“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

— Jesus (John 8:31-32)

Welcome to Truth Conquers All, a new ministry endeavor where the Word is made real. Practical questions will be asked in order to help us all either establish or develop a deeper relationship with God.

Read, contemplate, muse and it is my hope that in so doing you will come to more understand that the Truth that will set you free.

God bless you always!

Nothing Better than a Cup of Cool Water!

Mark 9:41 (NLT)

If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.

You know I don’t think there is anything better than something cold on a hot summer’s day. Maybe for some, it’s a cone of ice cream or for others a dip in a cold artesian-fed spring. As for me, a simple cup of cool water has always been the cat’s meow.

Growing up in the city as a young person, I found myself each year during the long hot summer, spending some of the “dry spell” days and nights in the middle of bean and cotton fields near Kossuth, Mississippi. Days and nights that were so hot I vividly recall how I oftentimes longed for just an ole tin cup of cool water.

Our scripture today calls for us all to offer to Christians, when they reach out in the hottest and most parched moments of their lives, a cool cup of physical and spiritual water to quench their thirst, regardless of when that time is – in the middle of a divorce or an addiction, with the loss of a job or a loved one, even in the middle of a health crisis or as aging has slowed them down.

And it promises us of a reward when we do so.

My cup of cool water as a Child of God oftentimes came on Sundays when we went to church and sat in a Sunday school room listening to the Word. And it came from my family as we prayed in the evenings and had a cold bottle of Sprite together. You know, those were great times and I believe that all who were present and taught and loved, and refreshed, will or have already received their reward. But what about you?

When, as a Christian, did someone do for you?

And are you also providing for the needs of Christians around you? Are you acting as the hands and arms of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to quench the thirst of another?

If you are, then outstanding! Your reward will come! But if not, then love another, give, and remember, as you step out into the world,  there’s nothing more refreshing than a cup of cool water.

From Cradle to Cross: A Lesson on Humility

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Growing up, each summer my parents would send me and my siblings just down the street to attend Vacation Bible School at a local church for one week! I loved the sing-a-long songs, sweet snacks and sticky crafts that we cherished for years; but most of all, I enjoyed sitting through the Bible lessons. Looking back now, I realize that I didn’t always have the best heart posture during those classes though. I knew all the answers (or at least thought I did!) which set me apart from the other kids. My parents had always stressed the importance of reading and understanding God’s word, so as a young child I took that and ran with it. Granted, there is nothing wrong with having a strong Biblical foundation. We are actually commanded to hide God’s Word in our heart! In turn, it will resurface in our minds when we need a guide and prompts away from sin and towards the Light. However, I can see in this day and age that knowledge often prompts feelings of power. This had me tiptoeing on the line between confidence and pridefulness.

Such arrogance is not a foreign concept to most. Rather, it’s a global toxin that rears its ugly head in our homes, the workplace, the golf course, Hollywood media and even relationships. This could look like the times when we aren’t willing to learn from others or heed wise advise; when we don’t leave room in the conversation for a topic other than ourselves; and even in our ability to ask for help when we need it.

As Christians, we ought to care about God’s view on the matter. Turning to His Word, in James 4:10 and Luke 14:11 it is clearly stated that He will honor, or literally lift up, those who are humble. We also read in 1 Peter 5:6-7 (GNT), “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that He will lift you up in His own good time. Leave all your worries with Him, because He cares for you.”

This is good news my friend! There’s no need to stress about pushing our own agendas, building a fortune and making a name for ourselves. God has our best interest in mind and a better route for us than we could ever plan on our own. He cares so much for us that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be born on the very earth that we walk on. This is why we celebrate Christmas! Jesus was a traveling preacher, performed miraculous healings and in all of it, lived a sinless life of obedience to God’s will. He died a brutal death on a tree in our place, but that’s not the end! He came back to life three days later and is again enthroned alongside His Father in Heaven. In doing so, our evil thoughts and wrongdoings can all be wiped away! We can spend eternity in Heaven, a paradise of perfect peace with our Father. We need only to see our need for saving, to turn away from the lifestyle of this world that we once took part in, and to accept this gift of undeserved grace. Jesus is ready to be the Lord of our lives. Are we humble enough to hand over the reigns?

This devotional is written by Guest Writer, Hannah Davis.

From Where Does Our Help Come?

Psalm 124:1-8 (NIV)

If the Lord had not been on our side—
    let Israel say—
if the Lord had not been on our side
    when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
    when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
    the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
    would have swept us away.

Praise be to the Lord,
    who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
    and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

No one said it was going to be easy. In fact, being God’s people is sometimes pretty tough. As Christians, we are to be a different lot—but not for show or to grab attention or to control others. No, we are to be different because our focus is on goals not aligned with those in the world around us. We are to be different because we measure success not by how famous or how powerful or how rich we are, but rather by how well we answer the call of God to spread the Good News and to love our neighbor.

Jesus said to us, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

If we are living as we should today, we will be out of step with the culture of our world and it will, with anger, fight against us. When this occurs, we must praise the Lord who has saved us and removed us from the snares in which we have been caught.

From where does our help come? Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Now, go and praise Him and stand together with God!

Be Salt and Be Light

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)                                                                                         

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The amazing thing about salt and light is it’s not so much what they do but instead it’s what they are. Salt the flavor, the preservative, doesn’t go out and seek bland food to revive. It is always there and ready to be used, changing the flavor of whatever it comes into contact. In a similar fashion, light, the illuminator, the revealer, doesn’t run around looking for dark places to light up either; it just shines wherever it is and helps all who are in close proximity to see and understand what is around them. Salt and light make a difference in the world merely by being what they were created to be.

It’s funny isn’t it? Being salt and light in the complex world we live in today doesn’t require us to quit a job or move to a different place. No, being salt and light simply requires us to be a witness for God where we are right now. Jesus calls us just to be ourselves and to show the world who God created us to be. When we are salt to the world, we display to other people the joy, love, and excitement that comes from knowing God and we show ourselves to be the necessary ingredient to prevent spoilage in the world around us. When we are light, we bring hope, clarity, and vision to a world that often seems dark and scary, helping others to see and understand what truly is going on.

This week, I challenge you to live your life for Christ and be not afraid to stand up for what matters, to stand up for what is right. Be salt and light and be the example you were created to be to individuals you meet on your journey and to the community in which you grow. Be a positive presence in the lives of all of those around you.

Be salt and light! In so doing, you will be like Jesus and offer the world a better way!

Just Ask!

James 1:5-8 (NIV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Have you ever been on a journey and found that you were hopelessly lost? I know that I have and I hear that I am not the only person who has ever found himself in that position. It seems that many of us get lost at some time or another in our life but most of us don’t really like to admit it. 

Men it seems especially don’t want to ask for directions or guidance! It’s just not our preference to own up to being confused, or out of control, and to have to ask someone else for help.

But when we’re lost as to the will of God, that should be a different matter entirely. Psalm 25:9 teaches us that God guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. And our scripture today says that if we are lacking any wisdom at all, we should go to God and ask Him to find the answers to all that we are confused about. 

If we ask God and believe that He will answer us, then He will give us more wisdom and understanding than we will ever need.

How do we get the answers to the questions in life that confuse us? How do we find our way when we are lost?

Well, the answer is simple, if we ask the right person – God – with the right spirit – humble submissiveness – we will be shown the way to which we should go. 

It’s funny, isn’t it? All we have to do is “Just Ask!”

Love God! Love Others!

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

That’s it in a nutshell, “Love God and Love Others!” With all that the world tells us to do and the smorgasbord of commands and directives we try to live by, it’s ironic that God’s most essential desires for our behavior can be summed up in 5 simple words.  “Love God and Love Others!” Isn’t that what’s most important in life: prioritizing God first and others second and maybe ourselves third?

Nowhere is there a mention by Jesus of money or power or control as to being vital to life, just ‘Love and God and Others.’ And Jesus, in succinctly answering one little question, helped all of us today who do not have the mind of God to understand that which is most important to God – love.

Ours is a world today in which we bicker and fight over so many temporary objects and issues, yet God has shown us the better way in scripture. He has told us to not worry so much about the exactness of the commands but to focus instead on the essence of what the commander is getting at – love.

A love which Jesus through his words and actions has given us as the greatest commandments in the law, the essential foundation upon which all the law and Bible are hinged on: The Love of and for God and The Love of Others!

Surrounded by the chaos and division that is running amok in our culture at present and the fear and the confusion as to which is the right path to take as an individual, I have to ask if you believe your priorities are in order – Jesus, Others, and You? Are you loving God first and then others, and maybe only then yourself? If you are then you know it is the key to our faith and to true Life.

I urge you now to go today and follow the words and examples of Christ – Love God! Love Others!

Go and Follow Him!

Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

And Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Jesus, in speaking to one who wanted all that life and God could give him, provides us with great insight into how we should align our life’s priority system. He tells us to put God first and then to obediently follow His laws and ways. You know – love others, serve and care for them, and sacrifice of yourself so that others may gain and grow.

It is through our submission to and focus on God that we are able to attain all that He has for us. No pleasure or pride, no power or peace will give us what we really want. No control, no drug, nor any amount of possessions will soothe us either – only God!

Is God the first priority in your life or is it something or someone else? Are you doing and giving all you can for the poor in possessions, and poor in spirit? Are you loving others you don’t know more than you love yourself?

God, through Jesus, has shown us the way and, if we listen, all of eternity can be ours.

The directives are clear, simply make God first and then go and follow Him!

Choose God!

Psalm 63:1-11 (KJV)

O God, thou art my God; earnestly will I seek thee:
My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee,
In a dry and weary land, where no water is.

Whether a shepherd boy or a king, David always poured out his heart to God.

Psalm 63 is a great example of this speaking from the heart. It is an earnest search in which David called out to God while in a desert, submitting himself once again to his Lord and to His will. Isn’t it wonderful to see one seek God and look to Him for solutions to his or her problems? We can do the same today and we have been told scripturally to do so, but for all to be righted for us in our dry and weary land, we have to claim God and obediently follow Him. We have to choose Him instead of the world and its ways.

Whose rules do you abide by today? Who do you look to, to quench your thirst and to feed your flesh? Who have you chosen to follow, the world or God? You know that you can’t chose both. It is either the one or the other and the decision is yours.

This being said, with great love I ask you to pour your heart out to God and let Him control your life. God was there for David even during the driest parts of his journey and God will be there for you if you let Him. All you have to do is trust in Him.

Who Will Roll Away the Stone?

Mark 16:1-4 (NASB)

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.  Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”  Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

Easter is upon us, the season when we take time to look and explore our own salvation in relation to the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our scripture today is based on a part of that story.

In the book of Mark chapter 16, we enter the text with followers of Jesus coming to the tomb where He lay, to correct the abuse to Jesus’ physical body. With the rising of the sun and the beginning of a new day, we find they have arrived at the dark cave to clean up what is left, to love and to care and to try and make a sad situation in some way a little better. It is in this setting they ask each other a very telling question, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

How many times in our lives have we all, when faced with a difficult situation, desired to clean everything up and searched for God while in the darkest of places? How many times have we asked the same question, “How do we get to Him”?

And how many times in our lives have we all found our way there, worried and anxious, looking for God, and discovered His messenger pointing us right to Him, right to where we needed to go?

This Resurrection Sunday, as we live in a world that has too many dark places, and at this start of a new day, I challenge you to go to those places within yourself, and look for God in them.

Our king, through His death and resurrection, has brought about for us the possibility of something different. He has rolled away the stone and left the Holy Spirit to point us in a new direction. And all we have to do is to go on that journey and ask.

Are you looking for God today? He is still with us. Search for Him more. He is not dead.

He is Risen Indeed!

Look Ever Toward the Lord!

Psalm 25:15 (NIV)

My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Have you ever tried to walk in a perfectly straight line for any distance at all? It’s really not the easiest thing to do. The reality is, most of us pull to one side or to the other depending upon which foot is dominant. And so what happens, if we are not attentive as to how we are walking, is we simply end up going nowhere but in a complete circle. We in the end come back to where we once began.

Now when we try to accomplish this same task looking down at our own feet it is even more difficult. When we put our eyes, not up and to what is in front of us, but only down upon ourselves and where we have been, we guarantee failure: we lose perspective as to what is behind us, to what is around us and to where we are going; and we tend to base each step of the journey off of the point of our previous step. The only successful method to find our way on the physical journey is to look up and to see what is to come. We must take our eyes off of ourselves and instead see what is in our path.

The same is true of all of us as well, while on our own individual spiritual journeys. If we focus on ourselves and only where we have been or where we are at present, we will ultimately fail and never reach God’s goal for our lives. However, if we keep our eyes up and look always ahead to God and what is to come, we shall attain what it is for which we are really looking.

I challenge you today to keep your feet out of the snares of life, off of yourself and your past, and instead to keep your eyes ever upon the Lord. It is He that will give you all that you need and take you all the way down His path – to where you belong for eternity.

Keep your eyes ever toward the Lord!