A Happy Ending – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Joel 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 – 1 John 1 – 5; Psalms 101 – 105; Proverbs 21)

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

“The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten. Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’S ministers, mourn. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” (Joel 1:1-12)

“The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.” (Joel 3:16-21)

Good morning. Do you like happy endings? I do. God’s people have a really bad start in the book of Joel. They are scattered throughout other nations, sold into slavery, even outright killed. But the LORD had everything under control, and in the end will deal with those who do His people wrong. Do you hold a grudge? Has anybody done you or a loved one wrong? Do you hate their guts? All that hatred that you are storing up inside you is ruining the joy that your Heavenly Father wants you to enjoy. Here is a pathway to a happy ending for you.

1) Become One Of God’s Kids.

If you are not saved, you are not one of His kids.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:33-43)

“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.” (1John5:12-13)

“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)

When you are one of God’s kids, you have a home in heaven: you have a happy ending. Do you want to have a happy endings here on earth?

2) Be Forgiving

“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? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

With all that hatred and unforgiveness in your heart it will eventually come out. Maybe directed at a loved one who doesn’t deserve to be treated that way: someone who did you no wrong. You can walk around being miserable, or…

3) Walk In The Spirit.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

“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.” (Galatians 5:22-25)

With the fruit of the Spirit showing and growing in your life, you can have a happy ending.

Peace!


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The Waters Still Flow – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 47 – 48 (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 – 2 Timothy 1 – 4; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

Read the “0914 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward.” (Ezekiel 47:19)

“And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea.” (Ezekiel 48:28)

Good morning. Disobedience causes strife. When the people strove with Moses about not having any water, God became angry. Moses also became angry.

And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.” (Numbers 20:2-13)

Over 800 years later we see that the waters of strife are still flowing. Even today we still anger the Lord and He has to correct us, yet He provides His water freely. The water still flows. You see, God hates sin, and we all have sinned…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

“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)

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

Disobedience to Romans 10:13 is what kept Moses from entering the promised land. Moses was told by the LORD to speak to the rock and water would flow out. But Moses in his anger hit the rock with his staff twice. He had ruined the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ that God was trying to paint. If you need something, ask God for it. Dying of thirst?

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

The water still flows. Do you think God knows where the water is?

“And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” (Genesis 26:19-22)

If Isaac had called on the LORD and asked for water, he may not have had to dig the previous wells and strive with the herdsmen of Gerar. The water still flows.

Some think that their religion will get them to Heaven. They think that calling on the name of the LORD is too easy: they want to work their way there. But in the book of Ephesians, the Bible tells us…

“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)

“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.” (2Peter 3:9)

Are you still striving with God? Call on Him to save you. 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)

And the water still flows.

Peace.


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Have You Forgotten?

have-you-forgotten-9-11

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 38 – 40 (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 – 2 Thessalonians 1 – 3; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

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

Read the “0911 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

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

18 years ago today our nation was attacked by radical Muslim terrorists filled with hatred for our culture and our freedom. I have not forgotten that day, and I am sure that all of you who read this who were alive on September 11th have not forgotten either. We remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that day. It is my prayer that as the years go by the memory of 9/11 will remain vivid in our hearts and minds for several reasons:

1 I do not want to forget that there is an enemy out there that wants to destroy us. In this world of distraction, we go about busily living our lives almost oblivious to the fact that evil still exists in our world. Satan is still very active, and His hatred for God and God’s people has only become more intense as years have passed. His influence on people has also increased; and there are more people than ever out there who are under his influence, and are willing to do his evil bidding. As Christians, we are admonished to be alert:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – (1 Peter 5:8)

2 I do not want to forget that there is still a cause worth fighting for. The evil that exists in the world reminds me that I must be daily in the battle, fighting the devil, and working to deliver people from his spell. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is still the most powerful weapon in our arsenal against the wiles of the devil. The more people that we can reach with the message of salvation, the less people Satan will have to do his bidding. Evil cannot be removed by more evil. It can only be eradicated through the love of Christ.

3 I do not want to forget that there are still people out there that are willing to die for that cause; and there are still folks out there worth dying for. Jesus died to set us free:

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – (John 8:32)

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” – (John 8:36)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” – (Romans 8:2)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – (Galatians 5:1)

Jesus died to give us liberty, and there are many still today who are willing to lay down there life for the same cause. The men and woman who are fighting today are fighting for our liberty and freedom. The men and women who were murdered by the terrorists thirteen years ago were murdered because the concept of liberty and freedom was under attack.

The greatest demonstration of love is sacrifice. Jesus commended His love for us by dying on the cross for our sins. Parents show their love for their children by what they sacrifice for them. The men and women that went into those buildings in order to save lives were putting their lives on the line for other people. The men and women that fight for our freedom today are putting their lives in jeopardy for the cause of our liberty. They are sacrificing their own liberty in order to help us keep ours.

Let’s not forget these things. Let’s not forget these people. And let’s get in the battle ourselves, and be willing to sacrifice some of our liberty so that we can help others enjoy theirs.


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The New King James: Things That Are Different Are Not The Same – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 24 – 27 (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 – Ephesians 4 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Read the “0907 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim.” (Ezekiel 27:6)

Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks With ivory from the coasts of Cyprus.” (NKJV Ezekiel 27:6)

Which one is right? Was it whole benches of ivory (KJB) or just inlays (NKJV)? Was it Chittim (KJB) or Cyprus (NKJV) that the ivory came from?

Good morning. Lately I have been delving into other bibles. There is a book called ‘Things That Are Different Are Not The Same.” This title is 100% correct. As you can see from Ezekiel 27:6 above, the Holy Bible (KJB) does not agree with the NKJV. Around 130 pastors, theologians, and a host of others with capitol letters after their names, were selected to translate the New King James Version. Let me show you a paragraph from The General Editor’s Acknowledgements from a NKJV study bible…

“The New King James Version of the Bible preserves the precise scholarship of the original King James Version while updating the literary form of the text. The most noticeable change is the deletion of seventeenth-century pronouns (thee, thou) and verb endings (lovest). The NKJV is a dependable version of the classic text in language that make sense for today’s readers.”

Really?!

Do you know what Keveh is? It’s a place, a region in southeastern Anatolia, named Cilicia by the Greeks. In the NKJV the verse reads…

“Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at thecurrent price.” (1Kings 10:28)

The NKJV tells us that Solomon imported horses from Egypt and Keveh and he must have got a better deal from the Egyptians: he paid the current price in Keveh. Now, if you look at the King James Bible…

“And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.” (1Kings 10:28)

The King James Bible tells us that Solomon received horses, and linen yarn from Egypt, but had to pay for the linen yarn. So what does Keveh have to do with this? The New King James Version was copyrighted in 1979. In order to copyright something, it must be an original work. Unless Thomas Nelson Publishers made enough changes to the King James Bible, they would not be able to copyright theirs. Let’s look at another word…

Ezekiel 31:14 says in the NKJV…

“The waters made it grow; Underground waters gave it height, With their rivers running around the place where it was planted, And sent out rivulets to all the trees of the field.” (Ezekiel 31:14)

What are rivulets? The dictionary says it is a small brook or stream. But what does that have to do with what the King James Bible says…

“To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. (Ezekiel 31:14)

Which one is right? The NKJV indicates life, The Holy Bible indicates death. Which one is right? Things that are different are not the same. Here is another one for you: Acts chapter 12. The King James Bible reads…

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (Acts 12:1-4)

The New King James Version says…

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.” Acts 12:1-4

All your other bibles translate Easter as Passover. Which is right? Let’s see what God’s Word says…

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” (Acts 12:1-15)

This passage is God’s instruction for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But to make things a little clearer…

“And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.” (Numbers 28:16-17)

What did the Bible say in Acts 12:3?

“And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)” (Acts 12:3)

The Passover was past, they were in the days of unleavened bread. In order for the translators to be true to God’s Holy Word, they needed to use the pagan holiday: Easter. If they would have used Passover, they would have been wrong: Passover was over. All bibles that say Passover are wrong. Things that are different are not the same.

There are many differences in a bible that was only going to change the thee’s and the thou’s. Search it out yourself, and you will find that the King James Bible IS the inspired, preserved Word of God for the English speaking people.

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. “(Psalm 119:160)

Peace!


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Conviction

Feeling-Guilty

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 20 – 21 (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 – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

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

Read the “0905 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.” – (Ezekiel 20:43)

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” – (Romans 7:24)

“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. [8] And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” – (John 16:7-8)

Just a quick thought from the Scripture this morning. Here in chapter 20 & 21, God is delivering a stern rebuke upon the people of Israel for their rebellion against Him. However, there is one place in these two chapters where I see hope for the children of Israel, and it comes here in v 43. This is the place where the people finally recognize their sin against God, and actually feel what would be to us the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of God. I cannot say that I enjoy the feeling of being pronounced guilty from within my own spirit; but I am very glad that God loves me enough to let me know when I am guilty. Incidentally, one of the best assurances that you are a child of God is the presence of the Holy Spirit of God within you.

Notice an important truth about this loathing that people of Israel would feel about themselves. It comes after God gathers them back into the land of Israel, and after He begins to bless them again. He says in verse 44 that the people would realize that God did not deal with them according to their wickedness; He blessed them inspite of the fact that they had turned against Him. They deserved judgment, yet God dealt with them in mercy and grace. The New Testament tells us that it is the love of Christ that constrains us. That verse is referring to His love for us, not our love for Him. When we realize the unmerited and unconditional love that God has for us, it causes us to realize how undeserving of that love we really are, and it brings about the conviction, the self-loathing that Ezekiel speaks about in this passage.

Paul felt the same way about himself in the Book of Romans. He called himself a wretched man. He recognized the sin that was within him. The Holy Spirit of God pointed it out to him, and he didn’t attempt to cover it, hide it, or defend it. He came clean with God. We need to do the same thing. When our Heavenly Father points out to us the things in our lives that displease Him, the best thing that we can do is agree with Him, confess them, and then forsake them. The whole process starts, however, with conviction.


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It’s A Gift – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 1 – 4 (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 – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Psalms 146 – 150; Proverbs 31)

Read the “0831 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” (Ezekiel 2:1-3:3)

Good morning. I guess. I don’t really know what time you are reading this. Have you had your breakfast yet? Was it in your mouth as honey for sweetness? Have you read God’s Word today? That’s what is sweet, as God uses His Word to transform us into the likeness of His Son. And just as Ezekiel had to bring the Word of God to rebellious Israel, we must bring it to others: rebuild others who have fallen down in their journey. The apostle Paul said…

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (1Corinthians 14:12)

God has given us all spiritual gifts as the Holy Spirit deems fit. One thing that I took with me to Texas Baptist College was the understanding that someone was watching me. Would I cause them to quit because I quit? Would our pastor have still gone there if I dropped out in my first year? Would I cause someone to stumble because I stumbled. For the sake of others I had to keep going, and still do. If I quit, what will happen to others? The same principle of caring about others extends throughout the Bible. We are to build people up, edify them, edify the church.

If I gossip, or say something bad about someone, will the person I’m talking to think it’s okay to gossip? By the way, if someone tells you something bad about another, what are they saying about you when you’re not around? If I don’t tithe, will others risk the devourer from Malachi 3:11 by not tithing also?

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8-11)

What affect will my sin have on others? If I then tell others not to do it either, I become a hypocrite. Lets start going in the direction we should be going; let’s start edifying those around us. Let’s start being the kind of Christian that God wants us to be. Amen?

Peace.


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What,s Wrong With The Old Black Book? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 37 – 40 (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 – Romans 1 – 4; Psalms 116 – 118; Proverbs 24)

Read the “0824 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.” (Jeremiah 37:16-17)

“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 117:1-2)

And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Good morning! King Zedekiah was worried. The king of Babylon was coming. What would he do? How could he stand against the coming army? He needed God. God’s plan was to hold Israel in captivity for a while. Then God would punish them, and His people would go free. The king panicked as everything around him happened as God told Jeremiah and Jeremiah told the king. The last that king Zedekiah saw was…

“Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.” (Jeremiah 39:6-7)

Aren’t you glad today that you have truth that you can stand on? God’s truth? And His truth endures forever. You can trust your King James Bible. If you look at the cover page, you will see: The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments translated out of the original tongues and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. Translating is stressful work. The translators knew they were answerable not only to King James, but also the King of Kings. Not to mention all the English speaking people who would be saved from reading God’s Word and seeing with their own eyes God’s perfect plan of salvation. That was a heavy responsibility to carry on their shoulders. They knew what God said in the Scriptures…

“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.”(Deuteronomy 4:1-4)

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:18-20)

And you think your job has you stressed out? I have a translating example. It’s not the greatest example, plus it’s Spanish, not Greek or Hebrew. I typed an English phrase into a website that would translate the phrase into Spanish. It came out…
tengo que ir al bano

tengo means “I have.”

que means “what”, although the website said que has multiple meanings.

It means “I have to do something.”

And al bano means “to the bathroom.”

You have “I have / what / I have to do something / to the bathroom.”
So the translation would probably look like this…

I have [to go] to the bathroom.

Maybe, one day, I’ll learn Spanish. The translators of the King James Bible reverenced God’s Word. They feared the Lord. The words that help us understand the English structure of the verses, if needed, were put in italics.

I hope I didn’t lose you with that last statement. There has been a question being kicked around about the inspiration of the Bible: was it just the originals that were inspired, or the King James Bible too? We can see how God feels about His Word from the verses above. God wants His Word perfect. 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.” (John 15:5)

God’s hand was all over the King James Bible. He gave the translators every word that He wanted in the Bible, both italicized and non-italicized. Without Jesus, the translators could never have given us the correct translation in the King James Bible. And we know from testimonies, history, and revivals, that the King James Bible brought forth much fruit, as it still does today.

Let me show you something I copied from somewhere while I was in college…

1382 The Wyclif Bible
The first purification.
1525 The Tyndale Bible
The second purification.
1535 The Coverdale Bible
The third purification.
1537 The Rogers Bible
The fourth purification.
1539 The Great Bible
The fifth purification.
1560 The Geneva Bible
The sixth purification.
1568 The Biship’s Bible
The seventh purification.
1611 The King James Bible.

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

So, what’s wrong with the old black book?
Absolutely NOTHING!

Peace.


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Strange Gods – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 10 – 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 – Acts 7 – 9; Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17)

Read the “0817 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.” (Jeremiah 10:1-6)

Good morning. If you had asked me a few years back if I thought America was under God’s judgment, I probably would have said I didn’t think so. Everything appeared to be going okay. After 9/11 things drastically changed in the United States.

An illustration that many preachers have used is about how to cook a frog. If you toss a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will hop right out. But if you place a frog in a pot of water, and slowly bring up the heat, he will stay there in the pot till he gets cooked. That’s what happened to us. The devil has been working on this country for quite some time. The religion of Evolution is preached in our schools as truth instead of just a theory. Children are taught that the baby formed in the womb is just an unfeeling blob of goo, so abortion is okay. People are numbed by propaganda telling them that homosexuality is an alternate life style and not sin. The Word of God has been removed from schools, government buildings, and replaced with books of “higher learning”

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:22-25)

Coexist is written on many of our bumper stickers. You can be whatever religion you want, just don’t attack anyone else’s. It doesn’t matter if they are on their way to Hell: they’ve been taught that there is no Hell.  Why, you can even be a god yourself. Just jump around like Shirley McLane and shout I am god, I am god. Is it any wonder that many Americans have tried to push God out of their lives, and unfortunately the lives of others too? Even if the godless succeed in removing from the Pledge of Allegiance the phrase: one nation under God; we are still, and always will be one nation under God. And God chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:5-11). Look what God said about Israel in Psalm 81…

“Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.” (Psalm 81:8-16)

Maybe one of the problems is that as Christians today, we don’t see God work in our lives. Why should we see God work? Look at what God says in Isaiah 43…

“I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.” (Isaiah 43:12)

God has spoken to us through His Word. God has saved us, not only in salvation from sin, but also problems attacking our lives. And God has showed us His great love to us. And we are supposed to be His witnesses of these things. And God did these things in our lives. He did them “when there was no strange god among” us. Logic with me for a minute. If anything that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Then anything that we deem more important than God, is a strange god. What is more important than God to you? Is it sports? Is it your job? Is it a favorite TV show that’s in the same time-slot as church? What is your strange god? When we get rid of them, maybe God will start working in our lives again. We will be witnesses for Him. He will heal our nation (2Chronicles 7:14). Psalm 85 is a good model prayer:

“LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.” (Psalm 85:1-13)

Tired of not seeing God work in your life? Get rid of the strange gods.

Peace.


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He Is The LORD Of Hosts – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 48 – 52 (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 – John 13 – 14; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Read the “0810 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” (Isaiah 48:1-11)

Good morning. God is the LORD of hosts. The word host means a mass of persons (or things) especially organized for war. Yes, God is in control of everything: He is the LORD of hosts. Even so, He is much more than that.

1) He is the I AM.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Exodus 3:13 – 15)

2) He is THE WAY.

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” (Exodus 13:17-22)

“Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:10-11)

“And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.” (Ezekiel 20:42)

“When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.” (Ezekiel 39:27-28)

3) He is THE TRUTH.

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:35-36)

“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” (Isaiah 46:9-13)

4) He is THE LIFE.

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”(Isaiah 43:10-11)

“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:21-22)

“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:13 – 15)

5) He is THE GREAT SHEPHERD.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:27 – 30)

6) He is THE LORD.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Do You Believe HE IS?

“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)

“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)

He is the LORD of hosts, and we are His: walking in the good works that He has ordained for us to walk in. He is the LORD.

Peace.


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What Happened to Tyre – The Saturday Morning Post

Tyre Today

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 19 – 23 (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 – Luke 23 – 24; Psalms 11 – 15; Proverbs 3)

Read the “0803 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them. Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations. Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins. As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle. Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.” (Isaiah 23:1-9)

Good morning. The city of Tyre was part of Lebanon. Partially on land and partially on an island. Tyre was described as a strong city in Joshua…

…And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib…” (Joshua 19:29)

King Hiram was ruler there, and was friends with both David and Solomon. He sent cedar trees, and craftsmen to David to build his house. Solomon made the same deal with Hiram, and was sent more cedar trees, and craftsmen for the Temple project. And if Tyre had the craftsmen, skilled workers, for David and Solomon, can you imagine what Tyre itself looked like? It must have been a beautiful city. The people must have been proud, and that was the problem.

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5)

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

And the LORD said in our passage about Tyre…

“The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.” (Isaiah 23:9)

And who here are the honourable of the earth? They are the trafficers: the merchants: those who are there to make money.

“Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?” (Isaiah 23:8)

And who is the king of pride? The biggest self-worshiper of all time? Tis the devil himself…

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:12-17)

So what can we do if the devil snares us with pride? Humble yourself.

1) Confess it as sin.

“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)

2) Don’t be proud of your Salvation: you did nothing, it was God’s gift to 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)

3) Realize that you cannot do nothing on your own.

“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)

So what happened to Tyre? God kept His promise. The mainland portion of Tyre was conquered a few times but the island portion was not conquered until Alexander the Great. He tore down the mainland city and used the cut stone to build a causeway over to the island. It is not the great merchant city that it was, but is a tourist city for visitors to Lebanon.

Peace.


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This Is The Whole Duty Of Man – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ecclesiastes 9 – 12 (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 – Luke 9 – 10; Psalms 126 – 130; Proverbs 27)

Read the “0727 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Good morning. Fear God, and keep His commandments. This is the whole duty of man. One of those commands is to rejoice.

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

Looking at the world, the direction it is going (I just saw an advertisement on TV for an “R” rated movie staring young boys – not even teens yet) it is on a moral downhill spiral waiting to crash and burn. It is overrun with sodomites, baby killers, liberals, and the like. But it is still commanded that we rejoice in the Lord. Jesus talked with His disciples…

“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:18-20)

If you’re saved, heaven is your home, so choose to rejoice. Habakkuk wrote…

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Another command is to trust in the Lord…

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:12)

Are you trusting in the Lord? Do you love the Lord? It’s commanded, but it should come natural after all He did for you.

“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)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 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. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:15-21)

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Peace.


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A Matter Of Life And Death – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Proverbs 16 – 18 (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 – Mark 11 – 12; Psalms 96 – 100; Proverbs 20)

Read the “0720 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Good morning. Have you ever had anyone talk trash about you? Have you ever listened to anyone who talked trash about someone else? Have you ever talked trash about someone to anyone? It’s all trash.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)

Why do we do such things? Because we are sinners. We still have a will to sin.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45)

“A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.” (Psalm 15:1-3)

“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 26:20-22)

How can you love your neighbor if your words are killing him? You can’t. So what can be done?

1) Stop Spreading The Gossip

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23)

2) Stop Listening To The Gossip

“He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (Proverbs 20:19)

You could even say to the gossiper, “Joe Shmoe did that? Let’s go see him and see if it’s true. That will stop many gossipers from coming to you with that trash.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” (James 3:2-12)

Peace.


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Sick Of Sin – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 140 – 145 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 25 – 26; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13)

Read the “0713 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.” (Psalm 140:1-13)

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

Good morning! Have you ever been stuck in that horrible pit of sin? After you were saved? Some of us are living there now. It’s a horrible pit. The word horrible in this verse means uproar. Inside the devil’s bag are many tricks. One of them is distraction. The devil gets many things going in our lives that we lose focus on what God wanted us to do. He causes an uproar in our lives, a horrible pit. Our world is turned upside down. We start relying on our own power to get out of this mess when we should have relied on the Lord to get us out. After all, Romans 14:23 does tell us…

“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

And where does faith come from?

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

Even Jesus, when He was tempted by the devil, used Scripture to battle him. That is what we need to do: use Scripture.

The first action you need to take is to stop.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Scripture tells us in Psalm 40:2 that God is the one that brought you out of the horrible pit, set your feet upon a rock, and established your goings. God will lift you out in His timing.

Your second action is to allow the Lord to bring you up one step at a time.

He brings you out, sets you a solid foundation: The Rock. Then He gets you going again in the right direction, and puts a new song in your mouth. Don’t worry about what is going to happen tomorrow. Jesus said…

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34)

Your third action is to praise God for His deliverance.

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:3)

Just as verse 12 and 13 of Psalm 140 says…

“I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.” (Psalm 140:12-13)

Peace.


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Happy To Be In Church

people-smiling

Today’s Reading – Psalms 120 – 132 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 21 – 22; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read the “0711 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” – (Psalm 122:1)

“Except the LORD build the house they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” – (Psalm 127:1)

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” – (Psalm 133:1)

If you want to put a smile on the face of my grandson, Jaxon, just tell him that you are taking him to church. He loves to go to church. He loves to put on his little tie.  He loves to ride in the church bus on soul winning night. He loves everything about the church, and he is glad every time he goes.

For my devotion this morning I have listed a couple of verses from our reading today (and one from tomorrow’s reading) that I believe can certainly be considered together. Though, I may be taking a little bit of liberty regarding the proper interpretations of these Scriptures in their original contexts, I do not believe my thoughts violate basic Biblical truth. The first verse (Psalm 122:1) talks about the joy of being in the house of God. I also love to be in the house of God with God’s people, but there have been times in my life when I did not appreciate going to church. Before I was saved, the last thing I wanted to do was to go to church; and even after my salvation there have been times when I dreaded church. Thinking back at these times I now realize that the reason for my apprehension was either because my own heart was not right, or that there was something not right going on in the church.

I remember years ago my wife and I were at a church business meeting. The pastor of the church had fired the youth pastor. The problem was that a good portion of the church really liked the youth pastor and did not want to see him go. The result was a church split, with a lot of arguing, gossiping, and bitterness that certainly was not pleasing to the Lord. The lack of unity (Psalm 133:1) among the brethren caused the church to become an unpleasant place to go.

The bottom line is, however, that a church where the people are striving together, submissive to the will of God, is a place that is a downright joyful place for the Christian to go; unless, of course, his heart is at odds with the will of God. If the church is healthy, and the Christian is healthy spiritually, there ought to be a joyful anticipation of going to the House of God. I am very thankful for the church where I serve. Though we are not a large church, we enjoy serving and worshipping together. It is my prayer that our church will grow together, both spiritually and numerically. However, the house must be built by the Lord. It must be done His way, otherwise, we are just wasting our time.

Do you look forward to going to church, or to you you dread it? If the thought of going is unpleasant to you, you need to ask yourself, why? It may be that there is a major problem within the congregation; but more often than not, the problem lies within your own spiritual condition. If you are out of the will of God, being in God’s house, and around God’s people will certainly be a difficult experience. If that is your situation, please don’t blame the church for your misery, and don’t run from the church either. If you do, you may experience a temporary relief from your feelings, but it will ultimately lead to more sorrow. The best thing that you can do is get back inside the will of God. Inside of God’s will, the local church is a place of happiness.


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Joy Is Coming: Remembering The Fourth Of July – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 103 – 105 (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; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6)

Read the “0706 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.” (Psalm 103:1)

Good morning. As I sit here reading my Bible, I realized something about the Fourth of July. This was a few years ago. I didn’t go to watch the parade. I didn’t watch the Macy’s fireworks show, the biggest fireworks display in the nation. I didn’t even watch the Twilight Zone Marathon. My flag was up on the front of the trailer waving in the breeze. I played dominoes with Camille most of the day; and cooked BBQ’d ribs in my 16 qt. cast iron dutch oven. And yes, they came out great! But this was the most quietest fourth of July I ever had.

My best Fourth was in 1976. I went to visit my brother, Harry. We stood near the Varizano Narrows Bridge, and watched the tall ships sail by. Then later into the evening, we went to a swamp where you could see the back of the Statue of Liberty and watched the massive fireworks display celebrating our nations 200th birthday. That was 43 years ago. The celebration of the fourth in 2013 just did not feel the same to me. Maybe it was the camping trip to Gettysburg, PA, a few weeks earlier that got me to thinking. There were 51,112 deaths in that one battle. That’s more than the Korean Conflict (36,574), and almost as much as the war in Vietnam (58,209). I wonder what the soldiers would say if they could see the condition the country is in today. The country they gave their lives for. Would they be sickened by the stench of our way of life: relying on big brother, rather than God for all our needs? What would they say? Would they say, “Wow, what a great cell phone!”; or would they slap our faces for the low price we put on the freedoms that they shed their blood to keep?

Depressing, isn’t it. It was for me until I read Psalm 30:5. There may be some hope for our nation. Psalm 30:5 says…

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

Joy is coming. It may be in seeing the nation turn back to God, or it may be in Christ’s returning for us. But joy is coming in the morning. We made a real mess of our “One Nation Under GOD”, but He promises…

“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)

Joy IS coming.

Peace.


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Let God Be Magnified – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 69 – 72 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 13 – 16; Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 29)

Read the “0629 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.” (Psalm 70:4)

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)

Good morning. Do you have a vision for the things of God? Has God given you a vision for what He wants to accomplish in your life? Let God be magnified. Do you have a vision? If you don’t, you need to get a vision before you perish. Maybe God once gave you a vision of His will for your life, and somehow you got sidetracked. This happens. It happened to me. I was recently reminded of the verse I had received as my reason to go to college. In Luke 14:21, Jesus said, “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”

Where is your vision? The key is after the colon: he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Your vision of God’s will for your life is in the Scripture. You need a vision or you will perish.

Have a vision for God’s Word.

King David wrote,

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.” (Psalm 119:1-8)

And God is serious about His Word. His Word is truth. God wanted the king to write out his own copy of the Bible:

“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)

Have a vision for God’s people.

Jesus said,

“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)

Maybe you are down on yourself. You think, how can God use me? I’m such a screw-up. If you start loving others as Jesus did, you will begin to get a vision of how God sees you. He doesn’t see you as a screw-up, He sees you as His child.

Have a vision for those who are not God’s people.

Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not for people. 2Peter 3:9 tells us that…

“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.” (2Peter 3:9)

God is not willing that any should perish. That’s why He commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. People need to hear the gospel. You are saved by grace through faith, and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Those who are not God’s people need a chance to become God’s people. If you are reading this and are not one of God’s people, you can become one. 1John 5:11-13 tells us,

“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 5:11-13)

Romans 3:10 & 23 tell us that we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory. God will not allow any sin to enter heaven. The good news is in Romans 5:8…

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

According to Romans 10:13, all you need to do is ask Him to save you and He will.

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

Did you do that? Great! Now get yourself a vision for God’s Word, God’s people, and those who aren’t God’s people. And let God be magnified.

Peace.


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She’s Just A Kid – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 32 – 35(Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Peter 1 – 3; Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22)

Read the “0622 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” (Psalm 34:11)

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Good morning. I read something about six years ago. It was an article about a 16 year-old girl who was sentenced to death and is being released now that she is 43. She pleaded guilty to the murder of a 78 year-old Bible Studies teacher. She was 15 when she sat on the old woman, and slashed her 33 times with a butcher knife. She did this while three of her friends looked on (the youngest was 14).

She was sentenced to death, and became the youngest convict on death row. Protest sprung up across America, and even Europe, against the death penalty. The Indiana Supreme Court moved the minimum age for the death penalty from 10 years-old up to 16 years-old. This young girl was then sentenced to spend the next 60 years in prison. But you need to see how the article ends…

Linley E. Pearson, who was Indiana’s attorney general when [the girl] appealed to the state Supreme Court, said research now shows that the human brain doesn’t fully mature until age 24. “So kids can do a lot of things they wouldn’t do if they were an adult,” Pearson said. [The girl’s] sentence was reduced due to her behavior in prison, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She will remain on parole for a few years…

So who is to blame for the murder of the 78 year-old Bible teacher? Was it the girl? She was old enough to know right from wrong. She chose to do wrong. Were the parents to blame? Proverbs 22:6 tells us to…

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

I don’t know what her up-bringing was like. Maybe her dad only cared about making babies, and didn’t love his wife as Christ loved the church? Was it something she learned in school? Maybe in evolution class? Did her teachers tell her how she came from a slug that crawled out of the sea, and that she was superior and stronger than a 78 year-old lady. Did they teach her that she would be doing the world a favor by killing the old woman? It did not work for Hitler, and his socialistic, superior then any other, Aryan race either. Maybe it was the government who took God’s Word out of the schools. How do the students learn right from wrong if they are being taught to do their own thing? How can a country that is built on the Word of God function without the Word of God? It can’t. That is why we are in the mess we are in today: children killing children, drive-by shootings, home invasions all because we refuse to listen to God’s Word. Israel turned their backs on God, and started chasing after false gods, and for a while they were without a country: scattered. America has turned it’s back on God, and we are paying the price. Our freedoms are being flushed down the sewer. Soon the country that was built on God’s Word will be no more because we chased after false gods. What are our false gods? Worship of self, money, things. False gods like Allah, Buddha, Harri Krishnah, and the devil. We need to give God His proper place: Number One in our lives. 2Chronicles 7:14 says…

”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)

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but being under the rod of God’s correction is not a good place to be for our nation.

Peace.


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Do You Have An Answer? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Job 36 – 38 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Timothy 1 – 4; Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

Read the “0615 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” (Job 38:1-3)

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10-12)

Good morning. Do you have an answer for what God will ask you? In chapters 38 through 41 God questions Job. Twice God tells Job to gird up his loins like a man and answer Him. A scary situation. You see, none of us is perfect: for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). But as Christians, we will not be judged for our sins: Jesus took all those sins to the cross. But did we do what God wanted us to do, or what we thought He wanted us to do? It is our works that will be judged.

“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. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1Corinthians 3:5-15)

Twice God questions Job and twice Job answers God. But Job also questions himself.

1) Who am I to answer God?

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5)

2) What am I to answer God?

In Job 40:4, Job confesses that he is vile. Then in Job chapter 42…

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)

What can we say? God is always good whether we are in the valley, or on the mountain top. When good things happen, God is good. When bad things happen, God is still good.

Peace.


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Life Happens – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “0608 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” (Job 13:15-16)

Good morning. Job said he would maintain his own ways before God. Job was going to trust God. Even if death came, Job was determined to worship and walk with the Lord as he had been doing. Job knew that he was doing right. He knew God would be his salvation, and a hypocrite shall not come before the Lord. Job even had this testimony before God…

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:6-8)

But life happens…

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:12)

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” (Job 2:3-7)

Like I said – Life happens. But sometimes we bring it on ourselves. Jonah was running from God…

“Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:14-17)

“Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” (Jonah 2:1-2)

“And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” (Jonah 2:10)

1) Life happens to direct us back into God’s will.

Peter was walking on water, obeying the Lord’s command to come to Him…

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31)

2) Life happens to get our focus back on God.

Peter was in prison. King Herod was going to have him put to death…

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” (Acts 12:1-11)

3) Life happens so that God can show Himself mighty, that He can answer prayers,and supply your every need.

Life happens to all of us. If something happens to you, it may not be because you did something wrong, but God is trying to get your attention and draw you closer to Him.

Peace.


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Haman And His Antisemitism


Today’s Reading – Esther 1 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Corinthians 5 – 8; Psalms 11 – 15; Proverbs 3)

Read the “0603 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” (Esther 3:1-6)

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Good morning. You know the verse? The one in Proverbs…

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18)

Well Haman’s spirit was lifted up when king Ahasuerus promoted him to a position above all the princes that were with him. His pride was hurt, though, when a Jew named Mordecai refused to bow down, worshiping him. This was the start of Haman’s hatred of all the Jews. Haman gets the king to order the extermination of all the Jews. Not only this, but Haman built a gallows just for Mordecai to hang from. In chapter 7 we find that the tables have turned. God is keeping His promise of cursing those who cuse the Jews, and Haman is put to death on his own gallows. How is your feeling toward the Jews. You can be a blessing and receive a blessing, or you could curse, and be cursed yourself. Just remember, if you are a Christian, you have been grafted in…

“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” (Romans 11:15-21)

And then there was Balak, king of the Moabites. Israel had come up from Egypt, and the Moabites feared them. Balak sent messengers to enlist the help of a prophet named Balaam. Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel. And God told him not to go. He went anyway, and God tried to stop him. God finally let Balaam go to Balak, but He would not allow Balaam to curse Israel, only bless them. Balaam’s story starts in Numbers 22. Balaam descided to stick around. God tried to keep him from going, but we all have a free will, and in Numbers chapter 31…

“And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.” (Numbers 31:6-8)

So just nine chapters after going to Moab, Balaam is killed along with five Midianite kings.

So how should we treat the Jews? Remeber that they were chosen by God to be His bride, just as the church is the bride of Christ. They believe in and are trying to serve the same God that we are. The only thing we should do is to tell them who the Messiah is. Show them Christ. Help them to understand that God provided their salvation by dying on the cross for us. Pray for them and the peace of Jerusalem.

Peace.


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All The People Wept – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers Read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1)

Read the “0601 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.” (Nehemiah 8:1-9)

Good morning. How does reading the Bible affect you… personally? The children of Israel had wondered away from God. When hearing the Word of God, they all wept. Was that weeping out of the joy of hearing God’s Word again? Was that weeping out of conviction of sin. It was probably both. They could feel clean again by being obedient to God’s Word. They received the benefits from hearing God’s Word. The joy of being able to walk with God again: to know He hasn’t forsaken you.

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.” (Nehemiah 9:13-21)

It still amazes me that even though I did not see God’s hand at the time, I can look back and see His work in my life. It may have been the same way with the Jews here as the heard and were taught God’s Word.

Their Faith Increased

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

Their Sinning Decreased

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)

“And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” (Nehemiah 8:12)

Their Love For God’s Word Increased

“DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” (Psalm 119:25-32)

Their Joy Was Great

“And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.” (Nehemiah 12:27)

“Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.” (Nehemiah 12:43)

Peace!


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A Mind to Work

Today’s Reading – Nehemiah 1 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 1 Corinthians 5 – 8; Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 30)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0530 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “See the Need and Take the Lead

“So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6)

My previous posts from this passage have always focused on Nehemiah as he led the people of God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, but this morning I would like to consider the people themselves, as they sacrificed and labored for the Lord. Our text verse says that the people had “a mind to work”, which means that they were willing to put all of the necessary effort and skill into the reconstruction of the walls around the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was merely one man, and there is no way that he could accomplish a task of this magnitude without the help of many men, women, and children that all did their part to get the job done.

In my ministry, there have been a number of times when the people of God were so inspired by a need that they all got on board to help meet it. Those were certainly sweet times. It is wonderful to see the people of the church all get together to accomplish something for the Lord. However, most of the time, the work of the ministry is done by a few people who have to do more than their share of the labor. You may have heard it said that twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. I have found that to be true more often than not. It is a shame that we can’t get more of the people of God involved in the work of the ministry. Imagine with me what it would be like if we had every member of the church out for soul winning; and how about if we had more people than we could use to do all of the maintenance on the building and grounds. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Think about what could be done if we had people waiting for the opportunity to teach a Sunday School class, work a bus route, or disciple a new convert.  I believe that there would be several benefits to this, but two stand out. First, the people that are sacrificing and participating would get so much more out of the Christian life. The happiest people are the ones who get involved in serving others. Secondly, I believe that we could do so much more for the cause of Christ. More people would be saved, and more lives would be changed for the glory of God.

I want to challenge every saint of the Lord that is reading this article today. Have a mind to work. Find something to do in your local church, and give it all you’ve got. Get busy!


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Train Up A Child – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 32 – 33 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 1 – 4; Psalm 119; Proverbs 25)

Read the “0525 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.” (2Chronicles 33:1-2)

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Good morning. Manasseh was only a child when he became king, but he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. It made me wonder if he saw what his father went through. Manasseh was born when his father was 3 years into the last 15 years of his life. Did Manasseh witness this…

“In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” (2Chronicles 32:24-26)

“Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.” (2Chronicles 32:32-33)

Did he witness what his father went through and see his dad humble himself before the LORD? Obviously it did not sink into his young mind. He went bad. Manasseh restored the groves that his father cut down, and set up alters to Baal…

“And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” 2Chronicles 33:6)

But God knows how to get his children’s attention, and turn them from the wrong direction they are going…

“So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken. Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.” (2Chronicles 33:9-13)

“And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel. Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers. So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.” (2Chronicles 33:15-20)

Yes, Manasseh’s son, Amon: like father, like son…

“Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them; And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.” (2chronicles 33:21-24)

It would appear that both Manasseh and Amon raised with very little discipline. Proverbs 29:15 & 17 tell us…

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” (Proverbs 29:15)

“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” (Proverbs 29:17)

Notice, when God chastised Manasseh, he turned to God for forgiveness. Amon, on the other hand, would not listen to God, and was killed by his own servants. Matthew Henry two clear teachings from Proverbs 29 for parents to consider…

“Parents, in educating their children, must consider, 1. The benefit of due correction. They must not only tell their children what is good and evil, but they must chide them, and correct them too, if need be, when they either neglect that which is good or do that which is evil. If a reproof will serve without the rod, it is well, but the rod must never be used without a rational and grave reproof; and then, though it may be a present uneasiness both to the father and to the child, yet it will give wisdom. Vexatio dat intellectumVexation sharpens the intellect. The child will take warning, and so will get wisdom. 2. The mischief of undue indulgence: A child that is not restrained or reproved, but is left to himself, as Adonijah was, to follow his own inclinations, may do well if he will, but, if he take to ill courses, nobody will hinder him; it is a thousand to one but he proves a disgrace to his family, and brings his mother, who fondled him and humoured him in his licentiousness, to shame, to poverty, to reproach, and perhaps will himself be abusive to her and give her ill language.” – Matthew Henry.

Let me expand a little on #2 here. I know of a family where the wife was a heavy drinker. They had a son. Every time the son would do something bad, she would laugh as if to say how cute. The son grew, and had to be baled out of jail several times for beating his girlfriends. You can see the same results today of years of not disciplining children. They run around selling drugs and shooting each other without a care to what the law says.

Train up a child in the way he should go. Teach him right from wrong. Help him to understand with the rod of correction that sin has a price.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)

Peace.


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If My People – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 6 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 7 – 9; Psalms 86 – 90; Proverbs 18)

Read the “0518 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“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)

Good morning. Who do you want governing you? What kind of characteristics do you want them to have, or what type of person do you want them to be? Do you want them to have these traits or characteristics…

“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)

Or would you rather them have these traits…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

We are living in the end times. This is how the people of the end times was described by Paul to Timothy…

“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)

Do you think these people would cast their vote to elect a man of God to office? Your vote is important, but what is more important is who you pray for. As the Bible said in our opening verse…

“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)

Understand that God will put into office whomever He wants. Only one will help heal our land. We need to humble ourselves. We say that God is going to choose who He wants, so our vote doesn’t count. But God does listen to our prayers. King Hezekiah prayed, and God gave him 15 more years to live. We need to get the right attitude that our God is almighty God and He can do anything, including saving our country. If my people shall humble themselves and pray. God answers prayers. When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from God. We need to seek God’s face, not hide from Him, and turn from our wicked ways. God says he will hear from Heaven, forgive our sins, but most importantly heal our land. Only if My people…

Peace.


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A Legacy – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 23 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – Luke 23 – 24; Psalms 16 – 20; Proverbs 4

Read the0504 Evening and Morningdevotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Good morning. Have you ever wondered what you are building in life? What will you be known for. What will you leave behind. What is your legacy? Solomon reigned around 350 years before Josiah. He built the first temple, wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, compiled riches, and got himself wives. Seven-hundred wives to be exact with 300 concubines on the side. And this was the wisest man ever? Didn’t he relize he would also have 700 mother-in-laws? Solomon built a few other things too, that would last about 350 years. It marked the beginning of Josiah’s legacy…

And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city. Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren. And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.” (2Kings 23:1-14)

Would you rather be known as the king who brought idolatry into Israel, or the king who destroyed the idols and their worshipers? What kind of legacy are you building?

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

That is where many kings made their mistake. King Ahab lusted after his neigbor’s vineyard, and had him killed to get it.

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites…” (1Kings 11:1)

And God even warned him…

“Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.” (1Kings 11:2-8)

But Josiah was different…

And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king [JOSIAH], saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her. And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.” (2Kings 22:10-20)

And God gave him this legacy in the Bible…

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” (2Kings 22:1-2)

What can we do to improve our legacy? The answer is found in Galatians…

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 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. 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 5:16-26)

Peace.


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It’s A Gift – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage –2 Kings 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 – Luke 9 – 10; Proverbs 27; Psalms 131 – 135

Read the “0427 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.” (2Kings 5:1)

Good morning. And…

Congratulations! You have won a FREE trip to Bermuda! Wow, a free cruise? A gift for me? Well not exactly. First you need to drive to King-Of-Prussia, PA to pick up your tickets. Then you need to spend several hours with a high pressure salesman as he explains that the product produced by the company who is giving you the FREE trip is something you just can’t live without. The price for this product that you can’t live without (even though the world has done without it for 6000 years) is more than you can afford. But it is cheaper than your FREE (?) cruise to Bermuda. So you sign the contract, get your tickets, and your off to Bermuda… next week, after you drive to Florida, where the ship is leaving from. And to top everything off, your ship sails right through the Bermuda Triangle, you disappear forever, and you never get to see Bermuda, or enjoy whatever it is you signed the contract to buy.

Nothing is free, it always costs somebody something. Well, do we still live in a free country? Then how come I have to pay taxes? You still have freedom of speech, you say. Then why is it considered a hate crime when I quote God as saying homosexuality is an abomination? Even the freedom that we have was not free. Others died for those freedoms that are being tossed aside by the Liberal-Nazi-Commi-Socialists. Nothing is free. Except…

In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus is about to send His disciples to the people of Israel.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:5-8)

Jesus told them they received the power to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils freely. They should use this power freely to help others.

“And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2Kings 5:5-14)

In 2Kings 5, we have the story of Naaman the leper. God used Elisha the prophet to heal Naaman of his leprosy. Naaman tried to give gold, silver, and clothing to Elisha to say thank you. Elisha would not accept these. Freely he received, so freely he gave. So Naaman started on his journey back to Syria. But Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, did not understand. Gehazi ran after Naaman, and lied to get two talents of silver, and two changes of garments. After Gehazi received the items and returned home…

“But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.” (2Kings 5:25-27)

God’s gift of salvation is the only thing that is truly free to us, yet millions refuse to believe this.

“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)

Salvation is a free gift: you cannot work for it, you cannot buy it.

“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)

Salvation: God gave it; Jesus paid for it, and now offers it freely to you: it’s a gift.

Peace.


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When Leaders Go Bad – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 10 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 11 – 12; Proverbs 20; Psalms 96 – 100

Read the “0420 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.” (1Kings 11:1-8)

Good morning. I just read about the govenor of New York stating that the people belong to the state, and the state can inject (vaccinate) them with anything the state wants. Welcome to godless socialism. Because Solomon stopped following God and chased after false gods, things happened…

Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.” (1Kings 11:11-13)

Solomon lost Israel for his son. Only Judah would follow Rehaboan. Then the LORD raised up men to fight against Solomon.

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom.” (1Kings 11:14)

And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria. And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king.” (1Kings 11:23-26)

And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.” (1Kings 11:42-43)

All this happened in just 40 years. If I live on the earth 40 more years, I will be 105. People do live into their hundreds. What will I see in those years. Will the United States of America still be united, or will it be broken up? New York is our next door neighbor. Will the evil overflow into New Jersey. The killing of babies, the loss of freedom with the loss of being able to say no. History tells us that Hitler killed 6 million Jews. Lenin killed 100,000 during the Red Terror between September and October 1918. The regime of Moa Zedong may have killed 30 to 70 million through starvation, prison labour, and mass executions. What is going to happen to the Christians and those who oppose the liberal democratic forces. Choose now, before it’s too late. My body, my choice?

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 6:19-20)

Murdering babies does not glorify God. Our freedoms are about to be lost. What can we do about it?

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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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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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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A Father’s Love – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 18 – 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 25 – 26; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13

Read the “0413 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2Samuel 19:1-4)

Good morning. I know how King David felt. On February 16, 2012, our daughter Melissa lost her battle with cervical cancer. We still mourn, and visit her grave because we miss her. Even though we know that she is safely in the arms of Jesus, it still hurts.

David’s son, Absalom, rebelled against his father the king. David fled Israel for his life. Even though Absalom was going to do him harm, David still loved him.

“And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.” (2Samuel 18:5)

And King David was heart broken when his so was killed. And David was a man after God’s own heart. God loved David and preserved his life. God even used him to write a Psalm describing Jesus’ death on the cross…

“Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:12-18)

Even though we did this to our Lord Jesus Christ, He still loved us. Isaiah wrote…

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:8-9)

“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)

Love has always been an action word. Tomorrow marks one week till Resurrection Sunday; remember what Jesus did for you.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1John 4:16-21)

Peace!


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