About Denny DeWitt

I started this weekly Devotional Blog - Insights on the Life of Christ in March of 2013. My Wife Twink is my editor. She's also author of The Trust Diamond, a teaching book and some of our history of life in Christ. She made this an ebook also which can be found on amazon.com. I'm currently blogging Life in Christ, in a chronological manner using Frank Ball's books Eyewitness, The Life of Christ Told in One Story and Eyewitness Stories Four Reports on the Life of Christ. In the past three/four years, I've blogged the Life of Christ Told in One Story, as well as blog on Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Galatians. I served as an Air Force Dentist for 25 years attaining the rank of Colonel. Missionary dentist for 10 years with Mercy Ships, Youth With A Mission school staff for 10 years, and educator/teacher on missionary dentistry in the village setting. My wife, Twink makes the blogs easier to read. She's great.

Abide In Me – Part 3

Be Like Christ

The apostle Paul outlined the integrity and strength believers should live by—the character of Christ:

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me [Paul] truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians 2:1-5 NLT).

Christ-followers must think like Jesus and bear a resemblance of who he is. This may seem impossible unless you fully accept what Paul says here . . . for we have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16b NLT). In this manner, we will actually see the Father’s love when we take on this attitude, the mind of Christ.

Have This

In this letter, Paul encourages believers and builds them up. He strongly promotes unity in the love of Christ and tells how to do it:

  • Love one another as Jesus does and he (Paul) taught them
  • Be of the same mind and spirit
  • Have one purpose – seek God’s best

Do This

Then Paul exhorts believers concerning things we too often miss or dismiss as “oh that’s not me.” He says we must do the hard stuff in order to . . . have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had (Philippians 2:1-5 NLT).

  • Be humble – don’t let pride enter your daily life
  • Be selfless – not selfish which too often is our thought process
  • Be one who takes an interest in others – seek what others want too

In this manner, we will actually see the Father’s love when we take on the attitude, the mind of Christ.

Prayer: Father, I love that you show me what you desire. Keep me immersed in the light of your Word for true Life.

Abide In Me

This is the second in a series on abiding in me as Jesus said. The Apostle Paul uses the term in Christ 53 times throughout Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. He discloses the benefits, blessings, new character, and empowerment that accompany being in Christ. Our citizenship in heaven is by faith in Christ.

Faith

Paul tells believers that by faith in Christ, they are justified and become sons of God. Plus, their faith working through love brings them in to a special relationship with the Father, . . . so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14b NASB).

The author of Hebrews gives us a deeper understanding of faith:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.  By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:1-3 Amplified).

Strength

Paul hears reports of believers’ good discipline and the stability of their faith (Colossians 2:5). He rejoices at their new character and growth as they mature in Christ. The apostle affirms believers even when he cannot be with them to teach and encourage them himself.

Mystery

Paul tells believers there is something special and powerful with their position in Christ. It’s a mystery hidden for generations—Christ lives in you! This gives you assurance of sharing his glory (Colossians 1:26,27b). What a glorious promise. Our citizenship in heaven is by faith in Christ.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your plan that Christ could live in us. I praise you for providing this glorious way to be in relationship with you.

Abide In Me

In Your Bible: John 15:1-20

Jesus told his disciples they must abide, or live, in him. This new series will highlight some of the many benefits of being in Christ.

Abide and Bear Fruit

Jesus revealed the secret of how we must live! He compared believers to branches hidden in Christ. Jesus, the vine, supplies our nourishment. The Father, the gardener, prunes the branches by the Word of Christ, in order to help believers bear good fruit.

See more of what Jesus actually said:

  • I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NASB).
  • If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15:6 NASB).

Glorify God

  • This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:8 NASB).
  • As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love (John 15: 9,10 NASB).

First the Apostles glorified the Father in following Jesus’ commands. Today we as disciples must do the same. This series will highlight some of the many benefits of being in Christ.

Prayer: Father, your gracious love shown through Jesus overwhelms me day by day. Selah.

Exuberant Praise to God

In Your Bible: Psalm 150

This psalm compliments and appropriately “bookends” the first psalm. It shows what worship must have often sounded like: voices lifted up, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, and cymbals crashing.

Worship and praise are often used together—both break out in JOY. We too can be an instrument of praise to God. As we travel through good and bad times, his praise should always be on our lips.

Praise Him

1 Praise the Eternal!
Praise the True God inside His temple.
    Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun.
2 Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people.
    Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding.
3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
    and praise Him with harps and lyres
    and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully played by those who love and fear the Eternal.
Praise Him with singing and dancing;
    praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds!
5 Praise Him with crashing cymbals,
    loud clashing cymbals!
6 No one should be left out;
    Let every man and every beast—
    every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal! (The VOICE Translation)

Always Praise God

God is the life-giver. We should praise him in all circumstances. Even when we have problems and are emotionally down, praise will restore our spirit and soul. Who really is our deliverer?

Yes, praise God, whatever/whenever/wherever we are. So, Psalm 150 is right on for a blessed life. Everything that has breath—praise God. As we travel through good and bad times, his praise should always be on our lips.

Prayer: Father, I praise you in the sanctuary, at home, away, at work, (even) in the hospital, and at play. What a wonder you are. Selah.

The Foundation of a Meaningful Life

In Your Bible: Psalm 1:1-3

Psalm One sets the stage for all the psalms. It explains that God’s Word is the foundation of a meaningful life. Here we find the general “do’s and don’ts” for a man to be blessed. The key remains: those who seek and follow God’s Word will have a fruitful life.

How blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted
by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
(Psalm 1:1-3 NASB).

Those With Godly Character

  • Meditate on God’s Word all the time
  • Have new desires, pleasures, hopes, and companions
  • Develop thoughts, words and actions—godly ones

Those With Ungodly Character

  • Take advice from bad sources/people
  • Obstruct those doing good for mankind
  • Mock those doing good

The psalmist shows the benefit of developing God’s character in your life. The key remains: seek and follow God’s Word to have a fruitful life.

Prayer: Father, your Word is a lamp for my walk with you. Selah.

His Majestic Name – Conclusion to Doxologies

In Your Bible: Psalm 8 For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made him a little lower than heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds in the air,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8 NIV)

This psalm, penned by David, fortells Christ our Redeemer. Hebrews Chapter 1, quotes the prophetic the words in Psalm 8, concerning God’s created beings crowned with glory. They will rule over creation and praise the Lord God forever. Psalm 8 exudes the majesty of our Lord God Almighty from beginning to end.

His Name is Known

Commentators * say “how majestic is your name” refers to the name made known particularly in the gospels. God’s faithfulness in sending Jesus, fulfills the law. David wrote prophetically of New Testament times.

Additionally, the Lord prophesied through Malachi saying. . . “My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty (Malachi 1:11 NIV).

Throughout Creation

It is generally thought that David composed this psalm in the night, when the stars and celestial bodies were in view. I know you’ve seen them—indeed they are worthy of contemplation. Look up to the night sky and observe God’s power and greatness in a grand scale.

God Cares

The psalmist queries God, “Why is it possible that you care about mankind?” Yes, God cares so much that he sent his son to die for us. Too often miss this blessing in our daily grind. Psalm 8 exudes the majesty of our Lord God Almighty from beginning to end.

Prayer: Father, I know you bestow blessing upon blessing on me. Thank you. I praise you.

* John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, Psalm 8, Christianity.com.

Note: The designation “For the director of music or to the chief musician” is in the preface of these Psalms: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 31, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 75, 76, 77, 80, 81, 84, 85, 88, 109, 139, and 140.

Trials, Mercy, Joy

 

In Your Bible: Psalm 13
“For the director of music or the chief musician”

This directive appears in only 55 psalms. It charges the director of music to bring powerful, exuberant and vigorous songs of praise to the Lord in the worship gathering.

1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me (Psalm 13 NIV).

In this brief Psalm, David shows the depth of his despondency and the height of his confidence. * It’s God’s plan that we should delight ourselves in him alone and know that his mercy is available to all who come to him. As we pass through difficult times, we must remember to trust in his unfailing mercy.

When Trials Come

First, David pours his heart out to the Lord. He declares he’s been forgotten by God, suffered defeat by his enemies, and struggled mentally over this situation. To him it must have seemed to have been a very long time. We too should pour our heart out to God when we’re down. That’s what he wants.

Trust in Him

In the last two verses, David shouts [my impression] he will trust in the unfailing love of God. Then he sings and rejoices for God’s goodness to him [perhaps he dances too]. Yes, we too can sing and praise God as we trust in his unfailing mercy.

Prayer: Father, I need your mercy and love daily. I praise you for bringing joy to me in my high and low times. Selah.

* Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary of the Bible, Psalm 13, christianity.com