Warning Signs

Nearly every person who drives has had a time when a warning light starts flashing on their dashboard about something. It is very easy to ignore the light flashing if everything appears to be running well.

Sometimes one believes that the warning light is not important, such as in the one light in the picture above. It is unknown why the seatbelt light is flashing, but all seatbelts are connected and working, so there is no fear of something being wrong.

However, with the engine light it may be something more important. My vehicle is running great and does not appear to have anything wrong with it, yet the engine light is on. I have a choice to make, either ignore it, and run the risk of a larger problem down the road or find out what it means and get it fixed.

In the same way that there are warning lights on a vehicle to tell one that something is wrong, God has placed warning lights and signs in the lives of believers.

John recorded, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7 Are you hearing what God is saying? He is always speaking and leading. When one begins to go down the wrong path, God will give a warning to change the pathway.

The writer of Hebrews writes: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:7-8 It is easy to ignore what God is saying, but that will only harden one’s heart, turning one further away from God. When God speaks, it is just like the warning signal, guiding and telling the believer what one must do or not do.

Paul writes to Timothy: All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Bible is filled with every piece of information a person needs to live life the way God wants one to live on this earth. It is filled with warnings and directions to guide the steps of the believer.

Solomon gave some great wisdom in saying: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 Just as one must trust the warning lights on a vehicle and not lean on one’s own thinking or thoughts, one must trust in God with all of his heart and not lean on his own understanding.

God will lead the believer, who trusts in Him, in all the right ways. To ignore God’s leading, is to walk down the path to destruction and death. God will always lead to life, either in this life or in eternity with Him.

Are you heeding God’s warning signs in your life? Are you listening to what God has to tell you? Or are you ignoring God, thinking you know what is best? Do not ignore God as many ignore the warning signs on the vehicle.

Picture by Tom Arn

Are You On Fire?

One of the things my wife and I love to do is sit in front of our fireplace and watch it, during the few days it is cool enough to run in Texas. Although our fireplace is a gas fireplace and does not consume anything other than gas, it is great to watch. When we can, we also love to have an outside firepit to watch and roast marshmallows on.

Fire is something that many people love to watch. It can be mesmerizing and can do good for many. Other times it can be a horrible and very scary thing to watch.

During times that a fire is good are when one is cooking over it, watching a campfire and when one is being warmed up by the fire. Others like to sit in front of a fireplace watching the flames and being relaxed by it. There are probably hundreds of different ways in which fire is used that is useful.

The flip side is when a house is on fire, or when there is a forest or field fire threatening a home. Burning cars or other vehicles are scary and extremely dangerous.

God is often seen as a fire throughout the Bible.

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:24

One of the things that fire does is consume. It will eat up and destroy anything and everything if it is hot enough. Fire will burn up houses, trees, grass and much more. Nothing is safe from a fire that is hot enough, including every type of metal.

In the end anyone who does not believe in Jesus will be tossed into a lake of fire:

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:17

Not having one’s name is the Book of Life is one who has chosen to not believe in Jesus and repent of one’s sins. This is an eternal punishment of death and separation from God for rejecting Jesus and the salvation He offered.

His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12

God, as a consuming fire, also consumes and burns up things. Throughout the Old Testament, God had destroyed people by fire from Him. Through Jesus, sin is burned up, tossed out and forgotten in the fire of God.

The old person is done away with, and a new creation is made by the consuming power of God. Old ways of doing things, old attitudes, old habits, old thoughts are burned up and cast out by the faith in the blood of Jesus. Life of the new believer is consumed and taken over by God.

Along with the fire of God being consuming it is also empowering.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV)

God has given every believer some type of gift in which one can minister to others. Most versions say ‘kindle’ the gift, while the NIV says to ‘fan into flame’. This is to get hot, burning with desire to use whatever gift God has given to reach others for Jesus.

Matthew recorded John the Baptist saying:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11

Once a person is baptized, that person is filled with the Holy Spirit and fire. This fire is the excitement and burning desire to do what God wants one to do. It is what motivates a believer to do things that may endanger one’s life in the process of spreading the gospel message and living for God.

Solomon wrote:

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day. Proverbs 23:17

Physical fire will heat up water and get the molecules excited and moving about, until they turn into steam and float away. This verse that Solomon wrote does not say anything about a fire, but being zealous for something is being on fire for that something. It is burning with excitement and energy for God.

God is a fire that consumes and also enflames. He can destroy the sin in your life and fill you with fire to do His will and be His witness on this planet. Or He will be the fire that destroys you for eternity if you have chosen to reject Him or to not do His will.

Make your choice today as to how you want God to be a fire for you–to destroy you or to empower you. Allow God to burn up and remove the sinful habits in your life. Allow God to set you on fire for Him, to do what He has called you to do each and every day. Let His fire consume you with Him.

Picture by Tom Arn

Benefit Of Listening And Obeying God

Several weeks ago, I was driving through town in my company work truck. I had come up to a four way stop sign intersection and made a complete stop. There was no one directly at any of the intersections, however, there was one truck coming down the road from my right side. This person had plenty of time to stop for the stop sign from where I saw him.

As I was about to pull out and cross the intersection, I felt God say to stay and not move. I could not understand why I should wait because I had the right-a-way and the truck had plenty of time to stop. But I chose to wait.

The truck ended up barreling through the intersection without even beginning to slow down at all. He was going at least 35-40 mph. Had I not listened and obeyed God, I would have been right in the middle of the intersection when he came through. I would have been hit very hard on the passenger side, most likely causing my truck to rollover, along with who knows how much more damage physically to me and the truck would have occurred.

This makes me think of something Jesus had said,

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28

Too often I hear God’s voice and don’t want to obey it. Or I know what His word says in the Bible, but do not follow it as I should. God does not speak to us unless it is for our benefit. He knows what is best for us and:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23

God will direct my steps if I allow Him to do so and there will be great benefits in doing so. He cares about my life each and every day.

I want to encourage you to listen to what God has to say and then obey it. He is interested in your day to day living.

Picture by John Matychuk under Unsplash

Thank You For 2022!

I want to thank all of the many readers that have subscribed to my daily devotional blog and to those who have chosen to stop by and read some of the many posts during 2022. It was the greatest year yet.

Throughout the year of 2022, there were over 162,000 views by over 112,000 visitors from all over the entire world. This had more than doubled the number of views and visitors from 2021. These numbers only occurred because of people like you who sign up for the daily emails of the devotional and choose to read it.

When I started this blog in 2014, it was only a daily devotional and I never dreamed of it becoming as large as it is. Over the years I have added in the daily verse, a weekly Give Thanks verse, a weekly Promise of God verse, a weekly Memory verse, several articles of testimony of what God has done in my life, several movie reviews, book reviews, a study on faith, guest posts, a series of articles on marriage, and a series of articles on the fruits of the Spirit.

My desire and prayer during the year of 2023 is to bring this devotional to a new level with a devotional book being made available and that the devotional blog can be done with no ads, or customized ads directly relatable to God, the Bible, Christianity and the church. This takes time, effort and money to make this happen.

The purpose of this devotional blog is to point you towards Jesus and give you a desire to read and know His word from Genesis to Revelation, and to encourage you to grow in the Lord, giving thanks and standing upon His promises .

I will always keep this daily devotional blog free from any costs for anyone to view and read. If this devotional blog has blessed you in any way and you feel led by the Lord to help towards bringing this blog towards an ad free site, please feel free to donate towards it through my PayPal account: insightsfromtom@gmail.com. Sad to say this is not a tax deductible donation but is one that can help me out in building this site better. You are not required to send any money, but only if you feel the Lord leading you to do so.

Whether you send anything or not, I pray that God will bless you in this new year; that you will draw closer to God in this new year; that you will be more like Jesus in this new year; and that you will walk in the ways of God in every area of your life.

Again, thank you for the most wonderful year! Have a blessed day in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Christian Parents & Public Schools

As school is starting up again, I am seeing many parents posting pictures of their children on their first day of school for whatever grade they are in. Although some of these parents have their children being homeschooled and even fewer going to a private Christian school, the majority are going to a public school. These parents, including many Christian parents, are also showing excitement for their children going to public school.

While I would love to be excited for them, I cannot be so. My heart is breaking for any child that has to go to a public school, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the recent mass shootings in public schools. The mass shootings are the least of my concerns. It is extremely rare for a mass shooting to occur in a school and even less chance when considering how many thousands of schools there are around the nation.

To begin with explaining my concerns for going to public school I would ask if there is any parent that would willingly send their child into a war zone that has literal bombs and guns being shot day and night. I don’t think that there is a parent that would send any child into that war zone. Most parents would not even want their adult children to go into that war zone as part of the military. The main reason most would not send them into that war zone is that it is dangerous, and the chance of death is extremely high.

Now the question arises, what does a war zone have to do with Christian children and public schools? Everything!

Public schools are a war zone that is more dangerous than any bomb or gun being shot at a person. Bombs and guns only injure or kill the body of a person. The public schools destroy the soul of most children by what they teach.

To begin with, nearly every public school across the nation does not teach creation as a fact and often teach evolution as a fact. As a believer one cannot teach that creation is only a theory. Either the Bible is true or it is false. Either the world and everything was created by God or it is a lie and it was not.

Why would a Christian parent send a child into a war zone teaching this way?

Next, nearly every school teaches that gender can be whatever a person chooses or feels. This is a direct lie from the pits of hell.

God made man and woman, male and female and nothing else. As the Bible describes all the animals, they are described as male and female also. Mankind has chosen to ignore God’s creation and say that a person can be either and have changes made to their body to be either. Regardless of what a person feels or does with surgery, he/she is still the same gender as when he/she was born and cannot change that. All that is changing is the outward appearance.

Why would a Christian parent send a child into a war zone that teaches this?

Next is that nearly every public school teaches or allows for sex to be whatever a person determines it to be. This means it can be male/male, male/female, female/female or some other variation. The Bible teaches that a man is to leave his parents and cling to his wife (woman), not anyone else. This is taught in both the Old and New Testaments. Along with this is that the Bible teaches that anyone living in sexual immorality will not get into heaven. Yet, the world is pushing for marriage and sex outside of Biblical marriage and sex and is promoting it as good in the public schools.

Why would a Christian parent send a child into a war zone that teaches this?

Another point is that public schools teach that Jesus was just a good person, if they teach about Him at all. Most schools do not allow any teaching about Jesus at all with very few exceptions. The Christian parent must believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior or he is not a believer nor a Christian. Either the Bible is true about what it says about Jesus, or it is false.

Again, why would a Christian parent send a child into a war zone that teaches this?

This just gives a few major reasons what public schools teach that is against God. With all of this, many Christian parents send their children into the public schools to be a ‘witness’ of God to the other children.

With this action I would ask if a child that is six years old been trained enough to be a witness for Jesus when faced with the giant enemy?

Nowhere in the Bible is a child sent to do a man’s job. When the Bible says to go out into all the world, Jesus was talking to the disciples–grown men, not children. The Bible does talk about training up a child in the way to go, but it never says to send them out until they are grown.

Most Christian children under high school age have most likely not been trained enough to know how to combat the lies that are sometimes openly and sometimes subtly taught in the public schools.

Satan goes around masquerading as an angel of light seeking to deceive and devour everyone. One of his greatest assets is the public school system. There are individual teachers out there that are trying to teach truth, but as a whole the public school system will not allow it and does not teach truth.

I ask, if you are a Christian parent to prayerfully consider pulling them out of the public school system. The best choice is to homeschool them. Be willing to give up some of the luxuries of life to have one parent home to be able to school them in God’s ways and truth. There is a nearly an infinite number of sources available to help teach your child nearly anything and everything.

If you cannot homeschool, then strive to get them into a good private Christian school that will teach the truth.

I ask why would you, as a Christian believing parent, be happy to send your child into a war zone that is working hard to claim their soul for Satan? This loss will be for eternity, not just a physical, temporary death.