All Stories in Spiritual Growth

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Judging Righteously

Romans 2:1-23 There are only a few things we are permitted to judge according to the Scriptures. We are permitted to judge ourselves, to judge or know others by their fruits and to judge the times. We are warned by Paul and Jesus of the danger of judging others. The reason it is so dangerous to judge another is because if we misjudge or accuse another, we open ourselves up to the very same things we are judging in another person. We can judge a person's actions, but we cannot judge their motivations. Only God can know the hearts of men. Sometimes the Lord may give us discernment about what is in another person's heart, but this knowledge is not to cause us to judge, but instead to cause us to pray for that person. read more

The Cycle of Unbelief

Romans 1:18-32 This passage in Romans gives the cycle of unbelief. Unbelief is the root of all sin, and we see the progressive degradation of sin that befalls a person who does not believe in Jesus. The first step in unbelief is the denial that God exists. People often ask me if God is merciful, how could He send anyone to hell who has never heard the gospel? My response is always that even nature reveals there is a God; no one will go to hell unless they choose to. Originally hell was reserved for the devil and his angels, but because of the Fall there will be people in hell now who have chosen not to believe. Paul concludes that such people are without excuse because the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen. Paul then shares the cycle of unbelief and how it always leads to eternal death instead of eternal life. People who remain in unbelief do the following: read more

To the Jew First

Romans 1:1-17 Jesus made it clear while He ministered near the Galilee and in Jerusalem that He came to minister first to the house of Israel. This was His first charge by the Father. He carried the message of the kingdom of God to the Jew first. We have the same commission Jesus had, but many of us have forgotten to go to the Jew with the liberating message of the gospel. Paul in this passage reminds us of our commission to the Jew first (v. 16). read more

Snake Bit

Acts 28:1-31 We saw yesterday how 276 souls aboard Paul's ship were spared. In today's reading we see how Paul's life was spared. All those on board the ship swam to the island of Malta, where they were well received by the natives there. There was a chill in the air, and when Paul gathered sticks for a fire, a snake bit him. No harm came to Paul, and this was a great witness to all present. read more

The Message of Angels

Acts 27:21-44 Something I've noticed in reading through the Bible every year are the things angels say when they visit us on earth. Over and over again they greet those on earth with the words, "Fear not." We remember the words of the heavenly hosts as they announced the birth of Jesus: "Fear not; for behold, unto you is born in the city of David a Savior?.?.?.?" The words of Gabriel to Joseph and Mary were "Fear not." In today's reading in Acts we see the angel appearing to Paul as he is being transported to prison on a boat that was encountering heavy seas. The angel said, "Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar; and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee" (v. 24, KJV). read more

Finding a Good Thing

Proverbs 18:22 Wives are good things. Some women may object to being called a "thing," but it is a good thing when a man finds a wife and enters married life. Not everyone will marry, and I was beginning to think none of my boys would ever get married. From the time they were small boys I prayed for godly mates for them. Now they are all married to godly wives, and we have grandchildren. All three were married in a span of nine months. I share this with singles that are looking for a mate to illustrate how fast things can change in their lives. read more

The Fruit of Our Mouths

Proverbs 18:20-21 One of my most hated tasks as a homemaker is cleaning out the refrigerator. I always dread it because I come up with some pretty nasty-looking and smelling items. Some fruits have turned into penicillin. There is nothing more smelly or nasty than rotten fruit. Bugs and flies are attracted to rotting fruit. Today's proverb tells us, "A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." read more

The Morning Hour

Psalm 5:1-12 Some people are morning people, and others are not. We have a Russian son whom I know not to talk to until he has had his first cup of coffee. People who are not morning people are usually a little resistant when they hear testimonies of people who spend their first waking hour with the Lord. To such people I share that they also can spend their first hour of the morning with the Lord because morning begins at midnight. Both the midnight hour and the later morning hours are precious to God. read more

A Good Conscience

Acts 24:1-27 God created man to be directed by the Spirit. When He breathed into Adam, he became a living soul. The image of God was indelibly imprinted in Adam's being. The breath of God was the very Spirit of God infusing into the flesh body of Adam. That spirit sometimes is referred to as the core of our being. The soul part of man is his mind, will and emotions. read more

The Glory and the Lifter of My Head

Psalm 3:1-8 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head" (v. 3, KJV). We sing a chorus taken from this psalm often in our church, and every time I sing it I feel strength rise up within me. The proverb reading today asks who can bear a broken spirit. There are so many today with broken spirits who need the Lord to be the glory and the lifter of their heads. The Lord came to heal the brokenhearted, and only He has the power to do this. When we feel lower than a snake's belly, the Lord comes and lifts our heads up. read more

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