Category Archives: Trinity

Joy, Peace and Hope Are Available

Yeshua came not only for the Jews but for the Gentiles also. No matter our lineage and ancestors, Yeshua came and died for us. All who seek Him wholeheartedly can be joined together as the family of Yahweh, accepting one another to His glory. It matters not from which city or country we come. All are welcome.  All may seek to be filled with joy and peace in believing, so that they will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:7-21

  7Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 8For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers,

9and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,

10Again he says,

11And again,

12Again Isaiah says,

13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

     14And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. 15But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation;

21but as it is written,

Reflecting on the scripture we also see how Paul, consistent with Jesus, points back the Old Testament scripture and demonstrates the consistency of God’s plans that were laid out in the Old Testament and are completely consistent with the continuation of His relationship with His people revealed through the New Testament. We see Paul teach about Christ by pointing back to Isaiah. Jesus’ life and death were not a surprise change of plans where God stopped one plan and created another. God wants to reach out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. He makes no mistakes and knows everything even in advance. We should find great comfort in knowing God is in control and is never surprised. He never needs to change His plan based on new information. He had one perfect plan and we continue to have the chance to be part of it by discipling ourselves after Jesus Christ.

As we study, let us also not overlook the message within. Let us seek to be filled with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, thank you for Your word and those who help teach it with righteousness and passion, like Paul. Thank You for reaching out to the Gentiles and please continue to reach out to the Jews as well to draw them to You through Messiah. I pray Your people would be filled with joy and peace that would lead to hope abounding in us… hope not of our own making but of the power of the Holy Spirit! I pray this in the name of Yeshua, our Messiah. Amen. 

Shalom. May the grace and peace of our Lord, Yeshua, be with you. Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

It Is Not You Who Supports the Root, But the Root Supports You

It is too easy to lose perspective and come to think that somehow, we are “helping” Yahweh or doing Him a favor by following Him. Perhaps we don’t think this way directly about God, but only a ministry or church in which we are active. Perhaps we take pride in the money we donate or give to others. Some take pride in being a follower of Christ, looking down at others who have not.

We do well to remember that He delights when we follow Him, but it is not us who support Yahweh, but rather He who supports us. We must be careful not to get conceited and think too much of ourselves as believers. We must remember that we are saved not by our own works or merit, but by the grace of Yahweh alone through our faith.  We too can fall away should we turn away from our faith.

Romans 11

Israel Is Not Cast Away

      1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3“Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” 4But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” 5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

      7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

8just as it is written,

9And David says,


      11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

      17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

      25For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

26and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,


28From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

      33Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Behold the kindness and severity of Yahweh. Severity toward those who fell, failing to have faith in Him, but kindness toward those of us who have been grafted into His family through our faith. Let us not be conceited about our relationship with the Father, but rather humbly remember to trust in Him, lest we be grafted out as well for unbelief. We are to depend on Him and trust Him, come what may. We should show mercy to those who have fallen away from faith and seek to call them back to Him. We will never understand fully the ways of our Father, but we are to trust and praise Him all the same. We can praise Yahweh for the depth of His wisdom and knowledge… for His unsearchable judgments and unfathomable ways. Who can be counselor to our Creator?

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, thank You for Your mercy and grace toward us. Help us to be thankful and humble in our relationship with You. Help us to see through Your eyes the others around us. Help us to speak with Your wisdom and Your words as we tell others about You. Thank You that You continue to have mercy on others who do not yet know You, so that they may come to know You. Please set up the divine appointments and prepare each of us for them so we may represent You well and share the good news with others in Your name.

We pray this in the name of Yeshua. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Many Are Zealous for God, but Lack Proper Understanding

Many are zealous for God but lack proper understanding. To be sure, this is not new. We see evidence about it throughout Paul’s letters as he addresses the early church across many cities. In fact, we see evidence in Paul’s himself. He was zealous for Yahweh but went about persecuting followers of Christ until Yeshua met him on the road to Damascus.

Studying and learning the proper understanding about God and His ways is important not only for our lives in this world, but also for salvation and our life after death. We do well to study and pray over the scriptures and then live them out in our own lives as best we can understand.

Romans 10:1-13

The Word of Faith Brings Salvation

      1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

      5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9that 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; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

Paul was writing about people who strived to accomplish righteousness through obedience to the law rather than faith in Yeshua.

Romans 9:30-32

     30What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,

The truth is simple, yet many stumble in pursuing it. I certainly did based on false doctrine I was taught in church growing up.  First, we must be careful in reading Paul, as Peter warned in 2Peter 3:14-18.

