Thursday, January 28, 2010

What About Future Sins?

Wow! First of all, thanks to all those who posted comments yesterday. Also, I was glad to see some people commenting on comments. It was sort of like a debate, and it thrills my heart to know so many people feel so strongly about Salvation. I think I have studied more and prayed harder for today's devotion than for any other one I have ever written. I think we are all in agreement that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, that He rose on the third day, and now offers Eternal Life to anyone who will believe in Him. I think we all agree that the moment we accept Christ, every single one of our past sins are washed away and remembered no more by God. The question or debate today is whether that washing of sins also includes future ones that we are yet to commit. If we sin in the future, and the Bible says we will, I think we all agree that God will forgive us every single time we ask Him. But is the confessing of all those future sins required to keep us in Eternal life? My personal conviction is no, we are not required to ask for forgiveness every time we sin in the future.

In order to have forgiveness for sins, blood must be shed. In the Old Testament, that blood was shed by innocent animals. This animal-sacrifice ceremony was repeated year after year, apparently because over the next 365 days, the people's sin started piling back up again. So those "new" sins had to be washed away during the next year's ceremony. But Christ changed all that. His blood was shed once, for all times. The fact that He didn't die year after year leads me to conclude that His one act of mercy was sufficient. Consider a few verses: If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, He has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by His own death as a sacrifice [ Hebrews 9:26-27]. For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time [ Hebrews 10:10]. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy [ Hebrews 10:14].

It is my belief that if I was required to confess every single sin every single time, I would not make it to heaven, and most likely nobody else would either. The Bible says we all sin. If my confession each time is required, then it would be like playing Russian roulette in that if I happened to die suddenly before I asked for forgiveness, or if I forgot about a sin that I previously committed, or that I sinned and didn't even realize it, then I am going to hell. If that is the case, then it is not God who is in control, it is me. That can't be right because the Bible teaches us that there is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves. On the Cross, Jesus proclaimed, "It is finished". The power of sin no longer has its grips on those whom have accepted Christ. Consider: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love [Romans 8: 38-39].

So, I totally believe that all my sins are erased by the Power of Christ's blood, past, present, and future. But if I sin in the future and do not ask for forgiveness, then my relationship with God is strained, and He may choose to with-hold some blessings I might otherwise have received. But I honestly believe that if God completely saves a person, then the Holy Spirit will not allow us to continue to sin again and again without filling our heart's with so much guilt that we finally fall down at the Cross and beg His forgiveness. My child Bailey can do as many bad things as she chooses to do. Our relationship may be strained, and as a good father, I will have to punish her. Even if she never "apologizes", she is still my daughter and I am still her father, and my love for her does not change a single ounce. Likewise, once we become a child of the Most High God, No sin will ever change that. This is my honest opinion. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Feel Free To Disagree

Today's devotion was sparked by a comment that one of my students said yesterday in class, and I eluded to it in yesterday's devotion. I am not a Bible scholar, and I admit that I may be wrong about how I feel. But this is exactly how I feel about this subject. I look forward to your comments on this devotion. If you agree or disagree, please give me your two-cents worth. The subject is perhaps the most important subject in all of Christianity. It is the subject of Salvation. I am told that the Bible does not contradict itself, and I believe that is true. But some verses do seem to contradict others. Maybe the perceived contradictions have to do with the translations from the original Hebrew and Greek languages to English. If any part of the Bible contradicts any other part, then we could be all believing in a false god. I mean, if some things are true in the bible while other things are not, which ones do we believe? No, there has to be a way to resolve the perceived contradictions and to blend the subject verses together in perfect harmony.

One of my students told another student that God was going to send him to hell for cussing. That got me to thinking deeply about what she said. It is my belief, my conviction, that God will never send us to hell for any sin we commit. The ONLY way we will go to hell is if we NEVER accept His Son Jesus Christ. In more than one verse, the Bible backs up this claim. I know it is dangerous to consider only a single verse or two and to take those verses out of context. But I have found no less than 40 verses that say the exact same thing. Once we accept Christ, He cleanses us from all sins...those we already committed and those that we will commit. Sound too good to be true? Yes, I have to admit that it does. But if there are any "loop-holes" to this idea, then we are in trouble. In tomorrow's devotion, I will dig into those "loop-holes" that some people believe. Now I am not saying I am right and anybody who believes differently is wrong. But it is my true, genuine conviction that the ONLY way to hell is by refusing Jesus forever. I would like to incorporate some of your comments on this subject in tomorrow's devotion. So if you get a chance, please tell me how you feel about Salvation.

