Daily Devotion

The Power of Wisdom

June 1

Proverbs 1:7-8 ~ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 

The power of God is the power of wisdom. Without God we are nothing and we have nothing. Without God you would not exist in this world today. You may claim to be a product of your parents, but it is God who made you a living soul and gave you a body to live in.

If you are saved and know Christ as your Saviour it is the power of God that saved you. That life that you now live in Christ is given by the power of God the Holy Spirit who literally dwells within your soul. You are kept safe in Christ Jesus by the power of God forever.

You are saved to the uttermost which means you are as saved as saved can possibly be and you are saved all the way as far as you can go; it is the gift of eternal life. Eternal means it reaches into the farthest reaches of eternity which has no beginning or end; it is infinite. Eternal life begins at the moment of salvation and is the infinite existence of every born-again soul beyond the experience of the death of the physical body.

The power of wisdom is the fear of the LORD our God. The word translated “fear” refers the reverence that is given to the LORD. This is the beginning of knowledge which is what wisdom is built upon. Those who reject the knowledge of a holy Creator, the God of the universe, the God of all that is living and life, are “fools”.

The word “fools” here means perverse; they are twisted and distorted in their thinking because they refuse and reject true wisdom. The foolishness of rejecting God has caused man to create his own beginnings through the perverse teachings of evolution which corrupts all modern public education. It leaves students without the knowledge of or a fear of Jehovah God. Only by reverencing and respecting the Majesty of the Almighty Infinite God of all Creation can true education and knowledge be developed.

They also despise “instruction” which in this verse is speaking of the chastening, correcting, and reproof of the Lord to instill discipline. In many families today there is such a degrading of moral and godly principle that most children do not receive proper godly instruction from their parents about the issues of life. They lack the proper knowledge and experiences to give them the wisdom they need to live right. They do not have the discipline, the obedience, or the principle of righteousness instilled in them because it is lacking in their preceding generations.

We as Christians are to spread the Gospel and bring others to Christ and get them baptized. But it does not stop there. You must spend time with that person to help them learn the ways of Christianity. You must instruct them in the things of God’s Word. You must instill within that person knowledge, discipline, obedience, and the principle of righteousness. You must be the mentor or “spiritual parent” that they need to train them up in the way that they should live.

Learn it, love it, live it, and then go out and give it. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 20

May 25

Genesis 1:1-3 ~ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.   And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

There is something very unique in the first three verses of God’s Word. Here we find the perfect introduction to what the whole Bible is all about. It is the story of redemption, and in these three verses we see a picture of that redemption taking place. God planned His work, and then worked His plan. God created man from the dust of the ground as an earthen vessel. Man sinned against God and fell out of relationship to Him. When we come into this world we come spiritually without form and void of any spiritual understanding of who God is.

However, God still loves us and desires to have a personal relationship with us. But the only way that that can take place is if there is a change within the person. I was in spiritual darkness and I was empty and void with no hope of knowing the love of God. I had no desire to know him because the devil had me in darkness and had blinded my mind to the goodness and love of God.

But God loved me and sent His Spirit to move across the waters of my soul. He came to open up the darkness within and to let the light of the love of God shine forth upon my darkened soul. God said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” That light was the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who was God come down to earth in the flesh to live a perfect, sinless life in this world. I was condemned to die and pay for the sin that I was guilty of, but Jesus stepped up in my place, paid the price of death that I owed, and God accepted His payment as fulfilling the justice of the Law that had been broken.

When we accept Christ’s payment in place of our own works and invite Him into our heart we are redeemed from the bondage of sin and death, and we are reconciled back into a right relationship with God.

God created me and gave me life, and though I was born without spiritual form, and void of spiritual understanding, and though darkness filled the waters of my eternal soul, yet God the Holy Ghost came in, rolled back the darkness, and called the light of the Gospel to come in and shine His love unto me. Praise God for His love and goodness!

If you are saved today it was the same way for you. Go out into the world today and have an attitude of gratitude. Give God the verbal praise for saving your soul for He inhabits the praises of His people. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 26

There Is A Rest

Genesis 2:1-3 ~ Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.   And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.   And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

God rested on the Seventh Day, not because He was tired or worn out, but because He had done all the good that could be done. Every good and perfect thing comes from God above and it is His gift to man. He gave us the wonderful gifts of Creation, brought us into existence making us a living soul, and gave us the wondrous gift of life. He brought every soul into this world with the thoughts of peace and not of evil. He brought every soul into existence to offer the gift of eternal life and peace and to give us the hope of an expected end. (Jam 1:17; Jer 29:11)

Just as God rested from His works you are to rest from your works. But you are to rest from your works because they are futile. They cannot earn you the gift of life, or happiness, nor can they earn you a moment of time in Heaven. You rest from your works of righteousness and rest in the works of Jesus Christ.

Our works of righteousness are as filthy rags in the eyes of God. There is no righteousness, no good thing, within us. So, we must rest upon the works of Jesus Christ whose righteousness is accredited to us when we rest from our works and put all our faith and trust in His works.

His work upon the Cross of Calvary paid for all our injustices against God. His resurrection is God’s acceptance of what Christ did in place of your works. Through faith you rest in His works which is your acceptance of what He did for you on the Cross. As the Mediator, He reconciles you back to God. He became sin for you because He knew no sin, so that you might attain the righteousness required to enter the portals of Heaven when you leave this old cruel, sin cursed world. (Isa 64:6; Rom 3:10-12, 23; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Tim 2:5)

Now because we have entered that rest which depends upon the works of Christ, we have the promise of God that we shall enter that eternal rest of Heaven. He said that He would accomplish the work that He began within you until the day of Jesus Christ. You are kept by the power of God through faith. You are kept by His mercy and His grace. You are kept because Christ ever lives to make intercession for you.

If you are saved, you have so much to be thankful for. God gave you the gift of life and then commissioned you with the purpose of bringing the Word of Life to others. God has truly blessed you and now you are commanded, commissioned, and challenged to take His blessings and be a blessing to others. When you do you will experience the added blessings that come from giving yourself to the Lord and to others. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 27

The Wisdom of the Ages

Proverbs 1:1-4 ~ The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

Daniel Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “proverb”: “In Scripture, it sometimes signifies a moral sentence or maxim (an established principle) that is enigmatical (relating to or containing a riddle); a dark saying of the wise that requires interpretation.” The proverbs were collected and written by Solomon except for the last two chapters which were written by Agur and King Lemuel. The five-fold purpose of the book of proverbs is given to us in the first four verses here in Chapter One.

To know wisdom and instruction”; the word translated “wisdom” here means “good sense”. If you want wisdom the Bible says that you should pray for it (Jam 1:5). But wisdom also comes through life experiences. Therefore, if you are to be truly wise then you must receive instruction from God’s Word, receive instruction from the experiences of life, and pray that God would grant His holy wisdom to put all of this together. Wisdom is the wise use or exercise of knowledge that is received through instruction. You may acquire all the knowledge in the world, but without the wisdom to apply that knowledge it becomes useless.

To perceive the words of understanding”; the word translated “perceive” here means “to separate mentally; to understand”. Therefore, this second purpose for the Book of Proverbs is to understand the importance of understanding. Understanding and wisdom are used many times in this book, and many times together, but they are not synonymous. Wisdom comes from understanding; it is built upon it. If we are to receive instruction from our experiences, then there must come an understanding of the issues of life.

The third purpose of the book is “To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity”. The word “wisdom” here comes from a different Hebrew word which means “to be circumspect”. It refers to acting wisely or prudently. The word “judgment” comes from a word that means to be right from which we get “righteous”. Wisdom and righteousness in this book are almost synonymous with each other. To do what is right is wise and to be wise is to do what is right.

The word translated “judgment” here means “verdict” which refers to your decisions. You will see in the Word of God that righteousness and judgment are found together many times. Your righteousness refers to your having right principles (they come from the Bible). Your judgment refers to making right decisions which should be based upon your principles.

If you are going to be wise you must receive instruction from somewhere. The best place to receive instruction is from the Lord Himself. He has given you this book in His Word to teach you things about life so that you do not have to always learn from your mistakes. He has given you access to the Throne of Grace to ask for and receive the wisdom to think, to choose, and to do that which is right and wise. Proverbs will teach you things to keep you from falling into the traps of the deceptions of the world and the devil.

You also need to receive and understand instruction and learn wisdom to be wise in helping others. God gives you instruction, understanding, and wisdom so that you can teach and train others. This is the wisest use of wisdom; to invest in the lives of others to give them the ability to improve and prosper in their lives. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 28

The Purpose of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:1-4 ~ The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

The five-fold purpose of the book of proverbs is given to us in the first four verses here in Chapter One. Wisdom is the wise use or exercise of knowledge that is received through instruction. If we are to receive instruction from our experiences, then there must come an understanding of the issues of life. To do what is right is wise and to be wise is to do what is right.

The greatest use of wisdom is to invest in the lives of others to give them the ability to improve and prosper in their lives. The word translated “equity” means “evenness; prosperity or concord”. Therefore, the instruction of equity means that you will learn through Biblical principles to make just and fair decisions. This is a part of your decision-making process, but particularly implies that you will be just and fair in the way you treat others around you.

This brings us to the fourth purpose of Proverbs which is “to give subtilty to the simple”. The word translated “subtilty” here means in the bad sense “trickery” and in a good sense “discretion and prudence”, which is what is meant here. The word “simple” here means “seducible or naïve”. This is speaking about those who have no proper instruction in the issues of life whether a child or an adult. These instructions are here to keep the simple from learning life lessons in the school of hard knocks.

Then we have the fifth purpose which is “to give the young man knowledge and discretion”. This applies to the teaching and training of boys and girls in the moral issues of life. The proverbs will give instruction to young people and older people about the pitfalls of the pleasures and lusts of the flesh. Too many young people today are sexually aware long before they reach their teens. The disturbing truth is that many of those who are sexually aware are sexually active. Proverbs gives the knowledge and discretion to see and to act quickly against the traps of sexual temptations.

“Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 80.). God gave us Proverbs to instill godly wisdom that will lead to godly morality. Immorality is the very downfall of society today.

The doctrine of Balaam was his teaching Balak to corrupt the people who could not be cursed. (Num 31:15-16; 22:5; and 23:8) He taught them to get the children of Israel to marry the women of Moab, to defile their separation, and abandon their pilgrim character. It is that union between the world and the church which is spiritually unchaste (Jam 4:4).

It is good sense and wise to learn the principles contained in this Book to avoid the immoral temptations that are considered normal today. The wide acceptance of worldly morality is why the family unit and the church are failing; it is the trap of the devil because the family unit and the church are the building blocks of a godly and moral society.

You are to receive instruction so that you may be able to live wisely. You are to love instruction so that you may reap the benefits of wisdom. You are to live it so that you may teach understanding and impart wisdom to others so they too may reap the benefits of a wise, godly, and holy life. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 29

The Pursuit of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:5-6 ~ A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 

Wisdom is not cheap, easy, or free. It comes from pursuit which requires given effort to attain. “A wise man will hear.” The word “wise” means “intelligent, skillful, or artful”. Webster defines wise as “having knowledge; hence, having the power of discerning and judging correctly.” It means that a person has God-given common sense or good sense.

A person with good sense will “hear” instruction. The word “hear” in this verse means “to hear intelligently”. This means that a person who will “hear” is a person that will listen and give attention. The implication is to listen with an open and receptive heart to receive and apply wise instruction.

A person who is wise will “increase learning” which means “to add or augment through continuation”. A person may have finished formal education, and many may never go beyond that formal instruction, but a wise person will continue to learn and grow in understanding.  Learning should never end, especially for a Christian. You will never learn or know all that there is for a Christian to know, but you must continue to read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God every day that He gives you.

If you truly seek to be wise, then you must look for the counsel of wise people. For a Christian “wise counsels” are those people who read, study, and meditate upon God’s Word every day. They do these things so that they may have a closer and more intimate walk with the Lord. Many believe the Bible, teach the Bible, and those who are called may preach the Bible, but the truly “wise counsels” are those who put the Bible into practice in their daily living. They love and live what they learn.

If you truly want to be wise you will seek counsel from those Spirit-filled people who walk with the Lord, who are yielded and filled with His Spirit, and who are constantly in the Word to learn more of the Lord and His ways. These “wise counsels” do not just learn to show what they know to others, they learn because they love the Master Teacher and His Holy Counselor, and desire to love and invest in the lives of others.

Your quest for wisdom will lead you to search out and understand the principles of the Bible. It requires faithful daily time with God to have a greater understanding of Him. When you do not understand something and you seek to understand through study, prayer, and meditation, God will reveal things to you. You will increase in wisdom as you sacrifice to spend time searching out the things of God in His Word.

There will be times when it is hard to study. There will be times when study and meditation will seem a tedious bore. But wisdom will prevail and the wise at heart will continue and overcome the hardships, the tedious hurdles, and difficult times of study.

It takes work to build godly wisdom, but it will also take time. God will give wisdom to those who ask for it, but it requires that you be willing to spend time with Him. He gives you wisdom so that you may find joy in searching, cultivating, and working for knowledge and understanding. With this knowledge and understanding you will gain the wisdom to apply it. When you love and live what you learn you will become a wise counselor for those who are coming along behind you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 19

May 18

The Perfect Will of God

Romans 12:1 ~ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

God’s general will is what God requires and expects from every born-again believer. It is the life of abundance that we have in Christ our Saviour. It is the life that is lived in the fullness of the blessings and benefits of God’s Divine Grace; His redemption and His riches.

If God saved you then He called you to be a Christian; to grow in your faith, in your obedience, in your submission to His Spirit, and in subjection to His Word. He expects you to live your life to the fullest and to reap all the benefits and blessings that He affords to those who are cheerfully and willingly obedient to the commandments and the precepts of His Holy Word. It is a calling to walk close beside Him every day and to get closer to Him as you keep moving forward in your journey of faith.

You must live daily in the general will of God if you expect Him to reveal His purpose for you as an individual. God has a purpose for saving you and for giving you a new life. He has a specific task for you in His grand design of things.

As a newborn Christian I had a strong desire to serve in the church. I began to volunteer for open jobs in the church as they became available. I worked as grounds keeper, custodian, and teacher before I surrendered to the call to preach. After my surrender I worked as youth minister, sang in the choir, worked in bus ministry, nursing home ministry, rehab ministry, and jail ministry. I was yielded and willing to serve in whatever capacity was available which kept me in God’s general will and purpose for my life as a born-again believer.

If I had not been willing to volunteer and serve before my call to preach, I believe God would not have revealed His specific purpose for my life; to be a Gospel preacher. Now that I am in the center of God’s perfect will for my life it does not relieve me from His general will. That is a part of His perfect design for my life. That is why I will always be involved in every part of the ministry. I will still work in whatever capacity I need to keep the church functioning and operational.

If you neglect the general will of God, you hinder the true work of the church; spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is needful for the members of the church to fulfill their God-given call to be a Christian and to support the work of the church. We need workers and laborers just as much as we need the tithes of God’s people to keep the church operational. Without the people being actively involved the church is dead. A dead church cannot spread the Good News of life in Christ.

His perfect will for your life deals with your location, your vocation, and your preparation. You must be willing to go wherever the Lord sends you, whenever the Lord sends you, and to do whatever the Lord sends you to do. Serving in His general will is the preparation for serving in His specific will.

The call of God upon the life of a believer is a lifelong commitment. There may be changes but they will be in addition to what you have been called to do. God called me to be a Gospel preacher first and later He called me to be a full-time pastor. He has also changed my location, but He has not changed my call.                 

God’s perfect will requires the complete surrender of your life to His desires, His demands, and His use. When you are ready, when you have given Him your all, when He has every area of your life, then He will reveal His perfect will for you to you. Live in readiness and expect great things from the Lord. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 19

Follow the Spirit in Surrender

Romans 8:13 ~ For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

To live after the flesh is to walk in the power of the flesh. To do so is to dishonor the name and the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ was shed to pay for the sin debt that you could not pay. To live in the flesh is to trample the blood that was shed for you. You are walking in spiritual death if you continue to follow the flesh.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying here. You do not and cannot lose salvation; that is a relationship that cannot be broken. But what happens is that you do not grow spiritually walking in the flesh and that is spiritual suicide. You do not experience the benefits of the grace and the blessings of God. You do not know the sweet fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You are not living spiritually victorious and therefore you are not a partaker of the divine nature; you do not experience or enjoy the abundant life.

To live after the flesh will lead you farther from God and farther into the darkness of sin. Sin will take you farther than you want to go, it will keep you longer than you want to stay, and it will cost you more than you can pay.

Some have asked me, “How can a saved person live in darkness and sin if they have the Holy Spirit within?” There is an old saying that says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” The Holy Spirit is there to guide and direct, not to force or control. His job is to lead you into all truth, but you must willfully follow and embrace that truth.

You can grieve the Holy Spirit which is the same as grieving the heart of God and of Christ. But you can also quench the Holy Spirit which means that you can go so far as to silence His leading in your life. In other words, you can go too far. When you get out of line with Him, He will call you, compel you, and He will chasten and scourge you. But if you choose to ignore His correction, the Bible says that even your own conscious will be seared with a hot iron (1 Tm 4:2).

This is the fate of the apostate who turns from known truth and refuses to repent. They do not realize that they beckon the judgment of God upon their life. The next step after having quenched the Spirit, after having their conscious seared with a hot iron, is to be culled out of this world. We may live in the day of grace, but our Father is a just and holy God who will judge and punish sin.

Such was the case with the brother in the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. It was told that if he did not repent of the sin that he had brought into the church that he was to be delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (his body), but his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord. However, we learn in 2 Corinthians 2 that this brother did repent before it was too late. Ananias and Sapphira did not and they both died for having lied to the Holy Spirit.

If you find that you have strayed from the Lord or you have fallen into a trap, repent and return; do not put it off until later. Your Father loves you dearly and wants to have unbroken fellowship with you. As soon as you confess your sin to Him, He faithfully and justly forgives, forgets, and cleanses you. Remember that as you do this and draw closer to Him, He in turn will draw closer to you. How great is our Father’s love towards us! - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 20

Follow The Spirit In His Power

Romans 8:13 ~ For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

We live in a sin-cursed world that is not getting better. We need to be on guard all the time against the deception of the flesh nature within us. We need to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. We need to walk daily in the Spirit and strive to be yielded to and led by the Spirit.

To die is to live carnally (yielding to the lusts of the flesh) and to lack the abundant, divine nature associated with grace. You can grieve and you can quench the Holy Spirit of God. You can come to the point where you will even forget that you were ever saved and purged from your old sins (2 Pt 1:9). Those who come to this point have quenched the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit of God in their heart.

I once knew a husband and wife who walked with the Lord every day and were actively involved in the church. They came upon a financial hardship in their life and let it take them out of church. The wife stopped by the church in her car before service one Sunday evening. We pleaded with her to come inside. With tears in her eyes she refused to repent and return. She continued down the pathway of darkness and sin that led her farther and farther from the Lord. She and her husband divorced, and she continued walking in the flesh away from the Lord. We received a message just a few short years later that she had gone to bed, went to sleep, and never woke up.

Be careful to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Those who live after the flesh live contrary to the grace of God. Your own flesh can deceive you into thinking that some sin is okay. It will convince you that God’s grace is enough to forgive and forget. But a little sin will lead to greater sin. Unrepentance leads to all out rebellion. Those who think they are immune to this have already been deceived by their flesh. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.

We are to kill off the deeds of the body and the flesh. The only way this can be accomplished is to walk in the Spirit; under His guidance and direction. You cannot be in the general will of God nor can you know the specific, perfect will of God for YOU if you do not mortify the deeds of the flesh and walk in the Spirit.

You can walk in victory or you can walk in defeat. To have victory you must know that you are saved. You must accept the reality of your passing. That is to recognize that you are in Christ and you are raised to walk in the new life that He has given to you. You must die to the old life which is what you agreed to do when you repented and trusted Christ as your Saviour.

You must accept the reality of your position; you are in Christ. That means that you are now a child of God. Jehovah the Creator is your Father. You have been spiritually baptized into His family. You now have a power that others do not have. You are a new person, a new creature, with a new nature; old things (the deeds of the flesh) are passed away and all things are become new.

You must purpose and determine to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. He gives you the power to overcome the power of the old sin nature within. He gives you the power to defeat its influence in your life. He is the source of your strength to defeat and destroy the deeds of the body and the flesh. No matter how big and bad the flesh may seem to be, you are more than a conqueror in Christ. Remember David, Daniel, Elijah, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Lean wholly on the Lord; He will give you victory just as He did for these. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 21

Follow The Spirit In Your Daily Walk

Galatians 5:16-17 ~ This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

God’s will is that we walk according to His Word by the teaching, guidance, and leadership of His Holy Spirit. We have already said, and we will say it again, you can be deceived by the devil, by the world, and even by your own flesh. You can be living in sin and not even realize it.

When you think of sin you think of doing things that are expressly forbidden in Scripture. We are told to not be drunk with wine. A lot of Christians agree with this and realize that this is speaking of total abstinence; especially in light of being told that we are to abstain from all appearance of evil. Many Christians very cheerfully, willfully, and respectfully comply with this command in Scripture.

Most Christians have no problem with the commandments that tell us to abstain from lying, stealing, coveting, or sexual misconduct (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, pornography, pedophilia, premarital sex, etc). They are more than willing to agree with and to make applicable in their life these commandments.

But what you need to realize is that there are also things that we are expressly commanded "to do" in Scripture. The very same verse that tells us to not be drunk with wine also tells us to be filled with the Spirit. It is an express command to be continually and consistently filled with the Spirit of God. It is to live by faith and to walk by faith in God which is a daily adherence to His Holy Word. It is Him having more obedience from us every day so that our life expresses the image of His Son (Christ-like).

More Christians fall into the trap of sin by omitting or neglecting to do those things that Scripture implores and commands us to do. Those who are not daily walking by the Saviour’s side, submitting to the guidance and leadership of the Spirit, living in subjection to God’s Word, and doing all that we are commanded to do as well as abstaining from all that we are warned against, are living in sin.

To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jam 4:17). If the Word tells you to do something and you do not do it, you are in sin. We comply with Scripture because we live by faith and that faith is in what God has said in His Word. Therefore, “… whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23).

God’s general will for all believers primarily deals with the flesh. Many do not realize that there are two types of sin: commission and omission. There is negative abstinence (death to fleshly desire; sins of commission) and there is positive obedience (death to fleshly obstinacy; sins of omission).

Be aware of what you are doing so that you do not violate God’s Holy Writ. But you must also be aware of what you are NOT doing so that you do not violate God’s Holy Writ. Whether it is the sin of commission or the sin of omission, it is sin. Search the Scriptures and search your heart to know that you are not in violation of God’s Word in either way.

If you will do what you are supposed to do, you will not have time to worry about if you are doing what you are not supposed to do. Follow the Spirit in your daily walk. Stay active and stay faithful. Be a good steward of the grace and blessings that God has given you. Use your blessings to be a blessing to others and show forth the love of God. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 22

Follow The Spirit In Love

Matthew 5:44  ~ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

God’s general will for all believers primarily deals with the flesh. There is negative abstinence which leads to the sin of commission if disobeyed, and there is positive obedience which leads to the sin of omission when disobeyed.

You may not be committing open sin by doing the forbidden things, but are you committing sin by neglecting to live according to Christian doctrine. Christ’s doctrine is the doctrine of love. We are to love the brethren, we are to love lost souls, and we are to love our enemies. Those who neglect to love others as themselves are in sin. “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jam. 4:17).

It may be hard to love our enemies, but we are told by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to do so. It is hard to forgive and love those who have wronged you in some way. It is hard to show love to those who desperately hate us with unbridled passion. But the key is to get up every day and pray for those people to get right and to be right with God. You must realize that Christ died for them just the same as He died for you. All have sinned against God and yet God loves and forgives all by grace through faith in Christ.

Here is where the rubber meets the road; we are to love them, pray for them, and we are to bless them when they curse us. That means that if they are saying vile things about you, if they are making false accusations against you, you are to bless them openly. Give them good and kind words with gentle expressions that convey the love of Christ. Tell them that God loves them but do so with a heart that is sincere in seeing them have a good relationship with the Lord.

The flesh will desire to get even with those who wrong us in some way. The flesh will say, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” The flesh nature wants to return evil for evil, to repay bad words with bad words. But the Spirit within compels us to feed our enemy when he hungers and to give him drink when he is thirsty. By our love and good deeds towards those that hate us we show forth God’s love for them and it will cause them to pause and give thought to what they are doing. It may lead them to repent and it may not. The point is to walk in the Spirit and follow His lead so that you conduct yourself as a child of your Father and not as a carnal reprobate.

You must also pray for your own heart to be right with God. You must have the power of the Holy Spirit within to truly love, bless, and pray for those who hate you. You must pray that God will help you to be compassionate, merciful, and forgiving of those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Ask Him to help you to be Christ-like in your thoughts, words, and actions towards them. When you get serious about this with the Lord, He will give you a love for those people that will lead you to be sincere in your prayer and intercession for them daily.

This is a part of the general will of God for every believer. If you are not doing these things, then you are in sin by omission. You may not be returning the same words and actions that they are giving you, but are you loving, blessing, and praying for them with a sincere heart that desires to see them right with God? Are you doing it with a true heart of love that wants to have a good relationship with them in worshipping and serving the Lord together? Are you doing the right thing the right way so that they may come to know Christ and that they may also be in the will of God for their life? Deny the flesh and follow the Spirit in love. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 18

May 11

Knowing the Will of God

Romans 12:2 ~ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When we speak of the will of God there is the general will of God for all believers. Then there is the specific or perfect will of God which is God’s divine plan and purpose for every individual believer. We are going to look at the general will of God and then the perfect will of God.

The general will of God begins with His desire for all people to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. He wants all people to live a good and profitable life and to maintain good works. This general will includes various requirements, duties, and commands given to all believers in general.

The first thing we need to do is to read and study the Word of God. He gave us His Word to help us to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Once we are saved it is our guide to the Christian life. If everyone lived according to the Book, there would be a lot less trouble in the world today.

In this life we are plagued by our own flesh which wants to rule our life. It is governed by the old sin nature that we are all born with. It wants to take the path of least resistance. All the wicked things that we see people doing today are happening because they have allowed their flesh to control their thoughts, their words, and their actions. They are in constant turmoil and drama. They are conformed to the world which is under the control of Satan.

When you get into the Word of God and allow the Word of God to get into you there is a transformation that takes place within your heart. You will no longer be controlled by the flesh, but you will be influenced, persuaded, guided, directed, and lead by the Holy Spirit. He will lead you in the way everlasting down the paths of righteousness. You will have peace and joy as opposed to the turmoil and drama that the people of the flesh and the world possess.

You cannot study the Word if you do not read the Word. You must set a definite time to sit down every day and read your Bible. If you do not set a time, then you will never find the time. You are given 24 hours in every day; that is 1440 minutes which equates to 86,400 seconds. You must ask God to give you wisdom to use all that time wisely every day. You must set a specific time that you will set aside to read your Bible.

I am a Gospel preacher and a Pastor, but even I must set a time every day to read my Bible or I will find that I do not have the time to do it. I chose very early in my Christian walk to get up every morning and to read a portion of my Bible before I ever start my day. It is my time to listen to what God has to say. I get up and I have a cup of coffee and I listen to my Father as I read His Word. By putting Him first in every day I have found that I naturally put Him first in every way.

Find that time to set aside for the reading of God’s Holy Word. Listen to what your Father has to say to you. It will transform your life for the better and forever. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 12

Read to Know, Study to Grow

2 Timothy 2:15 ~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We must read to know what our Father has to say to us. You cannot know your Father’s plan and purpose for your life if you neglect to read His Word. That is the same as neglecting to spend time listening to His instruction. Listening to preaching and teaching is necessary, but it is more necessary that you take the time to be alone with your Father and to hear Him.

We must study His Word to grow. You should determine in your heart to set aside a time every day to read your Bible. You will need a journal or a notebook with you so you can make notes as you read. God will speak to you as you read because He wants you to benefit from His Word.

When you read the Word, you will find that there will be things that will come alive to you. As you read, a word, a verse, a subject, or a portion of Scripture will seem to draw your attention. It is then that the Lord has something of great importance to teach you. It is then that you should make note of what He is giving you. Make some notes about what He is showing you so that you can find time later to come back and study it in more depth and detail.

Now you will need a good concordance, such as the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. This will allow you to look up words in the Bible and follow their true meaning in the Greek and Hebrew languages. You will also be able to follow each word to see where and how it is used throughout the whole of Scripture. It will help you to better understand what God is saying in His Word. It will help you to better understand what your Father is trying to teach you personally out of what He has given you to study.

When you go to Sunday School, Bible class, or when you are in church services under the preaching of God’s Word you need to keep your journal with you. Your Father through the Holy Spirit will teach you things from His Word in these settings. Take notes so that you can come back later and study them out. These should never replace your personal time with your Father, nor should your personal time replace your faithfulness to all Bible classes and church services.

Over time you will notice a transformation in your thoughts and your thought processes. You will start to think about things considering what your Father has taught you from His Word. This will be done under the tutorage of the Holy Spirit who will teach, lead, guide, and direct you in your reading and studying. These changes within will be lived out in your words and actions as an amazing transformation for the better will take place in your life.

You must read to know, and you must study to grow. Have you set aside a daily time to read your Bible? If not, I challenge you to do so. When you have set a daily time get a journal and invest in a good concordance of the whole Bible. You must purpose in your heart to read daily and to study over the next year. At the end of that time look back at the wondrous transformation that God has done in your life. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 13

Memorize And Meditate To Keep Straight

Psalm 119:11 ~ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

When you read to know, and you study to grow, you will find that verses and even portions of Scripture will stay in your heart. You will remember those things that have spoken directly to you more easily than just memorizing Scripture at random.

Memorizing Scripture is a good and beneficial thing. The best way to memorize a verse or portion of Scripture is to read it or say it out loud five times once or twice every day. Within a week you should be able to quote the verse from memory. Another way is to write it on a card and carry it with you so that you can look at it when you have free time during your day.

Some believe that memorization is the focus of hiding God’s Word in our heart. But I have personally met people who have memorized whole sections of Scripture, whole chapters, and even whole books. But not all of them believed what they had memorized. In fact, many who desire to discredit the Bible as God’s perfect, preserved, inspired, infallible, inerrant Word know whole portions of the Bible. They have committed it to memory just so they can dispute and find error with it (though there is none because it is all in their mind).

Therefore, I can say that memorization is good and beneficial to those who truly believe. But that is not what it means to hide God’s Word in your heart. You can only hide it within when it has spoken directly to you. What I mean is that when you have received something beneficial from a verse you will remember that verse without the work of memorization. You remember it because it spoke to you and you gleaned some fruit from it. As you studied it and meditated on what it meant, it was indelibly written in your heart.

What I have personally found to be beneficial is to take the Scripture that God speaks to you through and meditate upon that. This is not a difficult thing to do. We are actually very good at this in the negative way; it is called worry. That is when we look at things that are a negative influence and think on them over and over; we focus on the worst case scenario.

Meditation is taking the positive things that God is teaching us and to think on those things over and over. We look at it and consider it from every angle. In fact, we are told to do that very thing in Philippians 4:8. We are to think on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. In the Psalms we find the oft repeated word Selah. This actually means “to think on these things.”

This is the part of letting God’s Word get into you. You hide it deep within because it changed you within. You remember it because you received something beneficial from it. It improved your life and therefore it becomes a part of who you are in the Lord.

Get into the Word; read, study, meditate, and memorize it. Allow it to transform your way of life and you will feel better and be better for it. God bless you on your journey as you seek to know God’s general and perfect plan and purpose for your life. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 14

Sow That You May Reap

Psalm 126:5-6 ~ They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

We must sow if we are to reap any good in our life and in the lives of others. Sowing is like investing. We can invest in our future, our families’ future, the future of others, and the future of our church. We are to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. We are to be faithful if we are going to be a good steward of any kind for the Lord.

The Lord gave Himself for us and He gave Himself to us. He paid the price we could not pay to be brought into God’s family. Then He gave Himself to us when we put our faith and trust in His finished work on Calvary; His Spirit is given to every born-again believer. What are you giving Him?

You must first give yourself to the Lord and everything else will fall into place. God has given each of us so much time in a day and so much time in this world. What you do with that time will prove how much you love the Lord. Is the Lord worthy of your time every day to read, study, memorize, and meditate upon Him and His Word? Is He worthy of your time to work in the church; to volunteer, to be faithful to all services, to support all the outreach ministries of the church, to be locked in and on time all the time? 

God’s people must give of their time and their talents for the work of the Lord in and through the local church. You must also be willing to give your tithes, missions, and free will offerings to support the work of the Lord. Supporting the Lord’s work benefits your family, the church, and others. It is an investment into the kingdom of God. Those who do not give miss out on reaping the benefits that come through being a good and faithful steward.

You must give your testimony to others. Take the time to tell others about your salvation and share Christ with them. You can sow the seed of God’s Word in their heart, you can water a seed that has already been sown by someone else, and God will use it to bring a soul to Christ for salvation. Always leave an open door when people do not receive Christ or your testimony. Build a relationship with that person and pray the Lord will open their heart to hear you.

Your support of the Lord’s work is an investment into eternity. Remember that your heart will always be where your treasure is located. Are you focusing on the temporal things of the world? Or are you focused on the eternal things that await the good and faithful stewards who have sown and invested in their family, their church, and others.

Be a good steward of the grace of God in your life. Remember that your investment into the church is an investment into your family. Your investment into the lives of others through witnessing is an investment into your church. And all that you invest in these is an investment into eternity. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 15

Power Through Prayer

2 Chronicles 7:14 ~ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;…

If you are going to know the will of God, His plan and purpose for your life, then you are going to have to be a person of prayer. God speaks to us through His Word and through His Spirit and we talk to Him through prayer. Prayer is simply communication with the Father and with His Son.

We need to communicate with our Father through prayer if we are going to get to know Him. If you are going to find what God’s specific, perfect will is for your life, then you must spend time in His Word and time in communication with Him. If you are faithful to seek Him out, He will be faithful to reveal His desires, plans, and purpose for your life.

God’s general purpose for our life is to be a living example of Christlikeness to the world; being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We need His power to accomplish any good for the Lord in this world. You can have great influence and great impact if you walk with the Lord.

Someone asked, “Where has the power of God gone in this modern day we live in?” His power is still available to those who seek Him. But it will require some sacrifice on our part if we are to see the Almighty Power of Jehovah God.

Elijah prayed and God closed the heavens and there was no rain for 3 ½ years. He prayed again and God opened the heavens and gave rain. Elijah prayed in spiritual battle with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel and God sent down fire from Heaven and devoured the wood, the sacrifice, the altar of stone, and all the water that had been used to soak the altar and the wood. The people of Israel turned back to God because of Elijah’s humble faithfulness to walk with and to represent God.

At Pentecost there were 120 people who met together to pray for ten days and they were all filled with the Spirit. They went out into the crowds of people who were gathered in Jerusalem and began to tell them about Christ; they spoke of the wonderful works of God and how Christ died, was buried, and how He arose from the dead on the third morning, all according to the Scriptures (Old Testament Scriptures).

Peter then got up and preached the Gospel to all those people and 3000 souls gave their hearts to Christ and were born again. It was a collaborative effort of the 120 who had prayed for the previous ten days.

When God’s people get right and start humbling themselves and praying together daily, we will see great and mighty things come to pass; things that you can only imagine. If you truly want to know the will of God for your life and you really want to see the power of God come down, then humble yourself, get away from your own wants and desires, and seek the face of God daily at the altar in your church.

This is where the requirements for revival begin to be met; at the altar. When the people of God come together daily to pray then God will show up and do great and mighty things. There are too many excuses about why we cannot when we need to be looking for reasons why we can.

Remember that our Father told us to quit using the “I can’t” approach and to start using the “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Humble yourself before God and others and quit being an “I can’t” Christian and start being an “I can do” Christian. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 17

May 4

Where Is Your Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This is a good chapter in the Bible. It talks about faith; the faith of the Saints, how they believed and lived by the principle of faith. Faith has always been the key of being right with God. This chapter illustrates and emphasizes how our faith pleases God in the things that we do.

True faith in God is simply taking God at His word. That is basically what faith is and you are to walk by faith. That means that you are to live your life trusting in God's Holy Word. You can live the Christian life because your faith motivates you to live a clean, holy, and pure life before God and before the world.

We all face temptations in our lives. You may be tempted at times to draw away from your faith, to draw away from the Lord. You may be tempted to return to your old nature, to return to the old comfortable culture pattern that so many adhere to in the world today, but you are urged to draw near to God through Christ.

The Lord said in Hebrews 10:22, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." That faith is the faith by which the just person lives. It has salvation of the soul annexed to it and respects the blessings and promises of Grace. It is a firm persuasion of the power and faithfulness of the love of Christ.

We have all been given a measure of faith (Rom 12:3). What you do with that faith will determine your eternal destiny. You can misplace that measure of faith that was given to you and you can put it in the wrong places. You can do the wrong thing with it, but as a Christian, you place your faith in what God tells you in His Word.

We are told that, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for." "Substance" here means "that which stands under." Your faith is the foundation that you stand upon. Your faith, what you believe and trust, is the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His gospel. That is your faith, what you are to believe. This is the personal aspect of your faith. God is real to you by the confirmation of His Holy Spirit that dwells within you.

Faith is the "... evidence of things not seen." "Evidence" here means "reproof and conviction." It is what you see with your heart that you cannot see with your eyes. This is the prominent aspect of your faith. It is a conviction within you to be Christ-like because of what you believe. This cannot be seen by the world; however, it produces a life which evidences the faith which is present within you.

Is your faith in Christ for salvation? Do you trust only that which He accomplished on the Cross for your salvation? If so, the conviction of that belief and trust in Him will lead you to live by faith; trusting in His Word for your daily living. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 5

Faith Differentiates

Hebrews 11:1-2 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.

God sees my faith in my heart. A lot of people will tell you, especially worldly people, that the Bible contradicts itself. They argue that, "It tells you in Romans that you have to have faith to be justified by God. It tells you over in the Book of James that you have to have works to be justified." They misinterpret the scriptures all together.

God sees your faith in your heart (Rom 4). He is not looking at your works but at the trust that you have in your heart in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. That is what justifies you. It justifies the ungodly; his faith is counted as righteousness. Justified means that God sees you as he sees Christ: not just as if you had never sinned, but as if you had never been capable of sin. That's God looking in your heart, seeing your faith and your belief of the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are justified by that faith.

In James it talks about how people see your faith by your works. How many of us can show our faith without our works? That faith within you produces works in your life, that is evidence of the faith that is in your heart, and that is what people see. Faith on the inside is what God sees; substance. Your works, the life that you live and the things that you do, come from that faith; that is evidence and conviction. People see the out working of an in-living faith.

What we believe causes us to change the way we live. Faith should be the foundation of your character. Your character ought to be determined by your faith. In other words, your faith ought to govern your life. Your faith must govern the decisions you make for your life, especially life-changing, life-altering decisions. If your faith does not have a say so in these decisions, then I ask you to check your faith. Make sure that you have a true faith.

True saving faith will produce faith to live day-to-day by the Word of God under the power of the Holy Spirit of God. If you really believe the things that the Bible says, and if you really have justifying faith in your heart, you are going to live and do things in a different way than the world does.

This is the faith that will give you a good report among others. Go out today and let your faith be seen in the way you live. Let others see the difference in you which is Christ in you by faith in His shed blood. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 6

Faith Transforms

Romans 12:1-2 ~ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Faith as a character trait gives us a desire to have fruitful and productive works. It comes from what God sees in our heart to what people see in our lives. This is the character trait of our faith. It is visible when our confidence is unshakable.

The first thing you need to make sure of is your salvation. You must have assurance of your salvation. You cannot do anything productive for the Lord if you doubt it. If you are not sure you need to get that nailed down. The Bible says we can KNOW. We have a know-so salvation (1 Jn 5:13).

The gift of eternal life is a present possession. You must have that nailed down because doubt is the opposite of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Some days you may "feel" saved, but then other days you may get up and just not "feel" so saved. Praise the Lord that our salvation doesn't depend on our feelings.

For feelings come, and feelings go;

And feelings are deceiving.

My warrant is the Word of God,

Naught else is worth believing.

We have had some rough times in our lives. We've been in some tough spots, suffered some tribulation, and even some persecution, but praise God we are still saved. I read a verse this week that said, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh 8:10). When you have no strength to carry on, when you have no strength to get up and go, when you have no strength to continue doing what the Lord has called you to do, the joy of the Lord is what motivates and strengthens you to get up and go another day, every day.

A man that does exactly what is required of him is an unprofitable servant (Lk 17:7-10). He doesn't do any more than what he is told to do. Jesus taught that if they compel you to go one mile, go two, because the first step of the second mile is not required (Mt 5:41). It is where your joy kicks in. Real Christian joy comes in the second mile. You may not feel like going the second mile, you may be worn out after the first mile, but when you go beyond what is required the joy of the Lord is your strength.

We are not to be conformed to this world. A person that is conformed to this world is allowing the world's thinking to control them. A transformed person allows God to control their thinking and their actions. I would rather be transformed by the renewing of my mind than conformed to the world that hates God any day of the week.

Are you a conformer or a transformer? Allow the Lord to transform your life so that you may be a source of help to transform the lives of others. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 7

Faith Is Stepping Out

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 Corinthians 3:4 ~ And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

We need to be confident in God's plan and purpose. There will be testing in your life. God does not test you to know what you are made of. He already knows! The trials that you go through are not for God to find out if you will stay with it or not. They are for you, to develop your character, to help you grow spiritually, and to strengthen your faith. We all want a sincere faith in the Lord and trials will build that sincere faith and confidence in Him.

I read a story about a house fire where a young boy was forced to flee upstairs and onto the roof through a dormer window. The dad was down on the ground below and called up to his son to jump into his arms. He knew that the only way for the boy to be saved was for him to jump from the roof. However, all the boy could see was flames, smoke, and darkness. He called out to his dad and his dad called again, "Jump! I will catch you!" The boy was terrified and said, "Daddy, I can't see you." His dad replied, "But I can see you, and that is all that matters."

The Christian life allows us to face and to meet death, not based upon what we see, but based upon what, and in Whom, we believe. Your faith in God allows you to step out in that faith trusting that God is there for you no matter what. 1 Peter 5:7 tells you that He cares so very deeply for you: "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." You are to put your all upon Him no matter what.

That is the type of confidence that we as Christians need today. You need a confidence that will step out trusting God; period. He has given you all his blessings (Eph 1:3). You have the riches of God's Amazing Grace. In His grace He has chosen you. Truth be told, you did not go looking for Him. He came looking for you! He chose you, cleaned you up, adopted you, changed you, and made you acceptable and agreeable to Him. Because of all of this you have redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, prudence, His purpose, and His promises. You have an incorruptible inheritance that is eternal. You have His gospel. You have the seal of His Holy Spirit within you.

If you are in a struggle today, whether it be trials, troubles, tribulation, persecution, or a storm that you're going through, you can have confidence in the Lord your God because He is your loving Father. Just like the child on the roof, you do not have to see Him to be confident that He is there for you. Your confidence and your faith are not a leap in the dark. You can step out and walk by faith that is based upon His Word and His promises.

Step out today, trust and obey, and you will be happy in the Lord, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 8

Faith Is Confidence

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 Corinthians 3:4 ~ And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Our trust & our confidence in our God is enough for every need that we have. Our true confidence in Him is enough because He is more than enough for our every need. You must remember that your Father in Heaven is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think according to His power, and that power being within you (Eph 3:20).

We need to have confidence in His blessing. In hard times you need to verbalize the goodness of God in your life. Speak it out loud. The devil cannot stand to hear your verbal praise like that. It eats his lunch when you do that.

You are going to have bad days. Job chapter 1 is the perfect example of a person who has had a really bad day. The truth is that bad things happen to good people. Yet you still have the blessing of God because He never promised you a smooth road, but He did promise you a sure road. Therefore, you ought to praise Him and praise Him out loud.

We need to have confidence in prayer. God told Jeremiah to call unto Him (Jer 33:3). That is what He is saying to you today. Believe that He not only hears your prayer but believe and have confidence that He will answer your prayer. That is simple faith! Without faith it is impossible to please him. You have got to learn to pray in confidence. Prayer changes things! You ought to spend more time in prayer than you ever have in your life. Your prayer time should be increasing not decreasing.

The closer you get to Him the more you love Him, and the more you love Him the more you want to spend time with Him. The more time you spend with Him in prayer the more confident you will be that He hears and answers your prayers.

We need to have confidence in God's strength. Your strength comes from the Lord and you can do all things through Him. His strength comes to you because of His grace, and His grace because of Christ. It has nothing to do with who or what you are. It has everything to do with who and what He is. The Lord's strength is made perfect in your weakness (Paul's thorn in 2 Cor 12:7-10). He does what you cannot do for yourself.

Your confidence in God should give you great joy. The joy of the Lord that you have within you gives you a confident strength in God's plan and purpose for your life. This is what gives you confidence in His blessings, confidence in prayer, and confidence in his all-sufficient strength and power towards you.

As you go out today be confident that the Lord your God, your Father, is with you every step of the way. May the joy of your confidence in the Lord be your strength today. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 WEEK 16

April 27

Understanding the Will of God

Ephesians 5:17 ~ Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

We are to be wise in our walk with the Lord, we are to be wise in using our time, and we are to be wise in our understanding. This refers to our mind because God gave us a mind and free will. God never forces us to do anything but allows us to think and do through clear thinking.

Your mind must be transformed if you are going to be wise in your understanding. You are transformed by the Word of God through prayer, study, and meditation. To know His will, you must gather facts which come from His Word. This involves examination of the facts through study. It involves weighing the facts which comes through meditation. It involves praying for his wisdom which is your communicating with God to know and understand His perfect will or design for your life.

You must learn to order your life. You are to know the will of God for your life. That means that you must prioritize your life so that you are in the center of His perfect will for you. But there is more than just knowing His will. You must understand His will and you must do His will.

God's will is His design, or His purpose and plan, for your life. Remember that God saved you for a purpose. You must find your purpose and then allow the Holy Spirit to help you order and guide your life according to that purpose which is God's will.

The old sailing ships used to leave port and sail across the ocean. But in order to reach their destination they had to know where they were going. Only then could they chart their course and set their sails to take advantage of every opportunity of the wind to make their journey. If you do not know where you are going it does not matter how much wind you do or do not have.

You, too, are on a journey through life. It is a journey of Faith which you can choose to follow or not to follow. You must know your destination which is to know God's purpose & plan for your life. You must take advantage of every opportunity that God gives you so that you may keep moving forward in your journey.

You must have wisdom with your understanding and that coupled with the will of God and the desire to live in the center of His perfect will for your life. Only then will you reach your full potential for Christ. Only then will you know true fulfillment and satisfaction in living a good Christian Life. May God bless you with wisdom and understanding on your journey today. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 28

Be Wise In Your Awareness

Ephesians 5:14 ~ Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

If we are to be wise Christians, we must be wise in our awareness. If the Christian is sleepwalking, he will not be aware of what is going on around him. He will be numb to the sinful things that bombard him daily. If he is walking in the dark, he will not be aware of the dangers of attacks and temptations when they approach him.

Therefore, you must be aware what is going on around you. You know the devil is after you to destroy your witness and your testimony. He wants to kill your influence and impact on other Christians as well as people that you are around every day. You must be aware of his inventions of the world to tempt you away from the things of God.

You must know that Christ will give you light. If you continue to walk in darkness you will lose your eyesight. A man was driving through a mining community when he saw a large number of mules in a field. When he stopped in the town, he inquired about the site he had seen. He was told that the mules had to be brought out of the mines and into the sunlight to preserve their eyesight. They must be regularly exposed to sunlight or they will eventually go blind.

Spiritually speaking you must have regular exposure to the light of the Word of God in order to preserve your spiritual vision. God gave you the church and the Lord's Day to aid in keeping your eyes focused on the True Light.

You must be aware of the lost condition of those who are around you every day. This means that you are to be soul conscious of those around you. The devil has blinded their minds to the truth because they do not have regular exposure to the light of God's Word.

You must be aware of the needs of the souls of our children. There is a great need today to evangelize and enlist the younger generation. You must train up a generation that will take your place should the Lord tarry his coming. Therefore, you should reach the youth and the young people of your generation. More specifically, you need to reach the millennial generation. They are in search of the truth and you have that truth within you. They are looking for people who are real; people who practice what they claim to believe and teach and preach.

So, you must be aware of the power of God within you to help others. This is the power and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit within. He will guide you to boldly speak to lost people and to hold forth the Word of life. You must learn to be sensitive to His leading.

To sum it all up, you must be wise in your walk, with your time, in your understanding of the will of God, and be wise in your awareness. Those who are wise have power to impact their world around them. Learn to follow the Holy Spirit and you will be wise. Follow His leading and unleash the power of God in your life to help someone today. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 29 

Friends & Friendship

Proverbs 18:24 ~ A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.                                                                                              

Some thoughts about friends and friendships:

“When we lose a friend, we die a little.”

“Prosperity gives you many friends. Problems reveal true friends.”

“If you were another person, would you like to be a friend of yours?”

“Short visits make long friends.”

“The way to destroy an enemy is to make him your friend.”

“During a tough time in life, someone said, “I see you’ve lost a friend?”  To which I reply, “No I’ve simply discovered an enemy. If he were my friend, he would still be my friend.”

“Friends last longer the less they are used.”

“There is no harmony when you sing alone.”

When we think about friends and friendships, there are different kinds. There are utility friends that can be turned on and off like the water or the lights. There are fair weather friends who will be around when all is well and gone when things get rough. But today we are going to look at true friends and a real friendship.

As you pass through this life, you will make hundreds and even thousands of acquaintances; but you will have few real friends. In fact, if you develop two or three genuine friendships during your lifetime, you are a blessed person.

So, what is a real friend? One person said, “A friend - a true friend - is the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” Another said, “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you today just the way you are.”  We ought to praise the Lord for the few, genuine friends we possess in our lives!

Noah Webster said, “True friendship is a noble and virtuous attachment, springing from a pure source, a respect for worth or amiable qualities.” 

Friendship begins with the giving of yourself to someone. The first Friend in the Bible was God. He was a friend to Adam and gave a gift to Adam to show His friendship. There was no other creature like unto Adam, and God took a rib from His side and formed a woman which He then gave to Adam as his helper, his companion in life, his friend.   

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” 

A friend is one who is a source of sunshine when you are under the weather. A friend is one who believes in you, when you cease to believe in yourself. A friend is a source of celebration when you feel that there is nothing to celebrate. A friend is one who answers your call before you call. A friend is one who walks in when all others have walked out. 

Friendship is based on unconditional love. Love is a desire for, and a delight in, the well-being of the one loved; leading to an active and a self-sacrificing effort on their behalf. God Himself is the very essence of friendship. You can give without love, but you cannot love without giving.  

A friend is one who must show himself friendly. Being a friend to someone in need allows you to invest in their life for the increase of their good and benefit. Are you being a friend to someone that you care very deeply for? Are you there when they need you the most?

Go out this week and pray that God would give you someone that you can be a friend to so that you can cultivate, build, and grow a new friendship that would bless someone and honor God. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 30

Friends Have Good Qualities

1 Samuel 18:1  …  the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 

A friend is one who must show himself friendly. But a friend must also have good qualities. If you are going to choose your friends wisely then you must choose those who have good qualities. A friend must be loyal to the Lord. Find friends that are faithful to Christ and His Gospel as well as the testimony of the Word of God and make a friend indeed.

However, if you are going to be a friend, then you must show yourself to be a friend indeed. You must realize that God will put people in your path to befriend for their improvement and for His glory. They may not be the best qualified to be a friend to, but if it is the Lord’s will then you must show yourself friendly.

Remember that Christ showed Himself friendly to us when we were yet His enemies. When we were ungodly and unlovable, He loved us and gave Himself for us. He befriended you when you needed a friend.

If you are going to be a good friend to someone then you must have that same quality; you must be faithful to the Lord and His Word. How can you invest in someone’s life and bring increase to their life if you are not a loyal servant to Christ? How can you encourage someone who is lost to be saved if you are not faithful? How can you influence someone to be a better Christian if you do not have the loyalty that our Lord deserves?

Christ was loyal to us when He came to be our substitute on the Cross. He was faithful to the Father and fulfilled His will. He lived a faithful and sinless life so that He might be the perfect Sacrifice & Mediator. He took our sin upon Him to bring us out of the bondage of the penalty for sin. Our penalty was death and death is what He paid so that we would be set free from the penalty and the fear of death. He opened the door to us to have a friendship with Him and with our Father.

If you are going to be a good friend to others you must invest and be there to help share the burdens, the heartaches, the distresses, the difficulties, the disappointments, all of the struggles of living in this old sin cursed world. You must put forth the effort to be there and to encourage them when things seem to be coming unraveled at the seams. Many will be there when they are on top of the world but those who burn the midnight oil in prayer with someone when things are not good are the best friends to have.

Jonathan was a friend like no other to King David. Christ is a friend like no other to you. He loved you and His soul is knit with yours when you put our faith in Him for salvation. He has done everything to be your friend. Now you must do everything to show your gratitude and be a friend to Him.

Reach out and be a friend to others the way that Christ reached out to you; in sincerity and in truth. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

May 1

Be A Faithful Friend

1 Samuel 18:1 ~ …  the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

If you are going to be a friend to someone you must accept them right where they are at in their life. If they are a lost hell-bound sinner, then you must start right there and begin a walk with them that will lead them into a better lifestyle. You must sacrifice time and effort to be a friend and do so without compromising your doctrinal beliefs. You can walk in the Spirit and be in complete obedience to the Lord and His Word and still be a friend to someone who does not know the Lord.

That does not mean that it is okay for you to hang around with them and be in complete agreement with their sinful lifestyle. It means that you lovingly, prayerfully, patiently, and openly share Scripture with them that will encourage them to be a better person. You can share Christ with them without being negative, judgmental, condemning, and critical. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to condemn and convict. That is why it is so important to be filled with and walking in the Spirit so He can lead you.

Christ accepted you right where you were as a sinner and began sowing and investing into your life. He did not condone nor agree with your sinful lifestyle, yet He loved you and helped you to see the light of the Gospel.

Be available when they need help. Stay true to your faith, pray with them, give them Scripture, but be available when they need real help. If they need manual labor, financial help (not enabling their sinful lifestyle), guidance, or counsel, just be available. Show them that your Christianity is REAL, not just a lifestyle that you CLAIM to have.

Christ paid the price you owed and were unable to pay. He took upon Him the responsibility to set you free from the bondage of sin and hopelessness knowing full well what it would cost Him. He willingly, selflessly became your substitutional sacrifice so that you might live.

Christ is faithful as a Great High Priest to always be there for you when you come before the Throne of Grace. You can come to obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. He is there to encourage and strengthen you to follow Him and to walk close to God and His Word. He leads you in the way everlasting so that you can achieve your full potential. He is always available when you need Him. There is never a time that you cannot go to Him. He is willing to listen to your every need and your every concern.

Be a good friend by being a strong Christian, faithful to God and others, accepting people where they are, encouraging them to be saved and be a better person, sacrificial of your time, and available when needed. Ask God to give you someone to befriend that you can be as Jonathan and love them as your own soul. Be the kind of friend that would cause others to be knit with your soul; in doing so you will show forth the love of Christ our Saviour. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 WEEK 15

April 20

Followers Are Reconcilers

2 Corinthians 5:18 ~ And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Christ gave Himself for us to God. He did so to reconcile us back to our Father. Now we have been given that same ministry of reconciliation. Verse 19 says, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." God was the one doing the reconciling and He has given us that same Ministry.

God was working through Christ to make peace with us. He was the one who was offended by our disobedience, yet He worked to make peace with us. Therefore, as a follower of God, as one who is to mimic, we are to work to bring others into a peaceful relationship with God through Christ.

The word of reconciliation is to bring them the Word of Life. In love for God and love to others we are to hold forth the Word of Life to the world. That Word of Life is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the Word of Life to a lost and dying world. We are to do all that we can to get the Gospel out to those who do not know. We are to work to introduce people to Christ Our Saviour so that they may have the opportunity to make Him their Saviour as well.

We are to work to bring reconciliation to those who have been overtaken in a fault. We do not go in the spirit of pride looking down on them. We should never go thinking ill of them. We are to go in the spirit of meekness with a gentle spirit of humility. We need to be careful that we do not think that we are better than others. Those who think they will never fall are setting themselves up for a great fall.

We are to work for peace between the brethren. We are told that if we have a problem with someone to go to them and try to work things out. When you do, you must go to them with the spirit of reconciliation, not with a mindset to prove them wrong. It is not about who is right or wrong, it is about establishing peace. It is about building, or rather rebuilding relationships.

Remember what God through Christ did for you when you were his enemy. He loved us and gave Himself for us to make peace with us. He was selfless, sacrificial, and He took all the blame for our faults.

You are an ambassador for Christ. Are you working to bring reconciliation to lost souls? Are you working to bring reconciliation to wayward brethren? Are you working to bring reconciliation between offended brethren?

When you follow God as his child you will unintentionally take on traits that will mimic the Son and the Father. You will walk in love for Him, for the brethren, and for the lost. You will find an internal desire to separate from the things of the world and draw closer to Him. You will have a desire to see others drawn to Him. You will work to bring peace between people just as Christ worked to bring peace between us and our Father. Be a follower of God as his dear child and walk in love. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 21

Our Expectation Is From God

Psalms 62:5 ~ My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

When we go to the Lord with our supplications, our request, our intercession for others, we must go with expectation that God is going to answer our prayer. His desire is to hear our prayers and thus we are told all throughout the Bible to bring our request and make them known to Him. His desire is to answer our prayers because he delights in caring for his children. Therefore, we must learn to let our expectation be from the Lord.

Set your mind on the realization that your daily needs will come from the Lord; not your abilities, or your capabilities, or your paycheck. God has given you the ability to work, the capability to have a job, and that provides you with the ways and means to provide your needs. It is all of God, for my expectation is from Him.

When praying for others we need to expect God to move and to work in their lives. Whether it be for salvation for lost souls, healing for sick bodies, or daily needs in the lives of others, we must go to the Lord expecting him to hear and answer our prayers. It is all of God, for my expectation is from Him.

When praying for wisdom you must expect that God is going to grant you wisdom. He has given you the ways and means to attain knowledge. You have His Word to gain access to all the knowledge you need to live a good and prosperous life. But you must pray for His wisdom to understand and to apply that knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge.

In construction I worked with a lot of different engineers. They had all the book sense (knowledge) in the world. But not all of them had good common sense (wisdom) to apply that knowledge in the field. Many of them believed that if the book said something then that was the law; that was the way it was supposed to be. They did not know how to use the book for a guide and their experience as a tool to make things work out.

An engineer once told me that five # 8 rebar with a one-inch diameter each would fit into a space 6 inches by 6 inches with 3 strands of ½ inch 7 wire cable and that it would allow room for concrete with ¾ inch rock to flow between them. On his drawing it worked and in his book it worked. But, in reality, it never would work. He had book knowledge but lacked a good deal of common sense.

God gives us the means of attaining knowledge. He gives us the means of applying that knowledge when we pray and ask for wisdom. But you must pray with the expectation that He will give it. He said that if we doubt, or if we do not fully expect Him to give it to us, then we will not receive it. In fact, He says that we are double minded when we ask Him for things without expecting it. And He tells us that double mindedness causes us to be unstable in all our ways. So, when we pray, we must pray with expectation for it is all of God and our expectation is from Him. Now, it is all of God, for your expectation is from Him. Go out and expect good things and great things from the Lord this day. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 22

Open Your Mouth Wide!

Psalms 81:10 ~ I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

The Lord called us out of the world (Egypt) when He called us to be saved. As we have said before, the child of God is not a good fit for this current world system that we live in. He saved us with a purpose to be His child and to live a life that pleases and honors Him.

However, though we are called out of the world (our salvation), we still live in this world (our situation). We are not to be a part of the world (our separation). But we are sent into the world (our service) to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

Go out and let your light so shine that others may see the Lord in you. That is to live a good testimony before others. It is having the joy of the Lord that gives you a good upbeat attitude and will cause others to be drawn to you. When they ask you why you have such joy and hope in the daily struggles that we face in life, then you can tell them about your salvation and how they can have it too.

Being the light of the world draws attention to our hope while giving us the opportunity to be the salt of the earth. As the salt we bring seasoning and preservation to the lives of those whom we influence with the Gospel of Christ. We preserve the Christian way of life as we share it with others and influence them to follow the teaching of God’s Word. We keep Christianity and salvation alive and prevalent when we continue to share our faith with others.

We have been called “out of” to “go into”. We are not a part of the world or its problems; we are the solution the world and its problems. We have the Way, the Truth, and the Life; that is our Lord Jesus Christ. He is salvation (the Way), He is security (the Truth), and He is satisfaction to the emptiness within (the Life).

If we come to Him in prayer, we must expect Him to hear our prayer and to answer our prayer. But when we pray, we must pray with our mouths open wide. Think of a baby bird when it is looking at the mother and begging for food with its mouth completely open as wide as it can get it. That is how God wants us to be in this verse; to open our mouths wide so that He may show Himself strong and give us our heart’s desires.

We should pray for the big things as well as the small things in life. There is nothing too small for God; nothing that is too insignificant. There is nothing that is too big for God. Christ said that if we would ask in His name that He would give us the things that we ask for. We are told that if we would ask believing that we would receive. There is great power in prayer because God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son for us so that we would not perish. And it is through the Son that we have our prayers answered.

God brought us out to send us into to let the world see Him through us. Therefore, He desires to give us our desires so that others may see that He is the One True God who can hear and answer prayer. He is the One who truly loves every person because every person is of His design and creation. He is the one who gave them life so that they could have a life in, through, and with Him.

Now it goes without saying that we are to pray in the will of God. But we are to ask for Great and Mighty things from the Lord. When we ask Him to do these things it shows our faith and confidence in Him. It makes Him feel good that we are so confident that He can do what we are asking for. It makes Him look good when we ask for big things and receive big answers to our request. It pleases Him for us to ask and receive.

God looks to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is so greatly confident in Him. When we open our mouths wide and ask Him for big things, we allow Him to show Himself strong on our behalf.

God says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not,” (Jer 33:3). Open your mouth wide, and He will fill it. We serve the Almighty God who can do the impossible. Let us ask Him for great and mighty things that will cause the world to stand up and take notice of Him.   - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 23

The Wondrous Love of God

Romans 5:5 ~ And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

The love of God is universal. That means there is no person that God does not love (Jn 3:16). It is the love of God that caused Him to allow Christ to come into the world and die for our sins. It is the love of God that raised Him from the dead so we might be forgiven, cleansed, justified, and adopted into His family.

When many were the enemies of God, He loved them. God’s love crosses many barriers to reach the soul of a person. God loved you when you were dead in trespasses and sins, when you were at variance with Him, yet He loved you and gave Himself for you. There is nothing that could separate you from the love of God in life. His love is not willing that any should perish and miss the eternal abode of Heaven. His love desires for all to be saved and miss the eternal abyss of hell’s flames and torments. (Rom 5:8; 8:31-39; 2 Pt 3:9; 1 Tm 2:3-4)

God loves the church. The church is not the place where believers gather, it is the believers who gather in a place that make up the church. Acts 20:28 tells us that God shed His own blood for the church. Therefore, the church is of vital importance to Him and should be just as important to us.

The more time you spend with the Lord the more you should love what He loves. He has given us the church, the body of believers, to help us in the times of difficulty. It exists to be a habitation of the Spirit of God. It exists to give worship and praise to God. It exists to edify, enrich, and encourage believers. It exists to evangelize the lost and dying world around us. The farther we get from the beginning the worse things will get. That is why we have the church as a stronghold, and that is why we are to gather together all the more as we see the day of the Lord approaching (Heb 10:24-25).

God's love is universal. He loves the church with a love that is exponentially multiplied, is unconditional, and is never-ending or ceasing. But God also loves the individual person. He loves each of us with a love that cannot be measured. His universal love and His love for the church are so great because His love for every single person is so unfathomable. God loves you more than words could ever express.

If the ocean were the ink well and the universe was the paper to write upon, you could never exhaust with words the love that God has for you and for every individual that has been born (or will ever be born). His love is unsearchable and past finding out. He loves you more than the imagination could conjure up; more than all imaginations could conjure up. For God is love!

When you love God as you ought to that love will spill over to your brothers and sisters in Christ. It will cause you to have patience, kindness, and goodness towards them. It will cause you to be compassionate, merciful, tenderhearted, and forgiving (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 4:32).

When you love God as you ought to you will have a love for those who choose to hate you, curse you, and despise you. This love will cause you to love them in a way that will allow you to pray for them, to bless them, and to give them genuine help when you see them in need. You can give them food, drink, clothing, and shelter in the name of the Lord because of your love for them. And when you do, you are showing forth the love of God and Christ to them through you. They will see their wrongs contrasted and magnified against God by your good works. This can lead many to glorify God and to magnify and praise His name (Mt5:38-48; Rom 12:20-21).

As you go through your day today, remember that God loves you and has proven His love through Christ. What love, what wondrous love He has bestowed upon us that we should be His children. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 24

Walking Wisely

Ephesians 5:15 ~ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

To walk circumspectly is to walk in wisdom. Circumspect means literally looking on all sides; looking around. It is cautious; prudent; watchful on all sides. It means examining carefully all the circumstances that may affect a determination, or a measure to be adopted.

When we walk circumspectly, we are to walk cautiously with watchfulness in every way. We are to walk with attention to guard against surprise or danger. In our daily walk with the Lord we are to be so very cautious in every step. We must be careful that we do not fail or fall into the traps and snares of the devil, or the temptations of the world. We are to walk and to guard against the deceptions & the weakness of our own flesh as well.

If we are to be wise in our daily walk, there must be a sincere desire to walk with the Lord. When we have a sincere desire to walk with the Lord then there will be a sincere desire to please the Lord. A part of the fear of the Lord is a fear of failing Him. We do not fear the consequences so much as we fear disappointing or grieving the One we love so dearly.

In Ephesians 5:3-8 we see the many dangers that are all around us every day. We must always be aware of our surroundings and what is going on around us because the enemy is out to get us. He will sneak up on you, surprise you, and set traps and snares for you. He is a subtle, untrustworthy deceiver. (1 Tim 3:7; 2 Tim 2:26; 1 Pt 5:8)

If you believed that the enemy had planted invisible landmines all around you, how would you walk?! If you are walking daily with the Lord, the enemy has planted traps, snares, and landmines all around you. You need to be wise, cautious, and watchful in every way. Be very cautious in every step that you make today & every day. Be very careful with every thought, every word, every decision that you make, and everything that you do. Walk with God in His wisdom and He will take care of you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 14

April 13

Redeem the Time

Ephesians 5:16 ~ Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We must be wise in our daily walk with the Lord. But we must also be wise with our time. Redeeming means to buy up; to ransom; to rescue from loss. As Christians and stewards of what God has given us, we must make wise use of our time in this world.

Your life is but a vapor in time. This is the time that is spoken of here. You are only given so much time in this world. You must be sure to not use your time wantonly on wasteful things. If you waste your time in vain pursuits you are not being a good steward of what God has given you.

The Lord gives you opportunities to serve him. If you walk circumspectly (careful, conscientious, cautious) you will learn to identify those opportunities before they pass you by. To make good use of your time is to make good use of every opportunity that you have to do something good. It is to honor Christ and glorify your Father.

The greatest opportunities He gives are those where you can help someone and at the same time introduce them to Christ. Remember that you are always to be ready to give an account of the hope that you have within you (1 Pt 3:15).

To be a good steward of the time that God has given you means that you must always be ready to volunteer your time for others. The acrostic "J.O.Y." stands for “Jesus, Others, Yourself”. When you are willing to go above and beyond the call of Christian Duty, putting Christ and others before self, that is when true Christian Joy kicks in. That is when you become a second mile Christian (Mt 5:41). Learn to be a help, an encouragement, and a strength to your church family.

You have only been given an allotted amount of time on this Earth. Redeem the time that you have left from this day forward and use it wisely. You must use your time wisely by taking time to pray, taking time to worship, taking time to share the gospel, taking time to be holy, taking time to read, study, meditate, and put into practice God's Holy Word. You must take time to honor the Lord every minute of your life every day you live.

“Only one life 'twill soon be past, Only what is done for Christ will last.” Use your time wisely for the Lord and He will bless you immensely. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 14

Your Life’s Choice

Genesis 3:6 ~ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

"And he did eat." Adam had a choice whether to break God's one and only rule or not to break it. Adam willfully disobeyed God and brought death upon all mankind. That is the spiritual death which separates us from a just, holy, and yet benevolent, loving Creator.

We should not be so down on Adam for his actions. He did us a favor that day. He made it so that God would lay his sin to our account through genetic inheritance. This allowed God to also lay the righteousness of Christ to our account if only we would have faith in God and accept Christ's substitutional sacrifice. This is what imputation is all about.

Why would God allow us to inherit his sin nature?  The truth is that we would have sinned against God anyway. Adam sinned against The One who made, literally formed him from the dirt, and breathed into him the breath of life. We would have made that same choice somewhere along the way given the free choice we are created with. God put it this way in the Book of Romans: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: … For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:12, 19).

But God, for His great love where with He has loved us, made a way for us to be saved; to be redeemed & reconciled back into a right relationship with Him. By one man's disobedience and sin we were all made sinners and sentenced to death. But, by One Man's obedience and righteous life, we can be brought back into a right relationship with God through faith in Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Through Adam we have our physical birth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ we have our spiritual birth. This comes when we fully place our faith in Him as our substitutional sacrifice for our sin. That can only happen when we are willing to turn from our present life, which is a life led by our sinful will, and willfully accept His offer of a new life which is led by His Spirit residing within us.

This does not mean that all sinners are the same in their disobedience. It simply means that when we are self-sufficient, when we allow our emotions and feelings to make our decisions or follow our heart which is desperately wicked and deceptive (that because of our resistance to spiritual things), we are in sin against God. We should learn to be God-dependent, acknowledging Him and trusting in Him (Pro 3:5-6).

You have free will and free choice because God desires for you to choose to love and trust Him and His love and goodness towards you. He will never force anyone against their will to trust Him. He will never force anyone against their will to choose Him. God loves you immensely more than you could ever think or imagine. He loves you just as much as He loves Christ. He desires a parent and child relationship with you. But God wants you to choose for yourself to accept His love, His grace, His redemption, His blessings, and all His goodness towards you.

God is so good and so gracious to give us free will. He is so loving and so kind to give us freedom from our sinful will and to live in victory over sin and its horrible consequences. He is so deserving of our praise, our adoration, and our worship. I challenge you to worship Him today through your thoughts, your choices, your words, and your actions. Make Him your life choice; make Him the preeminence of your life. May you feel the warmth of His love and presence with you as He inhabits your praise to Him. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 15

Your Life’s Testimony

Ephesians 6:5 ~ Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

The testimony of a child of God is more than just what we say. If we claim the Name, we should not shame the Name. Our testimony is our life; it is the way we live before others.

There may be some who claim to be saved and attend worship services on Sunday, but do not live their faith throughout the week. But God says that we are to live a different life than those who are not saved. If we are truly saved there will be a difference in the way we do things.

He tells us here in these verses that even our work ethic is to be different. When we work for others, we are to do our work as if we were doing it for the Lord Himself. By the way, whether you are an employer or an employee, you are working for someone else and you are an ambassador of Christ.

Remember that as an ambassador your name is attached to Christ. Whatever your attitude may be on the job reflects on our Saviour & on our Father. A good attitude, even when things are not going well, gives us a good testimony in the world. It opens possibilities for us to represent the Lord with a positive influence on those we work with and those we work for. It will give us opportunities to speak to them about their eternal destiny. We can have an eternal impact on other's when we maintain a good, effectual, positive influence through our life testimony.

When others have a need in their life, they are going to look for someone whom they can depend upon to help. Whether it is a financial, social, mental, or spiritual need, we have what they need. When Peter saw a lame man, who needed financial assistance, he sought to fulfill the need he had through spiritual means. When you have an opportunity to help someone you must do so with the spiritual need as the top priority. Whatever the need may be, if they have Christ as their Saviour, then they will have all they need in Him. He is always there for His own. When the lame man was healed, it was his faith in what Peter had – faith in Jesus Christ – that brought the lame man what he needed. Now he was able to provide his own needs because now he was able to go to work.

Our nation has become too dependent upon government entitlements and handouts. What they need is hand ups; learning to have their needs fulfilled by the grace and love of God. That does not mean to expect God to give you everything without you doing something. God gives the physical ability to work, the job to work at, and the enablement to perform the tasks of the job. That is the grace and love of God towards us; providing a way for us to be a reputable people of character. This in turn allows us to be the good ambassadors for the name of Christ that we are supposed to be in this world.

You can give someone a fish and they will still have the same problem tomorrow; hunger. But you can teach someone to fish, and they will have their needs fulfilled. You can be the person to teach others what they truly need if you have a good testimony in the world. When we talk the talk, we must walk the walk. If we do not, we have a negative influence and impact on the lives of others. What is your testimony; not your spoken testimony, but what is your life's testimony? Be must always be mindful of your life’s testimony, for you never know who is watching or when an opportunity to assist someone may arise. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 16

Today’s Followers Become Tomorrow’s Leaders

Ephesians 5:1 ~ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

We are commanded to be followers of God; in the Greek it means “imitate”. We played a game when I was a child called "Follow the Leader." One person was the leader and everybody who followed had to say and do everything that the leader did. We are to literally mimic and imitate the Lord Our God. If we are to do that then we must know Him. If you do not know Him, you cannot follow or imitate Him. To follow Him is to have spiritual discernment which can only come from possessing the Holy Spirit of God.

We must be moldable which means that we must be willing followers; to become what He wants us to be. It means that we are to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus who is God manifest, or made known, in the flesh. It is to resist the world’s attempt to force our conformity to their image of what they want us to be. It is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God; reading, studying, meditating. It is allowing the Holy Spirit of God to cultivate His fruit in your heart and life; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

To follow Christ is to walk in love. We are to love the Lord Our God with all that we are; spirit, soul, & body. He is to be Preeminent in our life. Preeminent means to be above and before all else; it is to be superior. The Lord our God and Christ our Saviour are to be the Preeminent Person in our life above all else and before all else, period. He cannot be a priority for priorities are changed and rearranged according to different situations and circumstances. Preeminence will always trump priority.

To walk in love extends to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. The church is a body of believers and every person in that body has a part, a purpose, and a function in the body. Paul compared it to the human body; we have eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to handle, and feet to get around. No matter how insignificant a part of the body may be, all parts are needed for the function of the body. There are none that are in the body of Christ that are not needed. There are none that are insignificant.

The children are there to bless and to give us joy and satisfaction. They are there for us to teach to carry on the work of the Lord. The church will not continue if we do not train up the little ones in the ways of the Lord. They give us purpose in the Lord's work as parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors and examples to lead them. Children give all believers in the body of Christ purpose for being actively involved in the work of the Lord and His church.

Our seniors are there as those whose works we have entered into. If they had not come before us, we would not have a church to be a part of; a place where we can worship together, be spiritually fed, where we can have fellowship with other believers, where we can edify one another, and grow spiritually. Now we have taken their place and they have become one of God's sources of knowledge and wisdom, and prayer warriors for the workers and laborers within the church.

This is only the beginning of that love of the Holy Spirit that God has shed abroad in our hearts. God blesses us so that we may take those blessings and use them to bless others. God edifies us, enriches our lives, and empowers us to edify others, to enrich their hearts through fellowship, and empower their lives through teaching. He does this because He loves us and wants us to love Him and love one another

Do you love the Lord as you ought? Are you living for Him as you should? Are you sharing His love and blessings with others to help them be followers of God? Pour all your love out to God and to His church and watch the blessings of God pour into your life so that you can love and bless more than ever before. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 17

Followers Will Love and Sacrifice

Ephesians 5:1-2 ~ Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

True followers of God are those who love Him supremely, have made Him Preeminent in their life, and walk in love to Him. When we walk in love it will extend to our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we walk in this kind of love, we will find that love within us reaching out to those who are outside our church family.

We will have a deep concern for the souls of people. There ought to be no person that we do not love and whom we would not want to see in Heaven. Our desire to see people saved should not be just for our family & close friends. Christ died for all souls and thus He wants all people to come unto the knowledge of the Gospel truth so they can repent and be saved.

If that is what our Lord desires, then that should be the desire of our heart as well. When we walk in love for Him and His church, we will have a love for others that will want to see them in a proper relationship with Christ and the Father.

To walk in love is to deny self and to put others first. Many do not practice self-denial today, but it is a part of the doctrine of Christ. He loved us and put us ahead of Himself when He went to the Cross for us. He did not do this because we were wise, or great, or important. But He did so because we were helpless, hopeless, and doomed to an eternal hell. His self-denial is an example for us to follow as we allow the Holy Spirit to mold us into followers of God.

To walk in love is to be holy. Again, not many people like the word "holy" because to some it conjures up thoughts of a confined lifestyle that is dull, boring, and as dry as a barren desert. The truth is that holiness is separation from the world. We need to remember that the devil is the god of this world system that we live in. We who are believers are not a good fit for this world. It is contrary to all that we are, for it is a place of bondage, misery, drama, confusion, and chaos. The farther we get from the beginning the more perverse it becomes.

When we separate from the world, it is given that we separate unto God and we will be like Him. As a child I always looked up to and wanted to be just like my dad. I mimicked him in speech and actions. Today I am unintentionally like him in so many other ways because I followed and mimicked his ways. The same is true of my mother for there are many things that I picked up from her just because I was so close to her for so long. I unintentionally mimicked her and I can see glimpses of her in my life; good things, spiritual things.

When we follow God as His children, we have a desire to be just like Him. We are created in His image for His pleasure and joy. Separating ourselves from the conformity of the world is a life of blessing and joy in both the good times and the bad times. Sometimes it means sacrifice, but the benefit of sacrifice is far better.

God gives help and solutions to the problems of life that come up. But the world’s solutions to life’s problems usually bring new problems with them. I will give you two examples. First, when a married couple have problems in their relationship, the world’s answer is to divorce and find someone more compatible. The problem is that it causes harm to children and instills a habit of running from problems in both parents and children. Running from problems will always cause more difficulties down the road.

Second, when a sinful lifestyle brings about an “unwanted pregnancy”, the world’s solution is to terminate the child’s life. This will cause undue stress to the woman later in life and again teaches that it is easier to run from situations and to handle them wrongfully.

Are you walking in love that cares for the souls of the lost? Does your love cause you to put others first before yourself? Does it lead you to live sacrificial and to separate from all that is against your Father and draw closer to Him? Draw close to your Father and ask Him to flood your soul with His love, compassion, mercy, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness for others. You will benefit and prosper as you follow the Lord and love as He does. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

THE PASSION WEEK

The 10th & 11th Day of the Months (Sunday & Monday)

Exodus 12:3-7 ~ Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

As Christ rode into Jerusalem on the first day of the week (Sunday) we see the crowds accepting Him as the promised Messiah (Mt 21:1-9; Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-38; Jn 12:12-19). They were shouting “Hosana” which means “oh save!” Normally the people would have recognized a prophet or an important person as a son of Abraham, but here we see that He is recognized as the son of David. This is because they see Him as the King of the Jews, as the son of David, the One who is to sit upon the throne of David and deliver His people Israel from their bondage. No doubt many of these are expecting Him to restore the glory of Israel that was once enjoyed in former days before they forsook God and were taken into captivity.

As they are gathering around Him they are shouting praises and singing and making a great procession as they descend from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem. They are literally laying down the “red carpet” treatment for this King of kings as they lay their clothes and palm branches down in front of Him. He is receiving the royal treatment of those who are following Him. We too should live every day of our lives singing and shouting praises to this King of kings and the Lord of lords. He alone is worthy of all acceptance. His name should always be on the tip of our tongue in praise and adoration. Consider that He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy the world and to start all over again. But He chose to suffer and die alone for you and me. Just consider this week all that the Saviour went through for you. Consider all that He has put up with out of us to bring us to a place of repentance and salvation. Consider what He has endured in trying raise us up and to help us to be Christian. What a shout of praise He is worthy of today! AMEN!

We are told that on this first day He had looked upon the city with great sorrow in His heart (Luke 19:41-44). He foretold the siege and the destruction of the city which was fulfilled by the Roman general Titus in AD 70. One of the two times that we are told that the Saviour wept was here on this day as He foresaw the great atrocities that would be played out as the city was laid waste. He had also examined the temple and all that was going on there.

What we need to also see and understand about this triumphal entry is the fact that Jesus was presenting Himself as the Passover Lamb of God. On the tenth day of the month the lamb was to be taken out from the herd and to be set apart for examination. This lamb had to be without spot or blemish. There could be no scratches or bruises of any kind; the lamb had to be perfect. Our Saviour is the perfect Lamb of God. He was untainted by the world and the blood which was in his veins was the pure, righteous, holy, innocent, undefiled, incorrupt, effectual, eternal blood of Jehovah Elohim. It is the only feasible cure for the sin curse that has been brought upon the world. Whenever that blood is applied to our spiritual account, and that only by our complete faith in the redemptive work of Christ, it cleanses from all unrighteousness.

At the end of the day Jesus went back out to Bethany where He was staying with Lazarus and his sisters. On Monday morning, He once again headed back into Jerusalem (Mk 11:12-19). While on the way there He saw a fig tree and came to see if there might be some fruit on it. The Lord knew there were no figs on the tree before He came to it for it was not the time for fig trees to be bearing fruit. It was too early in the year. He was going to use the tree for an object lesson for the disciples. He said unto the tree, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. Let no man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever” (Mt 21:19 & Mk 11:14).

He then headed on into Jerusalem and went into the temple. As He came into the temple we find that He began to clean out the temple and to purge it for the second time. He had already done this once at the Passover in the beginning of His ministry (Jn 2:13-17). As He cleared the temple we are told, “… He taught … them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mk 11:17). The people had so belittled the worship of God to the point that there was no true worship taking place. They go into the temple, buy a cheap bird, and offer it there for a sacrifice. It was a ceremonial observance of convenience. They who worship God must worship in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23). We must give of ourselves to God for true worship to take place. They were not giving of themselves to God but were rather giving themselves to an outward show of a convenient observance. Others had made the temple a place for profit and not a place for worship. They were robbing God of the glory due Him. They had stolen the focus of what the temple was all about; the temple was a place to assemble in worshipful praise and communion with God.  

Let us observe what was taking place here and examine our own selves to see if we need to do some tuning up in our life. Do we worshipfully praise God every day? Do we give time to Him in reading, studying, and meditation upon His Holy Word? Do we spend time with Him in sweet communion every day? Look this week at the Passion of the dear Saviour and remember that all He suffered was for you because He loves you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

12th Day of the Month (Tuesday)

Mark 11:20-22 ~ And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (READ vs. 20-26)

Early on Tuesday morning they were once again entering into Jerusalem and the disciples saw the fig tree which the Lord had cursed the day before. The tree was now dead and dried up from the roots. As we said, He did this to teach an object lesson to the disciples. Jesus knows that His time with them is short so He wants to prepare their hearts and minds to deal with and accept the events that are to take place this week. He wants to show them the power of faith. Powerful faith can be seen throughout the Word of God.  Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and the sun and the earth held their place for about a whole day so that Israel could defeat their enemies (Jos 10:12-14). Elijah prayed the fire of God down from Heaven to consume the sacrifice and to bring God’s people back to Him (1 Kings 18:25-41). The three Hebrews went through the fire believing that God would deliver them, either through life and protection, which He did, or through death in which they would have held to their faith and integrity (Dan 3:1-30). Faith in God is the victory.

The object of our faith is very important. Our faith to receive anything from God must be based upon the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith in God is not a blank check to receive whatever we want. Our desires must be tempered and governed by the Word of God. Just because we ask God for something does not make Him obligated to do all that we can ask or think of Him. That is a dangerous way to live because God is not a genie in a bottle to use for our lustful desires. The Three Hebrews in Daniel Chapter Three had a faith that trusted the Sovereignty of God to do the right thing and they were willing to accept His choice whether it was life or death. That is true faith in God and that is the faith that brings the victory.

Faith is in God’s person; a loving and caring God and Father who loved us and gave of Himself for us. It is not so much of the believing and receiving aspect as much as it is the trusting God implicitly come what may.

 Faith is trusting in God’s promises that are given us in His Word. God wants us to pray and to make our requests known unto Him (Php 4:6; & 1 Pt 5:7), but we cannot pray outside of the Word of God. When we pray we must consider that what we are praying for must be backed by the Word of God and that it is according to the will of God in any given situation (1 Jn 5:14-15).

Faith is trusting in God’s power to keep the promises that He has made in His Word. Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” God can do far more than we could ever ask or think of Him to do. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk 1:37). God can do anything He wants because He has all power in heaven and in earth.

Now our faith is based upon the redemptive work of Christ without which we have nothing. And in Him our faith is placed in God; in His person, His promises, and His power. But what do we do with all this faith now that we have it? It must be used for God’s purposes, not our own. We must align our will with the will of God. When we do we will see doors of opportunity open to see the impossible become possible.

When the disciples tried to cast out a devil from a child in Matthew 17 they could not get it done. They asked the Lord, “Why could not we cast him out” (v 19). And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (v 20). When we align our will and purpose in life with the will and purposes of God, then we have power to accomplish the absolute impossible. It is not the quantity of our faith so much as it is the quality of our faith. Keep in mind the faith of Abraham who trusted that God would raise up a dead child for the posterity that He had promised to Abraham through that child. If we have quality of faith then do we have quantity of faith. If the quality of our faith is lacking then we will not have great faith.

This is the Passion Week and we should contemplate on all that Christ did. He is under examination as the Lamb of God. Many questions will be put to Him during this week to test Him and to try to find fault with Him. But as Pilate so adamantly pointed out, they can find no fault in Him. It is therefore necessary that they find some lowlifes to bring false accusations against Him. They must then find someone within His ranks who will betray Him. And all of this they do. When someone stands against you, they curse you, hate you, use you and persecute you, then you should stop and consider all that our Lord faced as He was getting ready to go to the Cross. If He can endure, and we have His Spirit within us, then we also shall endure through faith. God gave us a whole list of folks who have done the impossible through faith in Hebrews Chapter Eleven. Just as these great heroes of the faith, we should have a faith that worships God, walks with God, waits upon God, and works for God, then will we have a faith that wins with God. Is your faith in the right place (the redemptive work of Christ)? Is your faith in Christ placed in God’s person, God’s promises (His Word), and God’s power? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

13th Day of the Month (Wednesday)

Mark 11:23-26 ~ For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Let us finish this all-important lesson that the Lord was teaching the disciples yesterday. He was giving them an object lesson on faith. But the important part of that lesson is what will hinder our faith. There are things that will be obstacles to our faith in accomplishing things for God. When our faith is hindered then is our prayer life hindered. Unbelief is a major obstacle to faith. Faith is belief in and trust in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is (His existence), and that He is a rewarder (His personality and attributes) of them that diligently seek him.” Unbelief is like trying to burn water; you can get it hot and you can boil it away, but you cannot burn it. Without faith we cannot accomplish anything for the Lord, no matter how hard we may try.

Doubt is another obstacle to faith (Mt 21:21 & Jam 1:5-6). Doubt questions God and does not trust His authority and sovereignty. Remember that we must trust God implicitly to do what He knows is the right thing to do. We ask and then we accept God’s answer as the best outcome. That is being unselfish; not wanting for self. Selfishness weakens powerful faith. It will cause us to ask for things that we will consume upon our lust (Jam 4:2-3). This goes back to asking for things that are outside the scope and purpose of God for our life. Remember the words of Christ as He was in the Garden praying and He said, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done” (Lk 22:42). He accepted God’s will as the best outcome.

But in our text (Mk 11:23-26) the Lord taught them a great lesson on what will hinder our faith and our prayer life. He teaches the disciples that if they will pray in faith, according to the will of God, trusting Him, His person, promises, and His power, they will receive whatsoever they ask for. But He also says that they are to forgive those with whom they have a grievance against. Why? Because He does not want the disciples to get hung up on those who are going to be the instruments of God to bruise and crucify His only begotten Son. If they get hung up on holding a grudge against the Jews and the Romans they will not be effectual in spreading the Gospel throughout the known world. Therefore, He teaches us that we must forgive, or we will not be forgiven. It is not about our salvation, because our guilt and penalty are forgiven because of Christ (Eph 4:30-32). It is about having the victory over the flesh. It is about being effectual in the work of God. How can we have the power of God if our faith is hindered by unforgiveness? We cannot! Unforgiveness is a root of bitterness that is ingrained in our flesh and in our flesh we have no power to be of any use to God.  We do not forgive to be forgiven, we forgive because we are forgiven, and that for Christ’s sake.   

He is teaching the disciples many things over the course of these few short days, but there is also a time when Christ is questioned and examined. This is what is expected of the Passover Lamb for it must be without spot and without blemish. It was put up on the tenth day and examined to be sure that it was spotless. It was sacrificed on the fourteenth day (Exo 12:1-6). So Christ rode into Jerusalem on the tenth day and will be crucified as our Passover Lamb on the fourteenth day.

He will gather with the disciples on this thirteenth day to have His last supper with the twelve. They will gather and eat the Passover together because Christ will not be around to do so on the night of the fourteenth. But, in all truthfulness, they are actually eating the Passover on the fourteenth day. Under Jewish time their day begins at 6:00 o’clock pm. It goes back to the beginning when “… the evening and the morning were the first day …the second day, etc. (Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, etc.). After Christ reveals to Judas that He knows who He is, Judas leaves out and Christ institutes the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, with the eleven (Jn 13:21-35). This is a sweet time of fellowship as He spends His last night with them before going to the Cross.

Spend some time today and tonight in prayer and meditation upon what Christ did on this week nearly two thousand years ago. What He did is eternal and will never cease. The power and the efficacy of the Cross of Christ is an eternal and effectual work. Multitude millions of peoples will be in Heaven because of His selfless, sufficient, substitutional, sacrifice. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

14th Day of the Month (Thursday)

Crucifixion Day

Php 2:8 ~ And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Col 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;

Heb 12:2 ~ Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Crucifixion day has arrived. Many believe that Friday would have been crucifixion day but that does not hold to Scripture. Our Lord came to fulfill all the law and the prophets. We know that the Passover Lamb was to be put up on the tenth day of the month and sacrificed (His blood shed for the remission of sin) on the fourteenth day (Exo 12:3-7). He came into Jerusalem on the first day (Sunday) of the week which would have been the tenth day of the month. Therefore, the fourteenth day would have been on Thursday.

Another proof of this is found in Exodus 12:14-20 where we have the command given to refrain from eating leaven for seven days following the Passover. Verses 16 and 18 are the key verses. The Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish year. On the fifteenth day begins the week of unleavened bread (v 18). This day begins at the close of the fourteenth day. Remember that the Jewish days run from 6 o’clock pm to 6 o’clock pm (“… the evening and the morning were the first day”). The first and seventh days of unleavened bread were holy days that were treated much like a Sabbath day (v 16). The first day of unleavened bread fell upon the Friday which would put the holy day and the Sabbath day together giving them two days in which no work was done. Therefore, Friday could have been referred to as a Sabbath (Mk 15:29) because they were getting a two day Sabbath in the sense that both were holy days in which they could do no work.

