Weekly Devotions Post

Light over Darkness

Light over darkness is a symbol given for the Festival of Lights during Hanukkah. The beginning of the Festival of Lights was this last Thursday December 10th with the lighting of the menorah. The Hanukkah lights are lit at sundown and is generally placed in a window so it can be seen from outside the house. Sometimes the menorah is placed in a special location within the home. It is the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated the Greek Syrian army. The real miracle was the olive oil in the temple that lasted for eight days when there was only one day left of the supply of oil. Olive oil was used in the temple to light the menorah. [see Leviticus 24:2]. Olive oil was also used to anoint priests giving them the authority on behalf of God and the Holy Spirit [see Exodus 30:22-33].

The invading Greeks over the Jews would of been devastating because of the different social cultural beliefs such as monotheistic worship of a God verses polytheistic worship of many Gods. The root of all Jewish belief is to worship the one and only true God. Let’s consider the following quote in the Bible.

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

The menorah is meant to spread light to others with the center light being represented by God in the standard menorah, which has only 7 branches instead of nine that is used for Hanukkah. There is a separation between light and darkness. When one is in darkness they can not see where they are going. There is no specific direction and a person ends up stumbling along the path because there is not enough light to light their path. In Proverbs 4:18, it states that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” No one should hide the light that our Lord has given.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Luke 11:33

Light is needed to see where one is going. That is the importance of any candlestick, to light the path in which we walk. If you read further in Luke chapter 11 in verse 34-35, it states, “The light of the body is the eye: therefore, when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” Many Rabbi’s today, are saying that we despairingly need the light to shine over darkness during this year “Festival of Lights.” We are living in a time that is changing the way we live. Some call it a time of shaking things up. Whatever your belief, heed the warning of your eye if it is in the light or darkness. The true light today is in the face of Jesus Christ.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

As the Holiday Season is upon us, let us prepare our hearts for the Savior that was born in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ who is the light of the world, and the way towards peace with God and humanity. Let Christ’s light shine within our hearts today and always, for “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” [see 1 John 5:11].

The Mustard Seed

The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; Which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:31-32

Have you heard the story of the mustard seed? The mustard seed is the smallest seed, yet when it is planted it grows into a big tree. Does the size of a seed matter when it comes to Faith? No, the size of the seed does not matter. However, the right condition does matter. When a seed is exposed to the proper conditions such as light, water, and temperature it grows. What about Faith? How does Faith grow? First, we must establish what Faith is. Faith is conviction, assurance, and reliance upon Christ. In Hebrews 12:2, it states that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We must believe in who Jesus is and that He is risen from the dead, for if He is not risen, then our Faith is in vain [see 1 Corinthians 15:14].

How do we get Faith? The Bible tells us that Faith comes by hearing the word of God.   We can build our Faith by reading the word, or by hearing someone’s testimony of a miracle that has happen. The miracle of sight, the miracle of hearing, or the miracle of healing from some disease shows God’s faithfulness when we believe. Have you witness a miracle? It is always exciting to hear about a miracle, and or experience one for yourself.  Miracles are always possible with God.

In all four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we can read about wonderful healing and miracles. It all centers around the person of Jesus. God uses people who are full of faith to make miracles happen. Like Stephen in Acts 6:8, who was full of faith and power, and he did great wonders and miracles among the people. Jesus said on more than one occasion in the Bible that it was unbelief that kept the healing from manifesting itself. Just look at Matthew chapter 17:14-20, where a man brought his son who was mentally ill to the disciples and they could not heal him. Jesus asked for the boy to be brought to him, and he healed him. The disciples wondered why they could not heal the boy. This is what Jesus said.

Because of your unbelief; for I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20 KJV

Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen [see Hebrews 11:1]. Divided loyalty and indecision voids faith from working. This is usually the result of fear of failure. Sometimes we do not have patience and or willingness for the healing to take place. I once read about a woman who had a large goiter and she believed that God healed her. Everyone who knew her thought she was out of her mind because they could see that she was not healed, yet the healing took place one year later. The substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. . .she saw it, but those around her did not have faith to see her healed. No one knows why it took a year, but we do know that all things are possible with God [ see Matthew 19:26].

We can also glean some insight from James, the brother of Jesus. James said that faith without works is dead [see James 2:14-20]. James gave Abraham and his son Isaac as an example. Abraham was instructed by God to offer up his son on the alter as a sacrifice. When Abraham acted on what God told him, God provided a ram. Abraham was not divided in his loyalty to God even though he loved his son [see Genesis 22]. Each person is given a measure of faith and when we act upon it, we begin to grow and see the power of God. No matter what situation you are in, believe in the author and the finisher of our faith Jesus, and witness the wonder of miracles today. . .the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. Place it in God’s hand and believe in his provision. May your faith grow as big as the mustard tree.

Pleasant words . . .

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones

Proverbs 16:24

Ah! Pleasant words . . . sweet as honeycomb. Do you ever feel like your missing the honeycomb? Have you ever tasted the sweetness of the honeycomb. In Proverbs 24:13, states to eat the honey, because it is good. Honey has many benefits for the body since it is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can help lower blood pressure as well as lower triglycerides. Honey is also said to have healing properties to heal wounds and burns. A little honey can go a long way to healing our mind when we use pleasant words. Our mind is linked to our heart. Studies in science have shown that there are connections from the brain to the heart. The mind response to a threatening situation brings on stress where the body response is to increase blood pressure, heart rate, and perspiration. If the body is under constant stress, this puts the body at risk to side effects such as heart disease. Words can be toxic to our soul and produce negative results.

No one should have to endure constant put-down of negative statements or humiliating remarks. Yet, it seems to flow out of our mouth like water. This kind of water is not pure or clean. In the early 1800’s washing out the mouth with soap was punishment for profanity and lying. Today, profanity and lying seem to be almost commonplace. Profanity and lying lead to selfish desires in getting what you want. It also causes frequent interpersonal relationship problems. Sometimes we have to limit our exposure from people who have negative behavior so we do not become like them, which at times can be easy to do by just giving in. Let’s remember that the Bible states that it is the wicked with a proud countenance whose ways are always grievous, and his tongue is full of cursing and deceit and fraud [see Psalms 10:7].

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Proverb 18:21

Let us be careful of what fruit we are eating when it comes to the power of the tongue. Words can hurt and destroy an individual, or it can bring love and healing to an individual. Do not become ensnared by someones tongue. Stand back and take note, where or what is causing it. Gently rebuke words that are negative and withhold your own tongue from speaking evil. Proverb 21:23 states, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” That is the key to the tongue, to keep our soul from troubles. Use our tongue for good with pleasant words goes a long way towards healing for our mind and body.

Honesty, forgiveness, and liberty are found in Jesus because He bridged the gap of cleansing our heart towards purity, so we may have an open door to the Heavenly Father. We can not come to the Heavenly Father without the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The only way to cleanse the heart of behavior is to have faith in who Jesus is. Through Jesus we have deliverance, safety, healing, and forgiveness. This is what salvation means. There is no other name under heaven that we can be saved accept through Jesus Christ. When we accept that Jesus died for our sins, and that God raised Jesus from the dead, we have the answer to becoming whole in our body and mind.

It is a matter of believing in the gospel of Christ. What is the gospel of Christ? It is the work of Jesus on the cross and Jesus‘ resurrection from the dead that brings reconciliation between people and God. This is “Good News.” We all need some good news around the Holidays. We need to hear sweet words to bring healing to our souls and health to our bones. Christmas brings together people of all backgrounds. The amazing nativity scene can bring a rebirth to the meaning of Christmas. The remembrance of love, gratitude and devotion to God, family, and friends. Will you not believe and bring healing to your own soul? I pray that this will be the day. Pray for peace, love, and joy to resonate within your heart and in the heart of others.

Let us do Good unto all Men

As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10

Do you have opportunity to help someone? How do you define what it means to do good unto all men? I remember reading a book about a writer who started a blog before Christmas about her neighbor who was stealing her newspaper. Someone mentioned doing random acts of kindness towards the neighbor who was obstinate, discourteous, and gruff. The writer started doing just that and shared the results on the blog. What happened was that the writer learned to break through the barrier of the neighbor and found out the neighbor was mistreated by a co-worker who used him to get a promotion at work. This is known as being devious and it does not help with building relationships where there should be trust and integrity. People react negatively towards others because they have been mistreated.

Today the world is facing the virus Covid-19, and this virus has brought on a strain that everyone must face. How to cope with social distancing, general cleaning habits, and adjusting to a new work environment has been frustrating. What about those who are shut-in due to a physical disability, or the elderly who needs meals delivered to survive. What about the grieving individuals who lost someone to Covid-19? Some of us have the means to help others get through the struggle of everyday living. Some of us are learning to help each other to cope with the changes that Covid-19 has brought to humankind.

The Apostle Paul does not exclude anyone from doing good to others. In fact, this is known to many as the Golden Rule. Do you know what the Golden Rule is?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Matthew 7:12

The Apostle Paul goes on to state, “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Why did Paul make this statement? Let us remember that Paul is addressing the church at Galatia regarding purity of conduct to that of their confession of faith in Christ. No one should be neglected in the household of faith. If there is a need for food, clothing, and or transportation to any place, that need should be fulfilled through the loving care of those who are of the faith in Christ. Some are gifted in this area, while others need help in doing good towards others. No one should be exempt from doing good. Even children can learn to do good by doing chores around the house, or helping by giving a neighbor baked goods, and or doing small chores for a neighbor like pulling weeds in the yard.

As we begin the Holiday season, doing good seems to be more on the forefront, but this should be done all through the year and not just during the Holiday season. Covid-19 brings about a new challenge during the Holiday. How can we do good with social distancing? Here is a list of some ways to reconnect.

  • Call them on the Phone and share about your struggles
  • Connect digitally such as Facebook messenger
  • Join a virtual party for a music show or movie
  • Attend a virtual tour such as a museum or the local zoo
  • Reconnect within your own household by bringing out the board games and puzzles. Teach the kids how to cook or involve them in some new crafts.
  • Neighborhood hangout block party drive through such as Christmas lights, or bake goods swap

Think of opportunities in how you can connect with those you care about including your neighbor. Random acts of kindness can go a long way to bringing a smile on someone face. What was it the Apostle Peter said about Jesus? How God anointed Jesus who went about doing good [see Acts 10:38]. Jesus was the example of doing good, by providing for the needs of the people he encountered. We can even pray for each other during this time of uncertainty. Let us think about the Apostle Paul’s words of advice this week before Thanksgiving. I pray that your heart will be full of joy this Holiday season despite the current situation we are all in. Let us help each other with words of encouragement.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Weekly Devotions Post

Weekly Bible devotions is a time to read, ponder, and consider how we should live daily in His Love.

Welcome to Weekly Devotions

If you found your way here, most likely you are looking for something genuine, real, and truthful. It could be that you need some positive insight or some good news. Our world is changing all around us and sometimes nothing seems real anymore. How can there be peace when there is so much pain and suffering.

Have you ever questioned humanity’s purpose and what will the future hold for coming generations?  Have you felt neglected, abused, and lonely?  Do you need something good to hold onto?  You are not alone my friend, for many feel the same way and even fear what will happen next. 

In our day of uncertainty, we look for hope, something to hold on to that is stable. We like the truth and not fake news like we see today. We want to know what is real so we can respond appropriately. How should I live in a world where there is no consistency and where moral values are changing to new acceptable norms. As a Christian I ponder upon these issues that we as humans must face every day.

My experience is vast when it comes to the human condition. I have experienced hate crimes, assault, verbal, and physical abuse and have witness what drugs and alcohol does to your body and mind. I have also experience homelessness for a short period of time, being jobless, and having scarcity of food.

I have found my way down at the Bread of Life Mission in Seattle in the 70’s and later as a chapel coordinator through a local church. Sharing my testimony about the Love of God and how it changed my life is something I enjoy doing. Now with COVID-19 virus on the scene, we have seen more changes around the world and it is impacting every human being.

Weekly Bible devotions is a time to read, ponder, and consider how we should live daily in His Love. A key scripture will be presented, explained, and how it may be applied to our daily life. The devotional is meant to encourage and edify each person in their Christian walk. Basic common themes such as bitterness, believing, doubt, and righteousness will be address and more. The principal theme will always point to Christ, for He is our foundation as the scripture states, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Your voice in response is important; however, any vulgar language will not be tolerated since this blog is about daily living in His Love. It is about how we can share and live in God’s love.