Tag Archives: Devotions

Mark 8:36-37

My take on these 2 verses;
Mark 8:36-37
“… For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

Observations;
In this life we are taught ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘me first’, ‘nice guys finish last’, and other expression that are beaten into our minds which later develop into our way of thinking and the way we make decions and the way we react in situations. This way of thinking is called selfishness…. it is a disease and there is a cure for it if we choose to accept the treatment. With this treatment we will have to change some things like our diet; what we hear, what we see, what we read, who we hang out with, what influences us, etc. It will be a hard battle, and there will be temptations on the way, but we need to make the dietary change and get the proper nutrition and live a healthier life. While we live this disease filled life, pre-cure, we think “oh if I only had that job, that promotion, that relationship, that house, that family, that raise, that pool, that car, that lifestyle, that scholarship, that degree….”, you get the picture, that we would somehow be fulfilled in life, have that ultimate accomplishment that makes us feel like we are on top “finally”, and we can “finally” be content, happy, at peace, and filled with a never ending joy. Yet to the contrary we are empty because we know deep down that everything we have and have obtained was out of selfishness. Everything was all for the big M-E, it didn’t benefit anyone else in fact you had to hurt and possibly destroy someone else’s life, well being, self esteem, career, marriage, etc… to get where you are. So the question proposed is why would you trade your soul, causing your soul to slowly pass away (dying with every selfish decision, word, action, etc…), just so you can have temporal items which eventually come and go, that lose their value, that constantly need replacement, and that only reflect your selfisness and shallow emptiness. Trading your soul for for these things; what does it profit you? how does it give you fulfillment? does it make you feel like your life is worth living? does it bring you purpose? do youand have joy, happiness, and love? how does it benefit you? When all you have left is NO soul and items, with no Heavenly or eternal value, that will very soon vanish – what do you truly gain that matters? This ‘chasing’ after the world and the temporal never stops by man (you) alone. When you die what will people say about you? Will anyone who ‘actually’ cared about you be in attendance at your funeral? Did you even have true relationships?  Probably not. Those people were a lot like you, and only befriended you because of your money, power, status, and ‘things’ – this way they could use you and have/share what you had with the least amount of work and effort…. So when you do see Christ on that last day, what will you have to show Him? Is what you have here be of any value in Heaven? It’s like saying ‘I know I did nothing for the service of others or further your kingdom, but here Christ have the keys to my deluxe coupe mercades benz/ferrari eco hybrid that goes from 0 to 120 in 3.4 seconds in return for the gift of Heaven and eteranal life!” I don’t think so. After thinking on this for a bit, because eventually you will on your own terms, do you think that you could buy favor back, buy your life back, or more importantly your soul? When you sell or trade your soul – which is eternal – to have things that are temporal and pass away – how could you ‘buy’ your soul back? You soldand it to the ‘world’, you gave the ‘world’ something eternal – it wont accept something temporal over something eternal. Thete is nothe ‘return policy’. You could give money to a homeless person, or you could donate to a charity, you could build a house for a 3rd world village, or you could do anything nice, kind, and charitable to make your life have purpose, to help you sleep at night, to buy back and resurrect your soul that you had lost, but it WON’T work. Man alone cannot resurrect a life Christ, and God, alone can – and only Christ,  and God, alone! Find God, rest in His grace, live in His son’s sacrifice and receive salvation, then be empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth and fully turn your back on your sins, confess them aloud to God and ask for forgiveness from your brothers/sisters (those you hurt) and never do it again by taping into Gods power through prayer. Your disease is this world, your fleshy desires, and passions but your cure is Christ’s salvation and the Good News.


