditus was another companion to Paul in the ministry. He shined like a bright light and became sick unto death, but God spared him. Paul said, “Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life” (Philippians 2:29-30a) Paul loved Epaphroditus like a brother. He had the mind of Christ. These are our examples and bright lights in a dark world. Let your light shine and be a light in a dark place today!

Prayer: “Jesus, make us a bright light for Your glory today, and give us the mind of Christ. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 3, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Philippians chapter 1

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Paul loved the church. Out of every letter Paul wrote to churches, none display his affection for God’s people like that of the Philippian epistle. He wrote, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy…” There were three reasons for Paul’s joy. First, because of their fellowship in the Gospel. There was a strong bond between Paul and these believers because of the Gospel. He was highly interested in their spiritual progress. Paul said, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Not only did Paul rejoice in the fellowship of the Gospel, but also He rejoiced in “furtherance of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:12). The Philippian church gave sacrificially to assist Paul in preaching the Gospel. They were very generous in their love and support of his ministry. Paul took joy in knowing that they were praying for him. Paul not only rejoiced in the furtherance of the Gospel, but also He rejoiced in the faith of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:27) Paul summed it up in one phrase. He said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) He was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ, and even wrote these words from a prison cell. He encouraged the church at Philippi to be courageous for Gospel, and to suffer faithfully for Christ.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, Let us be the kind of church that when others think of us they rejoice in You. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 29, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Ephesians chapter 4

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Jesus did not come to improve the old man, He came to make us new. Being made new means transformation. Our lives are transformed through the renewing of our minds with the truth of God’s Word. Paul said, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 423-24) Putting on the new man involves putting off the old and replacing it with the positive. For every bad thing that comes out of your life, God has something good to go back in its place. God will not leave you empty. Instead of lies we tell the truth. Instead of sinful outbursts of anger, we resolve our frustrations before the sun sets. We do not give the devil a place in our lives by lying, or being angry, or stealing, or critical, negative speech. When we do those things we grieve God’s Holy Spirit. Paul said, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32) Put off the old way of life and be renewed by the transforming power of God. For every wicked thing that comes out of your life, God will replace it with something good and wholesome. That’s not an improvement, that is a new person!

Prayer: “Dear Father, thank You for the new person we are in Christ, help us to put on the new man and put off the old. May our lives resemble Christ. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 28, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Ephesians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

A mystery is something we do not know, that God does know, and that we cannot know unless God tells us. By revelation God made His mysteries known. God’s revelation came to us through the apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit, and is now complete. From Genesis to the last book of the Bible we have God’s finished work. We cannot add to, or take away from the Bible (Revelation 22:18-19). Therefore, no one can truthfully stand up today and claim that they have additional revelation from God. However, God is able to illuminate our understanding so that we may have a better grasp of His Word. One specific revelation that was given to the church concerned the Gentiles, and is recorded in Ephesians 3:5-6 which says, “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel.” God’s purpose for Israel can now be more clearly seen. They were to be a light to the nations and point people to God. But not everyone who is born Jewish is necessarily born again. God made it known that the Gospel of grace is extended not only to the Jews but to every nation. God has also made it known that all those who place their faith in Jesus Christ become a part of the family of God. As children of God and heirs to the promise, born-again believers have Christ dwelling in our hearts, and the fullness of God’s love and power and Presence at our disposal.

Prayer: “Lord, teach us Your mysteries and help us to grow in our understanding of Your Word. Fill us with the fullness of Your Presence, power, love, and blessings. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 22, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 5

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Paul told the Galatians church, “Ye ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)
The Galatians were in danger of slipping. False teachers infiltrated the church and were misleading the people. These teachers were attempting to add to the Gospel things like circumcision. Paul said, “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:12-13)
Paul properly understood and applied the Old Testament Law. He said, “The Law is fulfilled in one word… you shall love your  neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15)
The only way to conquer the flesh is to walk in the Spirit. The Law cannot produce righteousness in us, it can only show the weakness of our flesh and our need for a Savior. The Galatians were being deceived into thinking they must keep the Law to be justified. They were falling away from the grace way. Paul pleaded with them to turn back to faith in Christ. It is not only true of the Galatians, but it is true of us as well. Is there anything or anyone hindering you from walking with God? Have you gotten off track from where you started? Are you still running the grace race? Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Living in the Spirit means walking in the Spirit, and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, help us to demonstrate our righteousness by loving and serving others and bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and being one with Your people. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 21, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 4

