Tag Archives: christian devotionals

What Is Discipline

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 4:16


You might have noticed a theme to these “What Is…” devotionals. I’ve stayed around the subject of Judas Iscariot because the relationship between Judas and Jesus reveals the love of God for His enemies; that’s paramount. But it also reveals the authority that is given the Son of Man to remove the restrainer that protects against the lawlessness of Satan (2 Thes 2:7).

God loves us as a Father that disciplines His children (Heb 12:7-11). We can see that happening as Judas exercises miracles, authority over demons, preaches the kingdom at hand (Mat 10:5-8) and even eats the morsel received from Jesus at the passover (Jhn 13:26). So if God loved Judas, why would Satan be permitted to enter into him? Let’s look at this from another angle. Remember when Jesus calls out Peter saying, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luk 22:31-32). What was going on with Peter that Jesus would say this to him? My observation (and Peter please forgive me for where I might be wrong) is his desire to lead by acting on Christ’s behalf, his ambition manifests through insecurities wanting to prove himself. And it looks like Satan was eating that up inside Peter because it wasn’t that Peter wanted to deny Christ, but his zeal was clouding his judgment about what Christ meant regarding thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luk 22:30); possibly felt an erratic jolt of emotions for such a position, not to mention what came next, and didn’t know how to react or respond other than to get ampt. Next thing you know he cuts off a dudes ear and starts cursing… can you relate?! Shoot, I feel like I can!

But what do we make of Satan? This issue of sin dates back to the seed of Adam and is written in our DNA because Adam was not deceived when eating that fruit (1 Tim 2:14, Gen 3:6). And so we were living in the lie of evil because we are of our father the devil (Jhn 8:44) choosing to believe in ourselves rather than the truth of the Word of God (Gen 3:7), which is what Peter was doing by cutting off the right ear of a chief priests’ slave at the arrest of Jesus (Luk 18:10) and then denying Jesus for fear of his own life because it was time for the hour of darkness (Luk 22:53) in fulfillment of scripture. Notice what Jesus said to Simon (Peter),but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; …” Jesus said that He prayed for Peter. And why if Peter has no choice to his faith? After all, God is the one that hardens the heart, and Judas is the one to betray Jesus. So what glory is there to marvel at if God creates His vessels to do what they have no power over? We would be robotic in nature, without option but to marvel. Jesus prayed to His Father who gives us our faith that will either condemn or save us based on the condition of our hearts. And we are either using the faith of God to become hardened like Judas to an illegitimate father (Satan 1 Cor 5:5, 2 Thess 1:9)); or receiving salvation as promised like Peter through a relationship with the love of our heavenly Father (Jesus (Mat 18:14, 1 Tim 2)). Because faith is obeying by believing that Jesus did come in the flesh, and is Son of God, that grants us our promise into the kingdom of God (Jhn 14:6).

The last significant detail about these words of Jesus to Simon is,and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” . There is an obvious mediation going on here by the data revealed about Simon’s heart. Jesus is confident that Simon will be turned again to Peter (Mat 16:18) for the responsibility of His office. But it’s through his portion of faith (Rom 12:3-6) to trust in the seal of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:33-36, 2 Tim 2:19-26).

How Faith Makes One Perfected In Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18


Don’t confuse the language of fear in this verse with the language of fear in the Lord, because the meaning of fear in this verse is very different than having the fear of the Lord (Pro 14:26). If you believe in Jesus Christ as the living Son of God that has come in the flesh (1Jo 4:2) then you have no reason to fear as described because our faith produces confidence in love that fills the place of fear (Heb 4:16) through conversion. God is love (1Jo 4:16)!

  • But you might be struggling with doubt or disbelief that God is love?
  • Or it might be that your belief is secure, but your faith is in question?

I pray this devotional will encompass you with perfect love. We need to establish the experience of faith to understand how love is perfected as the previous devotional incited. To do that, lets distinguish the difference between belief and faith because the relationship between the two reveals the invisible power of God for salvation to glorification. If you’re not a Christian, please consider following along our devotionals.


THE TREASURE OF FAITH

If you are a Christian, then you know who Jesus Christ is because you’ve heard and believed in the good news of the gospel; God sent His only Son (Jesus Christ) to be that Person who took away the sin of the world (Jhn 1:29, Heb 9:26). That means every repentant believer—although experiencing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life—is born again to salvation through the baptism of Jesus Christ (Mat 3:13-17, 1Jo 2:16, Rom 10:8-13, Mark 16:16, Act 2:38). When our Lord was baptized, the heavens opened and our heavenly Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”(Mat 3:17). Why was our heavenly Father well-pleased?

Justice for sin is the death of this world unless it passes over somehow for life to exist eternally. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect means to have faith in the love of God—For God so loved the world—that He gave us the example of faith (Jhn 3:16-21). So to believe in Jesus means we’ve experienced salvation from our sin by the transfer of our account, that’s right, money and all—the sin of our souls—onto the cross of Jesus Christ. That requires faith! We no longer fear death because our lives are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ who still lives (Act 2:33)! And that is how death passes over those who believe. So to have faith in Jesus means our future is established in heaven where He is right now (Rom 8:35-39)!

The relationship between belief and faith is a declaration of trust in the invisible work of God. The aim of our faith is what casts out fear because we look to Jesus Christ!

The two most difficult tasks of faith conversion:

(1)Dying to the idol worship of yourself (because when your faith is in sin—rejection of the truth—your belief remains in the evil one of this world Jhn 8:44). The other is (2)loving your enemy to the extent Jesus loves you (because it’s only natural to gravitate toward the comfort of your environment (Gal 2:11-13) and harbor animosity against your abusers — to not care for the life of your enemies Mat 5:43-48). But when your belief is united by faith in Jesus (Heb 4:2), you’ve overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:12-14) and have the power to love your enemy even to death; your life is converted by the aim of your faith because your belief rests where Jesus is now (Heb 4:3). And so you are converted from a lifestyle of condemnation to a lifestyle of freedom; that is the promise of God and work of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:36). Our mission is clear, tell the world, and hope they hear (Luk 2:10-11).


How To Be Perfect