Marie’s daily verse: 1 Peter 5:6-7Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time,casting all your cares upon Him,for He cares for you.


So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).

I want to reflect on the second sentence in the text. When we are clothed with Christ, a marvelous change happens. We are united with Christians all over the world. The differences we observe between people are gone forever. We no longer distinguish between a Jew and a Gentile; a male and a female; a black or a white; a Russian or a Chinese, etc. All persons of every race and background are united together in Christ. Prejudice disappears.

Yesterday we saw that baptism brings this change. It is the baptism Christ performs when we come to Him by faith – – – the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water without the Spirit cannot bring about this change. Note that water and Spirit baptism are joined into the one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). I was baptized in water in 1950. I did not expect anything to happen, and nothing happened! I was baptized by the Spirit into Christ about 13 years later. Together they constitute one baptism. Normally, the person with a penitent heart enters the waters of baptism after the baptism of the Spirit (I guess that makes me abnormal!). But, like the Trinity, baptism is a mystery. How can two baptisms be one? How can three persons be one God? It’s in the Book!

Father, blessed be Your name! I confess that at age 14, I did not understand the two sides of baptism. However, you brought them together into one baptism, although they were separated for many years. Thank You so much for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which makes Jesus real in my soul. In His name, I pray, Amen.


Marie’s daily verse: Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. PHILIPPIANS 4:5


So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).

Paul says a lot in a few words. First, he says we become a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This takes place through “baptism.” We are baptized into Christ and become clothed with Christ. The word “baptism” is used in two ways in Scripture. Water baptism was practiced first by John the Baptist and subsequently by pastors. Water baptism is of lesser importance than Spirit baptism performed by Jesus. John the Baptist says in Matthew 3:11, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Water baptism does not clothe you with Christ. The Holy Spirit does that in the baptism performed by Jesus. We are baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is the outward act symbolizing the inward act performed by Jesus. Whenever we see the word “baptism,” we must ask ourselves, “Is the reference to water baptism or Spirit baptism?” When we repent, we are baptized in water. To be clothed with Christ requires the Holy Spirit. Both baptisms are important. More on this verse tomorrow.

Father, I thank You that when I came to faith, I was baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ. The Holy Spirit makes Jesus real in my soul, the greatest of all blessings. Thank You, in the name of Jesus, Amen.



Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 121:1-2, 

King James Version:I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.


“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” -(Colossians 3:23, NLT).

Paul reminds us that we work for God, not for people. Whatever we do we are to remind ourselves that we do it for God. People may benefit (or not) from what we do. We are to do all our work/activities willingly, unto the Lord. Your employer signs the paycheck but you are working for the Lord. I wish I had known this earlier. I spent a lot of years doing things for myself. Even my early church work was more for myself than for God. 

Do you realize you are working for God, not for people? You belong to Him. He watches you and you work for Him. That means we must work hard and always try to do our best. God is a wonderful employer and will reward you. So, remember who you work for. 

Father, I want to live my life for You, always under Your authority. What a blessing it is to know I work for One who loves me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved, 

all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other


‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

The words of Isaiah need to be remembered. Some have said, “God is God, and we are not.” God has revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures and His Son Jesus, the Messiah. We need to know how to relate to God. God’s Word and Jesus are our guides. We know God loves us, that Jesus died for us, and that our sins are forgiven. Isaiah reminds us that while we know much about God, we don’t know everything.

We live our lives trusting in Jesus. As life unfolds, there is so much we don’t understand. God’s thoughts and God’s ways are way above us. When we do not know what is happening, we must continue to trust the Father and the Son. We are to walk by faith even when we do not understand the mind of God. We know He loves us and is always working for our good. We can rest in those truths.

Father, I confess there is much I do not understand about Your ways. Please help me to walk by faith and not by what is happening in my life. I believe You love me no matter what. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen. 


Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 23:1:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

             DAILY DEVOTION, April 25, 2023
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
This isn’t easy. We talked about this in our Wednesday Bible study a few weeks ago. We must confront a brother or sister (a fellow Christian) if we know they are “caught up” in a sin. This means they keep on sinning with no repentance. I have never had to apply this verse in my years as a pastor. If any of my church members were caught up in some sin, I never knew about it!
But there are two cautions in the verse should we ever need to put it into practice. First, the aim is to restore the person to obedience to Jesus, and it must be done gently. The purpose is not to embrace or boot them out of the church but to restore them. Second, we must always be careful.  We are not above being “caught up” ourselves. But the verse is there and is to be followed if the situation arises.
Father, help me guard my heart, so I am not caught up in some sin. May the grace of our Lord Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit keep me faithful. If and when I do slip (and I will), lead me quickly to repentance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.