The Plot – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Good morning. We start off with a plot: a plot to kill Joseph. Jealousy, or envy is a breading ground for hatred. And Joseph was hated by his brothers. They were going to kill Joseph, and throw him in a pit. Then Reuben intervened: God was beginning to make a bad situation good. Reuben told his other brothers that Joseph should not be killed because of him being their brother. So they stripped Joseph of his coat of many colors, and threw him in the pit. Reuben would recover Joseph later and return him to his father safely. But the plot thickens. The other brothers sell Joseph to a caravan going down to Egypt. They rip and tear Joseph’s coat of many colors, and soak it with goat’s blood. This is what they presented to Jacob when they returned home. It appeared that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. But “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

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

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

Now here is the lesson: Jesus said…

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

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

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

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

Peace!


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I Am With Thee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Provision of Land (v 13)

Progeny (Children – v 14)

Protection and Prosperity (v 15)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Don’t Look Back

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

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Today’s Passage – Your Favorite Passage

(Second Milers also read – Proverbs 31)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bible will tell you…

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

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

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

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

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

Peace! And Happy New Years!


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God Promised – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You see, we are all sinners…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He gave us the easy part…

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

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

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

Peace and Good Will to you. Merry Christmas.


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Throughly Furnished – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Jeremiah too…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.


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In Whom Ye Also – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And also…

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

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

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

Peace.


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All You Need Is Love – The Saturday Morning Post


all-you-need-is-love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this love Jesus gave us in a new commandment…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.


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Envy – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

This would happen to them again in Acts 17…

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

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

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

Jesus faced envy from the priests…

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

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

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

Envy is a part of being carnal…

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

Envy is a part of the works of the flesh…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another thing we can do is love…

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

Peace!


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These Things – The Saturday Morning Post


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it all starts with love…

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

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

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

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

Peace!


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To Whom Shall I Go?

To-whom-shall-we-go-Today’s Passages – John 6 – 7; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

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

Read the “1108 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” – (John 6:68)

I remember recently having a discussion with a close friend of mine about whether he ever thought about quitting on God. His answer kind of reminded me of Peter’s answer in John 6:68 above. He said, “where am I going to go?”. What he was actually saying was that there is only one hope for salvation, and that is in the Person of Jesus Christ. Who else could we possibly turn to? There is no-one else.

I have been saved now for many years; and in that time I have experienced many mountaintops. It is easy to praise God and exalt His name when I am on the mountaintop. However, I have also been in the valley, many times due to some bad decisions that I have made. In the valley it is not always so easy to praise the Lord. In fact it is not always easy to even see the Lord. There have been times that I have actually contemplated throwing in the towel, and turning my back on the Lord and His church. By the grace of God, He has kept me in, but I think what has always helped me was the fact that God would remind me that I really have no alternative. Who would I go to? What would I do? If I thought the valley I was in at the time was bad, I wondered how much worse life would be without the Lord. My faith in God, and the promises of His Word, would always keep me from quitting.

Praise the Lord for His grace! Let me encourage you: don’t run from the Lord – run to Him. He has the Words of eternal life!


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Mob Rule? – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passages – Luke 23 – 24; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1105 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” (Luke 23:1-5)

And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.” (Luke 23:10-11)

Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.” (Luke 23:20-24)

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:34)

Good morning. An angry mob is a terrible thing. Here is Jesus about to be crucified, and the people were crying out to crucify Him. The voices of the chief priests also cried out to crucify Him. Yet He loved each and every one of them. He was willing to go to the cross, to shed His precious blood for the sins of the world. He had healed everyone who came to Him. Healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, and exposed the corruption of the religious system and it’s priests. He spoke of sin. He spoke of Hell. He spoke of the Kingdom of God. He shed tears for those who had no hope, or understanding. He felt every pain we have ever had. He knows us better than we know ourselves: He is our Creator. He supplies our every need, and gives us strength and comfort in the face of adversity. Will you join in with the angry mob when they come? Or will you hold fast to Jesus and stand up for what is right, Holy, and true? There is no life except for what is in the Lord Jesus Christ…

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:9-11)

Living He loved me. Dying He saved me. Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming – Oh, glorious day!

Peace!


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God Doesn’t Sleep – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage – Luke 8 – 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 – Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 29

Read the “1029 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:22-25)

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Good morning. How are the storms in your life going? Isn’t it funny that when the storms come, we think that God is sleeping, that He doesn’t know what is happening in our lives: the turmoil that we are going through? God doesn’t sleep. Jesus fell asleep while they were sailing across the lake. Why? The human side of Jesus was tired. And He already knew before the beginning of time that the storm would come and what He would do. So while His disciples went into a panic, Jesus slept. They awakened Him. He rose up and rebuked the wind and the raging water. And there was calm. And Jesus asked them: “Where is your faith?”

When is the panic going to calm down for you. God doesn’t sleep, He knows what’s going on. Others were always asking Jesus questions, asking for healing, and direction. Nobody on the boat was bothering Him (and I don’t mean He was bothered, it was more like us: things are going OK, so there’s no reason to go to the Lord), so He went and took a nap. Then the storm came. In the disciples panic, they remembered that Jesus was there with them. They woke Him up.

1. Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us: He is always there, but because we haven’t talked to Him for a while, we forget that He’s here.

2. Wake Him up with prayer.

If we prayed without ceasing, the problem, the turmoil, in our lives may never have happened. Jesus is the answer to all our problems.

3. 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)

Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

“And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 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 9:14-24)

And of course, Jesus healed the man’s son. No matter what trial you are going through God is right there with you. God doesn’t sleep. He wants to show you that no matter how big the problem in your life, He Is BIGGER!

Where is your faith? God doesn’t sleep.

Peace!


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What If? – The Saturday Morning Post

dirty-bald-eagleToday’s Passage – Mark 12 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22)

And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it . And they brought it . And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” (Mark 12:13-17)

Good morning. What if you wake up the day after election day to the first woman president? What will you do? You will have to decide whether to follow God or government. In our text, Jesus tells us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

What does God say about Abortion?

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

“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)

Almost 58 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade was handed down by the courts. Since children are a reward and a heritage of the Lord; and since the Lord has been with the baby throughout it’s time in the womb, even before conception, it makes me wonder if the doctor who would find the cure for cancer was yanked out of the womb as with the other 58 million. Just wondering.

How about your religious freedom?

Hillary Clinton said, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Are you ready to perform gay marriages in your church even though God calls homosexuality an abomination…

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

“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 1:20-32)

Romans 1 paints a pretty good picture of what America has become since it voted to take the Bible out of schools back in the early sixties. Just about 10 years before our countries 200th birthday. Now look where we are just 50 years later. The highest office in our country is the President of the United States. God’s Word says…

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (1Timothy 2:12)

So, what if you wake up to a woman president? It’s just another slap in God’s face. Just be prepared for a massive change in your lifestyle: things that you want to do, you can’t do anymore; things that you don’t want to do, they will force you to do. What if? Here is one of my favorite passages from the Bible that should help…

“Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD…” (Amos 7:10-16)

Peace!


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A Memorial – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage – Matthew 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1015 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” (Matthew 26:6-13)

Good morning. Just out of curiosity, did any verse pop into your head when you read the title and the verses above? The first one to pop into my head was…

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

In our text passage, the Lord calls what the woman did a good work that was done for Him. And her story will be remembered in the gospel, and be a memorial of her. We can see as the woman poured out the ointment on Jesus’ head, and the sweet odor filled the room, the disciples were filled with indignation – they became angry: “[It] could have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”

Maybe their priorities were a little backwards in putting the poor first…

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)

Maybe we should put God first, and in the putting and obedience to Him, help the poor, or whatever it is He wants us to do. Was it good that the disciples thought about the poor? Yes, it was. But Jesus needed this ointment for His burial. She put God first, and Jesus made it a memorial to her. Obedience to God is as simple as one, two, three.

1) The Holy Spirit opens your eyes to something that needs to be taken care of.

2) You ask God what He wants you to do about it, and God tells you.

3) You do it.

Whether it is confession of sin, helping someone in need, whatever, you cannot out give God. He is always there to help you, and to help others through you. But put God first, and you don’t have to worry about filthy rags.

Peace!


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Doubt – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage –Matthew 10 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “1008 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:1-3)

Good morning. Have you ever doubted? Everyone doubts something once in a while. In our passage this morning we have John the Baptist in prison, hearing about the wonderful works of Jesus. And John questioned. Then sent two disciples to ask, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”

John was having doubts. Was Jesus the Messiah? One of the things making John doubt was the situation he was in. He was thrown into prison…

“But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him [JOHN THE BAPTIST] for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.” (Luke 3:19-20)

Not only did his situation give him doubts, but things were not as he expected them to be. John knew there was something special about Jesus, even from the womb…

“And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45)

And John knew…

“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)

So John, being in prison, was in a situation that caused him to doubt. Being in prison, his expectations were crushed: he could not do the job that the Lord had given him to do…

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 1:1-8)

There wasn’t too much John could do from prison. He was a messenger sent by God, and the voice of one crying in the wilderness, but his crushed expectations caused him to doubt. Crushed expectations added to his bad situation, and added to his doubt. Being in prison, John heard about the works of Christ: he probably heard other comments also…

“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?” (Matthew 13:55-56)

“There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?” (John 10:19-20)

Being in prison, John heard the pros and the cons. The opinion of the world can also add to your doubts, as they added to John’s. Do you find yourself in a bad situation, with crushed expectations, and being influenced by the world? Is your faith on shaky ground? What can we do to get our focus back on God? First…

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

1 – Read Your Bible.

But keep James 1 in mind…

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:22-25)

2 – Exercise Your Faith

Get out of the boat…

“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33)

As you read the Bible, you come to know about Jesus and put your faith in Him. As you exercise your faith, you get to know Jesus in a greater capacity that is more personal. You can read that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. But what good does it do you until you say, “Lord Jesus, save me!”

Jesus was right there with Peter when Peter cried out. Jesus is right there with you when you step out in faith, ready to pick you up too if you begin to sink. And getting back to John in prison, Jesus gave him the perfect answer…

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (Matthew 11:4-6)

There is a good passage in Romans chapter 8 to remember when your faith wavers…

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 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. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:24-39)

Peace!


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Your Adversary The Devil – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage – Zechariah 1 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1001 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” (Zechariah 3:1-4)

Good morning. Did you ever have a day where nothing was going right? Has anything you tried to do blown up in your face? You have an adversary standing next to you, ready to resist you…

“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)

We are all in the same boat. In our passage this morning we see Joshua the high priest and the devil standing before the Lord. The devil is ready to resist: to accuse the brethren. But the LORD intervenes for Joshua whose garments are filthy: stained with sin. The LORD rebukes the devil, and says of Joshua, “…is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?”

And the LORD commands: “Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.”

Forgiveness.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Corinthians 5:17)

Satan looses.

“Wherefore he [JESUS] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

My friends, the devil has already lost the battle. The victory belongs to the LORD who shed His precious blood to save us from the wages of sin. We have won, the devil lost, but he will still try to make life miserable for us if he can. We need to keep fighting and resisting the devil.

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

When your adversary the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future…

“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)

Peace!


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Where Ya Gonna Run To? – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage – Jonah 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 – Revelation 1 – 3; Psalms 116 – 120; Proverbs 24)

Read the “0924 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” (Jonah 1:1-3)

Good morning. When the Lord calls you to do something, do you go and do it? Do you run the other way? Maybe you don’t know where such an idea came from: how could you even think something like that. It’s really not your thing anyway. Do you hold a grudge, or maybe are a Calvinist: if they are going to be saved, God will save them; if they are meant to be lost, God will not save them. What does the Bible say?

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)

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

Let me give you four excuses that we come up with to run from God.

1) Fear – You Don’t Know The Lord

Jesus warns us in Matthew chapter 7…

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

What a shame to have all your works judged and rejected, and then you are cast into hell because the Lord did not know you. Ephesians 2:8-9 says…

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

The Lord is everywhere, so where are you going to run to?

But even after you receive Jesus, you may still be hesitant to obey the Lord’s will for your life.

2) You Think You Can’t Do What God Wants You To Do.

And you would be somewhat right. Jesus said that without Him, we could do nothing. But when we got saved we received power: the power of the Holy Spirit…

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

The Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 13…

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21)

Romans chapter 4 gives us the example of Abraham…

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:17-22)

[AND] “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6)

Although knowing that God wants to complete the good work He started in you. And knowing that…

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

3) You Want To Do Your Own Thing.

We all want to do our own thing. We tell God that it’s okay, I can handle this. We attack the task in our own strength and fall flat on our face. But the prophet Isaiah said…

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:6-8)

We are being molded to be like Jesus and Jesus came to do His Father’s will. If we do our own will, or our own thing, it is sin. Romans 8:28 tells us that…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Doing our own thing leads to destruction, and not good. The only other reason you may have is like Jonah…

4) Like Jonah, You Have A Grudge Against The People And Want To See Them Destroyed.

These were the Assyrians. They were the first terrorists. They could be compared to ISIS today. We know the atrocities and the merciless deeds inflicted on others. We see the news, pictures on social media, even in the papers. Here is a report from one of the Assyrian generals…

I destroyed, I demolished, I burned. I took their warriors prisoner and impaled them on stakes before their cities. …flayed the nobles, as many as had rebelled, and spread their skins out on the piles [of dead corpses]… many of the captives I burned in a fire. Many I took alive; from some I cut off their hands to the write, from other I cut off their noses, ears and fingers; I put out the eyes of many of the soldiers.”

I slew two hundred and sixty fighting men; I cut off their heads and made pyramids thereof. I slew one of every two. I built a wall before the great gates of the city; I flayed the chief men of the rebels, and I covered the wall with their skins. Some of them were enclosed alive in the bricks of the wall, some of them were crucified on stakes along the wall; I caused a great multitude of them to be flayed in my presence, and I covered the wall with their skins. I gathered together the heads in the form of crowns, and their pierced bodies in the form of garlands.”

No wonder Jonah hated these people.

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?” (Jonah 3:10-4:4)

So what should be our attitude towards our enemies?

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

So why are you running from God? He only wants what is best for you. And where are you going to run to: how far will you get?

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Do you well to be angry?

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)

15 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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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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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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Is Your House Secure? – The Saturday Morning Post.

WHITBY -- Whitby fire crews battled a fire at 44 Merchants Ave. in Whitby, which started around 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. The home was completely destroyed, along with two cars in the garage. No one was home at the time of the blaze, which caused an estimated $500,000 damage. November 14, 2015

Today’s Passage – Judges 18 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 1 – 3; Proverbs 26; Psalms 126 – 130)

Read the “0326 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.” (Judges 18:7)

Good morning. In our readings today, we find the tribe of Dan out looking for some land. Five men were sent to spy the land that God had made for the tribe of Dan (Alright, I’ll stop rhyming!). As the band of five spies go, they come across the city of Laish. Here we find in verse 7 we find some facts about Laish…

1) The people of Laish dwelt careless. There was no army to defend the city. People could come and go as they please. They had no law, and no magistrate in the land to put them to shame. They thought themselves to be quiet and secure.

2) The people of Laish dwelt after the manner of the Zidonians. They worshipped false gods (Baal – 1Kings 16:31) and goddess’ (Ashtoreth – 1Kings 11:5).

3) The people of Laish dwelt in a state of being self-sufficient. They had nothing to do with any man, they relied on themselves.

