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?

have-you-forgotten-9-11

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

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

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

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

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

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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A Mind to Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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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Put Ye On The Lord Jesus Christ – The Saturday Morning Post

Soul Winning

Today’s Passages – Romans 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 136 – 140; Proverbs 28)

Read the “1128 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “Be Ye Transformed“; “What’s The Difference

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 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 13:8-14)

Good morning. One of the singers from the Cathedral Quartet, had an album called “Hotel Halliluh” after one of the songs. There was another song on the album called “Time’s Winding Down.” There is a verse in the song…

Have heard the radio? Have you seen the TV?

Well Jesus said if possible, they would deseive you and me.

O Lord I never dreamed I’d see the day when it’s all commin’ down.

Our great God is commin’.

Times winding down…

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. Jesus is coming back soon. What kind of person do you think you should be? Are those who see us throughout the day seeing us, or seeing Jesus? Can they see the love of God flowing through you towards them? Like our passage says, it’s time to wake out of our sleep. While we were asleep, new corrupt bible versions have crept into churches. The government has kicked God out of the schools, out of the courts and other government buildings, and out of the lives of the American people. Our children have been taught that they evolved from pond scum and were not created in the image of the True, Living God. They believe there is some sort of define being, and because the church has dropped the ball, they are turning to the false god of Islam, Allah, who is really a modern version of Baal: he wants human sacrifices. He wants you to be a sacrifice, strap on some explosives, and blow you and whatever “infidel” is nearby up. But the only True, Living God wants wants you to make yourself a living sacrifice. He wants you to get the gospel out to the unsaved. It’s time for the church to wake up and start telling people about Jesus. If you get arrested for doing so, then tell those who are there with you in prison. We have a great commission to live out…

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

Peace! (“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27-29))


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Is Your Cup Half Empty Or Half Full? – The Saturday Morning Post

fwx-starbucks-holiday-cupsToday’s Passages – John 20 – 21

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do ? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:15-22)

After filling in Peter on what he would go through, Peter asks what shall this man (John) do? Jesus basically told him, it shouldn’t matter to you, you follow Me. There are way too many critics in this world, we need more Christians to pick up their crosses and follow Jesus. Take the new Christmas cup from Starbuck’s. You can yell an scream because there’s nothing about Jesus on it. Or you can show someone, see this emblem? It’s green just like money…

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

But look at the rest of the cup, it’s red. Just like the shed blood of Jesus.

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

I guess some people just can’t see the good in anything. Instead of tearing down, maybe we should be building up. Jesus told us, “You follow Me.”
Peace. (“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1))


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Truly This Man Was The Son Of God – The Saturday Morning Post

The Centurion

Today’s Passage – Mark 15 – 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 116 – 118; Proverbs 24)

Read the “1024 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Matthew 15:39)

Good morning. It is mind boggling sometimes when I think about how could the Jews have missed their Messiah? He is right there, from Genesis 1:1, all the way through Malachi. Genesis 3:15 says…

“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)

This happened at Calvary, the bruised heel was from the nail holding His feat to the cross. And satan, that old serpent received the death blow to his head because of what Jesus did on the cross. Truly this man was the Son of God.

How about Isaiah 9:6-7…

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

And that child was born of a virgin…

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

And Immanuel means: God with us. Truly this man was the Son of God.

Zechariah 11:12-13 tells us just how much we value God…

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)

“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” (Matthew 26:14-15)

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value…” (Matthew 27:3-9)

Truly this man was the Son of God. How do you value Him. Is He worth 30 pieces of silver to you? No, He is not worth 30 pieces of silver to me: how can you even put a value on God? He is everything, and He is worth everything. Think about this: the only True, Living God put on flesh, came to earth being born of a virgin, only to be tortured, crucified, and die for your sins and mine. What does Jesus mean to you: thirty pieces of silver, or everything and more? Isn’t it time to die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and work through us? Truly this man was the Son of God.

Peace.

(“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25))


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And He Healed Their Sick – The Saturday Morning Post

Jude 1_23

Today’s Passage – Matthew 14 – 15 (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 “1010 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“When Jesus heard of it [THE BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST], he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14)

Good morning. Aren’t you glad that God does not change. He is constant. His Word does not change. His salvation is always by His grace. And because He is all-knowing, He doesn’t need to change His mind: everything is going according to His plan. But one of the greatest features in His plan is to show His mercy. God’s mercy shows itself many times when we prayerfully, and humbly come to to God for the mercy that only He can give. God told Solomon…

“And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” (2Chronicles 7:12-15)

Think about Jonah and that wicked city called Ninevah…

“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.” (Jonah 1:1-2)

“So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 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.” (Jonah 3:3-10)

Now let’s take a look back at Matthew 14:13 and 14…

“When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14)

The first thing to notice is that when the people found that Jesus was in a desert place, they followed Him: they were seeking Him.

“When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14)

Also notice that those seeking Jesus were a great multitude: there were many coming, We’ll see why in a minute, but this multitude did something to Jesus…

“When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13-14)

The multitude coming caused Jesus to be moved with compassion toward them. There were those among the multitude who were sick, and Jesus healed their sick.

Our nation is very, very sick. As Christians, we have the only hope for sick people. The gospel needs to go out to the sick…

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

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

I’m sure some of the multitude wanted to see Jesus in person (think the pope’s visit to Philly, except this multitude was going to see the only true, living God, who put on flesh to become the only acceptable sacrifice for sin). But there were some of the multitude who were there because of what Jesus could do for others. They brought their sick, and Jesus healed them all.

Here is the problem: do you care about others enough to give them the gospel? Do you see how the Sodomites are gaining victory after victory in the laws being passed? Do you understand what Romans chapter 1 says?

“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 1:26-32)

You look at the world today as apposed to 100 years ago, and tell me that “evolution” made things better. That’s what the evolutionist thinks: things improve with time. Yeah, tell me about it. That’s why you have ISIS destroying everything in it’s path; our kids don’t know the true, living God, and run away to worship the “moon god.” There are drive-by shootings. Idiots who go into schools and kill students who may not even know what the cause of this lunatic is. They are without natural affection. Mothers injecting their teenage daughters with heroine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen children alone on the walkway alone while one or both parents are on the casino floor playing the slots. While they look at their machines, making sure nobody steals their money, I can almost guarantee that there is someone with evil intentions eying up the kids. Evolution? Sounds more like De-evolution! Well Christian, well America, you reap what you sow, and by the extremely low standards of today it is obvious we have not done much sowing. Is it too late? It will be too late when the Lord calls us home. But while we still have breath, Jesus commands us to go…

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

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

“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)

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

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

Peace. (“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 33:1-9))


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Toxic Waste Part 2 – The Saturday Morning Post

cleaning up toxic waste

Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 41 – 43 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Timothy 1 – 3; Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Read the “0912 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.” (Ezekiel 43:1-7)

Good morning. In chapter 40, Ezekiel is taken on a tour of the wall and the gates that surround the temple. In our reading today, chapters 41 and 42, Ezekiel is given the grand tour of the temple. But his greatest sight is in chapter 43, seeing the glory of the LORD come through the eastern gate, and fill the house. And the spirit took him to the inner court where the LORD spoke to him, declaring that this is where He would dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever. And the LORD also declares that His Holy Name would not be defiled by them any more.

Let me take you on a tour of God’s temple…

“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)

You are God’s temple! Let’s start our tour with your heart. Jesus said…

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” (Matthew 15:19-20)

But…

“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.” (Romans 10:9-10)

What kind of heart do you have? The signals that our next stop, the mind, receives depends on your heart…

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:6-7)

Is your mind carnal? There is a cure…

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

The apostle Paul told us…

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” (2Timothy 1:7-11)

And it is your mind that is going to send it’s signals to the body to tell it’s members what to do. Your soul is who you are. The works of your body parts (your mouth, your hands, your feet, etc.) makes up a great portion of who you are. So, who are you? Are you a child of the King? Are you joint heirs with Christ? You can be who you should be by following Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 22…

“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)

If your heart and mind and soul are focused on loving God, He will clean up the toxic waste that is in your life.

Peace!

