What To Do When Your Brook Dries Up – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 15 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 15 – 16Proverbs 22; Psalms 106 – 110

Read the “0422 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” (1Kings 17:1-7)

Good morning. Are you having a dry spell? It happens to everybody. But Jesus said without Him we could do nothing. Maybe that’s why these dry spells come into our lives: to give God a chance to show us His mighty power. Here are a few steps to take when your brook dries up.

1) Remember that God knows what you need and will supply all your needs.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

2) Don’t leave the brook until God tells you to leave.

And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (1Kings 17:7-9)

3) God uses others to supply our needs.

Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” (1Kings 17:9)

4) God blesses those He uses to supply our needs.

And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.” (1Kings 17:17-24)

Has your brook dried up? Having a hard day? There is someone who loves and cares for you. And He is only a prayer away.

Peace.


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Use Your Gifts for the Lord

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Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 6 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 7 – 8; Proverbs 18Psalms 86 – 90)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0418 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.” – (1 Kings 7:13-14)

Not every Christian is gifted by God to be a teacher or a preacher. In this passage, we see Hiram, a man from Tyre, who was uniquely gifted by God to make all of the works of brass that were to be used in the Temple. Back in the Book of Exodus, we saw two other fellows. Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were also uniquely filled with wisdom (gifted) to build the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. As far as we know, these men never taught the Scriptures; they were not priests, or prophets; but they were greatly used of the Lord.

We have many people in our churches today who have also been uniquely crafted by the Lord to fulfill His purpose. They may be builders, like the men referenced above. They may be men or women that have a knack for cleaning, or landscaping. These are all very necessary and important jobs in the service of our churches today. As I read this passage today, I thought of a man in our church who was used of the Lord to build our platform in the auditorium along with the sound booth. He did a wonderful job, and our church building is much more beautiful and functional as a result of his using his gifts for the Lord. We also have some folks in our church that like to cook, and when we have a dinner of some kind, these people go to work, preparing delicious food for the rest of us to enjoy. They work mostly behind the scenes, but their work is very important to the Lord.

God tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” – (1 Corinthians 12:18)

Not every member is an eye or an ear: some are hands, some are feet. Not everybody is a preacher or teacher; and those that are gifted in areas other that teaching are just as important to the work of the ministry as those who teach or preach.

What is your gift? What is your sweet spot? The thing that you were born to do. Hiram was born to make brass, and he did it very well. God will be well pleased with your life if you find the thing that He has equipped you to do, and then do it for His glory.


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Take It Like A Man (After God’s Own Heart) – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 23 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 1 – 2; Proverbs 15; Psalms 71 – 75

Read the “0415 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” (2Samuel 24:10-17)

Good morning. King David is dying. With his final breaths he goes through the history of Israel under his rule. David also includes this sin against God in numbering the people. But I want you to notice some characteristics of a leader.

1) A Leader Is Only Human: He Will Make Mistakes.

And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” (2Samuel 24:10)

2) A Leader Will Take Responsibilities For His Actions.

And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” (2Samuel 24:17)

3) A Leader Knows Who To Run To In Times Of Trouble.

For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.” (2Samuel 24:11-15)

4) A Leader Intercedes For His People.

And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” (2Samuel 24:17)

And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.” (2Samuel 24:24-25)

As men, we have responsibilities. The responsibilities given to us by our parents; when we did not do them we were punished. When we get married, we take on the responsibilities of a wife who we need to love as Christ loved the church. We have the responsibilities of training up our children in the way that they should go. And we have the responsibilities of going to God in prayer during times of trouble, and interceding for our families. Responsibilities: we need to take it like a man.

Peace.


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God Doesn’t Forget

God Doesn't Forget

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 27 – 28Proverbs 14Psalms 66 – 70)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 51

Read the “0414 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” (2 Samuel 21:1)

Remember back in 1 Samuel when King Saul was mad at the priests because they had helped David. (See 1 Samuel 21 & 22) Saul ended up killing all of the priests (85 of them) and then proceeded to wipe out Nob, the city that the priests lived in. What Saul did to the priests and to their families was bad enough, but there was also a group of people who lived in Nob as servants to the priests who were not Israelites: they were Gibeonites. Now, you may also remember from the book of Joshua that the Gibeonites were the people who tricked Joshua into making a covenant with them. Joshua promised these people with an oath that Israel would let them live, and in return the Gibeonites would be Israel’s servants. God never forgot that covenant, so when Saul (acting on behalf of Israel) broke the covenant and slew the Gibeonites living in Nob; God held them (Israel – not just Saul) accountable. God doesn’t forget, even when we want to. Here, an entire nation is suffering for the decision of one man.

We should be admonished when we read passages like this.  First of all, we should realize that our actions affect more people than we think; and we should carefully consider the outcome on others around us from the decisions we make today as well as the impact they will have on future generations. Secondly, we need to think about any unfinished business we may have with God or other people. We are so quick to promise things; but so slow to deliver the things that we promise. God never forgot the promise that Israel made with the Gibeonites.

Note – A separate thought from this passage of Scripture. Notice in 21:8 that five of  the ”sons of Saul” (actually grandsons) that were to be killed were the sons of Michal, David’s first wife. Michal had lived a troubled life due to men who had used her for their own gain. Saul promised her to David and reluctantly gives her to be his wife; later Saul took her back and gave her to another man; After Saul’s death, when David is in power, he takes her back, away from a man that really loves her; and now here she is losing her sons.


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Check With God First

Man-Praying

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 4 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 17 – 18Proverbs 9Psalms 41 – 45)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0409 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” – (2 Samuel 7:3-5)

In 2 Samuel 7, David comes to the prophet Nathan, and informs him of his desire to build a permanent dwelling place for the ark of the covenant: he wanted to build the temple. You will recall that up until this time the corporate worship of God took place in a portable tabernacle that God had designed for them while they wandered the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. But now it was time to build a permanent structure in the capital city – Jerusalem. It was a good thing that David wanted to do, and it was also good that he went to inquire of the man of God before he did it. The problem here is not with David, but with the prophet Nathan. He gave David the green light to “do all that [was] in [David’s] heart”, before he checked with God. In other words, he spoke on behalf of God, but did not say what God wanted him to say. He spoke prematurely. As it turns out, God had other plans. He did not want David to build the temple. That job was going to go to David’s son, Solomon.

There is a great lesson to be learned here for us. Before we offer our advice on a matter, we ought to check with God first. How we go about doing that is a little bit different today than it was in David and Nathan’s day. In their time God would speak directly to the man of God. Today, however, we have to discern the will of God in the following way:

1  We first go to the Word of God – check to see what the Bible says about what you want to do. Just about every possible scenario is covered by Biblical principle. Let’s say for example that a young lady wanted to know if it was OK to get involved with a young man who is not a dedicated Christian. She could look into the Word and see that it says that she is not to be “unequally yoked” together with an unbeliever. She would also see that the Scripture says that she can not “walk together” with someone whom she is not in agreement with. And there are many other passages of Scripture, which would advise her against what she wants to do. The bottom line is that if the thing we want to do is in violation of sound Biblical principle, we should not do it.

2  We go to God in prayer. We ask God to reveal to us personally His will regarding the matter. I believe that if a person is really concerned about the will of God, He will direct them. When I was praying about where to serve God after Bible college, God revealed to me precisely that He wanted my family to serve Him here in Galloway, NJ.

3  We get advice. The Bible is clear that there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Find some people with godly wisdom that you can go to for counsel regarding your decision, and give them some time to pray first before they give you an answer.

Nathan should have put David on hold until he had a chance to find out what God wanted him to do.


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And They Mourned, And Wept, And Fasted – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 15 – 16; Proverbs 8; Psalms 36 – 40

Read the “0408 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword. And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed.” (2Samuel 1:5-16)

Good morning. After reading this passage, I had to confess and ask forgiveness for the things I said against President Obama. After all, the Lord did put him in the office as the President of the United States: he was the Lord’s anointed. Look at Saul. Saul had started out good, but then got away from the Lord. When Saul died, he went to the same place Samuel – the man of God – went to…

“And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.” (1Samuel 28:8-19)

We are living in the age of grace, but the wages of sin is still death, even for the Christian. You are bought with a price, and ye are not your own. When you got saved, you received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to live inside of you, and He saved us forever. All our sins, past, present, and future are forgiven. That does not give us the right to sin, and to do whatever we want to do. We are told in God’s Word not to grieve the Holy Spirit (that’s by doing the things we should not) and not to quench the Holy Spirit (that’s by not doing the things we should). Obedience to God living in us is a much more rewarding life…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26)

Maybe it’s time to look at that face in the mirror, and mourn, and weep, and fast.

Peace.


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Encouragement from the Lord

Today’s Reading – 1 Samuel 28 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers read – Matthew 13 – 14; Proverbs 7; Psalms 31 – 35)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32 (Fast)

Read the “0407 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” – (1 Samuel 30:6)

In our passage this morning, we see David and his men returning home to Ziklag, and discover that the city was burned to the ground and their wives and children were gone. At this point they have no idea what these Amelekites had done to their families, but I am sure that David and his men suspected that they were either being slaughtered or, at the very least, abused. The men were naturally distraught. At times like these, people want to blame somebody, and since David was their leader, he bore the brunt of their wrath. Remember, these were men that loved David, and risked much by following him. This was certainly a great test of David’s leadership. But how was David supposed to help his men, when he was also distraught due to the loss of his family. It is very hard to encourage and lead people when you yourself are discouraged; and David is perhaps at the lowest point of his life here.

The last sentence in the verse tells us what got David back up to where he could do something to help these people who were relying on him for leadership. “…David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” It is not easy to turn to the Lord for encouragement when you are down. Honestly, I can speak from experience when I say that sometimes I want to just wallow in the mire of discouragement. Have a little pity party, so to speak. But, that will not help anybody. David didn’t stay down; he got back up. He received encouragement from the only source available at the time. Remember, his loyal men wanted to stone him at this time. David went to the Lord, and the Lord gave him the answers that he needed; and in a very short time, they had recovered their families, not to mention their possessions. However, none of that would have happened if David would have just stayed down.

This passage was a great encouragement for me today. Personally. I have been battling with a lot of discouragement lately. I guess, like David, I need to get up, go to God, and get back in the battle. Maybe, if I can get some encouragement from the Lord, then I will be able to give some encouragement to the people around me.


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Vain Things – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – 1 Samuel 12 – 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mathew 1 – 2; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1

Read the “0401 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.” (1Samuel 12:20-22)

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

Good morning. In 1974/75 a group of people followed a man down to South America. Four years later, in 1978, almost 1000 died from either poison or gunshot (over 300 were children) in Jonestown, Guyana. If you look up Jonestown on Wikipedia, they have the final recording of Jim Jones’ speach he gave before the mass suicide.

Twenty years ago, on March 26, 1997, thirtynine members of the Heaven’s Gate cult had committed mass suicide, believing their souls would be transported to a spaceship trailing the Hale-Bopp comet.

On September 11th, 2001, another group who were following another man, flew 2 airliners into the World Trade Center in New York. Thinking they were going to go to heaven and receive 70 virgins each. They have been living in that fireball that destroyed the plane for almost 16 years now.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1)

Because they don’t have Jesus. Turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; and turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. It’s sad to say that many people do not read the Bible. The Bible will tell them…

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Jesus said…

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

Jesus also said when Peter asked Him what shall this man do…

“Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22)

If more people would follow Jesus, and what He says in His Word, there would be more peace in the world. If you know Jesus, that’s good.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

But, does Jesus know you?

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:9-13)

Peace.


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His Soul Was Vexed Unto Death – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Judges 14 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second M

ilers also read – 2 John, 3 John, JudeProverbs 25Psalms 121 – 125

Read the “0325 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web. And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” (Judges 16:14-21)

Good morning. The devil will use whatever he can to destroy you. Here we find him using the whinny voice of Delilah…

You don’t love me anymore… You won’t tell me what gives you your great strength… Three times you lied to me…” and on and on and on. No wonder Samson’s soul was vexed unto death. The devil broke him down till finally he told Delilah – cut my hair. And the Philistines did just that. But notice the next verse…

And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” (Judges 16:20)

The LORD was departed from Samson and he did not know it. It was all in the Nazarite Vow…

All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” (Numbers 6:5)

The cutting of the hair marked the end of the vow. Samson was separated unto God for His use. When they shaved his head, the LORD departed from Samson. And Samson did not know that the LORD left him. Maybe it was because Samson had gotten too close to the world that he did not notice God had departed from him. The devil can use others to break down our defenses like he used Delilah. Most of the times we may not notice the constant hammering. We need to walk in God’s Word…

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:7-8)

[JESUS SAID] “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)

Maybe Samson should have replied to her constant nagging, “Sorry Babe, I love you, but there are some things between me and the LORD that I will not discuss with, or tell you. You are not my wife. I shouldn’t even be here. This isn’t right. I’m leaving. Goodbye.”

And he walks out the door to fight the Philistines some other way, God’s way, the right way. But he didn’t. Samson let Delilah get to him. He broke down and told her. He lost his strength. He lost his freedom. And he lost his eyes. When we take an alternate route other than the one God has provided for us to walk in; when we take our vows to God lightly, you can expect problems and troubles to arise. But God always provides a way out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. It starts with prayer…

But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” (Judges 16:21-30)

Is your life getting in the way of you serving God? Why not receive the life that He has for you? His yoke is easy and His burdens lite.

Peace.


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All Came To Pass – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – Joshua 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Philemon – Hebrews 4; Proverbs 18; Psalms 86 – 90

Read the “0318 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” (Joshua 21:43-45)

Good morning. I sometimes wonder if Israel fully understood that God had fulfilled His promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel had become a great nation. The finally had rest. They were in the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. All came to pass. Off course the time would come when Israel would turn their back on God, and God would raise up nations to punish Israel. Eventually God would remove them from the promised land. In 70 A.D., the Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were scattered throughout the world. In 1948, God restored the nation of Israel and started bringing His people back into the land.

America has found it’s way to a different situation. Psalm 9:17 says…

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

Our nation has tried to blot out God. They have tried to get people to forget about God. The godless Liberals have been working hard. They had the Bible taken out of schools. They had the Ten Commandments taken out of government office buildings. They have legalized murder in the abortion industry. They made boys to think they should have been girls, and girls to think they should have been boys: teaching that God must have made a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes. There was a time when Homosexuality was a crime. America has legalized what God calls an abomination…

“And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.” (1Kings 14:21-24)

There were good kings also…

“And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah. And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom. And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.” (1Kings 15:9-15:14)

“Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places. And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.” (1Kings 22:42-46)

Don’t think that because we have a Christian president and vice-president that all is well. The liberals want to renew their liscense to sin, and be able to freely do their abominations again. We need to keep our leaders in prayer that they don’t fall into the hands of the devil. The Lord may give America more time, however, most schollars will tell you that America, in the end times, is not in the Bible. Everything revolves around God’s city and the nation of Israel. As a nation, and as individuals, we can turn our backs on God and Israel, or we can turn and fight for God and Israel.

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

“…all came to pass.” (Joshua 21:45)

Peace.


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Moses’ Epitaph – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 32 – 34 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Colossians 1 – 4; Proverbs 11; Psalms 51 – 55

Read the “0311 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

Good morning. Inscribed here, by God, at the end of the book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ epitaph. An epitaph is an inscription, usually on a tombstone like: R.I.P., …He was a good father and husband, …a loving son or daughter; things like that. Supposedly, the epitaph on the grave of actor W. C. Fields reads: “All things considered, I’d rather be here than in Philidelphia.”

But Moses did not have a headstone for his epitaph, so the Lord put an epitaph here at the end of Deuteronomy. There are three characteristics we can glean about Moses from his epitaph.

1) Moses knew the LORD face to face: he had a personal relationship with the Loed Jesus Christ.

“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face…” (Deuteronomy 34:10)

Moses met the Lord when he went to see the burning bush. And the Lord was with him all the way through his death and burial. Moses will not hear what many so-called “Christians” will hear…

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus said…

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

The LORD knew Moses face to face, and He would never leave him nor forsake him. The second characteristic we can glean from Moses’ epitaph is that…

2) He did the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us…

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Moses walked in the good works that God ordained for him to walk in. Moses had to show God’s strong and mighty hand before Egypt would let God’s people go. Moses had faith that God would resue them even when they had their backs to the Red Sea, and watched as the Egyptian chariots came closer to them. God stopped them with fire, and then parted the sea so Israel could escape. A mirical of faith…

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

An impossible situation at the Red Sea. An impossible situation getting water from a rock. An impossible situation that Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry land. An impossible situation that non of their clothes or sandles wore out while wondering through the wildernes for forty years.

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Maqtthew 19:26)

We have good works that God has ordained for us to walk in. I wonder how many I missed because of a lack of faith… how about you?

The third characteristic we can glean from Moses’ epitaph is…

3) He was an example to his people.

“In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:11-12)

As the Bible said in Ephesians 2:10, that God ordained good works for us to walk in. Just like Jesus, we are to be an example to others…

“So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John 13:12-17)

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy…

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:14-17)

What kind of example do we put forth to the people God has given us. If you look at Moses, and this is a great example that he put forth, is that every time Israel sinned, Moses would be on his face begging God to forgive them. What kind of example to we put forth? Makes me wonder what my epitaph will say.

Peace.


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Filthy Rags And Sin – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 9 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 5 – 8; Proverbs 4; Psalm 16 – 20)

Read the “0304 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:4-6)

Good morning. Isaiah wrote…

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

The Lord told us…

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and without Jesus we can do nothing. But yet, like the Jews, we are a stiffnecked people doing what we want to do, even trying to serve the Lord in our own power.

Israel was getting ready to enter the promised land. God wanted to make it clear to them why. There were two reasons given…

1) Because of the wickedness of the nations they were going to displace.

These people worshipped false gods, and did many evil and wicked things, much like America today. The abomination known as Homosexuality is freely allowed to be practiced here. The murder of unborn babies and then butchering them for parts. Let me ask you a question here, just something to think about: If what is conceived in a mother’s womb is just a blob of goo and not a baby, how is Planned Parenthood selling the parts? All for the sake of the almighty dollar, and the convenience.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2Timothy 3:1-5)

The second reason is…

2) God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

As the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky, God promised to make Israel a great nation…

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.” (Hebrews 11:8-12)

America was also a great nation, until it turned away from God and became self-righteous. But America still has hope if we turn back to God.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

Peace.


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Get On A Schedule – The Saturday Morning Post


Today’s Passage – Numbers 27 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 9 – 12; Proverbs 25; Psalms 126 – 130

Read the “0225 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season. And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even…” (Numbers 28:1-4)

“These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 29:39-40)

Good morning. Between the two passages above, God gives Israel a schedule for their sacrifices, and everything involved. We should be on a schedule too, if we want to get anything accomplished. Our schedule is going to look a little different, depending on our priorities. Our first priority should be God: schedule your Walking With God time. Start with prayer time: praise Him for what He’s done for you; confess what you failed to do; make your requests known (others, you); thank Him for what He is going to do and ask Him to show you something from His Word. That brings us to Bible Reading. Schedule a time to read your Bible daily. Keep a journal of verses or passages the Holy Spirit wants you to focus on as you read.

Secondly, schedule time for your wife and family. Not TV time. Quality time. Take them to the park and throw the Frisbee around for a while. Do something to make good memories. Believe me, the time goes too quick.

Thirdly. Everything else comes third. Work, church, soul winning, sleep, hobbies, etc. When you put God first, everything will fall into place.

Peace.


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What’s That Sound? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 13 – 15; Proverbs 18; Psalms 91 – 95)

Read the 0218 Evening and Morningdevotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” (Numbers 10:1-2)

Good morning. In chapter 10 of today’s reading, the LORD tells Moses to make two trumpets, each using a whole piece of silver. Did you know that silver will give more of a clearer tone than brass? The people needed to hear a clear sound from these trumpet throughout the camp. Numbers chapter 1 can give us an approximate idea of how many people made up the nation of Israel at this time.

“So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty. But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.” (Numbers 1:45-47)

So if you take the 603,550 from the 11 tribes, and add the tribe of Levi, all the wives and children, and those who were too old and unable to go to war, you would have at least a population of 1 million people. These two silver horns had to give a loud, and clear enough sound to reach everybody in this multitude.

“And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.” (Numbers 10:3-7)

There is a real Heaven and a real Hell. Around 55.3 million people die each day. How many have trusted Jesus, and are in Heaven? How many have not trusted Jesus as their own personal Saviour, and are in Hell? How is your trumpet? Is it sounding a clear, understandable warning? Do you want to be a better soul winner? Here are some tips that could help you do this…

1) Set a goal.

If your goal is nothing, you will hit it every time. Back in college, we were required to make at least 5 gospel presentations per week. How many do you make now? I’m not in college, so how many am I required to make?

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Jesus said to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Jesus also said…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

And that brings us to Tip #2…

2) You have to love people.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1Corinthians 13:1-8)

If you have not charity, or love, the sound you make is like sounding brass, a blast that is not as bright as silver, nor as pure and clear. Or it is just a tinkling cymbal: the sound is not that loud enough to reach everybody, or even anybody. You need to love people: God loved you…

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God gave us a way out by coming down from Heaven and dieing on a cross to pay sin’s wage which was death. That’s how we should love others… even our enemies…

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew 5:43-47)

That means you need to love ISIS, but not the evil they do. You need to love the LBGT community, but not their abominable acts of lust. You need to love the Liberals, poor and misguided, they have no idea of the damages they are inflicting on a nation that wants to turn back to following the true and living God. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. You have to love people.

3) Know the Gospel

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2Corinthians 4:1-5)

Know the Gospel of the Roman’s Road…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…” (Romans 5:12)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

And be ready to give assurance. Jesus said…

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

4) Know the LORD

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1Corinthians 3:5-7)

Tap into His Power and you will become a better soul winner…

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Peace!


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The Lord Bless Thee

autumn-leaves-wallpaper

Today’s Passage – Numbers 5 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 7 – 9; Proverbs 16; Psalms 81 – 85)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”  (Numbers 6:24-26)

In chapters 5 of the Book of Numbers, God is instructing the children of Israel about what they should do if a man suspects that his wife has been unfaithful to him. The Bible talks about “the spirit of jealousy” that comes upon a man if there is something going on behind his back. I believe the same holds true for the wife. I know that today we don’t often think of jealousy as being a good thing; but interestingly, the Bible records that God is very jealous over his children. I do not think it is wrong either for there to be a healthy dose of jealousy within the marriage either. A man should love his wife to the extent that he cannot bear the thought of her being with anyone else. The same applies to the wife. Jealousy is, I believe, a God-given emotion. Now it must be controlled, just as all of our other emotions; and we cannot let it cause us to sin, but I believe it to be a good thing nonetheless.

Chapter 6 primarily deals with the rules concerning the vow of the Nazarite. When a person took this special vow of consecration in Old Testament days, he would not cut his hair or his beard, and he was not permitted to touch any alcohol, or come near anything (or anybody) that was dead. This vow was a vow of “separation unto the Lord”. The person that took this vow was declaring that his or her life was wholly dedicated to God. Usually, a person would be under this oath of separation for a period of time, not for his entire life. By the way, don’t confuse a Nazarite with a Nazarene, which is a person that comes from the city of Nazareth. Jesus was a Nazarene.

I was captivated this morning by the prayer of blessing found at the end of chapter 6. It seemed almost strange for this beautiful prayer to be place in this particular place. I mean, we have been reading a lot here lately about a bunch of commandments, sacrifices, rules, etc. Here, God tells Aaron that he wants him to pronounce this prayer of blessing over the people. I think God just wanted to remind the people that he loved them and that He was for them. I think we can learn a couple of lessons from this as well. First, we need to be reminded that God loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. We often will think about God as this angry, cold dictator that is ready to pounce upon us when we do wrong. That is not God. He loves us and He wants to give us the richest blessings, and a life full of abundance.

The second lesson that we should learn from this is that when we are trying to teach our children, we need to remember to let them know often that we love them. Yes, we need to give them all of the rules, commandments, and instructions; and yes, we ought to discipline them when they do wrong; but we also need to make sure that they know that we (and especially God) are in their corner, and that we want nothing but the richest blessings for their lives. This would be a good lesson for preachers and other mentors to learn as well. In our zeal to instruct, we sometimes come across as being uncaring and unloving. You have heard the old saying: “People do not care about what you know, until they know that you really care.” Well, we ought to really care, and we ought also to express that love and care often to the people that we are trying to help.

 

  


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The Center of the Camp

Today’s Passage – Numbers 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 1 – 3; Proverbs 14; Psalms 71 – 75)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 51

Read the “0214 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.” – (Numbers 2:17)

In Numbers chapter 2, God gives us a description of what the camp of Israel looked like when they were not on the move. A careful reading of this chapter will reveal that the nation of Israel was divided into 13 different groups, which included 11 of the original 12 tribes; and also the two half-tribes of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim). These groups were all strategically placed around the tabernacle. Immediately surrounding the tent on all four sides was the tribe of Levi. They were placed there as closely as possible to the tabernacle because that was their place of service. They were the ministers and priests of the Lord. Beyond the Levites the remaining twelve tribes and half-tribes were positioned by threes in each direction. For instance, on the east side of the tabernacle, beyond the Levites, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon. There were also three tribes on the west, south, and north. The thought that I am trying to develop here, however, is that the tabernacle was in the very center of the congregation. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt, between the cherubims on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. God, and His chosen place of worship was the very center of the lives of the people of Israel.

Now let’s fast forward a few thousands years to the time of the local church. I realize that today God dwells in the hearts of His children, but the local church is God’s chosen place for corporate worship, and it is the place where we are to be organized in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” – (1 Timothy 3:15)

God should still be at the center of our lives; and the local church should be at the center of the life of our family. I have been a pastor now for many years, and I have been involved in God’s work as a layman even longer. I have observed that the families who place a high value on the local church, recognizing it’s importance, tend to be stronger and happier than the families that do not. Don’t misunderstand, I do not think that the church has a higher priority than the home but I do believe that successful homes are built around a strong, Bible believing, New Testament church. The church’s role is critical to healthy marriages and to the spiritual development of our children.

Take a moment to consider the role that the local church plays in your life; and then consider the role that you play in your local church. We need to keep our local churches strong, and I believe that there are many ways that you can help:

1 Participate in the local church – attend the services and find something that you can do that will serve others. God has uniquely equipped you in certain areas that can be used in the local church.

2 Pray for your church and your pastors and leaders. The ministry can be very discouraging, but you can be an encouragement to the people that minister to you simply by lifting them up in prayer. It wouldn’t hurt for you to let them know on occassion that you are praying for them.

3 Support your church with your tithes and offerings. The work of God cannot go forward without the tithes of God’s people. When you don’t give you are telling God and the church that they have no place of value in your life. You can also support the church by not bashing it. Let people know where you stand. If you are for the ministry, speak out for it, and don’t let others run it down in your presence. Negativity and complaining are like cancers inside the church that will destroy it from within.

Is the local church important to you, or isn’t it? God says that it should be. Remember, He died for the church. It’s His body. He places a great value on it, and so should we.


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The Feasts Of The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 22 – 23 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 15 – 16; Proverbs 11; Psalms 56 – 60

Read the 0211 Evening and Morning devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” (Leviticus 23:1-2)

And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:44)

Good morning. Here in Leviticus 23, between verses 2 and 44, are listed the Feasts of the Lord. Leviticus 23:3 is The Sabbath. The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is Leviticus 23:4-8. The Feast of the Firstfruits is Leviticus 23:9-14. The Feasts of Weeks is Leviticus 23:15-22. Leviticus 23:23-25 is the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement is Leviticus 23:26-32. And the Feast of Booths is Leviticus 23:33-43. But these are not the feasts I am waiting for, I’m waiting for two other feasts…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:17-21)

Can you imagine, when we return with the Lord, with the word of His mouth He will turn His enemies into a feast for all the birds. But the best feast comes just before…

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, And I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be.

Peace.


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This Is The Law Of The… – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 5 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 1 – 2; Proverbs 4; Psalms 21 – 25

Read the “0204 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.” (Leviticus 6:9)

“And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar.” (Leviticus 6:14)

“Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.” (Leviticus 6:25)

“Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy.” (Leviticus 7:1)

“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 7:11)

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight…” (Colossians 1:19-22)

Good morning. Leviticus chapters 6 and 7 show the Laws concerning the various offerings to the Lord. Colossians chapter 1, verses 19-22, concludes that our peace with God is only due to the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we are holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight. What about the sight of others? Maybe it’s a good thing that the unsaved don’t know this verse? Do they see that we are unreproveable, unblameable, and holy? Or do they see that we are reprove-able, blamable, and unholy? There is a simple, 2-part check you can make. You see…

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Jesus is your best friend. He will never leave you nor forsake you: He is always with you. Your best friend. Now… part 1… How is your prayer life? You always want to talk to your friends, right? Prayer is how we talk to Jesus, our best friend. Sometimes, if we do wrong to a friend, we try to avoid talking with them. So once again, how is your prayer life? Part 2 is a simple question also.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

How is your Bible reading? If there is something wrong in your relationship with your friend, you may not want to hear from them. A true friend will tell you like it is, and you may not want to hear that. But something can be done…

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

The problem is with us. God sees us as unreproveable, unblameable, and holy. We see ourselves from the mess we just made, and can’t face the reality of sin in our lives. But God did everything for us…

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:1-25)

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

Peace.


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A Sanctuary For The Lord – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 25 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 11 – 12; Proverbs 28; Psalms 136 – 140

Read the “0128 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:1-8)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Corinthians 6:19)

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Corinthians 13:5)

Good morning. In our passage this morning, the Lord wants a sanctuary, a tabernacle, a temple, so He can dwell with His people. God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build it and what material to use, even the quality. How is your temple?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16)

It all starts with Jesus. God said in Exodus 25, verse 2, “…bring Me an offering…”

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Ephesians 5:2)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:14-18)

Also in Exodus 25, verse 2, God said, “…of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.”

When you realized you were a sinner and on your way to Hell, you brought the only offering you could with a willing heart… yourself. And Jesus received you as His own.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

He did all that for us. He sacrificed Himself for our sins. He took the punishment that we deserved. And all because He loved us. And yet, we don’t obey Him. We do what we want to do. We drag Him through all the muck and mire of all the ungodly places we frequent. What do you think of the following verses?

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

“Quench not the Spirit.” (1Thesselonians 5:19)

We grieve the Holy Spirit by doing the things we should not be doing. We quench the Holy Spirit by not doing the things we should be doing. So let me ask again, how is your temple? Is it what it should be? Is it a sanctuary for the Lord? Jesus said…

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world…” (Matthew 28:20)

Peace.


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Don’t Rock The Boat – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 4 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible

(Second Milers also read – Mark 13 – 14; Proverbs 21; Psalms 101 – 105

Read the “0121 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” (Exodus 5:20-23)

Good morning. Most of us have heard the saying: Don’t Rock The Boat. Usually at work, when something good is happening. Don’t rock the boat: you don’t want to spoil the good thing happening. And truthfully, the only one who has time to rock the boat is the one who is not paddling. Moses was just carrying out God’s orders. In the eyes of Israel, he was rocking the boat. They said that it was Moses’ fault that there was a riff between God’s people and Pharaoh with his people. This riff would continue even as they left Egypt…

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14:10-12)

But if Moses did not rock the boat, Israel would still be working as slaves down in Egypt. God was answering their cries for help by sending Moses. And Moses rocked the boat. The problem appears to be a lack of belief. God was answering their prayers and they did not know it. God sent plagues to force Egypt to let Israel go. When they thought it was all over, either Pharaoh’s wrath or drowning in the Red Sea, God supplied a third option. Israel watched as the Lord parted the sea, and caused Israel to pass through the midst of the sea on dry ground. They followed God for a while, but when there was no water they complained. When there was no meat, they complained. When Jesus came, they didn’t even recognize their Messiah. They thought that Jesus would defeat the Romans and set up the Kingdom. But Jesus rocked the boat in revealing their sins, and their need for a Saviour.

Are you a boat rocker? There are people all over who are walking through life oblivious to their coming destruction. Are you going to rock their boats and wake them up? Are you going to let them row over the waterfall that leads to the lake of fire? God is rocking your boat. Jesus said…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John15:1-2)

Jesus also commanded…

…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

You need to get the Gospel out. Whatever you do… DO rock their boat.

Peace.


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The Plot – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Genesis 36 – 37 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 27 – 28; Proverbs 14; Psalms 66 – 70

Read the “0114 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they strip Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.” (Genesis 37:12-36)

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)

Good morning. We start off with a plot: a plot to kill Joseph. Jealousy, or envy is a breading ground for hatred. And Joseph was hated by his brothers. They were going to kill Joseph, and throw him in a pit. Then Reuben intervened: God was beginning to make a bad situation good. Reuben told his other brothers that Joseph should not be killed because of him being their brother. So they stripped Joseph of his coat of many colors, and threw him in the pit. Reuben would recover Joseph later and return him to his father safely. But the plot thickens. The other brothers sell Joseph to a caravan going down to Egypt. They rip and tear Joseph’s coat of many colors, and soak it with goat’s blood. This is what they presented to Jacob when they returned home. It appeared that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. But “…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).

And God had Joseph right where He wanted him. God would use Joseph to save a nation from starvation. Later, Joseph would be reunited with his family. His brothers beg Joseph for forgiveness, and Joseph explains Romans 8:28 to them…

And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” (Genesis 50:18-21)

Now here is the lesson: Jesus said…

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Tribulation is going to come. When it does, how will you handle it? Will it be a pity-party? Or will it be something that drives you to the Lord: what do I need to learn? How can I use this to help others? Yes, to help others…

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” (2Corinthians 1:3-7)

If you look at yourself for the answer to the plot that is plotted against you, you will not find the answer. But if you look to the Lord, He will give you the answer and show you who to help.

Peace!


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I Am With Thee

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 19 – 20; Proverbs 10; Psalms 46 – 50)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0110 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “The House of God” and “Savory Meat

“And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:13-15)

In today’s passage we read about Jacob fleeing from his brother Esau into the land of Mesopotamia (Padanaram) where he will live for twenty years with his Uncle Laban. Along the way he stops at a place that he would later Bethel, which means “house of God”. There the God of his grandfather Abraham meets with him personally for the first time, and there God will confirm His covenant with Jacob. God now makes the same three promises to Jacob that He originally made to Abraham back in chapters 12 and 15. The covenant includes:

Provision of Land (v 13)

Progeny (Children – v 14)

Protection and Prosperity (v 15)

My thought this morning surrounds the phrase, “I am with thee”. Jacob had certainly done nothing to deserve God’s presence in his life. His history thus far has only demonstrated that he was a deceiver. Yet, God promises to bless him and go with him. God can do what He wants to do, and He sees what we cannot see. He sees beyond the mistakes that we have made in our past. He sees what we will be, what He will mold us to be. God made the very same promise to Isaac back in Genesis 26:24. God would later repeat the phrase several times in regard to the entire nation of Israel. The only other time the exact statement is made is in the New Testament to the Apostle Paul. (Acts 18:10)

What an awesome privilege it is to have God’s presence with us. He indwells the believer today with His presence:

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

As you go through your day today, go with the assurance that the same God that was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so many years ago is also with you. He will “never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)


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Don’t Look Back

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 17 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 11 – 12; Proverbs 6; Psalms 26 – 30

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

Read the “0106 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage –“Abraham Did a Little Walking With God, Too” and “The Prayer of a Friend”

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26)

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Our passage today contains the familiar story of the deliverance of Lot and his family from the city of Sodom just before God destroyed it. After they had travelled a good distance away from the city, Lot’s wife looked back at the destruction, and God turned her into a pillar of salt. I have done a little thinking through the years as to why Lot’s wife had turned her head back to gaze upon the life she was leaving behind. Though there may be many reasons, I have concluded that three possible explanations are these:

1  She had people that she loved that were still back in Sodom.

2  Everything that she knew was behind her, and the future was unknown.

3  There was a lot about Sodom that she really enjoyed. Like the Israelites who left the bondage of Egypt who lusted after the leeks, onions, and garlic that they used to enjoy on the other side of the Red Sea, Lot’s wife was definitely going to miss some of the old life.

Have you made the spiritual connection here from this passage to what a believer goes through after being saved? Sodom represents our old life. Our old life contained people we loved who choose not to enter into the journey of salvation with us; at least not yet. We love them, and we long for them to be a part of our new family of faith with us. We also remember some things that we used to do before our salvation that we really enjoyed, and we reluctantly give them up because they are not what God would have for us today.

God wants us to move forward by faith, leaving behind the old man, and the old way of life; and though the future has not been completely revealed, we know that God wants to give us a far more abundant, joyful, and fulfilling life than anything we had before.

As God brings us forward down the road of faith, let us enjoy the ride as much as we will someday enjoy the destination. And don’t look back. Looking back is the first step toward going back. You cannot possibly enjoy the journey that God has set before you if you are constantly looking back at what used to be.


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How To Make The New Year Happy – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Your Favorite Passage

(Second Milers also read – Proverbs 31)

Read the “1231 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

Good New Year’s Eve morning. 2017 is upon us. New Year’s resolutions need to be made and hopefully kept. There are parties to go to. Food to be cooked. So many things to do. So much to think about the future, and plans to make. But if you want a happy New Year, you should review the old year. How far back did you slide spiritually? How much did you grow spiritually? Did you finish reading your Bible through at least once in 2016? How about this: did you keep all the New Year’s resolutions you made in 2015?

If you’re like me, you didn’t keep them. You failed miserably. But you now have a new year in which to fail or succeed. The most important thing to remember is what Jesus said…

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John15:5)

Do yo feel sometimes like these dry bones? Going nowhere? Gathering dust? Not accomplishing anything? Do you feel like these dry bones?Remember what Jesus told Martha, Lazarus’s’ sister?

Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11:23-27)

And Jesus is the living Word of God. That is why God told Ezekiel, the first thing he should say to those dry bones is, “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.”

The very first thing you need to have a happy new year is Jesus. If you do not know 100% for sure you are going to Heaven when you die, you need to do as the Philippian jailer was told by Paul: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…”

The Bible will tell you…

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

If you are already saved, you need to hear the Word of the Lord. One of the proofs that you did hear is obedience. James said…

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” (James 1:22-24)

If you want a happy new year, you need to be obedient to God’s Word. And remember Jesus said without Him you can do nothing. That includes being obedient. So all you really need for a happy new year is Jesus. And if you have Jesus in everything you do in 2017, you will have a happy new year.

Peace! And Happy New Years!


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God Promised – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Peter 3 – 1 John 3; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read –Psalms 116 – 120; Proverbs 24)Read the “1224 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Peter 3:1-13)

Good morning. There may be something to this global warming stuff. God say this world and the heavens shall be dissolved in fervent heat. Oh my, where are the Jehovah Witnesses going to live if they are not part of the 144,000? (Just so you understand, the 144,000 are not the good Jehovah Witnesses. The 144,000 are all male virgins, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. And they will be in heaven with a multitude that cannot be numbered.) Nevertheless we, as Christians, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. And it all began back in Genesis… in judgment…

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

One day the Lord Jesus Christ would deliver the death blow to the devil but in the process be wounded as a nail was driven through His heel. And after the devil bows before Him, and announces that Jesus Christ is Lord, he will be cast into the lake fire that was prepared for him. And we would be going there with him if it was not for another of God’s promises…

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:32-40)

You see, we are all sinners…

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

And being sinners, there is no way for us to earn a place in heaven…

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God had to do it all: He promised and provided the Way of salvation…

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

He gave us the easy part…

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

Today is Christmas Eve. If you have never received Jesus as your Saviour, this would be your chance to receive the greatest Christmas Gift ever given. And you can sing with the angels…

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

Peace and Good Will to you. Merry Christmas.


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Throughly Furnished – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Timothy 3 – Titus 3; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17)

Read the “1217 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:10-17)

Good morning. Before God called Moses to free His people, the Lord made sure Moses was throughly furnished for the work assigned. God told Moses…

Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:12)

And Jeremiah too…

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:4-9)

As shown in our text, God uses His Word to complete (perfect) and throughly furnish the man of God to do the job assigned…

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:15-17)

God’s Word gives us sound doctrine. God’s Word will reprove you, but it will also correct you. But most importantly, God’s Word will give you instruction in righteousness. For your ministry of showing others Jesus, you will be throughly furnished. In Acts 21:5, the same Greek word that is translated as throughly furnished is translated as accomplished…

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.” (Acts 21:5)

Of course, none of us is perfect, the word perfect here in 2Timothy 3:17 means complete. Throughly furnished or accomplished (Acts 21:5) has the feeling of time. In other words, as we pray read our Bibles, God gives us things to get us through the day. The indwelling Holy Spirit brings these things to light when we need them. He empowers us unto good works, the good works God has ordained us to walk in. Let me give you an example…

My pastor in college was Dr. Bob Gray. When he first took the position, he started having problems with the head deacon. One day, he say that deacon coming across the parking lot towards him, and he didn’t look happy. Dr. Gray prayed and asked the Lord to give him something. The Lord said He did. One of the chapters he read that morning had this verse…

And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.” (1Samuel 21:13)

…which the Holy Spirit brought to Preacher’s mind. So, he let the spittle run down his chin and took off towards the deacon. And, of course, the deacon changed course. But what was the “good work” performed? Maybe the deacon learned what his attitude should be towards his pastor. The deacons do not control the church, they are servants to the congregation. The pastor is the one who has to answer to the LORD for the direction the church goes. He is the one who should be at the helm. Maybe the good work was building Preacher’s faith: God confirming that He would supply his every need.

You can also be throughly furnished for whatever good works that you should walk in today. Did you read your Bible this morning? Did you pray today? How do you expect to fire your gun if you don’t load it first? Allow God to make you throughly furnished unto all good works.

Peace.


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In Whom Ye Also – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – Ephesians 1 – 3; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Read the “1210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Good morning. You’re saved, I hope. There was a time when you realized that you were a sinner and as a sinner you could not save yourself. If you look earlier in this chapter: verses 8, 9, and 10: there is nothing you can do that will earn you a place in Heaven…

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

But getting back to our text verses, we are all fellow Christians, built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with our Lord and Saviour being the Chief Corner Stone. We all are growing together into a holy temple. You are a part of God’s holy temple, and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Corinthians 6:15-20)

And also…

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1Corinthians 3:16-17)

The wages of sin can still be death to the Christian as well as the unsaved. Do you really want to drag the Holy Spirit to some of the places you go. Do you really want to involve the Holy Spirit in the sins that you do. God will never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us wherever we go. And He already knows the trouble we would get ourselves into. As Jesus is our example, we should be an example to others showing them Jesus.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Corinthians 5:14-21)

Peace.


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All You Need Is Love – The Saturday Morning Post


all-you-need-is-love

Today’s Passages – 1 Corinthians 13 – 14; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 11 – 15; Proverbs 3)

Read the “1203 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1Corinthians 13:1-2)

Good morning. The Beatles were close: all you need is love. When your source of love comes from stone idols, multi-armed Hindu gods, or yourself, your source of love is wrong. Let’s look at the rest of the chapter to see what love is and discover the True Source of Love…

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1Corinthians 13:3-13)

Charity, or love, will help us to fulfill the greatest of the Commandments…

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

And this love Jesus gave us in a new commandment…

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

The love we need to love God, our enemies, our brethren, and our neighbors comes from God: love is of God…

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1John 4:7-8)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

All you need is love. The love of the only True, and Living God.

Peace.


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Envy – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passages – Acts 11 – 13; (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read –Psalms 91 – 95; Proverbs 19)

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Beginning of the Journey

“Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” (Acts 13:40-49)

Good morning. I just read an article about a man in Chicago who was beaten by a bunch of thugs because he voted for Trump. And I also read about Hillary uncontrollably crying over the phone because she did not win the election. It is one thing to cry because your feelings are hurt, but when those feelings turn to lashing out and physically hurting someone, that is envy. That’s what happened to Paul and Barnabas, if you read the next verse: they raised up persecutions against Paul and Barnabas…

“But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.” (Acts 13:50)

This would happen to them again in Acts 17…

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” (Acts 17:1-5)

Proverbs 14:30 tells us that envy is as rottenness to the bones. And Proverbs 27:4 asks who can stand against envy? Able could not…

“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Genesis 4:3-8)

Jesus faced envy from the priests…

“But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him.” (Mark 15:9-13)

Romans 1:28-32 shows us that envy is part of a reprobate mind…

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:28-32)

Envy is a part of being carnal…

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1Corinthians 3:3)

Envy is a part of the works of the flesh…

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

We are warned ourselves, in both Proverbs and Psalms, not to be envious of the wicked…

“…Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” (Psalm 37:1-2)

“For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:3)

“Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.” (Proverbs 3:31)

“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (Proverbs 24:1-2)

One thing we can do to combat envy: to keep it from welling up inside us is to walk honestly: do that which is right…

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” (Romans 13:13)

Another thing we can do is love…

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…” (1Corinthians 13:1-8)

Peace!


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These Things – The Saturday Morning Post


he_s-got-the-world-in-his-hands

Today’s Passages – John 14 – 16; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Read the “1112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:22-26)

Good morning. I can’t believe the protests against President Elect Trump that are taking place here and there. The guy hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. Many things can happen between now and January 2017. But Jesus said if a man love me, he will keep my words. These things He has spoken to us about, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will remind us of these things when they are needed.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:1-7)

These things, the things that Jesus said are to be kept and remembered by us.

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)

We should not be offended when tribulation and persecution come upon us.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” (John 15:18-22)

But be of good cheer, that’s what Jesus said…

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

We can have peace, and good cheer; and we can also have love, and joy…

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

But it all starts with love…

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (John 15:17)

The reason we love Jesus is because He first loved us. And the love that we show should extend to everyone: from those weeping at the feet of Jesus to the soldier who nailed the spikes through His hands and feet…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Those out protesting, they may not know the Lord, but they can learn if someone tells them. God has given us a second chance. Let’s not drop the ball this time.

Peace!


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