Verse of the Day

Daily Devotion 

By:  Bro. Bob Maynard
 

14 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:12 NASB  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
 
Our VOTD starts off with So then.  Which to me is almost the same thing as “Therefore” or “In light of the previous facts.”  So, we want to refresh our minds and hearts as to the facts presented previously to this verse so that we can correctly understand this verse.  The previous verses read: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11 NASB).
 
So then: Because God the Father wants us to have the same attitude which was also in Christ Jesus, so that we can empty ourselves of our will and take up the form of a bond-servant by humbling ourselves and become obedient to the point of death so that God the Father can exalt us at the proper time, we need to do what our VOTD says: We need to obey what the Bible tells us and how the Spirit of the Living God directs us. 
 
Now I want you to notice some particular requirements that Paul gives us in this verse.  First if we are going to obey then we need to do it all the time and not just in the presence of other Christians only.  Question: Why would we act like Christians and be “holy” in their presence only?  In my mind, it is because we forget the fact that God knows all and sees all.  We think that if we are “holy” around other Christians, then we are OK and they will approve of us.  We seek the approval of men and not the approval that is from the One and Only God just as the Bible says: for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God (John 12:43 NASB).  But God’s Holy Word warns us not only in this verse to not do that but in these verses also:
 
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27 NASB). 
 
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10 NASB). 
 
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11 NASB).
 
Then Paul goes on to encourage the Philippian Christians to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  Right off the bat, I want to point out that he says work out your salvation and not work for your salvation.  You never ever work for your salvation because you could never do enough good works or get holy enough to please God the Father.  That is why you need Jesus.  He was the only person who was holy, righteous and pure.  He took your sin punishment on the cross of Calvary.  It is only by faith in Him that we can ever become the righteousness of God in Him.
 
So why do we work?  If we aren’t working FOR our salvation, why work at all?  What is our motive?  Our motive is: We love Him and want to Please Him.  Here are some verses to remind us of our motives for doing what we do:
 
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31 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 (Colossians 3:17 NASB).
 
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men (Colossians 3:23 NASB).
 
My friend, our work is to be done as unto the Lord, no matter what we are doing.  And the VOTD tells us to do it with fear and trembling.  What does that mean?  It means that you don’t want to displease the Lord.  Just as you don’t want to displease your boss at work, we should even more so, NOT want to displease the Lord.  Remember what the scriptures tells us: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31 KJV). I don’t want to upset the One who has ALL power in heaven and earth, let alone God the Father who has the power to destroy all.
 
Lord, please help me to do my work, whatever I am doing as if I am working for you and you are right there beside me watching me work.  Lord, help me to always remember that you see all and you know all.  Also, help me to remember that I am never working for my salvation but because you loved me and gave yourself for me, I am working because I love you and I want to please you in all that I say and do.  Lord, help me to always remember that you are truly pleased when I do things for the right motives.  You can see my thoughts and you know my intentions.  Help me Lord to always have pure motives and good intentions.  Lord, I want to please you in all things.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


13 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:11 NASB  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Question: What thrills your heart?  What brings a smile to your lips?  What makes your heart race with joy?  Is it a new play toy like a new boat or a new TV or even a new gadget of some sort?  Maybe it is a new set of duds: new shoes or new dress or even a new hairdo?  Maybe it’s going on a cruise or some exotic vacation that you have planned.  Maybe it is not a thing but a person that makes you smile and brings joy to your heart.  Maybe it is a son or a daughter that exceeds your expectations at some project or involvement.  Maybe it is a loved one whom you love very much that you love to hear good things about.  Well, let me share a little secret with you.  It is this fact that thrills my heart.  This verse ALWAYS brings a smile to my heart, mind and soul.  Why?  It is because every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  It makes me smile because one day the tables will be turned.  One day everything will be reversed.  Those tongues that have cursed Him in this life will one day, mark my words, ONE DAY those tongues WILL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord.  It makes no difference who it is or how much they hate Jesus, those tongues will confess that He is Lord.  Now my friend, ask yourself this one question: Why is that going to happen?  It is going to happen because it brings glory to God the Father.  Period.  That is the only single reason.  In fact, that was Jesus’ mission on this earth, to glorify God the Father: Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You (John 17:1 NASB).
 
But I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.  I want us to think about what the Holy Writ means when it says that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Then I want us to look at the impact of the meaning of what it means to live our lives to the glory of God the Father.
 
In order to properly understand why every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, we have to back up a couple of verses.  In fact, let’s read the all the previous verses together because I want you to see the cause and effect that is going on here: These verses are talking about Jesus when it says: Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11 NASB).  Ask yourself some questions:  Why does the Holy Scripture say God highly exalted Him, that is Jesus?  It is because He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  How is God the Father exalting Jesus?  By making every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Are there going to be any exceptions: No!!! Because the scriptures tell is it will apply to ALL those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  My friend, that is everyone that has lived, died or is still living.  EVERYONE!
 
Now I want us to transfer some of the thoughts above to ourselves.  Let’s ask ourselves some questions like we asked about Jesus.  The first question we asked was: Why did God the Father highly exalt Jesus?  Answer: Because Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death.  So the question for us is: Why would God ever even consider exalting us sinners?  Answer: If we become like Jesus in that we humble ourselves and become obedient to the point of death, the scriptures tell us that we will be exalted also.  One of the ways that we learn this from the parables that Jesus taught us.  Do you remember the parable about the talents?  Here is what part of it says: “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ “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 25:20-21 NASB).  I want you to notice that the slave was faithful with a few things but his master put him in charge of many things.  Is that not exalting the slave for his faithfulness and obedience?  Will God the Father not reward us for humbling ourselves and becoming obedient to the point of death?  Remember: Whatever a man sows that shall he reap.  And let us not forget what Paul says that we will have the privilege of judging angels: Do you not know that we will judge angels? … (1 Corinthians 6:3 NASB).  Now I ask you: Is that not a form of being exalted?  Yes, I believe it is.
 
But there is a second aspect to our VOTD that I want us to think about and that is: What does it means to live our lives to the glory of God the Father.  I can tell you what it means to me and I pray that it means the same thing to you.  When I think about living my life to the glory of God the Father then I want to do one thing all the time: I want to do what the scriptures tell me to do when it says: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).  It means that everything I think, say and do, I am in constant and consistent prayer examining myself to see if there is any evil thought lifted up against the knowledge of God and that I want the Spirit of the Living and Loving God in me to instruct my mind, heart and will to do exactly what God the Father wants me to do in Christ.  For apart from Christ and His will I can do no good thing.  Obedience to the Will of God is the most important thing in my life.  I pray that you feel the same way I do.  And if not, God will reveal it to you.
 
Let us close today’s VOTD on a high note.  Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all you creatures below.  Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Praise Him because God the Father will make every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.  If that doesn’t get your fire burning then your wood is wet.  Let a man examine himself…
 
Lord, I worship you.  I adore You.  I praise You.  You alone are holy, righteous, pure and good.  I bow before you because only you are pure holy and good.  Lord, I want everyone to know how good you are.  Lord, fill me with your Spirit that I might share the good news with all that I come in contact with.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


12 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:10 NASB  so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 
Many years ago, there used to be a program on TV called Dragnet.  And there was an actor, Officer Jack Friday that had a line that he repeated every program when he was interviewing a witness.  He would say: “Just the facts.  Please give me just the facts.”  That is what we have in today’s VOTD…. Just the facts: so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  I don’t know about you my friend, but this verse THRILLS my heart, mind and soul.  One day, I will have the privilege of bowing my knees before the Lord Jesus Christ.  Oh, what joy will thrill my every fiber!  I pray that as you read this verse, you feel the same way I do.
 
But realize this, not everyone feels the same way you and I do.  No, no.  There are those that loathe the name of Jesus and it repulses them when they even think about or even consider bowing their knees before Him.  In fact, I would say that based on what the Bible says: “Many are called but few are chosen” that most of humanity feels the same way: they hate the thought of bowing before the Lord Jesus.  But make no mistake about it.  It will happen to all the people who have ever walked the face of this earth.  Why?  Because that is what our VOTD says: EVERY KNEE WILL BOW.
 
Now I want you to get a grasp immensity of this statement.  I want you to see the concept of what we are talking about when the Bible says EVERY KNEE.  In order to exclude any doubts or nit-picking about who this verse is talking about, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, defines who EVERY KNEE is when he says:  of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  Now who are these people that he is talking about?  Well those who are in heaven are all the saints, the believers who have died in the past.  And why do we believe and know that they are in heaven?  Because the Bible says: Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight– we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NASB).  And Paul even goes on to say that he has a desire to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord when he says: But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better (Philippians 1:23 NASB).  So if you are a born-again believer and Christ lives in you, and when your spirit is absent from the physical human body, then it goes to be at home with the Lord Jesus.  Where is Jesus?  Sitting at the right hand of God in heaven.  My friend, when you die, your spirit goes to be with Jesus.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O  DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” (1 Corinthians 15:53-55 NASB).
 
There is a second group that this verse is talking about that will bow their knees before the Lord Jesus and that is the group that Paul identifies as the ones that are on earth.  In other words, every person that is alive at the last moment right before His coming will bow their knees to Him in homage and honor to Him.  That goes for the God hating atheist to the lowest person alive.  Every leader of every country, every president, every powerful polititian, and every billionaire and wealthy person who doesn’t even acknowledge that God exists will bow their knees to the Lord Jesus.  It also includes the lowly and poor and those who are destitute of worldly positions.  I am not sure how many billion people will be on earth at that time but none will be exempt.  And if there are any believers on the earth at that time, they will bow before Him also.  Why do I say if?  Because Jesus asked the question himself: … However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8 NASB).
 
There is a last group of people that this verse identifies as bowing their knees before the Lord Jesus and that is the group of people who are under the earth.  These are the billions of people who have died and didn’t know Christ as Savior and Lord when they died.  They will bow their knees to Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord of Lords and King of kings.  Now I want you to realize who this group includes.  It includes all those who said they are ‘god’ but lied.  Buddha, Mohammed, Allah and all the other false gods will bow down and proclaim that Jesus is Lord of all.  There will be none that are exempt.  There is none that will be passed over.  EVERY KNEE WILL BOW.  Can anyone say PRAISE THE LORD!!!
 
There is one last group that I would like to remind you of that is included in the statement EVERY KNEE WILL BOW.  Who have I left out?  None other than Satan and his demons, the fallen angels.  That is the best part of all.  He questioned Jesus in his temptations saying to Him: And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  (Matthew 4:3 NASB).  He will not question Him.  Satan will ACKNOWLEDGE Him.  He will bow before Him.  He will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  PRAISE GOD!!!!
 
And I want to point out to you that Satan’s demons already recognized the Lordship and power of Jesus while He was here on this earth.  They not only called Jesus the Son of God: Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ (Luke 4:41 NASB), but they also knew their ultimate fate to be tortured:  And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”  (Matthew 8:29 NASB).  It is very true that EVERY KNEE WILL BOW.
 
But you know what…. You don’t have to wait until that day.  No, no.  You don’t have to wait another moment.  You can BOW YOUR KNEE right now.  That’s right.  You have the privilege and the blessing to get on your knees right now and bow before Him and let Him know that you love Him and that you adore Him and that you praise Him.  In fact, I encourage you to do just that.  Praise Him, worship Him and let Him know that He is your Lord and Master by getting on your knees and praying to Him right now.
 
Lord, what a wonderful verse of scripture.  It thrills my heart to bow before you and adore you.  Lord, you are so wonderful to a wretched sinner like me.  Lord, I desire that you might convict me of my sin and that I might confess it to you so that by your grace and mercy you can forgive me.  Lord, I beseech you that you would fill me with your Spirit and that everything I think, say and do might please you.  Lord, I want you to be able to smile when you look down on my actions and my life.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


11 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:9 NASB  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

What’s in a name?  Can anyone say EVERYTHING?  Your name represents you.  It says who you are and what you are.  Every name carries with it a either a stigma or a good reputation.  When you hear a name, you either think good or bad about it.  And the unique thing about names is: A name can mean good to one person and bad to another person.  It depends on their past experience associated with that name.

I want us to focus on the name that is associated with our VOTD: Jesus.  First of all, our VOTD says For this reason also.  What was the reason that God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him a name which is above every name?  I believe the reason is found it the previous verses and especially the prior verse to our VOTD:  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8 NASB).  Because Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, God the Father made a decision: God decided to highly exalt Him, and bestowed on Him a name which is above every name. 

Here you see the principle that is true: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  You ask: What is the opposite reaction?  Jesus humbled Himself and God highly exalted Him.  Might I say that this principle is true for the Christian also?  Here is the text that backs it up:  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6 NASB).  Here is the problem: Our sin nature want us to exalt ourselves before it is time.  We just need to remember what the second wisest man that ever walked the face of this earth said: There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NASB).  Who was the second wisest man that ever walked the face of this earth?  Why, it was King Solomon, of course.  Why was he the second wisest?  Because there is a name that is above every name.  The name of Jesus.  He was the wisest person who ever walked the face of this earth.
 
Question: What do you think about when you think of the name of Jesus?  Is it a name that as our VOTD says when it says that it is a name which is above every name?  I want you to realize that it is not that way with the majority of people in this world.  They HATE the name of Jesus.  They despise and loathe anyone who mentions that name.  And especially, if the person that speaks the name of Jesus actually worships Him and adores Him.  Why do they hate Christ-obedient followers?  It is because men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed (John 3:19-20 NASB).  Those that hate the Light and want to follow their evil deeds are doing what the devil tells them to do.  Here is what Jesus says about them: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father ….  (John 8:44 NASB).  But I always want to remind you what Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12 NASB).
 
There is a song that is titled: “There is a name I love to hear” and it goes like this:
There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear, The sweetest name on earth.
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
  Because He first loved me!
 
