Verse of the Day

Daily Devotion 

By:  Bro. Bob Maynard
 

13 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:25 NASB  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

There is one thing about it, when that final day gets here and every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father and the unrighteous are judged at the Great White throne judgment, they can’t say that they weren’t warned.  Verses like our current VOTD and like the following verses, clearly state and we know and understand that there will be a judgement day, one day: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8 NASB).

The Bible declares: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB).  And since it is a fact and because we know that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous, we persuade men, just like this verse says:  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences (2 Corinthians 5:11 NASB). 

But the single thought that is coming to my mind about this verse is the phrase: and that without partiality.  God doesn’t play favorites.  He doesn’t have a pet student in his classroom of life.  He doesn’t pass-over some because of their closeness to Him.  And because of this fact, He wants us to be the same way.  He doesn’t want us to play favorites either.  He wants us to treat all fairly and justly.  In fact, the Bible clearly teaches us that just as He is, so He wants us to be the same way:

‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly (Leviticus 19:15 NASB).

‘You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’  (Deuteronomy 1:17 NASB).

“Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”  (2 Chronicles 19:7 NASB).

They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth (Luke 20:21 NASB).

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality (Acts 10:34 NASB).

For there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11 NASB).

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth (1 Peter 1:17 NASB).

And here is one of the BIGGEST ways we as Christians can show partiality: My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2:1-10 NASB).

So, what is the bottom line for us who name the name of Jesus as our Savior, Lord and Master?  Based upon the Word of God, I would say to myself and each one who reads this VOTD that we must examine ourselves in this area: But a person must [prayerfully] examine himself [and his relationship to Christ] …  (1 Corinthians 11:28 AMP).  Seek the Lord’s counsel on your relationships that you have not only with the saved but also with the lost.  Ask yourself: Am I playing favorites?  Do I show partiality to some and ignore others.  Am I doing what God tells me NOT to do?  Remember: God’s word not only speaks to the lost about their salvation, it also speaks to the saved about their actions, past, present and future.  And is a mirror to reflect their relationship to Him and their relationship to others they interact with around them: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NASB).

Lord, help me to examine myself in this area.  Am I playing favorites?  Do I show partiality to some and pass-over others?  Am I sinning in this area of my life?  Lord, please convict me of my sin.  Show me how I have erred.  Help me to change my ways and my thought processes.  Lord, I want to be more and more like you.  Change me.  Mold me. And make me more holy in your sight.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


12 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:24 NASB  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

This VOTD is a continuation of the thought from the previous verse which says: Colossians 3:23 NASB  Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.  When we combine the thoughts from both verses, we can see that the reward that we will receive from the Lord is the reward of the inheritance for the work that we heartily do as for the Lord rather than for men.  In my mind, it makes a big difference on who you are working for in your daily tasks.  And if you are working for men rather than for the Lord then I beseech you brethren, STOP it and start thinking of yourself and your actions as doing your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.  Why?  Because I want you to know and believe that you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  Why? Because if you are a born-again Christian it is just as our VOTD says: It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 

When you see yourself and your daily actions as it is the Lord Christ whom you serve, then you have the proper attitude and are thinking about yourself in the correct manner and relationship with the Lord God of heaven and earth.  One day, you will hear those precious words from your Lord and Master: “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’  (Matthew 25:21 NASB).  When we think about entering into the joy of our master, to me it is the same thing as what our VOTD says when it says receiving the reward of the inheritance.  So the question is: What is our reward of the inheritance?

Let’s look at some verses of scripture that talk about our future as Believers in Christ, who follow the Lord and have our names written in the Lamb’s book of Life:

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”  (Genesis 15:1 NASB).  Now I ask you a very simple and maybe a stupid question: Was Abraham’s reward very great?  Yes, he is considered the father of faith.  And in him all of the nations of the world will be blessed.  But my friend, that is not the best part… No, no.  The best part is yet to come.  The best part is when we get to sit down with our Master and with Abraham: ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  (Revelation 3:21 NASB).  “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;  (Matthew 8:11 NASB).  It is part of your reward of the inheritance that is waiting for you in heaven.

