Luke 6:26 "They will hate the Truth." with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine's Weekly Devotion.
I remember as a kid when Sally Field won her Oscar, in her speech she said, "You like me, you really like me."
I am afraid in the world we are in today with the lure of Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and YouTube many Pastors and followers of Christ have spent much time wanting to be liked, read, and watched.
Luke 6:26 ESV
"Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Do we win people to Christ?
We have to be careful when we place ourselves into a position of being liked or loved. Then they look to you before the Lord. Trust me we have some narcissistic pastors in the pulpit. It is more about them then God’s truth and His son Jesus. When we are trying to be liked or loved, then you may worry about offended someone with the truth, you start thinking I just want to love them all the time. I told the church I will offend at some point because it is the word of God that convicts or reproofs. It is not done in hurtful or harmful way. I know I will say something that will ruffle your feathers, because I know my Senior Pastor did to me from the pulpit. Not done in harmful way just the word of God getting to marrow of the bone.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Whose approval are you looking for Man’s or God’s?
In this culture today many seek the approval of man. They are more afraid of being cancelled then share truth. Pastor Ken Graves had great quote about cancel culture, Marxism and progressive Christianity, He said;
“Woe to unto you if not canceled. Woe unto you if your still popular in a world who hates Christ.”
Pastor Ken Graves
What Pastor Ken Graves was discussing is how many Progressive Pastors are trying to recast Jesus. We are seeing a growing number of pastors accepting a lot of these wrong unbiblical teachings because they don't want to lose popularity or not be loved. We have to be careful because it easy to create a mass media, celebrity filled, social network pastor today. They stress about saying certain things about marriage, gender, race, or homosexuality because it might get them canceled even the though the bible clearly states the truth on each subject.
Galatians 1:10 ESV
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
We have to share truth and what is truth? It is the word of God. Our society is pulling further and further away from the truth.
“The Further a society drifts from the truth, the more they will hate those who speak it.” George Orwell
Pilate feared man, he was threatened by the Jews and his fear of Caesar caused him to release Barabbas over Jesus because he feared man.
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
Church I hope you realize the importance sharing the truth of God’s word in today’s culture. We will speak truth they may hate, persecute, or cancel you but we need to hold fast to Christ. Remember the culture may drift further and further away from truth but we need to stand firm in it. Be wary of those pastors that want to be like, loved or fame seekers because they are seeking approval of man not God.
Pastor Michael Petit
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Why is a biblical worldview important in the home? with Pastor Michael. Calvary Devine's Weekly Devotion.
I was reading this past week about the decline of a biblical worldview in Christianity. [i]Overall, the current research revealed that only 9% of all American adults have a biblical worldview. The scary part of this is that most youth have established their worldview by age thirteen and over their twenty’s it is set.
[ii]Here are a few notable findings among practicing Christians:
61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality.
54% resonate with postmodernist views.
36% accept ideas associated with Marxism.
29% believe ideas based on secularism.
Colossians 2:8 ESV
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
What is a biblical worldview?
A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.
[iii]Do you have a biblical worldview?
Answer the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible and which George Barna used in his survey:
Do absolute moral truths exist?
Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
Is Satan real?
Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
Did you answer yes to these?
Only 9 percent of “born- again” believers did.
Why the decline?
One major reason for the decline is the parents or parent is not establishing a biblical worldview in the home. Many do not see their parent living it out in their faith, or in the marriage or the home. Notice in Deuteronomy 6:5-6 The Lord is dealing the individual person-parent first. These words shall be on your heart first and then teach them to your children.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Teach them diligently.
We know the schools; media and the community are teaching them diligently wrong. If you will not teach your child, they will, or Satan will. Honestly, I was so guilty of this before Christ, I expected the school to raise my child and teach them. Once I became I believer and I learned about planned parenthood, socialism, LGBTQ, and other religions (Buddhism meditation or Hinduism yoga) being taught to my kids and it was wrong. We had to establish a godly example in the home. I also needed to be willing to teach why I believe so strongly on issues of the world, especially the ones that went against the word of God. I needed to be a walking, talking billboard for Jesus as husband, father, and man in my home and outside the home. I would live my life based on that truth. We have to engage our kids, teach them diligently. That word in the Hebrew means to pierce or to sharpen. We will do a disservice to our kids if we do not sharpen them in Christ. We need to prepare them for this world, we live in. Trust me it will push and challenge those godly views constantly and if they are not grounded in Jesus they will begin to struggle in what they believe.
