Bring Honor, Not Shame

Scripture: May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O Lord.  Psalm 69:6 NIV

Observation: The Psalmist is crying to the Lord to not be the cause of disgrace for him or other believers.

Application: That is my prayer, to not be the cause of disgrace for God or his church.  I owe it to my God, my wife, my children, my church and my coworkers to be consistent in my words and my actions.  If I fail that I bring shame upon myself for hypocrisy.  That hypocrisy is transferred to all believers; the church is harmed and God’s commission is stymied.  We have seen in the recent past how the sins of Christians, specifically famous church leaders, has translated into a “Christ-bashing fest.”  I can think of no greater insult to the Lord than to bring shame upon him and his church because of my sin. I pray that I never bring shame to either the Lord or fellow believers.

Prayer: Father, help me to live out the truth that I proclaim. Don’t let me ever be the cause of shame for you or the church. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


***Please Read Today***

Scripture: My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.  1 Corinthians 2:4,5 NIV

Observation: Paul gives credit to God for being the strength behind his teaching.

Application: Paul, the apostle that wrote a great portion of the New Testament knew that it was not through his own intellect that he taught.  He knew that it was by the Spirit of God that he was able to teach.  We must take solace in the fact that God is the power that gives us wisdom…

********* PLEASE READ*********

I have to stop today’s SOAP right here because I am not writing it with a glad heart. I believe that when ever Laurie or I write anything in this devotional we are writing about what God has shown us that day.  I believe that today is no different for me.  I believe that God intended for me to write about being bold in wisdom because God gives us the power to be that.
I do all of my studying, reading, writing and research for this devotional on my phone. I write out my rough draft and email it to some of my family. I take that email after it arrives onto my computer and copy it into our blog where it is tweaked before it is posted. I truly believe that the Lord gave the above scripture to me to write about today.  However, in the process of researching to find some scripture for it I hit a brick wall with the internet. Nothing I tried to search for revealed the results I wanted.  I knew a certain scripture existed and I knew that it would aid me in making my point but I couldn’t find it.  I started to become more and more frustrated until I found myself sitting in the front room stewing about it.  I told Laurie that I was actually getting mad.  Getting mad writing a God-inspired devotional. Is that great or what?  What a Christ-like attitude!  We stopped immediately and prayed for clarity of thought and for Satan to be removed from this situation.  So after a bit of down time it occurred to me that maybe God wanted me to change course.  I believe that I need to apologize to all of you first for failing so miserably.  Further I believe that I am to let you know that Satan is alive and well and more than willing to get in the middle of our lives, even our morning devotions.  God has his hands full with a guy like me. This mess today has reminded me that “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22,23 NIV Patience, patience, patience…I must pray for patience.

Prayer: Father, I’m sorry that my impatience ruined the word that you gave me today. Help me to exercise patience in all aspects of my life now and in the future.  Forgive me for failing you today. Amen


So That No One May Boast

Scripture: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV

Observation: Paul explains how God uses the weak to humble the strong.

Application: This is how Jesus conducted his ministry.  He always went to the wretched. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” Mark 2:17a NIV Jesus made the point that the weak in spirit need the Lord just like the elites.  By ministering to them as the “high and mighty” leadership looked on he illustrated God’s plan to be all inclusive and to bring all men to himself through Christ.

Prayer: Father, thank you for wanting me so much that you sent Jesus. I pray that I am worthy of you and of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Amen


Return to God

Scripture: All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. Deuteronomy 29:24,25 NIV

Observation: In Deuteronomy 28 & 29 Moses goes through an exhaustive list of the benefits and curses for following or for forsaking God.

Application: The summation in today’s verses is so applicable to the America in which we live. I don’t believe that God is directly cursing America, but I do believe that when we as a country intentionally take ourselves out from under his protection he allows us to reap what we sow.  Just like the nation of Israel, America was blessed by God.  Just like Israel saw destruction for straying, America sees the error of not remaining true to it’s God-centered foundation.

***The following is excerpted from and the entire prayer was replayed on the Paul Harvey radio show***

This actually happened in the Kansas House in Topeka on January 23, 1996.  Joe Wright [was] the pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita and was guest chaplain that day.  [He gave the invocation to open the legislative session that day].

Heavenly Father,

We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ”Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism; We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism; We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle; We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery; We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation; We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare; We have killed our unborn and called it choice; We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable; We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem; We have abused power and called it political savvy; We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition; We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression; We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ

Prayer: What else needs to be said? That is my prayer, that we, as a nation return to our foundation of Christ-centeredness.  Amen


So You Want to be Great…Huh?

Scripture: Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  Mark 9:35 NIV

Observation: Jesus instructs his apostles about greatness.

Application: So you want to be great…huh?  You want wealth, stature, prestige, adoration…you want greatness?  Okay, then you need to start being driven, results oriented, you need to be ruthless. Don’t give an inch, you have to grind your competition into dust.  You have to care only for yourself and your condition. You have to never share, you have to take and keep, and you have to never, never, never be concerned with the affairs of others…right?  Well, not exactly.  Jesus laid out the plan a bit differently.  He said when they came to Capernaum, ” ‘…What were you arguing about on the way?’  But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ ”  Mark 9:33b-35 NIV We should consider all others before ourselves.  We shouldn’t concern ourselves with earthly definitions of success we should only be concerned with how God views success. When we accomplish that then we will have reached our goal of being great by honoring God through serving others and when he is pleased we will have achieved greatness.  Of course, if that is our attitude then we won’t be concerned with being seen as great.  Our greatness will be in the humility of knowing that greatness belongs to God alone.

Prayer: Father, I don’t want to be considered great by man, I want to be considered great by you. I want one day for you to look at me and say to me “well done.”  Help me to be humble and want greatness for you.  Help me to serve others and to honor you as I serve. Amen


The following is a wonderful sermon about humility by the senior pastor of Millersville Bible Church in Millersville, Pennsylvania.  We have also linked to his blog, “A Time to Think,” where you can find many of the pastor’s sermons.

The Greatness of Humility by Pastor Steven Cornell

With God

Scripture: “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.  “Seven,” they replied.  He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so.  They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them.  The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  Mark 8:5-8 NIV

Observation: Jesus feeds the four thousand.

Application: A small amount of fish and bread does not a banquet make. However, a small amount of fish and bread and God feeds thousands. Don’t forget to thank the Lord for the provisions he provided for you today.

Prayer: Father, thank you so much for giving me a loving wife, God-loving healthy children, a good job, a home to live in, and a loving church family. Amen


God’s Holiness

Scripture: Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.  The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”  So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?”  Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:6-12 NIV

Observation: Moses and Aaron get water for the thirsty nation of Israel at Meribah.

Application: Almost!  That’s what Moses and Aaron did–almost!  Yes, the Israelites cried out for water; yes, Moses and Aaron went in and beseeched the Lord on the Israelite’s behalf; yes, the Lord gave the two of them exact instructions for getting water for the nation; yes, Moses and Aaron went to the rock and BLEW IT!  I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t be crying like a baby for lack of water just like the Israelites did if I were in their shoes, so I don’t believe that I would have been any stronger than them. However, I would hope that if I were Moses by this time in the face-to-face relationship that I had had with God, I would know to give credit where credit was due.  Moses did not honor the Lord. He did not show God’s holiness before the grumbling nation and it cost him the promised land. This is another reminder that God will not be mocked, “…for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1Peter1:16NIV

Prayer: Lord, I will not presume to be more righteous or capable of withstanding hardship than the wandering nation of Israel. I will ask for discernment in my life and wisdom to not offend you. Moses was a man among men; I am not. If he can fail you I know that I will. Forgive me for my weaknesses and help me to be holiness to the world because you are in me and you are holy. Amen


Be a Moses

Scripture: Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.  Numbers 12:3 NIV

Observation: Miriam and Aaron began complaining about Moses as the only one that God would communicate through.

Application: Moses was once a son of Pharoah; a ruler of Egypt. He was called by God to lead the Israelite nation out of slavery. This was a man destined for greatness in Egypt and yet when called by God he said, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”  Exodus 4:10 NIV Moses was such a great man God told Miriam and Aaron after they were caught grumbling against him, “…When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.  But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face,clearly and not in riddles…”  Numbers 12:6-8a NIV We should make an effort to humble ourselves and be like Moses. That humility just may make a difference to someone to whom we are sharing Christ.

Prayer: Father, help me to be humble in all that I do so that people see you when they look at me. Amen


Teach Me Lord to Be Sensitive

Scripture: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.  For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”  Acts 15:19-21 NIV

Observation: New believers needed guidance.  The Lord gave some basic instructions for the apostles to share with new believers.  He stressed the importance of not making things too difficult for them.  The Lord didnt want new believers discouraged by rituals and Paul didn’t want the focus of salvation taken off of Christ.  Some of the more mature believers and converted Pharisees had trouble seeing and putting into action what Christ accomplished on the cross.

Application: Once again I’m thinking how critical I can be.  I have my preferences on how I like my church, worship and the bible.  I need to be sensitive to other believers and what’s important to them.

Prayer: Father you know me. I love you and I recognize you are the only way to have peace in my life.  I need your help to see other believers and seekers through your eyes and minister to their needs.  That is the most important want in my life to serve others as I would serve you.  Amen