Another reason why I believe this is because the Jewish day runs from 6 o’clock pm to 6 o’clock pm where we are accustomed to our day which runs from midnight to midnight. In the Jewish day Christ would have to be down off the Cross and in the tomb before 6 o’clock pm. If He were left upon the Cross it would have defiled the land according to the law (Deu 21:22, 23). Jesus dismissed His spirit between 3 and 6 o’clock pm on that day. I believe they just did get the body in the tomb in time. Therefore, Thursday night and Friday would be the evening and the morning of the first day. Friday Night and Saturday would have been the evening and the morning of the second day. Saturday night and Sunday would have been the evening and the morning of the third day. We know that He came out of the tomb early on the third morning. (This is how I personally believe because it aligns with the Scriptures. The day is not the important issue, the fact that Jesus died for our sin and was buried is the critically important issue.)

On this day Jesus was examined by Annas who then sent Him to Caiaphas the High Priest (Jn 18:12-23; Mt 26:57-68; Mk 14:53-65; & Lk 22;54, 63-65). Jesus was very cruelly treated all along the way that morning as He was being led from one place to another. He is then led to Pilate who questioned Him and then sent Him to Herod Antipas (Mt 27:11-14; Mk 15:2-5; Lk 23:1-5; & Jn 18:28-38). Herod and his men mocked the Lord and then returned Him to Pilate (Lk 23:6-12). Pilate talked with Him and told the Jews He could find no fault in Him (Mt 27:15-26; Mk 15:6-15; Lk 23:13-25; & Jn 18:39, 40). He tried to release Jesus, but the religious leaders would have none of it. Pilate thought the people would have chosen to release Jesus if He were put up beside a murderer. But the prophecy was already written, and the people cried out for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Christ. He was crowned with thorns and mocked (Jn 19:1-16)

Jesus was then scourged and had the cross beam of His cross laid upon Him. As He fell beneath the load they made Simon, a Cyrenian, to help Him carry the Cross up the hill to Golgotha. The following is an order of events at the crucifixion as presented by Rev. C. I. Scofield:

(1) The arrival at Golgotha (Mt 27:33); (Mk 15:22); (Lk 23:33); (Jn19:17).

(2) The offer of the stupefying drink refused (Mt 27:34); (Mk 15:23).

(3) Jesus is crucified between two thieves (Mt 27:35-38); (Mk 15:24-28); (Lk 23:33-38); (Jn 19:18-24).

(4) He utters the first cry from the cross, "Father, forgive," etc. (Lk 23:34).

5) The soldiers part His garments (Mt 27:35); (Mk 15:24); (Lk 23:34); (Jn 19:23).

(6) The Jews mock Jesus (Mt 27:39-44); (Mk 15:29-32); (Lk 23:35-38).

(7) The thieves rail on Him, but one repents and believes (Mt 27:44); (Mk 15:32); (Lk 23:39-43).

(8) The second cry from the cross, "To-day shalt thou be with me," etc. (Lk 23:43).

(9) The third cry, "Woman, behold thy son" (Jn 19:26-27).

(10) The darkness (Mt 27:45); (Mk 15:33); (Lk 23:44).

(11) The fourth cry, "My God," etc. (Mt 27:46-47); (Mk 15:34-36).

(12) The fifth cry, "I thirst" (Jn 19:28).

(13) The sixth cry, "It is finished" (Jn 19:30).

(14) The seventh cry, "Father, into thy hands," etc. (Lk 23:46).  

(15) Our Lord dismisses his spirit (Mt 27:50); (Mk 15:37); (Lk 23:46); (Jn 19:30).

The Bible tells us “And they crucified Him.” We found the following description of a Roman crucifixion given by a medical doctor:

“The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. [This is the depression where the palm meets the wrist. Here the nails can be driven through without going through the bone. It is part of the palm and therefore there is no contradiction of the Scriptures.] He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the palm and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the palms, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the palm are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again, he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. Finally he can allow his body to die.”

All this the Bible records with the simple words, “And they crucified Him.” This He did for me and for you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

The 15th Day of the Month & Counting (Friday & Weekend)

John 19:41-42 ~ Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

Our Lord has now died and Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus have come and laid Him in a tomb just at the end of the day (6 o’clock pm) (Jn 19:38-42). On Friday the chief priests and the Pharisees came to Pilate and desired that the tomb be sealed and guarded so that the disciples could not come and steal the body away (Mt 27:62-66). Though His body is now dead and buried, Jesus is not dead. He is now completing what He came to do; to set the captives free. He must now go into the “prison”, also known as Paradise (Lk 23:43) and Abraham’s bosom (Lk16:22[19-31]), to preach to those who have died awaiting the arrival of the Messiah.

Those who have died in faith are in a special place because they could not ascend to Heaven until the blood of Christ was shed on Calvary. Just as He opened up the Scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus on Resurrection day, He first opened those Scriptures to the saints in Abraham’s bosom so that He could lead captivity captive (Psa 68:18 & Eph 4:8). All is silent up on earth, but all is not over. He said He would rise again, and He will!

Cursed On The Tree For Me

Galatians 3:13 ~ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Ref: Deu 21:22-23). When someone was hung on a tree it was for some great offense against the Law of God. Those who broke the law were criminals and those who were hung had committed crimes worthy of death. But it was an unusual death in that it was a death of rejection, shame, and reproach.  These were those who were deserving of the punishment. Unfortunately, it was the death that would be used to wickedly crucify the Son of God who became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). It would have been a deserving punishment for me to be hung on that old tree and that is why He did it; He suffered so that we would not have to. My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

Let us be careful not to look at the Cross with the wrong outlook. Knowing our Lord was crucified by the Jews and the Romans we may have somewhat of an indignation against them. But we have the anger and the blame pointed at the wrong place. 

First, we must realize that our Lord Jesus came into this world as a newborn baby in Bethlehem for the very purpose of going to that old rugged Cross. He lived a perfect and a sinless life. He fulfilled all the Law and the prophets. He came to be the spotless, unblemished Lamb of God for sacrifice. He kept Himself pure in His humanity so that when He died He might be a worthy sacrifice. He took it upon Himself to suffer and to die upon the Cross as a just, pure, holy, worthy, and acceptable sacrifice. The only thing we should be angry at is sin; Jesus came to die for the sin of the world. My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

Secondly, we need to accept that He died a just man for an unjust people. In His innocence He shed His blood to pay for our sin that we could not ever hope to atone for. We are a needy people who are ever in need of a Saviour. Our sin and transgression were so great that the death of the Cross would not have been a worthy death for us. The shame and reproach of the Cross would have been too good for our sin against a holy, merciful, and loving Creator. And, yet, that great Architect of the universe, that loving Potter of the clay, made a way to redeem His creation and to give it life again. He would allow a Volunteer to step up and take the punishment for us so that we could escape the wrath to come and be set free. My what love our Heavenly Father has for us. My sin put the Lord of Glory on that old tree and it was His love for me that kept Him there. My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

My liberty was written the day that Christ died. It was written in crimson red with the blood that He shed for me. My liberty was approved the day that I accepted Him as my Saviour. It has His seal of approval; the seal of His Holy Spirit within me, who Himself is that seal that cannot be broken. The just died for the unjust so that the unjust would be justified. God in the flesh died for you and me so that we could live for eternity! My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

It is the greatest love known to man.  Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).  The Lord Jesus showed and proved His love for me when He died on that old Tree. He is the Friend that is closer than a brother. He is a Friend when we are unfriendly. He is a Friend when the chips are down. He is a Friend when all others walk away. He is a Friend that is a friend indeed. The most amazing thing is that when the Lord Jesus died for me, I was not His friend, I was His enemy. He died for both His friends who were in the world and He died for those who were not His friends as well. He died to make an enemy like me His friend. My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

We have been graciously given a second opportunity by being taken out from under the condemnation and the wrath to come. My Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, hung on that old Tree so that I could go free. But my freedom is not to do as I please. My freedom and liberty are given to me to be reconciled back to my Father in Heaven. It is a liberty to be a productive and integral part of the family of God. My life is not in this world, my life is in Christ. In Christ I delight to do the work of the Lord in His family because it is my family. We work to grow, nurture, cultivate, and build the family upon the doctrinal foundation of the Father’s divine planning. We abide, not under, but in the grace of Almighty God. It is His grace that has given us liberty, not to continue in sin, but to excel in service to our Father and our family which is the Church. My what love, that He would be cursed on the Tree for me.

Join us on Resurrection Sunday on our Facebook live feed for the rest of the story. – Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

WEEK 12

March 30

Understanding The Will of God

Ephesians 5:17 ~ Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

It is the will of God that all should come to repentance and be saved (2 Tim 2:4 & 2 Pt 3:9). God is not willing for one soul to perish and go to hell. He made salvation possible through the selfless sacrifice of His Son. The only reason that people go to hell is because they do not accept what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross for them in their place. We are told in Galatians 1:4: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” This present evil world is condemned to hell because of the sin curse upon the world and the only hope of escaping that eternal doom is to accept the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).

Once we are saved we are to live the will of God for our lives. God has given us His general will for all believers in Romans 12:1, 2. We are to present ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice which is only our “reasonable” service. The word “reasonable” means “our rational and logical service.” We do this because of the love of Christ. Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35). His love for us is sacrificial, selfless, and saving. Here in the end of this great chapter in the Word of God we find a litany of afflictions of the saints listed. It is Christ’s love for us that strengthens and encourages us in the times of affliction and adversity. He became us so that He might save us. He paid the debt we owe so that He might redeem us. He is now working and preparing and eternal home for us in Heaven. His love for us is real, it is perfect, it is indissoluble, indispensable, and nothing can separate us from His love for us. His power that keeps us is His love for us.

His love surpasses all knowledge (Eph. 3:19). It is a Sovereign love that He possesses. It is given to us freely without expectation of anything in return. It is true that He desires for us to love Him. If we do not it breaks His heart.  But the truth is that He gave Himself to us out of love for us when we were ungodly sinners and enemies of God. He gave up everything so that we could gain everything. He became the peasant so that we could become royalty. What greater love can there be?

The love of Christ will capture and constrain us to give our all to God (II Cor.5:14). When we come to the place where we realize this great love that He has for us we will have an inborn, ingrained, instinctive desire to give Him our all. That word “constraineth” means “to hold together; to compress; to arrest.” His love for us will arrest our alertness, our attention, and our agreeableness. It will arouse our ambition to do more for Him, our appetite to know Him better, and our aspirations of present and future blessings.

We are to present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice daily. This means that we are willing to go the distance for Him. Whatever He wants and desires is what we are willing to do. We must be willing to give up our all just as He gave up His all. He will never ask us to do something that He has not done Himself.

Understand that to be willing does not mean that He will call you to give it all up. It means that if He does call you are willing to do all that He asks of you. Christ gave up His Father and Heaven and all of His glory for you. He gave up His earthly family and friends for the Cross so that He could save you. You now possess eternal life and eternal rewards because of His selfless sacrifice. If you really believe this to be true, why would you not be willing to give your all for Him?

To give your all means to be in the center of God’s perfect will for your life. It means that your possessions and your family are not more important than God and His will. The love you have for others will become stronger as you get closer to God, especially for those who are saved. But your love for them must never supersede your love and devotion for Him. Remember the Royal Law: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  And …, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt. 22:37-39). The more you love and follow the will of God the more your love for others will increase, even for those whom you may not know.

The first thing that we must know about the will of God is to know, understand, and experience the love of God. You cannot know the will of God if you do not know the love of God. Have you experienced His love today? Have you expressed your love to Him today? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 31

A Work of Faith & A Labor of Love

1 Thessalonians 1:3, 9-10 ~ Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; … For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.   

To know and understand the will of God you must know and experience the love of Christ in salvation. You must walk in obedience to the commands of Christ in sanctification. This is the will of God for the Christian. This is His will for you. As He has said in His Word, “… be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

To know the will of God you must be involved in the labor for Christ. To labor for the Master is the greatest thing that anybody can do. It is a labor of love that is derived from the work of faith. The work of our faith was to turn to Christ for salvation. This brought us into the family of God and into a personal relationship with Christ. Christ lived to fulfill the will of God and so we too should live to fulfill the will of God for our lives.

Christ fulfilled the commandments of God with a joyful heart even though it meant that He must die on the Cross. Going to the Cross involved a greater joy for Him because it meant that many souls, a multitude of innumerable millions, would come to Him and be saved. His objective in living was to die to redeem us and reconcile us to God (1 Cor 5:21). The Christian life is to be a life of dedication to God and to His church. It truly is a joy and a blessing to be committed, devoted, enthusiastic, and zealous in the Lord’s work. You can know no greater joy than to give yourself wholly to the Lord and His will for your life.

We are to be separated from the world but that does not mean isolated. We can still have our life in this world without being a part of this world. He has called us out of the world by way of salvation, but He has sent us back into the world to live by and fulfill the commandments of God (Jn 17). Our duty is to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13). You must give everything to God and trust Him. Trust that He will give to you what He wants you to have. Give Him your life, your spouse and children, your family, your possessions, your job, your business, your career, your bank accounts, your money, and your retirement. It belongs to Him, so just admit that and let it go to Him. He will give you power, a place of service, a position of service, provision, protection, partners in the work, and he will give you prosperity in every area of your life.

His commandments to us must not be burdensome to us. In 1 John 5:3 we are told “ For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” This is true in the hearts of believers who truly love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is not a love by lip service only, but a love in deed and in truth. The commandments of God are not grievous to us which means they are not burdensome and heavy. When we realize that we have been freed from the exaction, the curse, and the condemnation of the law we delight in the law of God. The closer we get to God the more that we realize that His law and His commandments are protections put into place to keep us safe in this world.

Remember that the law is holy, and it is good (Rom 7:12). The only problem with the law is that there was no power in it to save sinners because it required us to keep it in the power of the flesh. In our spirit we are willing to keep the law and the commandments, but in our flesh we are weak. Now that we have received the Spirit of adoption we have the divine power to keep God’s commandments; and we delight in doing so. Romans Chapter Eight tells us that it is the power of the Spirit within us that gives us the victory over the flesh.

We can serve the Lord with power and glory because He empowers us to do so. We can be in the center of God’s perfect will because He gives us the power to do so. What we do in the power of our flesh is vain and come to nothing. When we serve the Lord in the flesh it is burdensome and tiring. When we serve in the power of the Spirit in submission to Him it is a joy that is cheerful and comforting. No matter the circumstances we can get through them and serve in His will for our life with contentment.

The center of God’s perfect will is living the Christian life. The Christian life is a life of surrender and sacrifice. It is a life of joy and blessings. It is a life that is filled with the Spirit of God. It is a life of spiritual prosperity and eternal rewards. It is a life that is measured by our Christlikeness. It is a work and a labor of love for God and for Christ. Are you wise or unwise in understanding the will of the Lord? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

April 1

A Failure To Plan Is A Plan To Fail

Joshua 1:8 ~ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Drifting through life without a definite goal is a cause for personal failure. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. If we just go along from day to day and week to week we can get nothing accomplished. We need to have direction and aim in our life if we are going to accomplish anything worthwhile. That goal must be guided by Scriptural authority. Without something to aim at we will have no motivation, no desire, and certainly no discipline. There is no ambition in today’s culture to aim high and to do better. When there is no definite goal to aim for in our life our motives get turned around and people are more easily led astray.

Many of our Christian young people are indifferent to the ministries of the church today. They can work in a ministry until they find something they deem more important and then leave it without so much as finding someone to fill in or take over. There is no dedication to the work of God and the cause of Christ because there is no drive; no goals; thus, no motivation. This stems from drifting through life without a definite goal.

They have no real direction in their life because they drift from day to day just trying to fill the moment. And those who are not involved in the outreach ministries of the church have no real desire to be involved. I do not understand this. As a young Christian, even before I had surrendered to the call to preach, I wanted to be involved in everything that was going on at the church. My wife and I were always looking for a place to live that was closer to the church so that we could always be a part of everything that was going on.

Our Christian young adults seem to have no ambition to aim high when it comes to their consecration and dedication to the Lord. They want to get by with the least amount of work and effort on their part. When it comes time to step up and be counted and to be the living sacrifice that God desires, they cower down. They want the best that God has to offer, but they want the best that the world has to offer as well.

They become fence straddlers and want to remain in the neutral area where they can have both. But God has told us in His Word that they are “luke warm” and that He will “spue” them out of His mouth (Rev 3:15-16). In other words, they make God sick at His stomach while they just play Christian. He would rather they were cold hearted than to be the tepid dribble that claims His name, holding on to their insurance policy of going to church, while still being a part of the world.

These people have the wrong motives as they go through this life and all that stems from them not having a definite aim in their lives; a long-term goal to strive for with short term goals to keep them on track. They want to be on God’s side because in the end they know deep in their hearts that it is the safe place to be. But that is not the right motive. They are trying to get by with having the best of both worlds while that is completely contrary to God’s Word (1 Cor. 3:16-17 & 2 Cor 6:11-18).

Those who love the world do not have the love of God in their hearts (1 Jn 2:15). You cannot love God supremely and still love this evil, sin-sick world (Mt 6:24). But many people do just that very thing. They have the wrong motives because they are drifting through life without a definite goal and direction for their life. Having no definite goal is a sign that they are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

Every goal that you set in your life should center on God and focus on the cause of Christ. Our goal in life should be to fear God and keep His commandments for this is our duty (Ecc 12:13). Our end goal should be to leave behind a legacy that we have fought the good fight of faith, we have finished our course (living in God’s perfect will for your life), and through it all we have kept the faith that was once delivered to the saints (2 Tim. 4:7 & Jude 3).

Do you have a direction for your life? Have you set some long-term goals to achieve in God’s work? Do you have short term goals to accomplish along the way? If not, you can start today by asking God to help you set a direction for your life. Ask Him for clear direction and let Him reveal His divine plan for you. Then with patience watch what He does, for then will you have success.

 

April 2

Success Is Consistently Doing More Than Enough

Joshua 1:8 ~ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

When our faith is at the center of every part of our life, public and private, then, and only then, can we be prosperous and pleasing to our Father. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23). If we leave our faith out of our life, we leave out the only thing that will prosper us in our journey. Without the blessing of God, we cannot have nor can we accomplish anything good. If we abide not in Christ we can do absolutely nothing worthwhile (Jn 15:1-17). Our faith in and our love for the Lord Jesus Christ should be constant in every single detail and aspect of our life. It is the power of His love that will keep us from the moment of our spiritual conception throughout eternity. (Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 5:14; Eph 3:19; Php 1:6).

When our faith is the center of our life, then the things of the world will take a back seat to the things of God. We will have a drive and a direction in our life that will propel us to sacrifice for the work of the church and for the cause of Christ. And even though the world may see it as a sacrifice to do the work for the church before we do other things, it is not really a sacrifice. In our hearts it becomes the one thing that gives us real, true joy within and a peace that will surpass all understanding. 

So many of our young people and our young families in the church miss out on so many blessings of the Lord because they are not willing to get up and go the extra mile (Mt 5:41). They do that which is required of them and then they go home. Going to church just for the sake of doing your part is a sad state of living. We should not go because we feel that we must go, we go to church because we GET TO GO! “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psa 122:1).

If it is a chore to go to church then there is a fault in your heart that you need to take to God for healing. When we do that which is required and we do nothing more, we are unprofitable servants (Lk 17:7-10). Only those who do more than is required, doing it out of love for the Lord and love for others, can become profitable. The requirement is to go one mile. It is in the first step of the second mile that Christian joy begins.

It is not a drudgery to do without the pleasures of the world, the activities in the world, and the amusements of the world. It is not a drudgery to be dedicated to God’s work. It is teaching a class because we love the children not because someone should do it. It is working a bus route and knocking doors on Saturday to fill the bus or van on Sunday morning. It is bringing children to Christ because we have a burden for the children and not because someone must drive the bus. It is getting to know their families and bringing them to Christ. It is volunteering to do cleanup and maintenance because we enjoy working around the house of God. It is not a chore it is a blessing (Acts 20:35).

Dr. Curtis Hutson said, “The person who succeeds is the one who does more than enough and keeps on doing it.” Will you make a difference and have an impact on the world around you or will you remain unchecked in the status quo? When we have done all that God has given us to do, when we have gone beyond the call to become “second milers” in the church, then can we be prosperous and have good success. As the LORD told Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” The measure of success for the Christian is in our Christ-likeness. Are you more like Christ today than you were yesterday; doing more than enough and consistent to keep doing it?

 

April 3

Your Purpose, Plan, and Place

Philippians 2:8-9 ~ And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Imagine how Christ felt when He was being beaten and hung to the Cross. He was despised and rejected by those whom He came to save. He was made fun of, He was mocked, He was beaten until He was unrecognizable, and He was nailed to the Cross and left in open shame to the public.

His life had purpose to fulfill a plan and to occupy a place. The purpose was to save the lost by paying for our sin. The plan was to bring us into a right relationship with our Father. His place is at the right hand of God, there to intercede for our benefit, and to occupy our hearts with the presence of his Holy Spirit.

When things do not go the way you think they should go, just think about what Christ went through. Yes, it was a part of a grand plan that He would have to suffer and die. But even as He hung on the Cross, He maintained a heart of compassion and mercy towards others, even those who had treated Him so cruelly. How do you react when things do not go right?

If you are in Christ, it means that you too have a purpose, a plan, and a place for your life in this world and in the world to come. It means that you too can handle the daily struggles with calm assurance that God has a plan. Think of others like Job, Joseph, even the Apostles themselves who were treated so badly. They handled it honorably because they knew that God had a purpose, a plan, and a place for their life.

As you walk with the Lord seek out His purpose & plan for your life. Be in your place at the church He has planted you in; be on time & locked in. There He will cultivate & grow you spiritually so that you may bear fruit for His glory.

 

 

WEEK 11

March 23

Pure Religion

James 1:26-27 ~ If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.   Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

God is very clear about us controlling what and how we say things. He says we need to be in control of our words to not bring harm to others. The tongue can be a very deadly instrument if we are not careful about how we use it. Our words will reflect what is truly in our hearts. We are told in James 3:8, “… the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” If we cannot control our tongues it is evidence to the fact that we do not control our thoughts. This reflects something that is wrong within the heart. Then is our religion in vain. 

Religion is usually used in the Scriptures to give a negative context. But here it is referring to what is in our heart. “Religious” means ceremonious in worship while “religion” is the external ceremony of religious worship.  “Pure religion” is an external respect and trust of God that comes from a regenerated and transformed heart. How we respond to temptation and trials with the tongue reveals the existence and the quality of our faith. Those who have a readiness to speak of the faults of others, or to talk ill about somebody, need to examine their own hearts. They claim to be Christian but have deceived themselves about who and what they are. 

