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Humility Before an Exalting God

“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

When holding this text of scripture into context we see a few very important truths. First, we read James declaration that if we are friends with the world we have made ourselves an enemy of God. (James 4:4). Being a friend of the world is choosing it’s ways and values over God’s. You declare, whether by word or action, that the world’s ways are better than God’s. This is an attitude of arrogance and pride toward God.

Secondly, we see the heart God has for us in James 4:5 where James says, “He (God) jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?” In other words, God wants us all for Himself. When we give our affection to another, we are playing the harlot towards God stirring in Him great jealousy. Just as a loving husband would be furiously jealous in seeing his wife in the arms of another man, God is jealous when we arrogantly turn our backs on Him for another.

The third truth we find in this text is God calling us to submission. James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” God has grace and He gives grace to the humble. By submitting to Him we are acting in humility towards Him. Even if we have turned against Him and rebelled against Him greatly we know that when we submit to Him we receive grace instead of condemnation. For He loves us and jealously desirers our fellowship, love, and affection. He calls for total allegiance, and He is worthy.  When we submit to Him by giving Him our total allegiance, we are humble before Him. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” When we are full of pride, we should expect a fall.

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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Lord, Teach us to Pray

“It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 NASB

Do we know how to pray as we ought? According to the bible we don’t. Since we don’t know how to pray as we should the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. The fact is, no one can teach us to pray but God. Others can give suggestions and advice, but no one can truly teach us to pray; except the one to which we pray.

In this verse, we see one of the disciples first listening to Jesus pray. When Jesus finished praying it was as if the disciple came to Jesus and said, I want to pray like that, just like you did. I have been in the presence of some mighty men of God and stood in awe of their prayer. It was as if they were calling fire down from heaven. D.L. Moody gave testimony of traveling to England to visit with Charles Spurgeon. When Moody attended the Metropolitan Tabernacles service he said it wasn’t the heavenly choir that impressed him, nor was it Spurgeon’s masterful preaching, rather, he was impressed with the prayer.  Could you imaging being with Jesus while He prayed? These Jewish disciples of Jesus had no doubt been taught to pray from childhood. More than likely they prayed daily. However, they never prayed as Jesus prayed, but they wanted to.

Jesus asked the disciples to do many tasks. He asks of us the same. The greatest of tasks is to go and preach the gospel to all creation. Of the many tasks Jesus asked of us we never find in scripture anyone asking Jesus how to do them. The only request of any sort is how to pray. The fact is, the tasks Jesus calls us to do are empowered by prayer. If we don’t pray we shouldn’t expect any power or provision.

Yet, we so often do not know what to pray for. So, where do we start? Lord, teach is to pray. I don’t know how to pray as I should. Will You guide me? I have my own agenda and my own goals. Will you lead me to Yours? I am week and easily distracted. Will You keep me focused and on track. Prayer begins and ends with Jesus. Our level of dependency upon Him will determine the level of power in our prayer. We don’t put faith in our faith, nor do we put faith in prayer in and of itself; we put faith in Christ alone. For this reason, the beginning of all is, Lord, teach us to pray. Make that your daily prayer.

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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Feasting in 2015

“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” Matthew 4:4

Now that the holiday’s, are behind us and 2014 is gone we look forward to greater things in 2015. We often make goals and challenges of different sorts for ourselves to better our lives. The most popular challenge is to eat less and lose weight. However, I want to challenge you to a daily feast in 2015. Not a feast on the bread of this world but, a feast on the bread of God’s Word. If we can help it we don’t go a single day without physical food. If we abstain from physical food for too long we will become very ill and eventually die. Spiritual malnutrition is just as deadly to our spiritual health.

So many people today are spiritually malnourished because they do not consume the vital nutrients to survive and thrive spiritually-the nutrition of God’s Word. When Jesus made this statement He was at the end of a forty day fast. At that time, Satan came to tempt Him to turn the stones into bread. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 that gave reference to the bread from heaven, the manna that God provided for the nation of Israel in the wilderness. Through these words of Jesus we see that there are some things more important than physical bread. If we are going to be the men and women God has called us to be, living up to His full potential, make a goal for your life to feast on God’s Word so you can grow to be blessed and be a blessing.

