All posts by Rick Morgan

Rick's mission here on planet earth is to love his wife and kids, to be the husband and father that God has called him to be and to serve Him. He likes to encourage people to read the Bible everyday and does so through his devotions at diggingtheword.blogspot.com

The Smartest Guy In The Room

Jesus didn’t look down on the people he met.

Luke 4:14-22  Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity.

15 He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone. 16 He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.

As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” 22 They were all speaking well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?

It seemed that everybody was liking Jesus at this early part of his ministry, people were coming from all around to see what this new teacher had to say, everybody wanted to see him for themselves.Jesus stood up to read and somebody handed him the scroll that was from the prophet Isaiah, maybe somebody was out to test him and see if he could handle a scroll that most of us would have avoided. Jesus spoke and the people were responsive, they complimented him and were amazed at his gracious words.

Jesus was the smartest guy in that synagogue and yet he didn’t bash anybody over the head with his superiority. Jesus spoke gracious words, that’s a big deal because Jesus had every right to speak with judging words or condemning words, he could have used big, lofty intellectual words but Jesus chose gracious words.

Imagine if you were the smartest guy in the room, be it work or school, no matter where you went there wasn’t anybody that could keep up. I am pretty sure that it would be difficult to keep my attitude in check, but the truth is that nobody would care how much I know, they only want to know how much I care.

I need to care about people the way that Jesus did, he had every right to tell us how it is or to point his finger and condemn us, but instead he chose to extend grace, he gave us the ultimate example of loving our enemies and demonstrated restraint in judging people. Jesus told us to live the same way. (Luke 6:27-42)

Thank you Lord for extending grace to us, for demonstrating grace to us rather than lording over us and showing us how right you are, your grace is truly amazing.

Focus On God

Take a look at my awesome God!

Psalm 77:13  God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God?

Psalm 19:1-6  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.

Psalm 111:4  He has caused His wonderful works to be remembered. The LORD is gracious and compassionate.

Our mind is so limited when it comes to grasping who God is, the scriptures tell us a lot about him but our ability to comprehend who he is with our little brains is so limited. We have to be focused on our relationship with him so that we will learn more about him.

Regular prayer, Bible study and worship attendance are all going to help you focus on the relationship. We need to worship him for who he is, read our Bible to know more about him and talk to him about who we are.

Psalm 103:11-13  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

God is focused on me, he proves it with his love and forgiveness for me, I need to focus on him and realize what a great ally he is. The devil has a lot of distractions, a world full of them, that are designed to take my eyes off of Jesus in the same way as the waves got the best of Peter as he was walking on water.

It is amazing Lord, that you care so much about me and that you had me in mind when you came to save me from the death penalty. Help me to keep my eyes on you.

The Disciple Making Lifestyle

Jesus lived to make disciples.

Matthew 4:19  “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!”

Matthew 28:19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

There are a lot of distractions in the world but for the Christ follower that wants to be obedient, the number one focus should be on making disciples, it’s what Jesus spent his time doing everyday. He started his ministry with the call to the first disciples and he ended his ministry by telling his disciples to go make some more disciples.

Jesus told his potential disciples up front what we was going to do with them but I don’t think that they really understood and I am pretty sure that they didn’t realize the process as it was going on. Jesus subtly brought them along one tiny step at a time, just the same as he has done with me, he knew that there would be a process and that I wouldn’t suddenly become a mature, faithful follower right away.

Jesus spent three years in close daily contact with this group of men, showing them the new way of life and the new way of thinking, he did so through his teaching but most important he did it through his lifestyle. Disciples don’t get made by themselves so I need to use my talents and abilities that the Lord has given to me to help encourage and strengthen somebody elses spiritual growth. I need to be intentional and make it a part of my lifestyle, I need to be about building relationships that will give me opportunities to share about my faith.

Help me Lord to step out and intentionally work at making disciples, I want to live so that my walk is consistent with my talk, so that you will get the glory.

Need To Recharge Your Batteries?

God is on your side.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Life is tough! Ever feel like God is a million miles away, the world is coming at you from every angle, your family is driving you crazy and your quiet time is so quiet that you can’t even hear God. If you feel like your running on empty then take a look at Zephaniah 3:17.

The child of God should remember that even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is close by, he is living among us. What a joy it is to know that we have a personal God that wants to have interaction with us, he didn’t create us on day six and then leave us alone without relating to us, he is living with us and he cares about our lives.

Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

God cares so much that he sent you a Savior to take care of your sin debt, he cares so much that he delights in you, both of those thoughts are so huge. It makes no sense to us that God would pay our sin debt and even though we rebel so much he still sees something in us that causes him a lot of joy.

Micah 7:18 You will not stay angry with Your people forever, because You delight in showing unfailing love.

God will take care of you, he will calm your fears and he will rejoice in singing over you, what a refreshing thought! May your spirits be lifted as you take pleasure at the thought of your creator being so crazy in love with you.

Rebel Or Rely

Your wisdom or God’s, the choice is yours.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21,25 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

Who in the world wouldn’t want to be wise? I would definitely like to have more wisdom since I have been so unwise at so many different times in my life. We probably all have those kinds of moments in our past and would agree that an extra dose of wisdom would have been helpful.

The wisdom of man is nothing compared to the wisdom of God, take the example that Paul gives us, by man’s wisdom the cross looks like a strange way to save the world. Who would ever think that the maker of heaven and earth would come down to our world in such a lowly, humble way, to be a part of such a plan?

How could intelligent men be so wrong about Jesus that they put him to such a torturous death? The problem is that “There is a path before each person that seems right,” everybody that was a part of the crucifixion story thought that they were doing the right thing. Nobody planned on being that wrong about Jesus, they just didn’t have God’s wisdom. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

Psalm 111:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

This passage of scripture in Psalm 11:10 tells us that if we give honor or reverence to God then we have a good foundation for real, Godly wisdom. It seems to me that if decide to use our own wisdom then we are actually in rebellion against God.

I have a choice: I can rebel or I can rely, I can depend on him for guidance or I can do what I think is good and rebel, I need to constantly be reminded that God’s ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

Change, Nobody Likes It, Everybody Needs It

God is in the business of changing people.

Mark 2:1-5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Everybody should have friends like this man, some very determined men decide that they are going to take their friend to Jesus so that he can be healed from his paralysis, they have a great idea that will change the mans life forever.

Too bad that life gets in the way when we are making plans. We make our plans but a lot of the time God has a different idea about what is going to happen. What they want to do for their friend will not be as easy as they think it will be. They are going to have to make some changes but they are not the only ones.

Change your attitude

Think about the man that has been paralyzed, I have to wonder if he is feeling sorry for himself because of his difficult situation, maybe he is living in fear, or pity. He might be too proud and unwilling to ask for help. We don’t know what his attitude was but it needed to be one of humility and submission.

Is there an area in your life that has you paralyzed? Will you reach out for help?

Change your method

These men were awesome friends that couldn’t be stopped. They were on a mission, they had a plan, but when they got to the house where Jesus was at they realized that they had to move on to plan b. They would have to be open to using a different method to get the results that they had wanted their friend to experience.

Who do you know that needs to get to Jesus? What will you do to get around the road blocks?

Change your plans

The guy that owns this house is probably feeling pretty good that Jesus came into his home, that is until he saw how many people were going to mob the place, now he has to ask himself if the invite was worth it. First he has the mob stomping around his house and now there are people tearing up the roof. He probably thought that asking Jesus over wasn’t going to be a big ordeal but now he has a lot of time and money invested in this.

Have you ever been inconvenienced because God wanted you to invest in someone that has a need? Was it worth your time and money to help?

Change your focus

How about this crowd of people, I wonder how they felt about this man that skipped to the front of the line to get his miracle, they could easily be upset with him if they don’t get their turn. They could be selfish and shout out to Jesus that it wasn’t fair. They needed a miracle and they could have gotten jealous that this guy was healed if they returned home in the same condition that they were in before they went to see Jesus.

Do you need to take your eyes off of your own situation and think of others? Do you think that God has treated somebody else better than he treated you?

God is in the business of changing people from the moment that we give into him and agree that we need a Savior until the day that we die. Nobody likes change but sometimes it is exactly what we need to bring us closer to God and his glorious plan for our lives.

Come Before God And Stay Awhile

Can you be quiet?

Psalm 62:5-8 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

Usually when you go to see somebody it is because you have a purpose for the visit, some kind of agenda that you want to accomplish, as soon as we see them we start in on our list. It is too easy to approach God with the same mentality, we step into his presence and start in on what we have to say and when we are finished we go on our way, we never think that maybe God wants more out of our relationship.

To allow yourself to be in God’s presence without talking is to acknowledge that God is in control and that he is our hope. If we can come into his presence and just be quiet and refrain from talking  about yourself or about anything else that is cluttering up your mind is then we have proven that we are relying on him for everything.

God is looking out for our complete well being, our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being are in his hands. He is our fortress, a place of rest and refuge, there isn’t any good reason to put my confidence anywhere else, whether it be self confidence, confidence in somebody else or idolatry, nothing else can compare to God’s goodness and providential care.

I need to remember that he is a fortress, he is my salvation, my victory and honor comes from him and nowhere else. I need to approach him quietly and listen to his voice instead of making him always listen to my ramblings about my cares.

God Cares For His People

God is the ultimate family man.

1 Kings 17:8-16  Then the LORD said to Elijah, 9  “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”

10  So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11  As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

12  But she said, “I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

13  But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14  For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”

15  So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16  There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah.

Every time that God punished the nation of Israel there was always a prophet to announce to the people and make it clear that the harsh times that were coming wasn’t just a coincidence but that it was a result of their sin and turning away from God.

God’s punishment for the sins of the nation of Israel didn’t exclude the prophets that were sent to announce the coming judgment, they also had to live through the hard times, but God took care of the men that took a stand for him and were willing to live for him.

Elijah told his countrymen that there would not be any rain which would in turn create a famine and even though Elijah had to live through the condition that he prophesied about he was sustained by God’s care. At first God provided a brook for Elijah to drink from and he sent the ravens to deliver meat for his prophet, but then after the brook ran out of water God chose a different way to provide for Elijah.

There were plenty of widows in Israel, women whose husbands had been killed in battle but God didn’t send Elijah to live with them but instead he was sent to a Gentile widow. Who knows, maybe this Gentile widow was a God fearing woman and was far more faithful than any of the widows of Israel. She certainly had some measure of faith since she was willing to prepare food and water for Elijah prior to feeding herself or her son. She believed in the promise of God and showed it by giving him his part first and then taking her portion from what was left.

Over and over again in scripture we see the Lord use the weak in this world as we see him give them the opportunity to do his work instead of the strong.

God’s people will have to suffer in this world when the country that they live in strays away from him. As America drifts away from God his people may have to suffer and may be persecuted but he will sustain his people and give them a bright future.

In desperate times we need to have the faith that God will sustain us.

Thank you for your love and goodness that provides for and sustains your people. I pray that our country will return to you and declare that you are the one and only God.

Where Is Your Bible Hiding

If it really is God’s word then why don’t we use it more?

2 Peter 2:1-3, 13-15  But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.

2  Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3  In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

13  Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. 14  They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse. 15  They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

2 Peter 3:3-4  Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4  They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

Do you see your Bible as a valuable asset? It is a very useful tool that will help you to avoid many dangers as you navigate life. Chapters two and three of Second Peter give us two good reasons to be in God’s word everyday:

So that you won’t be deceived by the false prophets and teachers.

Peter warns us all about false prophets and how you can easily spot them, he spells out exactly how they behave, he also gives us plenty of warning to steer clear of this group so that we won’t share in the judgment that is waiting for them.

So that you won’t deceive yourself and become a scoffer or a mocker.

What a danger to become one that ridicules the things of God, this may be a person that is led astray on their own or it could be somebody that fell for the lies of the false teachers. The best way to know God and be wise about the things that are important to him is to study his word every day. He has revealed as much about him as we need to know, for now, through what is revealed of himself in scripture.

It is amazing that our creator gave us an instruction book for life, a book that has proved it’s worth, and yet we don’t rush to it so that we can benefit from the instruction that God gave us.

I will stay in God’s word everyday so that I will be pleasing to him.

Thank you Lord for showing us how to be pleasing to you and warning us of the destruction of following after false teachings and ideas that we dream up about you.

Keep My Commands

Commands of Jesus Series

John 14:15  “If you love Me, obey My commandments.

1 John 2:5  But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.

I have been studying the fifty commands that Jesus gave us while he was on earth and now today I come to the command that tells me to obey all of the other forty-nine commands. So what’s the big deal? Why is it so important that I bother with studying what Jesus told me to do and then why should I have to attempt to put these rules into practice?

Jesus told us that the only reason that he expects us to live by his teaching is because we love him. There is no other way to show proof of our love for him than to keep his commandments. Professing that I love him isn’t any proof, anybody can throw words around but if I agree with Jesus about what is right and wrong then I can’t refuse to obey or I will be a hypocrite.

It is pretty obvious that I love him if I am denying myself, taking up my cross, loving everybody without complaining about how they treated me. If I am laying up treasure in heaven, seeking opportunities to serve, protecting my marriage and making disciples then the world will know that we truly love Jesus our Savior. Isn’t that what really matters?

I will strive and pray daily that I will be faithful to the teachings of Jesus, it isn’t about following a list of rules, it’s about showing the world through my obedience that God’s truths matters.Help me to obey your commands everyday Lord, give me the wisdom and the strength to put your teaching into practice and give me grace for when I fall short.

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