Hot Pursuit of The 31 Man

Proverbs 31, ESV and KJV, The Husband Known at the Gates who Sits Among Elders. What men can learn, and apply to their lives, about becoming a marvelous and noble man/husband of God. A fun fact about Proverbs 31:10-31 is that it’s an acrostic poem, meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Proverbs 12:4 – ‘…An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones…’

Proverbs 20:6 – ‘Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

What the Proverbs 31 Man needs to know the most starts in the first nine verses of the text in Proverbs 31;

‘…The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink;Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy…’  (commentary)

V.12 – ‘…She does him good and not evil All the days of her life…

One of the reasons Proverbs 31 was written, no doubt, was to help guide men in finding the right kind of wife. Some see Proverbs 31:10-31 as a continuation of what King Lemuel’s mother taught him in Proverbs 31:1-9, concluding with this description of an ideal wife for her royal son. The key to finding the right woman, is to look to the Lord in prayer and steadfast trust, so that God Himself might be the One who finds her. God knows who your life partner should be.

V.13 – ‘…She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands…

The virtuous woman’s hand is never a forced hand. The husband does not demand this from her, nor makes her feel obliged to do these things, he encourages and guides her with loving and understanding words. If your wife has an idea or a plan listen to it, encourage her to do it, and help fit her idea or plan together; most likely this is the ‘thing‘ she wants to do most. Don’t pull back on the reins out of selfishness, instead let her bloom into the beautiful flower she was meant to be. Of course if you know these actions will take her down a not so righteous path, step up and be a leader by lovingly and understandingly making a suggestion (letting her know where this could lead her), and be straight with your words, don’t beat around the bush. Men, keep busy! In resent studies it shows that when men do more housework they tend to feel less depressed, stressed, angry, or etc… So if you;re feeling tense and uptight help your wife out around the house; do the cooking, or cleaning dishes, maybe mow the yard, or clean the pool… you name it, pick something and do it. Plus you wife would probably appreciate it as well.

V.16 – ‘…She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard…

When you have a virtuous wife she is bound to make good decisions with her intuitive discernment. A woman’s discernment is a gift from God. On the other hand watch out for the one who races out the door to go to the shopping mall with all her friends.  She is bound to gossip and not be a good steward of money. If this is the case can, you, her husband safely trust in her? I didn’t think so! So if you have one of these,just take a time out, think about what you are going to say to resolve the issue, pray on it asking God for wisdom, love, and understanding, then approach her with the problem and explain it thoroughly (p.s. – there can’t be any distraction; so put away all cell phones, turn of all TV’s and other electronic devices, then sit at the kitchen table) But don’t think this can’t work vice versa….. men

V. 20 – ‘…She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy…

One of the best examples of this is Job who gave generously, without expectation, to the needy. He always had an open hand, and so should you. The greatest of all examples is Jesus Christ himself, he was always giving, teaching on giving/sharing, and he continues to give all of us today. We are constanly blessed with the breath of life every single minute, we are blessed to have freedom, blessed to be able to seeks God’s truth, blessed to have families and friends who support us. Yet we forget to give back… We, you, are called to be like Christ for we have been created in His image – so have an open hand like God and spread the love; because in the end God will bless you for it.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Harold R. McAlindon

YOU are known…. just in case you didn’t know that! Whether you are at work, school, home, grocery store, at the gym, the mechanic shop, or just having some fun out by the lake…. you are known, and people know who you are. You have friends and family who you talk to, but on the flip side of that coin…. they are talking about you too! What do you think they say behind closed doors when you’re not around. Will that say, “Oh man John is SUCH a cool guy man, he just has this joy about him, this love, I never see him do anything wrong, and he’s always giving and sharing and enlightening to be around etc…” or do they say “Man I can’t believe we still hag out with this guy, all John does is complain and tear people down, he’s always in a bad mood and thinks he’s on top of the world…. I thought he was supposed to be a Christian etc…” Your witness is everything, and you are known but a lot of people, everyone’s eyes are on you, looking up to you, wondering about you. A great story in Acts 5 about a man and a woman who were selling their property and kept back half of what they earned and then went around and boasted about it, stealing glory from God, and guess what…. they died in an instant! It would be like 2 people selling their home for 200, 000 and promised to give all of it – then went back on their word and only put in 100,000, then walked around town boasting about how holy they were because of how much they gave. They didn’t die because of how much they gave, but the problem was that they were known and they were Christians who in that moment ruined their witness by staling God’s glory. You are either hot or cold, black or white, your yest should mean yes and your no should mean no. There is no lukewarm, no gray areas, and certainly no maybes.

