jump to navigation

How to Get Noticed! 3 August 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

(After a brief a vacation, a return to posting …) Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Proverbs 31.30 (KJV):

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised

Some things do not last. The Bible reminds us that fame or popularity can be deceitful. Favor is not permanent; our status, our knowledge, our accomplishments, or our riches may win us some favor with our peers, but sooner or later, another person will come along with greater status, greater knowledge, greater acheivements, and greater wealth. We may be big fish in a small pond today, but tomorrow we may find ourselves little fish in a large pond. Fame does not last.

Neither does beauty last. Our appearance changes. Just as wind and rain buffet a statue, we cannot stand still as time passes. Our faces and our figures weather the unending cycle of sunshine and rain that we call life. The mirror does not reflect the beauty of yesterday, only what is there today.

Some things do not last. What does? The way to be noticed by God is to “fear the Lord.” The notice of others is fickle and passing, but God sees the woman (and the man) who is faithful to Him. The one who fears the Lord will be praised, or noticed, by those around her and the Lord who notices all things.

Whose favor are you seeking? Do you seek to be noticed by your peers or do you desire the favor of God? “A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” The way to get noticed is to fear the Lord.


Technorati: | |

Don’t Get Stuck in the Mud 26 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Proverbs 26.11 (KJV):

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

It is a sickening comparison, but it certainly makes a point. The foolish person repeats his or her mistakes or sins. Peter quotes this proverb in 2 Peter 2.22 and quotes an additional one: “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire” (NASB). Peter is describing false prophets (fake Christians) who really have not been born again — they have not been changed spiritually by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. He compares them to pigs which are cleaned up only to wallow in the mud again.

There has to be a change in our nature. In Matthew 7.16, Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” One cannot plant corn and expect tomatoes instead. Kernels of corn are planted to produce corn. A good tree, Jesus said, produces good fruit (Matthew 7.17). So before our actions produce different results, there has to be a change in us. A spiritual change is required to turn our hearts of sin and disobedience to hearts of love and faithfulness. Until we are remade (“born again”) we will continue to be rebellious toward God’s commands and we will continue to get dirty in the mud.

Further, once we have been born again, we must be participate in this transforming process. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit by making better choices — by changing our words, our actions, and our attitudes. The power to carry-through with this changing of our nature is His Power. (If we could do it ourselves, then we wouldn’t need Him.) The pig can’t change himself; neither can that do who keeps returning to his vomit, but we can change with His help.

Don’t get stuck in the mud. If you don’t like repeating the same mistakes, make a change. Allow Christ to transform your sinful nature and then make better choices. As you study the Bible, God’s Word will guide you and inform your decisions. You will sense Him leading you, convicting you, directing you. He will change you if you are ready and willing to get out of the mud.


Technorati: | |

How to Get Things 25 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Luke 11.9 (KJV):

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

There is a way to get things in my family: asking. When Sarah and David want something, a statement of want or need is not enough. “I am thirsty” will not get David a drink; he must ask for something to drink. Sarah and David must ask, and they must ask politely. Often, Mommy and Daddy know about the need or the want, and we are usually eager to give it to them. We are just waiting for a child to ask! Asking is the means of obtaining in our family.

Sometimes, even though we want to give something to our children and intend to do so, we don’t have the item in our possession. Either we can’t afford it yet, or we haven’t had an opportunity to shop for it. In those cases, we tell Sarah and David they will have the item they have requested, but they must wait. Waiting is hard for Sarah and David. They’re 5 and 3 years old, respectively, and like all pre-schoolers, they want instant gratification of their wants. “I want it and I want it NOW!” Still, they are learning to wait, knowing that if Mommy or Daddy promises something to them, they will eventually get it. Asking is the means of obtaining in our family, but sometimes asking also involves waiting for the answer.

There are also times when Sarah and David want things which they cannot have even when they ask politely for those things. Some things off limits to them, because they are children. Some things are forbidden because they can hurt Sarah or David. Some things are just not good for them. Asking is the means of obtaining in our family, but sometimes the thing desired cannot be given.

I have made it a general principle in my home that when something is acceptable to me, and I can afford it or have it in my possession, and my children ask politely for it, then I give it to them. It’s a Biblical principle; it is exactly how the Heavenly Father operates with us. “Ask,” the Bible says, “and it shall be given you” (Luke 11.9). Clearly, when we ask, we must want or need those things which are acceptable to the Father. They must be pleasing to Him. (The Bible teaches us what the Father delights to give us.) Clearly, when we ask we must be prepared to wait, just as my children must sometimes wait on me to provide for them. And, just as clearly, we must not be presumptuous; we must ask, and we must ask politely, or fearfully, remembering that we are speaking to God. When we do this, we discover that asking is the means of obtaining. “Asking is how we get things in this family,” I say to Sarah and David.

Ask. Make sure you are obeying God’s will completely and asking for things which He delights to give. Ask. Make certain that you have spoken humbly, in worship, adoration, and fear. Ask, and then wait. Have faith in God, just as a child has faith in his or her parents and expects the answer. Ask, and then wait. Asking is how we get things in this family.


Technorati: | |

Loving Your Neighbor 24 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Mark 12.31 (KJV):

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Two of the three Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record Jesus’ answer to the “first” or “greatest” commandment (Matthew 22.35-40 and Mark 12.28-31). In Luke 10, Jesus asks “a certain lawyer” to answer the same basic question and he responds with the same commands from Deuteronomy 6.4-5 and Leviticus 19.18: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luke 10.27). To this Jesus replies, “Thou has answered right” (Luke 10.28). The greatest commandment is to love God supremely and the second greatest commandment is to love one’s neighbor as oneself.

To love one’s neighbor is easy when he or she is loveable! But that’s not unconditional love, is it? Unconditional love means loving others despite their attitudes, actions, and words — despite their character flaws and frailties. To love unconditionally means to take the good with the bad. That’s not easy. We ourselves prefer the acceptance that undconditional loves provides but we resist accepting and loving others. We are quick to notice the things which make others unacceptable to us — race, gender, religion, background, education, hometown, favorite music or sports team. To love one’s neighbor means overlooking those things which are unacceptable to us and genuinely accepting others for who they are at this very moment.

What criteria do you use to evaluate others? Do you measure others against yourself? Accept others even as you wish to be accepted — just as you are. Let Go of your need to fashion the world after your own image and Let God fashion you and others after His own image! For Christ Jesus accepts you just as you are and will not turn you away.


Technorati: | |

Trust and Obey, Again 23 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Proverbs 3.5 (KJV):

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Do not despise what you cannot understand. You will find little to like! Obedience is often difficult when we do not know what comes next. We want an agenda, a calendar or a timetable. So we do not commit our whole selves to obeying the present instructions God has given us. We are like little children in this respect. Before the Heavenly Father can give us the next instruction, He waits until we complete the current ones. We linger to complete the instruction and wonder why things are not moving forward!

Do you trust God? Then obey. Do not seek to know the whole agenda, to figure out the plan before you follow it. Just trust and obey. It is sufficient that that Father has a plan, that nothing can deter His will, and that He will direct our paths according to His plan. Trust. Obey. Wait for the next instruction. Then trust God.


Technorati: | |

Bow Down Before Him! 22 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Revelation 1.17 (KJV):

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last

The holiness of God demands that nothing unholy may live in His presence. In Isaiah 6.5, Isaiah cries in fear before the throne of God and says, “Woe is me.” Simon Peter cried, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord,” (Luke 5.8) when he perceived the holiness of Jesus Christ. Here, in this verse, John views the supreme majesty of Christ and faints in fear. He falls down in worship, afraid that he may die.

But Jesus does not strike John dead. Instead, Jesus bids him worship and commissions John for a mission. The words of Christ are an affirmation of His identify and His authority. They are an identification with God. Just as the Father had said, “I am” to Moses, so, too, Jesus is saying, “I am.” “I am,” He says, “the first and the last.” Jesus is the beginning and the end; He is eternal and He is God.

The holiness of God demands that nothing unholy may live in His presence. Yet, God does not desire our death but our salvation. He invites us to worship Him and to fellowship with Him. Jesus is everything; He is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega. “Bow down before Him. Love and adore Him. His Name is Wonderful, Jesus, my Lord.”


Technorati: | |

Get a Fresh Mind! 21 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Romans 12.2 (KJV):

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.

If you are living according to flesh or according to the world’s standards, then you will be out of touch with the will of God — you will not know it, you will not be able to discern it, and you will not have the spiritual unction to follow it. So Paul urges believers not to “conform to this present world” (NET), in attitudes or in behaviors, but to continually renew their minds in a heavenly direction. By renewing our minds, we are able to discern the leadership of the Holy Spirit in prayer, Bible reading, and study.

How fresh is your mind? Get a fresh mind! Clear you mind and read the Scriptures. Read slowly and carefully — read prayerfully. Start in any book and read through it a small portion (perhaps a chapter) at a time. A great practice is to read a chapter from the book of Proverbs every day; there are thirty-one chapters and by reading the chapter which corresponds to the number of the day, one can read Proverbs in an month and twelve times in a year! Read one of the gospels. Start anywhere and get a fresh mind by reading the Word of God. Then you will know the Will of God.


Technorati: | |

A Plan Based on Perfect Knowledge 18 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment


Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Romans 11.33 (KJV):

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Do not think that you can outwit God.  His thoughts are beyond our thoughts.  “His ways [are] past finding out!”  He sees and understands what we are incapable of seeing and understanding.  His knowledge is complete and lacks nothing; His knowledge is perfect.  (This is the meaning of omniscient, a term we use to describe the completeness of God’s knowledge.)

Follow God’s plan.  It is based on perfect knowledge.  Only He knows the terrain and the troubles that lie ahead in the territory you can not see now.  Only He knows the challenges you will face beyond the curves in the path ahead.  If you try to outwit God and take any shortcuts, thinking you will avoid some troubles, you will discover that His way was in reality easier and you fell in a pit anyway!  Follow the path that brings the most peace — follow God’s plan.


Technorati: | |

Surrender to God’s Call 17 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment


Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Mark 1.17 (KJV):

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

This Bible verse spoke to me as a teenager and in it I sensed my calling. I can remember where I was and what I was doing when God called me into ministry. And I remember thinking, “God, if you can use me, then do so.” I was broken, humbled, and ready to follow. I had no expectations of changing the world; I didn’t think I could, but I hoped that I could make a difference.

As a teacher, I sometimes see the results of my work. Often, I am humbled when a student comments that I have made an impact on his or her life. I usually say to God, “Thanks, I didn’t know you had used me like that.” I am broken and humbled by the experience, and then I am ready to follow Christ and make a difference in my students’ lives.

Jesus does not promise riches, fame, or even that we will see the results. But He promises to use us. He will take our work, as lowly as it may seem, and elevate it to His purposes and to His glory. He can use a group of fishers, and even a tax-collector, as well as you and me. Will you let Him?

Have you surrendered to God’s calling on your life, whatever that might be? Are you willing to let Him use you in whatever vocation or career you pursue? “Come after Me,” He says, “and I will use you.” Will let Him?

Technorati: | |


Run, Christian, Run! 16 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment


Today’s Daily Bible Verse is 1 Corinthians 9.24 (KJV):

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

What a great verse!  There may be many runners in a race, but only one is pronounced the winner.  Only one runner gets the prize.  Therefore, we should run to get the prize.  Paul uses a simple illustration to describe the intense passion he has for what God has called him to do.  He works hard, just like a runner in a race who wants to win the prize.

Where is your passion?  Are you sold out for Jesus Christ?  Are you giving your work, your calling, your ministry everything you’ve got?  “Run, Forrest, run”  – that’s the call to Forrest Gump in the movie and it’s the challenge to us from Paul: Run, Christian, run, with all that you’ve got so that you may win the prize.  Stretch and strain until you win!

Technorati: | |


Get the Real Thing 15 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Psalm 16.11 (KJV):

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The greatest joy, “the fulness of joy,” is to worship God. To know the Lord and to be known by the Lord intimately is an incredible, day by day, experience. Relationship, not religion, is the means to it. That which produces an empty shadow is just religion. A code of conduct, a list of expectations, rules, and regulations do not feed the soul; they do not make one happy. Relationship is the real thing. A relationship with the sovereign king of all the universe — a relationship welcomed by Him and encouraged by Him because of His great love for His creation — this is the best that there is!

If your worship today lacks any real joy, it is not because God is dead! Are you going through the motions? Is your religion just a shadow? Is it a vapor that is here one moment and then gone? Fulness of joy is yours when you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Get the real thing. David’s words are true. In the presence of God there is fulness of joy.

Technorati: | |


Be a New Person 14 July 2007

Posted by Jason Bowman in Christianity, Daily Bible Verse, Devotional.
add a comment

Today’s Daily Bible Verse is Ephesians 4.24 (KJV):

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

There has to be a change in us. A personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ leads to repentance and change. The new birth (“born again”) means a transformation is taking place in us. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5.17). The old has gone and we must put on the new man. It doesn’t happen automatically. If it did, there would be no need for Christ to die for us — God could have just flipped a switch and made an automatic change in us. No, we must be involved in the process. We must allow Him to work in us, from the inside working out, and we must cooperate with Him so that this transformation can truly occur.

Be a new person, really. Be that person God is making you become by cooperating fully with Him today. Put on the “new man” which is made in the image of God in “righteousness and true holiness.” Forsake the old ways; ignore the old man. Put away the things of the flesh, and embrace the new person God is forming in you.

Technorati: | |