WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE SHOULD WE BE?


2 Peter 3:11-12 – “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!”  NASB

I recommend reading vv. 1-18 in the Amplified.  I believe it will be beneficial for your understanding of what Peter was conveying regarding the lives of believers.  There is no doubt that Christians or Believers where the targets of Peter’s writing here.  He was speaking to believers who were being tempted to turn aside and return to their life of sin.  The world was tugging at their hearts.  He urges them to ‘stir up’ their sincere minds and remember the predictions of the Holy Prophets of God and the Commandments of Jesus Himself. 

Peter calls upon them to be aware that scoffers (mockers) will come in the Last Days.  These will be carnal, self-willed people who attempt to mix obedience to God with the lusts of the flesh.  Having both the presence of God and the pleasures of sin.  These would be those who question the things of God and the messengers of God. 

These scoffers or mockers will be those who deny that God is the Creator.  They will assume that due to the seeming delay of the Lord’s Return and God’s Judgment that there will be no return or judgment.  They will forget and seek to persuade others to ignore the long-suffering nature of God and His incredible patience with mankind.  They forget that God’s delay may well be out of His desire that all will be saved and that none will be lost. 

Peter urges those hearing and reading to remember the Predictions of Scripture, that the LORD will come quickly.  He reminds them and us that all we see will one day become ashes and only the treasures laid up in heaven will survive the purging.  In light of this, he urges them to examine themselves and ask, “What are you?  Why are you what you are?  What kind of person should you be?”

The Greek for “what manner of persons” literally means, “of what country.”  This illustrates the great truth that God’s people are citizens of the commonwealth of Heaven.  We are strangers and pilgrims here on earth.  This home is temporary whereas that home is eternal.  The word “to be” is emphatic and denotes continuous being.  Therefore, the question is, “What manner of people should you continually be?”

I want to discuss three types of people that we should seek to become and then be.  These three cannot be separated or compartmentalized but are progressions and extensions of the other.  Respecting the brevity of space in a short devotional I will pause and hope your interest is challenged and you will join me in the next devotional as we begin discussing the Kind of People We Should Be!

God bless you as you enjoy today’s journey!  Have a Great Day!

Consider David’s Followers…


I Samuel 22:1-2 – “So David departed from there and escaped to the Cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went there to him, and everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him; and he became captain over them.  Now there were about four hundred men with him.”

These are those who were confined and disabled by the narrow constraints of the political system, the Government and Rule of Saul.  Today there are those who are confined and disabled by Religion and the Religious System and Denominational Structures of this hour. 

They are in anguish of soul over the rigidity of the Pharisaical System of this hour.  These are the people who are Ready for Reality.  These are the people to whom Jesus spoke when He said – “Is anyone thirsty?  Let Him come to Me and drink.”  These are those to whom Jesus said – “Take My Yoke upon you… My Yoke is easy and My burden light…”  These are those who Hunger & Thirst after Righteousness and can no longer stand the status quo.  These are those who are ready to Break Out of Religious Bondage! 

Those Who Were in Debt.

These are those who were enslaved to the taxation and loan sharks of their day.  They were enslaved through their indebtedness to the system.  This represents those who were led astray through false promises, false hopes, and false expectations. 

It is those who are in bondage to the religious and world systems and cannot find that inner peace which surpasses all understanding.  Their dreams have been dashed on the rocks of what is presented to them as reality and their hopes have been abandoned in the deserts of despair.  They have become slaves to Mammon and cannot see beyond their prisons.  They are those who are fed up with bondage and prison and desire to walk in the Fullness of Covenant Reality as promised in the Word.  They are those who are coming to be set free from Religious Bondage!

Those Who Were Discontented.

These are those who had become embittered over the broken promises, hopes, and dreams given them by Saul’s regime.  These are those who have a deep-seated hunger for Truth.  The desire of their souls is for Life and Freedom, which is true reality.  These are those who can no longer find satisfaction in business as usual.  These are those who are ready to rebel against the system and must have their energies and frustrations channeled toward the Right Objective.  Their discontentment has reached a boiling point and they no longer trust the system or anyone in the system. 

These people are those who have come to the end of themselves and the end of their dependence upon religion and religious systems.  They have come to the place in their hearts and lives that they are ready and willing to make the Ultimate Commitment to The Kingdom.  They are prepared to enter into Covenant with God’s Appointed Leadership and give their lives to the Cause of the Kingdom.  Nothing short of The Kingdom of God will do for these people who have gathered in the Cave of Adullam, with David, God’s appointed Leader!