Father, please help us as we struggle with some of the deep issues of Salvation. I ask You to guide my devotion tomorrow so that I can write the exact truth about Salvation as You intend it to be. Please convict those reading this devotion today, and please encourage them to make a comment about their belief. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He gave Me A "D"

It is always funny when students get their report cards and start comparing their grades to others in the class. I always hear things like, "I can't believe Mr. Skipper gave you a B and me a D. I guess he likes you more than he likes me." Some students just don't get it. Some never make the connection between their study ethic and their grades. I truly never give them their grades; They earn those grades, either good or bad. All I can do as a teacher is help them as much as possible, encourage them to study diligently at home, and pray they do the right thing. I can't think of much that would be worse than arbitrarily assigning a student a grade that they didn't earn. I would not be able to look myself in the mirror.

Thank God He does not give us what we deserve! If He did, heaven would be about as empty as my bank account on the last day of the month. In a sense, we adults are like those students of mine. We don't always do our best either. We fail, and sometimes miserably. But luckily, instead of God giving us a "bad grade", He gives us an A every time we ask Him to forgive us. He gives us an unlimited amount of "retakes and "do-overs"" on our "tests". What patience! The only way my students can pass my class is by their hard work. In contrast, the only way I can get to heaven is by God's sweet Grace. How do we initiate God's Grace? We Ask Him! It is just that simple!

John 6:47 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life."

Father, thank you for saving us. Remind us that we do works for You not TO be saved, but BECAUSE we are saved. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peer Pressure

As a high school teacher, I see first-hand how peer pressure can persuade a student to do things that he or she normally would never even think about. But peer pressure doesn't just affect teens; It affects adults too. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was sent to Pilate, the Roman Emperor of the time. The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus, so they managed to convince much of the people that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy. Most of the peoples' opinions were steered by the false accusations of a few of these religious "leaders". But once Pilate interrogated Jesus, he couldn't find that any crime had been committed. But the people demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate, the mighty emperor, caved-in to peer pressure. Pilate wanted to avoid a riot, and although he believed Jesus was innocent, he ordered His Crucifixion anyway.

Whether we know it or not, we, too are affected by peer pressure. As you are walking today with the Lord, pray that Jesus will help you to make all the right decisions, not just because everybody else is making those decisions, but because those decisions are the right ones. And also say a special prayer for our young people today, that they will stay grounded in the teachings of the Bible and that they will also make the right decisions without the influence of their peers. Making decisions can be the hardest thing we do all day. But as long as God is directing our lives, we will certainly make many more good ones than bad ones. Instead of all the bad influences affecting others, maybe we can become the positive influence in their lives Maybe we can be their peer pressure.

Proverbs 18:10 says, "The Lord is a strong tower: The righteous runneth into it and is safe."

Father, I ask you to help me to make the right decisions today. I put 100% trust in You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whistle While You Work

Back a couple summers ago, I was having lunch at a local restaurant when a funny thing happened. This place was slammed with several hungry customers. In fact, every table was taken, and there were a few customers on a waiting list. It was about 100 degrees in the place because the air-conditioning was not working properly. To top it all off, a couple servers had called in sick leaving on three to tend to this impatient mob. And one of those servers was not, um, how can I say this, the "sharpest knife in the drawer". I know I shouldn't talk about her like that, but she honestly was pretty slow to catching-on to things, and I just don't think she was "all there" if you know what I mean. The customers were really steamed over the slow service, and some had simply walked out. I heard and saw more rudeness that day than I had ever seen before. It was a Mad House! About that time, I noticed Ms. Einstein waitress was just walking around smiling and whistling Dixie, completely oblivious to the chaos surrounding her. I just had to laugh at her. But then I realized something: Perhaps she was the smartest one in the whole bunch that day.

When we put Jesus in the center of our lives, it does not matter what storms rage about us. Through Him, we are at total peace. Like the calm eye of a devastating hurricane, Jesus can put a smile on our face and a song in our heart while everyone else around us is losing it. He is the ultimate Prince of Peace! Have you called on Him to lead your life? If so, are you taking advantage of the incredible peace He is offering? We can't stop the trials that face us everyday, but we don't have to cave-in to them either. God can calm all the storms around us. And I'm not just whistling Dixie!

2 Thessalonians 3:16 says, "May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way."

Father, thank-you for offering us a port in the storm. Help us to demonstrate to others that you are the center of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, January 15, 2010

God Is Too Mad At Me

I had a nice conversation with one of my students yesterday. She had some Bible questions that had been weighing heavily on her mind. It makes me feel so great that my students trust me enough to help them with their Christian concerns. I am more than happy to do it, because in the long run, it really helps me too. This student was so worried that she had all but given up praying. She said she was embarrassed to keep asking God for forgiveness, and then once she was cleaned by Him, she would end up repeating her sin or commit a totally different one. She is worried that God is so angry with her, that He may decide not to forgive her this time. She may only be a young teenager, but she has an adult-sized delima on her brain. How many of us have ever worried about this same thing?

First of all, the Bible clearly tells us that we ALL sin. No matter how hard we try not to, we will mess up every single day. Many times we have a tendency to commit the same sins over and over again. Yes, it can be very frustrating. But the Bible is also Crystal clear that God will forgive us every single time! Look at this logically: If God didn't forgive us every single time, and since the Bible says we all sin everyday, then nobody would ever get to heaven. It is true that we can't enter into heaven with any sins on our "records". That's where Christ comes in. God loved us so much and realized we could not exist without sin. So He sent His Son Jesus to take our sins upon Himself. Once we have accepted what Christ did on the Cross, we have a true friend in Jesus who will go to the Father on our behalf. You see, once we accept Christ, we are forgiven for every sin we ever, or will ever, commit. The Bible is full of verses that back up this claim. I told my student that the guilt that she was feeling when praying was proof she loved Jesus and had accepted Him. I reminded her that she should use that guilt to motivate her, but don't let it cripple her to the point of thinking God is too mad to forgive. God absolutely loves every one of us, and I guess we will never truly understand the scope and enormity of His love for us.

Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Father, thank you for saving our souls through Jesus. Help us to remember that, although we need to strive to be our best, we will fail often. But as long as we depend on You for forgiveness, we will be cleansed every single time. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Can Jesus?

Can Jesus mend your broken heart? Can Jesus turn your financial situation around? Can Jesus take away your aches and pains? Can Jesus change your negative attitude? Can Jesus help you or your children in school? Can Jesus give you wisdom? Can Jesus help you find a better job? Can Jesus take away your addictions? Can Jesus transform you into a better person? Can Jesus _______________________________ ( you fill-in the blank)

In the 9th chapter of Mark, a man brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing. The demon spirit in the boy forced him to writhe uncontrollably on the ground. The father explained that sometimes the spirit would throw the boy into the water in an attempt to drown him. The father cried out to Jesus, "Have mercy on us, and help us if you can." Jesus replied with one of the most-quoted verses in all of Scripture. Jesus said, "What do you mean if I can? Anything is possible if a person believes." Jesus has healed the blind, the sick, the lame, the possessed, and has even resurrected the dead. There is absolutely nothing facing you or me today that Jesus can't swing in our favor. The key is that we must believe. Do you believe this?

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

Father, I believe in You. I know there is nothing that You are unable to accomplish. Help me to be the best that I can be. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rock n Roll Devotions

As you know, I have been busy writing my Rock n Roll Devotions booklet. The booklet will contain 30 Christian devotions based on Pop, Rock, and Country songs from the 50's thru the 80's. As a DJ for the past 22 years, music has been a big part of my life. I am excited about combining the music I love with the lessons I have learned from Christ. I have been offering the booklet free for anybody who desires a copy. If you want the booklet mailed to you, I have asked that you send a dollar to cover the shipping cost. Well, a very sweet lady just sent me a nice donation. And with it, I am able to order more copies of the booklet! So I am now ordering 100 copies and will mail you one if you want it. Just Email me the address where you want it sent, or if you will be picking it up in person and have not informed me, please let me know so I can get an accurate count. But please hurry, as I have already been asked to send out 64 copies. I have worked very hard on this booklet and am proud to share with you what God has shared with me. I will mail the booklets out next Tuesday. My Email address is and my address is 2612 Creekwood Dr. Dothan, AL 36301. Because of the huge response, I am already making plans for Rock n Roll Devotions part 2! Isn't our Lord and Savior awesome?