 14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

In particular, Paul writes in Romans 10:4,

4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Does this mean God’s law is over? Not at all. Paul writes about several “laws” in his letters including God’s law, the law of sin and death, the law of righteousness and others. Translation matters. Study the Hebrew root word that is translated in English to “law” and we see it refers more literally to “the way to go” or “instructions” rather than what we think of today as a legal code. Paul is referring to Christ being the end of people trying to achieve righteousness on their own, not the end of obedience to God’s law.

We cannot be made righteous through works or by following the law perfectly. We are made righteous through faith in Christ. True faith is revealed through our good works, open confession of Yeshua as Christ, and our desire to please Yahweh by obeying all of His instructions including the law. Neither those who ignore the law nor those who look for salvation through the law are in right standing before God.

The law is neither a path to salvation nor obsolete and meaningless. It is God’s instruction to His people. Those who truly believe Jesus is Christ should then model themselves after Him and His teaching… which included obedience to God’s law. We do so simply because that is the instruction of our Messiah. Why would we not obey if we truly believe Yeshua is Messiah? It would be like saying “I believe in gravity” but then stepping off the top of a building expecting not to fall. It does not make any sense.

To pursue meaningful depth of understanding around the truth of God’s word we must make study of the Bible and prayer a priority and invest time and energy in it. We cannot simply show up 1 hour a week or 2 and assume we will learn what God wants to share with us and how to apply it in our lives. We would not expect to fully understand and love a spouse or children with such a small investment in time… how then can we expect to know and love our infinite Father in heaven with such a small-time commitment?

Invest at least 30 minutes a day in prayer and Bible study as a start. Start with 10 if that is all you feel you can give, but do not stay there.  More than 30 minutes a day is even better. Over time you will observe yourself as you grow in your understanding of Yahweh, our Creator.

What do you want to hear when you reach the end of your life and face God?

Matthew 7:21-23

      21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Take some time now, even if only 5 minutes, to get started coming before God in prayer. Read more on prayer with Learning to Pray Effectively.


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

If God Is For Us, Who Is Against Us?

If God is for us, who is against us? This scripture is both concise and incredibly deep.

We sin and deserve death. Yahweh sends Yeshua to pay for our sins and make a way for us to be reconciled.

We get overwhelmed and may, at times, even have trouble praying. The Holy Spirit helps in our weakness.

We may make many mistakes or have enemies come against us. God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:26-39

Our Victory in Christ

      26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

      28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

      31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36Just as it is written,

37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What a wonderful and loving Father we have. Not even death can separate us from His love!

Take a few minutes to consider in prayer the gift we have in Yeshua based on scripture. Ask Yahweh to reveal to you fully the significance of the gift. Let it not be lost in the hustle and bustle of daily activities. Give thanks and praise to our Father for His love demonstrated in our Messiah.


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Yeshua Sets Us Free from Which Law, Paul?

Many people become confused when Paul teaches us that Yeshua sets us free from the law. They mistakenly choose to use that as a means to excuse not obeying all of God’s law and instructions. The key question is, however… “which law, Paul?

Perhaps it is worth highlighting here as a reminder that Paul was accused of not following the law throughout his ministry and argued in his defense that it was not true. Further, Yeshua was judged righteous and without sin by living out His earthly life as our example in full compliance with the law of God.

The answer to the question above is that the grace and life we find in discipling ourselves after Yeshua sets us free not from God’s commandments or instructions, but from the law of sin and death. This law of sin and death put simply is as follows. “We all sin. The penalty for sin is death.”

Romans 3:23

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23

23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s law (e.g. commandments and teaching of the prophets) can not save us, but neither do we need to be set free from it. God’s law is not bondage. It is a guide to help us identify and reject sin. It is sin that holds us in bondage. It is sin from which we need to be set free. But we are unable on our own to stop sinning. How then can we be set free?

We are set free from the law of sin and death only through accepting Yeshua as Lord.

Romans 8:1-25

Deliverance from Bondage

      1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

      9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

      12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

      18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Take care to study God’s word carefully. The sacrifice of Christ does not set us free from God’s word, from God’s law… that would be foolish since Jesus lived and taught God’s law. In fact Jesus is the Word made flesh to dwell among us. How could He come to set us free from Himself!?