“May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”  (Ruth 2:12 NASB).
Now, I ask you was Ruth blessed from the Lord for the attitude that she had toward the Lord in her daily actions.  Did God bless her?  Oh, you bet He did.  Even more than her wildest imagination.  Why?  Because she trusted God with everything she had.  She gave her life to Him when she said: But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17 NASB).  Now, I ask you again, was Ruth blessed by God for her daily actions?  Oh, yes, she was very much blessed.  She is included in the direct lineage of our Lord and Master, the Lord Jesus Christ: Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse (Matthew 1:5 NASB).  But you want to know the best part of her blessing is not being the mother of Obed and being in the lineage of Jesus.  No, no.  She will be blessed even more by receiving the reward of the inheritance that is waiting for her in heaven.  Do you want to know what some of that reward is?  How about: No more sickness, nor pain nor sorrow nor suffering. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:3-5 NASB).  Part of her reward and our reward of the inheritance is the blessing of no more mourning or crying or pain in heaven.

Now, my friend, you can choose to believe what you want.  As for myself, I chose to believe what God tells me in His Holy Word with all of my heart.  I chose to be like Ruth:  The Lord God of Heaven and Earth is MY GOD!!!  He is my Lord and Master.  He is the one whom I serve every day in ever task that I do.  I constantly and consistently am choosing Him and His way and His will and want to please Him in all that I say and do.  I want you to do the same thing.  It is the ONLY way of blessing that I know of.  Will you right now, bow your head and ask Him to be the Lord of your life.  Ask Him to direct your thoughts to Him in all that you think say and do.  Call on Him.  Depend on Him.  Ask Him and Worship and Serve Him in all that you say and do because it is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Lord, I am begging you to be my Lord and Master.  Lord, I Love You with ALL of my heart, soul, mind and strength.  Lord, I need you in every aspect of my life.  I can do nothing without you.  Lord, I worship you in Spirit and Truth.  Lord, I know I have faults and I need you to enable and help me to change into the man that I should be.  Please direct my life this day so that I can please you in all that I think, say and do.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


11 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:23 NASB  Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

Here is the heart of the matter… Here is the critical part of the jobs that we do and tasks that we accomplish.  In this one VOTD is the summation of ALL and EVERY thing we do.  When this verse says whatever you do that is exactly what it means.  It makes no difference if you are digging a ditch or baking a cake for the President of the company.  It makes no difference in the tasks, whether it is cleaning the bathroom or decorating the Church for a wedding, we all need to do our work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.  It would make all the difference in the world on the things we could accomplish and the quality with which we accomplish them with if we would only take this verse to heart.

So what’s our problem?  Why don’t we all feel this way?  Why don’t we all think in terms of doing our work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men?  Well, let me go out on a limb and say that it revolves around one little word in this verse.  What word am I taking about?  The word is: work.  Work to most people is a BAD four letter word.  It is a word that most people DON’T look forward to because, well simply, it is WORK.  Work is something that means they have to put effort into.  Work is hard.  Work is a task master.  Work is never enjoyable.  Work is just plain Work.

Let me ask you something: What do you enjoy?  What is your favorite hobby?  What do you look forward to doing?  When you have time off, what do you want to do?  Men: Do you enjoy hunting, camping or fishing?  Do you have a hobby?  Maybe working with wood or in your garden or whatever it is.  Ladies: What do you enjoy doing?  Do you like to cook or sew or cross-stitch?  Maybe you like to shop or visit with friends or any number of things.  Well, let me say to one and all: It makes no difference what you like to do, to someone else… it is WORK and Hard to do and they don’t enjoy it.  It is all about enjoyment and perception and accomplishment.  Enjoying what you do is all about how you see yourself and what you feel from the things that you do.

Here is a strange thing: One person loves to run and another person hates to run.  One person loves to cook and another person hates to cook.  One person loves to shop and another person hates to shop.  One person loves to hunt and another person hates to hunt.  I think you get the point.  But the bottom line question is WHY?  What makes one person like something and another person hate it?  Might I say: It is all about how you perceive it and your history with it?

Maybe you are a farmer and it is time to bring in the crops.  And you HATE this time of year because it is HARD work.  You get hot and sweaty and it takes a lot of energy, time and effort.  How can you get to where this VOTD wants you to be?  How can you get to the point that you are doing your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men?  How can you change your attitude to be what it should be?  How can you change from hating this time of year to looking forward to this time of year? 

Or maybe you are a lady that hates to cook and it is Christmas time and you have to cook a turkey.  Maybe you hate all the prep work that goes into the Christmas decorations.  Maybe you hate having to do all the cleaning for all the family that is coming over for Christmas…  How can you change your attitude to be what this verse wants you to be when it says whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.  How can you look at things differently?

My friend, it makes no difference who you are or what the task is that you need to change your attitude about, the process is always the same.  Here is the biblical process to change your attitude to be what this VOTD wants you to be.

                   1.  Realize that you have a problem.  Some people don’t even know they have a problem with their attitude about a task or something that needs to be done.  They are oblivious to their need to change their attitude.  So the very first step is to understand that God wants you to have the right attitude in that you do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.

