Washed Away in the Flood or Standing on the Sure Foundation

Christians don't have "preferences" when it comes to God's truths. This 1-minute devotion explains.

We all have our preferences. 

For example, we may prefer certain foods at Thanksgiving or Christmas because they were part of our family traditions. We may have a favorite color, favorite time of year, and favorite book of the Bible.

These are not moral choices. 

Sadly, some Christians treat Scriptural truths like preferences, but the Bible isn’t a book of suggestions and it isn't a multiple-choice offering. Disregarding any command in Scripture is a moral choice—an immoral choice.

Jesus describes His true followers as those who hear His words and put them into practice. We build our faith on the foundation of Christ, and we're not affected by the flood of cultural conformity or the torrents of human wisdom (Luke 6:46-49).

In Colossians 2:6-8, Paul explains that true believers are “rooted and built up in [Christ]” so we're not “taken captive” by “hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” 

Christians don't have "preferences" when it comes to God's truths. This 1-minute devotion explains.
We have a solid foundation and strong, deep roots.

We know and we grow … and we keep growing.

If you are not firmly rooted in Christ, seek Him in prayer, read His Word regularly, and get into godly fellowship with other believers.

Here are some additional 1-minute devotions to encourage you:

8 Questions to Ask Yourself About God's Word

2 Steps for Discerning Right and Wrong

3 Benefits of Praying with a Friend

Natural, Unnatural, Supernatural




Bible Love Notes

How Adversity Strengthens God's People

Philippians gives us confidence to stay strong in adversity. This 1-minute devotion explains.

In Philippians, Paul encourages us to rejoice in any and every circumstance. 

Don’t you love how God chose someone “in chains” to share this truth? Paul was an experienced sufferer (2 Corinthians 11:25-29).

He was not only suffering persecution from unbelievers. Some professing Christians were also mistreating him, using his imprisonment to stir up trouble for him (Philippians 1:15-18).

These were probably what Matthew 13:24-30 describes as “weeds” planted by Satan among genuine believers. They were motivated by pride and jealousy, talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Their purpose was to weaken the gospel message and defeat Paul.

But Paul explains that none of his persecutors succeeded:

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).  

Paul’s chains didn’t defeat him, and neither did the “weeds.” They strengthened his faith, gave him opportunity to preach to the palace guard, and emboldened others to share Christ (Philippians 1:12-14).

When Christians face difficulties or persecution, we depend more deeply on Christ. We learn to recognize Satan’s methods and we understand the importance of putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Plus we learn that God can use bad things for good (Romans 8:28).

So if you are being mistreated because of your faith, take heart! Great is your reward (Matthew 5:10-12)! 

๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

These 1-minute devotions also share some wonderful ways that God used bad things for good in the lives of His children:

The Big Feet of Gladys Aylward

Blind but Seeing: Louis Braille

 

Philippians gives us confidence to stay strong in adversity. This 1-minute devotion explains.



Bible Love Notes

Nine Times Paul Repeats this Word in His Prison Letter

In the short book of Philippians, Paul uses 2 words 9 times each...and they don't fit his circumstances.

Years ago I memorized the book of Philippians. It’s one of my favorite Epistles. 

Paul wrote to the Philippians when he was under house arrest for preaching the gospel. To add insult to injury, some “Christian” teachers tried to “stir up trouble” for Paul while he was in chains (Philippians 1:15-18). 

I’ve never been imprisoned, but I’ve been rejected by several family members because of my faith. And I’ve had a few professing Christians who also stirred up trouble for me in my already difficult circumstances.

But here’s the truth Paul teaches in Philippians, a truth I've not yet fully achieved: We can rejoice in all circumstances. 

In the short book of Philippians, we find the word “rejoice” nine times and the word “joy” nine times.

Paul had great problems, but those problems didn't dampen his joy in the Lord: 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I haven't fully attained that joy in my circumstances, but I want to, so “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).

Is there an area of your life where you’re finding it difficult to rejoice? Then join me in pressing on, seeking God, and living out this difficult but important aspect of our faith. 

For more encouragement see We Need It: Joy and Ease or Endurance.

 

In the short book of Philippians, Paul uses 2 words 9 times each...and they don't fit his circumstances.

Bible Love Notes

Wrap Yourself in These Things Like a Warm Coat on a Cold Day

Enjoy these insights about Colossians 3:12 and clothe yourself with the wisdom it contains!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  ~ Colossians 3:12

The word translated “clothe” in this passage is the Greek word enduo, and it means clothing ourselves “in the sense of sinking into a garment.”

It’s not just casually throwing a sweater over our shoulders. This is like wrapping ourselves in a warm coat on a cold winter day. 

When we clothe ourselves with these virtues, we don’t simply act compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. We seriously seek to live out these qualities as a representative of our Lord.

We wrap ourselves in compassion because “the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). 

We wrap ourselves in kindness because God’s “lovingkindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3).  

We wrap ourselves in humility because Jesus humbled Himself to become a man and died for us (Philippians 2:5-8). 

