Devotions

Author Archives: Randy Johnson

Husband and Wife

Nurturing • Husband and Wife
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

The Family Tree starts with a couple. When a man and woman get married, they may talk about enlarging the family, but it needs to start with their relationship to each other. Love and respect must be at the core. Nurturing starts with each other. The tendency can be to put all our focus on the children, but the Bible is clear that it needs to start with each other.

Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” The wife is to love her man by respecting him. She needs to be proud of him and express it. He needs to be her number one priority, even before the children.

Before we men start applauding, verse 25 continues the conversation, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” It must be important because in verse 28 Paul repeats the command to husbands, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” The husband is to love his woman by sacrificing for her. He needs to go out of his way to serve her. She needs to be his number one priority, even before work or the children.

I find the topic of Love Languages helpful. I think it is important to figure out what activities and actions speak loudest to our spouse.

The five Love Languages:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Acts of service
3. Receiving gifts
4. Quality time
5. Physical touch

My wife and I have found that our Love Languages have changed a little through the years. Where me cleaning the kitchen (acts of service) was so appreciated, kind words reach her heart in a deeper way. Jewelry used to be the golden ticket, but now quality time speaks louder. It is important to discuss how to be better for and with each other.

Verse 33 summarizes for both husbands and wives, “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

God’s Servant

Grow • Devotion #6: God’s Servant
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

Dinesh D’Souza makes an interesting observation about government and leadership, “Christianity enhanced the notion of political and social accountability by providing a new model: that of servant leadership. In ancient Greece and Rome no one would have dreamed of considering political leaders anyone’s servants. The job of the leader was to lead. But Christ invented the notion that the way to lead is by serving the needs of others, especially those who are the neediest. Mark 10:43 quotes Christ: ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…for even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.'” Jesus was the greatest leader of all time and was the most excellent servant. For Him, they went together naturally. 

Whoever is in power affects the whole nation. Proverbs 11:11 says, “Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” Proverbs 29:2 adds, “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:16 continues the thought of the importance of righteous leadership, “When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.” A key is servanthood, not political power.

The Bible is also clear on the concept of the public servant. Romans 13:4 says, “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Authority is from God and is designed to lead through serving.

There is so much more that could be said about the godly heritage of the United States of America. Even something as simple as so many stores being closed or opening later in the day on Sunday go back to the concept taught in the Ten Commandments, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

Our country was founded with a Christian heritage. In 1892, the Supreme Court even said, “This is a religious people. This is a Christian nation.” The Supreme Court’s opening declaration for every session is, “God save the United States of America.” From our currency (‘In God We Trust’) to swearing on a Holy Bible in the court of law, our country gives clear indicators of our beginning. We need to make sure this is not thrown out.

Does God feel comfortable in the United States?

Does He feel welcomed, needed, or wanted?

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

We Are Family

Grow • Devotion #5: We are Family
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

John Adams said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The United States was designed with morality in mind. Our founding fathers knew of the importance of the traditional family structure. Number five of the Ten Commandments says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). The family is important. It is a God-designed institution. It is so important that our government designed some laws based around it.

Throughout our country’s history, they have strived to protect and provide for the family. You could see this in tax exemptions, but also in the concept of holding the family together. Divorce takes time, money, and energy. There have been few acceptable reasons for divorce, and still, it took time. Our country has not taken marriage lightly. Exodus 20:14 reports another one of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery.” The idea was not new to our country, yet was important. In Mark 10:2-12 the question of divorce is raised to Jesus, “Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’  ‘What did Moses command you?’ he replied.  They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’  ‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’  When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.’”

The Bible and our country have historically held to the traditional family structure. It was passed on for generations and derived from God’s Word. The Bible was always pivotal for the founding fathers. Although not a founding father, President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed with this concept when he said, “The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.”

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

Will Work 4 Food

Grow • Devotion #4: Will Work 4 Food
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

Noah Webster said, “The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” He realized how powerful, complete, at practical the Word of God is. A lot of our restitution laws are based on Numbers 5:5-7, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.’” Clear advice and instruction are given.

America has been blessed financially. In his last will and testament, Patrick Henry added a nice twist to the concept, “This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” Our country was founded by men who understood the Gospel and wanted it passed down for generations. They started our nation on the principles found in the Bible.

The economic structure of America has always been biblical capitalism. If you want to eat, then work. If you do not work, you will not eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 says, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.” Paul accounts for his work ethic. He expected others to do the same.

Alan Greenspan said, “Capitalism is based on self-interest and self-esteem; it holds integrity and trustworthiness as cardinal virtues and makes them pay off in the marketplace, thus demanding that men survive by means of virtue, not vices. It is this superlatively moral system that the welfare statists propose to improve upon by means of preventative law, snooping bureaucrats, and the chronic goad of fear.”

All political systems rely on integrity. There needs to be morality and virtue. This goodness can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. We then receive the Holy Spirit and can be directed to do right for all and to all.

Creator and Savior

Grow • Devotion #3: Creator and Savior
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

The United States of America was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a myriad of quotations available stating a strong position for Christianity. The emphasis was not freedom of religion as much as it was the necessity to keep God in the forefront. Ben Franklin said, “Introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity and it will change the face of the world.” Jesus changes lives. Our country needs that change. We need Jesus.

John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, said, “I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other (Acts 4:12). . .If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.” Witherspoon is very pointed in his statement. He believed there is a Heaven and a Hell. The difference in the destination is what you do with Jesus. He also said, “Christ Jesus – the promise of old made unto the fathers, the hope of Israel (Acts 28:20), the light of the world (John 8:12), and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Romans 10:4) – is the only Savior of sinners, in opposition to all false religions and every uninstituted rite; as He Himself says (John 14:6): ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.’” It is impressive on how many verses he referenced. He understood Scripture. He knew the Gospel. He wanted our country to be Christian.

Although our founding fathers were grounded in Christianity, today the battle seems to be if God exists. This was not their fight. They knew and spoke of the Creator. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence starts, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” They used the words ‘created’ and ‘Creator.’ There was not even a hint of evolution being believed, much less taught in the schools. They knew the Bible and apparently the very first verse of God’s Word, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Charles Finney gave an appropriate challenge, “The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Politics are part of religion in a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. He will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”



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