Fearfully And Wonderfully Made – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers also read – Titus 1 – 3; Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

Read the “0915 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” (Daniel 1:10-16)

King David told the Lord…

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Good morning. Did you know that you need to put premium gas in a Mini Cooper or the engine will knock and not run smooth? Don’t put jet fuel in your car either. Jet fuel is like Kerosene, you may be able to run it in your diesel (not recommended due to less lubrication for your engine) but in your car it will cause your motor to stall. If I fuel my body with the wrong kind of food, it also will not run right. I know this from experience. Should I try pulse? Pulse, zeronim, are edible “seeds” or grain of any kind: barley, wheat, millet, vetches. Leguminous seeds roasted are still used in the East. People, animals, creeping things, and every living thing were all to eat herbs and seeds.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:27-30)

God intended the same diet even after the fall…

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Fast forward to the time of Noah and the flood.

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:5-8)

Is it possible that because the wickedness of man was great in the earth, that they began to kill animals and eat meat before the time God intended? We can see today that God’s Laws are broken on a daily basis: anything goes. God promised not to destroy the earth by a flood again. But still sin runs rampant. It wasn’t until chapter 9 that God allowed man to eat meat. After the flood, there was not enough plant life to sustain life, so they had to eat meat.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” (Genesis 9:3-4)

Once again, if I put the wrong fuel in my body, it will not get the nutrients it needs to run right. I am fearfully and wonderfully made: if I fuel up with the right things, my body will run right. If not, my body will start breaking down. Too much of a good thing can be bad too. Too much sugar or carbs can lead to Diabetes and weight gain. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. But if I feed my body the right kind of fuel, this is what happens…

Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.” (Daniel 1:11-16)

Things seem to go much better when we do things God’s way. Look what happened to Elijah when he fled into the wilderness…

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” (1Kings 19:1-8)

God gave him what he needed for his journey of 40 days and 40 nights. God knew Elijah’s needs, and He know our needs. He knows us better than we know ourselves. That’s why we munch on chips and M & M’s, drink beer and soda, and make sure it’s diet soda so we don’t get fat… right? People would tell me not to drink soda, it’s bad for you. I would ask if they believed the Dow Philosophy: a better life through chemicals? There is time to turn back to eating right, but I can’t do it alone. Jesus said without me ye could do nothing, and He’s right. I need to get it through my thick skull (and yes, it’s just as thick as yours), to do what right: God’s way of eating. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, and He knows me better than I do. Yield to the Holy Spirit and listen to Him. As you’re looking down the menu, ask Him to show you what to eat. I can guarantee it will taste the best, and be just what you need.

Peace.


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Have You Forgotten?

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Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 38 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Thessalonians 1 – 3; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Will The Real Devil Please Stand Up – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 28 – 31 (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 – Philippians 1 – 4; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “0908 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

‘Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” (Ezekiel 28:13-19)

Good morning. Many years ago, there was a TV game show called: To Tell The Truth. Three men or ladies would come out all claiming to be the same person. A panel of celebrities would ask them questions and then vote for who they thought was the real person. Then the host would ask: would the real person please stand up. Then they would introduce the two impostors: who they are and what they do for a living. But was the celebrity panel wise enough to discover the real person from the questions asked and answers given? We are given enough information in the Bible to identify the devil. If someone would ask: would the real devil please stand up, he would.

1) He is Prideful.

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezekiel 28:17)

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

2) He Provokes you to sin.

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (1Chronicles 21:1)

3) He Weakens the Nations.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

4) He Tempts Us.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (Matthew 4:1)

5) He does not like the things of God.

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

6) He Binds Us with Physical Problems.

And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.” (Luke 13:11)

7) He causes us to do his Lusts; 8)He is a Murderer; 9) There is no truth in him; and 10) He is a liar.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

11) He causes us to lie to God.

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3-4)

12) He is transformed into an angel of light.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2Corinthians 11:13-14)

13) He hinders us.

But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” (1Thessalonians 2:17-18)

14) He is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

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

15) He doesn’t change his mode of operation.

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.” (Revelation 20:7-8)

16) He has an end.

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.” (Revelation 20:10)

We can see that the devil affects our lives in so many ways… if we let him. But God has given us His Word. We know how the devil operates.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2Corinthians 2:11)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Peace.


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Conviction

Feeling-Guilty

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 20 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

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

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

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

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

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. [8] And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” – (John 16:7-8)

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

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

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


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Greater Abominations – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 5 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 1 – 4; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1)

Read the “0901 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.” (Ezekiel 8:12-13)

Good morning. One look at the world today and you may ask yourself how could the days of Noah be worse than this? You tell me now that a 4 year old kid can decide if he or she wants to be raised as a she or a he. The shrinks that subscribe to this aught to be locked up in a mental institution. All they do is support the demonic forces that are trying to destroy people. God created you a male or a female to do specific tasks.

“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)

After you get saved…

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

But the abominations still grow greater every day.

“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. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Timothy 3:1-7)

So what can we do?

“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)

1) Speak the Truth: the Word of God: use it to reprove, rebuke, and exhort.

2) Watch thou in all things and 3) Endure afflictions.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1Peter 5:8-9)

4) Do the work of an evangelist.

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

5) Make full proof of thy ministry.

“And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:17-24)

Peace.


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Run If You Want To – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 41 – 45 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 5 – 8; Psalm 119; Proverbs 25)

Read the “0825 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

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

“Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah. Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land. But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God, Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.” (Jeremiah 42:5-17)

Good morning. The Jews wanted to flee to Egypt because of the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael. Gedaliah was appointed by king Nebuchadnezzar and they feared retaliation. God said He would protect them if they stayed where they were. There is victory in your obedience to God. But what did the people do?

“And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words, Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there: But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon. So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.” (Jeremiah 43:1-4)

“Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.” (Jeremiah 44:15-18)

Not only did they disobey God by going to Egypt, but they turned their backs on the true living God to worship the queen of heaven. Thou shalt have no other gods before me was not part of the ten suggestions, it was a command. They brought the wrath of God on themselves.

“Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the LORD, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth. Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them. Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.” (Jeremiah 44:26-28)

Of course God’s Word will stand. And that’s something we can learn from these chapters.

1) God always keeps His Word: what He says He will do, He will do.

2) Being in the will of God is the safest place to be.

3) Don’t quit what God had you start: be patient: those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

4) Have faith…

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

So…

Run if you want to,

Run if you will,

But I came here to stay.

If I fall down I’m gonna get right up, cause I didn’t start out to play.

It’s a battle field brother, not a recreation room.

It’s a fight and not a game.

So run if you want to,

Run if you will,

But I came here to stay!

Peace.


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Should We Stop Praying For America? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 14 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Psalms 86 – 90; Proverbs 18)

Read the “0818 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.” (Jeremiah 14:10-11)

Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” (Jeremiah 15:1-2)

Good morning. The LORD is very upset with His people. Because of their wandering away to serve other gods, and do abominations, God wants them out of His sight. The LORD even tells Jeremiah not to pray for this people. They wanted to pray to Baal and other false goods, throw their children in the fire as a sacrifice. Whatever the true living God wanted them to do, the would not. Makes me wonder if we should stop praying for America, and let those who are appointed to death go to death. Those who are appointed to the sword go to the sword. Those who are appointed to famine go to the famine. And those who are appointed to the captivity go to the captivity. Is God getting sick of America who wants to remove any references to God in her court houses and government buildings, her money and her Pledge of Allegiance?

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Luke 13:34-35)

They throw their babies into the fire: over 60 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade.

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)

Makes you wonder if any of those 60 million abortions was ordained to be a doctor with the cure for cancer. Who knows? God knows. Before He formed that child in it’s mother’s belly God knew. Maybe he was the doctor with the cure for AIDS. And that’s caused by a sin that has been accepted by many people, yet God calls it an abomination.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:21-32)

With all this going on in our nation, should we still pray for America? Yes. Jesus said…

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

Remember…

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)

Think about how John the Baptist introduced Jesus…

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

Every sin. We need to pray for America, and we need to tell America about Jesus.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

Peace.


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Predestined For Hell? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 53 – 57 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – John 15 – 16; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Read the “0811 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58)

Good morning. Who has believed our report? The saved: those who have been born again: those who are going to heaven. Who has not believed our report? Those who refuse God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and are headed for the lake of fire originally prepared for the devil and his angels. They did not believe God. When Jesus came into His own country, He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Predestination is taught in many churches. They say your predestined to either go to heaven or go to hell. Our pastor met a person once who said that he (the person) was predestined to go to hell. If he doesn’t receive Jesus, he will. He seems to think that God predestined him to go to hell. This is not what the Bible teaches. First of all…

1) There Is God’s Will.

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)

If he doesn’t repent (change his mind about being destined for hell) and receive Jesus as his Saviour, He will be lost. And it is his own fault, not God’s. Secondly…

2) The Omniscience Of God.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)

Those who believe that God has destined them for hell appear to skip over the first five words of this verse: for whom He did foreknow. God knows everything: He is all-knowing. He sees the beginning and the end. And He knows who will receive Jesus as their Saviour and who will not. What does God’s Word say about getting saved?

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” (Acts 16:25-33)

Here was a jailer who would have to take the place of any prisoner who escaped his custody. He didn’t want to be imprisoned, he was going to kill himself. Paul told him not to, and the jailer came into where Paul and Silas were and asked them what he needed to do to be saved. Their reply: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And he gave the jailer, and all that were in his house, the Gospel. They believed and were baptized, he and all of his. Sounds like easy believe-ism. What about Romans?

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

Also sounds like easy believe-ism. Some say you have to turn from your sins, or be really, really, sorry for them. How are you going to turn from your sins without Jesus?

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

Ephesians chapter 2 tells us…

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

Twice in Ezekiel chapter 18, God warns that the soul that sinneth shall die. If you could turn from your sin, why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Can you answer that, if you think you’re predestined to go to hell? Thirdly…

3) The Love Of God.

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

If you think you’re predestined for hell, you are. Because you have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Do you think you are predestined for heaven? Think about this: are you trusting in your predestination or are you trusting in Jesus? He that believeth on Him is not condemned. Do you have Jesus?

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1John5:12)

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. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:8-11)

Yes, God knows who will and who will not receive Jesus as their Saviour. Receive Jesus as your Saviour before it’s to late. Once you have Him as your Saviour, the Holy Spirit will seal you and get you safely to heaven. And here’s a bonus…

4) The Omnipotent God Is Capable Of Holding On To You And Keeping You.

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:25-30)

And also…

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John6:35-40)

God has given His Word to us in the Bible. God’s Word says that…

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 5:13)

I hope this helps those dealing with being predestined for hell. You can be predestined for heaven by receiving Jesus as your Saviour.

Peace.


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Faithfulness And Truth – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 24 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – John 1 – 2; Psalms 16 – 20; Proverbs 4)

Read the “0804 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isaiah 25:1)

Good morning. When God told Israel to do something, and that He would do this. When they obeyed they were rewarded. They may have defeated their enemies. They may have had peace being in God’s will. God also told them, if they didn’t do something, He would do this. They may have been conquered by their enemies, lost food and riches. They even lost their peace, because God was not with them. Moses was not allowed to go over into the promised land. Saul was removed from being king. All the way back to Adam and Eve.