John 1:14-15

 14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”

Jesus came to set us free from the law of sin and death. Though we sin and deserve death, we have an offer of forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must choose to disciple ourselves after Him, turn from our sins and wrong ways, and turn toward God’s ways of doing things. It is not sufficient to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord… even Satan knows that! Truly believing Jesus is Lord will transform our lives and will be evident in our actions as well as our attitudes and thoughts.

Praise to Yahweh, who provided a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ!

Learn more about the Law of God and what it means today. Understanding the Law – What Does It Mean Today?

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, thank You for sending Yeshua to set us free from the law of sin and death. Though we sin, we can be forgiven and reconciled to You! It is not through our actions or obeying Your law that we are saved, but through grace by faith in Yeshua. Please help us have discernment and wisdom and faith in living according to Your instructions! Amen.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Should Saying “No” to Sin Be Easy for a Disciple of Yeshua?

For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord, turned from our sinful and worldly path and endeavor wholeheartedly to disciple our lives after Christ, saying no to sin easy… right? Of course not! We are constantly battling between our old sin nature, the flesh, and our desire to follow after Christ.

Romans 7:14-25

The Conflict of Two Natures

      14For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

      21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

We can clearly see that man is not inherently good, but actually evil and selfish. Even as we desire to turn from sin and turn toward God’s way, we still have a battle upon our hands. The evil within us draws us toward sin.  Do not be discouraged if you are struggling with sin. The desire to sin does not just go away after we decide to disciple after Christ. It remains. We must pray and seek after the kingdom of God. Through Christ we can be set free from sin. Overcoming sin may not be quick and the potential for sin never fully goes away. However, we can be set free from sin and our lives transformed through Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us!

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, please help me to overcome my sin nature within me. Help me to live in a way that is pleasing to You. Let me not live according to what my flesh desires, but rather according to my spirit. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Under the Law or Under Grace, God’s Standard for What Is Right and Wrong Is the Same

I hear Christians often declare that we do not need to follow the law of God anymore, because “we are covered by grace through Jesus Christ”. It is true we are covered by grace through Christ, but that is not an invitation to disregard His life example and His teaching and just keep sinning or living in a way that is inconsistent with the law which He followed.  If we do this, how can we claim to be His disciples?

Truly for those who prayerfully reflect this becomes clear. Imagine a father who loves and forgives his children. Does this mean that the children are right to ignore whatever rules or instructions he provides that they do not like? Of course not. Will not the father measure out consequences for the children to address their unrepentant rebellion by refusing to obey instructions?  Further, some instructions are there for the children’s benefit. If the children refuse to obey, will they not suffer the natural consequences of their decision? If a child disobeys his father and plays in the busy street, will he not risk getting run over by a car and hurt?

We are not under the judgment of the law, which is that punishment for sin is death. Instead, we are under grace through faith in Yeshua. We can be reconciled to the Father and forgiven of our sin. We need not be slaves to sin as we can now be set free from bondage to sin. But none of this means we should disregard the teaching of the law of God as our guide to how we are to live.

Would it surprise you that Paul even specifically addressed this in scripture… and clearly? He did.

Romans 6

Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God

      1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.

      8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

      12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

      15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

      20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We need not remain slaves to sin when we submit to Jesus Christ as Lord. We are set free from sin and are called now to righteousness… living according to Yahweh’s word and Yeshua’s example.

You serve whom you obey. Ask yourself, and measure the answer by evaluating your actions rather than your intentions …“Do I obey sin or righteousness?” Pray for Yahweh to help you turn from sin completely… to be set free from it… and instead follow Jesus Christ in the ways of righteousness according to Yahweh’s instructions.

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, thank You for setting us free from bondage to sin. Help Your people to have discernment to live out their lives according to Your instruction in the scriptures and according to the example of Yeshua, who was judged perfect by the standard of Your law for us. Let us not use grace as an excuse to sin or redefine how we are to live. Open our eyes to the wonderful ways of Your law. Let the Spirit guide us consistent with Your word. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ


Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

One Act of Righteousness

It is sometimes hard for me to fully understand how sin entered the world through one man in Adam. I wrestle with understanding why the rest of us would suffer sin and death as a result of Adam’s mistake. On the other hand, I conclude quickly that all of us are just as imperfect as Adam and would ultimately make a similar if not the same mistake that he did. In fact, we all make mistakes and rebel against God even today.

While I humbly admit I do not have all the answers, I know the one who does, and we can trust our heavenly Father.  He loves us and demonstrates mercy by sparing us punishment for our sin and grace by providing a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin on our behalf.  Yeshua lived a perfect and righteous life as both God and man and then died for our sins. His act of righteousness was sufficient for all of our justification, being forgiven and reconciled with God for our transgressions.