And what happened?

“And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Bethrehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.” (Judges 18:27-29)

We have a Dan is looking for us too…

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

1) Are you careless with your Christianity? I’m saved now, why should I do anything else? God has already chosen who would get saved, so why do I have to witness? I do read my Bible sometimes. I even pray some times. Well, things come up and sometimes I miss a church service or two.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:11- 20)

2) Are the things of this world drawing you away from God? But my team is in the playoffs, and this is the first Sunday I missed in the past few weeks. I’ve worked hard all this week, and I need time to vegetate! But friends are coming over, and this is our card night. I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it. I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them. I married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1John 2:15)

3) Are you self-sufficient? I’d rather do things myself, that way they get done right the first time.

“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)

You can be careless, live worldly, and attempt to be self-sufficient, but your life will not amount to anything except the pile of dust it was made from.

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

Where is your heart? Where will you live in eternity? Is your house secure? Instead of pleasing ourselves, maybe it’s time to start pleasing God who holds the purpose for our lives in His hands.

Peace! (“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))


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The Children’s Heritage – The Saturday Morning Post

About+heritage+builders

Today’s Passage – Joshua 22 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Hebrews 5 – 8; Proverbs 19; Psalms 91 – 95)

Read the “0319 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:29-31)

Good morning. Joshua died being 110 years old. The Bible calls him in verse 29: the servant of the LORD. What I want to focus on is what Israel did in verse 31…

And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:31)

Joshua, and all the elders who out-lived Joshua knew all the works that the LORD had done for Israel. Now look what happens…

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim…” (Judges 2:8-11)

I’ve heard many people on TV say that they want their children to decide on their own what religion they want to be. Many are running after the wrong gods instead of the only True and Living God. All their lives in school they have been fed a steady diet of lies: there is no God and mankind evolved from slime floating in the water. Or that there was this little speck of dust flying around the universe. It gathered more and more dust, and grew. The dust got sooo big, building up pressure, that suddenly BANG!!!! It exploded and all the stars and planets were formed.

The only problem with this are the laws of Physics. All, every planet and star when the the Big Bang boomed should be rotating in the same direction. All our planets and the sun rotate counterclockwise except for Venus and Uranus which rotate clockwise. So the Big Bang Theory remains a theory and fizzles out. Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi’s under Adolf Hitler said that if you say a lie long enough, and repeat it over and over again, that the people would believe the lie and take it as truth. So now we have children who believe in evolution, and when that belief is shaken, the go running after false gods. Something inside them tells them that there is a God. But can they find Him? We need to tell our children who God is, and what He has done for them. Our own personal testimony is a good place to start: what has God done for you?

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

Israel reached a point where they believed the false gods of the heathen who lived around them. They have forsaken the only God who became a Sacrifice for sin for them. What can we do? Make sure they know who God is and have a personal relationship with Him before we die.

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


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God Is a Promise Keeper

Rainbow

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

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 19

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Except They Be Sent

IMG_0855

Scripture Assembly Crew 2016

Note – today is that extra day in the calendar year that comes every four years on a leap year. There is no scheduled reading for today. Read your favorite passage or use the time to get caught up if you have fallen behind.

Today’s Passage – read your favorite passage

(Second Milers read – Proverbs 29 – 31; Psalms 141 – 145Psalms 146 – 150)

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

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” – (Romans 10:13-15)

Last night was the last night of our 2016 Missions Conference. Evangelist K. R. Senn has been used tremendously of the Lord  to stir our hearts about world missions. We have also had some great missionary guests with us, including Brother and Mrs. Scott Sandy from the Northeast Baptist Seedline. On Saturday, Brother Sandy lead us as we assembled over 10,000 John and Romans for churches in Maryland. We have had an awesome conference.

