Ginrich's Devotional Blog

December 30, 2019

Legalism

Filed under: Christians,God,God's Word,heart,Jesus,judging,love,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:28 pm

Galatians 5:1 ​1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  (KJV)

In this instance Paul is mostly emphasizing the legalistic Jewish rite of circumcision.  However, this verse applies to any type of legalism.  So many Christians have replaced love with legalism.  The extra rules and rites that have been established as tradition have become more important than love.  When true Godly love is present and flowing there is no need for laws.  We must be sure to choose to love all those God puts in our path and not be judgmental or critical.  God loves the lost as much as He loves those who have opened their hearts, minds and lives to Him through His Word, His Son, Jesus.  Let us never put legalism in front of Godly  love.

December 18, 2019

Nations in Order

Filed under: commands,God,judging,Lord,Obey,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:19 pm

Deuteronomy 28:1 1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  (NIV)

God’s promises are still good for today.  I would encourage us to pray diligently for our nation (any nation you are living).  All nations strive to be the dominant nation in the world.  Yet, all nations have departed from following the commands of the Lord God.  Not only is their discord between nations, there is discord within each nation.  The nations can’t fully obey the Lord until the individuals in the nation obey the Lord.  Before we point our finger at others, we must examine ourselves.  Each of us have things we should be doing and things we should not be doing.  Each of us have things we should not have said and things we should have said.  Each of us has prayed for things with selfish motives and not prayed for things we are told to lift up in prayer.  Let us strive to get our own lives in order so the nations can follow.

December 5, 2019

Truth on Display

2 Corinthians 4:1-6   Since God has so generously let us in on what He is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.  We refuse to wear masks and play games.  We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes.  And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves.  Rather we keep everything we do and say out in the open the whole truth on display, so that those who want to an see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. (The Message Version)

Please reread the above verses.  So many main-line denominations are twisting the scriptures to say what they want them to say.  It seems the goal is now to appeal to the desires of the current culture even when it means changing definitions of words and changing what God’s written word, the Holy Bible, says.  We see government officials twisting words to suit themselves.  It is up to us, followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to speak truth.  But in speaking truth we must do it in love, not in judgment.  We are in the Advent season of the Church Calendar.  This is a time of preparation for the celebrating of the physical coming of God’s Word, Jesus Christ, as a flesh and blood human creation, to show us the love of God, the Father.  Let us determine to do at least one thing each day to show His love through us to some stranger in whatever way the Holy Spirit leads us.  Let us demonstrate Christians aren’t judgmental or hateful but are people who speak God’s truth in love.

October 2, 2019

Not Qualified

Filed under: anger,God,judging,love,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:13 pm

Romans 2:1 1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  (NIV)

Many wonder why so many people and governments are against Christians. We are very good at finger pointing.  We are very vocal about the sins of others.  We are very judgmental.  Many of us may not be so vocal about our judgements but even thinking judgements can be felt by others.    There is only one judge.  He is God.  We see governments passing laws that are against our Christian beliefs.  We are to vote against those laws.  We are to stand firm acting within the laws of God.  But, we are to love the people who are making those laws.  It is love that attracts people to God and to open up to receiving His love.  I is passing our own judgement on others that blocks others from opening up to God’s love.  Let us not participate in finger pointing, name calling and yelling in anger.  Let us do all we can with our voting power by never missing voting in an election and by doing our homework in knowing the candidates and the various laws and ordinances on the ballots.  We must pray for discernment as many times various ordinances and laws or written in a way that will confuse and cause a vote opposite to the one the voter intends.  There is one like that in Texas right now about state income tax.  It is worded so if a yes and no votes are contrary to how we would normally understand them to be.  Let’s pray, research, pay attention and love the people without anger, judgement or criticism.  We are not without sin ourselves.  We don’t have all the answers.  We aren’t qualified to judge.

September 29, 2019

Pointing Fingers

Filed under: Christ,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,judging,Lord,repent,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:53 pm

Romans 2:1-3  You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?  (NIV)

The Message Translation reads, Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again.  Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself.  IT takes one to know one.  Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors.  We are so very good at holding others to higher standards than we hold ourselves.  We can always come up with an excuse as to why we do, say or don’t do or say certain things yet we don’t excuse others for the same things.  The Message continues by saying God isn’t so easily diverted.  HE sees right through al such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.  That’s pretty plane talk.  I’ve learned to some it up with the saying, “Except for the grace of God, go I.”  Jesus summed it up by saying, “Who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Before we criticize someone else, we must look at ourselves with complete honesty.  We don’t like to do this.  We, because of our sinful nature, like to see ourselves as the ones in the right.  Let us quit pointing our finger at others and daily ask God to reveal to us what is in us that we can repent and allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to become a better reflection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

September 11, 2019

Looks Are Deceiving

Filed under: God,judging,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:35 pm

1 Samuel 16:7 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  (NIV)

This is hard for many of us to do.  I’ve been guilty of wanting to cross to the other side of a street when I’ve seen someone who looks really dirty coming toward me.  We are so quick to judge people by what they are wearing, how their hair looks, what color skin they have, what kind of car they drive, where they live and on and on.  I’m so glad God looks at my heart rather than how my physical body looks or the clothes I wear or the car I drive or the house I live in.  It is hard for us to conquer the habit of judging people by external standards.  It takes a good bit of courage and time to allow ourselves to get to know someone who is very different from our perception of how someone should look.  As we learn to communicate with God throughout our day, we can learn to quick judging the external and ask God to show us how He sees others.  I know I’ve been very shocked and disappointed when I’ve gotten to know the kind of person someone who looked very impressive was.  Let’s choose to be open to all of God’s children and ask Him to let us see with His eyes and His love.