V.30 –‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.’

Basically if a girl is blowing smoke in your ears and she looks very attractive (with her caked on make-up, whitened teeth, and mini skirt) don’t fall for her in stead RUN in the other direction. This goes with almost any scenario though; if you are a manager or an owner (CEO, Vice President, etc…) and you have a guy or girl charming you (lying to you) with their words and making themselves, an idea, or etc… sound fantastic and like the best thing on this planet – RUN the other way. Just because someone has fancy clothing, a nice car, platinum credit cards or V.I.P hotel passes, doesn’t mean they are rich or famous or that they can benefit you in any way. All the materialism and the items and beauty of this world fades away and the only thing you will have left at the end of your days is your fear and reverence and love for God. That will be the one and only thing that matters when you get up to those pearly white gates and meet one-on-one with the Lord God and are told ‘Well done good and faithful servant…‘ OR ‘You never knew me and I never knew you…‘ speech. When you are searching for ‘the one’ you need to look past all the superficial materialism and really dig and get to know the heart of the person you are wanting to be with.

Some other great scriptures to help you toward your goal of becoming a 31 man;

“Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter…” – Brad Henry

Ephesians 5:3-7 these are a list of things that you should commit to living by daily, it’s putting off the old self and putting on the new self. Included are these ‘..neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting… nor covetous man…‘ FYI to covet (covetous, covetousness) – to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another’s property OR to wish for, especially eagerly: He won the prize they all coveted.

Ephesians 5:23, 30-33 Husbands are the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church; this doesn’t mean that your wife is below you in value nor does it mean that you own her, what it means is that you are to lead her as Christ leads His church, to love her as Christ loves His church, To forgiver her as Christ forgives His church. Your spiritual command and duty is to be gracious, giving, peaceful, kind, and loving as Christ is for His church. It’s a tall order, I understand, but it’s what you are called to do. The only way to become this is to focus on the heavenly things above through meditation, reading, and communion with God and His word. You and your wife should become ‘One’ as we are all one with Christ, becoming like minded with one another,resulting in becoming one flesh… meaning you should also be physically intimate in a reverent way with one another. Your wife should also respect you as she respects and reveres Christ but it takes the leader, the man, to act first (though the wife may be undeserving). As long as all is don’t to the glory of Gad, everything… meaning EVERYTHING (including respect from your wife), will be added (++++++) unto you.

Collosians 3:12-22 This is what your character should be like, this should be your goal, these are the virtues and attributes in which Christ encompassed. Husbands do not be bitter, and wives submit to husbands as ‘FITTING‘ to the Lord, if you are making your wife do something against her will, withholding her from doing God’s will, or doing things that are ‘unfitting‘ in the sight of God – STOP and turn away from doing so and look towards building godly character.

1 Corinthians 7:2-5…The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does….‘ You are both equal, and equally each others, and that’s the way it’s meant to be, being one, like minded, unit that serves God.

1 Corinthians 7:14-16 If your wife or husband is an unbeliever that does not mean to divorce them, but to stay with them and be a light.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 6:12-13 In every relationship there are boundaries, and you and your wife need to set up what these are in advance to make sure there are no problems in the home, and more importantly the marriage bed.

1 Corinthians 13:1-10 This is what love is; learn it, cultivate on it, and continually practice it even if it’s hard to. Sometimes you have to be the one who takes the first step.

James 3:1-12 This talks about your words, they can produce death or they can produce life, they can encourage or tear down, they can hurt or they can heal, you decide which you would like, and always remember ‘be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger…’ and all conversations with your spouse will go accordingly.

Thank you for joining and that concludes this study of Proverbs 31! See you next time and hope you enjoyed!


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