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

And, of course, they ate it. God counseled them, even commanded them not to do it. God’s counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. So Adam and Eve died… spiritually. The did not die physically because of the sacrifice…

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

Notice that skins is plural: at least two animals died to cover up their nakedness. But God also promised them…

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

God’s counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Satan bruised the heel of Jesus on the cross, but Jesus gave Satan a death blow to his head when He rose again three days later. God’s counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…

“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (Joel 2:32)

Jesus said…

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

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

And in Romans…

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)

The two criminals who were crucified with Jesus said this…

“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

God’s counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:1-9)

Peace.


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Are You Worth Looking For? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Song of Solomon 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 11 – 12; Psalms 131 – 135; Proverbs 28)

Read the “0728 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” (Song of Solomon 3:1-4)

Good morning. If you didn’t come home last night, how long would it be before your wife went looking for you? Would she wait until morning? Will she remain awake and not sleep? When you finally did wander in would she hug you and never let go? Or, would she “wap you one side the head” with rolling pin or cast-iron skillet? Solomon’s wife loved him so much that she arose in the night to look for her man. When she found him, she led him and would not let go. Maybe it’s the way we treat our better half.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” (Ephesians 5:25)

Jesus was beaten, whipped, had His beard pulled out, and nailed to a cross for His bride. What have you done for your bride lately? Do you still open the door for her? Do you hold her chair when she sits down. Does she want to hold you and not let go?

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.” (John11:33-35)

When you see your bride crying and hurting does your heart break within you? Do you weep with her, and try to comfort her?

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:28-33)

Men, get your priorities straight. First is always God. Secondly comes your wife. Everything else comes third. Not only should you love your wife as Jesus loved the church, but love your wife as you love your own body. When it’s hungry, you feed it. When it’s lonely, you give it company. When your body is hurting, you give it what it needs to ease the pain. If you’re sensitive to the needs of your body, you should be sensitive to the needs of your wife. And what about the wife? Ephesians 5:33 tells the wife to see that she reverence her husband. Do you crave that reverence guys? Well…

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” (Ephesians 5:25)

Peace.


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Wine Is A Mocker – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Proverbs 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “0721 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

Good morning. Before I get into this one, I want to be clear about something: I have been drug and alcohol free since 1983. That’s 35 years, and I don’t miss it. My first drink was a 7&7, the last was a 151&Coke. My first drug was a couple of yellow jackets to make the drive down to Florida. My last was a bad trip on blotter acid around ’81 or ’82. I never liked beer and I don’t like needles. Today, to ease the pain of living in this world, you have alcohol, cigars and cigarettes, Marijuana, and whatever is available on the street. Or you can choose Jesus. Breaking up with an old girlfriend threw me into a state of depression. It left me vulnerable to the devil’s attack. And there is no peace to be found in drinking and drugging. They only make you stupid, so you do stupid things. And some never return to normal. They go off to meet their Maker, and many are not ready. According to Wikipedia, there have been 107 rock stars who died from alcohol and/or drugs from 1963 through 2017. Makes me wonder if my name is on (or will be on) a list somewhere. The only list that counts is the one that makes up the Lambs Book of Life. Jesus is a better way to face the problems that life throws at you.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:1-9)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Don’t let your name show up on the wrong list. Twice in Ezekiel chapter 18, God tells us that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. You can have peace.

Peace!


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I Will Sing Praises – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading: Psalms 146 through 150

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” (Psalm 146:1-2)

Good morning. Do you love Jesus? Do you love your church? Do you love singing praises to God? Yes? Then tell your face. When leading the congregational singing, if I’m not looking at the words, I’m looking around. I see a lot of people, especially the youth, not singing. Then there are adults who haven’t learned to smile while the think about what they are singing, and to Whom they are singing. Some even have their arms folded as if to say bless me, I dare you. It can be scary, but I always pray that I will be a blessing, and not screw things up. I don’t understand why some people don’t sing praises to God. David even writes here that he will sing praises to God as long as he lives. Maybe you can’t sing. What does the Bible say?

“To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” (Psalm 66:1-2)

“To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph. Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.” (Psalm 81:1)

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Psalm 95:1-2)

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” (Psalm 98:4-6)

“A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:1-2)

So make a joyful noise. You are praising God. You are singing to Him with the voice He gave you. Realizing that should put a smile on your face.

1) Sing praises because you are alive…

“While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” (Psalm 146:2)

2) Sing praises because it is good…

“Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” (Psalm 147:1)

3) Sing praises because of what He has done…

“Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.” (Psalm 147:7-9)

4) Sing praises with a new song of praise…

“Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.” (Psalm 149:1-5)

5) Sing praises along with the musical instruments for as long as you have breath…

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 150)

I hope to see you smiling, and singing tomorrow at church. Amen?

Peace.


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My Help Cometh From The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post on Wednesday

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)

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

“A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Psalm 121)

Good morning. What a great God we serve. He made the heaven and the earth, and everything else. What has the devil done? Nothing but to destroy and tear down. The devil is a created being, and as a created being, he is not more powerful than our Creator. The Lord Jesus Christ: He is the Creator…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:10-14)

And our God wins…

“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.” (Revelation 20:10)

The LORD is our Keeper. He keeps us, and preserves us…

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

And Jesus also said…

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

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD. Praise Him!

