Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 4/260: Enoch

Read Jude 14-15

Contending for the Faith

Enoch is identified by the inspired Jude as “the seventh from Adam” (Jude 14). The line is Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, and Enoch.

Moses does not identify Enoch as a prophet, nor are any of Enoch’s words recorded for us in the first book of the Bible. Jude, however, shows that there were men before the flood who were teaching the truth and trying to convince others to follow God.

Enoch warned “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 14-15).

Keep in mind the purpose of Jude’s epistle, as revealed in verse 3: “I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” There were ungodly men in Enoch’s day, and Enoch preached against ungodliness. There were ungodly men in Jude’s day, and Jude pleaded with the brethren to preach against that ungodliness. There is still ungodliness in the world today, and we must continue to preach against that ungodliness.

Consider what Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. From such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We must take a stand for what is right and against what is wrong. We must “contend earnestly for the faith.” We must, like Enoch, warn of the judgment against ungodly deeds and ungodly ways.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 3/260: Enoch

Read Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5

Walking with God

There is very little written about Enoch in the inspired record, but that which is said speaks volumes of the man’s character. He was the father of the oldest man on record (Methuselah, 969 years old), who was born when Enoch was 65. Moses says, “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:22). Nothing is said of his relationship with God prior to Methuselah’s birth.

Perhaps fatherhood caused Enoch to take stock of his life. Perhaps he had been heading down the wrong path, and he suddenly realized the importance his influence might have on his children. Perhaps he finally matured, finally grew up, finally became a man.

Fathers have a great obligation when it comes to their children. The apostle Paul exhorted the dads in Ephesus, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). The father, as the spiritual head of the household, should set rules and boundaries that protect and encourage his children to be faithful to God. Show respect to the revealed Word, not only with your words, but with your behavior. When one says one thing and does the opposite, trust can be destroyed. Hypocrisy will do to children exactly what Paul warns against: it will “provoke your children to wrath.”

Whatever his life was before he became Methuselah’s dad, Enoch spent his final three hundred years on this earth as a man of faith. Moses says that “Enoch walked with God three hundred years” and, as a result, “God took him” (Genesis 5:22,24). The Hebrews writer says it more explicitly: “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).

Are you walking with God? Are you pleasing Him?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 2/260: Abel

Read Genesis 4:6-10; 1 John 3:10-12

Persecution of the Righteous

How do others react when you set your sights on doing what the Lord commands without addition, subtraction, or substitution? There will be those who support you in your efforts to live righteously, and thank God for good friends such as those! Sadly, there will be others who try to derail you and lead you away from the old paths revealed in the Scriptures.

Still others will stand against you, reject you, and persecute you. Is this not what happened to Abel? There is no record of any strife between Cain and Abel before their offering to the Lord. Cain became angry because Abel listened to God, and Cain murdered his brother simply because Abel was trying to do what was right in God’s sight.

The apostle John compared Cain to one who “does not practice righteousness,” therefore “is not of God.” He plainly wrote by inspiration that Cain “was of the wicked one and murdered his brother…(b)ecause his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” Yes, there will be people who want to do you harm simply because you want the best for them!

The Messiah Himself declared, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).

How do we react when we are thus persecuted? Look to the example of the apostles in Acts 5:41: “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Our reaction to negative situations will speak volumes of our faith. We must withstand the hatred, embrace the mockery, and in our continued righteous living, glorify the Lord of love.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 1/260: Abel

Read Genesis 4:1-5; Hebrews 11:4

Living By Faith

Moses records for us the account of Cain and Abel’s offerings to the Lord in the fourth chapter of Genesis. Cain is identified in the Scriptures as “a tiller of the ground,” while his younger brother Abel “was a keeper of sheep.” When the time came for an offering, they each brought a portion of their labors; Cain brought crops, while Abel brought livestock. Cain’s offering was rejected but Abel’s was accepted.

The Hebrews writer sheds some light on the reason Abel’s offering was accepted by God. “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4).

Abel’s offering was made “by faith.” What does that mean? Where does one get faith? Some will tell you that faith itself is a gift from God based on a misunderstanding of Ephesians 2:8-9. That passage does not teach that faith is a gift; rather, the gift is the salvation we receive “by grace” and “through faith.” The question remains, then, where does one get faith?

In Romans 10:17, the apostle Paul wrote, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Abel heard what God wanted, and he faithfully submitted to God’s will. God is explicit with His expectations in His Word, and only those who obey His Word are living by faith.

By contrast, Cain’s offering was rejected because it was not offered by faith. He received the same information his brother received, but decided to go his own way. As a result, God “did not respect Cain and his offering.” When we defy God’s explicit commands, we displease Him.

Are you living by faith? Or have you ignored God’s will?


This is the first in a planned series of 260 devotional articles to be published each Monday through Friday, concluding on December 31, 2021. These articles will be collected into paperback and Kindle form by the end of the year so you can purchase and share with your friends. Last year’s daily devotional series, Monday through Friday in the New Testament is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Christ’s Kingdom: Now Established or Yet To Come?

Christ's Kingdom Now Established or Yet To Come

Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-21

I. Prophecies concerning the kingdom

    A. Daniel 2:31-44
    B. Isaiah 2:2-3 (cf. Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:15)
    C. Joel 2:28-32

II. The establishment of the kingdom

    A. Acts 2:1-21 (cf. Acts 11:15)
    B. The nature of the kingdom (Acts 1:6; John 16:12-13; 18:36; 1 Samuel 8:1-7)

III. Modern misunderstanding of the nature of the kingdom: premillennialism and its consequences

    A. Makes God false to His promises (Mark 1:14-15; Deuteronomy 18:18, 22)
    B. Alternates Judaism and Christianity (Hebrews 8:13)
    C. Demotes Christ from His place at the right hand of God in heaven to the earth (Hebrews 1:3; 8:1)

God Exists

God Exists

Hebrews 11:6

I. The Law of Cause and Effect

    A. “Every material effect must have an adequate cause that existed before the effect”
    B. God is the cause of the universe (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Acts 17:24-25; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 3:4)
    C. But then, what caused God? (God is not material; He is Spirit – John 4:24)

II. Which God?

    A. Moses anticipated this question (Exodus 3:13-14)
    B. God’s general revelation (Romans 1:20; Psalm 14:1; 19:1-4; 8:3-4)
    C. God’s specific revelation (Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

III. God-pleasing faith

    A. Believes that He exists (Hebrews 11:6; Acts 17:24-25)
    B. Causes man to seek Him (Hebrews 11:6; Acts 17:26-28)

Monday Through Friday in the New Testament and Lessons in Luke…Now Available in Paperback!

Monday through Friday in the New Testament

Monday through Friday in the New Testament and Lessons in Luke (Sermon Sketches) are now available in paperback and on your Kindle device.

I will be taking a break from the blog this week, but should return with new content beginning Sunday, January 3. Don’t forget to follow the feed on Facebook or Twitter, or add the RSS feed to your favorite feed reader (I use Feedly).

New Year…New You?

New Year New You

2 Corinthians 5:17

I. Healthy diet

    A. Not physical, but spiritual (Matthew 4:4)
    B. Spend time in the Word and with sound study materials (2 Timothy 2:15-16)

II. Exercise more

    A. Spiritual fitness (1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
    B. Athletics as a metaphor (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7)

III. Spend money more wisely

    A. Give to God freely, liberally, and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:7)
    B. The result of giving as God commands (2 Corinthians 9:6, 8; Malachi 3:8-10; Luke 6:38)

IV. Spend more time with friends and family

    A. The church is the family of God (Matthew 12:46-50; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; 3:15)
    B. The importance of fellowship (Acts 2:42, 46-47; Psalm 122:1; Hebrews 10:24-25)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 260/260: Read Revelation 22

We are first told of the tree of life in Genesis 2. The tree of life was located in the garden, and Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of every tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they disobeyed the Almighty, God removed from them access to the tree of life.

In eternity, the redeemed will once again enjoy the benefits of the tree of life. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” What a blessed promise for God’s faithful!

If you are reading from a version other than the KJV or NKJV, you may notice the phrase “do His commandments” is not present. Rather, those versions say, “was their robes.” The meaning is the same.

Ananias commanded Paul, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). It is a simple act of faithful obedience. If you have not already done this, why not start the new year off right?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Revelation 22:18-19. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s grace and mercy which will allow us to eat from the tree of life in eternity.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 259/260: Read Revelation 21

A lot of people love lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, top ten lists. Lists are everywhere…even in the Bible.

Galatians 5 has two lists: the works of the flesh (5:19-21) and the fruit of the Spirit (5:22-23). Paul lists a number of sins that, without repentance, will prevent one from the kingdom in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Peter lists a number of things we should be adding to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Here in Revelation, we are faced with a list of traits of those who “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Most of the things on this particular list make sense: the unbelieving, murderers, sexual immoral, idolaters. Of course, such things will prevent the impenitent from eternal life. But look at the top of the list: “the cowardly.”

Have you ever been a coward in spiritual things? Most of us can probably think of some situations that we do not use the power God grants us to overcome cowardice (2 Timothy 1:7), but we can work on that, can’t we?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Revelation 22:18-19. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone ____________ to these things, God will ____________ to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes ____________ from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take ____________ his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Pray

Pray for the strength to access the power, love, and sound mind to overcome fear in your life.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)