Please pray that our church will be more committed to fulfilling The Great Commission in 2016. I am asking God to do four specific things through this conference:

1  I want to see our people more committed to prayer, specifically prayer for missions and missionaries.

2  I want to see are people more committed to personal soul winning. Our church members need to be just as concerned about the soul of the man across the street as they are about the soul on the other side of the world.

3  I want to see our faith promise commitment increased. If our faith promise increases, so will our actual missions giving. If our giving increases, we will be able to better support the missionaries that we are committed to now, as well as take on some new missionaries. We have had to cut back some on missions giving in the past few years. I believe that God can turn that around now. I am asking our people to give sacrificially so that souls can be saved throughout the world.

4  I want to see someone from our church sent out as a missionary. I know that God has been dealing with a couple of our young men and women. I pray that He will make His will clear, and that they will be obedient to the call of God. As much as I don’t want to see anybody leave our church, I can think of no greater honor for a church than to be a part of sending a missionary out into the field; and I know that God will not only bless us for it, but will also send in more laborers to our vineyard.

Please pray that God will continue to work in our hearts and seal some decisions in our lives so that we can reach more souls for Him – here and all around the world.

PS – there is one more thing that we need to Lord to help us with: we need wisdom as a church to know how and where to best spend those missions dollars that he sends in. I have had to take a good hard look at our missions program in the last few days, and I know that there are some changes that need to be made. Pray that everything about our missions program will be completely inside the perfect will of God.


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Marching Orders – The Saturday Morning Post

New Life

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

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 1 – 4; Proverbs 27; Psalms 136 – 140)

Read the “0227 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.” (Numbers 33:50-56)

Good morning. The Lord gave marching orders to Israel for when they entered the land of Canaan. They were to drive out the inhabitants, destroy their pictures, their molten images, and pull down their high places. If Israel did not drive out the inhabitants, then those people would be pricks in their eyes, thorns in their sides, and would vex them. And, to top it all off, God would do to Israel as He planned to do to them. And we know what happened. Israel started worshiping false gods of the land, and did wicked things in the site of the Lord; things much worse than the inhabitants. God kept His promise and scattered Israel. Israel would not become a nation again till 1948.

When will someone come into the United States and be pricks in our eyes, thorns in our sides, and vex us? Many Christians today are being side-tracked into focusing on everything in the world except for Jesus and His Word…

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Corinthians 5:17)

The old man shows it’s ugly face regularly in today’s society. What happened to the new creature? We should not be walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit. We’ve turned into zombies, the walking dead: the old man has come back to life. And those zombies are dragging around the old baggage that should have been cast by the wayside a long time ago. We have our marching orders…

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:11-14)

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


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You Are What You Eat? – The Saturday Morning Post

Locust

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 5 – 6; Proverbs 6; Psalms 31 – 35)

Read the “0206 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.” (Leviticus 11:21-23)

“And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey…” (Mark 1:6)

Good morning. Have you had breakfast yet? And I don’t mean to “bug” you about this, but did you know it was okay to eat locusts if you were Jewish. The Jewish dietary laws were strict, but locust is on the menu. Look at the picture above. The Greek New Testament word for locust means: as pointed, or as lighting [LANDING] on the top of vegetation. But God doesn’t make mistakes. Did you know that locusts are 50% to 60% protein and only 12% fat? And the fat breaks down to 44% saturated fat, and 54% unsaturated fat (2% other). As a plus, the carbohydrates are very low making them great for the Atkins Diet. Some people describe cooked locust as similar to smoky flavored bacon and reasonably tasty. And, like I said, God doesn’t make mistakes: He wanted His children to have a well balanced diet of things that were good for them.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 11:1-3)

“These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 11:9)

It would appear that the fowls of the air that you could not eat were scavengers: they ate the remains of dead creatures. And all this seams to be a good thing if you want a healthy diet. Just remember that we, as Christians are not under the Law, we were given these guidelines…

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:28-29)

And remember Peter’s vision…

“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:9-15)

In case you would like to try, here are some recipes from the United Nations’ website…

Tinjiya (Tswana recipe): remove the wings and hindlegs of the locusts, and boil in a little water until soft. Add salt, if desired, and a little fat and fry until brown. Serve with cooked, dried mealies (corn).

