Having Your Conversation in Heaven

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Philippians 3:20
The Apostle Paul was encouraging the Philippians to to live a life immersed in heavenly things.  Earlier in this letter he had challenged them to be an example of the Christian faith all of the time.  “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”  (Philippians 1:27)  Everywhere you go, in everything you say, and in everything you do; you ought to strive to have a little bit of Heaven in your life.  It is possible that in any time, in any condition, in any country, in any culture, or in any situation; you can be a Christian that is Christ-like.  Perhaps you have been to an ethnic restaurant that was Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or some other nationality.  No doubt the restaurant would have been decorated in decorations from that country and likely they would have had music playing from that country.  We too are from an heavenly country.  While you are here, seek to have a little of your “country” where you live.  Learn to dwell on heavenly things.  It is a fact you are going to talk about, surround yourself with, and be what you love.  The only way you can truly have your conversation in Heaven is to have it in your heart. 
This week’s biblical principle to consider:
No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do; God wants you to have your conversation in Heaven.  In every situation, look for ways that you can be Christ-like.
This week’s Bible reading schedule:
Monday – Mark 15
Tuesday – Mark 16
Wednesday – Acts 1
Thursday – Acts 2

Friday – Acts 3

Saturday – Acts 4

Sunday – Acts 5

What Meaneth then the Bleating of the Sheep?

“And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

1 Samuel 15:14
Samuel had instructed Saul to go and utterly destroy the Amalekites.  This was because of how the Amalekites had treated Israel.  (! Samuel 15:1-3)  Saul obeyed, but he chose to obey on his terms.  He took God’s instructions, and reinterpreted them in his own mind.  The result was that he destroyed most of the Amalekites, some of their flocks, and all that he deemed as “vile and refuse.”  (1 Samuel 15:7-9)  Then, Samuel comes and rebukes him for not completely obeying the word of the Lord.  Samuel continues that if Saul would have obeyed completely, then what is the “bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”  Sadly, this is the story of many today.  People that set out to serve the Lord, but they set the parameters and decide how they will obey the Lord.  The Bible is not a book up for discussion.  It is the very words of God.  Someone has said, “They are the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions.”  We live in a time where people want to redefine and reinterpret what the Bible says.  It is a book of absolute truth.  The reality is you either choose to obey God’s word or you choose to disobey God’s word.  Samuel proclaimed there would be consequences for Saul’s disobedience.  “And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.”  (1 Samuel 15:26)  Just as their were consequences for Saul’s sin, there will be consequences for your sin as well.  Far too often there are some bleating sheep and lowing oxen in our lives.
This week’s biblical principle to consider:
God wants you to obey Him completely.  He wants you to obey the directions that He has given you in your life.  If we are not obeying Him completely, then we are disobeying Him. 

This week’s Bible reading schedule:

Monday – Acts 6

Tuesday – Acts 7

Wednesday – Acts 8

Thursday – Acts 9

Friday – Acts 10

Saturday – Acts 11

Sunday – Acts 12

The Harvest

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Matthew 9:36-38
As so many times in His life, Jesus saw the multitudes, and was moved with compassion on them.  He didn’t just see people, but He saw people “as sheep having no shepherd.”  Of course, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Savior of the world.  He spoke to show His disciples this great need.  He wanted them to have a heart for people just as He has a heart for people.  He wants you and me to have a heart for people.  He described the lost of this world as a plenteous harvest.  The problem is that the “labourers are few.”  He was not only challenging His disciples to be labourers, but to pray that God would send more labourers into the harvest.  In this analogy of the harvest, it speaks to the urgency of the need.  We need to be busy now going into the harvest, and telling others the good news of the Gospel.  This passage also speaks to the great need of prayer:  prayer for yourself to have the power of the Holy Spirit in your witness and prayer for others to have the working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
This week’s biblical principle to consider:
Who is it that you have seen, and been moved with compassion toward them?  Have you told them the good news of Jesus Christ?  Are you praying for them?  Ask God to give you an opportunity to share Jesus with someone this week.
This week’s Bible reading schedule:

Monday – Acts 13

Tuesday – Acts 14

Wednesday – Acts 15

Thursday – Acts 16

Friday – Acts 17

Saturday – Acts 18

Sunday – Acts 19

Breaking a Bad Habit

“What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?.”

Romans 8:31
All of us are familiar with and have some bad habits.  When I was a child, I would suck on my thumb.  I am specifically referring to habits that could also be characterized as sin.  This is important because sin breaks our fellowship with God, and therefore robs our joy and stunts our spiritual growth.  The Scripture above describes that a Christian can and should live a victorious Christian life.  I want to give you eight steps to victory.  1.  Claim victory.  (Psalm 25:20)  If you will simply follow God’s plan, you can be sure of victory in your life.  2.  Admit it.  (Psalm 51:3)  You will never get help, until you admit that you need help and that you want help.  3.  Hate it.  (Proverbs 8:13)  You will never get victory over sin, until you learn to hate sin.  4.  Confess it.  (Proverbs 28:13)  You are now ready to confess it to God, and ask Him to forgive you.  5.  Quit it.  (Isaiah 1:6)  This means you need to put distance between you and your sin.  Do not let it be an option to do it again.  6.  Get help.  (Psalm 51:10)  You need God’s help to keep you from sin.  You are no match against the devil on your own.  7.  Practice self-control.  (Psalm 141:3-4)  Learn to set boundaries to protect you from areas of weakness.  8.  Don’t give up.  (Philippians 4:13)  Determine, with God’s help, you are going to experience victory!
This week’s biblical principle to consider:

God wants you to live a life of victory.  On the other hand, the devil wants to keep you defeated and discouraged.  A victorious Christian can and should lead a life of joy and spiritual growth.
This week’s Bible reading schedule:

Monday – Mark 8

Tuesday – Mark 9
Wednesday – Mark 10

Thursday – Mark 11

Friday –  Mark 12
Saturday – Mark 13
Sunday – Mark 14

Guarding Your Testimony

“Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

2 Corinthians 8:21


Recently, our daughter played in a basketball tournament.  We arrived early so she could warm-up with her team before the game started.  Because her team was playing in the first game that morning, we entered the same time as many of the people working the tournament.  Everything was not set up yet, and so we went into the gym without paying admission.  Later, as we came out after her first game, we realized that there were admission tables, and that we had not yet paid.  We could have continued on, and no one would have known the difference.  In the Scripture reading, God says, “Providing for honest things.”  We would have not been a good example to our children or to anyone else, if we would have tried to get away without paying admission.  As we paid, we were providing for honest things, not just in God’s sight, but for the eyes of our children that were watching, and for anyone else who might have been watching.

Your word and your testimony should mean something to those around you.  You should live in such a way that you are providing for honest things.  Be honest and live honest because God is watching you and because others are watching you too.

This week’s biblical principle to consider:
As a child of God, you should not be looking for a way to get around a rule or to get away with something, but you should be looking for ways that your life can be obedient to God and a testimony to others.


This week’s Bible reading schedule:
Monday – Mark 1

Tuesday – Mark 2

Wednesday – Mark 3

Thursday – Mark 4

Friday – Mark 5

Saturday – Mark 6

Sunday – Mark 7