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Word for Wednesday-Contentment

Devotional – Contentment

Philippians 4: 11-12 (NIV) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

The Church I attend is closed due to the Corona Virus, so I have been flipping through the television channels, watching parts of sermons here and there. A few were good, and some were not so good. One particularly grabbed my attention. It was a prosperity theology sermon. You know, give to me and God will give you wealth and blessings. Life will be perfect, if you just believe and have faith. Nothing bad will happen to you. Ugh… flip that channel.

But it did make me think. What if God’s purpose is not to fulfill all our wants and desires, but rather to offer us contentment?

That’s a God that I can understand. That’s a theology that I can accept. That’s a Biblical approach to God. Lord, just offer me contentment in whatever situation I may find myself in, at the moment.

The verse following the above passage is often quoted. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) I can do everything, through him who gives me strength

Or my paraphrase, “I can be content, through all things, through him that gives me strength.”

Father, help us to be content in all things. Help us not to confuse our desires and wants with true contentment. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Energy

Devotional-Energy

Luke 5:18-19 (NIV) Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

Late in College and early in my business career the hot topic was “manage your time!” Time management books, seminars and courses promised success in life. I perceived the overall theme to be, “you can do it alone, but do it with our time management method.”

Could the paralyzed man do it alone? Of course, not. He had to ask for help. Help is one of the hardest words in the English language to say and more particularly to ask. His friends heard his cry for help and responded.

They knew of someone that could heal him. They had faith in Jesus’ power. The took the time to carry the man on his mat to the house where Jesus was performing miracles. But the house was so crowded they had to devise a plan. A plan that took more than time management, it took energy management.

They hoisted him to the roof and lowered him through the hole they made in it down to Jesus.

Now watch this verse carefully, Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

It wasn’t only the faith of the paralyzed men. When Jesus saw “their” faith, both his friends and the man, he then healed the man.

We must manage our energy, not time. We give “life” to whatever we give our energy to in life. Extraordinary energy investments lead to extraordinary outcomes.

How about you? Do you call for help when needed? Are you a friend that will come when called? Will you manage your energy in order to have the time to give life to others in need?

Dear Father, help us to be a part of extraordinary outcomes. Whether as the receiver or giver of help, so that we may be a part of your blessings. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Defusing Anger

Word for Wednesday-Defusing Anger

The key to anger management is learning to control your reactions before you encounter an anger-provoking situation. Let’s look at some practical verses and see what the Bible tells us to do.

Five Biblical Steps for Anger Management

Step 1: Stop Before You React

Proverbs 14:17 “A person who quickly loses his temper does foolish things, but a person with understanding remains calm.” (NCV)

You know the old saying, “engage your brain before putting your mouth in gear”.

Step 2: Ask the Questions “Why am I angry?” and “What do I want?”

Proverbs 2:1-5 “My child, if you take my words to heart…if you pay close attention to wisdom and let your mind reach for understanding, if you ask for insight, if you ask out loud for understanding, if you search for wisdom … then your will understand what it means to fear the Lord.” (GW)

Step 3: Listen

James 1:19-20 “Dear friends, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Anger will not help you live a good life as God wants.” (NCV)

“Even fools seem smart when they are quiet.” Proverbs 17:28

“Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

Step 4: Rethink

” For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.” Proverbs 30:33 RSV

Jesus said, “What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. Out of your heart come evil thoughts …. ” Mark 7:20-21 (CEV)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right … things that are true … practice what you have learned … ” Philippians 4:8-9 (GW)

Step 5: GO

“Go ahead and be angry … but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry, and don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” Ephesians 4:26 (The Message)

 React or Respond.

I have a response already in my mind. I think before speaking, then I am responding.

It I react then I usually make a foolish comment that causes everyone harm.

Father, help us to respond and not react. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Why Pray?