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 5 year old 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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The Devil’s Toolbox Part 2: The Lust For Things – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 73 – 77 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 17 – 22; Psalms 146 – 150; Proverbs 30 – 31)

Read the “0630 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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

Good morning. Yes, that’s me standing in front of my all-time favorite car: a ’67 or ’68 Shelby Mustang convertible with padded roll bar. And it’s red! You would need to be a millionaire to own one just for the gas bill: 427/428 with dual Holly 4 barrels. Nice. Just out of curiosity, I found 2 for sale. But what am I going to do with a car that costs almost $200,000? First, I need to move from my trailer to a house with a garage. That’s anywhere from $150 to $250 thousand, or even more. Alarm systems need to be installed. Now that I have a place to keep it, I can only look at it. With the huge engine and dual Holly 4 barrel carbs, who can afford the gas?

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:1-7)

That’s the way the devil works. He dangles something we would like to have in front of our eyes, and just like Adam and Eve, we take the bait. With a credit card it is very easy to get what we want now. The hard part is when the beginning of the month comes and the bill is due. Now you have to get a second job to pay for all this stuff. And, of course, that will take you away from doing the Lord’s work. You may be so tired that you stop reading your Bible.

“All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Ecclesiastes 1:7-8)

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1-3)

“Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Proverbs 27:20)

What can we do, when the devil takes this lust out of his toolbox, and uses it against us?

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

I may not have that Shelby, but I have everything I need. The Lord takes care of His children. Just this week my pressure washer broke. Rather than scrambling to dig up money to buy a new one, I was able to borrow one. This one was gas powered and did a much better job than my old electric one: making my job easier. God takes care of His children.

If you understand that God will supply your every need, then when the devil dangles that carrot in front of your face, you don’t have to chase after it.

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matthew 6:30-32)

If you are going to run after something, let it be riches in Heaven…

“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)

Peace.


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The Devil’s Toolbox Part One: Depression – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 36 – 39 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 John 1 – 5; Psalms 111 – 115; Proverbs 23)

Read the “0623 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” (Psalm 38:17-18)

Good morning. King David was ready to halt (ready to fall). With his eyes on himself all he could see was sorrow continually before him. In verse 18, he says that he would declare his iniquity, and be sorry for his sin. But when would his sin be forgiven? David was ready to fall deeper into sin, and take the suggestion of Job’s wife: to curse God and die. He sounds like he is under attack by the devil’s favorite tool – depression. After just finishing up the book of Job, we find Job also getting depressed: wishing he never was born. And we know Job was innocent and under attack by the devil. And we know that David pleaded guilty and was sorry for his sin. Depression can be brought on by your circumstances and also your sin. Depression affects over 15 million Americans per year. And it’s a leading cause of disability. How can we recognize it in ourselves, or in others? Healthy Way has an article called 12 Common Symptoms Of Depression That Shouldn’t Be Ignored, which was eye opening to me. Let’s take a look at them and compare them to King David in our reading.

1)You are always tired.

King David got tired and weary of the fight. He was ready to quit, give up, throw in the towel…

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.” (Psalm 38:17)

Here is an example of a situation that David found himself in, and what he did…

And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 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.” (1Samuel 30:1-6)

David went to God with his problem that was causing his depression and making him weary…

And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1Samuel 30:7-8)

And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” (1Samuel 30:16-19)

You can struggle and become weary trying to solve problems in your own strength. Bring them to the LORD, for without Him ye could do nothing.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1Peter 5:6-7)

2) Everyone and everything annoys you.

King David wrote in Psalm 37…

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:7-11)

If you let everything and everyone that annoys you, get to you, push your button, then you will become like them. Rest in and wait patiently for the LORD.

3) You sleep too little or too much.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:3-4)

There was little rest for David because of his sin. But…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John1:9)

4) Eating is an issue.

Matthew Henry in his comments on Psalm 107:18 said…

When people are sick their soul abhors all manner of meat; they not only have no desire to eat nor power to digest it, but they nauseate it, and their stomach is turned against it. And here they may read their sin in their punishment: those that doted most on the meat that perishes, when they come to be sick are sick of it, and the dainties they loved are loathed; what they took too much of now they can take nothing of, which commonly follows upon the overcharging of the heart with surfeiting and drunkenness. And when the appetite is gone the life is as good as gone: They draw near unto the gates of death; they are, in their own apprehension and in the apprehension of all about them, at the brink of the grave, as ready to be turned to destruction.” (Matthew Henry)

I remember seeing a cartoon in the newspaper. The caption said, “When depressed, administer chocolate.”

Depression can make you run to food for comfort, or can make you feel so sick you don’t want to eat. What do you do? Pray…

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:18-21)

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you allowed the Holy Spirit to lead you, and you went to God first before acting on your own? What amazing things could the church of Christ accomplish for the LORD!

5) You are in pain everywhere.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.” (Psalm 38:5-7)

David’s pain here was caused by his foolishness. Sin, once again will cause depression, and depression will cause your body pain. Confess it and allow God to heal you.

6) You don’t care that you look messy.

Another stressful source of depression for David was when he sinned with Bathsheba and their baby was born…

“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2Samuel 12:11-23)

David fasted and laid on the ground before the Lord for 7 days, weeping for his child. But the child died. What did David do? He got up, he washed himself, he anointed himself, changed his clothes, then went into the house of the LORD to worship. After this he went to his own house and had something to eat. But look at David’s last statement here. He says that he will go to his child, but his child would not return to him. There is something very comforting in knowing you have a loved one in heaven. One day you will see that loved one again. Isn’t salvation great?! Do your loved ones know you are saved? Do you want them to suffer in thinking you are in hell? You need to tell them. You need to tell them about Jesus. How He is the only one who can get them to heaven and see you again.

7) You are hiding.

You can’t physically hide from God. He knew where you would be this very second long before you were even born. Maybe you are trying to hide by not praying, you’re embarrassed by your sin, and don’t want to talk to the only one who can forgive it. He already knew what you would do even before the foundation of the world.