What is the Churches responsibility?
Yes, the church has responsibility especially in children’s ministry, youth, and young adult’s ministry to establish that biblical worldview as the ministry meets. But the biggest issue is the parents or parent living it out in the home? We all have a responsibility as Christians through discipleship and I know it is something we will establish as we begin to teach the Book of Daniel over the next few weeks. The first six chapters of the Book of Daniel will establish our biblical worldview, especially in this time we are living in today. The bible is extremely relevant to the times we live in. So, teach it to them diligently, we as a church normally get a child or youth once or twice a week. The school gets them five days a week and you have them all the time. Look for biblical teaching moments with them.
When I was reading about this it was alarming, I discussed it with my wife, we talked about what changes we need to make in our life as we spend time sewing into our grandchildren. As a pastor it really made think how we can establish a strong foundation for church goers and parents. We pray it is lived out at home. We want good soil, with deep roots, built up in Christ. How is your soil? How is your kids’ soil? Full of weeds or hard Texas ground. The world (weeds) will choke out the word if your not careful.
Colossians 2:6-7 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Let us teach them diligently and walk in Jesus not just at church but live out your faith at home in your marriages and with your family. Deep roots, strong foundation and strong biblical worldview for the whole family and church.
Pastor Michael Petit
[i] Changes in worldview among Christians over the past 13 years. Barna Group. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2021, from https://www.barna.com/research/barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years/.
[ii] Changes in worldview among Christians over the past 13 years. Barna Group. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2021, from https://www.barna.com/research/barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years/.
[iii] Changes in worldview among Christians over the past 13 years. Barna Group. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2021, from https://www.barna.com/research/barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years/.
Galatians 5:22-23 "Where is the Love?" with Pastor Michael Petit of Calvary Chapel Devine's weekly Devotion.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
I remember before Christ a song by the Black-Eyed Peas called "Where is Love?" in the song there is a line that says "Can you practice what you are preaching'?", it is really true the church needs to start practicing what they preach, especially when it comes to love. We have seen so much divide in our nation but even in the church today. Love is what the followers of Christ are supposed to be known by, yet most are known by their political parties, social justice, or medical mandates issues. The love being described in Galatians 5:22 as it speaks about "Agape" love it is a love that gives and expects nothing in return. It is sacrificial Agape unconquerable love of Christ. Sacrificial love you can't do it in your flesh, but in the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit meaning we walk in the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit is Love, love doesn't parade itself love isn't puffed up.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Love is what we should be known by, but we get so wrapped in division of current events, social or political division and it bleeds into the church. Sadly we have many that have much knowledge of theology and scripture but can not practically apply love in their marriage, family or even church. In the Book of John 13:35, Jesus reminds us to be His disciples, we must love one another.
John 13:35 ESV
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus reminds us we can not do anything apart from him in the Book of John 15:5, Fruit doesn't grow over night. We need our dependence to be on Jesus.
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
The Fruit of the Spirit is bond by love, but most of us are just clanging cymbals as we divide the church further and further, cause we speak not with love, you may have great knowledge and faith but without love it is nothing but noise.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Most of us know 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as wedding verses but the chapter is discussing the importance of agape love in our daily walks.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
What if you were to place your name where the word love (agape) is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7? Like Mike is patient and kind. I am? Mike does not envy or boast? Mike does not insist on its own way? Changes the way we look at that verse. Pastor Chuck Smith suggested that and I agree when I read it that way I realize Mike needs some work. Maybe I am that noisy clang or cymbal at times cause the love I express isn't from the fruit of the Spirit "Agape love". Maybe I expect something in return. You naturally only love those that love you back. Agape love allows you to love those that deserve love the least. Jesus was asked about the great commandment and it is no surprise it dealt with love.
Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. After reading this scripture, have you totally surrendered your life to Love God and love one another?
So as a follower of Christ you have no excuse to not love. Lord provides all of us plenty of opportunity to practice love everyday. First, we are to Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, love your neighbor, love your wife as Christ loved the church and even if your not getting along with your spouse, family member, friends or co-workers then love your enemies. No excuse.
Just remember fruit trees take time to grow. Never came by a apple tree that produced fruit on day one. No, it's the natural byproduct over time, good soil, water and over time it produces fruit. Same with us we tend the soil and water it with the word of God, keep the weeds out (the world and sin) and we live in obedience to the Lord. We are to be an example of Love, but Agape Love. For believers the Apostle Paul gave Timothy some great wisdom in 1 Timothy 4. We are to be the example and as he list each thing love is listed, it is to be practiced in our daily relationship with the Lord.
1 Timothy 4:11-12 Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
Lord please help us grow in obedience and that we would be known by our love for one another, our love for our neighbors, love for enemies and most of all to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul.
Being Devoted to Prayer- Are you playing or praying? The two disciplines that people struggle with the most is the word and prayer.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
“Pray Earnestly” This is why I’m so convicted because I do not believe we are a church that prays desperately, and I apologize for that. I do not believe we are a people who cry out to God like we really need Him. Sure, we come with our list of things that we want or desire, but there is no desperation.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Revival tarries because there is a lack of urgency in prayer in the church.”
He went on, and said, “Hell has nothing to fear but a God anointed, prayer-powered church.” And based on that, hell is simply not afraid of church in America right now.”
Samuel Chadwick put it best, he said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing of prayer less studies, prayer less work, and prayer less religion. He laughs at our toil; he mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” And we are a people who know how to do the promotion and we know how to do the plans and we know how to do the programs. We can do them in our sleep, but have we done all those things while leaving prayer behind.
Let’s look at practically
Nehemiah 1:4 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah is a great example of a pray life and strong intimate relationship with God. We often approach prayer to get something good or avoid a bad consequence rather than to develop an intimate relationship with God. Prayer and the word are the two disciplines that we struggle with.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
• Adoration- Nehemiah 1:5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Nehemiah 1:6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
• Confession-Nehemiah 1:6-7
Nehemiah 1:8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,  but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’
• Thanksgiving- Nehemiah 1:8
Nehemiah 4:10] They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.  O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.
• Supplication- Nehemiah 1:11
Prayer is the means to an intimate relationship with God. The problem is that we often approach prayer as a means to get something good or avoid a bad consequence rather than to develop an intimate relationship with God.
Relationships require time. Intimate relationships are fashioned through time together. If we want healthy relationships with our spouse, our kids, our friends, or our God, we need to spend time with them. The obstacle is that no one seems to have enough time. Our priorities are reflected by our allocation of this precious resource...time. We generally believe that we don’t have time to pray. We must take time away from other valuable areas and devote that time to develop a life-transforming, intimate relationship with God through prayer.
Prayer is not a performance, but a dialogue of intimacy with God. Prayer helps to change us and helps us to find God’s will. Prayer is like sitting down to a meal with God and getting to know Him. The purpose is to cultivate a relationship rather than fulfill a function or perform a task.
Pastor Michael Petit
"Third Foundational Pillar: Breaking of Bread." Acts 2:42. with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine Devotion.
Devoted to the breaking of bread- Two phrases in Acts 2:42 may need explanation. “Breaking of bread” probably refers to their regular meals, but at the close of each meal, they probably paused to remember the Lord by observing what we call “the Lord’s Supper.” Bread and wine were the common fare at a Jewish table.
The church regularly prioritized worship, reflected in the breaking of bread (i.e., the Lord’s Supper) and prayer
1 Corinthians 11:23-30 ESV
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
Communion is full of symbolism in its simplicity. It is neither essential for salvation nor is it a means to salvation. Instead it is a holy and serious ordinance not to be treated lightly.
It is possible to bring dishonor and insult to the very body of Jesus Christ by coming to Communion hurriedly and without self-analysis or self-judgment.
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
So Communion is a time for us to pray that God’s Spirit would help us understand ourselves rightly so that we can repent where necessary and enjoy intimate fellowship with him as he leads us in the everlasting way.
Acts 2:46 ESV
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.
"Even living so close to the time when Jesus was crucified, they still never wanted to forget what He did on the cross. How much more important is it for us to never forget?" David Guzik
Second foundational Pillar: Fellowship (Acts 2:42) with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine WeeklY Devotion.
SECOND FOUNDATIONAL PILLAR: FELLOWSHIP (ACTS 2:42)
Are you devoted to Fellowship?
For most Christians today you say fellowship and they think potluck. Like did the banana pudding make it, or I may not come. Nope that’s not what we are talking about “fellowship” comes from the Greek word "koinonia" means community to share which one has in anything, participation. We actually admonish each other with the word, prayer, love, encouragement and faith.
In the Book of Acts especially in Acts we see something very important they’re fellowship was relational; God designs it that way to live life together.
Acts 2:43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
So, fellowship isn’t just serving and spending time on Sunday. It is being devoted to commit to gathering and discipleship as a church and to meet the needs the community, and that is the community surrounding us in Devine, Texas.
Koinonia (Fellowship ) is agreeing with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
For the early church it was practical they would just spring into action helping each other out of love. Meaning Spirit led them to help who they could help. Many were becoming followers of Jesus. They were losing their jobs, houses and being removed from their families because they were following Jesus.
Acts 2:45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
A powerful example of what koinonia should look like can be found in a study of the phrase “one another” in the Bible.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Fellowship should be discipleship, We learn the word, apply it and grow but yet teach it to others. We should and need more church. Our churches should be open to community and to one another. No one should stand alone through crisis, illness, family troubles, sickness or death being together through the hardship, suffering or even joy. It’s being together with God’s people.
So be steadfast in fellowship “koinonia” is helping others and consistent in helping the church. We help are brothers and sisters in need when we can. I also need to be responsible for what God provides for me. Fellowship is love, unity and us pressing towards the goal of sharing life, love and labor together to see Jesus move it is awesome. Fellowship isn’t just a potluck, it’s coming together as a body being imitators & sharing God, we have common life, common load and love that makes fellowship and should be a sweet fragrance.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
In church we should eagerly attend it, Sharing the Gospel of Jesus we defend it and by sharing our faith we extend it by evangelizing. Think you will share about a great movie or restaurant but will share about Christ. We will you open the doors of your home. Would you share life with those in the church? Or you the first one out the door as soon as church is over? Be eager to share fellowship with one another. Let us grow together as church family in fellowship.
Acts 2;42 "First Foundation Pillar of the Early Church:Word of God." with Pastor Michael Petit.Calvary Chapel Devine's Weekly Devotion.
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
The early church in the Book of Acts show us the four pillars for us as church. They devoted and followed these four foundational pillars. The Word of God, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread and Prayers.
Being “Devoted” Steadfastly single-hearted single minded for Jesus. To be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly.
Philippians 2:2 Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Let us look this week at the First foundational pillars the Word of God.
They were Devoted to the Word:
Why do I believe, read, and apply the Bible in my life? I choose to believe the Bible because it's a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report to us supernatural events that took place the fulfillment of specific prophecies. We know the writings are divine rather than human in origin. Its God breathed, sixty-six books written over a period of approximately 1,550 years, with at least 40 human writers, most of whom did not know each other and were from different backgrounds. Three different languages. The Bible is the most important book in the history of mankind it is without error, and it is complete. Nothing needs to be added to it or taken away from it.
If the Bible is true, then it holds the answers to life’s biggest questions: “where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” and “What happens to me when I die?” But with all that the Bible has one unified message of Jesus the Messiah.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The Greek word translated inspired is literally “breathed out by God.” Our God communicates, and he has worked supernaturally through the Holy Spirit to communicate perfectly to us. When we read the Bible, we are reading the very words of the living God.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The “word of God” here is the written or spoken Word. The English Standard Bible says that the Bible is “living” and active. The living Word is active in the lives of those who receive it.
Bible cannot be ignored as if it were dead or obsolete. The Word of God is still powerful and very much alive.
1. Learn it- What if you tell me I can’t understand, that’s not true? I was in the same boat, but I prayed and asked for help.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Nehemiah 8:1-3 ESV
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel.  So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.  And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand.
And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. Water is a symbol of the Word of God. Therefore, it’s appropriate that the people gathered at the water gate.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
John 15:3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.
Ephesians 5:26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.
2. Live it-and act on the word, it is better live the truth than just know truth. Live your life on what is based on the Word of God. When we apply the water of the Word to our lives, then the Spirit can work and bring the help we need. It is refreshing to the soul when you receive the Word and allow the Spirit to teach you.
