Why Smooth Paths Are Not Necessarily Good Paths

 We think that what we want most is a smooth path through life, but God offers us something better. This 1-miniute devotion explains.

If you want to share this devotion on Facebook or Pinterest or if you wish to bookmark it, please use the permanent link: Why Smooth Paths Are Not Necessarily Good Paths.

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27 

I used to read passages like this and think it meant that God would always give me smooth paths.  

But that's not been true.

In my 40+ years as a Christian, God has given me more difficult paths than smooth ones, paths involving hardships, challenges, detours and delays.

And I've learned to be genuinely grateful for the hard paths because they've taught me far more than the smooth ones. They've taught me that when He takes hold of my hand, every path leads me closer to His purposes (Ephesians 2:10).

"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

But there are smooth paths ahead for me – and for you too, if you have committed your life to Jesus. One day we shall walk with Him on smooth streets of gold (Revelation 21:21). 

He is the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Him? No!

----------------------------------------------

Dear Subscribers: On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the title link for the devotion quits working shortly after it is sent out. You can read the full devotion here in this email, but to share it on Facebook or Pinterest or to access it online, you must use this link: Why Smooth Paths Are Not Necessarily Good Paths.


Bible Love Notes

Finding Out Why They Are Thirsty

There are effective and ineffective ways of sharing the Gospel. It helps to find out why a person is "thirsty."

Sometimes people share Christ with a prepared script, and this usually leads to an awkward, unnatural conversation. It's rarely effective.

Don't get me wrong. We should be prepared to share Christ accurately. And there are some rare situations where God's Spirit may prompt us to share Christ quickly and succinctly.

But more often than not, the Lord leads us to share His wonderful plan of salvation like offering a glass of water to a thirsty friend. And the first step in this process is asking sincere questions to find out why the person's soul is thirsty.

The unsaved person who blames God for his mother’s early death...the person raised in a cult...the person who is close to making a decision for Christ...each of these people have different kinds of thirst. All of them need the Lord, but our approach should be different for each one. 

That’s why asking questions is the first step in sharing Christ effectively. 

1 Peter 3:15 tells us to be prepared to explain our faith with gentleness and respect. Colossians 4:6 tells us to graciously explain God’s truths.

While these passages don’t specifically tell us to ask questions, we know that understanding people’s backgrounds helps us speak wisely, graciously, and respectfully, offering water to their thirsty souls. 

There are effective and ineffective ways of sharing the Gospel. It helps to find out why a person is "thirsty."

 
Bible Love Notes

The Most Important Question You'll Ever Answer

Jesus asks a question in Matthew 16 and that question is the most important question any of us will every answer. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Jesus asked an important question in Matthew 16:13-17, a question that will determine your eternity. 

But He introduced this most important question with a less important question: 

“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 

His disciples explained that most people thought He was merely a prophet. That’s true today as well. Many cults and false religions view Jesus as no more than a wise human being. 

Then there are progressive Christians who consider Jesus a hip philosopher who embraces the new morality and denies the harder teachings of Scripture. Their Jesus approves of everyone except sincere Bible-believing Christians.

False views like this have always been around. 

But this brings us to Christ's second question, the most important question you and I will ever answer. 

After hearing who others thought He was, Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” 

Peter answered correctly saying, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 

And Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” 

There is only one correct answer to Christ’s question, only one answer that makes us blessed.

Jesus is God’s Son, the Messiah. Not merely a prophet, not merely a man—He is the Word made flesh and sent to save us from our sins (John 1). 

Jesus asks a question in Matthew 16 and that question is the most important question any of us will every answer. This 1-minute devotion explains.
And that truth is not revealed to us through human wisdom. It is revealed to us by God’s Spirit. 

Who do you say Jesus is? 

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

For Scriptures supporting Christ's deity, please read:

There's No Doubt About Christ's Deity

To read how false religions and false teachers use deceptive views of Jesus, see:

Wilderness Wanderers

Why Muslims Can't Believe Jesus Was a Prophet

Jesus Is Who the Bible Says He Is

When Angels Tell Lies

Eternal Life - This post discusses the fact that there is only one true God.


Bible Love Notes

A Detailed Prescription

Just as we need to check out the details of a medication, we sometimes want to check out the details behind a passage in Scripture.

If you pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, you typically get several pages of details with instructions for its use and the possible side effects, along with some technical information about the chemical formula. 

If I haven’t used the medicine before, I read through these details. If I’ve used the medicine before and I trust it, I don’t bother. 

I think this is a good analogy for Scripture reading. 

Sometimes we come across something in Scripture, typically in the Old Testament, and we don’t understand it. That’s when we can find out the details, research the background, check into the original language, customs, and purpose of the passage. 

God provides those details for anyone who wants to do the research, and while we may not have every tiny question answered, He gives us enough information to have peace about passages that confuse us. I often do this extra research so I can respond to questions or criticisms from readers. 

But, to be honest, I’ve been taking the “medicine” of God’s Word for over forty years with nothing but positive side effects (Psalm 1:1-3). 

This extra research improves my knowledge, but I don’t need it to trust God’s Word. I daily benefit from the healing effects of Scripture. It consistently improves my spiritual well-being, protecting me from viral errors, chronic sins, and terminal hopelessness (Psalm 112:1; Psalm 119:93).

I admit it—I’m addicted! (Psalm 119:20; Psalm119:40

How about you? 

Just as we need to check out the details of a medication, we sometimes want to check out the details behind a passage in Scripture.

Bible Love Notes

"Rude Driver" Relationships

It's becoming popular to encourage Christians to be "Rude Drivers" in their relationships. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Have you ever had someone cut you off in traffic? It’s not only annoying—it’s selfish and dangerous. 

Sadly, in personal relationships, cutting people off is becoming quite popular. There are whole “ministries” built on the premise (e.g. Boundaries). 

Scripture commands us to cut off contact with Christians who are involved in serious unrepentant sin, false teachers, and people causing church conflict. And it tells us to avoid close friendships with ungodly people (Matthew 18:15-172 John 1:10Titus 3:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:33).(1) 

But Scripture does not support cutting people off because we have differences, because they are annoying, or because they don't make us feel good about ourselves. If we don't learn how to deal biblically with these difficult relationships, our faith remains shallow and self-centered (Proverbs 24:10).

Rude drivers are disrespectful and selfish. The only person they care about is themselves. The same is true for people who drive selfishly through their relationships. Cutting people off is the least healthy, least mature, and most selfish way to deal with problems.

We aren’t required to be everyone’s best buddy, but we are required treat people with consideration (Philippians 2:3-4), returning good for evil (Romans 12).

Take some time today to ask yourself if you are treating friends and family members the way you would want to be treated (Luke 6:31).


It's becoming popular to encourage Christians to be "Rude Drivers" in their relationships. This 1-minute devotion explains.

Bible Love Notes