                   2.  You can’t change your attitude without outside help.  It is like being locked in a jail cell.  You might want to get out but you don’t have the key.  You might want to change your attitude but you don’t have the key, the power to change your attitude.  You need the Person who has key to enable you to change your attitude.  You can’t pull yourself up by your own boot straps and you can’t change without the Lord’s help and enablement.  So many, many self-help books are wrong because they think the power to change is within man and it isn’t.  Our help only comes from the Lord.

                   3.  The third step is critical: The LORD is the ONLY one who can change your attitude in what you enjoy and find enjoyable.  He is your lifejacket.  He is your only hope and way of escape from the jailhouse of despair and doubts.  He made you and He is the ONLY one who can change you.  Until we become convinced of this one step, we will fail, and fail again and again because He wants us to ONLY trust Him.

                   4.  Lastly, we need to ask ourselves HOW CAN I ALLOW THE LORD TO CHANGE ME?  One thought rolled up in two words: Prayer and Trust.  We need to pray to Him and ask Him to change not only our attitude but our feelings and our desires about how we see things that we do and then we need to TRUST Him to change us.  He can cause events to happen in our lives that will make us see things differently.  And when we see things differently, we start feeling differently about them.  And pretty soon, we no longer hate them but are looking forward to doing them and being involved in them.  Here are some verses to help you in your quest to allow the Lord to change you: 
 
Psa_30:2  O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
Psa_38:22  Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
Psa_40:13  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.
Psa_40:17  Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.
Psa_70:1  O God, hasten to deliver me; O LORD, hasten to my help!
Psa_70:5  But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.
Psa_109:26  Help me, O LORD my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness.
Psa_118:7  The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
Jon_2:2  and he said, “I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.

Lord, without you I can do nothing.  Lord, I need you in everything, in every way and in every task.  Lord, I want to always do my work heartily unto you.  Lord, please convict me of my sin when I don’t have the right attitude.  Help me to repent from it.  Lord, I want to be pleasing to you in all things and without the right attitude I know that I can’t please you.  Lord, please use me this day for your perfect will and purpose.  I love you, Lord

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


10 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:22 NASB  Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

If I was doubtful about any children reading our VOTD yesterday, I KNOW that we don’t have any slaves reading this verse today.  But just as I was reading this verse to my wife and said that we don’t have any slaves, so this verse must not be applicable, she said to me that “Oh yes we do… I know what it is to be a slave to Wal-Mart.”  And that is exactly where we want to go with this verse and apply the principles of it to our places of employment.

How long have you worked for the company that you are working for now?  And why did you stay so long?  Maybe you don’t work for a company but you are self-employed.  Did you know or do you feel like a slave to your job and tasks that you MUST do.  Many, many of us feel like we are slaves to our job or our daily tasks.  We wish for, no better yet, we LONG FOR relief from the stress, the pressure and the grind of our task-master called our Job.  We seek relief in various ways: we take extra-long breaks, we ignore the obvious things that need to be done, we take too long to complete the tasks that we do, we are slow to start and even slower to finish what we have been hired to do.  No wonder we get poor performance ratings….  

Do you want a remedy for how you feel like a slave to your job?  Do you want to look forward to going to work every day?  Do you want to enjoy the work you do?  At the end of your work day, do you want to feel like you accomplished a great deal of work today?  All of these “feelings” can be yours if you take this VOTD to heart from this day forward.  What do I mean?  Let me see if I can explain it to you.

Who do you Love?  Your mate.  Your children.  Your family.  Do you mind doing things for them?  No.  When they ask you to do something, does it feel like a burden?  No.  Do you feel like a slave when your loved one needs you or needs you to do something…??? NO, of course not.  Why?  Because you LOVE to do things for them.  You want to do things for them.  You enjoy your tasks of helping them and making them happy.  It is all part of LOVE.

Now, let’s think about the Lord God of Heaven and Earth and His precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you Love the Lord God and His Holy Son?  Of course you do.  That’s why you gave Him your life.  Do you enjoy doing things for Him?  When He burdens your heart to do something, let’s say to help someone, is it a burden?  No.  Why?  Because you know you are doing it for HIM and you LOVE to please HIM and you willingly give Him your time, talent and energy.

Now let’s think in terms of doing things for the Lord God.  What if you worked directly for Him in everything you did?  How would you feel?  You would enjoy it right?  I know I would… In fact, I know I do….!!!  Here is what I mean.  This verse states we are to do our work NOT as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.  How about if I change one word in this phrase from fearing to pleasing.  How about if I look at my job and think about my job as a slave not to my work, but a bond-slave to my Lord.  And that I am not working for the almighty dollar but for my Lord and Master and that I want to please Him in all that I say and do.  When I work on something, I am not working for man or for the company but I am working for my Lord and I want to please Him!