Romans 5:12-21

    12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

      15But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

      18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I previously had a chance to dialog with a man who felt he had done too many bad things to be forgiven. He had served in the military and done things which he clearly regrets. People died at his hands in ways he wishes he could forget. He was convinced not even God could forgive him. I had the opportunity to share with him the grace and forgiveness of God through Christ. There is no transgression or sin too great to be forgiven when we humble ourselves, admit our wrong, ask forgiveness, and turn away from our sin to do things God’s way. I hope and pray that I was able to help that man to start to understand and accept the forgiveness available to him. I challenge each of you to take time to reflect on the sins and mistakes you have made in your life. Consider with thanks and praise… and humility… how gracious our Father is that we can all be forgiven.

I invite You to pray with me:

Father, thank You for offering reconciliation and forgiveness as a gift through Yeshua. Please help me to humbly accept that gift and change my life to be more like His example. Show me where there is sin in my life or misunderstanding of Your word so that I may increase in wisdom and obedience to You. Teach me Your ways and how to walk with You. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Would You Die for Someone Who Rejects You?

As a father and a husband, I consider at times if I am prepared to die for my wife or children. I love them, and I believe I am ready… with God’s help. Of course, I would prefer to avoid having to give up myself or my family.  It is much harder to extend the same love to others for whom my love is not so great. To imagine giving up my life for someone who is my enemy is more difficult. If it is my child or close family member, who is rebelling against me, but whom I still love, then perhaps it is a bit easier to visualize. It is love that makes the difference!

That is precisely what God has done for us. He loves us, even though we were sinners and rejecting Him. Yeshua died for each of us!   He gave His life to suffer and die, and then rise again, so we could be forgiven. He demonstrated this love toward us while we were yet sinners, in rebellion to God. What an amazing God we serve!

Romans 5:6-11

 6For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Praise God that He came in the person of Jesus Christ to save us sinners! If He would do that for us while we were yet sinners, than surely those of us who truly submit to Him and follow Him will be saved from His wrath and reconciled to Him.

Take time to give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for His love and grace to make a way for us to be forgiven, despite our faults and mistakes. What a glorious Father!

I invite you to pray with me:

Father, thank You for making a way for me to be reconciled to You even before I was submitted to You! Thank You for Your love for each of us as Your children. Help us to be grateful and not take it for granted. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Can We Truly Have Peace and Rejoice During Difficulties?

How many of us naturally maintain a peaceful attitude even in difficult times? Some of us, some of the time? How many of us actually rejoice in our tribulations? Anyone… anyone? Not many, I suppose. However, this is precisely what Paul tells us about living a life submitted to Yeshua. What an amazing statement!

Yeshua is the only way to the Father. We come to know the Father through Yeshua and we can be reconciled with the Father by accepting Yeshua as Lord, asking forgiveness and repenting from our wrong ways. Yeshua was without sin and took our punishment. He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Because of His sacrifice, we can be forgiven and live in right relationship with our heavenly Father. A healthy relationship with our Father powerfully transforms our lives, if we embrace it.

In part, our peace comes through justification by faith. We don’t have to earn forgiveness from our sin by living to some perfect standard, constantly striving for perfection. We should still do our best to obey God, because we love Him!

Romans 5:1-5

      1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Since submitting my life to Yeshua and making Him lord of my life I have certainly felt the Holy Spirit lead me to become better and better at living in peace regardless of circumstances. I still have a way to go. Sometimes I still allow circumstances to deflate my peace. I am definitely not yet exulting in my tribulations yet, but I am less frustrated by them.

Paul’s attitude is inspiring considering the truly difficult things he faced for his faith in Yeshua… beatings, jail, whipping, shipwrecks, stoning, and on and on. He points out how our heavenly Father can even use bad circumstances to help us get better and better at honoring and glorifying Him no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves in.

I encourage each of you to join me in prayer asking our Father to help us as disciples of Yeshua to rejoice even in tribulation, recognizing how He can use those circumstances to build our character and strengthen our hope in Him.

Father, thank You for Your written word to lead and guide us. Thank You for justification by grace that we don’t have to try to achieve it ourselves through our actions. Please forgive our sin. Help us to have peace consistently and to rejoice in our tribulation as it helps grow our character to become more like You want us to be. Amen. 


Devotion by John in service to Christ

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.