Jesus is the most precious, holy and beautiful name I have ever heard or will ever hear.  His name is the most wonderful name that has ever been spoken.  Why do I feel that way?  It is because He, and only He is the one who saved me and changed me.  He loved me even before I ever loved Him.  And He is still the one who is molding me and changing me.  Can anyone say: PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME: JESUS!!!
 
Question is: Do you love Jesus?  Is He precious to you?  Is the name of Jesus the name which is above every name to you?  Be careful how you answer?  Because I am going to ask you a question that will reveal how you truly feel about the name of Jesus.  You see it is not what you say with your mind, how you feel about Jesus.  But it is what you SAY with your lips is how you truly feel about Jesus.  When you truly love someone, you talk about that person.  You praise that person to other people.  You want others to know how you feel about that person, so you share your thoughts and feelings about that person.  Sometimes it is so spontaneous that you just can’t help yourself mentioning that person’s name.  So, here is the question: When I the last time you mentioned the name of Jesus to someone?  When is the last time that you even spoke the name of Jesus to someone that you were talking with?  I am not talking about witnessing.  I am talking about praising the name which is above every name.  I am talking about spontaneous talk about Jesus.  If you have to think long and hard about when that time was, then I would say it was too long ago.
 
If you have a hard time remembering when you last mentioned the name which is above every name, then here is what I want you to do.  PRAY!  Ask Jesus to forgive you.  Ask Him to guide your heart and mind to think about Him.  To worship Him.  And then to PRAISE HIM!
 
Lord, you and I know that I have not always been faithful in this area of my life.  And for that I ask your forgiveness.  But now Lord, I can say that I want to grow even stronger than I am.  I want be BOLD and mention the name of Jesus everywhere I go.  You know that is the reason that I wear the Jesus pin everywhere I go.  I want everyone, everywhere to know that Jesus is the name that is above every name.  Lord, I want to be used by you.  I want to mention your name to everyone I talk with.  Lord, I love you so very, very much and I want all to come to know you.  Please use me as your witness.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


10 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:8 NASB  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
 
I want us to see how we got to this verse.  This is so IMPORTANT to the Christian life.  We all need to get to this point in our lives that we are becoming obedient to the point of death.  But make no mistake about it.  This does not happen by accident.  No, no.  It only happens as you do exactly what Jesus did.  We MUST become like Him.  Our goal in life needs to be the same as His goal in life: To please the Father in all that we think, say and do.
 
So how did Jesus get to this point?  Here it is: Philippians 2:5-8 NASB  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  (8)  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  It starts off with an attitude.  Then it progresses to thinking the same way that Jesus thought.  He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.  Then it continues on in a narrow straight line till it gets to the point that He emptied Himself.  Remember what He said … not My will, but Yours be done (Luke 22:42 NASB).  Then, He progressed on to the point where his attitude became His actions when He took the form of a bond-servant.  My friend, make no mistake about it.  We MUST do this also.  If you are not a bond-servant or God’s slave, then you canNOT be free from the tyranny of sin.  And then comes the final step in the process:  He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
 
Humility and obedience go hand in hand.  They are like two different sides of the same coin.  You can’t have one without the other.  When you have someone humbling themselves before the throne of Grace, then you have someone who is willing to do the will of God no matter what the cost.  And that is what obedience is all about.  But the opposite is also true: When someone will not humble themselves before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, you will find that same person disobeying God’s will and purpose for them.  They are going to be in misery and mourning due to the fact that sin has conquered their spirits. 
 
So let’s define these two terms and get to know them better.  As you know, our standard is Webster’s dictionary, which gives the following terms: humbled = Made low; abased; rendered meek and submissive; penitent.  Obedient = Submissive to authority; yielding compliance with commands, orders or injunctions; performing what is required, or abstaining from what is forbid.
 
So, if I am going to do what the Bible tells me to do, then I am going to have to start here: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6 NASB).  And if I am wondering why I need to humble myself, the previous verse answers the question when it says for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE (1 Peter 5:5 NASB).  I need to always remember the definition of what it means to be humble … and that is that I am going to have to be submissive to God’s Word, His will and His way of doing things: not my will but Yours be done.  Then I need to take the next step.  And make no mistake about it: This is a BIG step.  It is a step of faith.  It is where my faith is put into action.  It is the step that most people fail at because of the littleness of their faith.  It is the step of faith that makes my humble mind become reality by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.  My friend, if you miss this last point you have missed the boat.  You didn’t make it to the plane on time.  You have missed what it is all about.  Obedience to God’s will for your life is where all of the blessings are found.  Obedience is the crown jewel.  Obedience is where you find the joy, peace and happiness that we are all seeking.  Obedience to God’s will is what we all were made for.  It is the only thing that fills the void left by sins ugly stain.
 