There are many free charts and timelines available online that will help you with daily bible reading, and reading through the bible in a year. However the greatest thing you can do is just open God’s Word and start your feast. Don’t be legalistic about it. Enjoy it, absorb it, and most importantly seek God through it. You will soon discover that your 2015 will be abundantly blessed due to your feasting on the Word of God.

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Giving God the Glory in 2015

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 2:31 NASB

As Christians we often think of things within our lives as sacred or secular. The sacred would include going to church, reading our bibles, praying, or serving God. We then think of the secular as being anything that isn’t directly connected to God such as our jobs and hobbies. Unfortunately, our families more often fall into the category of secular than sacred. Unfortunately, this is unbiblical. The bible teaches that Christians have been bought with the blood of Christ. Since we have been bought with the blood of Christ we belong to God. I Corinthians 6:20 says, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” Since we belong to God, everything we do should bring glory to Him. Since we have been bought with a price, and have been saved from the eternal pits of hell, giving glory to God is a act of love, devotion, and the utmost appreciation.

If we were children of the world everything within our lives would be secular. Since we are children of God everything within our lives is sacred; they belong to Him. Our jobs, our hobbies, our families, our everything. Since all of who we are belongs to God, all of what we do should bring Him glory, even the simplest things of life such as eating and drinking. Even the tiniest most insignificant of creatures on earth has to eat and drink. It is a mundane necessity for all creatures. As Christians, this mundane necessity of life should bring glory to God. As Christians, all that we do from the mundane to the monumental should bring glory to God. If what we are doing doesn’t bring glory to God, we shouldn’t be participating in it.

As this next year is fast approaching make a commitment to God that your life will be and instrument for His glory. You may not be the most popular person and may endure persecution as a result of this radical decision. But remember, the things of this earth are extraordinarily temporary. The one who created you, gives you breath, sustains you, and purchased for you eternity is eternal. He deserves all glory does He not?

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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A Resolution of Faith

“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 NASB

Now that the Christmas season is behind us we look forward to the celebration of a new year. Many spend this time making for themselves New Year’s Resolution. Whether they are seeking separation from sins, or desiring deliverance from dependencies, or wishing away their worries, the solution is the same-faith.

From the well wishing, one will often get advice to work out their problems, or keep a positive attitude, or keep your head above the water, it will work itself out. This advice is well intended but, unfortunately it is wrong and harmful advice. The Word of God clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith, (Ephesians 2:8, 9), and anything done apart from faith is sin, (Romans 14:23). As Christians we walk by faith and not by sight. The scripture stated above says, “It is God who is at work in you,” and His work in you is to, will and to work for His good pleasure.

Every Christian has area’s that need improvement in their lives. For this reason I resolve to have faith. Faith in Jesus of whom I can do nothing apart from, (John 5:5), faith in Jesus of whom I can do all things through, (Philippians 4:16), and faith in Jesus who gives me true deliverance, “Whom the Son has set free is free indeed.” (John 8:36). This year resolve to seek God for ALL of your solutions. Resolve to have faith.

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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Have You Received His Gift?

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 NASB

When you woke up this Christmas morning you may have awaken to a treasure trove of gifts under your tree. Or, you may have none. Regardless of the gifts of the world, we have taken a look these past 28 days at many wonderful gifts God freely gives to those who have received the free gift of His salvation. The gifts are only available to those who have been saved from their sins by Jesus. You might now be asking, “How do receive the free gift of salvation?” That is the most important question anyone can ever ask.

1st The bible is clear that we are saved by faith and faith alone. By placing our faith in the person and works of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, we are saved. The Philippian jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31).

2nd We need to repent (turn away) of and ask forgiveness for our sins. You need to know that we are all sinners and need to be forgiven of our sins. Because of our sins we are condemned to Hell and separated from God. The bible states that Jesus purpose in coming to this world is to forgive His people of their sins. The bible also says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You can have the upmost confidence that the blood of Jesus is sufficient to wash away your sins. So when you confess, confess with faith.