Wow… What a difference that would make in your work.  Your attitude and your thoughts about WHO YOU WORK FOR make all the difference in your quality of work and the satisfaction that you get out of your work.  Here I am, an OLD man, 71 years old, and I am still working every day.  Do I enjoy it?  Yes.  Why?  Because I am not working for a company but for the Lord.  Every day, in every task, I want to please Him.  At the end of the day, I can say “Thank You Lord for another day to please you.” 

If you want to enjoy your work and do your work with sincerity of heart then you MUST see yourself as working for the Lord and not for man.  How do you do that?  Well, in truth, you can’t do it yourself.  You need to call upon the Lord to change your heart, your mind set and attitude.  You need to start praying that the Lord will enable you to look at things differently.  Ask Him to help you see your Job as a job for Him and not for your masters on earth.  Ask Him to enable you to think in terms of doing your work for Him and not with external service, as those who merely please men. 

The key secret on how to enjoy your job is not a new job but working for the right person in your current job.  The Lord God has given you your current job.  Do your work for Him and Please Him in what you do and it will make a world of difference in how you feel about your job at the end of each day.

Lord, I want to thank you again for the job that I have.  I know that you gave me my job and I want to please you in it and everything I do in it.  Lord, my prayer today is for those who read this VOTD that are struggling with their jobs.  Lord, help them to see themselves as not working for man but for you.  Lord, help them to get a grasp on the joy that they can have if they will just see themselves as working for you out of love for you and not for man.  Lord, as always, please mold me and use me this day for your holy will and purpose.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


9 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:21 NASB  Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

It is easy to give advice and hard to take advice.  With age comes wisdom.  The Bible helps us to have wisdom but only the Holy Spirit can apply that wisdom to our lives and actions.  In my heart, I can wish that I would have had the wisdom to apply this verse to my life and my actions when I was raising my children.  I personally believe that I was too hard and too harsh with my children when they were growing up.  And the only excuse I have is that I was not a Christian.  Lord, please forgive me this dreadfully, terrible wrong.  

First, I feel we need to get a grasp on what the Holy Scriptures mean when it uses the word: exasperate.  I feel like the best way to do this is to look at what the Amplified Bible says about this verse: Colossians 3:21 AMP  Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].  The words that are not in bold and are in italics are not in the original text and are provided for us by the translators.  They are the expert’s interpretation of the previous phrase to help us to understand it better.  So, we can see from the experts that exasperate means that we Fathers are NOT to give our Children demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference.  Additionally, God wants ALL fathers to treat their children tenderly with lovingkindness.  Father’s, I am saying this to you from personal experience.  If you don’t do what the Holy Scriptures tell you, you will regret it for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.  I know in my own heart, I have not been the Godly father that I should have been and that I was not a Christian for most of my adult life while I was raising my children, but that is no excuse.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  You are still guilty and you are still responsible.  All I can do is try from the moment I got Saved to be the best dad I could be and to seek the Lord’s forgiveness as well as His guidance for the future in relationship to interacting with my children.  Just remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Fathers, the best advice I can give you is this:

                   1. The very first step in training up your children is to be in a right relationship with God the Father yourself.  You can’t receive His instruction until you are right with Him.  If there is anything hindering your relationship (sin) then that must first be dealt with before you can move to the next step.

                   2.  The next step is to be in agreement with your loving wife, your help mate, on how and what the rules are for training your children.  The rules need to be agreed upon before the decisions are made in front of the children.  Talk to your wife about the ground rules for how and what you both will do about training the children.  Don’t put it off on her because you are the head of the home.  You, father, are the one who is ultimately responsible.  But both of you need to agree on what needs to be done before the actions and agree on how to treat the children.

                   3.  Know what the Bible tells you both when it speaks to you about training up your children.  Do some searching of the scriptures together on what the Bible says about how to train up your children.

                   4.  Lastly, and most importantly…. BEFORE you act or react to a situation with your children… PRAY and ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance on what and how you are to do about each situation you face.  Just as each child is different, so each situation is different and you need the Lord’s wisdom and guidance on what and how to handle each.  Don’t assume ANYTHING.  Only He knows all and He will guide you if you will ask HIM.

I might add that it is my personal observation that some parents favor and play favorites when they deal with their children.  Ask the Lord if you are playing favorites.  And if you are, ask Him how to STOP it.  Remember part of the definition of exasperate is to NOT show favoritism or indifference.