How does that look practically? Let us look at the Book of Joshua.
Joshua 1:8 ESV
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall (learn it) meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to (live it) do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
It is conditional promise you will be blessed and have good success if you meditate on the word day and night but also live it do according to all that is written.
My prayer for you is that would allow the Word of God to guide your life daily. This is one of the first foundational pillars of the early and church as well us our church here in Devine, Texas. Give God some time daily to read, observe, interpret, and apply His word daily in your life. It will change everything.
“And if I am committed to the Lord, I will also be committed to His Word and His ministry, to serve others.” Chuck Smith
We just started reading through Calvary Chapel Distinctives this past Wednesday night. One thing that stood out to me is the word “commitment”, I have seen so many over the years that are fully committed to Lord, let me just say you can learn a lot from them. The three things that I loved in each of those leaders was their commitment to the Lord (Their Relationship with Jesus), their service to others and their humility.
First-Our relationship with the Lord needs total commitment. This is the area where many struggle. Just think about a relationship with a spouse, if you only spoke to them once a week, never spent time together but on Sunday for little over an hour and then you leave. Your marriage would be in deep trouble, you would have two people living different lives instead of becoming one you would be divided. When I talk about being committed to the Lord let us look at Levi (Apostle Matthew).
Luke 5:27-28 ESV
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
Jesus said follow me, and I love what Levi does “leaving everything, he rose and followed him.” Levi leaves it all. The money, the protection of the Roman government and his position which he couldn’t return too. Is there something of the world that you haven’t given up yet? We leave everything cause Christ is all we need. Pastor Chuck was extremely successful businessman but we he decided to answer the call to become a pastor he left everything and did just that. For us spending time with the Lord is essential. One commitment in our relationship with the Lord is being in the word of God daily. Today many will come to church and expect to be spoon fed the word of God by the pastor but never open the Bible the other six days of the week. God’s word gives light and understanding to help guide our lives. Yet we do not spend time in it, why?
Psalm 119:130 ESV
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Leaving everything means giving up your time to spend in his word, in prayer, and in fellowship on daily basis. Many do not grow because the things of the world have taken priority over Christ. So, what are you just a fan of Christ or a follower willing to leave everything to follow Jesus? A follower is someone who obedient and applies the word. Is a man or woman of prayer, like Nehemiah. Follower does not neglect fellowship and attending church. The follower commits his or her relationship with Christ first in their life.
Second- Becoming a follower of Jesus means we serve others. In this culture everyone wants to be served and wants to be first. I heard a Congresswoman say that she was too important to the work in congress, not to have a $200k private security team, while she wants to cut your police department. So, her security is more important than yours, it is very prideful. That is the attitude of people today, especially those in leadership in the world, it’s all about me and my needs. In the Kingdom of God that doesn’t work. You are least.
Mark 10:45 ESV
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If Jesus came to serve and you are to be like Christ, why aren’t followers of Christ serving others? We have to have a commitment to serve. There is this great acronym JOY (Jesus-Others-You) meaning you find joy by placing Jesus first, placing serving others second and then you come last. The church has ample opportunity to serve. We have people getting sick left and right in the city again. Would you be willing to take someone caldo (soup)? Make them meals. Watch the kids. Sit and pray with them? It is important. Jesus is the example, and he didn’t ask his disciples to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself. We have become so divided in the church arguing over everything in the news. We get divided and we stop serving. So, stop complaining about the world, abide in Christ and start serving again.
1 John 2:6
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Third- Humility teaches me that I am to obey the Lord, love my Jesus, and point people to Jesus. We need to approach those goals with humility instead of a concealed pride.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I Love that verse because Paul is pointing us to care more about others than ourselves. But not to be conceited, be humble. “Do nothing” that means nothing out pride but be committed to humility always. That is tough because we live in a very “look at me society”, right now. Every aspect of my life needs to be posted, everyone needs to broadcast their day on every social networks, every bit of shine (stuff). We think everyone is dying to see every part of our day. It can become very narcisistic. It is funny I remember my grandfather playing and singing a song title “Lord it’s hard to be humble, when I am perfect in every way.”, pride comes before the fall. The Word of God says we should clothe ourselves with humility.