3rd We need to accept Jesus, by faith, as Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” To confess is to come into agreement with God. We agree with God that Jesus is Lord and confess Him has Lord of our lives. Jesus died to save us and rose again demonstrating that He is Lord.

Pray and ask God to forgive you of your sins. Pray and invite Him into your life to be your Lord and Savior. If you pray, in faith, knowing God will hear you and knowing God will answer you, and you are sincere in your prayer, God will hear you and He will answer you. You will be saved! Jesus said in Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” If you prayed to receive God’s free gift of salvation please let me know so I can rejoice with you and encourage you. Merry Christmas! Please share.

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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 28: The Gift of Himself

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NASB

We have spent the past 28 days taking a surface level look at many of the gifts God has richly bestowed upon us. Paul said in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” It would take volumes of books to record all of the wonderful gifts God richly blesses us with. However, none of the gifts is comparable to the gift of Himself.

When God sent us the gift of His Son that first Christmas morning He sent us the Son of God, God in the flesh. John records the coming of Christ by simply saying, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14). The word “dwelt” that John used is the exact same word as “tabernacle” This verse could be translated “The word tabernacled among us.” The bible teaches us that the Old Testament Tabernacle is an earthly shadow of what is in heaven. (Hebrews 8:5). In fact, every aspect of the Tabernacle points to the person of Christ. The Tabernacle was God’s dwelling place among His people. God dwelt in the innermost part of the tabernacle.

Now through Christ, we have access to the heavenly Tabernacle. The one not made with human hands but crafted by God Himself. Through Christ, we have access to the inner most part of the Tabernacle. There is a single gate to the entrance of the Tabernacle. Jesus is the gate and we must inter through Him. (John 10:9). Once we enter the gate we see the altar. At the altar a blood sacrifice is required. Jesus made that sacrifice for us once and for all. (Hebrews 7:27). Through the blood we can now approach the bronze laver where every crimson stain has been removed and we are washed whiter than snow. Now we can enter into the sanctuary where we see the table of showbread representing our communion with Christ, the golden lamp stand representing our walk in His light, and the alter of incense where we lift up our petitions and praises. Just beyond the sanctuary is the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God. This is a representation of the throne room of God; the very throne that we can draw near with confidence, because of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Christ. The gift of Christ made God’s presence available to us all. All who would call on His name and be saved.

God sent us His Son as an invitation to come into His presence. He knows us and loves us and wants us to know Him and love Him back. For this reason, He gave us Himself as the greatest gift anyone can ever receive. A gift of long ago, a gift of today, and a gift of eternity. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 28 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 27: The Gift of Recreation

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

After God completed His work of creation He looked at His brand new world with its inhabitants and declared it to be very good. (Genesis 1:31). It doesn’t take long to figure out that the world today isn’t very good. It isn’t even a little good. It is filled with every sort of wickedness. As a result of that wickedness we all suffer. What changed the world from being very good to very bad? The heart of man.

The unredeemed man’s heart is full of wickedness. His wicked heart influences every aspect of who he is and what he does. Jesus told us that prior to His return wickedness would increase. Jesus also told us that as a result of the rise of wickedness peoples love would grow cold towards one another. (Matthew 24:12). This is why we live in such a cruel world today. This is also the reason why every Christian should proclaim the gospel that has the power to transform the heart of man.

Mankind doesn’t need a change of philosophical views. Mankind needs a change of heart. A new heart will automatically change mans philosophical views. The very good creation God created has been corrupted by sin. Sin is a deadly viruses that destroys every aspect of man. Sin has corrupted all of God’s creation. Because of this, man has been totally ruined by sin. Since we are totally ruined we don’t need patch work. Jesus Himself said that you don’t put a new patch on an old garment. It will shrink and both will be ruined. He also said that you don’t put new wine in an old wineskin. If you do, the wineskin will burst and all will be lost. (Luke 5:36-37).

