Kindness and Forgiveness

Introduction: A kind spirit is only one of the flavors of the Holy Spirit. But it is a great tasting fruit nonetheless. I love it when someone genuinely shows a KIND spirit, especially when he or she has been wronged. That is both impressive and contagious.
 
Let’s do a word study:
 

1. Kindness (Eph 4:32)

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

The word “kind” is χρηστός,(khrase-tos’), which means useful, gentle, pleasant, kind.

The opposite of gentleness is harshness, bitterness, or rudeness. Have you noticed? A bitter person will speak or react harshly. Yet, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of Kindness. Are you a kind person or a bitter person? Are you jealous? Envious of others? Mad at God? Resentful because of your circumstances? Feel cheated? Angry at the world? Throwing a pity party? Revengeful?

The word “tender hearted” is εὔσπλαγχνος, which means tender-hearted, merciful, compassionate. Admittedly, with so much injustice and bitterness in this world, it is tempting to feel uncompassionate. Do you show compassion? Jesus showed compassion on the multitudes. And at the same time, He rebuked the Pharisees and others in the religious crowd because of their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. They felt that they were alittle “better” (superior – 1 up!) than others.

But listen. Praise His name because He imparts to us His compassion through the power of His Holy Spirit! If He did not, we would not have compassion. It is not in our nature. That is where the transforming GRACE of God changes us.

2. Forgiveness (Eph 4:32)
 
The word “forgive” is χαρίζομαι, which means to show favor to, to pardon, forgive, to show kindness.

Forgiving is like releasing a debt. When you are “born again,” Jesus Christ releases the payment (wages Rom 6:23) for sin. This is possible all because Jesus poured out His life’s blood to pay for our sins. As we trust in His sacrificial death and resurrection God the Father releases the debt we owe, which must be paid (either by Jesus or in the lake of fire).

Did you notice “kindness and forgiveness seem to be related?

Conclusion: Where do you need to show kindness and forgiveness? Why not thank God for His kindness and forgiveness? Perhaps then, we can offer kindness and forgiveness.
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese

 



When You Have Jesus You Have…

1. Eternal life! (John 3:36; 5:24)

“36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

“24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

When you have Jesus you have a guaranteed eternal life!

2. Abundant life! (John 10:10)

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Notice. This is not the subpar life in Christ, instead it’s the supernatural life in Christ!

3. Healing life! (Psa 103:1-3)
 
“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”

God’s will results in either healing in this life or the life to come.

4. Purpose in life! (Rom 14:8)

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

Here we learn what our purpose is on this earth… it’s His will not ours to live.

5. Power in life! (Phil 3:10; Acts 1:8)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

That is the power source…the Holy Spirit!

5. Peace in life! (John 14:27; Phil 4:6,7)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This PEACE money cannot buy! It comes from Jesus.

6. Provisions in life! (Phil 4:19)

“9But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Needs. Not wants. Big difference.

7. Contentment in life! (Phil 4:8)

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Wow! What a state!!

8. Love in life! (Rom 5:5)

“5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

The love of God is the greatest of all!

9. Victory in life! (2Cor 2:14, 15)

“14Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

Please pay attention that victory is in Jesus Christ, not ourselves.

10. Forgiveness in life! (Heb 8:12)

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

Even though at times we remember our sins, God does NOT!

11. Focus in life! (Col 3:1-4)

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

Since we are both crucified and risen with Christ, our focus changes from this life to the life which is to come.

12. Security in life! (Heb 13:5)

“5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

This means never, no never! Thank you Jesus!

13. Rewards in life! (John 15:16)

“6Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Fruit abounding!

14. Good works in life! (Eph 2:10)

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Saved by grace; through faith; unto good works! In that order.

15. Wisdom in life! (1Cor 1:30,31)

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Jesus becomes our wisdom. I need it Lord daily!