So the question comes right back to the beginning: If I want to become obedient to God’s will, how do I start?  You start at the same place that these verses started: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5 NASB).  It always starts with an attitude.  And now I want to share a secret with you.  Just as it starts with an attitude, so it is an attitude of humility that keeps us on the right track to doing God’s Holy Will in our lives.  Whenever we stray or go too far to the left or the right off the narrow path where God leads us that is the first thing that we need to check.  We need to check our attitude.  Just as you check the water in your radiator when your car starts to overheat, so we need to check our attitude when we find ourselves out of joy, peace or comfort in the Holy Spirit.
 
We all say the same thing: “I want to do God’s will.”  But the truth is: Few of us do it. “For many are called, but few are chosen.”  (Matthew 22:14 NASB).  Why is that?  It is because we will not humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.  Until we do, God resists the proud.  My friend: Will you humble yourself, so that He may exalt you at the proper time?
 
Lord, what can I say except that I want to humble myself by becoming obedient to your holy will.  I want to think, say and do exactly what you want me to.  I want to become the man that you want me to be.  But I know the truth Lord.  I can’t do anything without you.  You are the one who empowers me.  You are the one who enables me.  You are the one who even gives me the will to do your will.  I am just like the blind beggar and all I can do is get down and beg you to forgive me and mold me into the person you want me to be.  Lord, please use me this day for your holy will and purpose.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


9 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:7 NASB  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
 
 There are some things in the Bible that are hard for us to understand because For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB).  And such is our verse today.  It is hard for us to understand how our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the second person of the Trinity of God was able to empty Himself but it is true because the Bible says it is so.  Our VOTD is one of the proof text that we can rely on that declares that Jesus always did those things that were pleasing to the Father because He was only doing the Father’s will.  The Bible gives us lots of other proof texts that let us know Jesus only did the things that the Father told Him to do: “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak (John 12:49 NASB).  “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me  (John 5:30 NASB).   This verse goes hand in hand with the concept that I was talking about yesterday that Jesus did only what the Spirit of God led Him to do.
 
I want you to notice, that not only did Jesus empty Himself but He also took the form of a bond-servant.  Webster’s defines a bond-servant as: A slave; one who is subjected to the authority of another, or whose person and liberty are restrained.  You might be asking yourself: “Why did Jesus need to become a slave to God the Father?  Here is the answer straight from the Scriptures: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB).  This scripture says He made Him = God the Father made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin… My friend, Jesus was a bond-servant so that He could do exactly what the Father wanted.  Do you remember Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane: saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  (Luke 22:42 NASB).  Because Jesus was God’s bond-servant or slave, He had no will of his own.  He could ask just as he did: remove this cup from Me but He left the final decision in the Father’s hands: yet not My will, but Yours be done.
 
Which brings us to the point of this VOTD.  Whose slave are you?  We have all known people in our lives that are slaves of one type or another.  They could be slave to their appetites such as wine or strong drink and you would call them an alcoholic.  They could be slaves to dope and you would call them a “dope head.”  They could be a slave to their job and you would call them a “work-alcoholic.”  Let’s face it, there are all kinds of slavery in the world today.  And there are some that are like the Scribes and Pharisees that denied they were ever slaves to anyone: They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”  (John 8:33 NASB).  But you and I know the truth that the nation was in slavery to Babylon for 70 years.  Just because you deny something doesn’t mean that it is true or even correct.
 
So I want you to know if you become Jesus’ slave, then you will be set free… WHAT? That doesn’t make sense…!!!  But it is true.  Believe it or not.  You want a proof text?  Here it is: Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:34-36 NASB).  When you sin, you become the slave of sin.  When you surrender your heart, life, mind and will to Jesus, He will make you free: So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  But the only way He can make you free is if you become his slave.  You will become free in the sense that it is no longer your sinful wants but His holy desires.  It is no longer your sinful desires but His holy will.  It is no longer your sin nature that is in control but you are being led by the Spirit of the living God.  Can anyone say ALL GLORY AND PRAISE BE TO HIS HOLY NAME!!!
 
When you are Jesus’ slave then you can pray the same thing that Jesus did and mean it with all your heart: not My will, but Yours be done.  Question is: Will you submit your will to His will so that He can make you FREE???
 
Lord, I want to be your slave.  Lord, please let your will be done in my life.  I want to be obedient to you in all that I say and do.  Lord, please put my sinful nature to death so that your holy will can be done in my life in all things that I think, say and do.  Lord, please use me this day to do your will and your will alone.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


8 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:6 NASB  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
 
This verse is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ because the verse right before it says: (Philippians 2:5 NASB)  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.  So if we are going to have the same attitude which was in Christ Jesus, then we are going to have to examine a couple of phrases in our current VOTD.  First phrase that we will look at is: He existed in the form of God.  And then we will look at the thoughts about the phrase that says that He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.
 