We must become willing to cast aside all religious cloaks and put on anything and everything that The Spirit of God should direct us to do.  We must remember that we are strangers and pilgrims in a foreign land and when the cloud moves we must be willing to move.  We need to cease striving to produce something out of the past and follow the cloud no matter how different, unconventional and strange it might seem.  Follow the Cloud!  It is in this, we will find our place in the establishing of the Kingdom and realize your destiny.

No more business as usual!  No more religious fixes!  No more bondage!  No more doctrines of man!  Only do that which we see the Father doing and only say what we hear the Father saying.  All else is sinking sand, tinkling cymbals, wood, hay, and stubble and will not produce life.  Life Comes Out of Obedience and is anchored in Covenant!  Our destiny is in our hands, what will we have in this hour?

May the Spirit of God guard and guide you as you embark on His prepared and planned road for your life.  Blessings abundantly!

EXTINCTION – EXTENSION – EXALTATION…


TEXT: 1 Peter 5:8; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:5; Revelation 3:21

I hope you will read each of those passages but for the sake of space in a short devotional, I will only list them not quote them fully.  Those three words are rooted in Hope.  Two of the three are good and one is to be understood so that it can be avoided and defeated.

The Desire of the Devil for the Christian is EXTINCTION.

The enemy of our soul, Lucifer, hates God and therefore hates any person who recognizes and serves the Living God of all creation.  The devil hates the message of Hope the Bible brings in the Gospels, the Covenants, the Promises, and Provisions of the Word of God.  He recognizes man as God’s mouthpiece on earth and wants to silence or discredit us.  He hates the Plan of God for man and for the world.  That plan includes the devil’s eternal destruction and he tries to prevent it from happening or put it off as long as possible. 

The devil desires to destroy Christians physically and spiritually.  He settles for oppressing us and trying to cause us to be ineffective.  He hinders and would destroy us if he could.  Jesus asked in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man is comes, will He find faith on earth?”  The desire of the devil is that the answer will be NO! 

The Desire of God is for Us is EXTENSION.

God wants us to be the extension of the ministry of Jesus on earth.  The furtherance of the Gospel message and gathering the harvest into God’s storehouse.  God’s desire is for the message of the Cross and the Hope in Christ to go viral throughout the entire world.  His plan is for everyone to “hear” of the provisions He has made and to “hear” His offer of redemption and forgiveness.  God’s plan is for everyone on earth to have the opportunity to be saved.

The provisions of the Cross were and are for ‘whosoever will’.  We have heard and believed that it is God’s desire that we share our experience, in Him, with the world.  In Romans 10:14-15 we find, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!”

In a very real sense, we hold their eternity in our hands, and we are the key to their redemption.  We are to sound the alarm and the point the way to the Cross.  It is so eternally important, “How can we not shout it from the rooftop?”  Someone said, “Christ’s importance to us is the extent we will go to, to make Him known to others.”  That is arresting.

The Desire of the Believer is EXALTATION.

Our hope is an eternal hope.  God, through His Word and His Son, has promised Life eternal.  He has promised a heavenly abode.  I need only remind you of His words in John 14:1-5 – “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 “And you know the way where I am going.” 

He does have requirements and qualifications which include submission to and the fulfillment of His will.  If we are to be EXALTED, we must walk in Obedience.  He has promised the Power of the Holy Spirit to equip us.  We have the experience of Salvation to compel us.  We have an Eternal Home to motivate us.

The question is, we will allow the devil to win over us and keep us from our Eternal Reward?  Will God’s will be done in us and those we can reach be reached?  Will we enjoy the Exaltation He has promised in the Eternal Ages and live forever in His presence? Only you and I can determine that.  God is not willing that any should perish so He is willing, are we?

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

CAN I MEDDLE A LITTLE? – – Part 2


James 3:3-12 – “Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.”  NASB

Let’s continue in a discussion of “Taming of the Tongue”.  The tongue is the last organ to be brought under subjection and when this is achieved, we have a beautiful evidence of the person being totally subject to Christ.  It is an evidence that the thoughts are in captivity to the obedience of Christ.  Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34, where He informed them that what fills the heart fills the mouth. 