Conclusion: It’s settled! When you have Jesus you have everything!!
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese

 



Thanks Before Meal with a Clear Conscience

Introduction: Why should we give THANKS before a meal? Does it say to give THANKS in the Bible before eating? Where?

Paul who was led by the Holy Spirit reminds believers to THANK Jesus for our food?

Writing to the CHRISTians in the Church of Rome, He declares that we are to “Say the BLESSING” without being a BURDEN.”

(Rom 14:6)

“6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

1. What is he talking about? (Rom 14:6)

“He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

Evidently, there was a conflict between “weaker” CHRISTians and “stronger” CHRISTians.”

The weaker ones could not stand the thought of eating meat offered to IDOLS. But to the stronger believers there was no problem in their mind to eat meat even though it had been offered to idols. According to them, there was only one true and living God.

2. Who is he talking to? (Rom 14:6)

“He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

Paul lays down the argument for the stronger CHRISTians not to eat the meat even though they had a clear conscience. The reason being is because it became a “stumbling block” to the weaker CHRISTians. 

“13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died” (Rom 14:13-15).

This situation brings light on our present day – nonchalant – attitude, i.e. it does not matter how I live or how I treat others as long as I give THANKS. But it really does matter to our Lord according to this passage of Scripture.

Conclusion: The bottom line: 

“10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom 14:10).

So we are to give THANKS before our meal with a clear conscience and not become a stumbling block to other CHRISTians. 

THANKSGIVING and THANKLIVING go hand in hand.

Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Handling the Wrongs Right?

Introduction: When something happens and it is wrong do you “fly off the handle”? Our impulse is the get MAD and show, as my mom used to say, “our behind”! (That used to be modest??!!) Anyway, what are the steps we should take when something goes wrong?

In this brief devotion, we will share a few things to do as a CHRISTian before throwing a fit!

1. Think it through! (Matt 5:5)

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Meekness is not weakness. Instead it is strength under control. The fruit of the Spirit is self control (Gal 5:22,23).

2. Pray it through! (Matt 5:23,24)

“23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

Take it to the Lord in prayer. Allow Him to change your heart or mind in the process. 

3. Look at it through! (Matt 7:12)

“12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

If it were you, how would you want to be approached?

4. Follow it through! (Matt 5:41-47)

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”

Having a clear conscience in this dog eat dog world is extremely important to our testimony and our witness. 

Conclusion: Finally, Bless the Lord through it! Because Jesus gets the glory! 

 



The Sin of Ingratitude

Introduction: Do you ever have to STOP and confess where you’ve not been GRATEFUL to God? After all, He provides our every need; i.e. food, water, shelter, love, forgiveness, health….and the list goes on. While we reprimand the nine lepers who did not THANK Jesus for healing them, we sometimes inadvertently do the same. In other words, we take God’s BLESSINGS for granted, even though the average person will lie about it and say he or she does not. 

Check out how Jesus reacts to this situation.

1. A lot of people ask Jesus for HEALING but do not follow Jesus- All Ten requested help! (Luke 17:11-13)

“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When we get into trouble – something we cannot fix – we go to the God of the Bible. Why? Because we need mercy. Mercy because we are all sinners…by nature, choice, and birth.

2. Next, Jesus tells us (through His Word) what we need to do! (Luke 17:14)

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”

More deadly than leprosy, a terrible physical disease, is sin, which is curable only by the blood of Jesus. 

3. Real, True FAITH in Jesus is rewarded! (Luke 17:15-17)

“15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Do you notice that THANKSGIVING, FAITH and FORGIVENESS go hand in hand? Are you giving THANKS today? 

Conclusion: We live in a world of ENTITLEMENT! The world owes me. Unfortunately, we get that ATTITUDE with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Are you feeling convicted? Confess it. Are you living in a delusion? Do you feel like you do not need to get on your knees and give THANKS? THINKING about the Lord Jesus’ BLESSINGS leads to THANKING Him!

Let’s not be guilty of INGRATITUDE. 

Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese

 



What Pleases the Lord?

Introduction: Pleasing our Lord is the believer’s upmost goal in life. Don’t you want to please Him? But how can we please Jesus?

1. By an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE! (Eph 5:20)

“20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Did you notice that we are to GIVE THANKS always? Plus, we are to GIVE THANKS to God for ALL things! Do you suppose that means for GOOD times and BAD times?

Do you need an AA? ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT? This Pastor needs them often. Because of this fallen world’s influence, and the weakness of the flesh, along with the attacks of Satan, AA’s must be regular. Have you had one lately? Please look at the second way we can PLEASE our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2. By not only GIVING THANKS but also by GIVING PRAISE! (Eph 5:19)

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” 

This flows from a HEART of WORSHIP. Because of WHO Jesus Christ is (God in the flesh) and because of WHAT He has done (died for our sins and rose from the grave to give us eternal life), and because of what He has promised to do (to Return again for His Church and then to establish His millennium Kingdom) –therefore, He deserves PRAISE and WORSHIP!

Conclusion: Will you GIVE THANKS to Jesus today? Will you trust Him no matter what? Will you sing in your heart to Him? If so, according to this text, that will PLEASE our Lord.
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Peaceful and Thankful

Introduction: How are these two interconnected? PEACE, and THANKSGIVING? Let’s examine this devotional thought.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15).

Did you notice that “PEACEFUL and THANKFUL” go together? Simply put:
We have PEACE when we are THANKFUL, and we are THANKFUL when we have PEACE!

1. PEACEFUL and THANKFUL! (Col 3:15)

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

When PEACE is “ruling” in our hearts then we are going to be THANKFUL! Is our Lord’s PEACE ruling and over ruling in your heart? Is it ever ruling?

Interesting that the word “rule” is βραβεύω,(brab-yoo’-o), which means to act as umpire. Wow! It also has the connotation to act as arbiter in the games, to arbitrate. The word arbitrate pictures an independent person that intervenes to reach a settlement. With that said, do you see it? While living in a world of chaos and confusion, God’s PEACE that passes understanding (Phil 4:6,7) guards (rules) both our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Choose this today.

2. THANKFUL and PEACEFUL! (Col 3:15)

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

The word “thankful” is εὐχάριστος, (yoo-khar’-is-tos), which simply means thankful, grateful.

Are you THANKFUL? The PEACE of God breeds THANKFULNESS. But at the same time, THANKSGIVING to God brings the PEACE of God.

Conclusion: The table is set. The PEACE of God on one side, and our THANKSGIVING on the other. Come to the table.
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Give Thanks Because…

Introduction: Are you GRATEFUL for our Lord’s PROVISIONS? Do you murmur and complain? Most of us do more than we should. Instead of being UNGRATEFUL for what we don’t have, we should be PRAISING our Lord for what we do have!

Why GIVE THANKS? Do you know why we should GIVE THANKS? The Psalmist experienced victory over an UNGRATEFUL spirit as he was inspired to write these words. Read his reasons for GIVING THANKS.

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:26)

1. He gave THANKS because the Lord supplied his daily food! (Psa 136:25)

“25Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Poverty is real. Here in America we do not not see a lot of people who are without food. But while traveling on mission trips across the globe, it becomes evident poverty is real. 

So we ought to THANK our Lord for our daily bread!

2. He gave THANKS because the Lord delivered him from his enemies! (Psa 136:24)

“24And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for enemies.”

The word “redeemed” is  פָרַק: (paw-rak’), which to to tear apart or away. In other words, our Lord rescues us from those who are against us. 

3. He gave THANKS because the Lord remembered their condition! (Psa 136:23)

“23Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:”

The words “low estate” is שֶׁפֶל (shay’-fel), which means condition. In other words – God chose both Israel and us today (the Church does not replace Israel) not because of our greatness, but because of His choice for the down and out, the lowly. He did it all for His glory. 