If we are in Christ, we aren’t pieced and patched together, we are brand new creatures. Nor, has God poured His new wine, the Holy Spirit, into an old wineskin. He recreated us. We are new creatures with a new heart, a heart to love, serve, and worship God. The old heart has been done away with, therefore our old thoughts, ideas, ways, and goals have been done away with. We are new creatures in Christ.

If we are in Christ we have already been given a new heart. One day, we will also be given a new body. An incorruptible body that cannot be corrupted by sin. A resurrected body. Along with our new resurrected bodies there will also be a new heaven and a new earth. The new heaven will be the eternal home of those who are in Christ and there we shall be with the Lord forever. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 27 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 26: The Gift of His Might

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NASB

This is probably one of the most misused verses in all of God’s word. I’ve heard Christian football players quote this verse claiming victory in the football game. I have always thought, what if the opposing team has a Christian claiming the same verse? Obviously, this is not the original intent of this wonderful verse.

When one looks at this verse in its original context, they will see Paul saying in the previous verse, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” In other words, Paul is saying he has faced the best of life and the worst of life. Since he has faced both the best and the worst in life, he knows how to be content, for his strength is not found in his circumstances, his strength is found in Christ, regardless of his circumstances.

As Christians we will face a whole host of circumstances. Some of those circumstances may be wonderful while others may be awful. However, as Christians, we don’t allow our circumstances to lord over our lives, Jesus is Lord over our lives. Since we are in Him and He in us we find our strength in Him and Him alone. Regardless of what we face in life, we will not be dismayed, for our strength is in Christ and we can do all things through Him, Jesus, who strengthens us.

Just as Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misused verses in the bible the great Christmas Carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is one of the most misunderstood. This classic Christmas Carol was written in the 15th century when some words in the English language had a different meaning than they do today. The word merry is one of those words. In the 15th century, the word merry did not mean happy as it does today. Instead, it meant mighty. In the same way, the word rest meant keep. If this song were written today, instead of saying “God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day,” it would say, “God keep these mighty gentlemen let nothing worry you. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day.” It’s not as poetic, but you get the point.

As Christians we will have more than a happy Christmas, we will have a mighty Christmas, as the original meaning of merry calls for. It is happy, but also mighty. It is mighty because Jesus Christ was born. Since Jesus Christ was born we have access to God. Since we have access to God we know we are kept in Him and are therefore strengthened through Him to be mighty. For this reason, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. In Christ, we are mighty. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 26 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 25: The Gift of Beautiful Feet

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“ How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15 NASB

When the angel appeared to the shepherds that first Christmas night they said, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). His declaration was  that the good news of Christ’s birth was for “all the people.” Later in this same chapter Simeon declared that Jesus came for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Again, He is for all the people.

Jesus didn’t come for a select group of people. Nor did Jesus come only for the faithful who sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday. His heart is that all would come to repentance, receive His free gift of salvation, and be redeemed. For this reason, He told His children to, “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Peter tells us in I Peter 2:9 that one of the churches primary roles is, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Every Christian is responsible for this task.

Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation unto those who believe.” If the gospel is powerful for transformation, the opposite is true that if the gospel is not proclaimed individuals, families, communities, and societies will be left to ruin apart from the proclamation of it. If you are saved, you are saved because you received the free gift of the gospel. Now that you are saved, God has called you to pay it forward and tell others so they will not be ruined and undone.

We have already seen so many wonderful gifts that God has given to His children. Each gift is received because we received the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are greedy and dishonorable to God if we hoard all of these gifts for ourselves. God’s heart is to save every man woman and child so they too can receive His free gifts. Paul said in Romans 10:13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How will they know unless we tell them?

The feet that carry the Good News may become callused, bruised, and bloody; they may become dusty, dirty, and grimy; they may become tired, weary, and worn, but they are beautiful to God. For, they are bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost world, the world of whom He loves and a world He came to save. Although proclaiming the gospel requires sacrifice on our part, it is a gift. A gift to the world in the name of Jesus. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen. Now, let us freely give as we have freely received.

This is part 25 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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