1 Peter 5:5 ESV
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
If I am honest, my own opinion doesn’t matter as much as I think it does. Guess what? Neither does yours. The only thing that matters is Jesus and our relationship with him. We have to get to place of humility, don’t look for the applause of men. Don't look for people to say, "Oh, thank you. Oh, you mean so much to me, your best thing since slice bread.” You point them to Jesus. God gives his grace to humble.
James 4:6 ESV
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Philippians 2:8 ESV
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
God teaches you humility, keeps you dependent upon Him, shows you how to follow Him, and protects you from pride through trials. Remember people will try to puff you up with compliments and that is just hot air into a balloon which one day if you let fill your head it will pop. Jesus humbled himself to what? Being obedient to God, committed and humbled to die on the cross. I know it is so easy to want to be heard. We all have an instrument in hands and in our homes that will allows us to broadcast our opinions and life. Put down the phone, turn off the laptop and walk away from those prideful arguments that hurt others. Be committed to share Christ humbly.
So be committed to Christ leave everything and follow Him. Be committed to your relationship with Christ, to serve others and be committed to be humble.
Book of Nehemiah "Placing a Priority on Prayer." with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine Weekly Devotion.
“Remember me, O my God, for good.”
This past Wednesday we finished our first Book of the Bible the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a wonderful leader. He had vision, plan of action and motivation to build the wall in Jerusalem. The key to Nehemiah’s success was his relationship the Lord. We one of the main things I learned from Nehemiah, was he was a man of prayer.
Nehemiah had real concern for the temple, walls and Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:2) Hanani, explained to him the condition of the walls. Nehemiah knew as a cupbearer, no walls, you have no security . (Cupbearer is like a the Chief of staff for the Whitehouse)
The city was a ghost town and thieves were constantly harassing those in the area.
Nehemiah 1:3 ESV
And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
Most people would come up with a quick strategy on how to fix the walls and get right to the work or just send money. Not Nehemiah he went to pray and fasting.
Nehemiah 1:4-7 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
The prayer is beautiful and throughout the book, Nehemiah constantly prays. We have fourteen prayers recorded in the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah gives adoration to the Lord in his prayer, he says “Great and awesome God”, He even says “God who keeps covenant and steadfast love.” So many people pray today and just get at it straight to their needs. Where is the Adoration? Read Revelation 4:8-10 and take a moment, just ponder it.
Revelation 4:8-10 ESV
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,  the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Let us not just rush into prayer, there is worship going on right now in heaven. Picture this as you read this “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” That is happening day and night. Now do you understand your speaking to God, and guess what God wants to hear from you. The Creator of the Universe is wanting to hear from you. God is constantly surrounded by adoration, yet we can learn from Nehemiah because he always praised God and gave adoration.
Nehemiah Prayed and fasted for four months before getting an answer on going to Jerusalem. He was patient. Do you have a daily prayer time? Do you rush through prayer quickly? Do listen during your time of prayer? Do you practice the ACTS acronym for prayer?(Adoration-Confession-Thanksgiving and Supplication) Isn’t funny supplication being last. Will you become someone like Nehemiah that puts a priority on prayer. Would you pray for four months, until God opens the door?
“Real prayer keeps your heart and your head in balance, so your burden doesn’t make you impatient to run ahead of God and ruin everything. As we pray, God tells us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it—all are important in accomplishing God’s will.” Warren Wiersbe
I do believe there are times we need to pray quickly even Nehemiah shows us that in chapter two.
Nehemiah 2:4 ESV
Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
He prayed before answering the king in just a moment. He was talking to a secular worldly king and yet he stops to pray to the one true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We can learn a lot about prayer through the Book of Nehemiah. We also see that even when Nehemiah was under attack by the enemy, he prayed.
Nehemiah 4:14 ESV
“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Nehemiah 6:9 ESV
For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
The enemy will try to intimidate you, try to get you stop the work of Lord, but we do not quit. We go to the Lord in prayer. We pray for strength, guidance and we get back to doing the work of Lord. It is so easy to feel defeated when the enemy comes to cause problems and people just walk away, many do. We can find strength to push forward with prayer. Nehemiah prayed and went right back to the work.
Nehemiah was a man of prayer. He set out on the project; Nehemiah prayed. When he talked to the king, he prayed. When he was in trouble, he prayed. Hopefully as we closed this book out this week you will be a person of prayer as well. Place a priority on prayer and make time daily to spend with the Lord just in prayer. We need to hear from the Lord, and we need to speak to Lord daily. I hope you will commit to that this year.