August 9, 2019

Pulling Weeds

Filed under: Christ,Father,God,Holy Spirit,humble,Jesus,judging,love,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:41 pm

Matthew 13:30 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (NIV)

It was 3:30 in the morning and I was outside pulling weeds by a dim street lamp down the road a little ways.  As I was pulling the weeds, I thought about this parable Jesus told.  His harvesters won’t have a dim street light to spot the weeds.  They won’t miss a single weed because they’ll have the Light of God showing the weeds.  The weeds are all the people who have not come humbly before God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The believers are on this earth living with those who have chosen not to believe.  We, the believers are to stay in the mix with those who don’t believe.  We are to show them through our words and our actions the love of God.  We are not to keep silent.  We are to tell them in a loving way how they can have life eternal in the very presence of God.  If we tell them in a judgmental way they will not believe.  They will back away and call us names.  We can see a lot of that going on right now in the United States and other places in the world.  People don’t want to be judge by other people.  God is the One Who will do the judging.  The believers will be judged right along with the non-believers but we will have an advocate in Jesus Christ.  He will tell the Father we are under His righteousness and forgiven.  We will not be cast away but will be in the presence of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for all eternity.  Let’s be sure to do our part that none we know will miss out.

July 24, 2019

X-Ray

Filed under: glory,God,judging,praise,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

Revelation 2:23 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.  (NIV)

I like the way The Message translation reads.  Thnen every church will know that appearances don’t and make sure you get what’s coming to you.  We are in a physical world.  We look at the world and it’s people with physical eyes.  We judge by what our physical eyes see.  God sees beyond the physical.  He sees what is in our brains.  He sees our motives.  Sometimes the praise and worship part of some churches end up with a “mob mentality” of singing.  Some are putting up a show of how much they are “into worship.”  Some churches, pastors and/or people tell it far and wide how much money the give to others.  They want everyone to see how good they are.  When are motives are to be seen by others, to be known as being spiritual or benevolent, our giving and doing are as filthy rags to God.  God x-rays our motives.  Are we worshiping out of love for Him or for show to others?  Are we giving out of love for God or to look good to others.  Let us remember we are here for God’s pleasure and glory.  Shakespeare wrote, “Life is a stage.”  God says life is for His pleasure and He doesn’t honor play acting.  Let everything we do be for the glory of God rather than the glory of mankind.

July 10, 2019

James and the Church Family

James 1:1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (NIV)

I like the introduction to James in “The Message” translation of the Holy Bible.  James was a half-brother of Jesus.  He grew up with Him.  As per normal human behavior, we tend to think more critically of those closest to us even though we love them.  James grew up not believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus showed Himself to James after His resurrection.  We all must believe in the resurrected Jesus to be a Christian believer.

When Christian belivers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does.  Outsiders, and labels them a such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised.  It’s simiar with sinners outside the church. (The Message Bible)

James deals with the various problems pastors have in discerning, confronting and dealing with the normal problems of sin in the body of believers.  Each of us, from time to time, are part of those problems.  Let us look to our own words and actions rather than judging the words and actions of others in our church family.  Let us be an active participant in the gathering together for worship which includes encouraging others and helping others rather than judging and criticizing.

June 11, 2019

Not Humble

Filed under: Christ,God,Holy Spirit,humble,Jesus,judging,love,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:12 pm

1 Timothy 1:15 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. (NIV)

We are to be humble but very few of us really are.  Even this verse could point to a lack of humility.  We’ve all heard people actually bragging about how sinful they were and how very much God has forgiven them.  Even when we judge others as committing a sin far words than the sins we commit is a lack of real humility.  In God’s eyes, sin is sin.  All sin is equal whether it be rape, adultery, murder, stealing or even what we call a white lie.  Thinking within ourselves that we’re not as bad as someone else is a lack of humility.  As long as those kinds of thoughts are in our minds, we aren’t humble.  Jesus displayed real humility.  He emptied Himself of His God head identity and became just like us.  Yet, even like us, He never sinned.  He remained true to the Father and displayed nothing but love for all mankind.  He never told anyone their sin was worse than another’s sin.  He just spoke words of love and said sin no more.  He alone had the right to say that.  We don’t have the right to say sin no more to anyone until we manage to sin no more ourselves.  Let us not kid ourselves saying or thinking we are humble.  Let us, instead, ask God to fill us up with the Holy Spirit and enable us to love without judgement and walk in the way of Christ Jesus.

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