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:7)
If the devil cannot succeed in keeping you lost, then once you are saved he will seek to hinder you with false doctrine. False teaching hinders our spiritual progress and stunts spiritual growth. The devil doesn’t want us to know who we are in Christ. Paul said to the Galatian church, “I fear for you.” The false teachers sought to persuade the Galatian believers to follow them instead of Paul. Paul sensed their love was growing cold and realized how this would hinder the church. He said, “Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then?”  He also said, “Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them.” (Galatians 4:16-17 NLT)
The threat of these false teachers against the church concerned Paul like a parent being concerned for a child. His heart was greatly burdened. Paul sought to win them back to the Gospel in love. He knew that making them aware of who they are in Christ would win them back, and cause the counterfeit gospel to lose its appeal. The Gospel of grace made me a child of God. I have a Father and He loves and cares for me.

Prayer: “Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy name Jesus. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 20, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The Bible is a wonderful sword, but it is a terrible club. Some people use the Bible to beat people with, but God doesn’t intended for His Word to be used this way. The Galatian church unwisely chose to allow corrupt teaching to mislead them. False teachers battered them with rules and regulations in which they believed to be the Law of God. Paul said, “Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” The Old Testament Law was not written to imply a salvation by works. It was written to point us to Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Law by becoming the sacrifice for our sin. We become followers of Christ the same way as Abraham. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Paul said, “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7)
The Gospel affirms that righteousness is not attained through works, but it is imputed by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, protect us from being tricked by false teachers. We completely rest in the Gospel of Your grace. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Uncategorized

Daily Devotions: August 19, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 2

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
When you became a believer in Jesus Christ the old you was put to death. Your old ways and habits, including your sins were buried with Christ. Then God gave you a new life and a brand new identity. Christ Himself now lives in you. What if you found yourself in a boxing ring facing a fierce opponent? Now that might sound intimidating, but what if somehow Rocky lived inside of you? Wouldn’t that make a difference? As you face trials and temptations in life, as you face the hard stuff, you have Jesus living in you to conquer every storm. Is there anything that can defeat Jesus? Jesus was victorious over every sickness and circumstance, every storm, every spiritual assault, every enemy, and even death. Jesus loves you and gave Himself for you, and now He lives in you. You can live today by faith that you have been crucified with Christ, and now you have new life in Him.

Prayer: “Dear Father, knowing that we have been crucified with Christ, we rejoice that You have given us new life, thank You for loving us. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 18, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 1

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The church at Galatia was established by the Gospel, but afterwards false teachers moved in and troubled them. Paul said, “I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)
Paul warned the Galatians and reminded them of the one true Gospel of Jesus. The Gospel drastically changed Paul’s life. He went from persecuting the church to planting churches. People everywhere heard that Paul who had once persecuted the church, now preaches the faith which he once sought to destroy. After his conversion, Paul dedicated his entire life to the Gospel ministry. Paul said, “If anyone preaches anything other than the true Gospel, let him be accursed.” The Gospel is just as powerful today as it ever was. Don’t hesitate to share it, it is the power of God unto salvation.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, give us a heart for the Gospel like that of Paul. May we be dedicated to daily sharing our faith. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 15, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 13

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

There was sin in the church at Corinth that needed corrected, and Paul the preacher wasn’t hesitant to address it. Wrong living is the result of wrong believing. False teachers had crept into the church at Corinth and were leading them astray. These talented teachers were winning the affection of church. Paul sensed that those who had once been loyal were now growing distant in their love. He wanted to reaffirm his ministry to them and restore their love. Paul said, “I pray to God that you do no evil.” (2 Corinthians 13:7)
He also said, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Churches grow stronger when they are willing to allow God to deal with wrong beliefs and wrong behaviors.

Prayer: “Lord, guard our beliefs and give us Your truth, grow us to be more like Jesus. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron