Showing posts with label Video Devotional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video Devotional. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Devotional on Genesis 2 - One Flesh

Scripture: Genesis 2:24-25
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

In Genesis 2, the Scripture says that when a man and woman get married, they become one flesh. In 1st Corinthians 6:16, it says that when a man has sex with a prostitute, he becomes one with her in flesh. Well, what does that mean? What does it mean to become one flesh with someone?

First, let's think about this very literally. What does a man do with his wife that he can also do with a prostitute? Have sex, right? When a man and a woman have sex, whether they're married or not, a part of the man's body enters the woman's body. They're joined. He is inside her. They are one flesh for as long as penetration lasts.

When Paul tells us not to become one flesh with prostitutes, he's telling us not to defile our bodies because our bodies, being inhabited by God's Holy Spirit, being members of Christ's Body as part of the body of believers, are holy themselves.

So, we need to exercise discretion. We only want our bodies to be one in flesh with someone who is also a member of Christ's Body, who is also holy themselves. That's part of why Paul tells us not to be unequally yoked as well. As holy beings, even in body - not just in spirit - we need to be joining ourselves to, or becoming one flesh, only with a partner who is also holy. God has created us as whole beings - spirit, mind, and body - and He cares about our whole being, not just our spirits. God is very concerned with how we treat, and what we do with, our bodies.

It's important to remember that Adam and Eve felt no shame of being naked with each other because they were both holy. When we should feel shame is when are naked with someone who is not holy. And part of this being holy or not being holy is not simply the idea of uniting yourself to other Christians in sex but uniting yourself in the way that God has commanded us to. That means following the example of Adam and Eve in this first part of Genesis - one man and one woman being solely committed to each other.

That is the model that God has given us for marriage and for sex, and it's what Paul and the rest of Scripture warn us to maintain.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Devotional on Genesis 2 - Adam Names the Animals

Scripture: Genesis 2:19-20
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

One of the most interesting things in Scripture is who named the animals. God thought them up, God spoke them into existence and created them, but it is Adam who names them. Just imagine that for a second. God created all of these wonderful, various creatures, and then, it sounds like He lines them up in front of Adam and asks Adam what he would like to call each one.

I get the image in my head of God almost in a childlike state of excitement presenting His creations to Adam as a gift and waiting to see what Adam will think of each one.

It's such an amazing thought to think of the gift that God has given us with the creation of this world. We talk about how the world is going downhill and about how much better it will be in Heaven or when Christ returns. And I agree. But it wasn't like that in the beginning. In the beginning, the world was very good. It was God's masterpiece, and He gave it to us. That shows us how much God thinks of us - that He would give us such an amazing gift.

Sometimes, you hear about men promising their girl the moon. No one can give someone else the moon, but God did give us the world. 

Of, course, the gift came with responsibility. Earlier in the chapter, God sets Adam in the Garden of Eden "to work it and take care of it." Here, He presents the animals to Adam, and Adam names them. Now, when you name something, you're showing that it has some sort of significance to you. When you give someone a nickname, you're doing so to show how that person is special to you in some way. Even if you're teasing someone, and you give them a not very nice nickname, that still shows that the person is significant to you. They're special enough to you - in some way - for you to want to take the time to name them.

When Adam names the animals, they become significant to him. He cares for them and has some responsibility to take care of them.

As you go through your day today, I encourage you to thank God for this amazing gift of the world that He's given to you and think about the responsibility you personally have to take care of it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Devotional on Genesis 2 - It Is Not Good for the Man to Be Alone

Scripture: Genesis 2:18
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

In Genesis 2, after God made Adam and got him started on his work, God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." What does that mean - "not good to be alone"? And was Adam alone? He had God. He had the animals. Adam wasn't alone!

Except in the sense that he had no equal. God was above him, and the animals were below him; he had no one beside him.

Until God put Adam to sleep and made "a suitable helper" for him out of a rib in his side. Now, it's important to note that Eve was made out of a part of Adam's side because that shows that she was Adam's equal. She wasn't made from a part of Adam's head, which would symbolize that she was above Adam in status like God was above Adam. She wasn't made from a part of Adam's foot, which would symbolize she was lower in status than Adam like the animals were lower than Adam. She was made from a part of Adam's side, symbolizing that she could stand side by side with Adam as his suitable helper.

Now, even though Eve was taken from a part of the man, she wasn't a man. She was a woman. She was like the man but different. And I think it is this different-but-equal status that she held with the man that made Eve an even more suitable companion than if she would have been just another man.

Men and women are very different. Maybe you've noticed that. We have a lot of similarities; we're far from being polar opposites as some people seem to think, but we also have a lot of differences.