Proverbs 4:23 encourages saying, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  In Proverbs 10:11 we discover, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”  Then, in Psalms 14:1 the incredible declaration, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

There are several Types of Tongues that need to be considered.

There is the Lying Tongue and of all the evils of speech, falsehood is central and incredibly dangerous and damaging.  There is the Reviling Tongue which is scandalous and abusive.  There is the Foul Tongue (Foul-Mouthed) which is a channel through which many impurities of the heart find expression.  It is indecent speech.  There is the Passionate Tongue which in quick anger, hate, and vitriol. 

The Poet Horace said, “Anger is brief madness or insanity.”  There is the Sarcastic Tongue.  There is the Scolding Tongue.  It is filled with constant reproofs and criticisms.  Reproofs must be uttered from time to time, but sometimes they are issued too harshly and with too little patience and love. 

There is the Flattering Tongue.  This is one of the most objectionable to me because it is devoid of honest praise but is designed to gain and advantage or personal benefit.  It is not sincere it is fraudulent and deceptive.  Honest and hearty praise is valuable, but a flattery is never honest.  It is false praise or praise directed not at the quality of our work but in an effort to please and gain brownie points.

There is the Chattering Tongue or one that talks too much.  There is no forethought, no real purpose, no substance, just noise and therefore no benefit.  The Psalmist prayed in Psalms 141:3, “Set a watch O God before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”  This type of person has no door only a doorway.  Then there is the Slandering Tongue and it spews forth evil continuously.

The Bible makes it clear that no man or woman can tame their tongue through willpower.  It requires Divine Help.  Proverbs 13:3 informs us, “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”  In Proverbs 21:23 we discover, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.”  Then the powerful statement of James 1:26, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” 

A sanctified tongue is a means to health, peace, and blessing from the LORD.  I hesitate to not continue the discussion of the Tongue of the Righteous but will end this consideration with a question.  “Do you need God’s help to tame and control your tongue?”  God can and will bring full deliverance!  It may seem cute and even funny but an ‘untamed tongue’ will open the fires of hell and rob you of spiritual victory.  God wants to Tame our Tongues.

God bless you as you embark on this new venture in your Christian walk.  Have a Great Day!

CAN I MEDDLE A LITTLE?


James 3:3-12 – “Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.”  NASB

Meddle?  Yes, I want to talk about “Taming the Tongue” and anytime that topic comes up some consider it meddling.  The tongue is a unique little instrument within the human body.  It is the vehicle through which we express our feelings, desires, thoughts, and say the things we desire to be expressed.  Tragically, many engage the tongue before they engage the brain.  Some are extremely quiet, saying little and others are overly talkative never being quiet.

I have always found it interesting the way that James leads into his teaching on the tongue.  He suggests that we are to ‘bridle’ the entire body if we are to exhibit true Christlikeness.  He then alludes to small things which control much larger and more powerful things.  Then, he introduces the Power of the Tongue.  He uses the analogy of a ‘small fire’ doing incredible harm.

Through the years, I have had some proudly declare, “I say what I think!”  Sometimes that is a very bad idea.  I had a person tell me, “Pastor, you never have to wonder where you stand with me, ‘cause I tell it like it is.”  I thought, “No you tell like you think it is or how you want it to be but sometimes you are wrong.” 

Tragically, just blurting out whatever comes to mind does not consider the feelings of others.  That practice not only damages relationships but our own lives producing a negative and self-centered view, frequently. 

Words Are Expressions of Thought.  Max Muller, the German-born Philologist said, “The words is the thought incarnate.”  Every word that we speak has its own history.  It was conditioned out of some event or series of events in our lives.

Words Are Revelations of Character.  James sees and expresses what each of us needs to observe and acknowledge regarding human behavior.  “Religion that does not rule the speech is a failure and a fraud.”  Through the fire of the tongue, the fire of strife is ignited, and the soul is thereby poisoned by the input of an unruly tongue.

James refers to the tongue as being like a wild beast that needs taming.  It is often fierce, and uncontrollable.  That is a picture of us without the influence of the Holy Spirit and the Grace and Love of God.  Many of the evils and the ravages of life find the beginning in an ‘uncontrolled tongue.’