4. He gave THANKS because the Lord GAVE land as an INHERITANCE! (Psa 136:21,22)

“And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: 22Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

In the SOVEREIGNTY of God, He chose to GIVE His people a LAND INHERITANCE to possess. 

This was their real estate. In order to be a nation, a people must have land. To this day, this LAND COVENANT has not been fully fulfilled by Israel. However, during the Millennium reign of Jesus Christ, Israel will possess the totality of God’s promise to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. 

5.  He gave THANKS because of the Lord’s marvelous CREATION! (Psa 136:4-9)

“4To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 5To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. 6To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. 7To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.” 

What can you say about God’s handiwork? His CREATION is AMAZING. We stand in AWE of the complexity and enormity of this universe. 

And yet, Jesus knows our name, our frame, and our pain! Not only that but the fact that Jesus would die a sacrificial death in order to take away our sins as we trust Him, and prepare a place in heaven as He has promised to come again, that is a BLESSING indeed. 

Conclusion: Now do you agree with the Psalmist? We have far more to THANK our Lord and Savior for this thanksgiving than we have to complain about. 

So let’s do it!

Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese
 


Changing Seasons with Thanksgiving

Introduction: Daniel knew about changes. Being taken hundreds of miles from his home as a teenager, he experienced a different culture. But he did not compromise his convictions. In fact, he understood that the God of the Bible was in
CONTROL. This devotion will explore how we can trust the Lord in the midst of CHANGES in our life.

1. Daniel understood that it is God that allows different seasons by setting UP one leader and putting down another LEADER! (Dan 2:20,21)

“20Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
“21And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”

After a prayer meeting, God revealed to Daniel incredible insight. In fact, he witnessed several kings and kingdoms that moved on the scene and then moved off the scene. Therefore, Daniel praised his God. Will you?

2. Daniel understood that it is God that allows different seasons for enlarging our INFLUENCE! (Dan 2:22)

“22He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”

Light dispels the darkness. Jesus declared that He was the light of the world (John 8:12). But He also told His disciples that they were to be the light of the world (Matt 5:13-16). Are you lighting this dark world?

3. Daniel understood that it is God that allows different seasons! (Dan 2:23)

“23I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.”

A prayer of THANKSGIVING was offered to the Lord because He is in CONTROL of the seasons, the Kings, and our life as we yield to Him. Are you yielded to Him? His will for your life?

Conclusion: Are CHANGES coming your way? As the different seasons come, the various CHANGES follow. But be encouraged. Why? Because our Lord is in CONTROL of the seasons.
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Why Give Thanks?

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” (1Chron 16:34)

Introduction: Why give thanks? King David knew the purpose of God bestowing BLESSINGS upon His people was that in turn we would GIVE THANKS to Him as we worship.

1. For one, we are not SELF-MADE men and women. Rather, we are created by the Lord. Therefore, we are His creation.
Please note: Paul writes concerning the focus of those who do not acknowledge God.
 

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom 1:25)

Did you notice they worshipped the creature more than the Creator?

Is this happening today? Absolutely. Look at the “movie stars,” “sport stars,” and “music stars”….the rich and the famous are being worshipped today. This is a SAD travesty to say the least. Remember: Our great God will not share His glory with another. But one day every knee will bow!

David writes again……

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” (Psa 8:3 -6)

We are made in His image. However, we are not gods. Instead we are being conformed into His image until one day we shall see Him face to face.

2. For two, Jesus Christ created everything and will be worshipped in heaven one day!

“16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Col 1:16)

Paul was speaking of the superiority and the sufficiency of Jesus Christ. John sees a heavenly vision that will be in the future.

” 9And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:9-11)

I love it! Jesus is worshipped as He should be!!

Conclusion: David was BLESSED by His God – the God of the Bible. How? And what did he do?

“So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. 2And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.” (1Chron 16:1-2)

Have you been BLESSED? GIVE THANKS!
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese