Category Archives: devotions

If God Wills | Bible Gleanings – January 28-29, 2023

He didn’t receive a miracle, but his friend did. His friend was delivered from death, but he wasn’t. The Bible says that the suffering experienced by the disciples James and Peter ended quite differently. James was martyred by Herod, but Peter was miraculously freed from prison by a heavenly angel (Acts 12:1-19). Considering that there wasn’t a hair’s difference between them, why was James allowed to die while Peter was granted freedom?

Because sometimes God wills to deliver His people and sometimes He doesn’t. God did not love Peter more than James. Peter had not prayed more fervently or with more faith than his colleague. Peter was not a better follower of Jesus than James. It was simply the sovereign will of God to grant Peter deliverance while withholding it from James.

God may also deliver you from your suffering and trials, or He may allow them to persist. The sun of His providence may dry up the clouds of trouble, or it might hide behind them for a torrential season. You can petition the Lord to end your afflictions (cf. Psalm 13:1), and He may will them to cease today or to last for a thousand tomorrows. God may allow you to keep your thorn in the flesh, or He may gracefully remove it (2 Cor. 12:7-10). God may deliver you from the fiery furnace, or He may deliver you over to fiery afflictions such as those endured by Job (Job 1:6-22; Dan. 3:24-27).

You cannot know what the sovereign will of the Lord is. He has written a novel for your life that only He may read. As Moses said, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God” (Deut. 29:29). However, you can be certain that whatever God wills for His children is good. Paul declared, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28; cf. Ezra 8:22).

“My Jesus, as Thou wilt:

O may Thy will be mine!

Into Thy hand of love

I would my all resign.

Through sorrow or thro’ joy,

Conduct me as Thine own,

And help me still to say,

“My Lord, Thy will be done.”

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Bad Company | Bible Gleanings – January 21-22, 2023

It didn’t make sense. How could this have happened? How did a brand new bag of lemons go bad so quickly? Except for one moldy lemon I had forgotten to discard, they were all glistening and golden yellow. This mystery left me sour—how did they all turn from ripe to rotten in a week? 

The good lemons had apparently acquired the invasive mold from the bad lemon. Mold is an aggressive fungus that contaminates everything within its reach in the blink of an eye. Hence, the miniscule mold of one rotten lemon was enough to corrupt all the healthy ones. As the old adage says, “One bad apple can spoil the barrel.” It must also apply to lemons!

It also applies to the company we keep as believers. No matter how much of a “good lemon” you are, you can easily acquire infectious sin from fellowshipping carelessly or continuously with “bad lemons.” The Bible is clear that even good Christians can be corrupted if they keep evil company. The apostle Paul admonished, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”” (1 Cor. 15:33). The applicable Proverbs also warn against keeping bad company: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20).

Placing yourself in the same sack as the ungodly ensures that their sin will creepily cling to you. As Solomon warned, “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Prov. 25:26). You can still associate with the wicked; after all, how else will you fish for men (Mark 1:17)? However, you must never let your guard down or keep only evil company. Even Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, but He never participated in their sin (Matt. 9:10; cf. John 8:29).

Abstain from the company of “bad lemons” just as David did when he declared, “I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked” (Psalm 26:4-5). Don’t hold hands with the ungodly, “lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare” (Prov. 22:25). Remain diligent especially when striving to help others overcome sin, so that their sin doesn’t entice you: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). And surround yourself with other “good lemons” in God’s family, namely, those who are living exemplary lives of godliness: “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil. 3:17).

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Leaving Jesus Out | Bible Gleanings – January 14-15, 2023

The blank white space says it all. There is a glaring empty delineation in the center of Adolph Menzel’s famous painting, Frederick the Great’s Address to His Generals Before the Battle of Leuthen, and it is right where the main character was meant to be. Menzel intended to depict Frederick’s rousing oration to his generals given on the eve of the Battle of Leuthen in 1757, but he never finished it. The wintry landscape of the battlefield and the gaudy uniforms worn by the generals are portrayed in photorealistic detail, but there is a flagrant void where Frederick the Great should be! Menzel burned all of his time beautifying the things that mattered the least while leaving out the central character.

And while Menzel’s infamous work may be an imperfect portrait, it is sometimes a perfect portrait of our lives. More often than not, we tend to the minor matters of life and embellish the things that do not matter eternally. We scrupulously paint the canvas of our careers, personal ambitions, and worldly achievements while omitting the central figure, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is very easy to give ourselves fully to everything else except the One who gave Himself up for us (Eph. 5:2). Many times, there is a white space in our lives where Jesus should be. 

The white space glares when we tirelessly serve the greedy god of Mammon instead of selflessly serving the Master, Jesus (Matt. 6:24; cf. Col. 3:23-24). The white space scowls when we offer the Lord the leftovers of our earnings after having spent it all on ourselves (Prov. 3:9-10; Mal. 3:8). The white space gradually widens when we work painstakingly toward the achievement of our own personal goals, rather than pursuing the goal of testifying to Jesus and finishing our course (Acts 20:24). The white space rears its ugly head when we fail to redeem the time God has given us because our schedules are jammed with frivolous matters (Eph. 5:16). The only way to prevent a white space from emerging is to paint Jesus in the “foreground” of our lives, and tend to the “background” aspects after putting Him first in everything. 

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” the Lord commands in the Decalogue (Ex. 20:3). Similarly, Jesus calls us to seek Him and His kingdom first (Matt. 6:33). Does not the one and only God deserve to be our one and only God (Isa. 45:5)? Does not the First and the Last Himself deserve to be the first in our lives and not last (Rev. 1:17)? Does not the exalted Lord of all deserve to be the Lord of all that we are and all that we do (Eph. 1:20-23)?

When we are done painting the portrait of our lives, will there be a blank space where Jesus belongs?

“All to Jesus I surrender,

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all;

All to Thee, my blessed Savior,

I surrender all.”— Judson W. Van De Venter, I Surrender All.

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Grab a copy of Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features one-hundred more daily devotions gleaned from Scripture:

Sin’s Steady Subjection | Bible Gleanings – January 7-8, 2023

Sin has a way of taking over. It does not want to be a powerless prince; it aspires to rule on the throne of your heart like a tyrannical king. It has no desire to be your boss; it wants to be your slavemaster. It wishes to submerge you in its filthy mire, not merely smear a smidgen of it on you. Merely dipping your toes in its enticing waters will not quench its thirst to destroy you; it wants to drown you in a deadly whirlpool of guilt. 

The unknown author of the first psalm evidently had a profound grasp on the overtaking nature of sin. He said, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (v. 1). Did you notice sin’s gradual dominance? The first step toward wickedness is stepping on the evil path—walking in the counsel of the wicked. Then, such strolling leads to standing “in the way of sinners” and holding one’s place. Eventually, you reach the seat of iniquity, where you sit for good.   

We willfully follow this downhill slope of retrogression every time we sin. This is exemplified by every character in Scripture who suffered a moral fall. Each of them took one small step on the path of sin, and before long, they were firmly planted there. They dilly-dallied near the cliff of iniquity until they fell and eventually hit the ground of disgrace. David committed adultery, theft, and murder because of one lustful glance at Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1-12:14). Cain killed own brother because of one burning ember of jealousy in his heart (Gen. 4:1-12). 

According to pastor and author, R. Kent Hughes, the lethal cycle of sin usually unfolds as follows: “[There is] a progressive desensitization to sin and a consequent inner descent from holiness . . . the pathology of the human factors that lead to a moral fall [are]: desensitization, relaxation, fixation, rationalization, and degeneration.”1

This is true. First, we become numb to sin, treating it as if it were a harmless mosquito bite (cf. Gen. 19:15-16). Second, we become apathetic, lowering our shield and stowing our sword in its sheath (cf. Rev. 3:15-16). Third, the eyes of our idolatrous heart become fixated on the sin for which our flesh hungers—and at this point, we see no use in letting go or looking away (cf. 1 John 2:15-17). Fourth, we justify our sin in every manner possible, and the mind becomes sin’s lawyer, defending it with every conceivable reason and excuse (cf. Gen. 3:12-13). And finally, we reach the point of no return until we hit the ground at the bottom of sin’s slippery slope.

We must heed the Lord’s wise counsel to Cain: “And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:7b). Be mindful that sin is out to get you. Do not deviate from the path of righteousness or sit comfortably in sin’s seat. Take the axe of repentance and cut sin off at its root before it grows. Dethrone it from your heart by the grace of Christ.

  1. Hughes, Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man (Wheaton: Crossway, 2019), 34, 38.
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Grab a copy of Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features one-hundred more daily devotions gleaned from Scripture:

Being With Jesus | Bible Gleanings – December 31-January 1, 2023

The scolding sun seared my skin as I sat by the sea in the Sunshine State. My giant forehead glowed red, and the rest of my body had roasted like a rotisserie chicken. When I returned home, no one assumed that I had painted myself brown or miraculously changed my ethnicity. I had clearly been basking in the blistering sun because the proof was all over me. That’s simply what time in the sun will do for you.  

That’s what time with the Son will do for you, too. When you spend enough time with Jesus, the proof will be written all over you. Talking often with Him will make a difference in the way you talk to others. Praying unceasingly before His face will change even the look on your face (cf. Acts 6:15). You cannot bathe in the rays of the sun without being noticeably affected, and you cannot bask in the presence of the Son without being profoundly transformed. 

People will notice the difference in your character and conduct, and their attention will be drawn to the One who made it (cf. Matt. 5:16). Even your adversaries will see the change in you, just as the satanically controlled Sanhedrin couldn’t deny that Peter and John had been with Jesus. As Luke said, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). These men were with Jesus for so long that He rubbed off on them! They were walking and talking like the Lord because they had been walking and talking with the Lord. 

The transformation Jesus makes can also be very unsettling to those around you. Some may be worried that the Lord will rub off on them as well. Those who are not prepared to change their life may be intimidated by the change Christ has made in yours. They may resist getting close to you, fearful that they might get too close to the Lord by doing so. That is what happened to Moses after his extended meeting with the Lord atop Mt. Sinai:

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exodus 34:29-30).

The radical transformation that comes from being with Jesus is precisely what William D. Longstaff (1822-1894) expressed in his beautiful hymn, Take Time to Be Holy. The second verse encourages all believers to spend more time with Jesus in order to become more like Jesus:

“Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.

By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.”

Will you take time to be with Jesus?

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Heavenly Peace | Bible Gleanings – Advent Edition – December 24-25, 2022

The sound of rifle fire suddenly ceased. The crackling of exploding shells eerily ended. German and Allied troops emerged from their war-torn trenches in a voluntary truce on Christmas Day, 1914. The “Christmas Truce,” as it is known, was an unplanned and unofficial ceasefire. Instead of fighting, the two sides exchanged cigarettes, plum pudding, and sang Christmas carols. It was an unusual day of peace amid the conflict of World War I.

A German lieutenant later recalled, “How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.” That is the power of Christmas—it creates peace between enemies. I would bet that the angel who announced the news of Christ’s birth would agree. After all, he proclaimed that there would be peace on earth because of Christ’s advent: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14).

We are at war with God when we come into the world as unsaved sinners. We are enemies of God and of the cross (Romans 5:10; Philippians 3:18). But because of Christmas and Calvary, we can experience heavenly peace with God. Jesus came to establish an eternal ceasefire. As Paul wrote, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). 

We may also enjoy inward peace because of what Christ has done. Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). God the Father grants heart-peace to His children when they bring their requests to Him—and the work of Christ makes it possible (John 1:12). 

The bells of Christmas Day are ringing the song of peace. The old conflict between God and man has ceased for those who know the Christ-child as their Lord and Savior. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, written by Henry W. Longfellow, aptly says:

“And in despair I bowed my head:

“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

“For hate is strong, and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,Of peace on earth, good will to men.” 

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Unwrapping the Heart | Bible Gleanings – Advent Edition – December 17-18, 2022

I could not wait to unwrap my Christmas presents. When they were laid enticingly beneath the tree, my mother would warn me, “Don’t shake them. Don’t touch them.” But since my childish curiosity was unquenchable, I had to see what was inside. Sometimes I would gently undo the tape, unfold the wrapping paper, and peek inside. Wrapping paper concealed what was inside, and I couldn’t bear it.

Gift wrap may successfully hide and disguise a present, but there is no wrapping paper sufficient to cover the condition of our sinful hearts. The Lord always tears it off by His omniscience. His sight is so penetrating that it burns through anything we may use to cover up the true condition of our hearts (Rev. 1:14). As the writer of Hebrews said, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). 

We may try to wrap our wicked hearts with the sparkling paper of good works. We may try to conceal our heart with the glossy paper of deception, convincing ourselves that we aren’t really that sinful. We may attempt to cover our heart with the gleaming paper of hypocrisy, appearing righteous only on the outside. But God will always unwrap our hearts. And the only cover for sin that is sufficient is the blood of Jesus Christ—the covering that God Himself provides (Genesis 3:21).

God wrapped Himself in flesh on Christmas Day so you wouldn’t have to wrap your heart in useless coverings. You don’t need to hide from God. You don’t need to conceal the wickedness of your heart with wrapping paper. The God who knows everything about you still loves you, and He wants you to come to Him just as you are. Let Jesus wrap you in the white robe of righteousness as you come to Him in repentance and faith (Revelation 3:4-5).

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Light of the World | Bible Gleanings – Advent Edition – December 10-11, 2022

Long red candles have been a warm and inviting Christmas emblem for many centuries. Today, they protrude from table arrangements of evergreen and holly, or they sit on the windowsill for the neighbors to admire. In olden days, however, candles were hung on Christmas trees as ornaments. In fact, if you look closely at most electric Christmas lights, they resemble a taper or a flame. Everyone knows that candles are an iconic holiday symbol, but no one really knows how they became associated with Christmas. 