This week in our scripture Jesus has to deal with false accusation from the religious leaders.
Mark 3:22 ESV
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
They actually accuse Jesus the Messiah of being possessed by “Satan” to do the work of Satan. It made me wonder as the crowd was listening how many of them believed this misinformation from the religious leaders that Jesus was possessed by Satan?
As I studied the scripture, I realized the people being used by Satan were the prideful religious leaders. Satan has really caused major problems in our nation with misinformation, and we have seen the nation become divided because of it. Just look a simple search on our current pandemic, wearing a mask or not, vaccines or no vaccines, justice or social justice, and even defund the police or crime statistics. Regardless of what side you fall on everyone has opinion and there is so much misinformation out there it is hard to find the truth. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants will disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Satan deals in deception and misinformation. Now you see the problem, in America.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 ESV
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
It is the same religious leaders that falsely accuse Jesus in the Book of John 8:41 They said to him, "were you not born of sexual immorality". They accuse Jesus of being of an illegitimate birth, your mother was pregnant before she was married. Again, Fake news and deception, from the father of lies.
John 8:44 ESV
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
The reason I brought up this topic is because it is not just our nation that is divided but the American Church or the body of Christ in America that has become so divided in the past few years. We are told in the scriptures there should be no division among you, yet we know it exist.
1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
I do believe some have been deceived by the “Father of Lies”. Some believe these current popular topics in the culture is more important then being united in the church. Divisions among believer’s block God’s work in their lives and in the church. Opinions in the church have become extremely vocal in this day and age of technology. Just go through Instagram or Facebook post of friends and families see how much is about current cultural topics and the fighting that is happening in the comments. Christians will push those same lies and talking points. They would rather argue with them and be right then draw people to Christ. Christians will begin to be throwing scriptures at each other, but the scripture is taken out of context. They will use the word of God out context to get there point across. We have a lot of “eisegeses” happening from politicians, celebrities, Christian musicians and even some pastors from the pulpit. What is “eisegesis” it is just a fancy word that means the mishandling of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation. Eisegesis is concerned only with making your point, it does not care about the context of scripture. It is misinformation that is happening online, with politicians, in the news, and even from the pulpit in America. Satan loves it, we weaponize and misinterpret the word of God to prove our point, so prideful. We have allowed our ideologies to trump our theology in Christ. We have placed an importance of our ideologies and opinions of popular topics to take priority in the church and it has caused major division.
You know the church is like an Orchestra. We have our conductor “Jesus” then we have the body of Christ. We have some in the percussion section, some in the wind section, some in the string section and so on. Now each of us are different, some violins, trumpets, cellos, and drums. Each of us probably have an idea (opinions) on playing the song a certain way. If each instrument played the music, the way they wanted and not the way the conductor wanted the sound would not be in harmony. The orchestra would be divided. An orchestra is unified (just like the body of Christ)—not because everyone performs on the same instrument—but because everyone plays in harmony the same song under the direction of one conductor. A church is to be united—not because every Christian is exactly alike—but because we all follow the same Jesus our Lord. We have forgotten that. My opinion on cultural is just not that important, and I should never use my opinions to create a divide with my brother or sister in Christ. Regardless of where they stand on the issues of today. It is not easy; I mean the problem is we have way too much information available in our hands through our devices and a lot of it is pushing agendas, propaganda and misinformation. How about turn off the news, the politicians, but also followers of Christ with platforms or even pastors that misuse the context of scripture and implant their personal opinions. Turn it all off for a bit. Remember the Devil wants to deceive the whole world, how do think he is doing? Remember you have the ultimate lie detector the “Bible”, use the word of God to filter the things of this world, God’s word will guide you, and give you discernment in making decision.
Revelation 12:9 ESV
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
We are the family of God we cannot allow the devil to divide us over the things of this culture and world. We have the power of Holy Spirit be eager to maintain the unity and the bond of peace in the church. We have God’s word. If the church becomes united again the nation will wake up and draw closer to Christ.
Ephesians 4:1-6 ESV
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The Family of the Lord needs to love each other with humility, gentleness, patience and we need to be united not divided.