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3-4)

The next 2 verse give the solution…

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” (Psalm 32:5-6)

8) Nothing interests you.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:1-11)

King David didn’t want to know anything but where God was. His enemies would ask him all day long: where is your God? But David had faith, David had hope…

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

9) You are beating yourself up.

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” (Psalm 6:1-7)

David was weak, his bones and his soul were vexed. He would cry all night to the LORD. He was down on himself: he was beating himself up. What could he do? Pray…

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” (Psalm 6:8-10)

10) You are forgetful and have trouble concentrating.

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” (Psalm 77:1-10)

Can man forget his Creator, Almighty God, his Saviour? We do it all the time. By stealing His glory in taking credit for a job well done. By putting things before Him: oops, slept late, have to read my Bible later. Isn’t it funny how later never comes? What can we do? If someone starts talking to me and compliments me, I already have it in my pea brain to say praise the LORD. Praise the LORD for without Him I can do nothing. I will remember my LORD, and what He’s done for me. And I will tell others…

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:11-13)

11) You feel numb.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” (Psalm 25:16-18)

David was desolate and afflicted. Have you ever felt alone. You can’t realy get a grasp on things going on around you. You feel numb. If I had a dollar for every missed opportunity I had to give glory to God, I’d have an awful lot of money to account for. Many times I have to pray and ask the LORD to keep me aware of just what is going on around me. There have been far too many times I could have done this, or why didn’t I do that? The best answer to this is to seek God first and walk in His Holy Spirit.

12) You think about dying.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” (Psalm 116:3-8)

God still has something for me to do. You know how I know that? I’m still here…

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

Everyone dies at their appointed time. How? It doesn’t matter, when does. Like I said earlier, God stopped creating on day 7. All the things that made you you were stored up in Adam and Eve. Say you decided to commit suicide? When you died, that was your appointed time. What if you changed your mind. God already knew that it was not your appointed time, and has more wonderful works prepared for you to walk in. God knows everything, and everything is going according to His plan.

If you are going to flee because of depression, then flee to God…

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 43:1-5)

Peace.


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Dinosaurs In The Bible? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Job 39 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Titus 1 – 3; Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16)

Read the “0616 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.” (Job 41:19-22)

Good morning. Can somebody show me the strong neck of the crocodile? Did you know that there are two types of Cobras that spit venom? They aim for the eyes and are accurate anywhere up to 8 feet. If it gets in your eyes, the venom burns and could cause blindness. If it gets on your skin, it does nothing. Who is to say whether or not God made Leviathan with a similar setup. Maybe his was real fire which burned the skin also. And what about Behemoth?

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.” (Job 40:15-17)

Did you know that a Cedar tree will grow anywhere from 5 to 20 feet in diameter and have been know to grow as much as 180 feet tall? Many scholars believe that Leviathan is a crocodile, and Behemoth is a hippopotamus.

Really? Like I asked earlier, where is the strong neck of the crocodile? Can a hippopotamus move a 20 foot diameter, by 180 foot tall Cedar tree? How about these? Behemoth…

 

And Leviathan…

 

 

Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?” (Job 41:7)

Probably not! I remember me and my cousins went to see the movie Jaws about a week after it came out. The next day we went swimming in the ocean. We weren’t worried about sharks. If Leviathan had showed up, I would be miles away, and wouldn’t take one more step in the ocean – EVER!

But they are both God’s creation. We have evidence that the dinosaur existed in fossils and petrified bones. God created Leviathan on the fifth day…

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:20 – 23)

God created Behemoth on the sixth day…

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:24 – 31)

And also Job…

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.” (Job 40:15)

Not on the sixth day with Adam, but God already knew Job. God knew when Job would be born, how Job would react to the trial he went through, and God knew all this from the foundation of the world. As a matter of fact, God knows every aspect of our lives: the beginning, the end, and everything between. We were created in the mind of God, His perfect plan, before the seventh day. On the seventh day God rested: everything that was going to be created was created in six days, so God set His plan in motion and stopped creating on the seventh day. So let’s just throw the “Gap Theory” (the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, where the dinosaurs lived and became extinct, to give the evil-lutionist ample time to evolve) in the trash where it belongs, and believe God. Six literal 24 hour time periods for creation of everything. And on the seventh 24 hour time period, God rested. Let me leave you with one last picture. In Glen Rose, Texas, a dinosaur and a man’s footprint fossils were found together…

Peace.


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Helping Friends – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Job 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Philippians 1 – 4; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Read the “0609 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?” (Job 15:14)

Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:1-2)

Good morning. Have you ever tried to comfort a friend not knowing what his problem was? Job’s friends did. They accused Job of all sorts of things except being attacked by the devil. And Job told them that they were miserable comforters. They did not know what Job wanted, even after he told them…

I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.” (Job 16:4-5)

Job would have tried to edify them, to lift them up, to strengthen them, and try to ease their pain with his words. Did his friends?

‘Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God. For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty. Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee. Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills? Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us? With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father. Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee? Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth? What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” (Job 15:1-16)

Why didn’t they just believe Job and speak words comforting to him? Probably because, just like us, they knew it all. He must have secret sin! He cursed God in his heart! He broke God’s laws! It was all Job’s fault. But look at what God said…

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? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 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 1:8-12)

You brought it on yourself? Chastisement? Stuff happens? Testing? Part of life?

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John16:33)

Or how about God was using Job in a mighty way? From Job we learn that God is in control. We learn that the devil is on a leash, he can only do what God allows. We learn that God knows everything about us, and our sin. And we learn that God will reveal Himself to us…

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)

God also knows how to deal with our problems and struggles…

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindleagainst thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.” (Job 42:7-9)

God knows our every need, and how to heal us…

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.” (Job 42:10-17)

God is always in control. No matter what storms come into our lives, He can handle it. And the way He handles it is perfect.

Peace.


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Mixed Up Marriages – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Nehemiah 11 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Corinthians 1 – 4; Psalms 6 – 10; Proverbs 2)

Read the “0602 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?” (Nehemiah 13:23-27)

Good morning. Good question. Even as Christians, we transgress against God in so may ways. As Christians our King James Bible should be our only source of what is wrong and what is right. We can see examples of men of the past, the godly and the ungodly, who made mistakes just like we do, and what cost they paid. In chapter 13 here, Nehemiah is setting things in their proper order: God’s order according to His Word. Nehemiah used king Solomon as an example…

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.” (1Kings 11:1-6)

Solomon’s strange wives turned his heart away from following God. Instead he followed his strange wives into a world of false gods and idols. What does the New Testament say?

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)

Skin color has nothing to do with separation. Nationality has nothing to do with separation. The whole question is do you believe, and does your spouse believe. If not, you are unequally yoked together and there will be contention in the home. You or your spouse will either follow towards God or away from God.

If you find yourself in an unequally yoked situation, what can you do?

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (1Corinthians 7:10-16)

Divorce? God never liked divorce…

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:4-8)

What can you do? Pray for your unsaved spouse. Be a godly example for your spouse: do what is right. You may be the only Jesus your spouse may ever see. God hath called us to peace.

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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The Words Of The Book – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 34 – 36 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 5 – 8; Psalms 120 – 125; Proverbs 26)

Read the 0526 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying, Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.” (2Chronicles 34:18-21)

Good morning. The United Staes of America: one nation under God. That is what our country’s founders had in mind. They wanted a nation of free speech, and freedom of religion. They were not afraid of false religions coming in to this country because they knew the power of God’s Word. The Truth of God’s Word would shine the light on the lies of false religions, and those following them would see their faults in not following the Word of God: that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life; and no one can get to Heaven except through Him. Somewhere along the line our fathers dropped the ball. Bickering within and between churches, battling about what color the new carpet should be instead of battling the devils for souls. We live in a divided nation: one nation under God and one nation wallowing in sin. But that’s a sign of living in the end times…

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. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:1-17)

I would always wonder after reading Revelation, how could they do this?

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:9-11)

And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (Revelation 16:21)

But seeing the world, and the way it is, it becomes easier to see every day. They could have repented and turned to God, but they didn’t: it was easier to justify the evil that they do and blaspheme God than to ask His forgiveness. So what can we do? Give people the gospel. Talk to them about Jesus, place a tract about Jesus somewhere, be a soul winner. Take an active part in getting God’s Word to a dying world. You will be doing your part, and God will be doing His part: bringing conviction. But it will be up to the individual if they receive it or reject it: it is their choice.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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 21:6-8)

Peace.


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Solomon – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 10 – 12; Psalms 91 – 95; Proverbs 19)

Read the “0519 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon. And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah. And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target. And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom. And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance. And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat? And Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.” (2Chronicles 9:1-31)

Good morning. As we see in chapter 9 here, we understand that king Solomon was the wisest man ever. God gave Solomon what he asked for which was the wisdom to rule Israel. And besides that, God gave him riches and fame in abundance. But chapter 9 doesn’t give the whole story. The Bible says…

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:10-11)

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

What happened?

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. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.” (1Kings 1-10)

So even the wisest of men can be distracted from following God. What will it take to distract you? Is it texting? Is it TV? Is it the latest gossip on Facebook? Twitter? Your job? The cares of this world? What distracts you from reading your Bible? What distracts you from prayer? How come your prayer time has dwindled down to two or three minutes? Maybe sin?

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

So what can be done? How can you fix this? You can’t.

1) Go To God First

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

2) Go To God First

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

3) Go To God First

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

We need that quiet time in the morning for walking with God, putting Him first. And read your Bible, and especially pray. That where we can confess our sins and ask Him for forgiveness, ask Him for guidance, and ask Him for the things we need.

Yes, Solomon was wise, but just like the rest of us and the world, he was a sinner. Eventually, Solomon did come to this conclusion…

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

Peace.


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Thank-you LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 15 – 16; Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Read the “0512 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals; Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.” (1Chronicles 16:1-7)

Good morning! Did you wake up this morning? You need to thank the LORD for the breath He gave you. Were you able to get up and out of bed? Then you need to thank the LORD for your strength. Did you enjoy a nice breakfast? Then you need to thank the LORD for the food He provided you with. Colossians 3:15 says…

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

It is so easy to become a scoffer, and angry at the world, but let the peace of God rule in your heart. Jesus knows you and you know Jesus. Be ye thankful. Problems start with being unthankful…

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

When it comes to thanking God, we are without excuse for there are many things we can thank the LORD for. It seems though we are just slack in being thankful. King David, in his Psalm, has given only a few of those things we should be, can be, and how to be thankful for…

“(8) Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name [YOUR SALVATION], make known his deeds among the people [WITNESS FOR HIM]. (9) Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him [HE PUT A SONG IN YOUR HEART, THIS IS WHY: BE THANKFUL], talk ye of all his wondrous works [BRAG ON WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU]. (10) Glory ye in his holy name […for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved – ACTS 4:12] : let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD [THROUGH PRAYER AND HIS WORD]. (11) Seek the LORD and his strength [FOR HIS OMNIPOTENCE], seek his face continually. (12) Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth [MEDITATING ON THE MANY THINGS HE HAS DONE]; (13) O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. (14) He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. (15) Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; (16) Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; (17) And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, (18) Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; (19) When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. (20) And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people [FOR HIS PROMISES]; (21) He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes [FOR HIS PROTECTION], (22) Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. (23) Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation [FOR SALVATION]. (24) Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations [FOR THE OPPERTUNITY TO BEAR WITNESS FOR HIM]. (25) For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. (26) For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens [FOR BEING THE CREATOR]. (27) Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. (28) Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. (29) Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (30) Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. (31) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth [FOR WHO HE IS: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS]. (32) Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. (33) Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth [IF YOU DON’T, THE SEA, THE FIELDS, AND TREES WILL]. (34) O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever [FOR HIS GOODNESS AND HIS MERCY]. (35) And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise [FOR HIS PRESERVATION]. (36) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.” (1Chronicles 16:8-36)

Thank You LORD.

Peace.


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Zidon – The Saturday Morning Post

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

(Second Milers Read – John 1 – 2;Psalms 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

Read the “0505 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim. And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth…” (1Chronicles 1:1-13)

Good morning. Here in 1Chronicles chapter 1, and also in chapter 2, we find the genealogy starting with Adam, the first man. We also find that Ham, one of Noah’s sons had a son named Canaan. But Canaan had a problem.

“And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” (Genesis 9:18-27)

Canaan was cursed to be a servant to his brethren. Not only that, but Canaan would be a servant of servants. He was “the low man on the totem pole” and would serve the servants of his brethren also. As with any type of slavery there will eventually be rebellion. In 1Chronicles 1:13 we find that Canaan had a son who he named Zidon, the father of the Zidonians. The Zidonians would eventually have their own land and could not be driven out…

“Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob…” (Judges 1:31)

In Judges chapter 10 we find the damages done to Israel by the Zidonians. They caused Israel to serve false gods…

“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.” (Judges 10:6)

We also find in Judges 10 that the Zidonian oppressed Israel…

“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.” (Judges 10:11-13)

They cause king Solomon to turn his heart away from the true God to false gods…

“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.” (1Kings 11:1-6)

And king Ahab was also led astray by marrying the daughter of the king of the Zidonians…

“And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1Kings 16:29-33)

Just like our sins, the sins of the Zidonians will catch up with them…

“Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD. And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.” (Ezekiel 28:21-26)

Here in America, our government is on the right track in fully supporting the nation of Israel. God has given them their promised land, and God will draw His people back to the promised land. Around that time, He may also bring the save into our promised land: Heaven.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Theselonians 4:13-18)

Peace!


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Happy Endings – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0428 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.” (2Kings 9:30-37)

Good morning. How come parents no longer name their daughters Jezebel? How would you like to have a “happy” ending like her? She became just like fertilizer. In a previous verse, 2Kings 9:22, Jehu likens the works of Jezebel to whoredoms and witchcrafts…

“And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2Kings 9:22)

Jezebel was more than just your typical Zidonian, she was zealous for her false gods. Yes, she was a Zidonian who worshipped false gods and goddesses like Baal and Ashtoreth. Zidon was one of the cities that Asher could not drive out of the promised land (see Judges 1:31). And as a Zidonian, Jezebel would have helped lead Israel away from the true God to worship Ball and Ashtoreth and do their abominations. In 1Kings, we see some of her abominable works…

1) She caused her husband, king Ahab, to worship Baal

“And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1Kings 16:30-33)

2) She killed (cut off) the prophets of the LORD

“For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)” (1Kings 18:4)

3) She framed and killed Naboth to steal his vineyard for Ahab.

“And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.” (1Kings 21:1-16)

Jezebel, because of her wickedness became fertilizer for the field. She did not have a happy ending. Let’s take a look at another unhappy ending…

“And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:21-23)

Herod became food for worms because he did not give the LORD credit for the speech he made. Remember, Jesus told us that without Him we could do nothing. Jezebel praised her false gods; Herod praised himself.

You don’t have to meet an unhappy ending like they did.

1) Cease from your wickedness and sinning.

“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11)

“The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.” (Proverbs 15:9)

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:5-10)

2) Don’t let your pride get in the way of your living for the LORD.

Let’s look at one more “happy” ending. This is actually a prophecy of what would happen someday…

“To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 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.” (Psalms 22:1-18)

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 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. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:1-12)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

This truly was a happy ending. For all those who received Jesus as their Saviour, you are the joy that was set before Him. Everything He went through in Psalm 22, and Isaiah 53, He did for you. Jesus did it all for those who didn’t receive Him as their Saviour. Everybody has to choose. Either reject Jesus and spend eternity in Hell, or receive Jesus as your Saviour and be with Him forever in Heaven. You will hear…

“…Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Peace.


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Did You Forget To Check With God? – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

Read the “0421 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.” (1Kings 13:1-18)

Good morning. Did you check in with God today? Do you know what His will is for you to do today? Do you think your good enough and smart enough to handle life on your own? Look what happened to the prophet mentioned in the above verses…

“And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.” (1Kings 13:20-24)

Even Eve didn’t check with God or her husband when she had the conversation with the serpent. Look what happened. The whole world was plunged into sin. She could have went to God to see if what the serpent said was true. And He would have told her what He told the Jews…

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

But she didn’t ask God and believed the serpent. The rest is history, unfortunately. Joshua, in leading Israel into the promised land, did not ask God about the Gibeonites…

“And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” (Joshua 9:3-14)

Three days later, they found out that the Gibeonites had lied, but a vow was made not to kill them, and God expected Israel to keep that vow.

“And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.” (Joshua 9:22-27)

And soon they would have to fight a war with five kings of the Amorites to protect Gibeon. Are you sure you can handle life on your own? Wouldn’t life be better with God’s help? No mater what situation…

1) ASK GOD FIRST

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

a) Ask the LORD what His will is: what He wants you to do.

b) Ask the LORD how He wants you to do what He wants you to do.

c) When you are done, thank the LORD: for without Him ye can do nothing.

2) DO THE PRELIMINARIES

Remember when Joshua went up against Ai after destroying Jericho? There was sin in the camp. Israel ran from Ai and 36 Israelites lost their lives.

“And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” (Joshua 7:6-12)

Joshua took care of the problem and with God, Israel was able to defeat Ai.

3) BELIEVE GOD WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL

Because you put your faith in God, that without Him you could do nothing, He will come through for you and help you complete the task He has given you.

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

Maybe we should cry out to the Lord like the man who had the son with a deaf and dumb spirit…

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24)

And remember…

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

4) GOD WILL PROTECT YOU UNTIL YOUR WORK ON EARTH IS DONE AND YOU ARE SAFELY WITH HIM IN HEAVEN

“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.” (1Chronicles 28:20-21)

And yes, as it says here, God will give us help from others. We would save ourselves a lot of frustration, a lot of heart ache, if we would call upon the LORD first.

“Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

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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An Act Of Kindness – The Saturday Morning Post

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 – 28; Proverbs 14; Psalms 66 – 70)

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. And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them. But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD’S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.” (2Samuel 21:1-14)

Good morning. There was famine in the land. And it was all because of Saul and his bloody house: he had slain the Gibeonites (this is the only verse in the Bible that mentions this). This is easy to conceive because of what Saul did to the priests of God…

“And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father’s house. And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD. And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword. And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD’S priests.” (1Samuel 22:16-21)

Saul’s house was indeed bloody, and God sent the famine. After inquiring of God about the cause, king David went to the Gibeonites to find out what they wanted from Saul’s family to make amends. They asked for seven sons of Saul to hang. Mephiboseth, the son of Jonathan was spared. Mephiboseth and Armoni, the sons of Saul were taken along with the five sons of Michal, Saul’s daughter. The Gibeonites hung them. In all this bloodshed there is however, an act of kindness. Rizpah, the mother of Mephiboseth and Armoni, came and chased birds and beasts away from the bodies of the seven men. This was all through the harvest season. The usual result of an act of kindness is another act of kindness. After hearing what Rizpah did, king David collected the bones of Saul and Jonathan. He also collected the bones of the seven men. He took the bones of Saul and Jonathan and buried them in the sepulchre of their father Kish. Now look at the very last line of our text passage…

“…And after that God was intreated for the land.” (2Samuel 21:14)

They were able to earnestly ask God to heal their land. The prayers of Israel were being hindered because of the wrong done by Saul. When they made things right with the Gibeonites, and buried Saul and his sons, they were able to go to God in prayer. Did you know that your prayers can be hindered too?

1) Your prayers can be hindered by how you treat your wife.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1Peter 3:7)

2) Your prayers can be hindered by how you live your life.

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1Peter 3:12)

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Psalm 34:13-16)

It’s your choice to live your life for the LORD, or live your life in rebellion: do you want your prayers answered?

3) Your prayers can be hindered by how you forgive others.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25-26)

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

If God does that for us, should we not do the same for others?

4) Your prayers can be hindered by how you ask as well as what you ask for.

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1-3)

5) Your prayers can be hindered by unbelief and doubt.

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

6) Your prayers can be hindered by unconfessed sins.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” (Psalm 66:18-20)

How can you get rid of any hindrance to your prayer? Confess your sins, believe God, ask according to His will, forgive others, live your life according to God’s will, and treat your wife the way you should.

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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GOD Is Departed – The Saturday Morning Post

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)

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

“And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.” (1Samuel 28:15-19)

Good morning. King Saul could not get any answers from the Lord. The Philistines had gathered to fight Israel, and Saul was afraid. It got so bad for Saul that he said that God was departed from him. Have you ever gotten yourself so far down that it felt (or feels) that the Lord is no longer with you? Back in Saul’s time, the Holy Spirit would move from person to person, whole armies, whole nations, as He deemed fit. Saul was disobedient to the Lord which is why he found himself in the trouble he was in. He had no one to turn to. God wasn’t talking. Samuel was dead. It was as if the whole weight of the war was on his shoulders. Then he got the idea to bring Samuel back from the dead and maybe get the answers he needed…

“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.” (1Samuel 28:7-11)

Now watch the reaction of the witch of Endor. All this time she had been talking with demons imitating those she was trying to contact. This time God allowed the real thing!

“And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.” (1Samuel 28:12-14)

And that’s where we came in. Samuel gave Saul the answers, but it was not what he wanted to hear. God would rent the kingdom out of Saul’s hands and give it to David. Saul and his three sons would join Samuel in Paradise. And God would deliver the host of Israel into the hands of the Philistines. Not good news for Saul, and it all started because of sin: Saul’s disobedience to God’s commands.

1) Sin Has A Price.

“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)

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.” (1Samuel 31:1-6)

2) GOD Already Knew The Sins You Would Commit Before You Were Born.

“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 1:5)

3) Receive Jesus Christ As Your Saviour And Your Sins Will Be Forgiven.

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1John 4:9-10)

“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. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10)

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

4) Confess Your Sins To The LORD And He Will Restore Fellowship.

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

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:1-17)

All our sins are against God. As He said in Ezekiel 18, twice: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. And we are all sinners. If we say we are not, we are calling God a liar (see 1John 1:10). Confess your sin. Walk away from your sin. Accept God’s forgiveness for your sin.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 15:55-57)

Peace.


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