Lord, what can I say but again and again as I have said many times in the past, please forgive me for my SINS in this area.  I know that I have been too hard and cruel on my children.  Lord, you know that I love them with all my heart.  Please help them to overcome the wrongs that I have done while training them.  Lord, help others to learn from my mistakes.  I know that with you there is NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE.  So Lord, I ask you to use my mistakes to help others.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


8 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:20 NASB  Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.

I very much doubt that we have any children reading this VOTD but never the less, I believe that the Lord would have us look at this verse from four points of view:
Let’s look at this verse from the child’s point of view, then the parent’s point of view and then the observer’s point of view and finally God’s point of view.

When children read this verse, what comes to their mind?  How do they see this verse?  Well, they might want to know what the word obedient means, so here is what Webster’s says: Submissive to authority; yielding compliance with commands, orders or injunctions; performing what is required, or abstaining from what is forbid.  The very next thought is: Wow… This is not going to be any FUN.  I am going to have to follow the rules.  I am going to have to behave and mind my “Ps” and “Qs”.  And the really bad part about this verse is when it says: in all things.  That means I have to make my bed and pick up my clothes and even put away my toys.  WOW… This is REALLY not going to be any fun at all ….!!!

I hope and pray that those thoughts are realistic and applicable to children because that is how I used to think as a child.  Obedience was something I dreaded and never looked forward to because to me “it took all the fun” out of life and all I wanted to do as a child is “have fun” and play.  It wasn’t until I got into big time trouble that I learned that obedience to your parents was a good thing.  True story, one which we all can identify with: I was living in the country on a farm and I had some friends down the road that invited me to go swimming in the irrigation ditch.  I went and asked my mom if I could go swimming with them and I was told sternly: NO!!!  Well, you have probably guessed by now that I went to my room and put my bathing trunks on in secret and wore my pants over them and went to my friend’s house.  We snuck off the go swimming.  But my sister came up and found us swimming and guess what…???  I was in BIG time trouble for not being obedient to my mom.  I got grounded for a week.  I was restricted from doing lots, and lots of things and I remember that lesson to this very day.  The main thing that I was not allow to do is go PLAY with my friends and they couldn’t PLAY with me.  Wow… What a bummer.  No fun at all…!!! 

One of the good things that came out of that event was I learned that disobedience is worse than anything else.  It helped me to understand that life’s decisions have consequences and if I make the right decisions life can still be fun but with less hazards.  Children don’t see obedience to their parents as life’s training ground but that is what it is.  It prepares them for adulthood and eventually becoming obedient to the Lord.

Next, parents need to see this verse not only from the child’s point of view but also from God’s point of view.  Parents need to always remember what God says to them: Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 NASB).  We need to remember two things about this verse: First: you train your child more by what you do than what you say.  You are on constant and consistent watch by your children.  Your children learn more about what you really believe by what you do than what you say.  So when you say that you “love Jesus” and don’t go to Church like you should, then you show them by your actions and deeds, you don’t really love the Lord like you say.  Secondly, we parents need to remember what it is to be like as a child when we give them commands and tell them what to do.  We need to see things from their perspective and not always just say: NO.  We need to help them understand “why” we make the decisions we do and that decision is for their own safety and wellbeing.

Next, we need to see this verse from an observer’s point of view.  Have you ever been some place in public and seen a child throw a “temper tantrum”?  Of course you have.  What caused the tantrum?  Well, let me give you a clue.  It was not because of what just happened in public.  No, no.  The cause of the tantrum started way, way back when the parents did NOT obey the Lord to train up a child in the way he should go…. Way back when they first started acting out.  So many observers have suffered because parents aren’t doing what the Lord wants in the privacy of their homes.  So, the burden is still on the parents to help the child understand WHY they need to obey and grow up in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Master.

Lastly, we need to see this verse from God’s point of view.  Why did the Lord God of heaven and earth have Paul pen these words: Children, be obedient to your parents in all things?  Is it just because He wanted to spoil the children’s fun?  Or did He want to put excessive burdens on parents?  Or did He want to make all the observers miserable?  What is His motive?  Here is His motive from our VOTD: for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.  When children obey their parents it is well pleasing to the Lord.  It makes Him smile at their actions.  In fact, He encourages children when He says: But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14 NASB).  He also says to us: Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:16-17 NASB).  Children are a perfect gift from above and God the Father wants you to have the instructions on how to handle and treat that perfect gift.  Therefore, we all need to be in prayer for our perfect gifts, our children and their parents so that this verse might become true in every family and especially in the family of God. 

May we all become obedient to our heavenly Spiritual parent in all things.

Lord, where would I be without parents that loved me and trained me.  Lord, thank you for loving parents who gave me a hope and a future by disciplining me to keep me safe.  Lord, I want to be a good, Godly parent to my children.  Help me as I seek the best for them.  Lord, the best I can be is to be humbly submissive to your commands.  Help me to be more obedient today than I was yesterday.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


7 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:19 NASB  Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

To me, this verse focuses around one word.  And that word is love.  When the verse says and do not be embittered against them, it is talking about love in action, words and deeds.  I would like for us to think about what love means and does in relationship to our wives.

To define love for our wives, we have to think in terms of actions.  Because love is not passive.  Love is an action verb.  And God wants husbands to love their wives with actions that they think, say and do.  First of all we need to define love toward our wives with a biblical definition.  And of course that comes from:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB
(4)  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
(5)  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
(6)  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
(7)  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(8)  Love never fails …

So, if I am going to love my wife, then the very first thing that I need to do is be patient with her.  Husbands, if you have been married more than five minutes, you know what this means.  You have to be patient with her when you are ready to walk out the door and she is still fumbling around getting ready to go.  You don’t need to say some snide remark to get her to hurry up.  You need to be patient and wait patiently.  Or better yet, maybe she needs help in getting ready to go.  Which brings us to the second step: love is kind.  To me kindness is helping when you aren’t required to do so.  There are no laws that govern kindness.  It is one of those action verbs that steps in and helps even though it is not asked to do so.  When a husband shows kindness to his lovely wife, he is showing thankfulness to the Lord God of heaven and earth for his wonderful wife.  And is that not what the Bible is talking about when it says:  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful (Colossians 3:15 NASB).

A husband that truly is showing love to his mate is never jealous.  Men, listen to me: You don’t have to HOG the attention at the expense of your wife.  If you two are out somewhere and someone else is interested in talking ONLY to her, you don’t need to but in and give your unwanted opinion.  You don’t need to be jealous when she gets noticed and you don’t.  You don’t need to leave the room because people are talking to her and not to you.  So many, many times, we men need to watch ourselves that we do NOT become jealous of our mate because she is the center of attention and not ourselves.

Next the Bible tells us men that we are not to brag and act arrogant at any time in relationship to our loving wives.  You might be asking yourself: How would I brag and act arrogant around my wife? How about when a decision needs to be made for the family and you think your way is the ONLY way of doing things.  Or how about when a project gets done and you take all of the credit, even when your wife did most of the work and had the best ideas involved in the project.  Husbands, watch yourselves in this area because we husbands tend to want to take center stage even when we are not the star of the program.

Husbands, here is a biggie for us: A husband that is truly loving his wife NEVER EVER acts unbecomingly either towards her or embarrasses herYou know what…. If our wives called us out for every time we acted unbecomingly, most of us would have to stand in the corner with our face pointed toward the corner for several hours a day because we were being punished for all of the times that we acted unbecomingly.  We speak when we are not supposed to and when we do speak, we say the wrong things.  We husbands need to do what the Bible tells us to do: This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19 NASB).  Now, I tell you the truth, if you have never said anything to your wife and acted unbecomingly toward your wife, then you are truly a Saint indeed.  My Bible tells me that my tongue is … a restless evil and full of deadly poison (James 3:8 NASB).  So we need to constantly and consistently be on guard that we do not say or do things that acts unbecomingly toward our loving wives.

We can go on with the rest of the definitions of love from 1 Corinthians 13, but I believe you get the point of this VOTD.  The Bible clearly teaches us: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25 NASB).  And: So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28 NASB).  Just as the Bible teaches us that: Love does no wrong to a neighbor …  (Romans 13:10 NASB).  So it also teaches us that love does no wrong to our wives.

Lord, help me to show love to my beautiful wife.  I am so very, very thankful that she is my mate.  She is strong when I am weak.  She is loving and kind and so very intelligent.  Lord, you have given her wisdom and understanding in things that I have no knowledge of.  Lord, I ask you and beg you that you might touch her body and make it strong.  Heal her and enable her to have the strength and energy to worship and serve you.  Help me to minister to her and be the loving husband that I should be.  Empower me to be all that you want me to be as a kind and loving husband.  For without you Lord, I can do nothing.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


