What is ‘Devout’?

What is ‘Devout’?

Can you be called devout?  The definition of devout:  heartfelt; spiritual; fervent; pious; dedicated and committed.

When the Scriptures speak about someone who is devout, they are giving recognition and praise to such individuals. 

. . . a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.  (Ac 10:2)

Alms means donations, gifts, or offerings.  This verse from the Bible says a devout man gave donations and gifts generously to people, AND he prayed to God continuously.  That sounds very spiritually impressive, doesn’t it?

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  (Ac 2:5)

Notice that devout men (and women) can and should come from everywhere on the earth!

Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.  (Ac 13:43)

A proselyte is a person who has converted from one opinion, religion, or party to another.  These new converts followed Paul and Barnabas around, learning from them and wanting to spend time with them.  Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch where Paul’s teachings about Jesus were well-received by some of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. So, when Paul explains God’s salvation has come through Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, the listeners joyfully realize that formal worship in Jerusalem isn’t required or necessary. God will meet them wherever they are, and be with them without sacrifices of any kind.  

Paul and Barnabas encouraged these devout new converts to continue in the grace of God and to remain in His favor.  They encouraged the new believers to carry on in faith and prayer, and obedience which would be connecting with God’s favor. The “gospel” is called the grace (favor) of God, and the new converts were exhorted to persevere in their connection to the gospel by continuing in faith to trust in Jesus.

If we all would like to be categorized as devout, then we should continue in the grace of God also.  God bless you.

God Fights on Behalf of His People

God Fights on Behalf of His People

. . . for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.  (Deut 20:4)

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them.  The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes . . .  (Deut 29:29-30)

Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive against me; fight against those who fight against me.  (Ps 35:1)

For I will contend with him who contends with you.  (Isa 49:25c NKJV)

Our Father God is all-powerful.  He is willing and able to uphold His children in the challenging and frightful situations of life on earth.  He willingly steps between us and danger to protect us and to fight on our behalf.

God shows up and fights for His people, and for the hearts of His people.  His timing may not be what we want—but He is always in control.  No matter the nature of the attack—injustice, lack, ill health, broken relationships, or corruption—nothing is unknown to Him.

There are evil forces and evil spirits who will try to prevent God’s answer from reaching us, but as long as we hold on to God’s promises with perseverance and faith, nothing can prevent God’s salvation from reaching us.

Our confidence in every situation of life must always be placed IN CHRIST alone.  Jesus is our Savior, Redeemer, High Tower, Hiding Place, Refuge, Deliverer, etc., etc.  In union with that, it is wise to know God’s Word and to rely upon it in faith.  He and His Word are one; they cannot be separated.  Trust His Word, persevere through any delay, and see the salvation of our God come to pass for you.

He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?  (Rom 8:32 AMP)

Feed on His Faithfulness

Feed on His Faithfulness

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:3-4, emphasis added)

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  (Ps 36:8)

The verses above talk about God’s desire to bless us, and to give us our hearts’ desires.  But, how do we feed on His faithfulness?  What does that phrase even mean?

David strengthened himself in his faith in God by remembering all of the instances where God had done miraculous wonders for David.  God had shown His faithfulness to David repeatedly.  Circumstances–and the enemy of our souls–want us to focus upon our troubles, needs or pains; but the Bible directs us to focus upon God’s promises and upon His character.

So, practically speaking, how does that work?  There are various ways to do this but here are some ideas:

  • If you have pain or a negative medical diagnosis, find a small promise book of Scripture verses pertaining to healing, and read them several times a day to encourage your own faith.  If you can’t find a promise book, compile a list of verses of your own.  Add to reading God’s promises, an intentional remembering and dwelling upon the signs and wonders that God has performed for you and your loved ones in the past.  Feast on these very genuine, supernatural deeds of the Savior.
  • If you have financial challenges, find Biblical promises that relate to God’s provision for you, and read them several times a day to build your faith and as a means of supporting your faith.  Add to that, the purposeful remembrance of God’s previous answered prayers for you in finances.

Follow this pattern in regard to any issue or problem.  Find the promises of God relative to your challenge, and focus and meditate upon them.  It builds your faith and feeds your spirit.  Add to that a daily dose of thinking about and cherishing your memories of God’s past miracles and answered prayers for you and for those you love. 

Here are a few Scriptures to remind you of the faithfulness of God—the One in whom we place our trust.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness . . . (Ex 34:6)

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  (Ps 86:15)

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, your faithfulness surrounds you.  (Ps 89:8)

Persevere and refuse to surrender!  Jesus arose victorious from the grave for each one of us, and He has given us the victory.  (1 Cor 15:57)