The tongue is a little thing, but the tongue can be a deadly weapon. It can do more damage than a baseball bat. When we speak harsh and hurtful words about or against someone the damage is done. Once we have said it we cannot take it back. It is like a bullet out of a gun; once it leaves the barrel you have NO control over where it goes or what damage it does. It is not just what we say, but sometimes it is how we say it. We may be speaking in truth, but are we speaking with love and compassion. Are we being thoughtful of how we are saying what we say? When a parent is instructing or correcting a child do they do it softly and tenderly, or is it done with rudeness and harshness? The way we say it will make all the difference about how people will respond to us. 

Speaking of the widows and the fatherless speaks to having compassion for others. We are to be in a readiness to always give a kind word and a helping hand to those who are in need. This is pure religion. It does not matter how they treat us; it matters how we treat them. That will show the quality of our faith and the character of our heart. Do we show love and respect to others even when they are “undeserving” of it?

Remember that to be Christian is to be Christ-like. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were the enemies of God, He allowed His only Son to die on the Cross in our place. He allowed this so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). God offers us new, abundant, and eternal life through our faith in Christ as our Lord and Saviour. None of us deserve this but the mercy, love, and grace of God brings it to us.

Do we show forth that same mercy, love, and grace to others? An unspotted life must show forth a true love and charity for others. The only thing that matters is a faith that works by love, purifying the heart, subduing the carnal lusts, and obeying God’s commands. 

Bridle the tongue. Control the thoughts so that you can control your tongue (Php 4:8-9). Watch what you say and how you say it for the tongue will reveal the true heart. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 24

Seeing God

Isaiah 6:1~  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord sitting upon His Throne in the Temple in Heaven. We by faith ought to be able to see the Lord as “high and lifted up.” By the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, we too can get a vision of the Lord. He is Powerful, Pure, Perfect, Preexistent, Preeminent, Prime, Predominant, Purposeful, Patient, Pardoning, Passionate, Penetrating, Perceptive, Percipient, and Piercing. It does not stop there for we would fail to be able to write about all that God is with our feeble finite minds. The good thing is that God in His passion is patient and pardoning. But it is more than just a pardon, for our sin penalty was paid in full by the Lord Jesus on Calvary.

We need to see what Isaiah saw. He saw God’s position; He is perfect and preeminent. There is none greater than He. All the hosts of Heaven and earth, as well as the hosts of the universe - the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the galaxies - all give Him glory and praise. He is the highest of the highs. His lowest is higher than the highest of anything. He is infinite, immeasurable, immense, incalculable, interminable, and inexhaustible. With Him there is no beginning or end, no top or bottom, no sides whatsoever; He inhabits eternity.

Isaiah saw God’s personality. He is the holiest of all that can be holy. He is the purest of all that is pure. He is uncorrupt, undefiled, and untainted. He is so holy and pure that even the angels cover their faces and their feet in His presence. When Moses saw God in the burning bush God instructed him to remove his shoes from his feet. He had to do so because God is so holy and pure that anything that He touches becomes holy and pure or it will be annihilated. Therefore, the ground upon which Moses walked was touched by God and it was holy ground. God is pure and perfect, the prime being of all of life.

Isaiah saw God’s presence. At His presence all will bow before Him. All will humble themselves before this magnificent Creator of all that exists. Every living soul is created by Him. We live, move, and breath, we have our being, because of the marvelous Life Giver. He is the Creator and we are the creature. He gave us consciousness and continuance in the cycle of life that He has given to each of us. We must humble ourselves before Him in hope of receiving His patient, passionate, pardon. Even the old devil must humble himself before the Almighty God of the universe. He can do nothing without the approval of this authentic, authoritative, Administrator.

We must come to Him by the way of the Cross of Calvary. The way of the Cross brings us into the grace of God. The only way we can approach His presence is by His grace at the Throne of Grace. This we may do because of the Great High Priest, the Son of the Living God, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Without the shedding of blood, we could have no hope for mercy or grace. God’s grace is His benevolent, bountiful, caring, and compassionate love towards us.

We, like Isaiah, must see God’s position, God’s personality, and God’s presence. His position is one that allows Him to forgive sinful people and redeem them by the blood of the Lamb. His personality allows Him to love even the vilest sinner because every person is created in the image of God. God loves that person and wants to have a relationship with them. His presence allows Him to watch over and care for His own. He will avenge His elect for the injustices that they endure in this life. Only the magnificent, merciful, Master could accomplish all of this for every individual person that will come to Christ and receive Him as Saviour.

Take time today to examine your heart and life and see God’s position, God’s personality, and God’s presence. When you truly see these things, you will reverence Him and raise your voice in anthems of praise to Him. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 25

A Sense of Our Own Shortcoming

Isaiah 6:5 ~  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

We, like Isaiah, must see God’s position, God’s personality, and God’s presence. But, we must also sense what Isaiah sensed. He saw his own condition. When he saw the holiness of this majestic Creator, he realized the exceeding selfish, sorrowful, sterile sinfulness of his own sin. He knew he could never be anything for God in his current condition. He said he was undone which meant that he knew that he was undeserving, unimportant, unproductive, unprofitable, unusable, and useless in his current condition. Isaiah saw himself because he was in the light of the presence of God. He saw his own helplessness and hopelessness before the incredible, infinite, intense, inspector of hearts.

Even the Apostle John on the isle of Patmos, when he saw God, said, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” When Daniel saw God he said, “Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.” Isaiah, Daniel, John, and all who see God for who He really is will have a sense of their own condition. We know there is nothing hidden from the eyes and the heart of this penetrating, perceptive, piercing God of the universe.

All he could do was to bow before God and confess his sins. He was a man of unclean lips, among a people of unclean lips. The people around him were inconsequential, ineffective, insignificant, ineffectual, inferior, ignoble, and inutile. They did not acknowledge nor give reverence unto God. They did not offer the sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of the lips giving thanks unto God (Heb 13:15). Their lips did not acknowledge God as the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, prevailing, preeminent, penetrating, perceptive, purposeful, predominate God of all creation.

Isaiah saw his own cleansing. The altar is where sin is dealt with. It is not Christ’s coming into the world that saves sinners; it is His selfless, sacrificial, substitutional death on the Cross. That live coal that the angel took from the altar is significant and suggestive as the symbol of Christ’s atoning, appeasing death. This live coal was needed for it represented the clarifying, clearing, cleansing blood of Christ. This precious, priceless, pleasing, peerless, perfect blood of Christ is the only thing that will wash away the guilt of sin with all its regret and remorse. It will take away the stain of all sin with its shame and stigma forever.

This live coal was also representative of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the One who was high and lifted up on the Cross of Calvary. It was essential, elemental, foundational, and fundamental that Christ be lifted up because He came down as a man that He might become “… the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).  This cleansing of the coal on the lips is the outward manifestation of the inward cleansing. The cleansing of the lips is the effect of a redeemed, regenerate heart.

The Apostle Paul cried out, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24). He was a redeemed, regenerate, revitalized saint of God when he said this. Here he was learning and teaching us that it is only by walking in the Spirit that we can live for God. We cannot live for God if we do not walk in the Spirit because it can only be accomplished by the divine grace of God. Our responsibly is to confess our sins and our sinfulness and our insufficient, inept inability to please God. God will forgive and cleanse from all unrighteousness because we need to have the redemption of Christ applied to our lives.

Are you closer to God today than you were yesterday? Do you see and sense as Isaiah did? This is how we pursue, progress, and persevere in the Spirit-filled Christian life. There is a daily confessing and cleansing that must take place. We are saved from the penalty of sin, but we must deal with the presence of sin daily.  - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 26

Here Am I; Send Me

Isaiah 6:8 ~  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

We must see what Isaiah saw by faith. We, like Isaiah, must see God’s position, God’s personality, and God’s presence. You need to examine your heart and life and see God’s position, God’s personality, and God’s presence in your own life. When you truly see these things, you will reverence Him and raise your voice in anthems of praise to Him.

We must sense what Isaiah sensed. He sensed his own condition and his own cleansing. We cannot live for God if we do not walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit can only be accomplished by the divine grace of God. Our responsibly is to confess our sins and our sinfulness and our insufficient, inept inability to please God. God will forgive and cleanse from all unrighteousness because we need to have the redemption of Christ applied to our lives so that we can walk in the Spirit (1 Jn 1:7-9).

Then we must say what Isaiah said. He said he was available. He presented himself to God and made himself accessible to what God wanted. He was surrendered to the will of God. He submitted himself to the Spirit of God. He presented himself as a living sacrifice so that he might prove what was that good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God in his life. Isaiah said, “Here am I; send me.

God is looking for Christians who will have that same sense of dutiful dedication and devotion to His will, His ways, and His Word. A person should never have the attitude that God cannot use them. Some may feel that God will not use them. These people make themselves unavailable with the attitude that limits them because they feel they are insufficient or ineffective. May I say that none of us can do anything for the Lord because we are all limited by self. Those who have received Christ have the precious, preserving, persevering, perpetuating power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish any good for the Master. We should never think that we need not try to live the Spirit-filled life. Our only decision is to submit to being involved, immersed, incorporated, and integrated so that we might be filled with the Spirit.

Others may feel that they do not want to be used. They fear that it may cost them something to live for Christ. They fear the Spirit-filled life may take away the pleasure and the fun of living life in this world. May I say that whatever you may give up in this world to live for Christ is not worth the beautiful, bountiful blessings that God will bestow upon you. He has already proven His compassion, His care, His concern, and His considerate heart towards you when He allowed His Son to suffer the wrath and indignation of your sin. When you who profess Christ choose not to live for Christ who deserves your dutiful dedication, you will sense discontentment, dissatisfaction, discouragement, and have God’s displeasure and disapproval.

Isaiah said he was available, and he said he was agreeable. He was willing to give up the pleasures of this world for the eternal pleasures of the world to come. People will sacrifice and work 30+ years to build a retirement. They will give their all so that one day they can sit down and have all the freedom in the world to just fish, work on a hobby, hang out on the hammock or in their recliner sipping on lemonade and iced tea. But the day will come when that will all be over. What have you worked for and put up for your eternal retirement?

Isaiah was willing to do whatever God told him to do. He was willing to go wherever God told him to go. He was willing to be whatever God told him to be. Too many professing Christians today are not willing to be available and agreeable with God’s appetite, aspirations, and His ambition for them. They miss out on so many of the blessings of watching God perform in their life to prepare, prearrange, procure, and provide all that they need to live for His glory.

Isaiah was saying, “I am here to do what You want, and I am willing to do what You want.” When you see what He saw by faith and you sense what he sensed, then you will be able to say what Isaiah said. We as Christians need to modify our desires and to motivate holiness within our lives so that God can use us. Remember what the angel Gabriel told Mary; “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The world has yet to see what God can do with one person who is purely, perfectly, positively, exclusively, exhaustively, and extensively sold out for Him. What can God do with a church full of people who are preoccupied with pursuing and performing God’s perfect will? Will you be that person? Will your church be that church? Think about it. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 27

Walking In the Light

Ephesians 5:17 ~ Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

If you are saved it is because you were exposed to the Light of the Gospel. That light brought you out of the darkness and into the vast warmth and light of the love of God. To know the will of God you must know the love of God in Christ and you must walk in the Light.

Our sanctification is the will of God and it is a lifelong work. We live in this world with a God-given purpose.  It is being set apart from the things of the world that we may set the proper example for others to follow. We must work in this life to please and serve God. We should be more concerned with what He thinks of us than what the world thinks of us. Ephesians 6:6 tells us to work, “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Whether we are employers or employees we must do our work as if we were doing it for the Lord Himself.

Our sanctification is our walking in the light of God’s presence. In I John 1:4-7 we are told that God is light. We know that Satan is the prince of darkness. If we are to walk in the light we are to be obedient to the Word of God and the call of God. To obey Him is to walk in light while disobeying is walking in darkness. This is a matter of maintaining fellowship with God. It has nothing to do with sonship for that is a matter of life and death. Once you become a child of God you will always be a child of God (I Jn. 5:11-13).

Walking in the light is walking in lock step obedience to God’s Word. This is a matter of learning the Word, loving the Word, and living the Word. We live it when it becomes a part of who we are. It is hiding His Word in our hearts by allowing it to infiltrate and infuse our heart and mind. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is to become what the Bible says that a Christian ought to be.

We live in a dark world and the only trustworthy light that we can depend upon is the Word of God (Psa. 119:105, 130). When His Word enters our hearts it gives us light. It is a lamp so that we can see every step that we take is in tune with the will of God. It is a light to show us the path of life that we must trod. God’s Word gives us clarity so that we can know the way to Heaven, the way to live, the way to reach others, the way to train others, and the way to minister to others.

Walking in the light is having a thankful heart and a grateful attitude. This also is the will of God. Those who are not thankful become cold, hardened, and indifferent to the Grace of God. The Word of God makes it perfectly clear that we are to be thankful no matter what the circumstances may be. We are told in I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” In every situation, in every circumstance, give thanks. 

When we are walking in the light we are the salt and the light that preserves our society, shines a light into the darkness of this world, and allows us the opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ. I Thessalonians 4:3, 4 says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (physical & spiritual): That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.” Our sanctification is the transformation that makes us more like Christ (Christian). When we walk in the light we have fellowship with God but we also influence and impact the lives of those who are around us; family, friends, church family.

We silence the opposition and bring light to them when we walk in the light and the will of God. The world says that we have no tolerance for others. But we love all people and pray for their wellbeing and their salvation. Why? Because God created them just as He did us, God loves them just as He does us, and our Lord Jesus died for them just as much as He died for us. Those who truly love the Lord will love those who hate them because they know the love that God has for them. The Christian knows that the Father is not willing that any should perish (2 Pt 3:9). God wants all people to repent and be saved no matter how good or bad they may be. It is that love that motivates us to carry the Gospel to those that are lost and dying. We overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21 & I Pt. 3:8, 9).  They may never understand why we can love them and speak peace to them in their hatred towards us, but “… it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (I Pet. 3:17).

To know and understand the will of God you must know and experience the love of Christ in salvation. You must walk in obedience to the commands of Christ in sanctification. This is the will of God for the Christian. This is His will for you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 WEEK 10

March 16

Blessed Are Those Who Take Part

Psalm 33:12 ~ Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Living according to the purpose of God will secure the blessing of God upon our life and upon our nation. Without His blessings, joy, and peace you will have confusion, chaos, and turmoil. A nation who does not trust in the will of God is a nation who will suffer spiritual disaster and come under the judgment of God. A nation whose God is NOT the LORD is a nation that is plagued with confusion, chaos, and turmoil. Can you not see that our nation has become more chaotic? Can you not see the turmoil in those nations who do not know our God?

There is more division and divisiveness in America today than there has ever been at any other time. We are plagued with confusion because everybody has a “plan” to put things back together, but nobody can get their plan implemented due to the division. Just a note for thought, the plans that are being put forth leave out the one thing that will turn our nation around and get us back on track; knowing and doing what God wants. This has led to more and more turmoil as the chaos and confusion takes a toll on the people.

With God’s will there is security and certainty for tomorrow even when there is so much insecurity and so much uncertainty in the world. As long as the people of God live outside the will of God they have no security. As long as a nation lives outside the will of God there can be no certainty. To build the wall we must change the course of our nation. The way to change the course of our nation is to have an impact upon those around you every day. Be a voice for the love, the grace, and the goodness of a merciful and loving Creator. Be a voice for the One who loved us and gave Himself for us to be free from the bondage of sin.

How can we know the will of God? We must know the Word of God. Not only do we need to know the Word we must heed the Word. God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). That knowledge is to know and understand the Word of God. It is having godly wisdom that comes from the experience of applying His Word to your life. It is living by faith in what God says and not in sight of the circumstances around you. It is living in The Faith (the core doctrines) once delivered unto the saints.

The world is trying to force us to live compartmentalized lives. The changes that have been made over the last one hundred years have been so subtle. Most Christians just go along with the changes because they seem right at the time and many do not have a real knowledge of the Truth. The world has a philosophy: If you tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough the people will believe it. Global warming, or “climate change” as they are now calling it, is the perfect example of this very philosophy. Many people now believe that the earth is starting to get hotter than it has ever been and that the ice will melt and flood the coastal areas of all the continents. Archeology and true science prove out the fact that the earth has gone through periods of heating and cooling. Some years there will be less rain and other years there have been more rain. Some years will be hotter, and some years will be cooler. Some years the storms will be worse than other years.

Do I believe that the climate of the earth changes from time to time? Yes, I do, but that does not support the “climate change” that the leaders of the world are purporting. It is a scheme that has been concocted to take the power from the people so that the governments can control them. Through legislation they are getting closer to a one world government which is in line with what the anti-Christ will accomplish when he comes to power. Many Christians now believe in “climate change”. They have heard the lies often, loud, and long enough that they have begun to believe them. They live compartmentalized lives meaning they have one life at church, a different one at work, another at home, and still another out in the public. These are not truly Christian though they may be saved. To be Christian is to live according to the faith that comes from the Word of God. The just shall live by faith at church, at work, at school, at home, out in the public, and every place that they shall go. Living by faith is who we are, it is the Christian life; it is the way of life and the truth of life; Christ in you.

God’s purpose is for you to grow and to mature in Christ so that you can live in His perfect divine purpose for your life. He has given us life through Christ so that we could be free and live free. Not trusting the will of God is the bondage of sin that brings on the insecurity and uncertainty in our nation. Knowing the will of God comes from knowing, understanding, and living the Word of God daily. God has you where you are so that you can bring Him honor and glory. Be the salt of the earth that preserves the Christian life. Be the light of the world so that you may shine and share Christ with others. Do your part to live it every day in every way and have an impact on the world around you. Be a part of rebuilding the walls of faith in our nation. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 17

Blessed Is The Nation Whose Trust Is In His Word Pt 1

Hosea 4:6 ~ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

As a nation we have rejected the knowledge of God and His word. We have removed the Ten Commandments from the schoolhouse and the courthouse. We have allowed prayer to be taken out of the public arena. We have told God that we know better how to care for our children than He does. We are losing our youth to the ways of the world. Even Christian youth are leaving the church at an alarming rate. We need to get back to the basics of the Word of God and begin to teach our children from God’s perfect perspective and not man’s corrupt perspective.

The world is pushing Christians into compartmentalized lives to force us to keep our faith out of the public. Political correctness has taken off in the progressive movement which stifles our free speech. Hate speech laws stem from the politically correct venue. You cannot say anything against those who have chosen the alternative lifestyle without the LGBT crowd coming after you. However, we do not hate the person, but we do stand against the sin and the agenda of their ideology. They want to silence anybody who will stand on the Word of God which says that the gay lifestyle is unnatural and sinful (Lev.18:22-24 & Rom. 1:24-32). The same is true of the dope addict and the drunkard; their lifestyle choices are sin in the eyes of God. God loves the person though He hates their sin. (Read Lev. 18 & 19 & Rom. 1)

The progressive liberal agenda is to force their views and beliefs upon us while outlawing our beliefs. This impedes all our liberties. They claim that their legislative agenda is for the sake of unity, the advancement and benefit of society, and for the protection of the minorities. They say Christians are the ones who are intolerant. They say that we are the bigots and troublemakers. But it is they who do not want to allow us the freedom to voice our faith in the public. It is they who are trying to make God’s Word out to be a piece of hateful, intolerant work. It is they who claim that the Bible is full of myths and scare tactics to force people to live the Christian life. If that is true, why are they so scared of it? Why do they work so hard to disprove what it says to be true? Unfortunately, it is they who will stand in judgment before a loving and holy God whom they are trying to silence.

What we are in church, what we are in our spiritual life, ought to be who we are in our social and civil life. There are not different compartments in the Christian life. Our lives are not to be compartmentalized because of what the liberal progressives try to force upon us. We must remember history for what it is: it is His-Story! Daniel Webster said, “History is God’s providence in human affairs.” True history is His-Story written on the pages of our history books. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 18

Blessed Is The Nation Whose Trust Is In His Word Pt 2

Hosea 4:6 ~ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Christian is a way of life; a life of faith. The world hated the Saviour and the world will hate those who follow Him. With them it does not matter the good we do nor does it matter the love we share. They are enemies of the Cross of Christ and of the Word of God. Anything that says they are wrong in what they believe and live is to be destroyed and silenced.

We are told in Philippians 3:17-21, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (Jn 15:18). Again, what we are around the church house, around God’s people, is what we ought to be everywhere we go.

The greatest History Book ever written was written by that great Historian and Author, Jehovah God. We must know and understand and apply His written Word to our lives. How can we stand against the tyranny that is building if we do not know the Truth of His Word? How can we rebuild the walls of our Christian American Heritage if we do not understand His Word? How can we stand in the hour of need if we do not daily apply His Word in our life? Our nation will only be blessed when we have His Word governing the lives of men. Otherwise He will reject and forget that nation which has rejected His Word.

The Virginia Charter of 1606 is taught in schools as having the search for gold as the most important reason for the charter. The third paragraph reads, “We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government: DO, by these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires;…”

As Christians we should endeavor to stand our ground on the Word of God with love for our fellow man. When they are wrong we love and pray for them. When we have opportunity, we must lovingly share the truth with them. When they get angry and revile us we must rebuke them sternly, but we must do it in love without any bitterness or malice. We are to overcome evil with good (Rom 12:17-21).

The objective is to win them over into the light and you can only succeed in doing so by loving them. When you love them in their sin, compelling them to come out of it, you emulate the love of God, you keep your integrity intact, and you will win over the opposition. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 19

Blessed Is The Nation Who Lives By His Grace Pt 1

Jeremiah 6:16 ~  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Our nation would do well to go back to its roots and start over again. But that may never happen. We need a revival so that our nation will get back to the basics of godliness. We need a revival for His glory, not for our economic wellbeing. We need a revival to bring people back into a right relationship with God, not to get our former national glory back. We need a revival because God is worthy of our submission to Him so that He may send a mighty revival across our country. It is not for our benefit; it is for His glory. When He is glorified we will benefit from His blessings and prosperity.

Today our history is being rewritten. They have been rewriting our history for nearly one hundred years now. What happens to our society when we forget the truths of our own past? Patrick Henry said, “I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.” The way we view our history determines the decisions that we make in the present. Thomas Jefferson said, “History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future.”

In the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s we had modern historians that began to write the history books for our educational system. There are tons of volumes of historical documents, personal journals, and writings of our founders. However, the modern historians either did not use these writings or put a modern progressive spin on them to document their work. One example was a book written in 1926 that was a historical account of the life of George Washington. It made the first President of the United States out to be an immoral and ungodly man.

This cannot be true because George Washington was a godly man who was given to prayer. He believed in God his Creator and His Son Jesus Christ. I am not saying that he was a devout Christian. I am saying that he did acknowledge and call upon God almost daily. He relied heavily upon the Providence of the Almighty. He said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”

There was another book written in 1927 that discounted all that the 1926 book said. In one event recorded in the 1926 book, the 1927 book proved that Washington was in another state at the time the event occurred. The 1926 book did not list any documents or resources for its content. The 1927 book listed numerous resources for what was written. These resources were from the time period in which Washington lived. They prove out that he was a sincere and godly man.

The historians wrote their history books using the 1926 book to reference the life of George Washington. Again and again the 1926 book was used as a resource for the life and times of George Washington. History books that were written later documented these former history books that had been written concerning the life of Washington. In many of these books there are no resources about the life of Washington that date back before 1926. The progressives are rewriting our history.This is the death of our history be a thousand cuts.