In general, a man has different personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses than a woman's general personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. This difference is what helps us to complement each other and work so well together. We can balance each others' perspectives; we can cover for each others' weaknesses with our complementary strengths.

It wasn't good for Adam to be alone because he needed an equal-but-different companion to be a suitable helper for him.

How has God blessed you with an equal-but-different companion? How can you work better with that person to more fully complement each others' differences? If you haven't found that person yet, what are some qualities that would be different but complementary to your own qualities in another person? What type of person do you feel would balance and complement your personal strengths the best?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Devotional on Genesis 2 - The Breath of Life

Scripture: Genesis 2:7
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

In the first chapter of Genesis, we see God forming the earth itself, the land and sea, the plants and animals, and then, briefly the first human beings. Then, in Genesis 2, we focus a little more intently and get a more detailed picture of how God created Adam and Eve.

God didn't simply speak Adam into existence like He did with the rest of the plants and animals. Instead, God personally formed Adam. He shaped the soil of the ground perfectly to form just what He wanted and then, He took that form of a man and breathed His own breath into it.

God didn't do that with any of the other things He made during creation. This shows how special mankind is to God - that He would personally form Adam and breathe God's breath into Adam's lungs.

It reminds us of Jesus breathing on the disciples and telling them to "receive the Holy Spirit" in John 20:22. Talk about God personally forming someone! God spent a moment forming Adam, but Jesus spent three years personally forming these disciples into what He wanted them to be. And then, He did the same thing God did with Adam. He breathed His own breath onto them and gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew and Greek words for breath also mean spirit. When God breathed on Adam, He was giving Adam His own breath, His own Spirit. It's the same thing Jesus is doing with His disciples. He's literally breathing the Holy Spirit into them and giving them new life, just as God gave Adam life.

I wonder how long God has been personally forming you. How long has He been working with you and shaping you into that perfect creation that He wants you to be? Do you know that you can't have true life without Him breathing the Holy Spirit into you? Ask Him to breathe His life-giving Spirit into you anew today and give Him permission to shape you any way He wants to.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Devotional on Genesis 2 - The 7th Day or the 7th and 1st Days?

Scripture: Genesis 2:2-3
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Did you know that the ancient Jewish people only had a one-day weekend instead of two? How would you like that - going to work or going to school six days a week?

That's what the Jewish people did. The Hebrew Sabbath, or weekend, was only one day, Saturday. It wasn't until Christ rose on the first day of the week, Sunday, that Christians began observing a two-day Sabbath, or weekend.

In Genesis 2, God blessed us with a one-day weekend to give us a rest for our physical, mental, and emotional health. We need to take a break from everything else we were doing that week and refresh ourselves.

With Christ's resurrection, it then became appropriate for us to celebrate the Lord's resurrection on Sunday, the day of the week that He rose from the dead. Taking a break on Saturday is for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Sunday is for our spiritual health.

And Sunday should be a celebration. Every week, we're celebrating what Christ did for us when He defeated death on our behalf. Don't skip that.

And don't miss out on the benefits of the weekend in general. If you're like me, you tend to want to keep busy and keep accomplishing things, whether it be for work or school or just things you need to get done around the house. But know that God has given us the weekend, and commanded us to observe the weekend, because He cares for us. He cares for us as whole persons - our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health - and has given us set times to renew and refresh each of those aspects of our being. That's what the weekend is for. God has ordered us to keep it holy for our own good.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - Blameless, Becoming, and Pure Consciences

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

The last thing that Clement compliments the Corinthians on in 1st Clement 1 is how well they've instructed their young men to be men, and how well they've instructed their women to be good wives.

He says that the Corinthians have done well in teaching young men to be responsible in life, not guys that are always just messing around wasting time, but men that get things done.

Clement then turns his attention to how the Corinthians have taught their wives "to do all things with a blameless, becoming, and pure conscience, loving their husbands as in duty bound; and ye taught them that, living in the rule of obedience, they should manage their household affairs becomingly, and be in every respect marked by discretion."

Let's look at some of those qualities that Clement finds praiseworthy in the Corinthian Christian women.  They had blameless, becoming, and pure consciences. These women knew that they were living the right way and they had clean hearts and minds while they did it. They had no regrets, no impure thoughts or desires. They were pure, just as they should be in every way - becoming.

Secondly, they loved their husbands "as in duty bound" and lived under the "rule of obedience". Now, Clement's really showing his old-fashioned, male chauvinism here, isn't he? "Duty bound"? "Rule of obedience"?

And yet the women had "blameless, becoming, and pure" consciences. The women were happy living like this. They had no desire to change it. Would they have been as happy fighting their husbands, nitpicking their husbands, talking against them, resenting them, not living under the rule of obedience? That doesn't make anyone happy.

Simple order is what makes people happy. Young men learning to be serious and responsible. Women learning to be calm and love their husbands "as in duty bound".

Finally, Clement admires how the Corinthian women "manage their household affairs becomingly" and with "discretion". These women are in charge of the house, and they're careful and wise in how they handle things.

I imagine God saying the same thing to Adam and Eve when He gave them the planet. "Here is your household, the world. Manage it becomingly and with discretion". The same responsibility that God gave them, is the responsibility that women have over the home. It's not to be taken lightly, and to do it well shows the quality of a Christian woman.

As Clement has said, let us all find our peaceful places in life and live with "blameless, becoming, and pure" consciences.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - No Respect of Persons

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

In 1st Clement 1, Clement continues enumerating the good qualities of the Corinthians' Christian lifestyle. One thing he notes can be a bit confusing. I mean listen to what he says here:

"For ye did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the commandments of God, being obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honour to the presbyters among you."

He says 1) the Corinthians did everything with no respect of persons. That means they didn't hold any one person or type of person to be more important than another. But then he says 2) the Corinthians were obedient to the rulers of the church and gave honor to the presbyters, or the church officials.

How can the Corinthians have done everything without respect of persons but then given respect to the people in charge of the church? And why are there people in charge of the church anyway? Have you ever thought about that? Why do we need pastors and priests and church leaders? Why can't everyone just be on the same level in the church "without respect of persons"?

Clement, as a church leader himself, would have known two things that help to explain his statement here. First, he would have understood that no person is better than another in God's eyes and that as Christians, we are all equally important and equally valued both by God and by the Body of Christ in general. But he also would have understood that God gives us different talents, different spiritual gifts, and different responsibilities.

Some people, God has given the talent to be doctors. I don't have that talent or training. So when I go to a doctor, I don't view the doctor as being a better person than I am, but I do respect the doctor's authority in his or her field of expertise. I view that doctor with no respect of persons, but with respect for their talent and position.

It's the same thing in the church. God has called some people to be church leaders. And so we view them without respect of persons, but with respect in accordance to the duties they've been chosen to perform.

In society, and especially in the church, we need to understand that we're all the same - we're all equally valuable - but we need to respect each others' unique fields of expertise.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - Corinthian Qualities

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

In 1st Clement 1,  Clement compliments the Corinthian Christians on the virtues of their Christian lifestyle. He says that their reputation is "venerable" and "illustrious", "worthy to be loved" by everyone. He has a lot of respect for the Corinthians.

He says that anyone who spent any time with them at all could see how strong their faith was and how their faith was bearing fruit in their lives. And, of course, we can't read a compliment like that without using it as a check on our own lives. Can the people around you tell that you're a Christian? Can they tell how strong your faith is and can they see how your faith is affecting the way you live your life? Is it obvious that your faith is producing good qualities in your character?

He says that people admire how serious and moderate the Corinthians are in their quest to live godly lives. The Corinthians weren't flighty. They got down to business and did God's work, Kingdom work. They didn't get distracted by other, wordly things. They kept themselves self-controlled and focused. What about you? Are you focused on doing the things of God? Are you getting down to the business of doing what God has asked you to do? Or are there things that invade your time or your interests and that you maybe you need to exercise more self-control over?

He then talks about the "magnificence" of the Corinthians' "habitual hospitality". "Habitual hospitality". That's another way of saying that they welcomed other people. They made people feel comfortable and welcomed and like they were part of the group. They met other people's needs when they came to them. Are you a welcoming person? Do you help your church to be inviting and welcoming to others? Do you meet the needs of people who come to you, put them at ease, and make them feel like they belong?

Finally, Clement acknowledges the Corinthians' "perfect and well-grounded knowledge". The Corinthians weren't uninformed Christians. They didn't believe things just because the preacher said so. These Christians knew what they knew and they knew why they knew it. They did the research. They took their faith seriously enough that they did their own thinking and reasoning and studying. They wrestled with and figured out the stuff they didn't understand. They actively learned the faith. That's what you're doing by delving deeper into Scripture and Christian history with your devotions and Bible study. Take it a step further if you need to. Pursue the knowledge of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you to understanding.

Be like the Corinthians. Let others see your faith and how it's bearing fruit in your life. Don't spend too much time on stuff that doesn't matter. Get down to the Kingdom work. Welcome people in and make them part of the Kingdom. And know what you know, and know why you know it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video and Text Devotional - 1 Clement 1 - Selfless Attention

Watch the video or read the devotion below.

I have kind of a one-track mind, especially when it comes to problems. Maybe you're like that too. If you're worried about something, or if a problem comes that's all you can think about until you find a way to solve it. It consumes your thought life and it's hard to turn your attention away from it to focus on something else.

Clement has established that he's writing to the Corinthians in regard to a problem they're having - a church schism, a fight between church members in Corinth - but what is surprising is what is happening in Rome and the problem Clement is dealing with there. Clement apologizes for not getting back to the Corinthians earlier, saying he's been "somewhat tardy" in his reply because of the "sudden and successive calamitous events" taking place in Rome.

The "sudden and successive calamitous events" he's talking about was Emperor Nero launching a full-scale persecution against Roman Christians. This is the persecution in which Peter and Paul were both executed. Many of Clement's fellow church leaders and members were most likely arrested and killed. Clement's own life would have been in danger.

And yet he apologizes to the Corinthians for not getting back to them sooner about their church squabble.

What I love about this is that even though Clement was dealing with a very serious issue, he is able to take the time to set aside his own concerns and the worries of what was happening around him to turn his attention to the needs of the Corinthians.

That is the attitude of Christ.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, He could have, in all rights, been thinking only of His own pain and His own trouble and only of what He was going through. But He wasn't. He set that aside and was thinking of us and our salvation.

Clement does the same here. He selflessly turns His attention to the Corinthians to help them.

What would this look like in your life? How can you turn your attention from your own worries and ambitions and things you feel need to do in order to selflessly turn your attention to someone else's needs? To your family's needs? Your friend's needs? Your church's needs? The needs of someone you don't even know?

I know you have a lot going on in your life. There are things you want to accomplish and problems you need to take care of. But I encourage you to live like Christ and like Clement and try to turn your attention to others' needs as much as possible. I promise you that God will honor and bless you for it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Video and Text Devotion - 1 Clement 1 - Christian Fights

Watch the video or read the devotion below.  


Clement was a companion of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:3) and later became the leader of the church in Rome. Though his writings are not Biblical, they are very instructional both historically and spiritually.

In 1 Clement 1:1-4, Clement is writing to the church in Corinth and he says that an issue, a fight, possibly even a split, has occurred in the church in Corinth because of a "few rash and self-confident persons". He says that the fact that there was even a fight among church members in the first place is "shameful", "detestable", and "utterly abhorrent".

This causes me to stop and consider the nature of not only church fights, but fights among Christians in general - fights between Christian spouses, fights between Christian friends, fights between a Christian parent and their Christian child. What causes these fights?

What caused your last fight with a fellow Christian?

Isn't it our rashness and self-confidence that causes fights? We're so convinced that we're right, and we act too quickly on that belief rather than hearing what the other person is saying or considering what their point of view may be.

Fights come from a lack of patience and humility. If we were more patient, if we controlled our emotions rather than reacting right away, the fight might not happen. If we humbled ourselves and questioned our own point of view before automatically assuming that we're right, the fight might not happen.

The church is the Body of Christ. We are fellow members of Christ's Body with our Christian family members, our Christian friends, and our Christian congregants. Let us not cause "shameful", "detestable", and "utterly abhorrent" fights within Christ's Body by acting rashly and out of self-confidence. Instead, let us practice patience and humility, even to the point of preserving peace rather than making a point.

After all, what is more important? Having our own way, or preserving the peace and unity of Christ's Body?

I think Clement's answer is pretty clear.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Genesis 1 Devotional - God Our Maker and King

Scripture: Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1 clearly portrays God as our Maker. I wonder if you've ever made something. Maybe, like God, you've made a human being. You've participated in the Divine act of creation by having a child. Let me ask you this; do you expect that child to listen to you and obey you?

Of course, you do. Even though your son or daughter has their own will, you know what's best for them. They have no legal rights to make their own decisions until they come of age.

It's the same with God. He is our Creator. He made us. We wouldn't be here without Him. And even though we have our own will, we do not have the right to do as we please. We are responsible to God to obey Him. Like a parent with their child, He knows what's best for us, and we have no right to act against His wishes.

Another way to think about it is to view God as our King and we as His vassals. The King is the rightful ruler. We have no right to rebel against Him unless He does something that proves Himself unworthy to rule. But God will never do anything unworthy of our respect and obedience because He is the perfect good and wise King. Our only legitimate response to God our King is to give Him our loyalty.

Give thanks to God for the life He's given you as your Maker, your Parent, and submit to Him willfully as your rightful, good, and perfect King.

In what ways do you need to show God more respect in your life?

In what ways do you need to show God more gratitude for creating you?

Is there an area of your life that you haven’t submitted fully to Him as your King?