Sikonyane (Swazi recipe): prepare embers and roast the whole locust on the embers. Remove head, wings, and legs, in other words, only the breast part is eaten. The South Sotho people use locusts especially as food for travellers. The heads and last joint of the hindlegs are broken off and the rest laid on the coals to roast. The roasted locusts are ground on a grinding stone to a fine powder. This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey. Dried locusts are also prepared for the winter months. The legs, when dried, are especially relished for their pleasant taste.

Cambodia: take several dozen locust adults, preferably females, slit the abdomen lengthwise and stuff a peanut inside. Then lightly grill the locusts in a wok or hot frying pan, adding a little oil and salt to taste. Be careful not to overcook or burn them.

Barbecue (grilled): prepare the embers or charcoal. Place about one dozen locusts on a skewer, stabbing each through the centre of the abdomen. If you only want to eat the abdomen, then you may want to take off the legs or wings either before or after cooking. Several skewers of locusts may be required for each person. Place the skewers above the hot embers and grill while turning continuously to avoid burning the locusts until they become golden brown.

Peace! (“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34-35))


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Behold, It Was A Dream – The Saturday Morning Post

fat cow

Today’s Passage – Genesis 41 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 3 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80)

Read the “0116 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.” (Genesis 41:1-7)

Good morning. A woman at work asked me if I believed in dreams. She had heard about God talking to people in dreams. One of the things she heard is that the dream would be the opposite of what God was trying to say. I don’t know where that one came from, unless whoever thought about it was confusing dreams with visions. (Look at 1Kings 22 to see the vision of Micaiah who was to entice king Ahab to go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, and be killed.) Micaiah agreed with Ahab’s other prophets telling him to go. Ahab knew that Micaiah was lying and Micaiah told him the vision of the lying spirit placed in the mouths of his prophets. And Ahab went up, and was killed. With Joseph, God had a plan for this dreamer.

1) God-given dreams will have purpose and line up with His Word.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9)

In order to preserve life during the seven years of famine, God’s plan was to get Joseph down to Egypt. He gave Joseph dreams that would aggravate his brothers to the point of wanting to kill him…

“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.” (Genesis 37:5)

“And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, An evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” (Genesis 37:19-20)

“And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colors that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into the pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brethren hearkened unto him.” (Genesis 23-27)

God brought Joseph to Egypt, where he was sold as a slave. Through various circumstances, Joseph would end up in prison. But God sent the chief butler, and the chief baker there also. And they both dreamed dreams. God used their two dreams to get Joseph out of prison…

“Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker: and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.” (Genesis 41:9-14)

2. God-given dreams can be used to get you where God wants you.

Pharaoh would have never known about Joseph if God did not give him a dream which he or his magicians were not able to interpret. Joseph was set before Pharaoh as Pharaoh told Joseph the dream.

3. God-given dreams can warn you and instruct you.

“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven lean and ill-favored kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. That is the thing which I spake unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine which followeth; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.” (Genesis 41:25-37)

In Matthew chapter 1, Joseph, Mary’s soon-to-be husband is instructed not to fear and take Mary as his wife…

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:18-20)

In Matthew chapter 2, God uses dreams to warn and instruct the wise men and also Joseph (Matthew 2:12-13,19 &22).

Today we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, and the complete preserved Word of God for English speaking people in the King James Bible. Does God need to use dreams today? Maybe as a catalyst to start something He needs to accomplish in your life or the lives of the others around you. But God-given dreams will have a purpose and line up with His Word; can be used to get you where God wants you; and can warn and instruct you; but so can the Holy Spirit and your Bible.

I need to go fulfill prophecy now…

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” (Acts 2:17)

Peace! (“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:32)).


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Feast Or Famine? – The Saturday Morning Post

Famine

Today’s Passages – Genesis 25 – 26

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

“And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar…” (Genesis 26:1-6)

Good morning. There was famine in the land. Isaac had a decision to make. He could go down to Egypt, or go where God wanted him to go. He could go to Egypt where there was food, or trust God to supply his needs. God promised to be with Isaac and bless him. He would multiply Isaac’s seed and bless the nations of the earth through his children. If he went to Egypt, the only thing waiting for him was food. If he stayed where God wanted him, Isaac had God, and God’s blessing waiting for him.

What choice would you make? What are the factors you would consider in making your decision? Maybe you would choose Egypt, because it’s easier? Remember Naomi from the Book of Ruth? There was famine in her land too. Naomi and her husband and two sons went to Moab. It was easy, and there was food there. She gained two daughter-in-laws there, but lost her husband and two sons before deciding to go back to her hometown. When she arrived in Bethlehem, all she had with her was Ruth.

“So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.” (Ruth 1:19-22)

Naomi’s husband died. Naomi’s sons died. Maybe when we decide to take the easy way, we should consider our loved ones first. Would you want your loved ones close to God, and being blessed by Him? Look at the reason God would bless Isaac…

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Genesis 26:3-5)

Obedience is still better than sacrifice. Abraham obeyed God’s voice, kept God’s charge, kept God’s commandments, kept God’s statutes, and kept God’s laws. Feast or famine, the choice is up to you.

Peace! (“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” (Jeremiah 7:23) ).


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Resolve To Be Transformed

Romans 12_2

Today’s Passage – Your Favorite Passage

(Second Milers also read – Proverbs 31)

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

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

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Tomorrow begins the New Year, which is traditionally the time that people make all kinds of resolutions regarding things that they want to see changed in their lives. Some want to lose weight, others want to become more organized, and some want to quit some bad habit; the list is endless. In the past, I would make many resolutions, but, unfortunately, was unable to keep many of them. This year, I have resolved not to resolve. You may be asking, what do you mean by that preacher? What I mean is: I have resolved to stop trying to fix the myriad of things in my life that need fixing. No, I have not thrown in the towel on trying to live the Christian life. On the contrary, I have discovered a better way to see the necessary changes take place.

This year, instead of exercising my will power to change things in my life, I have opted to turn the whole process over to God. I have figured out that the closer I get to Him, the more He begins to chip away at the things in my life that need to go. Let me give you a verse that has been on my mind a lot lately:

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

This verse tells me that God actually works with our will. Our will is really the problem isn’t it? Paul said that the inside of him was no good thing, “for to will is present with [him]”. Resolutions are about our will, but transformation is about the will of God. We may desire to see things fixed in our lives, but then our will changes, and the fixing stops. However, when transformation takes place from the inside, God not only changes our will, but also implements the changes that need to take place.

You may be thinking: what do I have to do? This is too good to be true. I don’t have to do anything? God does all of the work? Well, you do have to draw nigh to God. He says that if you will do that, He will draw nigh (get close) to you.  In order to get close to Him, you are going to have spend more time with Him: reading His Word, and praying. You will also have to spend less time with the world. The world also desires to conform you to what it wants you to be. You see, the world will also mess with your will.  If you spend enough time pursuing the things of this world, your thinking will also change; your desires will change. The same is also true with God. Get with Him. Saturate yourself in prayer and the Word, and God will begin to chip away at all of the rough edges in your life, and you will gradually become a vessel more meet (fitted) for the Master’s use.

This New Year, you have some choices to make. You can decide to do nothing: throw in the towel, and wait out the return of Christ. You can also decide to make a long list of things that you want to see changed, goals that you want to see accomplished, etc., and set out through your will power, your tenacity, to implement those things. You may even be successful in fulfilling some of them. Door number three is the option that I am choosing. I am going to take some tangible steps this year to get as far away from the world and as close to God as I possibly can. Then I am going to sit back and watch what He does in my life. No goals this year, just God.


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