Philippians 4:19 says, "My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Father, thank you for allowing me to write this devotion booklet. I ask You to help me send one to everybody You wish. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Walking In Rhythm

With it being a fresh, new year, many of us have made resolutions to get healthier. Eating better and getting more exercise were two of mine this year. Doctors remind us that we don't need to spend hours at the gym in order to achieve our goals, however. A nice power walk a few times a week can help us maintain or even lose some weight. But walking doesn't just help us in that way. There are many additional benefits to walking. Walking also helps us in the following ways:

  • More energy to enjoy life.

  • Toned muscles

  • Stress reduction

  • Deeper, more restful sleep

  • Stronger bones and joints

  • Reduced risks for heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and osteoporosis

All it takes is a moderate walk for 30 to 45 minutes per day, 4 or 5 times per week to begin feeling these benefits.

Where as a nice power walk outside breathing in fresh air will help us both physically and mentally, a Power Walk with Christ will do even more wonders for us spiritually. Walking with Christ is a perfect way for us to exercise. Praying, studying His Word, reading daily devotionals, listening to Christian radio, and sharing Jesus with others has "toned" me up spiritually. Like a runner's "high", the closer I walk with Him the more intense the pleasures I feel in my heart and soul. And I believe that my Power Walks with Christ are also giving me some of those same physical and mental benefits I receive from outside walking. Doctors agree that a healthy mind and spirit do wonders for us physically. Are you experiencing these healthy benefits today? Are you taking Power Walks with Christ?

Psalm 103:5 says, "He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Father, thank you for allowing me to walk with You. Always remind me that walking with You is the healthiest thing I can do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The King Is Born

On this day, January 8th in 1935, Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi to Vernon and Gladys Presley. At a young age, he began singing in church and at county fairs. Over the years, he catapulted himself from small-town singer to national and world-wide super star. Elvis Presley became the King of Rock n Roll.

About 20 centuries earlier, God sent His only Son Jesus to a small Middle-Eastern town called Bethlehem. He was miraculously born to a virgin named Mary and her husband Joseph. When Jesus turned about 30, he began His ministry, performing miracles, healing the sick, and trying to convince the world that He was the long-awaited Messiah. Some believed Him instantly, but others called Him The Devil In Disguise. A particular group that hated Jesus brought up false charges against Him. He was savagely beaten, thorn-crowned, and crucified on a wooden Cross. He soon died and was placed in a tomb, the entrance blocked by a large, heavy boulder. But just three short days later, however, one of the greatest miracles of all time occurred: He was raised from the dead and Resurrected to the Father! It was a true case of Return To Sender. Since that time, man has never been quite the same. Not too long after His Resurrection, His disciples began their God-appointed task of spreading the Good News to all the world. Some people accepted the message and felt the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. Their lives were incredibly transformed, literally becoming All Shook Up. But some questioned the Message with Suspicious Minds. Consequently, those people severely persecuted Jesus' disciples. A couple of His followers, Paul and Silas, were sent to prison. One day while in prison, some time around midnight, Paul began to pray and Silas started to sing out loud. All of a sudden, the earth shook about, and the doors burst-opened wide! God called them out! Talk about your Jailhouse Rock!

So here we are in the year 2010. The Message of Christ is still the same. Whether you were born in a palace or In The Ghetto, God asks you to do just two things: Love Me Tender and Don't Be Cruel to our fellow man. God wants to lead our steps and increase our joy and happiness. Are You Lonesome Tonight or have you recently been to Heartbreak Hotel? Well don't fret. Take your troubles to the real King. Take your troubles to King Jesus. Our King will "never leave the building."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hey Mack, Wana Buy A Watch?