In ancient times, pagans would light candles during the dark winter as an expression of anticipation for spring. People also placed candles in their window to signal to weary travelers that they could rest at their home. When the British persecuted Irish priests, Catholics in Ireland placed glimmering tapers in the windows as a sign that the priests were welcome in their homes. And over time, Christians of old began lighting candles during advent to symbolize the coming of Jesus Christ, the true Light. 

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). As God, Jesus is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). By contrast, we are born in the domain of darkness with a darkened heart (Romans 1:21; Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9). Our sin nature even hates the light (John 3:19). And the good news of Christmas is that Jesus came to earth to give us light so that we would not wander hopelessly in the darkness: “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46).

Jesus shines brightly like a brilliantly burning candle in a grimly dark room. The darkness has nowhere to hide from His luminous light. And if you follow Jesus as the light, He will remove you from the kingdom of darkness and shine forth His light in your formerly blackened heart. That is why Paul said, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Hymn writer James Quinn captured this beautifully when he penned this stanza in Blessed Be the God of Israel:

“The rising Sun shall shine on us,

To bring the light of day.

To all who sit in darkest night

And shadow of the grave.

Our footsteps God shall safely guide

To walk the ways of peace.

His name forever more be blessed

Who lives and loves and saves.”

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Miracles in the Mundane | Bible Gleanings – Advent Edition – December 3-4, 2022

Miracle on 34th Street is a classic Christmas film that families have cherished since its premiere in 1947. “Kris Kringle,” a kind-hearted elderly man, is hired to play Santa Claus by the local Macy’s, and he gradually persuades New Yorkers that he is the real Santa. At first, Little Susie is reluctant to believe in Santa because her mother raised her not to. “You’re just a nice old man with whiskers, like my mother said. And I shouldn’t have believed you,” Susie contends, believing the department store Santa to be a fraud. But after Kris Kringle proves himself to be the embodiment of Santa Claus, even her mother eventually admits, “I was wrong when I told you that, Susie. Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” Ordinary New Yorkers learned that there is nothing wrong with believing in extraordinary things—they could even be right in front of your eyes.

Mary and Joseph eventually understood this, too. Everything appeared normal as they traveled to Bethlehem to pay taxes for the census (cf. Luke 2:1-3). It was an ordinary trip to an ordinary place to conduct ordinary business. However, God was accomplishing something extraordinary right before their eyes. By His providence, the Lord used an ordinary decree to bring them to Bethlehem, the prophesied birthplace of the Messiah.  

The prophet Micah foretold that the Christ would be born there: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days (Micah 5:2). Micah’s prophecy was in jeopardy, however, because Mary was on the verge of childbirth in Nazareth—not Bethlehem (Luke 2:4). Therefore, in order to fulfill this critical prophecy, God stirred in Caesar’s heart to issue a census requiring Jews to return to their homeland to pay taxes—and Joseph’s hometown just so happened to be Bethlehem. In accordance with biblical prophecy, Mary’s water broke when they arrived at Bethlehem’s gates (cf. Luke 2:7). 

God has a way of using ordinary people and events for extraordinary purposes. He often works miracles in the mundane. He will use whatever it takes to fulfill His perfect plan—even things that are completely normal. Do not underestimate what He may do in the day-to-day happenings that appear humdrum. As John Piper said, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” Have faith in His providence—even if common sense tells you not to.

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Wear Gloves | Bible Gleanings – November 26-27, 2022

If you ever get lucky enough to wash skunk spray off your dog, here is some advice that will save you a lot of stinkin’ trouble: wear gloves. I was armed with an arsenal of cleaning concoctions to scrub our English shepherd the last time he was sprayed. I washed him thoroughly, but the putrid odor followed me everywhere I went. My wife and I even scrubbed the house meticulously, but we could not identify the source of the lingering stench—until I smelled my hands. I washed him without protecting myself first, and the stench transferred to me.

Similarly, the Lord urges us to “wear gloves” when reaching out to help those who need cleansing from sin. “Brothers,” said Paul, “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). Indeed, we must keep an eye on our spiritual brothers and sisters, but we must first keep an eye on ourselves! When lifting others from sin’s pit, we must not lean in too far, lest we fall in headfirst. When bringing them to the Lord for cleansing through our gentle admonitions, we must do so while wearing the gloves of wise diligence. 

We are just as vulnerable to temptation as those we’re trying to help, and every bit as dependent upon the cleansing grace of God for when we are “sprayed” by sin. Restoring wayward believers exposes you to sin, much like a doctor is exposed to illness when treating a patient. Therefore, no Christian should regard himself as super-spiritual or immune to the lure of sin. Paul warned, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Wear gloves when helping other Christians who need cleansing from sin.

Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. 

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).