6 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:18 NASB  Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Such a simple statement is our VOTD but sometimes it is so very, very hard to do.  Why?  Because, let’s face it men and be honest, sometimes we can be real “jerks”.  And why do we get that way?  It is because we ALL have a sin nature and sometimes, we make mistakes and DO and say the wrong things.  A very wise woman once told me that “women would have no problems doing what this verse says, if men would do what the Bible tells them to do.”  What does the Bible tell men to do?  We will be covering this verse tomorrow: Colossians 3:19 NASB  Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

Our VOTD is not the only place that talks about wives being submissive to their husbands.  And since the Word of God is the BEST teacher that there is, let’s look at some of those verses:

Genesis 3:16 NASB  To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

1 Corinthians 11:3 NASB  But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-24 NASB
(22)  Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
(23)  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
(24)  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:33 NASB  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Titus 2:3-5 NASB
(3)  Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
(4)  so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
(5)  to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

1 Peter 3:1-6 NASB
(1)  In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
(2)  as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
(3)  Your adornment must not be merely external; braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
(4)  but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
(5)  For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
(6)  just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

From the verses above, it is clear that wives should be subject to their husbands.  But it is equally clear from the Holy Word of God that husbands should love their wives.  To me, marriage is like a teeter totter.  It has its ups and downs but when everything is in balance, things are smooth and level.  That is the goal of every marriage, to see the common good for the mate, for each other.  And that is what love is all about.

There is a point which I believe we all need to remember: Just as it takes two to tango, it also takes two to walk hand in hand depending on the Lord to show the world what love is all about.  We can only love our mates as much as we love the Lord.  And the only way we can love the Lord is to be submissive to Him.  When we love the Lord, then He will fill us and mold us into the men and women that are not only pleasing to Him but pleasing to one another.  If we are having problems with our mate, then we need to lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross so that Jesus can change the situation in which all can agree.  We all as husbands and wives need to depend on and trust in the Lord to help us love our mates: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17 NASB).  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life (John 6:63 NASB).

Lord, help me to be the mate that my wife can love and respect.  Let me do nothing from selfishness and vain glory.  Lord, please help me to always think of her and her needs and what is best for her.  Lord, without you I can do nothing.  I can’t be the man I am supposed to be unless you fill me with your Spirit.  Lord, I want to please you in all things because I love you.  Lord, I thank you for my lovely wife and I want to show the love you fill me with to her.  Help me Lord to be the kind of man that she can love and respect in return.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


5 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:17 NASB  Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

This VOTD revolves around one word: do.  God created the human race to be doers.  Even when we sleep, we are doing something: sleeping.  And we always dream when we sleep but most of the time we don’t remember what we dream and when we do remember, most of our dreams are just plain “messed up.”  But the facts of life are clear: We can be good doers or we can be bad doers at whatever we are doing.

God wants us to be good doers but our sin nature leads us into temptation to be bad doers.  So the secret to always being good doers is to always be doing what God wants us to do.  So the question comes up: How do we always do what God wants us to do?  Well, this VOTD gives us the secret to always do what God wants us to do when it says: Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.  In other words, it makes no difference what you and I are doing, either by word of mouth, speech, or in actions and deeds, you and I need to do all that we do, in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Now what does that mean: do all in the name of the Lord Jesus?  Here is my interpretation of what this phrase means:  Do the same thing that you believe Jesus would do.  Do you remember the catch phrase: WWJD?  Do you remember what it stands for?  It means: What Would Jesus Do?  In other words, if Jesus was facing the same situation that you are, what would Jesus do?  How would He respond and react?  How would He speak?  What would He say?  What kind of actions would He take? 

Now, to answer those question, you have to know some facts about Jesus.  In other words, you have to read your Bible and remember what Jesus did at various times in His life in various situations.  Then you have to picture Him in your situation and apply the principles that He demonstrated during His life on this earth.  Here, let me give you just a couple of examples.  Do you remember how Jesus responded to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery?  You can read the whole story in John 8:1-11.  But I want to point out one point in this story.  In the end, Jesus did not condemn her.  Why?  Because I believe, even though the short narrative does not say it, I believe she repented of her sin.  So Jesus said to her: Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
(John 8:10-11 NASB). 
So what do we learn from this event in Jesus’ life?  We learn not to condemn the repentant sinner.  In fact, the Bible teaches us to forgive: Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted (Galatians 6:1 NASB).  In fact, Jesus taught us to forgive others so that God can forgive us our sins: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. … “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matthew 6:12-15 NASB).