(“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2))


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Toxic Waste – The Saturday Morning Post

animas-river_EPA spill

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; Psalm 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

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

“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezekiel 20:9)

“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.” (Ezekiel 20:14)

“Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.” (Ezekiel 20:22)

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15-16)

Good morning. How many of you remember Love Canal? It was a small community near Niagara Falls, NY. There was an old abandoned canal there on property owned by the Hooker Chemical Co. They used this abandoned canal from 1942 to 1953 to dump almost 22 tons of hazardous industrial waste. Toxic Waste. So now this small community of about 900 people is sitting on a time-bomb. They were starting to get sick. There were many miscarriages by ladies who were pregnant. There were boils and rashes that popped up too. Twenty-four years later, 1977, the winter was harsh, there was a lot of snow, and it melted. When it did melt, the excessive water caused some of the 22 tons of toxic waste to seep into the water supply, and also come oozing out to the surface. There is now a 70 acre site that is fenced in. The site has been capped, and there is no leakage. Or is there? In 1990, two-hundred and sixty houses outside the contaminated area were given new siding, and roofs. They were sold for 20% below the market value. People bought the houses, and moved in. They started getting sick. Now, in 2013, the lawsuits came pouring in. Will they ever get Love Canal fixed, and cleaned up? It is doubtful.

Let me tell you of another toxic waste site. One that only God can ever fix. In our three text verses from Ezekiel chapter 20, the Lord said that He worked hard so that His name would not be polluted in front of the heathen (or the unsaved). Do you think a good testimony is important to God? Do you think God wants His name dragged through the mud? Do you think God meant it when He told Solomon to write…

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)

…and also…

“A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

What does God want to see happen with His good name? This…

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

How is your witness? How is your testimony? Does God have to work hard with you so His name does not appear as toxic waste among the unsaved?

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [WHY?] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16)

We get all excited about what is happening in the world. We see by the signs of the times that Jesus may be back soon, real soon. We see all this, and we are ready to be raptured out of here. We see all that is happening, but we forget our original purpose, our work, the work of winning souls to Christ. We need to be ready…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1Peter 3:15-16)

How do you appear to the unsaved? Do you appear to the unsaved as toxic waste, or have you allowed the Holy Spirit to transform us into the kind of witness you should be? God told us 3 times in Ezekiel 20, that He wrought (or worked hard) for His name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen. Are you working hard to die to self and allow Jesus to shine through? Will the unsaved get saved by seeing you or Jesus? Time is moving quickly and this country is moving further and further away from God. It was just announced that First Baptist Church of Greenville, NC is going to start ordaining gay pastors, and will offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Is not homosexuality still an abomination to the Lord?

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

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

He didn’t change, so why should His Word change? The unsaved world is not getting the truth. The unsaved world is getting a polluted picture of God, and not the God of the Bible. We need to change. Allow the Holy Spirit to change us, and help us to stop being the hypocrites that the world sees. He is the only One that can clean up this toxic waste called sin.

Peace!

(For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45))


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Everlasting Love – The Saturday Morning Post

love

Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 30 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 22 – 24 ; Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22)

Read the “0822 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.” (Jeremiah 31:1-6)

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy…” (Psalm 107:2)

Good morning. Jesus said, “…I have loved thee with and everlasting love…”

This passage reminded me of my favorite passage from Ezekiel…

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” (Ezekiel 16:3-8)

The Lord has done a lot for us, even everything, because of His everlasting love. He gave us eternal life (John 3:16, 6:37-40). Our sin left us polluted in our own blood (Romans 3:10 & 23, 5:12, 6:23a), but Jesus paid the price of sin for us (Roman6:23b, 5:8; Psalm 22:14-18, Isaiah 53:1-10). We are washed clean by the blood of Jesus…

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Did Jesus do this for you? All you need do is realize you are a sinner, and that because you are a sinner there is no way for you to get into Heaven…

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

…and then pray, and ask Jesus to forgive your sins, invite Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says…

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

Did you receive His everlasting love? If you did then let the redeemed of the LORD say so: tell somebody about what His everlasting love did for you.

Peace! (Proverbs 11:30)


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I Am The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

one_nation_under_God_002 (1)

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 41 – 43 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “0808 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)

“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.” (Malachi 2:2)

Good morning. God wants His glory and praise. And rightly so: He is the only One who deserves it.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Psalm 24:7-10)

Praise means to give credit. Giving glory to God is acknowledging that He did something to, or for you. God is responsible for everything that comes into your life, whether we see it as good or bad. If it is bad, though, it was probably caused by us: we brought it on ourselves. We may perceive something as bad, but it could be the correcting hand of the Lord trying to get us going back in the right direction. That would make it good. Good or bad, we need to glorify God by thanking Him, and Him only. God will not give His glory to another. But what did man do?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18-23)

And Uncle Sam is bending over backwards to make this country stink with everything that is abominable to God. Now they say that our children will be taught and exposed to homosexuality as early as kindergarten? Is lowering the age of consent to twelve the next thing on their agenda? Many years ago, Dr Jerry Falwell from Thomas Road Baptist Church showed hidden videos taken inside a convention of Sodomites. One of their agendas was to get the age of consent dropped to twelve years old. It was shocking back then, but in the America we live in now, it could become law. They need to read Luke 17…

“Then said he [JESUS] unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1-2)

When it was discovered that Achan had stolen silver, gold, and a Babylonish garment, which caused Israel to loose 36 men in the battle for Ai, Joshua said to Achan…

“And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.” (Joshua 7:19)

The United States of America will someday have to give glory to the LORD God of Israel: the Lord of lords and King of kings. We can’t hide it from Him: He knew what would happen from the beginning of time. We will have to confess that Homosexuality is sin. Abortion is sin. Kicking God out of His nation is sin. Making Israel give up the land that God gave it is sin. And others too numerous to print here…

“Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.” (Isaiah 34:1-3)

But…

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

Peace. (Revelation 22:1-6)


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But His Hand Is Stretched Out Still – The Saturday Morning Post

DC in Ruins

Today’s Passage – Isaiah 9 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 19 – 20; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1)

Read the “0801 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 9:8-21)

“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1-6)

Good morning. I’ve asked several pastors, and missionaries if they had ever heard of “The Harbinger”, or “The Mystery Of The Shemitah” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. They had not. And I don’t think that it is a coincidence that our reading today contains a key passage dealing with this.

I always wondered why, in Revelation, during the Great Tribulation, how the people could see and know that God was allowing all these troubles to happen to them, and yet they would not repent: they shook their fists at God. Seeing America rolling down hill at an ever increasing pace, I can see this now. People would rather believe in false gods, idols, no God at all, or even seeing themselves as a god. But God’s hand is stretched out still.

Before I go any further, I just want to clarify that a harbinger is a warning from God. Shemitah basically means to let fall. It is also the seventh year of a seven year cycle (1994, 2001, 2008, 2015 etc.). And despite the warnings, Israel turned their backs on God. And the results are shown in 2Chronicles 36…

“And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.” (2Chronicles 36:15-21)

In our hay-day, the U.S. Dollar is what many countries around the world traded in, and did business with. We have had warnings, harbingers, ourselves directly affecting our economy. As mentioned above, 1994 saw the great Bond Market crash. The Bond Market lost over $1 Trillion. In 2001, the bricks were fallen down with the destruction of the World Trade Center by terrorists. That shook Wall Street; six days later on September 17, 2001, the stock market crashes 684 points. Seven years later, 2008, there is another crash. When all is said and done, the stock market loses 777 points. Add 7 years to 2008, and that brings us to 2015. America is due for another great shaking. But even after the previous shaking’s, we still legalized same sex marriage, called good evil and evil good, shook our fists at God. And God, for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. He has given us a warning. Just like Jonah…

“And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” (Jonah 3:4)

September 13, 2015 coincides with the Hebrew day Elul 29th, the end of the Shemitah year. God doesn’t have to do anything: He is the Righteous Judge: He is still in control: He is still Lord of all – will always be.

“So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.” (Jonah 4:5)

Now you can sit on your rump like Jonah, waiting to see what will become of the United States. Or you can reach out with the gospel. Remember JOY: Jesus, Others, You. This is what you can do. 1) Pray: seek God:seek JESUS. 2) Get the gospel out to OTHERS. Many still have to make the decision to receive or reject the gift of eternal life given by our Saviour. And 3) Prepare YOUrself. You may want to stockpile some extra food, get right with God, stock up with extra water, get right with God, make some “care packages” to give to others when whatever goes down goes down. And get right with God. And God, for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Peace? (2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name [CHRISTIAN – THAT’S YOU AND ME], shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways [YES, THAT’S YOU AND ME TOO: WE ARE THE ONES WHO MUST GET RIGHT WITH GOD]; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.)


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