First question that comes to mind is: How do we know that He existed in the form of God?  I think a better question to ask is: How could we NOT know that He existed in the form of God, because of all of the evidence points to the fact that He is God in the flesh of a human being.  One of the names that was used about Him was that He was the Son of God.  When Satan was tempting Jesus, he tried to get Jesus to prove that He was the Son of God by turning the stones into bread: And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  (Matthew 4:3 NASB).  But even though Jesus had been fasting 40 days and was hungry, He simply said to Satan: But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”  (Matthew 4:4 NASB).  Now my friend, I don’t know about you but after I have been fasting for a day, let alone 40 days, I am ready to eat the stones.  But only God in the flesh, can say no, and quote a Bible verse and turn down the temptation.
 
Everywhere Jesus went and everything that He did, pointed to the fact that He was the Son of God.  Jesus would heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons.  In fact, He even gave this power to His twelve apostles: These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give (Matthew 10:5-8 NASB).  Now I ask you: Who can give that kind of power to a mere man but God in the flesh?
 
You see, that was one of the complaints that the Jewish leaders had against Jesus.  They accused Him of being God in the Flesh or if you will, that He existed in the form of God.  In fact they were going to stone Him for it and we find these words: The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:31-33 NASB).  Make no mistake, Jesus is God in the Flesh.  For the verse of scripture is true that says: “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” (John 9:33 NASB).  Even the centurion who helped crucify Him recognized that Jesus is God in the flesh when he said: When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”  (Mark 15:39 NASB).
 
The only question about Jesus being God in the flesh of a man is the question: Do we believe it.  Either Jesus is who He said He is OR He was not who He said He was.  And that is where faith comes in.  If you can’t believe His words, then believe His miracles as He says: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:37-38 NASB).
 
The second phrase that we want to think about is that He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.  What does this phrase mean?  I believe that it means that even though Jesus was God in the flesh, He was not equal to God because of His humanity and the restrictions that being a man presented.  While Jesus was on this earth, in the form of a man, He was limited by the earthly restrictions that are dictated by being in the human body.  He lived His entire life dependent upon the Spirit of God that led Him, guided Him and empowered Him.  But Jesus’ humanity restricted Him.  What do I mean?  Here let me explain it this way: God has all knowledge.  God knows everything.  Jesus, while He was here on the earth, was limited to what the Spirit revealed to Him.  Here is a perfect example of what I mean.  Do you remember the story about the woman who had the hemorrhage for twelve years?  Here it is: And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” … (Luke 8:43-45 NASB).  You see, Jesus was limited in His knowledge to what the Spirit revealed to Him otherwise He would have not asked the question: Who is the one who touched Me?
 
We as humans are not equal with God either.  We do not have all knowledge as He does.  We do not have anywhere near the power that God does.  In fact the Bible says it rightly when it says: Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25 NASB).  But our sin nature tries to make us think we are stronger and more knowledgeable than He is.  We all need to get to the point that Paul was at when He wrote these marvelous and holy   words: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-36 NASB).
 
But I want you to know that Jesus is NOT limited in knowledge or power now because the Holy Scriptures tell us: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).  In the NASB it says: And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18 NASB).  I believe that Jesus has all knowledge, all power and all authority as the very only begotten Son of God.  He rules and reigns and every knee shall bow to Him and confess that He is the Son of God.  The only question left to ask is: Do you believe and trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord?  If not, then Why not?  Trust in Him and He will change your life…!!!  The three things that every human needs to do to get saved is: 1. Admit you are a sinner because the Bible says all have sinned: Romans 3:23.  2. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. John 3:16.  3.  Confess Him as your Savior and Lord. Romans 10: 9-10.  It is as simple as ABC.  Will you do it?
 
Lord, what can I say but “except for the grace of God, there go I…”  Lord, it is only by your mercy and your grace that I can ever see or know anything.  Who gives the mind the capacity to understand anything but You?  Who gives a man any power to walk, talk or move but You.  You are my strength.  You are my redeemer.  You are my savior.  I praise You and I worship You.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


7 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:5 NASB Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
 
Again we come to one of those powerful verses that should speak to every Christian as to how they are to live their lives in Christ.  In verses 5 – 11 we have the model that each of us are to follow and live by.  They are the epitome of the Christian life.  And I might add, if you have not already done so, now would be a good time to memorize this verse.  Why?  Because the Bible says: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalms 119:11 KJV).
 