If you have never visited a big city such as New York City, Boston, or Philadelphia, let me give you a little piece of advice just in case you do: Beware of people who stop you on the street and ask you questions. Granted, there are a lot of nice people in big cities who may have legitimate questions, but unfortunately there are also many peddlers and thieves on the street. They are professional con artists, and once they stop and get your attention, you are hooked into their scam. It is like phishing on the computer. Hackers are constantly sending us SPAM through email. They have gotten very good at their craft. They can make your Email message look very official and legit. But there could be a very damaging virus on the other end waiting to attack your computer or steal your personal info. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply delete it, ignore it, and move on.

Satan is like a hacker or peddler. He is constantly sending us "SPAM", trying to entice us to click on it. We should also simply ignore Him, for He is very good at his craft as he has had thousands of years to perfect it. Like the ultimate hacker, he can manage to stay one step ahead of us or any virus protection we can install on our own. But there is one virus scanner he can't elude: Jesus Christ. No matter how cunning or what new tricks Satan may learn, Jesus is just simply better and able to keep him in check. Have you "installed" Jesus in your life? It is not enough to just do it once. Like real virus protection for our computer, we must constantly update it. The same is true with Jesus. The way we "update" Jesus is by constantly staying in touch with Him through prayer and studying His Word. I am so thankful that Jesus is running in my background and protecting me from Satan! Are you protected?

James 4:7 says, "Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Father, thank you for your protection against Satan. Help us to always keep our focus on You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Help Us To Remember

I recently received this in an Email. It really spoke to me so I wanted to share it with you.

Heavenly Father, help us to remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mom who worked 9 hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make correct change is a worried 19-year old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans next semester.

Remind us Lord that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot everyday is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store isles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she just got back last week, this will be the last year they will go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts You give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear.

Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to everyone. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy, and love. (Matthew 5:44)

Monday, January 4, 2010

More Than Enough

Have you ever fooled around with EBay? I used to have an EBay store and actually managed to become a Power Seller, which meant that I averaged selling a minimum of $1500 per month. Not only was it a nice way for me to earn a little extra cash, but it was also very fun. It was a thrill to pick up an item at a garage sale for a couple dollars and then turn around and watch it auction off at 10 times as much! On more than one occasion, I would buy an item at a garage sale for $5 and it would re-sale on EBay for $50 or more! Wow! That was so exciting! Of course, not all items sold that well. You win some, you lose some. Luckily, I won more than I lost.

We all know that God is an excellent provider for His children. He is so very good at supplying our needs, and some of our wants too. Have you ever asked God for more than your needs? The Bible is full of examples of God giving His people more than what they needed. Think about how much was left over when He fed to 4000 and the 5000. God loves to bless us with abundance. He wants us to depend on Him for everything. The next time you pray, why not ask God to bless you with a little more? Instead of handing God a "check" for a set-amount and asking Him to "cash" it, why not hand Him a "blank check", and let Him fill in the amount? We know He will provide our needs. But maybe He will also give us more. Then we can honor Him by giving the excess to somebody else in need. With God's help, maybe we can all become Power Givers.

Matthew 7:11 says, " much more will Your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him."

Father, thank you for providing our needs. If it be Your will, Lord I ask You to bless me with an abundance so I can share with others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Just A Reminder

The Good Lord has been helping me complete my Rock n Roll Devotions booklet. It will be ready to send out on January 15. I am getting 50 copies printed. Many have already been claimed but I do still have several remaining. As usual, I am giving them away at no charge. All I ask is that if you want me to mail you a copy, please cover the shipping and the cost of the big envelope. I think one dollar will cover it. I think if you place the dollar in a regular envelope and wrap a sheet of colored paper around it, it will be safe. If you are here locally and want to just get one from me in person, then you won't need a dollar. My address is 2612 Creekwood Dr. Dothan, AL 36301

The black and white booklet will contain 30 Christian devotions based on Pop songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's. I am excited about this opportunity that God is giving me to spread The Good News about Jesus. I am asking for your help. If you have any questions, feel free to Email me You may order as many copies as you like.

Thank you, and Happy New Year