Word for Wednesday-Defusing Anger

Recently I was asked, “If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has everything planned out, why pray?” It is a common question and an excellent one. I have found in the Bible four reasons for prayer, and I am going to lay them out for you to examine and think through. You may know additional reasons; if so, I would love to hear them.

The first and most obvious reason to pray is God’s command that we do so. Prayer is an act of obedience, on our part, toward God.

Matthew 26:41 (NIV) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

Matthew 6:6 (NIV) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Notice how Jesus did not say “if you pray” or “when you feel like praying.” He expects us to pray.

Secondly, God knows everything, yet His general will allows for flexibility in our involvement in carrying out His work. For example, while He may have chosen me to play a role in helping someone. He allows me to make the choice of accepting or turning down the opportunity. If I choose not to, then I lose the blessing of being a part of God’s plan, but this person will still be helped. Someone else will be part of the process, in my place. God wants us to be participants in His plans, not just observers.

Ephesians 1:3-5 (LB) How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us. He decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault-we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!

Even before the beginning of time, God started dealing with us. What an awesome fact to grasp! He has a plan for His children, and we can be a part of it via our prayers.

Thirdly, prayer is an act of submission, on our part, to God. We are not submissive by nature. Many men that I speak with have trouble getting down on their knees and praying to God, because they don’t feel in control, or somehow believe it is unmanly. But submission to God is a key to the Christian life and fulfilling His perfect plans for us.

Luke 22:42 (NIV) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Jesus’ prayer in Luke is the greatest prayer of submission ever. When we can truly start praying, “Lord Your will be done, not mine,” then we can become a part of His plans. Submission is not weakness; in actuality, it takes great strength and faith.

Finally, prayer is about our communion and fellowship with God. Through prayer we grow closer to Him and become more concerned about seeking His will than receiving our answers.

1 John 1:3-4 (NIV) We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Father-Help us to pray and to be submissive to Your will. Forgive us when we throw up our hands and say that it is no use to pray, because You have everything planned out. Help us to be participants in Your plan, and not just observers — so that we may have full fellowship with You through Your Son Jesus. In His name. Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday – The Stove

Word for Wednesday – The Stove

My 7-year-old granddaughter and I have a tradition that started with my children – making pancakes on Saturday mornings. We even have a secret ingredient. No, I’m not telling!

Charlotte sits on the counter and stirs the batter, while I prepare the stove and pan for cooking. For as long as I can remember, I have been saying to her, “Don’t come near the stove!” “The stove is HOT and will HURT you!” I have instilled a healthy fear of the stove in her. But if she grows up and continues to fear stoves, and is forever separated from them, then I will probably be footing some counseling bills for her. 

It’s one thing to fear the stove will harm you; it’s quite another, as an adult, to never use a stove or get near a stove because you fear it. Yet, we must still be careful around stoves. 

What about God? Aren’t we to fear Him? What’s healthy or not? Glad you asked. Let’s walk through some verses and see.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (ESV)

Hebrews 12:28-29 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.  For our God is a devouring fire. (TLB)

Some people fear God and death, or separation from God. They never enter a relationship with God. This fear is like only fearing the stove and never getting close to the stove.

In the second passage, the writer of Hebrews describes to the believer what fear looks like to them. It is a Holy Reverence, a healthy fear and an awe of God. It’s like an adult fearing the stove, yet appreciating what a stove can do for us.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NIV)

After we understand and see fear as a healthy reverence toward God, we can then have the wisdom to know God. I have learned that generally the better you know someone, the more you trust them. If I am not trusting God enough, perhaps I don’t know Him well enough.

Father help us to both love you and understand you, while at the same time having a very real and reverent fear for you. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Restore

Word for Wednesday-Restore

I purchased my pickup truck new in 2003. It has traveled up and down the East Coast over the years, mostly pulling horses to shows, to shows that created many outstanding memories for my family. That old 
truck has survived teenage drivers, snowstorms, telephone poles, guardrails and tree collisions. As the saying goes, “it takes a licking, but keeps on kicking!”

