The Power of God’s SPOKEN Word!!

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Gen 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.

The Earth was, prior to God’s spoken Word, a lifeless, empty, dark wasteland.  Some seem confused by this text, exclaiming, “God does everything perfect the first time!” and thus attempts to explain this away by some alleged gap theory between the lines of Scripture which cannot be found.

However, it does not bother me that God would create the raw materials to be in such conditions prior to putting His finishing touches upon them.  The reason it does not bother me is because everything God does as it relates to creation is an object lesson by which He reveals to us eternal truths which transform our lives.

Just like His Word transformed the formerly lifeless, empty, dark wasteland we call Earth, God wants all of humanity to know that His Word has the power to bring life to lifelessness; fullness to emptiness; light to darkness; productivity, fruitfulness, increase, and abundance to the wasteland of our sin-wrecked existence!!

So, look again at verse two; “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  AND [emphasis mine] the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  The first thing you need to know is that, despite the darkness, emptiness, wasted, death-like experiences your existence represents, God’s Spirit IS IN FACT MOVING upon the surface of your troubled waters!

Now, what happens next is beyond inspirational.  Look at verse three; “And God SAID [emphasis mine], Let there be light: and there was light.”  If God’s Spirit were the fuel, then God’s Word was the match that lit the fuel!!  Think of it this way; God’s Spirit is already “on standby” simply awaiting the activation of His power to change your life by the speaking of His Word!  I encourage you to look at all the times in Genesis 1 where it reads, “And God said…”  and then realize that God’s Spirit IGNITES AND ACTIVATES God’s Power at the speaking of His Word!!  Today, SPEAK God’s Word so that, as the match lights the fuel, so His Word activates His Spirit to bring light, life, fullness and hope!

Pastor Gary Caudill

 

copyright © by Gary D. Caudill, all rights reserved

Listen to “Word of God Speak” by MercyMe HERE on YouTube.

When Church Traditions Just Gotta Go!

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2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

Contrary to king Azariah, king Hezekiah actually followed through and did what was necessary; he began tearing down and removing the high places of Israel. In fact, he was so thorough that he even took a very valuable and historic heirloom to the nation of Israel, namely, Moses’ brazen serpent, and broke it to pieces.

Imagine how that must have gone over with the people who worshipped it. I point this out only because we need to learn a valuable lesson here. You see, the brazen brass serpent was only symbolic in nature, causing Israel to look to Christ for salvation through its foreshadowing of His work on Calvary which was yet to come.
Regardless, Israel set it up as an item to which to offer incense, as if there were something divine in the item itself. In other words, they missed the whole point! In fact, they broke God’s commandments by worshipping something that was only meant to point them to the One who was truly to be worshipped.
This brings me to my point; I wonder just how many Christians today worship their religious systems, methods, denominations, buildings, facilities, styles, preferences, etc. rather than the One it should all be pointing to!
Too often we get so caught up in a past experience, memory, tradition, method, etc. that we spare no expense to protect and preserve old relics while forsaking our true obligation, which is to worship God in spirit and in truth.
Here is the lesson: Never make idols of anything that assists in pointing us to Christ. If the teaching aid becomes more important than the great Teacher Himself, then the teaching aid must go, no matter how traditional, valuable, or effective it may have been.
I’ve literally seen churches more worried about being known for their traditional leaning, than for their commitment to Christ and His kingdom. In essence, Christ wasn’t worshipped, because tradition was more important.
Let us never make this mistake, and let us always be willing to know when it is necessary to part ways with our past when our past takes our eyes off of Christ Jesus!
Pastor Gary Caudill

copyright © by Gary D. Caudill, all rights reserved

Go deeper with the daily reading that goes along with today’s devotional HERE.

Song by Joseph Habedank called “Religion Isn’t working” found HERE on YouTube.

No Pain, No Gain!

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1 Cor. 4:9    For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

Knowing that the title “apostle” was often given to persons who FIRST planted the Christian faith in regions formerly untouched by the Gospel, it would seem contradictory to say that “God hath set forth us the apostles LAST…”  It is not until we review Christ’s teachings that we begin to fully understand what is going on.  Consider Matthew 20:16, for example, where Christ said, “So the last shall be first, and the first last…” Also, Matthew 23:11, where He said, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”

You see, what Paul is essentially saying (and what Christ is teaching) is that, for others to be ministered to and thereby helped, someone must be willing to be the first to stand in the back of the line!  Again, when Christ said that He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, He was essentially saying the same thing.  He lowered Himself so that others might be lifted!

In like manner, Paul is teaching the church of Corinth that as they GAIN from his sacrifice, he himself continues to diminish by necessity of the call.  Isn’t it becoming more and more clear what Jesus meant by “the last shall be first, and the first last”?

While many seek promotion in the Kingdom of God, few seek voluntarily to be demoted for the sake of others.  Yet, this is the very essence of Christianity; Christ first, others second, & us last.  This would explain why ANY pioneer work in God’s Kingdom is often met with the harshest of resistance and circumstances to those pioneering the work, while simultaneously abundantly fruitful and advantageous for the beneficiary.  So, the pioneers’ pain is always the progenitors’ gain.

Pastor Gary Caudill

copyright © by Gary D. Caudill, all rights reserved

Go deeper with the daily reading that goes along with today’s devotional HERE.

Song by Casting Crowns called “Loving My Jesus” can be found HERE on YouTube.

 

God enables your obedience!!!

HERE is our Facebook Live version of this devotional.  The opening song will be linked at the bottom.  Facebook may silence the first 3.5 mins of the video (the song portion).  If so, just “fast forward” to the 3.5 min mark. 🙂

Psalm 105:44-45    And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws.  Praise ye the LORD.

God enables obedience to His commands!  Here, the children of Israel were commanded to observe all of God’s statutes, and keep all His laws.  If you know anything about the old covenant, MUCH work went into keeping all the laws that The Lord had commanded them to observe.  Time would not permit me to go into all the details, suffice it to say that (by modern standards of living) extreme efforts had to be made in order to do what God expected of them.

Understanding, then, that it took WORK to obey God’s commands, The Lord made it so that when Israel arrived at their promised land, they would inherit the labour of the inhabitants, for the specific purpose of enabling His people to put their energies into obeying His commands.  They dwelt in houses they did not build and ate from vineyards they did not plant.  Essentially, God paved the way for their obedience!

I’m now reminded of the same principle found in the New Testament under the new covenant of Grace.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  In other words, if you will seek to do God’s will, then God will seek to make that possible by providing you what you need in order to do so.

I’m afraid that’s where many Christians fall off the wagon today; they make great effort in securing a living for themselves FIRST, then, IF they have any time, talent, energy, or resources left over, they MIGHT give them to God’s work.  However, we need to relearn the concept of living by such faith that when God speaks, we obey, and let HIM figure out the logistics of how it’s all going to come together.  Trust and obey!

Pastor Gary Caudill

copyright © by Gary D. Caudill, all rights reserved

Go deeper with the daily reading that goes along with today’s devotional HERE.

Song by Leeland called “Way Maker” can be found HERE on YouTube.

 

About God’s mercy…

HERE is our Facebook Live version of this devotional.  The opening song will be linked at the bottom.

Psalm 103:17-18    But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Mercy is often described as when our Lord withholds from us the punishment which we rightly deserve.  Lam. 3:22 says that it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  And yet again in Psalm 103:10, we are taught that “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”  Looking at the full spectrum of God’s mercy, then, we learn that He does not give it to us because we are deserving, but rather because He is compassionate!

Now, let’s look at conditions under which mercy is guaranteed.  Verse 17 says that His mercy is upon them that fear Him.  The word “fear” here means “morally reverent”, which implies that our behavior is such that illustrates our desire to be submissive and humble before Him.

Verse 18 then says that His mercy is upon “such as keep his covenant”.  The word “keep” here, along with meaning “observe”, also means “to hedge about as with thorns”.  The significance of “keeping” God’s promises in such fashion can be no better illustrated than by looking to Christ on the Cross, where God’s blood covenant was quite literally and figuratively hedged about with thorns, even as our Savior wore a crown of thorns upon His own head.  This assures us that even when we fail to protect the preserve the covenant, He secured it by His own measure, and thus has every right to have mercy upon whom He will have mercy!

It is under this great truth, then, that we are able to “remember his commandments to do them”.  That is, we remember what He said for the specific purpose and intention of doing them, while living in His mercy.

Pastor Gary Caudill

copyright © by Gary D. Caudill, all rights reserved

Go deeper with the daily reading that goes along with today’s devotional HERE.

Song by Micah Tyler called “New Today” can be found HERE on YouTube.

 

 

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