We as Christians need to go back to the beginnings of our history and know the truth. It is certain that too many of our children today are not getting that truth. They are getting the liberal progressive spin of what they believe truth is. Their version of the truth removes the Word of God and removes the God of the Word from the classroom. It teaches that we are not dependent upon God but upon our government to provide for us. This is entitlement mania gone mad. We as Christians need to teach the generations behind us what is true about the founding fathers and about the beginnings of our Judeao Christian nation.

We need to help them understand the Providence of the Almighty and His mercy and goodness towards us even today. Our nation may have turned away from God but there is still a great many of godly people who can and will teach the next generation. If we would all endeavor to reach one and teach one, and then reach another and teach them, and continue this process, we could change the course of our nation. Pray for those you are around and then talk to them. God has one for you to reach for Christ and to teach the ways of Christ. Will you start with reaching one? Will you be a tool and a voice for the Master? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 20

Blessed Is The Nation Who Lives By His Grace Pt 2

Jeremiah 6:16 ~  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

The progressives do not want you to know that our nation was founded upon Christian principles and values. Many say that faith and Christianity have never played a role in the civil arena and therefore should not be there now. Many Christians have accepted this lie and now live their lives in segregated compartments. Our faith is meant to govern every aspect of our lives. Our founders, including our first President knew this and believed this with all their hearts.

We were one nation under God in the beginning. It was by His grace that we became a nation. It is by His grace that we have our liberty. Grace made us the most prosperous nation in the world. Grace made us a dominate power in two world wars. Grace made us the leading nation in the industrial revolution. Grace made us the dominate nation in technical advancements and in medical science. It is by the grace of God that we are who we are. It is by our rejection of the knowledge of God that our nation is in the downgrade and the turmoil that we are in today. The progressives want to erase all of Christianity from our history.

Secular historians want our history to be about money and economics. Again, if you tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough the people will believe it. Many have been taught that the Declaration of Independence was written, and that the revolution was fought over, “Taxation Without Representation.” The list of grievances on the Declaration dealt with the abuse of representative powers, the abuse of military powers, the abuse of judicial powers, and the stirring up of insurrections among the citizens of the colonies. Listed in the last half of the Declaration, as the 17th of 27 grievances is the famous “Taxation Without Representation.” When the modern historians began rewriting history in the 1920’s and the 1930’s they wrote from a secular view of money and economics.

Robert Ingersoll was the first great atheist in America. He said that our government has always been a secular government and that the Declaration was a “secular document”. But that “secular document” acknowledges God four different times, twice before the list of grievances and twice after the list. How can you say it is a secular document when it speaks of God as Creator and Provider? They say it because they are trying to tell the lie often, loud, and long enough so that the people will believe it.

The grace of God has secured us the blessings that we have in Jesus Christ. I thank God that I was born in America. I thank God for all the liberties that we have in our country. For these manifold and beneficial blessings, I am grateful. However, our country is headed the wrong way and I desperately plead with you to stand in the ways and to ask for the old paths in praying for revival. Pray with the right heart that will be open to why we need revival; because God deserves our godliness and He deserves His glory. Will you stand in the ways, will you ask for the old paths (revival), or will you be like those who say, “We will not walk therein?” - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

WEEK 10

March 10

The Foundation Begins With Christ

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 ~ According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

The foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ and His doctrinal teachings. He is the faith and He is every fundamental doctrine and principle in the Word of God. The Old Testament Law was fulfilled in the life of Christ. If the written Word of God were turned into a man that man would be the Lord Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (Jn. 1:1, 2). That “Word” is Christ who was the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us (v. 14).

Hence Christ is “… the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Therefore, we have the Word of God - the doctrines and the principles of the Word - as the foundation that we are to build upon. The foundation is laid upon the footing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11 tells us “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” We find in Ephesians 2:19 & 20, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles (New Testament Scriptures) and prophets (Old Testament Scriptures), Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Christ is the Gospel footing, He is the doctrinal foundation, and He is the chief cornerstone. The walls built upon the foundation are all aligned with the corner stone.

The chief cornerstone is the first stone that is laid in a masonry foundation and all other stones will be set in reference to this stone. Those who are saved are the fellow citizens that are to build the wall of faith upon the footing of the Gospel and the foundation of Christ. Everything that we do should be done in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to follow in His footsteps. Even in this sophisticated and modern civilization that we live in today we can walk in the faith of Jesus Christ. There are adjustments that we can make in an ever-changing society and culture without compromising the truths - doctrines and principles - of the Word of God. You can live the life of Christ in this world today.

People today do not have a basic knowledge of God and the Bible that they had 30 years ago. Christians cannot be the rigid “by the book” people that they used to be in dealing with sinners. People today do not learn Bible truths in schools as they once did in our country. Today they learn that things just came into being on their own. All matter and energy were not created, it was caused to come into existence by some major cause such as the Big Bang Theory. Therefore, they have no knowledge of the Footing or the Foundation. They have no knowledge of God or of Jesus Christ.

Today we must adjust the way we deal with people that we are trying to reach for Christ. They must hear the Gospel, but we must build the knowledge of God in their minds. We are basically living in a country that is ignorant of God. We are like the countries that we are sending missionaries into where they have never heard of God. There was a time that I could ask people about John 3:16 and they knew what I was talking about. Today it is common to talk with people and they have never heard of John 3:16. Before dealing with their sin nature we must build the knowledge of God and His love.

Once the Footing and the Foundation are laid we can start building the wall. The wall is a wall of faith. It is living the Christian life which is a life lived by faith in God and not dependence upon the circumstances and the situations around us. We live and breathe our faith in our faithful obedience to the commands and the things of God. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 11

We Are Building To Preserve

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 ~ According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Our foundation begins with Christ which corresponds to our faithful obedience to attend church more than we have before (Heb. 10:23-25). You cannot dabble in the world and try to be faithful to the church. This will harm your relationship with the Lord and hinder your life of faith (Rev 3:15 & 16). Remember that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. But God so loved the Church that He shed His blood for it: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He [God] hath purchased with His [God’s] own blood.

Therefore, the church is the place where we come together with other believers and join in worship together. We bring our burdens and our requests to the Lord together at the altar. We are to bring our needs and requests to Him faithfully in prayer (1 Ths 5:17 & Php 4:16). We do this together because our Lord Jesus said, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” This is God's open-door policy that allows us to personally communicate with Him (Heb 4:14-16). He desires to hear your requests, and He desires to answer your requests.

Then it just makes sense that we should support the workings within the church through our faithful tithing and our free will offerings every week. Proverbs 3:9-10 gives us a command with a promise of blessing: “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” The promise in these verses is based upon our obedience and faithfulness, not how much we give. This promise is also based upon the condition of our heart when we give: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7).

But we must also be faithful to study the Word of God daily. There is a difference between reading and studying. Turn off the TV and spend some time listening to what God wants to say. We are admonished to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tm 2:15). Study will produce firmness and stability of character, charity and kindness to others, and consolation and support in trials. Joshua 1:8 encourages us with, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

This is the building of the walls of faith. We increase our faith in our faithfulness to our Lord Jesus and the Church. But we also build the walls when we win people over to the Lord. We must exalt the Saviour, we must encourage the saint, but we fail if we do not evangelize the sinner. The command is given to “GO” in all four Gospels, twice in John, Acts, and in Philippians. We are admonished to hold forth the Word of life in Philippians 2:13-16. In all that we do we must be faithful to work and build the walls. If we do not build the walls back we will lose our Christian American Heritage.

The walls of faith can only be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He has promised to bless us with prosperity and success if we will just do the hard work of building up the walls of faith. Peter professed to the Lord Jesus, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In response to this the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Peter’s profession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God – The Rock is Christ] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” God will bless your faithfulness to His Son, your faithfulness to His Church, your faithfulness in your giving, your faithful study of His Word, and your faithfulness to be a living example and witness to a lost and dying world. Work to build the walls of faith and to be the salt of preserving our Christian American Heritage. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 12

Blessed Is The Nation Whose God Is The LORD

Psalm 33:12 ~ Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Now that we have laid the Footing and The Foundation we will begin to build the wall of our Christian American Heritage. In Joshua Chapter 4 we find that Israel is finally going to go into Canaan and take possession of the Promised Land. When they passed over Jordan they made two memorials of twelve stones each. They carried twelve stones into the Jordan riverbed and placed them in a heap at the priests’ feet. These priests were standing there with the Ark of the Covenant while the people all crossed over to the other side. They then took twelve stones out of the riverbed and carried them up on the other side at Gilgal. These stones were to be a memorial for succeeding generations to remember that it was God that delivered Israel from bondage and brought them into the Promised Land.

The two memorials were a declaration of the Divine Providence of the Creator who is the Divine Judge of all the earth. The twelve stones left in the river are a picture of the death and burial of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Redeemer of all the earth. It is a picture of Christ dying under the judgment of sin in the believer’s place. The twelve stones that were left at Gilgal were a picture of the believer’s absolute deliverance from the judgment of sin. God is just and He cannot just pardon us unless the penalty of sin has been paid in full. That is why Christ died for us in our place; that is why we can now live free from the bondage and control of the sin nature.

These two memorials were to inform their children of the great deliverance that God had worked on their behalf. In Joshua 4:24 we read, “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.” It was a memorial for the world to see the mighty hand of God and for our admonition to fear the Lord our God. The old Ecclesiastical preacher said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” That fear is to love the Lord our God for His love towards us in His goodness and grace. It is to have a reverential respect and trust for Him with a hatred for all that is evil and wicked.

As we work to rebuild the walls of our faith and heritage we must consider some things to remember. We must remember the Declaration of our Independence. It is a reminder of why we separated from Great Britain. We should read this document from time to time and consider what is says. Within this document, which established that we are the United States of America, we find reference to God no less than four times. He is referred to as “Nature’s God”, as “Creator”, as the “Supreme Judge of the World”, and as the “Divine Providence for our Protection”.

We must also remember the Constitution of the United States for it gives us our liberty. Therefore, we have the liberty to assemble and worship the Lord our God without infringement from the government. We can gather to teach and preach the divine oracles of our Holy Creator. It gives us freedom of speech so that we may tell others of Christ. The government cannot impede these rights because they cannot tell us how we are to worship. This is the definition of “Separation of Church and State” which protects our religious liberties from the government. It is not there to protect the government from our faith and the exercise of it in the public arena. The first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We must remember that the Declaration was the foundation of the Constitution and that these are written that we would have a record to remember what this nation was founded upon. It was founded upon Christian principles. These are our nation’s memorials to remember that it was God who delivered us from the tyranny of the king of Great Britain. It reminds us that it was the Grace and Providence of Almighty God that gave us the freedom to live free in a land that has been bountiful with the blessings of the Holy Creator.

The government would like nothing more than to remove our faith from the public arena but that is what protects the freedoms of all who live in America. It was Noah Webster, the father of education, who said, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” He wrote, “… the moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws… All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” Our freedom in America is protected by the Christian faith!

These two memorials are there so that all peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty and that we might fear the LORD our God for ever. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 13

Blessed In His Purpose

Psalm 33:12 ~ Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

George Bancroft, who is the father of American History, said, “God’s providence matters more than the historical events themselves.” The 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence signed it because they had a whole list of grievances against a tyrant king. But, according to their own personal writings, many of them signed it because the king would not allow Bible societies or mission boards. They also signed it because the rule of law from Great Britain would not allow freedom of religion. From Plymouth Plantation in 1630 into the 1900’s, God’s providence and Biblical moral standards were the rule in religious and governmental affairs.

As the Word of God says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” Here we see that the nation that honors God will be blessed. This is clearly seen in the histories of America and Great Britain. Both of our nations were ruled by a series of men who, while not perfect, at least acknowledged God and declared their dependence upon Him. Today both nations have declared their “independence from God” and we can see the results all around us. Our nation is abandoning God and He will abandon us to our choice as a nation. Did not He tell us in Romans 1:28, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” The principle is that when we as a nation turn away from God He will mercifully try to get us to repent. But when we as a nation continue the course we are on He will leave us to the choices that we make.

There is a lesson in this for the individual as well. Those who respond to God’s will by submitting to Him will be blessed. For man to make his plans without consulting the will of God is to reject Him as Creator. We are warned against this because there are always consequences to going against God’s divine will. Isaiah 29:15-16 tell us, “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” When we turn from the will of God, whether as individuals or as a nation, we are turning things upside down.

We will not escape the consequences of going against the will of God. He is the Potter and we are the clay (Rom 9:19-21). We cannot choose our own way for God’s purpose shall prevail. You were made by God, given life by God, and God has a purpose for your life. Who in their right mind would not want to be a part of that purpose? What saved person in their right mind would dare say to God, “He made me not.” Yet when we go against the will and the purpose of God for our life that is exactly what we are doing.

You may choose not to follow God’s purpose for your life. But you will grow to regret that, and hopefully in short order, so that you may have time to repent and become productive for the Lord. But when you do not follow God’s will, His plan and His will shall be done. Just because we do not do our part does not mean that the program and the purpose of God cannot be fulfilled. It is far better to be a part of God’s divine plan to be a vessel unto honor than to not be a part and become a vessel unto dishonor (Rom 9:21).

You as a born-again Christian should endeavor to be in the center of God’s divine purpose for your personal life. A good pattern for living is to live your life according to God’s divine purpose. This is a sure way to the blessings of God while rejecting His will is a sure way out of the blessings and into the judgment of God (1 Cor 11:28-32). To be in the center of His purpose is to have Christian joy, purpose of life, and peace of mind that is beyond the world’s comprehension. This is the good pattern for living that will help to reestablish the walls of our faith and our Christian American Heritage. It starts as a revival with the individual, spreads throughout the church, overflows into the community, and then the community will influence other communities around it. The Lord is coming back, but we are to endeavor to impact the world around us until He returns, or as long as we have breath in our bodies. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 9

March 2

The Degradation of Our Christian American Heritage

Nehemiah 1:3 ~ … the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.  

Our nation was founded upon Christian principles. Therefore, we do have a Christian American heritage. The problem is that the secular progressive culture has hijacked our nation and Christians have allowed them to do it. We became complacent with God’s bountiful blessings upon our nation and accepted what was being taught in our public education system as a good education for our children.

I just want to insert a note here: Public school is more of a baby-sitting club than it is an education system. This is truer in the larger schools than it is in the smaller and more rural areas. Our nation got to the point where both parents worked outside the home to provide better things than they had growing up. Today it has become necessary for both parents to work outside the home just to make ends meet because of inflation. In many single parent homes the parent struggles to provide and survive. But in both situations the schools have become a place where parents can have a free babysitter while they go out and work all day.

But the public school system has been overrun with the progressive liberal academia. They are indoctrinating students against faith in God. They are teaching evolution as a fact and not a theory. However, it is really a religion by all accounts; it requires more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in an eternal Creator. This in no way reflects upon the good Christian teachers and workers that we have in our public education system. It is the system that is under the control of the federal government that is corrupt.

 It seems that every new discovery in theory must be better than the previous. In the mid 1800’s the evolutionists’ theory for the age of the earth was somewhere around 20 million years old. Today, with all the new theories out there, they are saying that the age of the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Their theories are constantly changing to become larger than the one before; it sounds a lot like somebody trying to come up with a better mouse trap. It is easier for me to believe that about six thousand years ago “… God created the heaven and the earth.”

Some may ask, “How does evolution indoctrinate our children away from faith in God?” They are teaching them that evolution is the origin of life. This raises some serious doubts and questions in their hearts and minds about the validity of the Scriptures. Evolution attacks the first eleven chapters of the Bible head on. When they can get someone to question their faith in the first eleven chapters of the Bible they can cause doubts as to the validity and the authority of the Word of God. In a survey of age thirty and under adults who attended Sunday school and church growing up, 61% are disconnected and out of church by age of 29. Overall, in the surveys we studied, there is an 84% loss in those who started attending church as children by the age of 29. It does not end with the sciences being skewed to their belief system.

They are being taught things about our nation’s beginnings that are not true. They are being taught things about the founders that are not true. They are putting forth half-truths and lies for absolute, factual truth. There were 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. The secular progressives have found about five who were not Christian and brought them and their beliefs to the forefront. They use these men to promote their teaching that America has no Christian heritage. They have taken away the Word of God and they have replaced it with their own versions of science and history. God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hos. 4:6).

We need to get back to the very principles that our nation was founded upon. We need to make sure that our children know that what the world calls truth is not truth. We need to teach them the true origins of the universe and of mankind. They need to know of sin and the remedy for sin in Christ. They need to know our Christian American Heritage. They need to know that it is God who established and blessed us as the greatest nation on the earth. They need to know that we need God and His providence. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 3

The Renewal of Our Christian American Heritage

Nehemiah 1:4 ~ And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

2:4 ~ Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Like Nehemiah, it is high time for Christians to wake up and to take back our nation and rebuild the walls of faith. That is the only thing that will give our country back its Christian American Heritage. We must begin with the foundation. If the foundation is not right and true then the walls will not stand true. If the walls do not stand true then they will begin to crack and crumble; this is what is wrong with our nation today.

The walls of our nation have been broken down and our gates have been consumed with fire. When I first taught this series in a church ten years ago this was true spiritually though not absolutely true physically. I said in that series then, “Though this is not true in the physical realm … we have been put into a position where it will become true in the physical realm.” Today it is true physically. Our enemies have come into our midst many times now and have launched numerous attacks upon our citizens. We blame the president and congress, and they are to blame, but the true failure is with Christians who have become comfortably numb to the sin and degradation of our nation. Our walls and our gates are down now, and we need to rebuild the foundations and the walls.

The cold, hard fact is that our nation has turned away from God. We have opened Pandora’s Box and it may never be closed until the Lord comes back to reign on this earth. But that does not mean that we are to give up. We must continue the Lord’s work. Christ came to die so that salvation could be offered to all people. We all need the Lord; we all needed His salvation.

The Lord told us to occupy till He comes (Lk 19:3). That word in the Greek means “to busy oneself with.” We are to be busy about the Lord’s work until He calls us home or until the trumpet sounds, whichever comes first. The first thing we need to do is to continue spreading the Gospel. We do this by being a member of a New Testament church that believes, teaches, preaches, and PRACTICES the Word of God. We support the work of the church through our financial support as well as our active support in being the legs, the arms, and the hands of the church.

Second, we must support world-wide missions around the world. We can only do this by fulfilling the Lord’s desire for us to be an active member of the local New Testament church. Through that church we are to support missions through faith promise giving.

Third, we must show forth the love of God in Christ by performing good works for our community that will open doors for people to hear the Gospel message. We are to do good works in and through the church. Your church needs you to continue the Lord’s work. Without you the church could not continue in the work, and without the church you would not be able to occupy until He returns.

But all of this must begin with sincere, effectual, and fervent prayer by giving ourselves to the Lord in prayer for the needs of the people; those in the church and those without the church. This is active prayer that never ceases. It is praying always with all supplication and thanksgiving. It is to continue to trust and pray when the devil, the circumstances, the critics, and the naysayers are saying that prayer is useless. It is to be given to prayer when your own flesh is tired and worn out and cries out that it is too tired to pray. May I say that it is in these times that we must do the hard work and PRAY ON!

Where do we begin to renew and rebuild? How do we go about doing what needs to be done? We begin with prayer. Nehemiah prayed before anything else (1:4 & 2:4). Pray for mercy and forgiveness. Pray for workers to do the work. Pray for power for those who will do the work. Pray for wisdom and discretion for your spiritual leaders to stay the course and for our civil leaders to get right with God. The first step is prayer; communicating with God and seeking His vision and His help. Will you pray begin praying right now? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 4

Renewal Begins In The Heart

Nehemiah 2:4, 5 ~ Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

It would be easy to point fingers and to play the blame game with what is going wrong in our nation. It would be easy to condemn those who have orchestrated this change. But we must remember that we are fighting a spiritual war. We know who is really behind all this change; it is the unseen enemy. He is the one with whom we are really at war with. Those who are his pawns in all that is going wrong in our nation are the ones we must oppose and stand against, but it is the spiritual wickedness that we are at war with.

In Ephesians 6:10-12 we are told “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And we are also told in 1 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Be careful not to get so caught up with the wrong that we become bitter. The root of bitterness within the heart can do such damage to your spiritual state of mind. Bitterness causes anger. There is anger that is a non-consuming and non-controlling. But there is the anger that is all-consuming and controlling the thoughts and mind with emotions rather than godly wisdom. This leads to thoughts of vengeance and malice. Be careful not to get caught in this trap. Romans 12:19 tells us “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” If we try to “get even” with those who have done wrong we put ourselves in the position of God. Vengeance belongs to God and we leave it with Him. We are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Read Ephesians 6:13-16).

This does not mean that we are to do nothing. We must fight against the liberal progressive agenda which wants to silence our faith and our witness of truth. What we are to do is to remember what was, what is, and what is to be. Remember what we believe, why we believe it, and how we are to live it in our lives. Our faith, if it is real, will lead us to try and tell others what we believe, why we believe it, and why we live by our faith. The right way to fight against the wrong in our nation is to know who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and to defend this with all that we are. But we cannot defend what we do not know.

What are we to know? We must know the Gospel. “… Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3a, 4). All that we think, say, and do must be built upon this one great enormous truth. The Gospel is the footing that must be laid first. I fear that with many this has become so common place in their minds that they have become numb to the effects of the Gospel. Maybe it is on a shelf in the back of their mind. It is time to bring it back to the forefront and allow this great message to move you and to stir you to do your reasonable service (Rom 12:1). Let it transform you and lift you into greater heights for the glory of God. Peter wrote, “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.

We must never let this message slip away from us. We certainly must never allow it to be taken away from us. We must not allow the liberal progressives to take away our liberty to share our faith in public. The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. We must defend this as much as we defend the Gospel. Without this fundamental right we lose our Christian American Heritage.

We must use the Gospel to change people’s hearts and minds to the truth. Change must begin in the heart. We cannot change society, but the Gospel can. But we must fight the good fight of faith and get into the spiritual battle by going into our communities to shine with the love of God and to share the Gospel message. If all Christians would do this it would turn our country around almost overnight. Think about it! - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 5

The Footing of Our Christian American Heritage Pt 1

Nehemiah 2:4 ~ And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

The footing that we are to build upon is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Saviour of the world. As we said, the Gospel is found in its entirety in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. We know that it was delivered unto the saints by the Lord Jesus Himself. He is the Gospel, the good news of salvation. He is the Message and He is the Messenger. Without this footing under the wall there is no stability to build upon. Any religion without the Lord Jesus at the center is a false religion. All false religion will be judged in the end time.

So, what is the Gospel? We see that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. All throughout the Old Testament we see the blood sacrifices that point to the sacrifice once for all. Christ came into this world to go to the Cross. The babe in the manger in Bethlehem was destined for the Cross of Calvary. He stepped out of glory and left His glory behind to become a man. He did not cease to be God; He just laid His glory aside to become the God-man. He is still God and yet He is man; there never was nor will ever be anyone like Him; He is the only begotten Son of God.