Bent bumpers, dents and scratches, broken tailgate latches, a seat torn here and there – yet, still it survived. I would look at it, and the memories flowed. But I also would think, I need a new truck. The styles have changed, the new ones are shiny and brilliant. My old truck has dim headlights.

We kept thinking, though, that truck – while inanimate – feels like family. Let’s get everything fixed. Let’s restore it to the former glory. And so we did. After months of waiting, our truck came back from the shop, looking good as new. Even the headlights are back to being bright.

As I grow gray around the temples, I look back on life, the memories, the rewards, the tragedies, the broken dreams and dashed hopes, the victories and successes. Both the good and the bad. While I don’t dwell on it, there was a season of spiritual drought. It came along slowly but lasted for 
years and years. I didn’t notice it for a while, but things were changing in life. Then, as slowly as the drought came, a season of restoration came about.

Psalm 23:2–3 (NIV): He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He has restored my spirit and my soul. He made me slow down, think and lie in the “green pastures.” Spiritual experiences come and go. Spiritual awakenings come and stay. He awakened me up from a spiritual sleep. He performed it as He does many things in life; He did it counter intuitively. He slowed me down, to wake me up.  

How about you? Have you slowly drifted into a slumber of spiritual sleep? Perhaps like me, an accumulation of life events happened that created distance from and even anger toward God. Like my truck, the bumps, crashes and detours in life have taken their toll. Hopefully, like me, you can have a Spiritual Awakening that stays, that restores your soul and that brings you back into harmony with His plan for you.

Prayer: Lord, awaken me up by slowing me down. Make me lie in your “green pastures” so that I may be restored and made new again. Make me shine for your glory. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Fourteen Ingredients of Love

Word for Wednesday-Fourteen Ingredients of Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.

Let’s look at the fourteen ingredients of agape love and how we can apply this love to our lives. In the above verse, Paul spells out clearly for us just what love is.

  1. Love is patient. Literally love suffers long; it has a long fuse. When Jesus was wronged, he was patient and silent.
  2. Love is kind. Love is going out of our way to be full of grace toward others.
  3. Love does not envy. Unconditional love desires the best for others. Our main goal is for our beloved to be all God intends them to be.
  4. Love does not boast. The Greek here implies we do not boast like a “windbag.” Jesus never showed off. His greatness is often revealed in what He suppressed, rather than what He did or said.
  5. Love is not proud. God’s love is not arrogant. Pride is inflated selfishness. Love is genuine humility.
  6. Love is not rude. It is never inconsiderate or inattentive.
  7. Love is not self-seeking. God’s love does not grasp for its own rights. This rules out selfish, conditional types of love — the “I love you if”, and the “I love you because” loves.
  8. Love is not easily angered. It does not become irritated. It is not touchy. Jesus was never vindictive. He never retaliated when wronged. He never grumbled or had a bad temper. (His temple-cleansing was a controlled and calculated response.)
  9. Love keeps no record of wrongs. God’s love forgives and forgets. Jesus came to blot out our sins and remember them no more.
  10. Love does not delight in evil but it rejoices in truth. Love is never glad when others do wrong or wrongs happen to others. It does not delight in the weakness of others. It does not gloat or gossip.
  11. Love always trusts, and believes all things. God’s love gives the benefit of the doubt. It is loyal, yet not gullible. It is tolerant in judging others.
  12. Love always hopes. It never takes failure as final. It always looks toward the future, not the past.
  13. Love always perseveres. It endures all. God’s love cannot be conquered. If we endure with Christ, we will reign with Him.
  14. Love goes on forever. Love is eternal. It never fails. It never loses strength. It never leaves its place. It is immovable and indefatigable.

So, there you have them, the fourteen ingredients of love. But I want you to do something else. I want you to read the list and replace the word “love” with “Jesus.” It fits, doesn’t it? God is love.

1 John 4:16 (NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

You are thinking, “okay great, David. Tell me something I don’t know.” Now put YOUR name in the place of love. Pretty humorous? Pretty sad? Do you see how far apart we are from Jesus? Do you see where you need to improve? I challenge you to pick one or more of the above areas that your name absolutely does not fit and pray for God’s guidance and wisdom to help you become more Christlike. That’s the goal for us, being more like Him. While we will never reach perfection here on earth, I believe that it pleases God greatly for us to be growing, progressing toward perfection — and not just be static. So, what we really have here are fourteen qualities or values of Christlikeness. God is love.


Dear Father, thank You so much for your instruction manual, which we call our Bible. Thank You for showing us a “more excellent way” to live. Thank You for sending your Son Jesus to model for us the perfect unconditional love that You have for us and want us to have toward You. Most of all, we thank You for the greatest love story ever written, the story written in blood on an old rugged cross over 2,000 years ago. The ultimate love story, Jesus giving His life, so that all those who call on Him to be their Savior may live eternally with You. In His name, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-Kinds of Love

Kinds of Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The English language only has one word for love. For example I can say, “I love my wife” and use the same word to say, “I love banana sandwiches” or “I love my kids” and so forth. Obviously I don’t love a banana sandwich the same way I love my kids! But, just what is love?

We often look for love in the wrong places. We look horizontally rather than vertically for love. I see folks filling their emptiness with empty love. It just will not fulfill or sustain you. We try to fill our emptiness with “fun fixes,” “fun fixes” being, parties, recreation, vacations, temporal thrills and the like. Just what is love?

The Greek Language has five words for love. Eros is sensual love between the sexes. Phileo is friendship among friends — kind feelings and natural affection. We think of Phileo love being brotherly love. Storge love is love within a family. Love for your kids, parents, and so on. Agapao love is to be totally given over to someone or something. Agape love is lavished on others without any thought of whether they deserve or are worthy of the love. It is totally unconditional love. It proceeds from the one giving the love and not from the attractiveness of the beloved. It is a commitment, not a feeling.

We say we love our spouses, our boy or girlfriends, our kids, our parents with this Agape love. But do we really? Do we really love God with the same Agape love that He loves us with or do we love with conditional love? Want some examples? Glad you asked! We often love “conditionally” without even knowing it.

One type of conditional love is the, “I love you if” do something love. This turns into a manipulative love. Your boyfriend gets angry because you will not give in to his sexual desires. What he is saying is I love you if you go to bed with me. Husbands and wives do this, while we may not say these exact words we imply them by our actions. “I love you if you get a better job”, “I love you if you get us a bigger house” “I love you if we take better vacations,” “I love you if you stop doing this or that.” We do this to God. As long as my health is good, I am successful and all is well in my life, I love you Lord! But when our boat gets rocked … watch out God! Our “love” changes.

Another conditional love we imply and sometimes say is the “I love you because of something” love. “I love you because you are beautiful, because you are smart, because you are popular, because you are talented, ect.” We imply to our kids, “I love you because you have good grades, you excel in sports, or some other talent.” This leads to fear and insecurity, because the one being loved constantly has to live up to the “because” expectation the one doing the “loving” places on us. I sure am glad God is not like that toward us.

So, where do we find this Agape love? Where do we find as Paul calls it, “A more excellent way.” We must go to the source of this love, the source being Christ. Just to keep you coming back… Next week we will look at the 14 ingredients of love that Paul spells out for us and Christ modeled for us.


Father, help us to love with unconditional love. Help us to realize when we imply conditional love. We praise you and thank you for your Son Jesus who came to die for us and to show us a more excellent way. In His Name, Amen.

Happy Valentines,

David Massey

Word for Wednesday-The Foolishness of God

The Foolishness of God

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (NASB)

1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (NKJV)

I remember the first time I learned in school, what an oxymoron is. I thought, “that’s pretty cool!” You know what they are — two words that seemingly contradict each other, i.e. jumbo shrimp, honest politician, good devotional ; ) etc. When I read this oxymoron, “foolishness of God,” I thought, “now that is the ultimate oxymoron!” God being foolish — that is impossible! But as you look deeper into this and think through the Bible about all the seemingly foolish ways of God, the term takes on new meaning.

Think about it. The foolishness of God occurs throughout the Bible. In Genesis 6-8 we read of Noah, who had a barge parked in his driveway 120 years, to save 8 people. In Judges 15:16 we read about how Samson kills thousands of Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. In Jonah 2 we read of the large fish swallowing the reluctant prophet Jonah. In 1 Samuel 17 we read of the lowly shepherd boy, David, killing the giant Goliath. On and on throughout the Bible, God uses things that are foolish to the world, to shame the wise.1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.

“God’s view” turns “the world’s view” upside down. The world says, “Do something and be somebody!” God says “You are somebody; now do something.” The world says, “take all you can get, and you will get more!” God says, “give all you have, and you will receive.” The world says “hate your enemies, run over people, climb to the top!” God says, “love your enemies, help people, be a servant leader.”

But you know what the ultimate foolishness of God is? Do you know what the ultimate oxymoron is? It is an old wooden cross on a hilltop, two thousand years ago, holding an innocent Savior Who was dying in my place and yours. That is the ultimate foolishness of God. And you know what else? When we lose sight of that foolishness, when we lose the meaning of the cross, when we lose the gratitude in our hearts for what He has done for us, then we are the ultimate fools. Don’t become complacent in your gratitude for what God has done for us. For out of that gratitude for what He has done, all good flows.


Father, thank You for your perfect plan. Thank You for Your perfect wisdom. Thank You for Your Spirit, Who illuminates Your word to us, and helps us to understand Your view and to follow Your plan — instead of our only seeing the world’s view and following its plan. Forgive us for falling short of Your purposes. We pray all this in the name of our perfect Savior Jesus, Amen.

David Massey

Word for Wednesday – Test a Decision

If you want better insight and discernment…learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him. He shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to find the right decision every time.” –Proverbs 2:5,9 (LB)

FIVE WAYS TO TEST A DECISION

1-Is it in Harmony with the Bible?

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

God’s word should be our final authority concerning all decisions. Obviously if your decision goes against God’s word, it is against God’s will.

2-Would I want everyone to know about the decision?

“Whoever lives honestly will live securely, but whoever lives dishonestly will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9 (God’s Word) “Whoever knows what is right but doesn’t do it is sinning.” James 4:17 (God’s Word) “If a person believes that something is wrong, then that thing is wrong for him.” Romans 14:14 (NCV)

Would you feel comfortable letting everyone you know in on your decision?

3-Will it make me a better person?

“We are allowed to do all things, but all things are not good for us to do.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NCV)

For example there are some things I can do according to God’s word. But I must ask myself would this action build me up spiritually? Would it make me more Christlike?

4-Could it become addicting?

“All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (RSV)

“I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (LB)

The key point here is to ask will this decision allow something “to be higher than God on my list of priorities.

5-Will it harm anyone else?

“All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God. So, let’s stop criticizing each other. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make other Christians have doubts or lose their faith.” Romans 14:12-13 (GW)

“Those of us who have a strong faith must be patient with the weaknesses of those whose faith is not so strong. We must not think only of ourselves. We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith.” Romans 15: 1-2 (God’s Word)

So, there you have it. Five practical ways to test a decision. Easier said than done, but a practical and more importantly a Biblical way to test our decisions.

Father help us to turn to you with our decisions. Forgive us when we are “Lone Rangers” and make decisions without You. As the Good Shepherd you want us to make wise choices. Thank you for your Word that guides and directs us in all that we do. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey