September 30, 2019

BIBLE READING: I JOHN 1

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

The subject of this book is the Word of God, which we find immediately in the first verse. Before we proceed, I want to point out some things we are told about the Word of God.

First, it is the ETERNAL WORD. It was “from the beginning”.

Second, it is the SPOKEN WORD. In verses 1, 3, and 5 we find this phrase, “we have heard”.

Third, it is the VISIBLE WORD. Verse three says that which “we have seen”.

Finally, it is the VITAL WORD. Verse one says that it is the Word “of life”

So verse three teaches that we declare the Word of God to others, and through that we have fellowship with each other based on that Word. And based on the Word of God, we find out that we can have Fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.

* 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Can you imagine that? You and I get to have fellowship with the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world. The way we get to do that is through the Word of God. The more we get into the Word of God, the more Fellowship we are able to have with God. The Word of God is how we get to know Him. Through the Word is how we get to fellowship with Him. Through the Word we find how to please Him. When you first begin to date your future mate, you got to know them through conversation. The Word of God is God’s conversation to us. It is the “VITAL WORD” because the more we are in the Word, the more we fellowship with God. And The more we fellowship with God, the more life we have.
* John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

September 27, 2019

BIBLE READING: TITUS 3

Titus 3:3-5
[3] For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. [4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

I want to ask you to do something today as you read this devotional, and my point is to not open up old wounds, or to hurt you in any way. What I would love for you to do is to just for a moment remember what life was like before you accepted Jesus. What kind of person were you? Were you happy? Were you fulfilled? Did you have hope? Did you have joy? Paul paints a pretty accurate picture of the type of people we were before salvation. Notice the different adjectives he uses to describe life before Christ. He said we were foolish, that means not understanding, or unwise. God’s Word tells us that the things of God are a mystery to the unsaved person. we couldn’t understand the things of God. This passage tells us that we were disobedient. That is an understatement isn’t it? It says we were deceived, blind to our sin, blind to our need for a savior, deceived in every area of our life by Satan. It goes on to say serving divers lusts. That word serving literally means to be in bondage, to be a slave. We couldn’t do what was right even if we had wanted to, we were literally a slave to sin and our flesh. Next, it says living in malice, and envy. This means that we had made our home, we were comfortable in wickedness, depravity, and jealousy. It states we were hateful, and hated others. That is a pretty depressing picture of our past. You hear people say that we shouldn’t look behind us. That we should focus on the future, but sometimes maybe it does us good to remind ourselves exactly what Jesus saved us from. I love how verse four starts “But after that”. You would think verse four, after that laundry list of evil would say “But after that” God wanted nothing to do with us. Instead it says “But after that” the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared. Isn’t that incredible, that after that description of who we were, God still wanted to have a relationship with us? As we finish our devotion today let’s just take a minute to reflect, and let’s think about where we would be today, just how far our sin would have taken us had Jesus not shown us mercy and kindness. You’ve heard the old saying “I’m not what I ought to be but thank God I’m not what I used to be. Looking at verse three I think we can all agree with that. I’m thankful today, that despite my past He’s given me a blessed hope for my future.

Frank Newsome

September 26, 2019

BIBLE READING TITUS 2

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We all know the enormous price Jesus paid for us to have a relationship with Him. Here is a reminder of how much it really cost.

1 Peter 1:18-19
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Wow, what a tremendous price it was, and Hebrews tells us it was “the joy that was set before Him.” What a Savior! We all know we can never pay Jesus back for this, nor does He expect that, but I believe that this verse teaches us that there is something He wants us to do in response to this unspeakable gift.

1. He wants us to be pure people- notice that phrase again in verse 14 of Titus 2 “purify unto himself.” This word purify is the Greek word “Katharizo” and it means to cleanse, like a vine cleansed by pruning, and so fitted to bear fruit. God’s wants you to grow as a Christian, He wants you to mature. He wants us to allow Him to prune away those things that stunt our spiritual growth and allow the Holy Spirit to work and have freedom to clean us up, and then begin to produce fruit through us. Are you pure?

2. He wants us to be peculiar people- this word peculiar doesn’t mean what we typically think of. When I hear the word peculiar, I think strange or weird. The Greek word for this is “Periousios” and it means being beyond usual, one that is special, selected and purchased by God for His own possession.

2 Timothy 2:21
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
God literally wants us to be sanctified, or “set-apart” We are supposed to be different. There should be a difference in a Christian’s desires and attitude. We all know this truth, but how many of us actually are “peculiar”? I said earlier this word didn’t man strange or weird but thinking about it when the world looks at us, we should probably seem strange or weird to them. Are you peculiar?

3. He wants us to be passionate people – well I’ve given the Greek for the other 2 might as well make it 3 for 3. The Greek word for zealous is “Zeloo” and it means to burn with zeal, to be zealous in the pursuit of good. We are passionate about a lot of things but let’s be honest, are we that excited about living a pure and peculiar life? Paul is very clear as to the direction of our passion, and it’s not passion for our hobbies, or our careers, or even for our families. Although I don’t think there is anything wrong with being passionate about those things, Paul says we should be passionate about good works, passionate about loving people, and passionate about the gospel. Are you passionate?
Jesus wants us to be pure, peculiar, and passionate. A drop in the bucket compared to the price He paid for us.