I know that I’m dangerously close to meddling and will discuss this more in the next devotional but for today, I will pause.  In the next devotional we will consider types of tongues that need to be tamed and hopefully find a pathway to victory.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

PURE RELIGION – Part 2…


James 1:21-27 – “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  NASB

Today let us consider some of the characteristics of Pure Religion as we seek to demonstrate that quality in our own lives. 

Pure Religion Hears and Obeys God.  The action of their lives comes from the condition of their heart.  Their response to what is happening around them is rooted in Christ living within their hearts rather than what someone thinks about them.  Their lives are marked by obedience rather than sacrifice or demonstration for personal benefit or acclaim.

Pure Religion Rejoices in Jesus.  That person attributes to God, the true prominence and status of being the Almighty and Living God.  They recognize Him as the One True God.  They realize that without Him there is no hope, no life, no victory, no eternal life.  This person rejoices in the reality that they are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus.  They rejoice because of God’s Covenant and Faithfulness.  They desire to be like Jesus in all things and at all times. 

Pure Religion comes only through the New Birth.  It cannot be learned or earned it is a Gift of God, through the Grace of God.  It is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind.  The words of Jesus in John 3:3 resonate, “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   They are dead to sin and alive unto God through the Blood of Jesus and the Grace of God.  They are being transformed not conformed.

Those living a sham and are phony reveal that some professing Christianity may achieve a certain sense of satisfaction out of fooling many or most people.  That cannot be easy because they are acting as they do for appearance, not because of the true desire of their heart.  I have learned that those living in pretense will eventually reveal their true character and nature.  They fail to keep themselves untarnished by the world and eventually will find it impossible to resist temptation.

A person may pretend all their earthly life and be accepted by most as a genuine Christian. They may be highly esteemed and deemed as one who exhibits Pure Religion, but no matter how many are deceived, God will never be deceived.  God is not mocked!

Heaven is for the pure in heart.  The question for you and me is which of the characters of this parable most truly represent who we are at this time?  Is our religion pure or does it give place to some of the other characteristics?  If we read Matthew 25:31-46, where will we find ourselves in this picture?  Is our religion pure or impure?  Only you and I can answer that question for ourselves.  God knows and we know or if we will honestly examine our hearts and lives, we will see clearly. 

If we are not manifesting Pure Religion, I urge each of us to run to the Cross and cry out for God’s mercy and submit ourselves to Him and His will, today. 

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

PURE RELIGION…


James 1:21-27 – “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  NASB

It is not difficult to discern that the world is a religious world.  It really is but not necessarily in a good way.  The word ‘Religion’ carries a warehouse full of meanings, some negative and some positive depending on the person and their experiences in this life.  It has different meanings to virtually everyone, but the Bible tells us there are ‘two kinds’ of religion.  There is Pure Religion and Impure Religion.  The only question is which do we follow?

Throughout the Word of God, we are given a clear picture of what Pure Religion is and how it functions.  We are also given a clear indication of what Impure Religion is and how it functions.  There is example after example of both, revealed in the lives and actions of biblical characters.

There are those who make no pretense about their religion and openly embrace worship and live in a manner as to demonstrate they do not serve the Living God of All Creation.  Then there are those who live with masks on and their life is a sham or a pretense.  They are living a lie and trying to deceive everyone, including God and themselves.  Finally, there is Pure Religion, the Pure in Heart.  These are those who worship and serve God with a whole heart.  They worship and serve Him in spirit and truth. They are consistent and the same no matter the circumstance or situation.  They don’t have to be pumped, primed, and pampered to look or act in a certain way, it is who they are. 

The Pure in Heart demonstrate a character and nature that flows out of their relationship and oneness with Jesus.  In order to illustrate the contrast, I would like for us to consider the parable of Luke 10:30-35 – The Good Samaritan.  It is a fascinating illustration of the contrast between Pure Religion and Impure Religion. 

  • The Thieves represent the world and make no pretense about their religion.  They are thieves and living for themselves.
  • The Priest and the Levite represent those who are living a sham and a pretense.  They pretend to be something they are not. 
  • The Samaritan represents the true Body of Christ or Pure Religion.  He does what he does not out of show or convenience but because of a condition of the heart.  It is who he is.  He does not live for show but reaches out from a heart of compassion and love.

The only question is which example is a reflection of who we are.  I want to discuss this a bit more so we will pause here and pick this up tomorrow and talk about the characteristics of Pure Religion.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus.