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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Check With God First

Man-Praying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Encouragement from the Lord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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What Is The Real Hate Crime? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Samuel 25 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0406 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.” (1Samuel 25:14-16)

Good morning. There are many preachers in jail today because our freedom of speech is becoming a myth, and telling the truth is considered by some to be breaking the Law. If you Google it, the one who comes up most is a street preacher in the United Kingdom. He told a passerby that he thought homosexuality was a sin. The last time I looked, it was (and still is). What would you do in the same situation? What does the Bible say?

Twice in Ezekiel chapter 18, God says…

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

Ezekiel 33:1-8 tell us…

“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1-8)

If I call a politician a liar who is just trying to keep his job, and not serving those who elected him; is that a hate crime? If I tell them they are going to spend all eternity in Hell if they do not trust Christ as Savior; is that a hate crime? Jesus said…

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

When those in power started pushing evolution as a fact to be taught in schools, while God’s truth was removed; when those in power gave their blessing to abort babies; when those in power think more about being politically correct instead of correct, they stopped serving the people. So I ask you, which is the real hate crime? Telling others about sin and how Jesus died for their sins; or not saying anything, and allowing them to go to Hell? The way the world is going, if Jesus delays His return, you may have to decide.

God’s Word is clear: Jesus died for the sins of the world: He shed His precious blood: He paid sin’s wage for us. We need to share this with others no matter what the consequences. The only sin that will not be forgiven is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. Just like you and me, others need to decide to reject or receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Don’t be afraid of telling people about Jesus.

Peace.


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The Circuit Riders – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Samuel 4 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click hereto view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 13 – 15; Proverbs 30; Psalms 146 – 150)

Read the “0330 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD.” (1Samuel 7:15-17)

Good morning. As the High Priest of Israel, Samuel followed a circuit of towns judging God’s people. Jesus was with His eleven apostles…

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

In America, back in the 1700’s and the 1800’s, the Methodists had preachers that would go from town to town preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was something that the Methodists had done in England. As the settlements in America grew they would start churches. And just like Samuel they would spread the Word of God throughout America. The circuit riders were also known as saddlebag preachers. Everything they had, and needed, was carried in their saddle bags. They braved the elements, riding their horses through rain and snow. They knew the Lord would take care of them. We have circuit riders today called Evangelists. They also go from city to city, town to town with the Gospel. Paul wrote to Timothy…

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2Timothy 4:1-5)

But this message goes out to us also to do the work of an Evangelist. Our call is in all the Gospels. Besides Mark 16:15…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:45-48)

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21)

Even the wisest king Israel ever had (Solomon) wrote…

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken

Over wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake

To bear the burdens of a world a-weary

So send I you to suffer for My sake

Pray for our circuit riders.

Peace.


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Molech The Abomination – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Judges 9 – 10 (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; Proverbs 23; Psalms 111 – 115)

Read the “0323 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.” (Judges 10:6-9)

Good morning. Israel did it again: they turned away from following the LORD. They started following the gods of Syria, Zidon, Moab, Ammon, and those of the Philistines.

“And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.” (Judges 10:11-14)

What a sad time in the history of Israel. God told them to go cry unto the gods which ye have chosen. One of those was the abomination of the children of Ammon named Molech. He required you to sacrifice your babies to him.

“And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18:21)

“Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.” (Leviticus 20:2-5)

In America, babies are still be sacrificed to Molech. He is known by a different name here: Convenience. Is a baby going to interfere with your lifestyle? No problem, just go down to your nearest abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood, or doctor’s office. They will take care of it. They will crush your baby’s head. Burn it with some sort of salt solution. Rip it’s arms and legs off, and then remove what remove what remains from your womb. Is this more humane than standing before a statue, and tossing your baby into a roaring fire to be burned alive. Just something to think about.

“For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:5)

“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

A Christian has no business being a member of the Democratic Party. My body, my choice. Oh? Could the baby you aborted been ordained to have the cure for cancer. Think about that while you are on your death bed, lying in the hospital with tubes and wires hanging off your body. God has a purpose for everything, and everybody He creates: a baby is not an inconvenience.

If you had an abortion, God will forgive you if you ask Him. If you don’t know Him as your Saviour, then you need to invite Jesus into your heart. And one day you will see your baby again in Heaven.

Peace.


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God Is a Promise Keeper

Rainbow

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

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 19

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

“There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” – (Joshua 21:45)

In the Book of Joshua, in chapters 19 – 21, we see the continuation of the division of the land among the 12 tribes of Israel. Chapter 20 specifically deals with the six cities of refuge; and chapter 21 reveals the 48 cities that were to be given to the the Levites. These cities were to be given from within the borders of all of the other tribes so that the priests and ministers of the Lord would be nearby all of the people of Israel. The Levites were not really given a possession of land, but they were provided cities to live in, and suburbs for their cattle to graze in. This is probably where we got the idea of the church parsonage; and it is probably also why the United States Government does not tax these dwellings. God made sure that His ministers were well taken care of.

The verses that really captured my attention, however, from this morning’s reading was in chapter 21, verses 43 – 45. Here it says that God held up His end of the bargain. He did everything that He said He would do. He promised them a land, and He delivered. He promised them victory over the inhabitants of that land, and He gave it. He promised them provision all along the way, and they were provided for. In fact, the only time that things did not work out as they were supposed to was when the people did not listen to God’s instruction, and acted outside of His will.

We can trust in the promises of God. There are many promises for us in the New Testament. Some of them are unconditional, like our eternal security once we’ve placed our faith in Christ. However, many of them are conditional upon our obedience and faith. God says that if we will follow Him, He will do certain things for us. For instance He says that He will provide for us, and protect us, and give our lives purpose. These are only a few general samples of what God promises His children today. And God will keep up His end of the bargain. He will do what He says He will do. The question, however, is, will you follow Him? Will you trust Him, and do what you’re supposed to do. If things don’t turn out as He promised, it’s not because God slipped up. It is because we haven’t done what we are supposed to do. Why not find and believe God’s promises for you today; and why not do what He says that you have to do on your end in order for Him to bless you and your family.

By the way, the picture of the rainbow at the top is a reminder of one of God’s promises. He promised back in Genesis that He would no longer destroy the whole earth with a flood. There has been flooding at many times and in many places, but the water never again engulfed the entire earth. He told us that He set His bow in the clouds to remind us of that.


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What Happened To The Maachathites And The Geshurites – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Joshua 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Timothy 1 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80)

Read the “0316 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” (Joshua 13:1)

“Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.” (Joshua 13:13)

Good morning. What happened to the Maachathites and the Geshurites? The Maachathites is any body’s guess. They were there, just north of Lake Huleh, (which is just north of the Sea of Galilee). Then it wasn’t. It could have been absorbed by another invading nation. They could have even inter-married with those of surrounding towns, and the people moved out to these other towns. Anyway, it was, and now it is not. Geshur, on the other, was a different story…

“And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months. And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt. And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites. And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines. And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.” (1Sam 27:5-12)

David destroyed all the Geshurites. God would drive them out somehow, and He took them. These people sided with the Philistines: they were against Israel. And now they are gone. There has been much hate against the Jews here in America. We have a President who wants to do what’s right. One act that he did was to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. While other past presidents have given money, and sold missiles to Israel’s enemies. God told Abraham…

“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)

Is America in trouble? What do you think? It was less than 480 years between the Exodus and when the Gershurites were destroyed.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Judgment is coming. It will be in God’s perfect timing.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6:14-18)

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:7-15)

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Peace!


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Guest Post by Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Joshua 8 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Timothy 1 – 3Proverbs 14Psalms 66 – 70)

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

Read the “0314 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. (Joshua 8:3)

            Joshua has just experienced great failure. He has just had about 36 of his men killed in battle, the people are distressed and discouraged, and to top it all off he had to have Achan, his family, and all he owned stoned to death. This is a hard time in the life of a leader. I’m sure he thought over mistakes that were made, things that should have been done differently. Maybe a little bit of anger with Achan and even himself. Joshua was no doubt tired and deeply discouraged. His head was probably filling with doubts, confusion, and fear. This was a man at a very low point in his life. 

            Now we come to the moment when Joshua is given a second chance. God begins with the words “fear not”. He tells him to go back into Ai, because he has given him the victory. God can bring victory and he can give them the land and he wants to, but Joshua has a decision to make that no one else can make for him. He can either give up or get up. We see his decision in verse 3, “so Joshua arose!”

            Now comes the application:

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (Proverbs 24:16)

Whether or not we fall is not the question, but rather whether or not we get back up. You may wonder what the point of getting back up is. Easy, there is a whole promised land still out there full of victories that God wants to give you. Failure is all a part of learning how to succeed. God will bring future victories, but you must get back up. 

 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13 – 14)


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Written In Stone – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers also read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Proverbs 9; Psalm 46 – 50

Read the “0309 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister. And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them. Thou shalt build the altar of the LORD thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD thy God: And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the LORD thy God. And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.” (Deuteronomy 27:4-8)

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:23-28)

Good morning. Is it any wonder why God did not want man to lift a tool in building Him an alter. They were only to plaster it together with plaster, offer a sacrifice upon it, then write all the Words of the Law VERY PLAINLY upon them. But if you advance to the time of Jesus, we find that the religious leaders at that time had added to God’s Law. It was no longer plain, and understandable, but hard to keep them.

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

How about the New King James Bible, not to mention all the other corrupted versions. The original idea was to change all the thee’s and thou’s. But then they also changed a certain amount of words in order to copy-write it. And many of the new words are harder to understand than those of the King James Bible.

In America, we pass laws to save the whales, and kill babies. When man touches something, it turns to trash. Man created Socialism, so they could have control over the people, and to do away with God. Look what Socialism did to Venezuela. It had a great economy. Their money was ranked 4th in the world. In just 10 years, Socialism destroyed Venezuela. And the Socialist want to do the same thing to America. God help us. Our nation and it’s laws are based on the Word of God. But there are many who don’t want to make America great again: they take their hammers and chisels, and chip away at those laws that keep America safe and free.

So what can we do?

1) Read And Study The Scriptures.

They are written very plainly, and show God’s preferences: He will not change.

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

2) Pray For Understanding.

Don’t let the devil confuse you by blinding you to what is right.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:1-18)

3) Vote For Those Who Want To Do God’s Will.

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

4) Pray For Our Country.

“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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Guest Post by Justin Mears

‘Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  Galatians 4 – 6Psalms 31 – 35Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon. 

And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. (Deuteronomy 20:8)

            As we continue to read about God’s instruction and reminders for His people. We come across these guidelines for battle. God actually says that there are reasons to send someone home from battle and not allow them to fight. One of these disqualifying reasons is fear. 

            Simple thought today is this, are you fearful and fainthearted? Even further than that, are you influencing others to be the same? When the spies went into the promise land there was a report of blessing and bounty, but there was also and report of doubt and fear. The fear spread throughout the people like disease and stole their hearts, bringing them to their knees in defeat. Only they had never fought the physical battle. The devil can keep you from ever fighting in the battle, if he can keep you defeated in your fear. 

            We see another passage of scripture later on in Judges where the Israelites follow this rule mentioned here in Deuteronomy. Gideon is commanded to send those who were fearful of the battle, home. As a result they receive the victory. We learn here that we must cast out all fear and replace it with faith in a God. He has never let us down, nor given us any reason to doubt. Remember, “For God hath not given us the spirit of; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Tim. 1:7.

            In conclusion, either remove fear or God will remove you from the battle. In the end, if you have fear you do more damage than good. Don’t let fear keep you and others from experiencing victory. 


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Just One Of Life’s Walls – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10

Read the “0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.” (Deuteronomy 3:1-5)

Good morning. Let me ask you a question: Is your God powerful enough to bring down a wall that you came up against? In our passage here we see that the Israelites came against sixty cities, all fenced with high walls, gates, and bars. There were also a great many unwalled towns too. Many times in our lives, walls spring up and block us: keep us from our goal. Moses told Joshua…

“And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

Have faith. God will fight for you. Let’s fast forward to Joshua at Jericho. If someone told you that you had to march around Jericho for six days, once each day; and then on the seventh day march seven times around, and shout so the walls would fall, you would look at them kind of strange. But Israel did it by faith in God, and the walls came tumbling down.

Wait for God. He is probably waiting for you to obey. Think about Naaman the leper. Naaman’s wall was his leprosy. What could he do?

“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 5:9-14)

Have faith, wait for God and…

Watch God work. Peter was chained up in prison. His problem was the prison walls: and his freedom was right on the other side of those walls.

“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)

The church was praying for Peter, and Peter saw first-hand God working. Sometimes God will test our faith. Sometimes we have to wait for God. And sometimes we have to just hold our place and watch God work. Our wall, or problem, can be our own worst enemy. Sometimes we have to ask the Lord to take it away. Paul said…

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Corinthians 12:7-9)

God gives us grace in dealing with our walls. Without the walls in our lives there would be no need for His grace to make the walls tumble down. Praise the Lord for the walls in your life.

Peace.


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