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Vision Baptist Church Alpharetta, Georgia

Vision Baptist Church Alpharetta, Georgia

Vision Baptist Church Alpharetta, Georgia
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Another devotional from the past well worth thinking about today! Genesis 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Sarai has been an incredible wife. She was ready to suffer and die for her husband when they visited powerful people. She is ready to serve him and do whatever is best for him. I Peter 3 says she called him lord. Now in this passage, she sees that she can’t have children. She knows that her husband desperately wants children. She offers her maid and tells her husband to sleep with her. If Abram had had a brain, he would have realized what a wonderful wife he had. He would also have realized that he was in a test. If he loved his wife, he would not betray her that way. He would tell her that she was worth more to him than having children. Men can be so stupid so many times. Just because she says, it doesn’t mean she wants you to do it. Don’t […]
This is a post from my devotions from way before that I am throwing in here for our edification. God taught Adam. Then Adam taught his children. Genesis 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Great instructions about the clean and unclean animals are found in Leviticus 11. That will be years after this chapter, but Noah already knew about clean and unclean animals. So much of what we find in the Bible is not showing all the details. How did Abel know what offering God expected and demanded? Why would God get angry with Cain if he did the best he knew how and could? The answer is that God taught Adam and Eve lots of things that aren’t written in the Scripture but revealed in little tidbits all through. For example, as Noah prepares to build an ark to save the world he is told to take on a certain number of clean animals compared to other. What were clean animals? What were unclean animals? I think it is fair to assume that Adam […]
II John 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. The commandment that John was giving to the church was that they should love one another. When they loved one another then they would be obeying the commandments. They had been taught this from the beginning. When I love God I want to do what pleases God. When I love God I will live to serve and love others and not myself. Love is the opposite of self. When I am thinking of myself I am not loving you. John challenged the believers to love and please God. Love one another. Express love. Be kind. That is what happens when we love God and obey Him! Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash
I Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. As believers, we are not to live out our days in the desires of men. We are no longer like other men. We are born again, new creatures, sons of God, and we desire to love and serve God. As new creatures, it is our heart's desire to please God. We have lived enough of the other life. We have walked in sin and wickedness. We know what it produced. This word lasciviousness means “behavior completely lacking in moral restraint, usually with the implication of sexual immorality.” The word was used to speak of promiscuous sexual behavior. Lusts refer to […]
Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. Do you realize what this verse is saying. The law made nothing perfect. What the law did was get us to a better hope. The law showed us our sin. The law showed us our need. When we saw our need we then got close to God and asked Him for His mercy and love. It was God being good to us. You will never be able to obey enough rules to please God. Pleasing God is not about obeying rules. Pleasing God is realizing that He loves you in spite of your failures. He loves you because He is good, not because you are good. So stop with keeping the law and trust God for what He did for us. He paid our sin debt. He offers the free gift of salvation! Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash
James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Envy and strife exist when we lie against the truth. We reject God's truth. We turn from Him and live in this world following after the devil himself. We live according to our senses instead of our spirit. This envy and strife confuse the brothers of the church. This envy and strife cause sin to happen. I need to learn to quit pushing myself forward and to push others forward. I need to stop thinking of how I want to be recognized and to recognize others. I need to believe and act on the truth that God loves me without me pushing and shoving in an attempt to get to the front. I am recognized by Him without all of this selfishness. Let's check our hearts and see what is happening in them. Let's be sure that we are loving God and not ourselves. Let's be sure that we recognize these ugly sins […]
I Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. Peter explained to the slaves of his day that they should respectfully submit to their masters, owners. They were to show this respectful submission not only to those that were good to them but to even the rough ones. The word froward refers to someone who is unscrupulous and dishonest, crooked! We no longer live in a world of slavery, here in the USA! However, we all do have supervisors, bosses, people in charge of us that we are to show respect to for their position. We are to be respectfully submissive. We are to obey them. We are to do that even if they are not the good and gentle ones. I think that as believers we can see that we serve Jesus and His will not the will of our supervisor. It is God's will that I learn to do right and show respect to the person that I answer to at work. Wow, the Word of God is so practical and meets our needs. It answers questions about our everyday life. It […]
Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. When God chose the spiritual leadership of Israel, He always chose a certain type of person. He chose those that could have compassion. He chose those that would realize that they were not so special themselves. The leaders that God chose were themselves people that needed God's grace and mercy. They were compassed about with their own ignorance, their own infirmity. I find it hard to understand how I and so many others became such hard spiritual leaders. We became harsh. We looked for fault to criticize. We were quick to see it in the life of others and slow to see our own. We had a good heart. We wanted to be doing right. We thought we were helping people, but instead, we were just punishing them. There was little to no compassion. There was little recognition of our own failures. This is not what God wanted us doing. I want God to help me express His love towards people. I want God to use me to help people because I understand […]
Hebrews 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. Do you see it? God was grieved, hurt, sad! The people were making bad decisions. They were making them in their heart. They didn't know His ways and didn't follow them. The writer of Hebrews put the problem on them, that generation. He said they were making the mistake. He said they were ignoring His ways. He said the fact that they were doing this hurt Him. God loves you and wants the best for you. He wants you to choose to love and obey Him. He is hurt when you do not! Believe today. Do not, in any way, try to blame God for your willful rebellion! You are choosing!
I Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. This verse confused many for many years. I knew that having babies wasn't the way a woman got saved so what did it mean. Then when I finally saw it, I was so excited that this became one of my favorite verses. It was woman that brought death into the world. By listening to Satan and being deceived by him, the woman condemned the human race. Then the Lord in His mercy and grace promised the woman that she would have a baby, a seed, a man, that would stomp the head of the serpent. The woman gives birth to the promised one, the Messiah. In a foolish act, a sin, she had lost all of her dignity. She had brought death and destruction on all. Now in a moment of grace and promise, she has gotten it all back and is in even better standing. That woman that brought death was called Eve, the mother of all living. Her dignity was restored, she was saved, rescued. God is so good to all of us. He made a way […]
I Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. They were already doing this encouraging of each other, but Paul wanted to remind them to continue doing so. They needed to be comforting each other. They needed to be edifying each other or building each other up in the Lord. So many times Christians get together to criticize and hurt. They compare and complain. Paul wanted them comforting, building up, and encouraging. What would happen if you got together with others that believed in you? Church would be so much fun and such a blessing if we just put this into practice. We have been doing it a little. Let's up our effort to be comforters, encouragers, and those that edify or build up!
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; All that was against you is gone. It has disappeared from the record. It will not be brought up again. He has blotted out your sins and failures. He has taken away anything that could have been used against you. He has nailed it to the cross. He has set us free. All of this is true for you if you will simply believe God. Believe that Jesus died for you. Believe that He has already paid your sin debt. Believe and enjoy forgiveness. If you are saved, and the devil or you keep dragging your past before your heart and mind then memorize this verse and remember what He has done for you!
Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. Paul was dealing with a problem that happens still today. The people were seeking their own will. They were doing what they wanted and not seeking God's will. Each man got up each day with a desire to take care of himself and his family instead of seeking first the kingdom of God. Now is a good time to evaluate our lives. Do we live for Him? Is that our desire? Are we seeking to use our life and all that we have and are for His kingdom and His purposes? It is easy to slip into a lifestyle that is very similar to those that do not even consider Jesus Christ, the lost! We do not want to do that!
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. The church is a body, an assembly, a congregation. We get together to work and serve. This isn't happening out there somewhere in the wild, blue yonder, that we never see or experience. Rather we are together. We need each other. Every joint, every person, every member has something that it brings to the local body, the church or assembly of believers. Each one works doing what God designed that person to do. This means that each has a part to do that they can do better than anyone else. As every part works, does what it was designed to do, then the body increases or grows. There is love expressed and love felt. The whole body is working together in the will of God. Do not take your assembly, your church, lightly. You are an integral part. You are needed. God is using you!
Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. The Scriptures make it clear that all have sinned. It makes it clear that there is none good enough to get to heaven. Mankind needed to realize that he had sinned so he could accept the promise. Jesus will save all those that believe. God has shown man that he is a sinner. He has shown man that he is unable to live well enough to get to heaven. He has shown man his helplessness. The Bible shows us that we are sinking and dying in sin with no hope but Christ. Once we recognize our sin and the fact that we can't merit salvation in any way at all, then the promise is available for us. We realize we have sinned and can't fix ourselves. We then believe the promise, and He saves us if we will just believe Him! Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
II Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. The question is do you want to give. God is not asking you to do something that you can’t-do. God is not even asking you to do something you do not want to do. He wants you to love Him so much that you want to give. What blesses the Lord is your desire to love and please Him. He wants you to desire to give. Notice the willing mind part! A gift given out of necessity or due to force is no gift and no love. God is not asking anything like that from you. He wants you to want to give. Then He wants you to give proportionately. He is not looking at what someone else gives and comparing it to what you give. He is looking at your heart, your willingness, your desire. He is not asking the impossible. He is just asking you to do what you want to do because you love Him and want to do it. So when it comes time for you to be […]
II Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. God had given Paul this ministry. He knew that people didn't know about God, Jesus, or salvation. He handled the Word of God honestly. He knew that if the gospel was hidden, it was hidden to the lost. He knew that it was Satan who was blinding the hearts and minds of the lost. Paul went preaching Jesus and not himself. He knew that God had commanded the light to shine out of the darkness. This light was to give the knowledge of the glory of God. He was but a weak vessel, but he was carrying the gospel of Jesus. He might be troubled and persecuted, but it was worth it. He was only living out what Jesus had already lived. He was living for Jesus and them. He was teaching and preaching for their sakes. He wanted the glory of God to shine in their hearts. So no matter how hard things got he knew it was God Himself that kept him going. He spent time with Christ in prayer and meditation. He […]
II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. In Christ, there is no limit. Notice that all the promises are yes and amen, or so! But the key words are “in Him!” The promises of God are in Christ! In Christ we have salvation. In Christ we have victory. None of the promises are true in us. None are true in our power or ability. Do you realize that it is all Jesus? Are you focused on Him and all He has for you? Look to Jesus. Continually focus on Him and what He has done for you and what He is doing for you! Now go back through the Bible and look for all those promises and realize that tGod has given them to you in Christ. Yes, they all apply to you. They are all for you! Live in victory!
I Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. God has opened a great, effectual, door of ministry for Paul. He is excited about the opportunities that God has given him. However, he does know that with opportunity comes obstacles. He knows that with every advantage the Lord gives us we will find adversaries. So as you launch forth in your service and ministry to the Lord watch for those open doors. Watch for Him to do great things and give you opportunities that you could never have hoped for but at the same time know that there will be trouble. Some get discouraged because there are problems. Problems are what we should expect. Always be watching and praying. Always be going through doors but do not let problems discourage but rather encourage. There are so many problems or obstacles because the prospect or opportunity to do something for God is so great.
I Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. This is one of those verses that reminds me that I better not be judging anyone. We see someone fall into sin. We immediately reacted in astonishment. We can't believe that anyone would do such a thing. This verse reminds us that we are all vulnerable. I shouldn't get so proud and lifted up that I think certain things are beneath me. I shouldn't think that I am stronger than my brother in Christ. I should with love and compassion look at the one that has fallen hoping to restore him rather than condemn him. Nothing is beyond us. No one is immune to sin. All can fall. That is why we live watching and praying to not fall into temptation.
I Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Have you ever thought about the fact that you can do nothing that God didn't give you the ability to do? Every ability, every gift that we have is from God. Since God gave it to us, we shouldn't be bragging about having it. We didn't earn it. We didn't come up with it ourselves. God gave it to us. Since God gave it to us, we should be using it for Him and His purposes. It is a gift from God for His service. I shouldn't think like I am blessing God by giving Him something that is mine. I should rather remember that He gave it to me and I will honor Him with what He gave me. Can you sing? Can you administrate? Whatever you can do it is to be used for Him. It not to be used to make you feel better about yourself or to think of yourself as better than others. He gave us what we […]
Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. The Roman church was doing great about serving and obeying God. They were living out their faith. They developed a wonderful testimony. This made Paul very happy. He still had one lesson for them to work on; study good don't learn evil. They didn't need to figure out sin and what it was all about. We seem to love to dig into sin to preach against it. They were told to work on doing right and stay out of and away from sin and wrong. That is still good advice for all of us. Let's trust God for what He is going to do in our lives and ministries. Let's study Him, His love, His grace, His salvation and not be so worried about understanding what isn't true and right!
Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. If you work for it then you owe it, salvation! This verse seems so wild compared to common religious thought. Don't work just believe. It is your faith that counts not your work. Salvation is an act of grace. I am afraid that we are too keyed in on what we do to like this verse very much. We would say keep working at it, hold on, persevere. We would place so much emphasis on what we do that we fail to see what He did. Salvation by grace is relaxing knowing that He saved you and loves you. None of that is based on what you are doing on a day to day basis. He just loves you so relax!
Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. The Jews had now rejected the gospel. They had turned away from Christ and His teaching. Now Paul would go to the Gentiles. He knew that as he preached to them that they would hear the gospel. The Jews had too many built-in prejudices to accept what Jesus preached. They wanted it to be their way. They refused to believe the truth even when clearly presented. The truth would mean that they had been wrong on so much for so long. We can go preaching knowing that they will listen. We can have confidence that those that have never heard receive the truth better than those that know so much that they proclaim themselves ignorant.
Acts 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. Word was out. Paul was teaching people that they didn't have to keep the old law, the rules. The old guard wanted everyone to walk after the customs. They thought that all should do what they had always done. Paul didn't teach that way. They wanted people to keep on being circumcised even though that was never the point of the circumcision. Paul not teaching the same was upsetting everything. Do you realize that salvation is not about what we do but what He did? We, too, often want to follow too many rules or rather we want to put our rules on other people. Word spreads when you do not say the same thing as the old guard. Paul didn't seem to care. Let's teach truth because it is Biblical not custom just because it is customary for us to do something!

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