Frank Newsome

September 25, 2019

BIBLE READING Titus 1:2

2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

I always love and am honored when Pastor Hawtree asks me to do a devotional. Verse 2 of Titus 1 is a beautiful verse, and yet it is a sobering verse as well. As a believer you and I have a hope that an unsaved person doesn’t have, the “Hope of eternal life.” Eternal life with Jesus is the substance of that hope. I know you’ve heard people say “How can you know for sure you are saved?” or “How do you know you will go to Heaven?” Well, Paul answers that question for us here. Ready? It’s deep, and theological. The answer is because God promised it. God made the promise, and the verse tells us that God cannot lie. The trustworthiness of God is the security of that hope. That’s an encouraging promise, and how wonderful to know we can trust God, but today I want to focus on the last part of this verse “before the world began.”
Just for a moment, try to imagine with me, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as they decide to proceed with the idea of creation. God in His Omniscience knows that with creation there will one day need to be redemption. His foreknowledge allows Him to see the rebellion of Satan, the fall of man, and the total depravity of mankind, but they follow through with their plan. God, knowing what creation would cost decided, it’s worth the price. Redemption was God’s plan all along, living forever with you and me in Heaven was God’s plan all along. Sure enough, man follows through with his end of the deal, he sinned, and God puts in motion His plan of redeeming and restoring mankind.
Genesis 3:15
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
That verse takes on a different feel when we think that the Holy Trinity counted the cost before creation and still proceeded with it. It brings me to a question that may not have a right answer, but here goes. Did God prove His love to us more with the gift of His Son to die for our sins, or did He show His love more in the fact that He created us in the first place? Do me a favor and meditate on this question today. Just how much does God really love you? I think the answer is, more than we will ever know.

Frank Newsome

September 24, 2019

BIBLE READING: II TIMOTHY 4

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

“THE TIME WILL COME”
Well, the time has come. It’s here. It is amazing how up to date the Bible is.

“WILL NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE”
In many circles, people do not want to hear doctrine at all, let alone sound doctrine. They want to be made to feel good. They do not want to be made to feel guilty, and let’s face it, sound doctrine can do just that. The truth might hurt sometimes, but it is still the truth. People are not patient for it today. They will not “endure” that.

“HEAP TO THEMSELVES”
I do not know if you have ever thought about this in this passage, but one of the signs of last days is that this passage tells us that people will “heap” to themselves all various kinds of false teachers. Do you realize that modern technology is how they will do it. You can get on the Internet now, or literally on iTunes, and get websites, blogs, Instagram’s, and podcasts of all sorts. We have people that are listening to so many different teachers, and yet they are not getting any smarter about the truth. Now, all of these things can be used for good also, but people that are confused can now become really confused because they have access to so many various teachers. They will keep going through teachers until they find someone that says what they want them to say, or makes them feel like they want to feel.

“SHALL BE TURNED TO FABLES”
This passage teaches that as people literally binge on false teaching, they will gradually go further and further away from the truth and get closer and closer to “fables”. This word fables is the Greek word “muthos”. It is where we get our word myth. That means it sounds good, it is entertaining, it is interesting, but it’s just not reality. It is just a story. That’s what much of Bible teaching is nowadays. It’s idealistic, and it may teach moral lessons, but it is just a story. Yes, the time will come, and it has already come. Be careful out there. Remember, Satan will throw a lot of things in your path, even good things to take you away from the truth.

September 23, 2019

BIBLE READING: II TIMOTHY 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Well, there is good news, and bad news. Anytime someone has ever said that to me, I have always said I want the bad news first. I feel like if I get the good news first, it is all downhill from there. But if I get the bad news first, there’s nowhere to go but up. Paul was an honest man. He always “shot straight”. So here we go:

BAD NEWS FIRST: THESE ARE PERILOUS DAYS
This word “perilous” means dangerous. That is certainly true. This is a dangerous time for marriage. It is a dangerous time for our country. It is a dangerous time for temptation. It is a dangerous time for apathy. The more influence Satan has on our culture, the more dangerous it will be. Everywhere you look there’s danger. As a Christian, everything we see and every influence on us, Satan can use for our harm. If you’re reading this in the morning time, please know that for the rest of the day you are in danger. Satan is waiting for you everywhere you go. Every time you turn around, he’s trying to hurt you. Through technology, Satan has made temptation so available and so commonly accepted. But remember, that is the bad news.

GOOD NEWS: THESE ARE THE LAST DAYS
As dangerous as these days are, it is encouraging to know that on the other side of these days is heaven. This will not last forever. Satan will not have opportunity to prowl to and fro through the earth to try to ruin our families and lives. The fact that these times are so dangerous reminds us that these are the last days. The more dangerous they are, the closer we are. So, what are we to do about all this? Later in this chapter we are told because these are perilous times, and because these are the last days:

* 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Even when times are dangerous, we are to continue. Even though we are in the last days, we are to continue. Whatever comes, whatever happens, we are to just keep doing right. I encourage you today, it is dangerous out there, but just keep doing what God has encouraged us to do. Just keep continuing in the truth of God’s Word that we have been taught.