In another example, Jesus shows that He always has room for children in His life.  When the disciples would rebuke children for bothering Jesus, Jesus had the exact opposite reaction: come.  Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14 NASB).  What can we learn from this?  How can we apply the principles that Jesus is teaching us?  Well, there are many principles to learn from this event but one of the main ones is: We are to never be too busy to welcome and bless people that are seeking us.  If you and I are too busy to stop and talk to someone who needs you, then you are too busy.  We always need to take time to try and share Jesus with someone, with anyone who will let us.  We need to always be available to help someone who need us.  Boy, does that not hit me between the eyes.  Sometimes I see myself as too busy.  I need to seek His forgiveness.

The bottom line is this: In this one VOTD Jesus is teaching us to be doers of the Word.  We need to be conscious of what Jesus would do in the same situation that we face.  Then we need to set our resolve on doing exactly what the Spirit of God in us is leading us to do.  It makes no difference how difficult or how time consuming it is.  God’s grace is always sufficient for us, if we will only trust Him.  In the end, God’s word says to us that we need to be: giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Lord, please forgive me for not being patient with those who seek me and need me.  Lord, help me to always be aware that you have the time schedule in your hands and you know what needs to be done.  Please help me to help those in need.  Make me more like you, Lord.  You were always trusting the Father in all things, even in the time you took for each event in your life.  Lord, thank you for showing me what true love for the Father is all about.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 


4 January 2017 Verse of the Day

Colossians 3:16 NASB  Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

This VOTD would be a good verse to memorize.  I challenge each of you to do what I am doing.  I print it out and carry it with me.  I look at it and read it several times a day.  I quote it and I ask the Lord to help me to not only remember it but to practice the principles that it is teaching me.  When you want to surrender your life to Christ, you want to be obedient to His word.  When you are obedient to His word, His will and His way of doing things, you can expect Him to not only bless you but to lead and guide you in the truth of His Word.  It is one thing to read His word but it is a whole different world to be MOLDED by His word.  And that is what the Christian life is all about… Becoming more like Jesus.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you… Question: How do you do what this phrase is telling you to do?  How do you let it guide you, direct you and mold you?  How do you let, or surrender your life to it?  How do you let God’s holy word be a part of your life?  There is only one way that I know of.  You have to make a conscious decision to DO WHAT IT SAYS.  You have go and “become obedient” to the thing or the principle that it is teaching you.  But here is the tricky part… You not only have to do it once or twice or even three times… No, no… You have to do it continually, consistently and repeatedly, time and time again, day in and day out, over and over, again and again.  Repetition is not a bad thing when it comes to practicing Holiness.  In fact, repetition is the essence of what Holiness is all about. Isn’t that what James is telling us when he says: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22 KJV).  I like what the Bible Commentary says about this phrase: The command is clear, Do not merely listen to the Word.… Do what it says. One must “become,” or “keep on becoming” (ginesthe), a doer of the Word and not just a hearer.

We as humans tend to become what we think about, what we like, what we enjoy and find pleasant to our ears.  Many of us like to listen to the radio or CD or some form of music.  We enjoy singing and making melody in our hearts and we sometimes even sing along with the songs we enjoy even if we can’t “carry a tune in a bucket.”  Music has been a part of our being since the dawn of time.  It blesses us and it motivates us.  Now here comes the hard part.  What kind of music do you listen to?  Is it worldly?  Does it have a tone and tenor to cause you to think about lust, love and the opposite sex?  Does it provoke in you the desires to do things that you would never ever think about in real life?  I tell you a truth, my friend, you need to STOP listening to that kind of music.  You need to ask the Lord to forgive you and you need to seek the kind of music that will honor the Lord, His word and His way.

The kind of music that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ want us to listen to is the kind of music that honors Him and His word and His way of living our lives.  Christian music comes in all kinds of different genres.  All we need to do is find one that appeals to us so that we can let it guide us and help us to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.   Isn’t that what our VOTD is talking about when it says: with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

I can tell you the truth… I am not a music person but I find myself singing the old church hymnal songs to myself from time to time.  I find that they comfort me, lead me and even motivate me to become what the Lord wants me to become.  Why?  They inspire me to do what this verse says: Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2 NASB).  For just as a man thinks in his heart, so he is: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he … (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).

So bottom line is this: I challenge each one that reads this verse of the day to let the word of Christ richly dwell within you by memorizing God’s Holy word.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalms 119:11 KJV).  Secondly, I challenge each one of you to let God’s Holy Word in song speak to you so that you can enjoy Him throughout your day: with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Lord, I want to be a doer of your word.  I know that nothing good dwells within me on my own.  The only goodness that I have comes from your Spirit that dwells with in me.  Lord, I want to give you free reign to do whatever you desire to do in my life this day.  Please help me to dwell on things above by hiding your word in my heart and by making melody in my heart with songs that honor You and your word.  Teach me.  Train me and use me.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard

 



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