Now I want to start off with a word that is not in this verse but is implied: You.  It is talking about YOU and your responsibility to God the Father.  It is not a wish or even a desire.  It is a command.  A command that is given to each born-again believer that hopes to walk in a manner that is pleasing to God.  These next few verses give the Christian the direction on how to think, act and do in order to live a life that is pleasing to the Creator of this universe.
Now most of the time when we talk about a person with an attitude we are talking in negative terms.  We use the term to denote a bad attitude and one that we want to avoid.  We talk about people that “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” and they have a grumpy attitude.  Or we talk about someone who has a bad out-look on life and is someone who has a bad attitude. 
 
But it this verse, God is wanting us to have the same attitude that Jesus our Lord and Master had while He was here on this earth.  You can look at things either in a good way or in a bad way.  And how you chose to look at things makes all the difference in the world.  When you look at things the way Jesus did, then you have the same attitude that He did.  So the question is:  How did Jesus look at things?
 
First, I want you to realize that no matter what happened to Jesus, He always knew that God the Father was in control of the events that happened to Him.  And this directly affected His attitude and outlook on each event that happened in His life.  Let me give you just a couple of examples. 
 
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, and they came to arrest Him.  Peter took a sword and cut off the ear of the slave of the High Priest.  Here are the events that took place and what Jesus said: 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus *said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” (Matthew 26: 51-54).  I want you to notice three things:  Jesus attitude: God was in control and that if Jesus wanted He could appeal to the Father and have more that twelve legions of angels to free Him.  Second, Jesus attitude about the event: How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled…  Thirdly: Jesus attitude about others who were trying to prevent His suffering: Put your sword back into its place.  My friend, if we are going to have this attitude which was also in Christ Jesus then we are going to have to look at the bad events that happen to us just like Jesus did.  He trusted in God His Father in all things.  He believed that nothing outside of the will of God could ever happen to Him.  And anyone who was seeking to change the course of events that surrounded Him, He told them to STOP it. 
 
There is a second event that I want us to see the attitude of Jesus and hopefully we can gain some insight into the trust that Jesus had for the Father.  When Jesus stood before Pilate we find these words: 10 So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:10-11).  When Jesus said: You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above, He was declaring that the events that were transpiring were under the direct permission of God the Father.  The Father was in charge of how much or how little power that Pilate had over Jesus.  Pilate couldn’t do anything to Jesus that God the Father didn’t know about or permit.  If we are going to have this attitude which was also in Christ Jesus then we are going to have to think, know and understand that every event and every situation that happens to us as His children are directly in God the Fathers knowledge and in His will. We need to realize, know and understand that not everything that happens to us is good, but we have to have faith that God the Father is in control and He has His purposes and reasons for allowing things to happen to us: 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39 NASB).
 
Father, please help me for I am weak in this area.  I fear pain and misfortune.  I run from events that are displeasing and painful to me.  Lord, help me to have the same attitude that Jesus had while He was here on this earth.  Help me to trust you more each day.  Lord, help me to love you and worship you and to realize that nothing can happen to me outside of your will.  Lord, I want to consider myself as dead to my desires and alive to the desires and events that you have for me.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


6 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:4 NASB  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

This verse comes right after the previous thought which says: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves (Philippians 2:3 NASB).  So the whole thought that Paul gives us by way of inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to convey to us that the Christian life is not about ourselves but about others.  Our sin nature wants us to think about ourselves, our own personal interests but God wants us to think about the interests of others.

The Bible is full of thoughts along this line.  It is always trying to get us to think about others rather than our own personal interests.  Here are just a few of the verses, covering a wide variety of subjects that wants us to think about others and their needs, wants and desires:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15 NASB).

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another (Romans 14:19 NASB).

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification (Romans 15:1-2 NASB).

Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor (1 Corinthians 10:24 NASB).

Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 10:32-33 NASB).

Do you want the reason for all of the above verses?  Do you want to see Paul’s motivation for writing all of these statements?  Here it is, written by James: If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well (James 2:8 NASB).  It is all about love your neighbor as yourself.  And let me remind you what love is.  It is not a feeling.  Love is an action verb that displays its self in things that you do.  The Bible defines it when it says: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails … (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB).

But I want you to see that love your neighbor as yourself and do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit and do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others is not our first impulse, it is a learned behavior.  It is a Spirit led endeavor.  It is something that we are taught by the Spirit of God and it is His desire that we do it over and over again until it becomes second nature.  It is something that we have to seek to do and strive to maintain.  That is why the Scriptures encourage us to keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:1-2 NASB).  Seeking the things above and setting your mind on things above are not things that we do naturally but are generated by the Spirit in us.  Our job, our calling, our part in the Christian walk is to submit ourselves to the Spirit so that He can reveal to us God’s will for us in each situation.  And let me tell you, the times that we don’t submit to His leadership, His leading, we SIN and we do not do the truth.