Why did He come to die? He had to come and die because man is broken. We are all born with the fallen Adamic sin nature. It leads us into sin and there is nothing we can do about it. That part of the world that believes there is an afterlife says, “Good people go to Heaven and bad people go to hell.” That is a lie out of the devil’s play book. God says, “There is none righteous, no, not one … There is none that understand, there is none that seeketh after God. … there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom 3:10-12). There is not one person who is good enough to get into the gates of Heaven and into the presence of God because we “… all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” All our good works compiled together for our entire life will not be enough to get us into the presence of God.

There is nothing that we could do to earn our way to Heaven. We are all sinful. It only takes breaking one law to become guilty of breaking the Law of God. James 2:10 says “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” The best person that has ever been born, or ever will be born, would not be able to live good enough to earn their way to Heaven. Galatians 3:21b-22 tells us “… or if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Adam’s sin was imputed to the whole human race. This is not unfair because through God’s plan of redemption He knows that by the disobedience of one all were made sinners, so by the obedience of One many can be made righteous through faith in Christ. This is the love of God for man in action. It is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional, and infinite love. The righteousness of Christ can be imputed to all who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that our works are corrupted by our sin nature, we by faith accept Christ’s payment for our sin and receive Him as our Saviour.

Why did He have to die? He had to die because “… the wages of sin is death …” (Rom 6:23). We do not deserve the love of God, but we do deserve to pay for our own sin. But, herein is the love of God: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6 & 8). Christ had to die because death is what we owe. That is not just the physical death of the body. It is eternal separation from a loving, merciful, and gracious God in a lake of fire paying for sin and rejection of the love of God in Christ. It is abiding under the wrath of God (Jn 3:36) for eternity. But Christ the sinless One took our punishment and God accepts that punishment for us when we trust Christ.

We are created in the image of God. We are His creation and we are His likeness. He loves us in our sin. But God is just, and He cannot set aside our punishment because of His personal love for us. He would be an unjust Judge if He did. What He did do was to declare us guilty, condemn us to death, and then step down from Heaven, becoming a man, and satisfied Justice by dying for us in our place. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (I Pet. 3:18).

We cannot get to Heaven by being good (Gal 2:21 & 3:21b). But all thanks and glory belong unto God for Christ paid our way to Heaven on the Cross. “Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3b). Have you put your faith in Christ? If so, are you daily trusting Him for all things? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

March 6

The Footing of Our Christian American Heritage Pt 2

1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 ~ … Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

When Christ died on the Cross He cried out, “It is finished.” He then bowed His head and the Bible says He “gave up the ghost.” No other person has the power to just dismiss their own spirit from their body. This is God in the flesh who was giving up His own life for His love for all mankind. Only Deity could have the power to step out of their body the way He did. They came to break the legs of all three who were crucified that day, but they found that Christ was already gone.

Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus came and took the body of Jesus and buried Him in a tomb that belonged to Joseph. We know that He died and that is important because He must die so that we can go free. All of this is “according to the scriptures.” The Bible said that He would suffer and die (Isaiah 53). It also said that not a bone of His would be broken. All that was done on the day the Lord Jesus was crucified, even His being hung between two thieves, was written hundreds of years before it happened.

But the Scriptures also told us that His soul would not be left in hell; it meant that He would rise again. On the third morning, the first day of the week, our Lord and Saviour got up and walked out of the grave. Many people saw the Saviour after His resurrection. The Bible tells us that there were over 500 people who saw Him at one time (1 Cor 15). His resurrection is proof that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is proof that God is satisfied with His payment for sin. The debt that all people owe for sin was paid in full on that day and it is now offered by the love and grace of God to all who will accept it.

That means that people who believe on the Lord Jesus can be saved. They must believe that He came into this world through the miraculous conception of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, that He lived a pure and sinless life because there was no sin in Him, that He died for their personal sin debt, and that He arose bodily from the grave. However, they must repent to be saved. There must be a change of heart and a change of mind that will cause people to turn from their own selves and their own works to trust what Christ did on Calvary and nothing else. We broke the Law and we are found guilty.  We are condemned and sentenced to death (Rev 20:11-15). But the Lord Jesus stepped up and took our place and our punishment so that we could go free. Our debt is paid, and we never have to worry about coming into that condemnation again (Rom 8:1). All people have to do is believe it and receive it by calling upon the Lord to save you (Rom 10:9-13).

There was a man who was guilty of robbing the mail back in the 1800’s who was sentenced to hang for his crimes. While he was waiting to be hung his wife had appealed for a presidential pardon. The pardon was granted but he refused the offer. Unfortunately, he was executed because he would not accept the pardon. The same is true for so many today. The pardon is paid in full and all we have to do is give up on self and accept the Lord. Too many do not want to give up on self and receive the grace, the love, and the blessings that God has to offer them. So, they will suffer that second death in the eternal lake of fire where the smoke of their torments will rise forever. It is as eternal as Heaven is eternal whether they believe it or not.

As we have said, this was all “according to the scriptures.” They foretold all that would happen with Christ centuries before He ever came on the scene. His conception, His birth, His death, His burial, His resurrection, and His glory were all foretold and written in the Holy Scriptures. According to those same Scriptures we who have received Him as our Saviour will reign with Him on the earth for one thousand years, and we will be with Him throughout all of eternity. This is the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, of God’s love and grace, and of life everlasting. This is the footing for all that we build.

If we are going to build the walls of our Christian American Heritage back up we must start with the footing which is the Gospel. Everywhere the Gospel goes lives are changed. When the Gospel goes into an area it may take time for the people to truly understand it and receive it, but when we are faithful to love them and to hold forth the Word of Life to them, the change will take place. It cannot be a superficial love; it must be genuine. When you pray for the souls of the people you are trying to reach God will put a love in your heart for those people. In that love we look for every opportunity to share Christ with them.

If we are going to build up the walls we must go to the work. We need workers and laborers in the harvest. We need people who will go and visit and talk with others about the Lord. Are you going to where people are to compel them to come in? Will you go and compel others to come to church and to come to Christ that His house may be full? Listen to what Christ said: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Lk. 14:23). - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

WEEK 8

February 24

The Authenticity of The Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16 ~ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, …

All Scripture” covers the sixty-six books of the Holy Word of God. We have a closed canon today which means that we have the whole Word of God in the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. There are none that can be added and there are none that can be taken away. When we say canon, we are speaking of the genuine books of the Holy Scriptures, called the sacred cannon, or general rule of moral and religious duty, given by inspiration (Webster‘s 1828 Dictionary).

The first fundamental doctrine of the faith says, “We believe that the Bible, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, preserved for us in the Masoretic text of the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus of the New Testament, is the infallible, inerrant, inspired and altogether authentic, accurate and authoritative Word of God.  We further believe that it is preserved in the Authorized 1611 King James Bible and therefore it is our supreme and final authority in all things and our sole guide in faith and practice.” Please understand that we stand where we do, not because we claim that the King James Bible is doctrine, but we claim an uncorrupted text. We also claim an uncorrupted translation process in the early 1600’s when it was translated and printed. All new revisions come from multiple corrupt texts. These were compiled and used to bring about the “more modern and updated” versions of the Bible. This came about in the 1870’s while they were claiming that the King James was full of errors. 

This is not something that I was taught in some college somewhere, it is what I found in my own personal research. That research was conducted because I wanted to know why I had such a strong desire to stay with the King James when so many were turning away from it. I did all my research in a public library where I read every book that I could find on the translations of the Bible. Some were pro King James, some were not, and I found one book that I have never been able to find again that gave a neutral look at the translations of the Bible. In the end I found that the only trustworthy Scripture was the King James because of the other corrupt texts. Though we say it is not a matter of doctrine with the King James, but rather a matter of corrupt texts, it is a doctrinal issue in the fact that we get all our other doctrines from this preserved inspiration of the Holy Scriptures!

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” If God is so big on the “one” then it just makes sense to me that there can only be “one” Word of God from which we get the “one faith“ which is “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Since God is not the author of confusion then I would rather just stay with the “one” and put my faith and trust in a Preserved Inspiration that has worked for over 400 years now. All these other so-called versions just bring confusion into peoples’ minds and that is why we have such powerless preaching that seeks to entertain rather than proclaim truth. 

Just a side note: The great awakenings and the great revivals of the 1700’s and the 1800’s began to die out in the late 1800’s which correlates with that time when men determined that the Bible was full of errors and that they were going to have to fix it. And if I may, we can trace the downward spiral in our country all the way back to these events in the 1870’s. By the end of that century liberalism and secularism began working its way into our education system. By the 1920’s it was in the public school curriculum and within fifty years had laws enacted to remove God and His Commandments from the lives of our children. 

All Scripture” is that inspiration of God that was preserved in the English language of the Authorized King James Bible. And when men decided that they were going to change the outdated words of the King James and give it a more modern language of today they changed the Word of God into the words and opinions of man. The New King James is not the same as the Authorized King James of 1611.  - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

February 25

The Profitability of The Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  

The word “inspiration” here literally means God-breathed. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Pet. 1:21). In other words, these men were the keyboards and the Holy Spirit was the typist who stroked the keys of the keyboard to give us the writings of the Old and New Testaments. That is why we believe in the verbal plenary view of the Scriptures. This means that the entire complete whole of the Scriptures, including all punctuation, was inspired of God the Holy Ghost and written by His chosen men. Though He used some 40 authors over a 1500 year period, it is a divine work. God did not change these men, but rather, He used their intelligence, their understanding, and their experiences, and the Sovereign God of Creation was able to give us His inspired Word so that He might reveal Himself and His plan of redemption to us.

It Must Be From God
The Holy Bible must have been
Inspired of God and not of men.
I could not if I would, believe
That good men wrote it to deceive,
And bad men could not if they would,
And surely would not if they could,
Proceed to write a book so good.
And certainly no crazy man
Could e’re conceive its wondrous plan.
And pray, what other kinds of men
Than do these three groups comprehend?
Hence it must be that God inspired
The words which souls of prophets fired.

~Author Unknown

Now that we have established that we do have The Word of God, let us go on and look at the profitability of the Word of God. It is profitable for doctrine. The Bible gives us the fundamental doctrines of the faith. What we mean by doctrine is the set of principles and truths that are the core teachings of he Bible. What we mean by fundamental is that they are absolutely necessary for the foundation of what we believe and how we live. They are the instructions of the Word of God that we live our lives by. They are our soul guide in faith and practice.

The Bible is profitable because it gives us instruction that we may believe right. We had not known sin had not the Bible told us what sin was. We had not known the Gospel, the good news of salvation, had not God told us from His Word. God gave us His written Word so that all peoples may have the blessed opportunity to come to the saving knowledge of Christ so they could repent and be saved.

The fundamental doctrine of salvation comes from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” This is the core fundamental principle of the Gospel. The Lord Jesus Christ died for our sin in our place. He took upon Him our punishment in our place that we might be set free from the bondage and the ravages of sin as well as the wrath that is to come upon all unbelievers. He became our mediator to bring peace between us and the LORD God Jehovah Whom we had offended through sin. God mercifully and graciously accepted the sacrifice of Christ as full payment for our sin and so Christ arose from the grave. Now the offer of peace is given to us through the Gospel message in the Word of God. But if the covenant of peace is to be fulfilled, we must by faith accept that payment on our behalf. We must cease from our own works and accept Christ and His completed work on the Cross. This is the fundamental doctrine of salvation. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

February 26

The Profitability Through Application

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  

Once we have accepted Christ as our personal Saviour we receive the Holy Spirit of God within our heart. He seals us unto the day of redemption, and we have eternal life (Rom 6:23b, Gal 3:21b-22). Not only does He seal us for Christ, He is the seal (Eph 1:13-14). Now according to the custom of old times, the only persons who could break the seal of a king was the king himself or the recipient of the sealed document. Now we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God by an act of God and we are sealed for Christ.

Therefore, the only Persons who could break that seal have given their eternal Word that they would not break it. Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn 6:37). Jesus also said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” (Jn 10:27-30). God has given unto us the gift of eternal life. If it is a gift then it is not something that can be earned nor is it something that can be taken away. It is a present possession and it is eternal and everlasting in the heavens (1 Jn 5:13).

The Word of God is profitable for doctrine. That doctrine begins having profitability in our life when we sincerely repent and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. We are immediately profited beyond this world and beyond this life that we now live. But we also profit with the abundant life that we now receive and live in Christ. All Scripture is profitable for doctrine that we may believe right.

All Scripture is profitable for reproof; to give us conviction of sin and wrongdoing. Romans 7:7 tells us, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” If it were not for the Scriptures we would not know what sin is and that it is an inert nature that we are born with. The Word of God gives us reproof of sin and wrong practices that we might get right with God. The doctrine is there to tell us what is right, and the reproof is there to show us the folly of all that is not right with God. 

Where the word of a king is, there is power” (Ecc 8:4a). God’s Word has power. It has the power to change lives, to melt cold hearts, to tenderize hearts of stone; it is a sin killer. The Word of God is a living Word that produces a conviction of sin and helps us to get right with God. Once we know what is right to believe by the Word of God, and the Word convinces us of the folly of sinful practices, then we, by the divine will and the power of the Holy Ghost, implement changes within our hearts and thus we get right with God. 

How shall we get right if we do not believe right? We must have the doctrine so that we can believe right and then we must have the reproof of sinful practices so that we can get right. I had believed for many years that Jesus was the Son of God who was born of a virgin. I also believed that He died on a Cross for my sin, was buried, and that he arose bodily from the grave on the third morning. I had the right doctrine in my head and my mind, but I had not mixed it with the faith that comes from the heart, that belief unto righteousness.

It was the Word of God that brought reproof against my sinful life. It was the Word of God that convinced me of the folly of that life. The folly was that I was not going to live forever. Without Christ I would be required to pay my own debt for sin. That would earn me an eternity in hell trying to pay it off (Rom 6:23a & Rev 20:11-14). It was then that I put more than just my head knowledge on Christ; I put the full weight and trust of my heart upon Christ for salvation. Then I profited from both the doctrine and the reproof of God’s Word. 

The profitability of the Word of God is that it works in your heart and life every day to transform you into the very person that God desires for you to be. It gives you the instruction to live the best life that you can possibly live in this sin-sick world. It is a great life that is alive, vibrant, and full of the energies of living. Have you experienced that profitability and that transformation that makes living in this world come alive? Have you applied the Word to your life? Are you learning, loving, and living the Word of God? Are you experiencing the profitability and abundance of life through application of the Word to your daily walk? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

February 27

The Profitability Through Actualization

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

All Scripture is also profitable for correction. We must have correction if we are going to stay right and to live right. Correction gives us solutions to problems and instructions on how to do the right thing the right way. If we are going to be Disciples of Christ then we should have a burden for lost souls. We should have a desire to try to witness to others. There is a right way to witness and there are wrong ways to witness. We must pray before we try to talk to others about the Lord, and, we must give them the Gospel using the Scriptures. It must be done with compassion and in love. This is the only right way to tell others of sin and to reprove their deeds as sinful and against God. Let the Word of God speak to their hearts because it has the power to get into their hearts and to affect change to bring them to a place of repentance. We do not have that power. The Scriptures give them doctrine about salvation and the Scriptures give them reproof concerning their life. 

There was a preacher and another Christian man who went out soul winning. As they were talking with a third man about his salvation he asserted that he did not want to decide right then. The Christian man pleaded with him to trust Christ then and there before it was eternally too late. The man just said “No.” Then the Christian left with this statement: “Well, fine then. You just die and go to hell if you want to!” That is the wrong way to try to reach someone for Christ. The Christian man was doing the right thing, but he was appealing to the man from the flesh and not from a heart of love.

Doing it the right way may not have brought the lost man to a decision to receive Christ, but it would have left an open door for someone else to come along and water the seed that had been planted in his heart. The way he left the man was with a door closed to other Christians to come along and share truth with him. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Correction gives us the proper solutions in all situations to do the right thing the right way.

All Scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness. Once we have won people to the Lord we are to disciple them and teach them the things of God. We are to teach them doctrine, reprove sinful practices, and give them correction so that they can live right. Then they will become true Disciples of Christ who will be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. They will have a basis and a foundation to live and build their lives and their families upon. We have correction from the Word of God that we might guide right. The Scriptures are profitable for instruction in righteousness that we might train and teach others the things of God. 

When you actualize the Word in your heart - when it is real to you – then you will profit. Only when it is real to you will you truly be moved to live it. Actualization will bring application. The Word of God is profitable for doctrine that we might believe right, for reproof that we might get right, for correction that we might live right, and for instruction that we might guide right.

When you actualize the Word, you will experience divine fellowship with the Lord as you never have before. You cannot be right if you do not believe right. Like the Good Shepherd that He is, He will provide your every need, guide you into the fields of green, and give you the peace that so many long to find in this world. He will lead you in the way everlasting.

The Bible provides us with the instructions that we need to live the life that is pleasing and honoring to God. Once we believe the right things and have allowed them to make our heart right with God, when we are faithful to Him and to His Word, then the Bible can help us to guide others in the right things so that they may believe right (the Gospel), get right (be saved), stay right (teaching them discipleship), and grow in the Lord to be able to guide others in the ways of righteousness. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

February 28

The Profitability Increased Through Good Works

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable …That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

We have the Scriptures given to us by God. They were inspired in the original writings and that inspiration has been preserved by God in our Authorized King James Bible today. His Holy Word is profitable for doctrine that we might believe right. It is profitable for reproof that we might get right. It is profitable for correction that we might stay right. And it is profitable for instruction in righteousness that we might guide right. 

Your philosophy must be based upon Theology. We believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authentic, accurate, and altogether authoritative Word of God. This is where we derive our Theology; it is Biblical Theology. From our Theology we develop our life philosophy; the ideas about how we live our life. Too many “Christians” today base their Theology on their philosophy of life. That is the same as putting the cart before the horse; their whole belief system is corrupted and backwards. Be sure that your philosophy comes from your theological beliefs. Be sure that your theological beliefs come from the Word of God. Then and only then can you truly profit in your spiritual growth and in your walk with God.

All of this is given to us that we might profit in our spiritual life that we might be “perfect”. The word that was translated as “perfect” here does not mean sinless perfection. The Greek word artios (ar`tee-os) from which we get the word “perfect” in this verse means “fresh; complete”. The Scriptures given to us by God give us a complete knowledge of the life that we are to live. They give us a complete revelation of the knowledge of God. Just a note here: The Bible does not contain all that God knows, but It gives us everything that we need to know. Our God is an awesome God and His knowledge and wisdom far surpass all that we could understand or even begin to comprehend. 

In Matthew 5:48 we find that Jesus taught us, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” The Greek word teleios (tel`-i-os) is here translated as “perfect” and it means complete in the sense of spiritual and moral maturity. Here our Lord was teaching on loving our enemies and said that we are to be as God who loved us even when we were His enemies. Both words give us the idea that we are to be complete in the sense that we are to be grown and exercised in the knowledge of God and of His Word. He has given us the Scriptures to profit us so that we can have a working knowledge of His Word that we may be “thoroughly furnished”. That means in time we should come to a place where we are fully equipped to do the work that God has given us to do. That work is to be a part of a New Testament church involved in fulfilling the Great Commission (Mt 28:19-20).

We are to be fully equipped “unto all good works”. All good works involve and revolve around the Royal Law of God. The Royal Law says that we are to “… love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deu 6:5), and, that we are to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves (Mt 22:37-40). When we come to the age of perfection in our spiritual life there will be no fear in doing God’s work of reaching others with the Gospel because “…perfect love casteth out all fear” (1 Jn 4:18).

As we apply the Word of God to our hearts we become more like Christ and we have compassion and love for our fellow man. It allows us to help others in their need and to build relationships with those around us. It is that love that compels us to warn them of the impending doom that lies ahead for unrepentant sinners. It is that love that allows us to pray for our enemies and to even help them in their hour of need, just as Christ did for us when He saved us. All these good works evolve from our love for God and for Christ who first loved us with an unconditional love. God has given us His Word to profit us in this life by equipping us to do all good works.

Our whole duty is to fear God (having a reverential respect, trust, and love with a hatred of evil) and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13-14). When we are mature in Christ the commandments of God are not grievous to us, but rather we can see the protections and the freedom they give us. Then we can do the work of God without fear.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek“ (Rom. 1:16).

The word of God is profitable to all who will hear it, keep it, and do it (Jam 1:22-25 & Rev 1:3). You will enter into added blessings as you actualize and apply the Word of God to your daily life. Are you allowing yourself to profit from this precious treasure trove that God has blessed us with? - Dr. Todd Taylor

November 30: Punishment Promotes Wisdom

Proverbs 3:11-12  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Chastening is for correction of ignorance. We do not know everything all at once when we are saved. We are new born babes in Christ who need proper upbringing to become a mature Christian. So the Lord uses chastening to correct and instruct our ignorance so that we may stay safe in the world.

Scourging is for the correction of disobedience. When we know the truth and do not follow the truth then God will use scourging to bring us back to proper behavior. Scourging refers to spiritual spanking; this may be whatever the Lord has to use to get your attention. It may be something physical with your health, some spiritual defeat, some financial difficulty, or some other hardship that will cause you to repent and get back where you need to be with the Lord.

You do the same thing for your children. You must teach them right and wrong, teach them the benefits and the consequence, and then you must enforce the rules and guidelines for proper behavior. You may chasten them with rebuke and stern warnings first, but if they continue to do wrong then the punishment will get a little harsher each time. Physical punishment – spanking -  should be a final punishment, not the first.

God has given us His Word to set the parameters of our behavior. His Word is good and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Doctrine is instruction to believe the right things. These are the basic fundamental truths of His Word. These cannot be compromised for any reason whatsoever. If you compromise doctrine you sin against your holy and benevolent Father.

Reproof is rebuke of wrong doing to convict of sin. The Spirit of God will use the Word of God to convict you of sin. He does this so that you will repent and get right. If you keep falling into the same trap you may cause God to bring harsher punishment against you. But the sooner you repent and get right the easier it will be on you. By the way, the Lord does not enjoy punishing His child, but He does it out of love because He wants to prosper you in life.

Correction gives us solutions so that we might stay and live right. He does not just give you reproof without giving you a solution to your problems. The reproof warns you that you are in the wrong; you have broken the parameters of good behavior. You need to repent and obey His Word. Now He tells you what you need to do to stay right so that you may consistently obey and live right. You must learn from your mistakes.

Instruction is training and teaching so that we can help guide others in the right paths. God so graciously allows those who have walked in the paths of wisdom to invest into your life through teaching a Bible class, mentoring through setting a right example for you, preaching, and giving counsel in navigating through difficult times. Do not be weary of His correction or punishment. Your Father loves you with infinite, sacrificial, undeniable, unconditional love. His desire is to protect and prosper you in life so that you can have the best He can give you.

When you have come to a place of spiritual maturity, then you can teach others and help them. You ought to have a daily diet of God’s Word so that you can know right, get right, stay right, and teach right. -Preacher

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