We wrap ourselves in the gentleness of Christ, following the example of Paul who appealed to the Corinthians “by the humility and gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1). 

And we cannot help but wrap ourselves in patience considering that our Lord’s patience brought us salvation (2 Peter 3:15). 

So whatever else we wear, let's make sure we've wrapped ourselves in these virtues!

๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™

Speaking of being clothed, don't miss these 1-minute devotions:


 
Enjoy these insights about Colossians 3:12 and clothe yourself with the wisdom it contains!


Bible Love Notes

A Tiny Lady Bug and an Awesome Creator

Sometimes God sends us a tiny message about His glory! This 1-minute devotion explains.

I was reading my Bible outside one sunny afternoon, and a tiny ladybug crawled across the page. 

I couldn’t help but think about my Lord, the Creator of all things. This insignificant little “dot” in the universe was one of God’s creations, and despite its size, it was declaring God’s glory. 

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” 

His glory is present in the grand and powerful and in the tiny and insignificant—the sky filled with thunder clouds or a delicate wildflower, a herd of graceful horses or a newborn puppy, the majestic mountains or a tiny ladybug. 

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 

God has left his handprint everywhere. He’s created a beautiful world for us to enjoy, and sometimes he sends a tiny ladybug to walk across the most powerful message in the universe: His Word.

Psalm 33:6 says, By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,” and so was that tiny ladybug!

For more inspiring thoughts about God's creation, see Enjoying Bugs, Butterflies, and God's Creation and Exploring God's Message in the Color Green.

Sometimes God sends us a tiny message about His glory! This 1-minute devotion explains.
Beyond 1-minute for some interesting facts about the ladybug:

There are 5,000 different species of ladybugs, and they aren't actually bugs, they are beetles. I didn't know the difference before reading about ladybugs, but I'll let you look that up!

Farmers love ladybugs because they eat aphids and other pests that damage crops. Ladybugs were actually imported from Europe for this purpose.

The name "ladybug" originated with Catholic prayers to Mary to protect crops from aphids. Because the ladybug ate aphids, it was first named "beetle of Our Lady" and eventually became known as the ladybug.

When threatened, ladybugs secrete a foul-smelling liquid and/or play dead to avoid being eaten by birds, frogs, and other small mammals.

Isn't God's creation amazing?!

Sources: Ntl. Geographic, Nature's Select


Bible Love Notes

Jesus Made an Important I Am Statement and Asked a Life & Death Question

In John 11, Christ made a two part I Am statement, and it may just be the most important I Am statement in Scripture. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Resurrection = life
 

If Christ's resurrection hadn't happened, we'd have no hope.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul passionately explains: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:13-14).
 
Our salvation is based on Christ's victory over sin and death that occurred through His death and resurrection. We often talk about the resurrection, but we sometimes forget how incredible, awesome, life-changing, and essential it is. If Christ hadn't been resurrected, we'd still be hopeless sinners (1 Cor. 15:17). 

The Resurrection = life.

In John 11, Christ is preparing to temporarily(1) resurrect his friend Lazarus, and He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). 

Jesus follows this "I am" statement with a question for Lazarus' sister Martha. And He asks each of us that question as well: “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26)

Every person on earth will one day answer that question, and their answer will determine whether they have eternal life or eternal death.

My answer is a resounding heartfelt YES! 

What is your answer?

(1) The Bible records a number of human resurrections. See the List here: Got Questions. And when Christ died, we're told that the bodies of many holy people were raised from their graves (Matthew 27:50-53).  But all of these people died again. 
 
To read about a woman whom Peter resurrected, see Don't Be Jealous of Other People's Gifts
 
And I think you will enjoy this 1-minute devotion as well: It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming.  

In John 11, Christ made a two part I Am statement, and it may just be the most important I Am statement in Scripture. This 1-minute devotion explains.



Bible Love Notes

Are You Sugar & Shadows or Salt & Light?

When Culture and Christianity collide, some Christians choose a sugary path. This 1-minute devotion warns against it.

When culture approves and celebrates sinful lifestyles, many Christians lose their salt and hide their light by doing these things:

They decide it's "loving" to remain silent about popular sins, as if those sins are somehow sacred. See Ezekiel 33:8 and Ezekiel 3:18-19.(1)

They begin viewing gays as victims instead of sinners, trying to find others to blame for their lifestyle when Scripture teaches that sin is always a personal choice (James 1:13-15; Ezekiel 18:20). 

They start believing that all sins are the same in God's eyes, thus contradicting Scripture. See All Sins Are Not the Same.

"It's not our place to judge" becomes an extremely popular rebuke, not when discussing sins like dishonesty, murder, or gossip, but when discussing LGBTQ sins. See Judging Biblically.

Ironically, these sinful lifestyles send people to Hell and damage their bodies, souls, and spirits while on earth (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 John 3:6). In addition, history reveals that acceptance of these "unnatural" sins destroys nations (Romans 1:18-32; Jude 1:7). See Sexual History.

We can choose culture or Scripture, but we cannot choose both.

So let's carefully evaluate our attitudes toward these culturally acceptable sins and make sure that we are being salt and light, not sugar and shadows.

 -------------

If you are hearing Gay Revisionist explanations to justify LGBTQ behavior, please see this collection of articles: Gay Revisionist Arguments. These devotions explain the way these teachings distort and misuse Scripture.

(1) Ezekiel 33:8: "When I say to the wicked, 'You wicked person, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood."   

Because LGBTQ sins have become "sacred" in our culture, we are often called "hateful" when we speak about them. That couldn't be further from the truth. It's hateful to say nothing while people damage their souls. Our speech should be gracious, but it also should be seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). That means we graciously share God's truth at appropriate times and in appropriate situations even if it offends. See Seasoned with Salt.


When Culture and Christianity collide, some Christians choose a sugary path. This 1-minute devotion warns against it.

Bible Love Notes

Can You Hear the Shepherd's Voice?

In John 10 Christ reveals some important things about His role as our Shepherd. This 1-minute devotion explains.

John 10 is a wonderful revelation of Christ’s mission and character as our Shepherd. 

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (v. 11

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (vv. 14-15

The Good Shepherd is one of the most beautiful analogies in Scripture. That’s why Psalm 23 has always been one of the most beloved chapters in the Bible. True believers know we need a Shepherd.

John 10 repeatedly assures us that Christ willingly died for our sins, and it uses the analogy of a shepherd to help us understand His constant care and concern for our well-being.

Throughout the chapter we hear of “thieves, robbers, and hired hands,” false teachers who may appear to be shepherds but have no real concern for the flock. 

And there’s one point that Christ emphasizes, repeating it in these four verses: 3, 4, 16, and 27. It’s an important truth for avoiding the thieves. So click the link or pull out your Bible, and find out what Christ stresses.

And I encourage you to read through these verses that share other details about our Shepherd. Psalm 95:7; 79:13; 100:3; Ezekiel 34:31; Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:11-16; Matthew 25:32-34

I'm asking you to do a little "homework" with this devotion because I want you to recognize the voice of your Shepherd. 

And all Scriptures are linked for your convenience!

And don't forget that Bible Love Notes has a book coming out in February called "Wisdom for Life." It features 100 1-minute devotions from Psalms and Proverbs! You can read about the special way this book came about here: A Bible Love Notes Book in Spring 2023.
 
 
In John 10 Christ reveals some important things about His role as our Shepherd. This 1-minute devotion explains.



Bible Love Notes

False Teachers Always “Climb over the Wall”

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees when He made this wonderful "I Am statement."

Speaking to the Pharisees, Christ explained that thieves and robbers climb into the sheep pen, but the sheep know only the voice of the shepherd and run away from them (John 10:1-10). 

The Pharisees didn’t understand, so Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:7-10).

Jesus is the “gate” to salvation. But there always have been and always will be false teachers “climbing” into the church to mislead the sheep.

Jesus was speaking to some of those false teachers when He made this “I am" statement. Like the thieves and robbers in our modern churches, the Pharisees were distorting God's Word.

That is why we must carefully examine things that are taught in our churches. We must learn to recognize the voice of our Savior and reject all other voices. How do we do this? We do it by reading and studying His Word (Matthew 7:15; 1 John 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees when He made this wonderful "I Am statement."


Bible Love Notes

8 Truths About the Light of the World

There's so much to say about the Light of the World. This 1-minute devotion shares 8 truths.

Jesus told us in John 8:12 that He is the Light of the World.
๐Ÿ’› Light is an incredibly helpful metaphor. It's something we can all understand! But this name for Christ is more than a metaphor.

๐Ÿ’› 1. God created both physical and spiritual light on earth (Genesis 1:3-4), but in heaven, Christ will be the only light we need (Revelation 21:23).  

๐Ÿ’› 2. God shines on us and in us! (Psalm 18:28; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 36:9; Isaiah 60:1; John 1:4-5). 

๐Ÿ’› 3. God brings light to the spiritual darkness in our world (Isaiah 42:16; Micah 7:8; Matthew 4:16).

๐Ÿ’› 4. Sadly, many people prefer darkness (John 3:19-20).

๐Ÿ’› 5. Christians become light so we can shine for Christ (Matthew 5:14-16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). Paul’s mission was to be a light to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47; Acts 26:16-18).    

๐Ÿ’› 6. Because Christians are light we shouldn't partner with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:6-9). 

๐Ÿ’› 7. We have fellowship with God as we walk in the light, repenting of sin (1 John 1:5-9).   

๐Ÿ’› 8. God’s Word is a light (Psalm 119:105,130). 
 
Yes! Our God is LIGHT and He shares that light with us!  

For more encouragement to shine, see:
๐Ÿ’› Sitting in the Dark  

There's so much to say about the Light of the World. This 1-minute devotion shares 8 truths.


Bible Love Notes