Anything that is worth doing is going to take time, effort and energy.  Learning to put the interests of others first is like trying to learn to ride a bicycle.  You don’t learn it the first, or the second or even the third time you try it.  It usually takes a number of times and the help of a mom or dad or brother, sister or friend to run alongside of you, holding you up, while you try to learn to get your balance.  And I want you to remember that you got a number of skinned knees before you learned how ride.  But once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you never forget.  It has been a number of YEARS since I have ridden a bicycle but I have no doubts that I could do it the very first time and that I would not fall off once.  Why?  It is one of those skills that you never forget.  And so it is with learning to put the interests of others first.  Once you learn it, you never forget how to do it.  Why?  Because you are constantly and consistently doing it over and over again and again.  It is one of the basic principles of the kingdom of God.  We all need to learn it and we all need to constantly and consistently do it over and over again.

So let’s do a little checkup.  Husbands: When is the last time you asked your wife “Honey, what would you like to do today?”  Wives: When is the last time you asked your husband: “Sweetheart, Where would you like to go today?”  Christian brother or sister: When is the last time you asked your pastor: “How can I help?”  All of us need to ask ourselves: When is the last time I used one of these phrases: “Do you need some help?” Or: “Can I be of any assistance.”  Or: “Is there anything else I can do?”  You see the bottom line is learning to give of ourselves and to not merely look out for our own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Lord, please forgive me for the many, many times I have failed in this area.  Lord, I need to always remember that the joy of life does not come from looking out for my own personal interests, but from looking out for the interests of others.  Lord, please help me to always set my mind on things above so that you can guide me on how to think, act and do.  Lord, I want to please you in all things and the only way I can do that is to allow you to guide me into the truth of each situation.  Lord, I love you.

Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard


5 July 2016 Verse of the Day

Philippians 2:3 NASB  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
 
Right off the bat, there is a question that comes to mind: Why would Paul have to write: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit?  It might be in your mind that is a simple answer and for others it could be an unknown answer?  If you know what is in our hearts and souls by nature, and you understand the conflict that is in each one of us then the answer is probably a simple answer.  But if you don’t understand the war that is in you then it might be a difficult answer. Here is what Paul writes about the war in a Christian: For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Romans 7:22-24 NASB). 
 
Where does this war come from?  Paul tells us earlier all about the war when he says: For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good (Romans 7:15-21 NASB).  This war is in every person who wants to do right.  They agree with the law of God and they want to do good but the desires of the flesh pull on them hard and they are in a struggle.  What are we as Christians to do?  Paul gives us the answer when he says: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:25 NASB). 
 
When you have the Power of the Holy Spirit in your life as a born-again believer, then you have the power to say no to sin and YES to God.  For the Holy Scriptures goes on to tell us that Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-4 NASB).  And we can get victory over the war that is between the flesh and the Spirit when we do walk according to the Spirit when we put to death the deeds of the flesh: for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13 NASB).  My friend, no Christian has to do the deeds of the flesh.  All they have to do is walk by the Spirit in them and they can be free from the deeds of the flesh which are deeds that are done as our VOTD says done from selfishness or empty conceit.
 
So the next question comes to mind:  If we are NOT going to do the deeds of the flesh and from a motive of selfishness or empty conceit, what is our motive of doing things?  Here it is right from Holy Scripture which is our VOTD: We are to do things with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. 
 
Let me share with you what the problem is: When you do things for a long time and you have a God given ability to do them, they tend to become easy to do and pretty soon, your sinful mind starts saying to you “You’re good, in fact you’re real good.”  Pretty soon others start to notice and they say “Wow, you’re good.”  And then it goes to the next step, you are tempted to say what others are saying about you…. Can anyone say: STOP IT!!!  This is where our VOTD corrects us.  We need to correctly evaluate our actions, thoughts, ideas and doings.  None of us are any better than anyone else.  In fact, we need to develop the attitude that says humility of mind is better than bragging about my accomplishments.  We need to start thinking in terms that others are more important than ourselves.  We need to start giving credit where credit is due: For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7 NASB).  There is no gift or talent or ability that you did not receive from God.  He is the one who gave you the ability, then why not give Him the credit.  When someone praises you for something you have done, why not give God the glory buy admitting that you have done nothing but what God has enabled you to do?  Why not praise His Holy Name by saying “THANK YOU JESUS!”  He is the one who all should praise not ourselves and our works.
 
Lord, please help me to always remember I am nothing but dirt that you have breathed the breath of life into.  I am nothing without your God given abilities and talents.  Lord, help me to always give you the praise and glory.  And Lord, I want to always remember to consider others better and more talented than I am.  Let me give you the glory for their accomplishments and praise them for their doings.  Lord, I love you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Bob Maynard



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