Chains of Debt

Chains of Debt

Chains of Debt | One Verse: A journey through the Bible

Romans 8:12-14 MSG “So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!”

Imagine the joy of having your home paid off, or maybe a school loan, or even a car loan. Now imagine going to the bank after it’s paid off and continuing to try to pay the debt even though it doesn’t exist.

Our debt was paid in full through the blood of Christ. Yet many of us still try to continue to pay on this debt even though it does not exist! The enemy of our lives wants us to feel unworthy and indebted.

God sent his Son as a final payment for all sin, for all time. Christ reconciled us to God in spite of who we are. We are worthy because of the the blood of Christ, not because of what we do, are doing, or will do.

As the Romans 8:12-14 notes “God’s Spirit beckons”. If we are living in the Spirit, we understand that God wants us to extend grace to others as grace has been extended to us. That is to say we should not believe the lie that we must work to earn grace.

The enemy wants us paralyzed with fear, holding on to our inequities, believing that we are not good enough or are not doing enough. But as we follow Christ we are to lay down the burden of that debt and accept His grace. The debt is paid. We have new life.

As you assess your debt, consider these questions:

What do you need to lay down at the cross and give to God, so that you can accept His grace and acknowledge that you don’t have to earn my way into his favor?

Why do you hold onto the idea that you must earn grace?

What Scriptural truth can you speak when the enemy casts doubt on my worth and insists that you are not good enough for God?

Break away from the burden of your debt, Christ has paid to free you forevermore. Find new life in Him today. May God bless you and may his face shine upon you.


Activating Your Dreams

Activating Your Dreams

Activating Your Dreams | One Verse

Proverbs 26:16 (MSG) Dreamers fantasize their self-importance; they think they are smarter than a whole college faculty.

Sometimes in our dreaming, we pull the focus towards our own abilities. We end up squashing our dreams before we ever attempt them as a result of self-doubt. We get hung up in insecurity or tangled in the fear of risk and decide it is safer to not pursue our dreams. Rooted in self-centered pride, we’ve forgotten that our dreams are not about what we can do, but about what God can do through us.

God has gifted each of us to make a unique impact in His Kingdom. In 1 Peter 4:10 the Bible instructs us to “use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. Each of our giftings look different and all of them are designed to lend a different piece to the Kingdom.

Don’t believe the lie that you have nothing to offer. God has not called us all to the same action, but he has called us each to take unique action. God has designed you with a purpose. With whatever you have, in whatever way you can –  just show up and show the love of Christ.

Dreamers dream and doers do.

What’s the difference between the two?

Take a look and you will see, doers do, while dreamers dream.

Dreamers seek riches and gold and soon find they are very old.

With nothing gained or intact, except for a dream they never attacked.

Doers know when they stay on task; their dreams are always within their grasp.

Like a wheel gaining traction, doers know it starts with action.

God doesn’t just tell us to dream of reaching people; he instructs us to take responsibility and action in service. We are God’s vessels to which he has called to go and love. Let today be the day you put His love on display. Serve when you don’t feel like it and allow others to see Christ beyond your words through your actions.

As you think about where your gifts and dreams collide consider these questions:

1. Are your dreams self-centered or God-centered?

2. What is hindering you from taking the next step towards your God-centered dreams?

3. How can you use your gifts to bring people closer to God?

Today discover confidence in what God has purposed your for. Find the courage to pursue the dreams He has placed in your heart. May God’s grace fill your days.

Change is Hard

Proverbs 14: 32-33


32 The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die. 

Change is hard. It may be one of the most difficult things we do as we seek to learn, grow, and engage the world while trying to live out our faith. Sometimes we can find ourselves unwilling to change in spite of obvious and direct evidence that we should. In the scripture above we learn that “the wicked are crushed by disaster”. Galatians 6: 7-10 tells us “Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone- especially to those in the family of the faith.”


I don’t see the writer referring to “the wicked” as just criminals or generic ne’er-do-wells. When we consider context wicked means those who do not place their trust in God. If we live our lives for ourselves only we remove God from the position of Master and place ourselves at the head of the table. Obviously, this leads us down roads where we make decisions based on what is good for us first and foremost instead of communing with God in prayer as a Servant to his will. Our challenge is to understand that God has big plans for us…he wants us to place his will ahead our own so he can do his work in our lives. He has promised through Jesus’s death and resurrection an eternal life to those who seek him. This Proverb may be a warning to those who will not change or submit to Gods will for their lives. Those who put themselves in the place of Master instead of servant, those who place pride above humility and themselves above God will not escape his judgment and will have no control over their final destination. We must submit in service to the Father if we are to receive his eternal refuge.


33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.

Wisdom is gained by understanding, the question then is how we gain understanding. The Proverb specifically states it takes “heart”. Consider Matthew 6:21 “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”. We must understand that submitting to Gods will is how to gain and keep wisdom. If our treasure is elsewhere then we limit our own ability to gain Gods wisdom because our heart is not seeking it. Proverbs 3:5 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” This is further evidence that God wants us to submit our hearts to his will for our lives. When we do he can use us to bless others, and be a light of hope in the world. For some this is a major change. It means putting God at the head of the table and humbly seeking to serve him, even when we may not like where he is leading us… As I conclude…let’s consider a couple of questions:


  1. Is wisdom gained by going after what I want or listening to what God wants?
  2. What can I do better, differently, or more diligently to make sure God is the focus of my heart?
  3. What motivates my actions God or worldly things?

Taking the Stand: Will I be an Honest Witness?

Proverbs 14: 5-6

Many of us have seen a television show where there is a dramatic courtroom scene and a witness is testifying. The tension is high, people are on edge, and the outcome hinges on the testimony of this one witness. Similarly, our willingness to be an honest witness not only affects our own lives but the lives of others. God’s word challenges us to stand firm and be an honest witness.

5 An honest witness does not lie, a false witness breathes lies.

Although this verse on its face appears simple, it is a rather complex statement. When the writer refers to lies he is not referring to simply speaking lies. He is talking about deception. We must understand Satan (The Deceiver) is the ultimate deceiver. In every way he lies. Through word and deed, action and inaction, he wants us to believe those things that would keep us far from God. He wants to confuse and conflict us. He wants to use what God has given us as weapons against us. One example is “conviction”. God gives us conviction so that we might seek forgiveness, change our behaviors, and come into a better and closer relationship with him. The Deceiver uses conviction to tell us we are not worthy of God’s love, he uses it to keep us from achieving Gods plan for our lives. He continually deceives us with falsehoods about our worthiness of God’s love and attention. We can break through his lies by understanding the simple truth that God is for us and is an honest witness to our lives. If we seek him in prayer and genuinely listen to his guidance he will always speak and reveal truth (wisdom) into our lives.

6 A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.

Does a mocker seek wisdom? Perhaps, but not true wisdom, much like the ultimate deceiver a mocker deceives themselves by thinking wisdom resides in what they already know. Those who seek true wisdom (Gods truth) must submit to the truth that there is much they don’t know. Think of someone you know who is unwilling to change…They may debate and argue their position, all the while never admitting when they may be wrong (Pride). This is the mocker…”I am right because I say I am right…I will listen to your position…but only so I can try to prove you wrong.” That may be why the mocker never finds wisdom…he seeks only wisdom that agrees with what he already thinks. However, True wisdom is easily found for those who are willing to change. (Open), those who are willing to genuinely listen (Humble), and those are willing to accept that they may need to change their position (Vulnerability). When we are open, humble, and vulnerable we are able to hear and understand Gods wisdom because we take the position of servant instead of master. We recognize our dependence on God and like any good and faithful servant we seek to do what is pleasing to the Master. As a result, when we genuinely submit to God in prayer and seek his truth we are able to hear him, understand, and recognize true wisdom.

As I composed this a couple of questions came to mind that I will reflect on and I encourage you to consider.

  1. In what way could I be a more honest witness? (Avoid Gossip, Half Truths, False Witness)
  2. Do I mock Gods wisdom by not seeking it or only seeking it when things are hard?
  3. What areas of my life am I holding on to that keep me from gaining a better understanding of Gods wisdom?


Service is Leadership

Proverbs 12: 23-24

23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.

As a younger man I sought to be noticed, recognized, and seen as valuable. I tended to lean towards a great sense of embarrassment at not knowing something or seeming unintelligent. I found great pleasure in proving myself right and vanquishing anyone who would stand in the way of me being right. As I grew in my faith, I started to recognize that my value is far beyond what I could ever understand. After all God sent his Son to be a living sacrifice to atone for my sins. My hunger for his word grew and my willingness to “win at all costs” began to wane. I became more and more convicted by the truth that I could be right or I could do right. Simply put I finally understood if I am to live as a disciple of Christ then I must do right even if that means that I could no longer hold on to being right. Instead, I must be Christ like. That is to say humble, open, and vulnerable, instead of broadcasting my foolishness in an attempt to demonstrate my own righteousness. I must be a seeker of wisdom, understanding, and listen intentionally to God as he directs my life.

24 Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.

If we are to be Godly leaders we must sacrifice in service to others. As mentioned previously, we must seek to do right instead of just seeking to be right. Knowledge without the wisdom to apply it is folly. Next, we must seek first to understand then be understood. Many disagreements happen because we don’t understand and don’t seek clarity before becoming offended, casting judgment, or blame. Finally, we must listen with intent to others and to God. What is God saying to you today about his plans for your life? Are you calling on him and listening with intent or are your conversations with God one sided. Ultimately, to be a Godly leader we need to be less selfish and more selfless. Conversely, the lazy can and do become slaves. They become slaves to self glorification, dreams, and desires that are completely inward focused. When a person becomes a slave to their own desires and self glory they put themselves above the work of service to others. As a result they may miss out on the wonderful blessings God has for them and the opportunity to be a blessing in others lives.

In summary, I encourage you to consider four questions:

  1. Is it better to be right or do right?
  2. Is it better to be heard or to hear?
  3. Is it better to be understood or to understand?
  4. Based on your responses above do you seek to serve or be served?

Lord…I pray these words resonate and that your will be done, I pray for those who would see this, that they would know you today and forevermore. Thank you for sending your Son to redeem us Father. We are seekers of your wisdom. May we do right, listen intently and understand so that we may glorify your name.