Daily Devotionals: Wil Pounds, Section J

Daily Devotional: Do You Have Eternal Life?

Message by Wil Pounds

Do You have Eternal Life?

Jesus Christ said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). How do you obtain eternal life? Have you experienced the real thing? What is this knowledge of eternal life?

Life eternal is God’s life in us produced by His Holy Spirit. It issues in a personal encounter with a holy God who in His grace forgives us of our sins based on the atoning death of Jesus Christ. No one can have His life and not be changed. God is holy and His Spirit makes us aware of our sinfulness and of our deep personal need of His grace. It is by His grace that we are turned to Christ who is our Savior. This knowledge occurs only where God’s Holy Spirit is at work beforehand to make it possible, and it always changes us, issuing in a heart response and true devotion to Him.

When we become aware of the true and living God we are confronted with our sinfulness and depravity as opposed to His holiness and righteousness. We are all together corrupt and He is altogether holy. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Our sin bars our entrance into the presence of a righteous God.

Have you ever been really disturbed knowing that you must ultimately deal with One in whom is no sin at all, who cannot tolerate sin in any form and who must judge it?

All knowledge of God begins with His holiness and the reality of your sin.

It is good to remind ourselves that we cannot fool God. He is always aware of who we are and what we are thinking and doing. Only the fool says, “No God!” “No God!” Nothing catches the LORD God by surprise. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

This is where the good news of Jesus Christ is so very important to us. God applies these truths to us personally. God’s free gift is eternal life to those who will respond to His free offer of saving grace.

Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for sinners. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for (instead of and in behalf of) the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). Moreover, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8).

We are without excuse because God has taken every measure to demonstrate His love for lost sinners. He has made us aware of His holiness, our sinfulness, and God’s saving grace through faith in the death of Jesus Christ.

The good news which you have just read is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. . . For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith’” (Rom. 1:16-17). Our holy and righteous God is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (3:26). He can be so because Jesus paid our debt for sin.

Eternal life is this personal knowledge of God who has revealed Himself to us by applying these truths to us by the work of His Holy Spirit. Eternal life is to be found in this knowledge of Him in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The fullness of God’s personal revelation of Himself is found in the One who died for us, paid the price of our sin, rose form the dead, has satisfied God’s justice, and has taken up residence in our hearts through His indwelling Spirit. This is eternal life, to know Him in His saving grace.

Do you know Him? To know God in a personal, intimate, love relationship with Him is to have eternal life.

God has made provision to blot out every sin you have committed and therefore remove every barrier to His holy presence. Will you come boldly to His throne of grace knowing all your sins are under His blood? “I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). To know Him in saving grace is to have eternal life.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Perfect Atonement for Personal Sin

Message by Wil Pounds

Perfect Atonement for Personal Sin

The most important day in the Jewish religious calendar is the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). It is to this day central to Judaism even though the sacrificial system came to an end with the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70. It is the highest holy day in Judaism.

On the day of Atonement the high priest entered the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle of the wilderness, and later the temple in Jerusalem, to make atonement for the sins of the people of Israel.

The word atonement means, “to cover” the sin, and thus to “wipe out,” “to erase,” “to cover.” In doing so the sacrifice “removed” the guilt of man’s sin before God. The removal of the sin accomplished reconciliation between men and God. Perhaps this is why the Jewish rabbis called it the “Day,” or the “Great Day.”

God provided the Day of Atonement to avert His wrath for sins already committed and guarantee His presence with His people.

The sacrifice of the first goat and the sending the second one away into the wilderness to die were intended to cleanse the nation, the priesthood, and the sanctuary of sin.

Every sacrifice in the tabernacle reached its climax on that day. Something was left undone in the daily sacrifice and rituals to cover sin. Only one day of the year could the high priest enter into the Most Holy place and meet with God before the mercy seat. Only on the Day of Atonement could the representative of the people enter into this most solemn meeting place between God and man. It was only with the sacrificial blood of the animal substitute that He could enter on behalf of the people and himself.

Why this special sacrifice for sin? Jehovah God is a most holy God who will not permit sin in His presence. All of the combined offerings for sin could not provide for unknown sins. With this special sacrifice God provided for complete atonement of all sin committed during the year (Lev. 16:33). Or did it?

In reality the sacrifice of atonement on this special day did not cover all sins once and for all because it had to be repeated yearly. It was a “type” along with all of the other Jewish sacrifices of the atonement that God would one day provide by the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Our great high priest, Jesus Christ, offered up Himself in the shedding of His own blood on Calvary to atone for the world’s sins (Heb. 9:11, 12; Rom. 3:25; 5:9-10; 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Gal. 3:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10; Rev. 5:9).

The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all that was prefigured in the Old Testament sacrificial system. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19).

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ secured our “eternal redemption.” What the imperfect sacrifice of animals could not do, Jesus Christ did once and for all for all who will believe on Him.

Christ represented us in His death. He is our substitute. “One has died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14). Our representative is before the Father pleading our case with His blood (1 Jn. 2:2). God graciously provided the perfect sacrifice for our sin. It was an act of God in grace for sinful man. The death of Jesus Christ is what provides atonement for the sinner. We can come into God’s presence only by that blood (Matt. 26:28; Lk. 22:20; Col. 1:20). The atonement of Jesus Christ is once-for-all, never to be repeated.

The Old Testament idea of substitution is prevalent in the expression “for us,” “for me.” Jesus “gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6; cf. 2 Cor. 5:21; Mk. 10:45). He became a “curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). The shedding of blood was central in making atonement for sin. A death occurred. Someone died for the penalty of sin (Heb. 9:22; Rom. 5:8; Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).

One of the clearest expressions of the substitution idea is the unintended prophecy of the high priest Caiaphas at the trial of Jesus in the early morning hours of the day Jesus died. “It is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish” (Jn. 11:50).

It is imperative that every individual appropriate the atonement of Jesus Christ by faith. No one else can do it for you. You must put your faith in Christ as your substitute in order to be saved from sin and spend eternity with God in heaven.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Message by Wil Pounds

Daily Devotional: Privileges of the Child of God

Privileges of the Child of God

The apostle Paul makes it very clear, if we are saved, we are “in Christ.” If we are “in Christ,” He is in us and His life within us will inevitably turn us from sin to a life of righteousness.

God loved us and Jesus died for us so that we might be holy. “God saved us that we who believed on Christ, once lost in sin, might live a holy life.” This new union of the believer with Christ produces holiness.

There is no higher privilege in life than to bear the name of Jesus Christ and be known as a Christian. Therefore, because of this new relationship with Him we must strive constantly to live a holy life. We are sons and daughters of the King of the universe. God the Father claims us as His children because of the atoning death of Jesus Christ. There is no status greater than this on earth. How then do we dare act like the children of the devil? We are now “members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19).

Our new status as believers in Jesus Christ brings new privileges, rights and responsibilities to our lives.

These new privilege as children of God produces a likeness of Christ in our daily life.

We now have access to God. We are “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (v. 19).

Just think about it! We who were dead in trespasses and sins have now “gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:2). We can now come to God in prayer anytime, any place, in any and all circumstances.

We have this immediate access guaranteed because of God’s saving grace. We are His children and we can go into His presence continually without any human mediator. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6a). He is our middleman, our go between, because He alone is qualified to be that person. He brings peace, fellowship, and salvation to the sinner. The perfect God, and the perfect man is the only mediator we need. He alone gives us this perfect access to God. What a privilege is ours!

“Lo I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20). He is with us constantly, even when we are unaware of His presence. It is my prayer that I am in such fellowship and communion with Christ that He can break in upon my conscious awareness any moment, any hour, every day. “I am with you always.” What a marvelous provision!

The apostle Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Jesus promised, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14).

Because of His saving grace He has brought us into this new relationship with Him and He has provided for all our needs. He has not promised to provide all we want. Because He has promised to provide for our true needs, we can concentrate on serving other people.

The LORD God has an unlimited supply of riches in His grace at His disposal, and He is willing to give out of that supply to His children. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. . . .And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13, 19).

Not only is He able, but He is also omnipotent and all wise. I can also trust Him not to give that which will harm me. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus is our constant Protector.

He is also constantly at work deep within our hearts to make us all that He wants us to be. He wants to produce His likeness in us so that He can use us to accomplish His eternal purposes in this world. The apostle Paul admonishes us, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Let us make ourselves available to Him so that He may make us holy and blameless in full measure. When lost people see Jesus Christ in us, and the way we live they will be attracted to Him and listen to the eternal message of His saving grace.

This privilege of being in Christ will never cease. His love for us, demonstrated at the cross will never fade. We are assured that His love will last for all eternity. Is your awareness of His love now greater than ever before?


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Message by Wil Pounds

Daily Devotional: The Glory of God in Jesus Christ

What do you think God the Son would say to God the Father during the night before He would lay down His life as atonement for the sin of the world?

Imagine for a moment with me what the divine communication between God the Father and God the Son must be like. I wonder what deep conversations must take place between the members of the Trinity. The communiqué between the Godhead must be too profound and unfathomable for us to comprehend. The LORD said to Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8-9).

Yet, in the recorded prayer of Jesus in John chapter seventeen we are let in on this deep penetrating talk going on in the Godhead. It is exalted, holy and sublime. It is God speaking to God. This prayer is filled with simple sentences that communicate profound thought for Himself (vv. 1-5), His disciples who are with Him (vv. 6-19) and for you and me (vv. 20-26).

Jesus then is the burning bush of the New Testament on the most holy ground in New Testament soil.

This is a “warm and hearty prayer” from the depths of Jesus’ heart. It is “so honest, so simple; it is so deep, so rich, so wide, no one can fathom it,” wrote Luther.

The petition in verse one is so simple, yet so profound in its simplicity. “Father . . . glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee. . . . And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:1, 5).

Jesus speaks of His pre-incarnate glory in eternity past before He became flesh. Jesus possessed and manifested the same glory with God before He became flesh. The very essence of deity that Jesus possessed cannot be changed. “He existed in the form of God.” He was equal with God (Phil. 2:6). Jesus was and is essentially and unalterably God. That fact did not change when He took on in addition the “form of a bondservant, being made in the likeness of men” (v. 7).

The apostle Paul in Philippians 2:7 writes of the self-emptying of the outward visible manifestations of Jesus’ visible glory while in His flesh. Paul is careful to stress that Jesus did not empty Himself of His divine nature, or His essential attributes of deity. It was a self-limiting of His outward visible glory and not His deity. He limited only the manifestation of His glory that He demonstrated in heaven. He is God of very God. The self-emptying was the taking on of the form, or essential characteristics of a servant, and humbling “Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death on a cross” (v. 8). He looked like any other household servant of that day. He was fully human—fully God.

Jesus Christ retained all the essential attributes, unchangeable and unchanging essential nature of God. The essential nature of Jesus is the same as the essential nature of God. The essential form never alters and never changes. He is God.

Since that is true about Jesus then what does He mean when He says to the Father, “And now, glorify Thou Me with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was” (Jn. 17:5)? Is Jesus praying for the restoration of His essential attributes of deity? No, of course, not, that is impossible because His deity never changed. This glory was God’s glory. However, Jesus did not manifest this gory during the days of His incarnation. He hid it behind the veil of His flesh. Jesus is going to glorify the Father in His outward visible glory as He did in eternity past. His present glory in heaven is even greater than in the past because He was obedient to the Father unto death. “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). Every knee will bow to the name of Jesus, and every person will “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 10-11). It is obvious that this glory is the ultimate in praise, honor and glory renown that can ever be given. It is of His intrinsic worth or character. All that can be properly known of Yahweh, Jehovah or LORD is the expression of His glory.

Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle . . .
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory (Psalm 24:8, 10).

When we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Message by Wil Pounds

Daily Devotional:  God Brings Good out of Evil

Evil in our world is a reality every thinking person must face, but it need not be fatal to the Christian.

The fact never changes: God is good. God is omnipotent, God is omniscient and He is omnipresent. We interpret the events of the day by the known truths, not the unknown. In fact, we interpret the unknown in the light of the known.

Augustine said, “God judged it better to bring good out of evil, than to suffer no evil to exist.”

You must acknowledge that good exists for evil to exist. There can be no evil without there being good. God’s providence extends over both good and evil. Moreover, His will is absolutely good and perfect because His is a righteous God.

God has good reason for evil to exist, even though He did not create it. Evil cannot exist unless God willed it, therefore He can use it for His glory and for our good.

A false premise commonly heard in our day is because evil exists in the world there is no God. The reasoning is if God is all-powerful, sovereign, and totally good, He will not allow evil to take place.

Evil is only a problem if good exists. Only because both good and evil exists can you have a problem. If there is no God, you cannot account for both good and evil. The only basis for assuming both is because there is a moral law, a standard by which to determine both good and evil. There can be no moral law without a moral Absolute. As Ravi Zacharias observes: “If there is no moral Lawgiver there is no moral law; if there is no moral law, there is no good; if there is no good there is no evil.”

Therefore, the idea of evil should cause us to seek God in His goodness rather than to flee from His presence and deny His existence.

Why does God get all the blame for the bad things that happen? Why doesn’t He get the credit for all the good we enjoy even though He owes us nothing?

G. Campbell Morgan keenly observed: “Men of faith are always the men that have to confront problems. Block God out and your problems are all ended. If there is no God in heaven then we have no problem without sin and suffering. But the moment you admit the existence of an all-powerful, governing God, you are face to face with your problems. If you have none, I question the strength of your faith.”

Moreover, only the fool would say in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1).

Evil, therefore, should cause us to fall on our knees and bow in humility in the presence of the Lord God. The one purpose of evil in the providence of God is to cause us to seek Him. C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

The God of the cross understands evil and suffering. The cross of Jesus Christ tells us that God is good and that He loves us. The cross of Jesus reminds us that God takes evil and uses it for our good. God is always in complete control.

At the cross, God was still asking the question He asked Job, “Who is then able to stand against Me? Who has preceded Me, that I should pay Him? Everything under the sun is mine” (Job 41:10b-11). God’s sovereign control is never interrupted.

The greatest example from history of God taking the greatest evil and bringing out of it the greatest good was at the cross of Jesus Christ. No one will ever experience any greater depth of evil than that exhibited at the crucifixion of Jesus. It was Satan’s best strike against God. Because of the cross, Satan was defeated. Christ rose from the grave and defeated Satan and evil. Now we can declare that God causes all things to work together for His glory (Rom. 8:28).

When God is silent, remember that He is still in complete control. We may not know the reason “why,” but the Lord knows why, and that is enough.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Free Salvation

Message by Wil Pounds

Free Salvation

Free, but not cheap!

Your salvation is a gift freely given and received from God, but it is not cheap. It is the most expensive gift you will ever receive.

God comes and offers us free salvation. But He does not change His standard. He remains a righteous and holy God.

How could it be possible that Jesus Christ could die as a substitute for my penalty as a sinner? It is because He is the infinite God, not a sinful man, that He could die for an infinite number of sinners. Because He is God He could pay the eternal punishment for all of our sins.

Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us it was not enough that He should only die and pay the penalty of our sins, but that His perfect righteousness would be counted in God’s eyes as our righteousness. All of the pure righteousness of Jesus Christ is now available through Him to the believing sinner.

Based upon the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, God can now come and offer the great invitation to all sinners to come and join Him in heaven.

How do I know that this is absolute truth? Look at the empty tomb! Christ is alive! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that God is eternally satisfied with the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.

Now you and I can take the righteousness of God and go boldly or trembling to the scales of justice and put it over against all the perfection God has demanded and that He must demand. The balance is immediately made. The Christian believer stands before God justified. God can never have anything against you and me forever.

You are justified when you trust in that perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, rather than in your own self-righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). You will never be justified in the eyes of God if you cling to your own good works.

We can sing with great profound theology: “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” We are justified by faith alone, through grace alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

However, we are not justified by a faith that is alone. Therefore, if you really go to that cross, believing in the saving work of Christ, you will be abounding in the works of the Lord.

If our salvation is received as a free gift someone had to pay for it. Since you and I did not, who did?

The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus Christ redeemed us, not with perishable things like silver and gold, but “with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:19).

Our salvation is an expensive gift which we do not deserve and cannot merit! We were “redeemed” meaning to release, to purchase a release by a ransom, to deliver by the payment of a price. Our spiritual freedom was purchased with the great payment of the blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, the grace that saves us is not cheap.

The blood of Jesus is “precious.” It is of great value, precious to God. The most precious thing to God is the blood of His Son Jesus.

Therefore, how precious you and I are to Him!


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Message by Wil Pounds

Daily Devotional: Power To Obey

Power to Obey

How many times have you herd the excuse, “But I am afraid I can’t live the Christian life”?

The badge of the true disciple of Jesus Christ is obedient faith.

Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

He has commanded us to go and make disciples of every nation. And when we are obedient He gives us the power to obey His command (Acts 1:8).

He gives us Himself, and in the giving of Himself He gives us all that we need to obey Him.

The power we know we need to accomplish His will can be ours if we obey His Word. As we yield ourselves to Him He will fulfill His will in and through us. He does not ask us to do anything that He does not enable us to do.

The indwelling Holy Spirit is in us an all-prevailing source of power to obey His commands. He abides in us and we in Him. Our greatest needs are fully met in Christ and all that He provides for His people. He gives us the vitality, energy, and spiritual power to do everything God asks of us.

We are by the divine power of the Spirit of God set free to serve Him, and obey Him.

A true Christian knows the power of obedience. Christian liberty is not a license to sin it up. There is freedom in the liberating good news of Jesus Christ. But it is not a freedom to give ourselves to licentious pleasures of the flesh. It is a new freedom to serve God in righteousness (Rom. 6:12ff). He gives us the freedom to love Him with all our heart. “If we love Him we will obey Him.”

We get our freedom through surrender to Christ. We get the power to obey by obeying. We have been set free to do the will of God.

Have you ever tried to witness to an unbeliever without being in fellowship with the Holy Spirit? Our words are like dead lives fall on frozen ground during the winter. But when the Holy Spirit quickens the heart and we are in fellowship with Him they penetrate the heart of unbelief and He uses them to accomplish His purpose.

What blessed joy when He gives us power to declare the Word of God with power. We are told that He can be grieved by our unyieldedness, but we can also bring joy to Him as we yield ourselves to His control.

Jesus gave to His disciples through the gift of His Spirit the power to speak and be witnesses to His death and resurrection. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power to think God’s thoughts after Him, to speak His words to all men.

Jesus commands us to go and preach His good news. When we do He gives us His enabling power. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

Are you spiritually anemic? Have you gone to Him in humility, confessing your sins, turning from them and making yourself available to Him to do anything He wants to do in and through you?

When He has us ready spiritually He will use us. The Holy Spirit indwells us, giving us the power to obey God. All that He asks is total obedience. The Holy Spirit is within us, and by His power we can do His bidding. We will receive His power to obey. He even gives us faith to trust Him.

Will you make yourself available to Him to do anything that pleases Him in and through you? It may scare you to death. But that is all that He asks. Don’t think up a bunch of excuses. Just say, “Here am I, send me, Lord.” And then step out trusting Him for His enabling, anointing and power. The moment you act upon what you know to be God’s will, God answers that prayer, and He empowers you to do what you cannot do in yourself. The Holy Spirit gives us the desire, ability, and power to do the will of God.

If you love Him, you will obey Him.

Love solves our obedience problem.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: The Forsaken and the Forgiven

Message by Wil Pounds

The Forsaken and the Forgiven

The poignant, opening sentence in Psalm 22 reveals the disturbing fact of God’s servant crying out in God forsakenness.

How could one of the members of the Godhead turn His back on another member of the Trinity?

“God forsaken of God” was the price of our atonement. When Jesus Christ bore our sin on the cross He was forsaken of God the Father. He paid the full price for our atonement on the cross when He bore the penalty of the wrath of God against sin for us. This sacrificial act reveals how much God loves us.

Psalm 22 has been described as the “Psalm of the Cross” because it is the best description in the entire Bible of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The amazing thing is King David wrote it a thousand years before the event described actually took place in history. Moreover, execution by crucifixion was never practiced by the Jewish people and was unknown for centuries until developed by the Carthaginians and later refined by the Romans. David paints a prophetic picture of the anguish of the Suffering Servant of God to pay the penalty for our sins. Psalm 22 is entirely messianic and prophetic. David foresaw and spoke of the suffering of the Anointed of God.

No event in the life of David accounts for the terrible events in this Psalm. It defies a naturalistic explanation.

The words of the poet are fulfilled literally and exactly in the execution of Jesus Christ. The desolate God forsaken cry (v. 1; cf. Matt. 27:46); the contrasting periods of light and darkness (v. 2; Matt. 27:45); the extreme humiliation and treatment of the sufferer (vv. 6-8, 12-13; Matt. 27:39-44) and the casting of lots for His garments (v. 18; Matt. 27:35) are some of the greatest evidences for divine inspiration of all the Scriptures including this Psalm.

What was Jesus thinking about while He hung on the cross during the terrible three hours of God forsakenness? The Gospel writers Matthew and Mark inform us He suddenly cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” It was a direct quotation of Psalm 22:1. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34).

“My God, my God” is the translation of Eli, Eli “my Strong One,” “my Strong One.” It is He who turns His face from the suffering one (vv. 2-3).

Why is it that our ancient fathers trusted in Elohay, the One to be feared by men, and He always answered them, but even though His Servant cries “by day,” the response is, “You do not answer; and by night, I have no answer” (v. 2)? They “trusted,” “cried out,” were “determined” and “not ashamed” (v. 4). God has turned His back on Him and has forsaken Him.

Jesus was apparently reflecting on great Old Testament Scriptures as He hung dying as our sacrifice. He saw His crucifying as a fulfillment of the Scriptures. These prophecies gave Him encouragement and focus as He died to purchase our atonement.

Psalm 22 opens with the awful sense of God forsakenness that took place during the three hours of darkness at Calvary. The one crying out in God forsakenness feels completely enshrouded by the wrath of God.

The answer to the question, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is found in the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21. “He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Have you experienced perfect forgiveness from the One who was God-forsaken?


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: The Song of Two Jail Birds

Message by Wil Pounds

The Song of Two Jail Birds
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). It was a prayer and praise service going on in a Roman prison! The other prisoners were attentively listening to every word.

The effect of true Christianity is still the same since the first century A.D. These men “have turned the world upside down.” They were guilty of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:16-23). Those were the charges against them.

The world is still upside down. It is self-centered, and it eyes the God-centered person as eccentric. “These men have turned the world upside down are come here.” That is how the riot got started.

“The world is down-side up,” said G. C. Morgan, “and therefore, the men who are turning it right side up; and consequently, the men who are living in the world will think they are turning it upside down.”

That is always the case when the true gospel of Jesus Christ clashes with the cultures of the world.

Paul and Silas had no idea an earthquake was coming that night. They weren’t singing because they were going to be set free. They were singing because prison didn’t really matter. They were prisoners of Jesus Christ, and that was all that mattered. Paul was in and out of prison on many occasions for sharing Christ.

They were praying and singing hymns. The opportunity would come in time for the preaching (v.32). Preaching came after the earthquake. God opened the door because He had His chosen people ready to serve Him.

They were singing from their hearts. The two of them were gathered in the name of Jesus, and He was there in their presence. They were worshipping God! The most significant thing for Paul and Silas was the presence of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). That was true then, and it is still true today.

Are you singing in your prison cell? Are you worshipping Jesus right where He has placed you today? “Men who sing in prison are men who cannot be imprisoned.” “You may put these men within your stone walls, you may make their feet fast in the wood of your brutal stocks, but they are not there. They are sitting with Christ in the heavenly places,” observed Campbell Morgan. “As to bodily presence, they are there in the prison, but as to spiritual essence, they are with God.”

People who sing in their prison have learned the secret, the method by which spiritual growth and service takes place.

You sing in your prison, and other prisoners will listen to you. The earthquake does not always come, but God does. Your prison doors may not fly open, but the intimate, abiding presence of God in Jesus Christ will set you free. Many thousands of servants of Jesus Christ have died in literal prisons, but they sang, and they continue to sing.

What are your circumstances? Are you singing? God will bless your “prison” experience if you will sing praises unto Him, and the “prisoners” will listen and be saved.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Sanctified by the Word of God

Message by Wil Pounds

Sanctified by the Word of God

Jesus tells us in John 17:16-19 that we have a practical progressive sanctification of our present life by the application of the truth of God’s Word.

The word “sanctify” in verse seventeen means “to consecrate, or to set apart persons or things to God” (Ex. 28:41; 29:1, 36; 40:13; 1 Thess. 5:23, etc).

The Holy Spirit uses the Word to do His work within the believer. Let’s distinguish between the sanctification by the Holy Spirit within us at the beginning of God’s work of salvation in our souls, and the everyday application of God’s word in the Christian’s life. We are in the need of daily sanctification by the truth of God’s Word. This is a progressive work that will go on in our lives until we are presented perfect in Christ at His second coming.

Sanctification is not the eradication of our sinful nature, or of the “old man” in a once and for all experience.

However, God takes His Word, not human speculation or opinions, and sets us apart from the world to Himself. We are set apart for God’s special use. Therefore, our values, goals and behaviors are distinct from the world’s.

The Word of God sanctifies us as we study, meditate, memorize and apply its truths to our daily life. The Holy Spirit uses it to make us aware of sin, confess it and repent. He takes the Word and reveals God’s perfect will for our lives. We grow in His grace through the knowledge of His truth. As we yield in obedience to His truth we are sanctified by the truth.

Jesus prayed to His Father, “For this sake I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19). Jesus was already set apart to God. Indeed, He was sinless. However, the night before His death on the cross He was dedicating Himself “that they too may be truly sanctified.” Literally, He said, “sanctified in truth.” Jesus’ death eternally separated believers to God and His kingdom, and God’s truth is the means of their daily sanctification.

“Sanctify them in truth; Your Word is truth” (v. 17). Just as Jesus was set apart for special use, so are the believers. “The truth” is communicated in the “Word.” As we hear the Word, we comprehend the truth and obey it. This changes our values, our lifestyle, and a behavioral change takes place. We are changed in our everyday practice.

As we daily appropriate God’s Word we are sanctified by it. We are set apart to God and changed in the way we live so that we bring honor and glory to the Father.

True daily sanctification in this life comes through the ministry of the Word of God. Jesus told His disciples, “Now are you clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). God set us apart to Himself when He saved us. As we grow in Christ we experience more and more sanctification. We are progressively set apart to God as we grow in our faith, and love for God more than the desire of the world. This being set apart daily comes as the Holy Spirit applies God’s word to our everyday experiences. The Holy Spirit enables us to obey God’s Word. He is the author of the Word and He uses it to enlighten our minds, enable our will and encourage our hearts.

We were made clean through the Word at the new birth. As we obey the Word of God daily the defilement is washed out of our lives. When we sin we do not need to be saved all over again. We will never be regenerated a second or third time. After you bathe, you do not need to bathe again when you get your hands dirty. You wash them off and you are clean once more. God has given us a bar of soap. It is found in 1 John 1:9. Use it daily.

This is the practical and progressive sanctification that is seen in Ephesians 5:25-27 as Jesus sanctifies and cleanses His church. As the believer makes himself available to the Holy Spirit he is changed from the inside out. The Word of God has the liberty in the heart of the Spirit-controlled Christian to displace sin and replace in its place the righteousness of God. The blood of Christ cleanses the believer from actual sin.

Every born again Christian does pursue holiness until the second coming of Christ. At that time He will change these bodies of humiliation and make them like His glorious body. When that happens we shall have reached our goal and become absolutely, perfectly holy and sinless forever.

It is our responsibility to apply the word of God daily in the power of the Holy Spirit. It does not come automatically. For example, to abstain from sexual immorality requires the exercise of self-discipline enabled by the Holy Spirit.

God’s perfect will is that His people be holy (1 Thess. 3:13). “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3). The context deals with sexual immorality; however, the truth can be applied to any area of our lives. “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (v. 7). Paul has in mind the progressive sanctification of his readers whereby they are conformed to the image of Christ in daily experiences.

God’s purpose is for the Christian to live separated lives in purity of mind and body. This is practical sanctification.

A holy life demonstrates God’s supernatural power at work in a believer’s life. A holy walk involves a right relationship with God.

Do you have an appetite for God’s pure Word? Let the Holy Spirit empower you to walk in holiness as you search the Scriptures and obey His Word.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Living In The Spirit

Message by Wil Pounds

Living in the Spirit
Living in the Spirit is living a transparent life. It is a life of obedience to the LORD God, and it is the very life of Jesus Christ Himself given to us by the Holy Spirit.

Has God found in you a person who is willing to obey Him completely? Can He trust you with the pearl of greatest price?

If I am going to live in the Spirit I must say no to self. There are plenty of would be followers of Christ who would follow Him halfway, but not all the way. The other half of the problem is self. Am I willing to die to self?

The normal Christian life is one that is willing to follow the Holy Spirit in complete obedience, without reservation, and disown self. It means to commit yourself literally, utterly, completely in unreserved obedience to Him.

Obedience to the Holy Spirit means freedom. There is great freedom in the spiritual life that comes as we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. The reason it is so freeing is that it is cut loose from subtle selfishness.

“If you love Me; you will obey Me,” Jesus said. When we obey Him we are walking in perfect freedom. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). A little later the apostle Paul writes, “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (v. 18).

“The requirement of the Law” is fulfilled in the believers, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

The idea of “walking” is literally “to walk about,” meaning the habitual way a person conducts his life.

The apostle Paul speaks of this continual habitual action again in Galatians 5:16 when he says to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Who is habitually ordering my life? Do I seek complete obedience to my will, my desires, my ambitions, my goals, and my glory? When I am obeying my Lord I am enjoying perfect liberty because He is in control.

George Matheson said, “Make me captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.” When we are free in Christ we are bound to everything to which He is bound, i.e., righteousness, holiness, love, etc.

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). When I am living in the Spirit I am living in freedom. Only then are we free to live the Christian life.

The result of this freedom to live in the Spirit is the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit reproduces the likeness of Christ in us. Here is a cluster of eight characteristics of Jesus Christ.

When we live in the Spirit we have an abundance of grace for daily living (2 Cor. 12:9). When we are living or “walking in the Spirit” we are living a Spirit-controlled life. We are constantly, moment by moment, filled with the Spirit.

Living in the Spirit is a life constantly, consciously, and definitely subjected to the Spirit. It is a life that has a consuming desire for the Holy Spirit to be in control over our every thought, word, and deed. When we live in the Spirit we live a life that is unceasingly controlled by the Holy Spirit.

We cannot live the normal Christian life unless the Holy Spirit is in constant control.

If I am not living in the Spirit, I am living under the control of my carnal flesh, which is opposed, to everything God is for.

The Holy Spirit is a divine Person who controls another person. As we yield ourselves to Him He uses us to accomplish God’s will in our lives and ministries. He produces His fruit in us. Are we allowing Him to be in constant control of our lives? Are we cooperating with Him in all things?

We have been given freedom to walk in the life of the Spirit. Let’s exercise that freedom.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: God is Able

Message by Wil Pounds

God is Able

What is your favorite doxology in the Bible? Mine is found in Ephesians 3:20-21.

The context is a prayer for God’s high purposes for His redeemed people. Paul’s prayer is that every believer “be filled up to all the fullness of God” (v. 19).

No Christian ever has to worry about having inadequate resources to live the Christian life. God wants us to experience His fullness. The means of this fullness is the Holy Spirit.

His prayer is that every believer may be strengthened internally through the Holy Spirit every day and in every circumstance (v. 16). He is our Comforter, Helper or Encourager, who is called along side to help in time of need. He helps us to do the right thing at the right time under all circumstances. He is our competence to live the Christian life.

He also prays that believers will be growing in their availability to Christ (v. 17a). We are Christians because we have Christ indwelling us, but Paul’s prayer is that Christ will take fuller possession of every aspect of the believer’s life. It is the idea of Jesus Christ settling down in our hearts and making Himself at home and controlling us as the rightful owner of the home. The same word (katoikeo) is used of the fullness of the Godhead abiding in Christ and of Christ abiding in the believer’s life. The verb denotes a permanent habitation as opposed to an occasional visit.

Moreover, Paul prays that we will be firmly rooted or fixed, and grounded in love (vv. 17b-18). God’s love nourishes the believer because it is on a solid foundation. Paul prays that the believer will grow up in the soil of rich love.

He prays that believers will comprehend the greatness of God’s love for us (v. 19). We can never exhaust the love of Christ by our knowledge of it. What Paul is praying for is a true knowledge of God’s love for us. We can know that what we perceive is the true love of Christ. His prayer is that we grow in our awareness of that love for us.

The apostle Paul tells us that the believer is already “made full in Christ” (Col. 2:9–10). We are “complete” meaning “filled full.” This pictures our eternal position in Christ Jesus. We are complete in Him, however in practice we enjoy only the grace that we appropriate by faith. We have all the resources we need from God to live the Christian life. By the presence of the Holy Spirit we can appropriate them.

The desire of Paul’s heart is that we fully experience the love of Christ which surpasses human knowledge (v. 19). His prayer reaches a crescendo in his petition that we may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God. The petition is staggering. The fullness is God’s own fullness, that which fills Himself. He prays that we may be filled up to or unto all the fullness that is in God Himself. God wants us to experience His fullness. A more accurate translation is, “Filled unto all the fullness of God.” The measure of our fullness is God Himself (Eph. 4:11-16). We will reach the limit only when we have reached His fullness.

The staggering thought is that God will fill us with all His fullness. That is an infinite thing that will take place through all eternity. Paul is praying that we will be continuously filled forever as God out of His infinite resources continually pours Himself into His redeemed people.

As His great prayer is expressed he breaks forth in a great doxology of praise to the Lord God. He stands on the edge of the infinite. That we should “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” who “is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us.” He is able to do “exceeding abundantly beyond.” What God is doing is immeasurable. It is superabundantly, quite beyond all measure. Paul uses the highest form of comparison imaginable. He is involved in something that will be worthwhile a million years from now. God will keep on doing in eternity what He is doing for us in this life.

Paul’s prayer and doxology run together with the plea that we be filled forever to the measure of all the fullness of God, which is immeasurable. God is always doing what is “exceeding abundantly beyond” what we ask or imagine because it is His power that is at work within us to accomplish His will.

Now unto Him
Who is able above all things to do
Exceedingly abundantly above
Beyond all that we ask or think
Abundantly above all that we ask or think
Superabundantly, over, above and beyond all that we ask or think
According to the power that works in us
To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily devotional: The Problem of Evil and Suffering

Message by Wil Pounds

The Problem of Evil and Suffering

The greatest theological challenge Christians face is the problem of evil and suffering. Never have we had a greater demand to think biblically. We must speak the truth with integrity when people are desperate to hear it and no one else seems to know where to look for honest answers.

There is not a day that goes by that we are constantly called upon to minister at senseless accidents, terrible disasters, crimes against innocence, or someone suffering from a devastating disease. People demand some enlightenment. Perhaps the most difficult situations are those when the innocent suffer at the sinful hands of others.

In times of tragedy and crisis pastors are called upon to speak words of comfort and encouragement when no one else has any idea what to say. We are supposed to know what to say when nothing seems appropriate to say. Where do you go for such wisdom and guidance?

Jesus had a way of saying exactly what needed to be said in every situation. In Luke 13:1-8, Jesus was informed of a tragic event. Pontius Pilate perpetuated an atrocity in which innocent Galileans were killed in the Temple precincts in Jerusalem. The blood of the Galileans was mingled with the sacrifices in the Temple and therefore desecrated the Temple. A greater horror cannot be imagined in Jerusalem.

Jesus asked, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all the Galileans because they suffered this fate?”

What was the thinking of those who came with the horrible news? They assumed that these Galilean victims died because they were greater sinners. Perhaps they thought that they were more righteous because they were alive.

To make His point even clearer Jesus reminded His listeners of the tower that had fallen in Siloam, killing 18 men. Were they greater sinners than those who lived in Jerusalem? Jesus made it very clear, “No.” He said to them, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

In this passage, Jesus dealt with both moral and natural evil. The murder of the innocent Galileans was clearly a moral evil of terrorism by cruel Roman soldiers.

On the other hand, natural evil comes without a moral agent. It happens when a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake wrecks havoc in a city or nation.

Superficial answers to the problem of evil won’t cut it. How could a morally good God allow this tragedy to happen? How can a God of love permit nature’s destruction?

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah said long ago that we will submit our thinking to a sovereign God, or we will try to invent a god of our own imagination. The ancient Romans and Greeks thought God can be good, or He can be all-powerful, but He cannot be good and all-powerful. Modern man seems to think God is somehow limited in His knowledge and power.

However, the Word of God fully declares that God is both omnipotent and omniscient. He is not limited in His knowledge and power. The sovereign Creator rules over all His creation. Not even one atom or molecule of the universe is outside His active rule. The modern humanist wants to do away with the sovereignty of God. But a limited sovereignty is no sovereignty at all. They seem to think you can do away with God and have it any way you want it.

The moral attributes of God make it clear that He is not the author of evil. God is absolutely righteous and good. God defines all good, not man. The Bible does not tell us why God has allowed sin, but we do know that God has demonstrated victory over sin at the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

To allow evil does not deny the sovereignty of God and His active will. God is sovereign, and He is good. He always has the last word in our lives.

Our problem with good and evil is basically a problem of human sin and depravity. Sin is an attack upon God’s personhood and character. Man is not basically good; he is a sinner. That is not a compliment (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:23). It is a statement of fact. Evil is real and it is deadly (Rom. 6:23).

Our sin problem can be solved only by the power of God. We will all stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account of our lives. Unless we are found in Christ, we will spend an eternity in hell separated from the Lord God.

The problem of sin and evil becomes personal because we have all sinned in God’s eyes. Jesus used the news of the falling tower and the tragic murder of the Galileans to call men to repentance. In His grace He calls us to humble ourselves and repent when we suddenly face the tragic events in life.

“Unless you repent, you will likewise perish” is just as true in our day. We, too, are in immediate danger of God’s judgment, but for the grace of God.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?

Message by Wil Pounds

How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?

“I am convinced that nothing in this world happens outside the will of God—literally nothing. There are no failures, and there are no loose ends in the ultimate plan of God.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?

Someone correctly said, “God is too kind to do anything cruel . . . Too wise to make a mistake, . . . too deep to explain Himself. When we know the Who we can stop asking, ‘Why?’”

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:27-28, “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Those who “love God” are “those who are called according to His purposes.” God causes everything to work for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes. That is Paul’s deep personal conviction. Mere “things” do not work together for good or evil. “And we know” in all our suffering and pain God is working out His great eternal purpose. No matter what the circumstances in our lives that purpose will not be overthrown, and it culminates in final glory to God.

Paul’s focus is on our eternal sovereign God at work, not some “evolutionary optimism.”

Let’s be quite honest all things from our limited human perspective do not always seem in the moment of crisis to be turning out for our good. At least, we don’t in the pain and emotion feel that way. From our limited knowledge bad things do happen to Christians, and at times it seems that evil is winning.

However, when we get God into the picture the “final good,” or “true good,” is “good” for those who “love God and are called according to His purposes.”

Those who have responded to the “effectual call” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can look back over events leading to their putting their faith in Christ and see God’s hand in it all.

Often we go into the presence of God to pay and we do not have the slightest idea what to pay for, but we do know that we will grow in His grace and the knowledge of Him as the Holy Spirit works in us to accomplish His will. The Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf that God’s perfect will be done.

In discovering and doing the will of God it is most important that we seek to become Christlike in all that we do. Our ultimate goal is to be conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.

I am convinced that is the perfect will of God. We do not need to know all the details, but to walk by faith in Christ knowing the Holy Spirit is guiding and leading us that God’s will is done. Is that not the thrust of what Paul is saying in the context of these verses? In the face of difficult circumstances ask God for wisdom (Jas. 1:5) because “God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” We have the assurance, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation, or shifting of shadow” (v. 17).

The Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” He knows what the will of God is, and “He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (v. 26-28).

The Holy Spirit is praying for you and me right now in these areas according to the sovereign and efficacious will of God. I can be quite confident of that, and even quite bold, knowing that His sovereign will and purposes will be accomplished in my life. “And we know” says the apostle.

He gives us wisdom and He is praying for us that we will obey Him. We need to make wise decisions based on His leading. Make yourself available to Him.

God orders the events in our lives according to His sovereign plan to conform us to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Every choice we make in life should be around that central purpose in our lives. Is the person you are dating causing you to become more like Jesus Christ in your thinking, behavior and attitudes? Does your vocation or profession open doors for you to share Jesus Christ with lost sinners?

I am often asked, “Does God want me to marry this person?” My response is will that person be used of God to conform you to the likeness of Jesus Christ? God does have a perfect plan for your life, and He will keep bringing people and circumstances into your life to knock off the rough edges of your personality and fashion and shape you into His likeness. I am convinced that in the sovereign love and wisdom of God He causes all things to “converge upon and contribute to that goal.” Even many of the evil things that come into our lives He uses in His wisdom and grace to work for our good and His glory. God will not allow even one single thing to work evil to the people of God (Romans 8:28-37). Do I have my mind and heart set on God’s determinate and eternal purpose? Then I can not go wrong because I am involved in something that will still be worthwhile a million years from now.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Our One Supreme Passion

Message by Wil Pounds

Our One Supreme Passion

Authentic Christianity is God-centered because it loves the Lord God with all the heart, mind soul and strength. Evidence of a true knowledge of God is an obsession with the glory of God manifest in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The one consuming passion of the believer is the glory of God because he has witnessed the grandeur, majesty and excellence of the Lord God through the eyes of the Lord Jesus and he can never remain the same thereafter.

The glory of God is the sum weight of all the attributes of God. It sums up all that He is in the awesome beauty of His divine perfections. He is perfectly and infinitely glorious.

The grace of God frees us and enables us to live for His glory. Apart from His enabling grace we can do nothing that will honor and please a righteous and holy God. What we do in our abilities will only dishonor His glorious Name. If I touch it with my hands I ruin it for I am sinful. Only if what I do is covered by His atoning sacrifice will it be acceptable to a holy God.

It is our responsibility to ascribe the glory that is due to His wonderful person. We cannot add to His already perfect glory. We glory in His Name when we worship Him and live with the conviction that His perfections are characteristic of His person.

We live in a way that can mirror His glory. To sin is to bring dishonor and fall short of His glory. The passion of the Christian is to live a life-style that is to the praise of His glory. If that is our supreme passion it will redefine our daily life, and we will not be able to separate our personal lives from our worship of the living God.

It is tragic to see a self-centered, man-centered, humanistic pseudo-christianity in our churches.

If our supreme passion is to bring glory to the LORD God it will redefine our manner of life, our goals, methods and purposes in ministry. It means we will live every moment of our lives to the praise of His glory. The focus is on Him alone. He will share His glory with no one.

An authentic, vital Christianity results in a consecration of the whole person to the Lord Jesus Christ. It takes seriously God’s purpose in our sanctification as to transform us in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. God’s mystery in bringing glory to Himself is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Our responsibility in ministry is to “proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ” (v. 28).

We are being transformed as we behold Christ with our spiritual eyes. The apostle Paul said, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Our responsibility is to “behold” Him in the glory of His divine character with our spiritual eyes. The nearer we keep to Christ the more rapid the change in us. We become like those with whom we associate. “When He shall appear we will be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Our character will be conformed to Christ. If we are to become like Christ we must live closer and closer to Him. We must know Him and see life through His eyes.

As we are being transformed into the image of Christ men will see a glimpse of Him also. Our lives are transformed. It will become evident by the way we conduct our businesses, and our personal lives that we have been with Jesus. Christ is patient, kind, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, etc. That is what it means to be conformed to the image of Christ. Righteousness that is Christ-like bears evidence of His righteousness and therefore the Father is glorified.

Moreover, the transforming secret is “Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). If Christ is living in me I cannot fail to be changed from glory to glory in His image. If we abide in Him, and He in us, it is impossible not to bear fruit in His likeness (John 15:5). By faith we put on Christ. We must let Him live in us and work in us to be and to do His good pleasure.

It is our responsibility to abandon ourselves entirely to Him. Jesus Christ comes to abide in us, and is Himself our life. It begins with a commitment to Christ and a daily commitment of our whole lives to Christ. We hand over to Him our thoughts, our words, our walk, etc. Lord Jesus, I give myself to You, and I move in with Him. We abide in Him. He abides in us. By faith we take off the old person and put on the new in the likeness of Christ. By faith we reckon ourselves dead unto sin, and alive unto God. We are just as dead as we are alive. By faith we realize that our every day life is Christ living in us. By faith we allow the living, loving, glorious, risen Christ to become our dwelling place. The bond with Christ is so powerful that it is described and our being in Christ and His dwelling in us. We are His new dwelling place! We are continually transformed as we allow Him to reign and rule within us. He subdues all things unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:17). It is the living Christ working in us that transforms and conforms us to Christ.

Has Jesus Christ become the one consuming supreme passion of your life? It liberates the soul and frees you to be all that God wants you to be in Christ Jesus. I invite you to join me in this love affair with such a wonderful glorious Lord and Savior. There is none other like Him. This supreme passion to glorify God defines the Christian’s way of life, including our witness and our worship.

There is no greater passion of the soul than to live in expectation for that glory to be manifest through all eternity by redeemed people from every tribe and nation before His throne. We will join in that glorious redeemed body singing:

And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” . . . And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 4:8, 11; 5:9, 12).


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Who Is Jesus Christ?

Message by Wil Pounds

Who is Jesus Christ?

In a hot debate with a group of hostile religious leaders Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).

In their rush to react in emotional excitement they weren’t paying attention to what Jesus said so they concluded, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (v. 57).

In response to their question Jesus made one of the most profound statements about His deity. “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM” (v. 58).

Who is this man? Is He God? Who is this “I AM”? Who is Jesus Christ?

Make no mistake Jesus was claiming to have existed before the Jewish patriarch Abraham was born. He was claiming an eternal preexistence—“Before Abraham was born, I am.”

When Jesus used the name “I AM” He was actually using the divine name by which the God of Israel had revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14). God revealed Himself to Moses as “I am who I am.” “I AM” is the name for God that Jesus takes to Himself. With this name for deity He claimed to be Yahweh which is the very word for Jehovah or LORD.

The Jews listening to Jesus immediately recognized His claim to be God. The Jewish leaders knew what Jesus was saying. They clearly understood His speech. Because they were so inferioritied, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.

This was not the only time Jesus directly or indirectly claimed to be God’s equal.

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17). Everything Jesus taught when referring to the Old Testament related indirectly to His claim to deity. Luke 24:25-27, 45-47 makes this claim of Jesus quite clear.

When Jesus forgave sins, He was well aware that He was claiming to do what only Jehovah can do. As God, He claimed to be able to send the Holy Spirit of God to indwell His followers.

But Jesus even claimed a unique relationship with the heavenly Father. No Jew in Jesus’ day ever spoke of God directly as “my Father.” Jesus clearly was the exception. He claimed an exclusive relationship to the Father.

“I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:30). Because of His unique relationship with the Father, He taught His disciples to refer to the Father as “our Father who art in heaven.”

Moreover, Jesus equated a person’s attitude toward Himself as His attitude to God. To known Him was to know God the Father (Jn. 8:19; 14:9, 16-17). To look into the face of Jesus was to see God (Jn. 12:45; 14:9). To trust in Him was to believe in God (Jn. 12:44; 14:1). To reject Him is to reject God and His offer of eternal life (Jn. 15:23; 1 Jn. 4:15). To worship Him was to honor and worship God the Father (Jn. 5:23; 1 Jn. 4:2-3).

Ultimately your response to the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” determines where you will spend eternity.

If Jesus is God, He has a right to my allegiance. If not I can well afford to pay no attention to Him. But what if Jesus really is God? Then you cannot afford to be indifferent. He did not leave us with that option.

Will it be God in the flesh, or your own god?

If it is self you may gain the whole world, but you will lose your own soul in hell.

Have you responded, “My Lord and my God!”? Is He your Adonai! Elohim! Yahweh! Jehovah! LORD?

What do you choose to do with Jesus?


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotional: Do You See What I See?

Message by Wil Pounds

Do You See What I See?

“Christ in you the hope of glory,” wrote the apostle Paul. It is one of the greatest blessings of the Christian life that we share the image of Jesus Christ and go “from glory to glory.”

“We all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NET).

Every believer has the privilege of entering into the holy of holies and enjoying an intimate communion with God.

“Glory” as used in the Bible is a quality belonging to God. The word “glory” suggests something which radiates from the one who has it, leaving an indelible impression behind.

In the Old Testament “glory” is seldom used for the honor shown to men, but it is frequently used for the honor brought or given to God. His glory and power is manifest or shown forth.

“Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:7-10).

We are constantly reminded in the Scriptures that the LORD God will not share His glory with another (Isa. 42:8; 48:11).

The Hebrew word kabod brings out the luminous, manifestation of God’s person, and His glorious revelation of Himself (Isa. 6:3; Ex. 33:17-23; 34:29-35; Num. 14:10, 21ff; Hab. 2:14; Psa. 72:18-19).

The Lord Jesus Christ shares in this same glory that the Father enjoys. Jesus said, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5). It appears above all in His work of salvation on the cross, His resurrection and ascension into glory. Jesus possessed the glory continually, but not in open demonstration except on various occasions (Matt. 17:1ff; John 1:1-3, 14, 18, 2:11, etc). Jesus will be revealed in His glory and power for all men to see at His Second Coming (Matt. 19:28; Lk. 22:30; 24:30; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). We will see Him as He is now (Rev. 21:22-23; 4:8-14; 5:9-17; Phil. 3:21; 1 Thess. 2:12; Heb. 2:10; 1 Pet. 5:1, 4, 10; 1 Cor. 15:48-53; Rom. 8:17, 29; Col. 3:4; 1 Jn. 3:2).

Moreover, Christians are to be like mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of God wherever and in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves.

The glory of God with its transforming power is operative even now among believers through the risen Christ and our fellowship with Him (Rom. 8:29-30). The believer shares this divine glory now as it is reflected in the person of Jesus Christ and will in complete perfect manifestation of that glory in the great consummation when Christ returns. The Christian’s confidence is in “the hope of glory” in Christ (Col. 1:27; Eph. 1:18; 2 Thess. 2:14; 2 Tim. 2:10).

The highest obligation of man is to glorify and praise the LORD God in worship. The only way this can happen is through an intimate personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s power is demonstrated and operates in “salvation history.” The supreme manifestation of the power and glory of God appears in His work of salvation (Matt. 17:2-5; Jn. 1:14; 2:11; 2 Cor. 4:4, 6, etc).

Jesus gives His glory to those who believe in Him (Jn. 17:15, 22). The veil of unbelief is removed in Christ. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The mirror is God’s Word (James 1:22-25). As we look into God’s Word and see the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of God. It is important in this process of sanctification that we be honest, open and transparent with God and do not wear a veil. We are changed on the outside because of the change that comes about on the inside. We radiate the glory of God because He has placed it within us through the new birth, justification and sanctification. We meditate on God’s Word and look into the face of Jesus and the Holy Spirit transforms us. As we grow in the knowledge of Him and His grace, we continually grow from glory to glory in His likeness. The glory of God’s grace continues to increase in the yielded believer. Only the grace of God can make us like Jesus.

The glory of the Christian does not fade away like Moses’ did, but is an ever-increasing glory, i.e., from one stage of glory to another. A believer’s glory is eternal because of God’s abiding presence through the Holy Spirit. This glory is the work of the Holy Spirit in our regeneration and sanctification. We are being progressively transformed into the likeness of Christ. Christ-likeness is the goal of the Christian life (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10).

The veil of unbelief was lifted, and remains lifted, as we behold the glorious face of the Lord Jesus. It is like looking into a mirror or contemplating something glorious. We reflect in our person that same glory of the Lord. We are being continuously transformed. Our inward reality is being changed because we are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Christians seeing in Jesus the image of God, are not deified, but are transformed into the same image. The glory that we share with Christ ever increases from one stage of glory to a higher stage of glory. This is our grand inheritance now in Christ. Can you find a better picture of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures?

The veils, once lifted, remain lifted. All of us Christians without any veils over our faces continuously reflect like mirrors the glorious splendor of the Lord if we keep on beholding Him in the Word of God. We are being transformed into the same likeness of Him, in an ever increasing splendor from one degree of His splendor to another, since this change of outward experience comes from the Lord who is the Spirit working in our hearts (Pounds’ Paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 3:18).


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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