Can An Enemy Change Their Ways?

S. O. A. P.

Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!

S-cripture:

Philippians 3:18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

O-bservation:

St. Paul had just told the people at the church in Philippi to keep watching their leaders for direction, because many people were actually enemies of the cross of Christ..

A-pplication:

One of the most difficult things to walk away from after deciding to follow Jesus is “OLD FRIENDS.” Try as you will, many of them will not follow Jesus. Of course we are directed in the New Testament to leave our past behind and run to our bright future in Jesus. But for some that’s difficult to do, because some of those relationships have lasted for years. Yet they are the very ones who are now enemies of the cross of Christ. Some of my pre-Jesus friends followed Jesus with me, but the ones who wouldn’t I left behind because they kept my eyes off of Christian leaders who could help me grow in Jesus. That’s what I wanted most. I really wanted to know and grow in Jesus. I guess what I want to say is, don’t take too long deciding, “Can An Enemy Change Their Ways?”

P-rayer:

Dear Jesus, This AM I’m thinking of folks I had to leave behind in order to follow You. I’m glad I did. Even though I left them, I know You didn’t. I expect to see some of them, one day, in heaven. Amen
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Climate Change

S. O. A. P.

Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!

S-cripture:

Psalm 119:90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

O-bservation:

The Psalmist addresses the Lord and tells Him that His faithfulness has always endured for time and eternity and that the earth, which the Lord established, continues from the beginning of time until now. When a follower of Jesus like myself reads this, some of us think about “Climate Change.”

A-pplication:

I’m pretty sure that you’re like me when I say, “Wow, I wish I could be as faithful as our great God is!” Some Christians balk at the idea that you and I can somehow change the climate partly because of this verse. In other words, this passage says that what God has set in order has endured. It also leads one to believe that what God has made to endure in the past He will cause to make endure in the future. Nowhere does it say that God is going to need humans to set it back in order because He never thought in any way that humans could alter it. NO! God, from the beginning of time, knew the beginning from the ending and yet caused the earth He created to endure. Does this mean Christians shouldn’t be concerned about climate change? I don’t think it does. What God said was good when He created it is a mandate for you and me to keep it good until He returns. But He doesn’t need my help. I need His help when it comes to “Climate Change.”

P-rayer:

Dear Jesus, On this beautiful morning, I’m reminded that nothing is too difficult for You. I’m also reminded that you will make a new heaven and a new earth one day. That’s right. You will. I won’t! I’m thankful for that. Amen
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There Must Be Change

S. O. A. P.

Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!

S-cripture:

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

O-bservation:

St. Paul tells all confessing Christians that if they truly have confessed Christ as their Savior, they must turn from their former acts of wickedness to follow Christ. In other words, “There Must Be Change!”

A-pplication:

I was raised in a small church community as a boy, and I can remember praying in a Sunday service for family members of people in our church who needed the Lord. This happened regularly. I also remember the day one of those we had prayed for came in the doors of the church, and everyone knew it. We’d pray all service that they would respond to the altar call and give their heart to Christ. When they did answer the altar call, our little church family would begin to praise the Lord with shouts of “Amen!” After the service, we would all gather around and bless them and pray over them. Something happened in those days that was remarkable. They were held accountable to live a changed life along with the confessing Christians in our church. No longer did they operate in their old ways because all things had become new! We all knew, as this verse mandates, that when you follow Christ, “There Must Be Change!”

P-rayer:

Dear Jesus, Today, I pray with all my heart for family members of those in our own church family here in Miami, Florida, who need the Lord. I pray that they would be compelled to change their minds and decide to follow Christ through our joint prayers. In so doing, I’m praying that they will truly change their old ways. Amen
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Confession Is Good For The Soul

S. O. A. P.

Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!

S-cripture:

Nehemiah 9:2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

O-bservation:

This is the story of the Israeli people who had returned to Jerusalem over many years from their captivity in Babylon. Towards the end of their return, Ezra the prophet came to lead them back to their faith in God, as many had strayed from the Lord to follow the foreign gods of the Babylonians. Nehemiah then returned to repair the walls around Jerusalem. And when it was complete, Ezra read the Books of the Law. The people wept in sorrow for what they had done. This passage tells us that there came a point when the leaders of the land stood and confessed their sins aloud to God.

A-pplication:

If you continue to read this book to the end, you see that after they confessed their sin before the Lord, the people repented and made promises to the Lord concerning what changes they would make. A true Old Testament revival of sorts took place around them. But nothing happened until they CONFESSED their sins to the Lord. Confession precedes repentance. If a person continues to say, “I’ve done nothing wrong,” or they blame their actions on someone else, change will never happen. But when CONFESSION is offered to the Lord, everything that follows can foster real change because “Confession Is Good For The Soul.”

P-rayer:

Dear Jesus, This AM, I want to begin with confession. And I’m not trying to sound spiritual, but most mornings, I can’t think of any known sin I’ve committed. Yet I’m asking You to reveal to me anything that would displease You. I want to make it right. I love You, my God! Amen  
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Just One Look

S. O. A. P.

Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional!

S-cripture:

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

O-bservation:

John the Baptist was related to Jesus. At the time of this event, John was much better known than Jesus was. John’s purpose, as stated in Scripture, was to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He was to preach repentance and prepare the way for the Lord. On this particular day, Jesus was revealed to Israel. John’s announcement was simple, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

A-pplication:

If people would stop and take “Just One Look” at Jesus, they could literally be changed in one second. I can’t tell you how many times over the past nearly ten years of writing these daily posts that I’ve used the old song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” to illustrate a point. So much of our trouble has to do with distraction. When we get our eyes off of Jesus and onto ourselves, our jobs, or other people, that’s called a distraction. And once we’re focused on anyone who is just as limited as we are, we’re going to struggle. However, when we focus on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, every other challenge we have seems small compared to our loving Savior. Sometimes it starts with “Just One Look.”

P-rayer:

Dear Jesus, This AM, I’ve become weary of all of the distractions. I know that when I take my eyes off of You, trouble seems to multiply. That’s why I will focus on You! Amen
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