The Unloved – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Genesis 29 – 30 (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; Proverbs 11; Psalms 51 – 55)

Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” (Genesis 29:27-35)

Good morning. Did you ever have the feeling that you were unloved, that nobody cared about you, or that everyone hated you? Maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s not. Leah was hated. The Bible states that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, but when the Lord looked at the heart of Jacob, He could see that Leah was hated. What did God do? He opened her womb, and she conceived. She bare Jacob his first four sons. At the birth of the fourth son she said, “Now will I praise the LORD.”:therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.”

Her fourth son was Judah. Judah is the tribe that the Lord chose to come to earth through: the King of Kings, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, our Emmanuel: God with us.

How do you feel about harlots? God used a harlot to hide the spies sent into Jericho, saved her and her family, then used her in the line of Jesus. Rahab (spelled Rachab in the New Testament) the harlot was King David’s great, great grandmother…

“And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” (Matthew 1:5-6)

Then after a few years later, we find Ruth in the line of Messiah…

“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.” (Ruth 1:1-6)

Moab was the firstborn of Lot and his daughter. When Israel did evil in the site of the Lord, God had them serve Eglon, king of Moab, for 18 years.

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.” (Judges 3:12-14)

Israel hated the Moabites; God didn’t. So God put a woman of Moab, Ruth, in the line of Jesus also…

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:13-17)

Come to think of it, everyone in the line of Judah, up to, but not including Jesus, was a sinner: everybody who ever was and is going to be is a sinner except Jesus. He died for the Leah’s of this world, the Rahab’s of this world, the Ruth’s of this world, and everybody else who has ever lived or died in this world. And Jesus gave His life for us because He loved us…

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17)

If you feel you are one of the unloved, remember that Jesus loves you. He loved you so much that He believed you were worth dying for. Remember Leah, Rahab, and Ruth.

How do you feel about others? Do they meet your high standards or not? Remember who God chooses to use: you just may be looking down your nose at someone who will do something great for God.


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A Dysfunctional Family

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

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

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

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

Read a previous post from this passage – “I am with Thee,” “The House of God” and “Savory Meat

I really do not know where to begin the discussion regarding this story from Genesis 27. There is so much that is wrong here, and so many lies. We will take them one by one:

1. Isaac was actually many years from his death.

“And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.” (Genesis 27:4)

Isaac did say in verse 2 that he didn’t know the day of his death, but it seems that he feels his death would be very soon. Actually, his death would be more than twenty years later; after Jacob returns from Padanarum with his wives and children. The point is this: in this chapter, Isaac seems fairly sure that the day of his death was imminent, so much so that he is getting his affairs in order regarding his children’s inheritance, but the reality was that he had many more years to live and serve God.

Another thing about Isaac is that he was very carnal. He seems to be completely focused on his flesh. Notice how many times this chapter references Jacob’s love for savory meat (Genesis 27:4,9, & 14).

2. Rebekah conspires with Jacob to deceive her husband.

“My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.” (Genesis 27:12-13)

Rebekah cannot bear the thought of seeing her favorite son passed by for the blessing, so she conspires with him to deceive her husband. Jacob is reluctant at first but being a Mamma’s Boy he submits to her deception instead of obeying his dad and God. Some theologians have taught that Rebekah was merely trying to assist the will of God as she was told by God that the elder brother would serve the younger brother (Genesis 25:23). I don’t buy that. I think she was just playing favorites. Besides, God did not need her help in accomplishing His will, especially if that help would involve deception and a lack of submission to her husband.

3. Esau lies about his birthright and then determines to slay his brother.

“And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?” (Genesis 27:36)

Esau may have been innocent this time, but his birthright was not “taken away” from him. He gave it up, all because he wanted a bowl of “red pottage” (Genesis 25:29 – 34). After he loses the blessing, however, he is justifiably angry, but his anger crosses the line and becomes wrath, and he determines to kill Jacob as soon as his dad is dead (Genesis 27:41).

This family is, to say the least, dysfunctional. It is hard to comprehend that all of this carnality, lying, favoritism, and hatred is present in the family that God chose to be the patriarchal head of Israel. This is a wonderful picture of the grace of God. When I read this story, I am greatly encouraged because if God could bless a dysfunctional family like Isaac’s, then he can certainly bless the Erickson family, which has had more than its share of dysfunctional moments as well.

Christmas 2018

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Water is Life by Samantha Mears

Today’s Passage – Genesis 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0109 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage –  “From A Father To A Son”

“For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” (Genesis 26:15-22)

When we read this passage we see the struggle that Issac went through. Issac wasn’t struggling because of any wrong he had done; he was very blessed of the Lord and it made the Philistines jealous, so much so they attacked in a major way. They stopped up the wells that Abraham had dug while he was alive. It’s easy to see why this was such a serious offense – water is life. For the next few verses we see Issac striving to renew these wells by removing the “earth” to get to the water once again. I would like to take a moment and share just how important this passage is, or should be to Christians today, and how the Lord spoke to me. Abraham dug these wells, and with his passing the wells were filled with earth. Our spiritual fathers dug wells of living water and laid a foundation of “Christianity” for us to draw from. When I say “us” I am speaking to my generation. A generation that I believe has become very apathetic to the idea of drawing from the wells. The wells of truth have become so full of “earth” (aka worldliness) and we are ok with that. If Isaac decided to sit back and leave the wells filled with earth, instead of digging them again, people would have died. Because, water is life. 

What has filled our wells? 

Worldliness – fitting in with everyone else around us. 

Apathy – a numbness to the real facts, that people are dying and going to Hell.

Bitterness – towards former preachers or parents who weren’t perfect and messed up.

Contentment – to just live a mediocre Christian life. 

If we continue to allow the wells to fill up with this “earth” people are going to die. The living water of Christ is not flowing and people are dying and going to hell. Because, water is life. 

So what can we do? We can take back the wells; we can dig again the wells which our fathers dug. It won’t be easy, it wasn’t easy for Isaac (Genesis 26:20-21) but we can do it, just as he did. It’s going to take faith, hard work, sacrifice, determination and so, so much more. If we don’t do something now, it will be too late. The next generation will have no well to draw from, no water to drink, and they will die. It’s time we wake up and take back the wells. Because, water is life. 

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From Tree

Today’s Passage – Genesis 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0109 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage –  “From A Father To A Son”

“And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.” (Genesis 26:7)

In order for you to fully understand this morning’s thought, you might want to go back and read Genesis chapter twenty. If this account of Isaac lying about the true identity of his wife sounds familiar to you, it is because we read back in Genesis 20 that his father, Abraham, did the exact same thing to Abimelech. It appears that the apple doesn’t fall very far the tree. Isaac apparently had picked up some of his father’s bad habits.

There is an old expression which states that parents don’t get what they want in child-rearing, they get what they are. I have observed that to be true. Our children definitely begin to emulate our values, character traits, and even our mannerisms. As a school teacher, I have closely observed the children in  my charge, and it is amazing how much the children are like their parents. It’s kind of scary to think that we are also passing on our bad habits. Isaac learned how to lie from his dad.

As parents, we must be very careful to remember that our children are always watching us; almost analyzing us. They mistakenly think that everything we do is right, so they have no reason not to mimic who we are. Even later when they are taught with words regarding bad behavior, the message that they received from the life of the parent will often leave a stronger impression. Parents, and mentors, need to be very careful to watch their own behavior, especially around those young ones that are so impressionable. We need to be what we want them to be. Be the right example to your children.

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When God Withholds You – by Assistant Pastor Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Genesis 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0107 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage: God Will Provide Himself a Lamb,“ and “The Whole Truth.”

“And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” (Genesis 20:6)

Abraham told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister which, as we find out, is true but not quite the full truth. Abimelech has no reason not to believe him and as a result takes her for himself. Before he ever does anything with her the Lord appears harshly to him in a dream saying, “thou art but a dead man.” Eventually, they get it figured out and he gives her back to Abraham. Abraham then prays for Abimelech, specifically requesting that the women of Gerar would be able to bare children again because the Lord had closed up their wombs for Sarah’s sake.

There is a lot not right with this story and mainly it’s about how Abraham handled this situation completely wrong. He didn’t trust God. He was willing to watch another man take his wife to save his own life, and this wasn’t the first time he had done this. Another point to see in this is how awesome God is at taking our mess-ups and making them works of art. In the end Abraham was tremendously blessed by Abimelech. It is a great picture of God’s grace. 

However, my thought is not derived from either of these things but rather on King Abimelech and how we can relate with him. Have you ever tried to do something like apply for a job, buy a house, or pursue a certain dream only to be met with blockade after blockade as if the very hand of God was fighting against you? You may be pursuing something good in the integrity of your heart, just like it says about Abimelech taking Sarah. You might not be trying to do anything wrong but you can’t see it from Heaven’s perspective. It felt like God was punishing Abimelech, but rather God protected him by withholding him from sinning against God. The same goes for us, we can’t see what He see’s. He could be protecting us from some unforeseen danger.

Trust God and follow his will.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Justin, Samantha, Selah, Emerson, Westin, and Levi Belle (“the Beast”)

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God Knows You

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

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25

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

Read previous posts from this passage –“Don’t Look Back,” “Abraham Did a Little Walking With God, Too,”and “The Prayer of a Friend”

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19)

The big story from our passage today involves the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, apparently along with other “cities of the plain” (Genesis 19:28 – 29; Deuteronomy 29:23). Before the Lord destroys those cities, however, He visits with Abraham and lets him know about His plans. In chapter eighteen, He appears in bodily form with two other “men.” Bible students have long debated as to who or what these men were who arrived with the Lord and then leave the Lord alone with Abraham (Genesis 18:22), but it is logical to conclude that they are the same angels who show up, again in bodily form in Sodom in chapter nineteen.

The verse that drew my attention for this post is Genesis 18:17 – 19 where the Lord discusses with the angels his plan to reveal to Abraham ahead of time what he plans to do with Sodom and Gomorrah. He tells the angels that He “knows” Abraham, and then He reveals specifically that He knows what Abraham will do and be, not just who he was previously. God is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6; 22:13). He knows everything about us past, present, and future. He not only knows our past, He knows our potential. We tend to only see ourselves in our present and past state, but God sees who we can be in the future.

Notice also that God made a covenant (Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17) with Abraham based upon what He knew about him (foreknowledge). The last statement in verse nineteen states: “that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” There is a lot to think about from this verse, but the practical point I am trying to make is this: If God calls you to do something, it is because He knows what you will be as well as what you can do. You only know about what you have already done, but God knows what you can and will do. I made a decision a long time ago that If I was asked to do something that I believed was the will of God – even something seemingly impossible for me – I would step out in faith to do it. Your “I can’t do that” thoughts are based upon what you have already done, not based upon what God knows you can do. More importantly, God knows what He wants to do and can do through you. I am not saying that you can do anything that you want to do, but you can and should do anything that God wants you to do. God said to Abraham and Sarah in this same chapter, “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14a) The answer is no. God can do in and through you whatever He wills. You just need to say yes to His will.

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Good Friends Are Hard to Come By

Today’s Passages – Genesis 13 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 9 – 10Proverbs 5Psalms 21 – 25)

Read the “0105 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “Balanced and Biblical Separation;” “Relationships are More Important than Riches;” “Gardens and Green Grass or God’s Will?”

“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.” (Genesis 14:14)

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Abraham demonstrated that he was a good friend to a man who in the past was not so friendly to Abraham. Back in Genesis 13:8 – 11 , Abraham’s nephew Lot decided that he no longer wanted to live in the same place that Abraham dwelt in. He said that there just wasn’t enough grazing grass for the both of them and their large herds. He wanted to move away from the man that had taken him in and took care of him after his dad died (See Genesis 11:27 – 28). Abraham was very gracious to Lot and allowed him to make the first choice about where he wanted to be, and Abraham agreed to settle away from whatever area that Lot chose. Lot’s choice was the “well watered” plain of the Jordan Valley.

Time moves on as it always does, and Lot eventually ends up living near and then inside of the very wicked city of Sodom. When Sodom and four other cities are conquered and taken captive by a confederation of four kings, Lot and his family are taken into captivity with them. Abraham could have forgotten about Lot and left him in the hands of the Canaanites, but Abraham was a good friend to Lot, and came to his rescue. A good friend will help even when the person they are helping has not been very friendly. Abraham will later come to Lot’s rescue again by interceding for him to God (see Genesis 18:23 – 33) when God was about to destroy cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, including all the people living in them. God spares Lot and some of his family by removing them from the city before the destruction came (See Genesis 19).

Uncle Abraham was not a “fair weather friend” to Lot. He made a choice to be a friend to him, and he continued acting as his friend even when his kindness was not being reciprocated. People may not always be friendly, kind, and loving to us; but we can choose to be a friend to them regardless. Christ acted as our friend by dying for us when we were not deserving, and He still is our friend today. Let’s take the spiritual high road in our friendships. Let’s choose to be good to people, to be friendly towards them, even when they are not being very kind to us.

One more thought. While we should always choose to be friendly to all people, we should also be careful who we allow to be good friends to us. If we let the wrong people get close to us and influence us, it could pull us out of the will of God. Remember, “Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab” (2 Samuel 13:3), but Jonadab wasn’t a very good friend. Amnon should have been a little wiser in who he chose for his friend, it would have saved him a lot of heartache, and in the long run it would have saved his life.

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It Was Just A Little White Lie – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Genesis 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 7 – 8; Proverbs 4; Psalms 16 – 20)

Read the 0104 Evening and Morning devotion for today by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.” (Genesis 12:11-20)

Good morning. Or is that ‘just a little white lie’? Good morning? Actually, any time you can get up early and join brothers in prayer is a good morning. A few years ago I was given a neat Christmas gift, actually a New Years gift: Dr. Paul Chappell’s Stewarding Life Planner. In the planner, I needed to develop a ‘purpose statement’. I want to share with you the first part of my purpose statement…

The purpose of my life is to glorify God through preaching the gospel (John 15:8), being truthful (Joshua 7:9), and by giving Him praise (Psalm 86:12).

How do you feel about lies? Would you prefer someone to tell you a lie or the truth? I would prefer the truth. Even if it was something about a mistake I made, I would then know that I have something that needs changing: something to repair in my life. Truth is the most solid, stable, unmovable object that you can hold onto. If you could move or change truth, it stops being truth and becomes a lie…

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

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in TRUTH: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in TRUTH.” (John 4:23-24)

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

Aren’t you glad you have a God who is the Truth, and changes not? And it should be easy for you to be truthful with God when you realize that He already knows what sins you will commit tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and you don’t. The truth of the matter is that our lies affect those around us. In our text, Abraham told a half truth, which makes it a lie, and he did it to protect his own neck. The result was that the Lord plagued all of Pharaoh’s house with great plagues. In an effort to cover up his sin with Bathsheba, David tried to make it look like her future baby was from her husband, Uriah. When that did not work, David had Uriah killed in battle. David’s lie cost Uriah his life, also the life of the child he had made. Of course Eve believed the greatest lie of all time, and the entire world was plunged into sin. What can we do? Let me give you several key truths and verses to remember. Remember that lies are sin, even the little white lie…

“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)

Remember where lies come from…

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

Remember God is Truth, and He does not change, so as Psalm 136 tells us 26 times that His mercy endureth forever…

“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)

Remember, if you have Jesus, you have the Truth living in you…

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in TRUTH: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in TRUTH.” (John 4:23-24)

God is looking for His people to worship Him in truth. Why not give Him what He wants in 2020.

Peace! (John 14:6)

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The Dove Flew Away

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

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 5 – 6Proverbs 3 ; Psalms 11 – 15

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0103 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “It Doesn’t Take Long, Does It?“; “A Token“;  “Too Old To Do Something for the Lord?”; and “The Law of First Mention Regarding Wine”

“And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.” (Genesis 8:12)

I have a somewhat strange devotional thought from the passage this morning, from Genesis eight in particular. First, however, let me explain the context. In Genesis eight, the rain has stopped, and the water is gradually receding from off the face of the earth. Noah and his family are no doubt very excited about the prospect of soon being able to live on land again in a brand new world.

In verse eight, the Bible tells us that Noah released a dove presumably in order to see if the dove would find the water sufficiently drained someplace to roost. Apparently, the dove found no such place and returned. Seven days later, he released the dove again and the dove returned, this time with an olive leaf in its beak. This was exciting news indeed. Not only was there a tree out there somewhere, but it was alive and producing leaves. Seven days later, Noah releases the dove a the third time, and this time it does not return. It had apparently found a new home, and would await the release of its mate so that they could reproduce and repopulate the world with doves.

Here is my strange devotional thought from this passage. God had called Noah to save his family plus the rest of God’s animal creation by building an ark that would protect them in a worldwide flood. It took him a hundred years to build the ark, and then when the time came, God gathered all of the animals and Noah’s family into the ark. Noah spent a lot of time during this process in close intimate contact with his family and with the animals, but that was all going to end soon. The dove flew away and did not return, and soon Noah’s children and their wives would also leave.

God brings family and friends into our lives at particular times and for particular purposes. God may give a young couple children, and for eighteen or more years the children will live together with the parents and there will be a level of closeness and dependency during that period. However, in most situations the doves will fly away and not return. Oh, they may return to visit for a time, but it will not be the same as it was when they were living in the home. It can be very discouraging for parents, but this is the way God intended it to be. Children are supposed to leave, to fly away to do God’s will for their lives.

Sometimes God also brings people together to a specific geographical area for a particular purpose, such as a job or even in to serve in a local church. People may work together or worship and serve together closely for many years. But, eventually God will move some of those people away. My wife and I have been serving at Jersey Shore Baptist Church in Galloway, NJ for nearly twenty years. We have some great friends here. My children were reared here. I cannot imagine life without the people that God has brought into our lives. However, the reality is that God has moved some very dear friends away for a variety of reasons, and may very well cause some of the good folks that are here now to “fly away” in the future to do something else for Him in a different place. Or, He could call my wife and I to a different location.

Thankfully, we never truly lose our saved family and friends, especially in these days of technology and social media, but we do lose the closeness and camaraderie that we enjoyed while living or serving together. We simply cannot expect life to forever be exactly the same as it is now. God will bring changes of scenery and changes of people into our lives. It’s all good. The people that we are very close to now may be called by God to “fly away” and not return. That is His choice. Someday, we will all be reunited together in Heaven, but for now, we need to all find the place where God wants us to serve, and enjoy the people that God has given (for now) to serve along with us.

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Walking with God

Today’s Passage  – Genesis 4 – 6 (Click on the reference to listen to the audio. Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 3 – 4Proverbs 2Psalms 6 – 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Joshua 1:8

Read the “0102 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

The exact phrase’ “walked with God,” is used only three times in the Bible, and is only used in reference to Enoch and Noah. In connection with Enoch we are simply told that he walked with God and “God took him.” The Book of Hebrews shines a little more light on the subject:

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5)

Here we see that Enoch was translated up to God before he could physically die. We also see that “he pleased God,” which is a synonymous phrase to “he walked with God.”

“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

Regarding Noah, the phrase “walk with God” is connected to the fact that Noah was “a just man and perfect and upright in his generations.” The word “just” tells us that Noah had a relationship with God through faith (Romans 3:28; 5:1; Galatians 3:24). This is further evidenced by the fact that Noah was “seen [as] righteous” (Genesis 7:1). As a human, Noah was a sinner and not perfectly righteous, but he was “seen righteous,” or justified by God because of God’s grace (Genesis 6:8), and Noah’s faith.

Though the exact phrase, “walked with God,” is found only in connection with these two men, Enoch and Noah, we find similar phrases used in connection with other people of faith throughout the Bible:

“And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-4)

“But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, … Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 18:5, 9)

“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” (Acts 9:31)

“And they (Zacharias and Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” (Luke 1:6)

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” (2 John 1:4)

From these and others related passages in the Scripture, we can state that walking with God involves three things:

  1. Relationship – Have you entered into a relationship with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Communication – God communicates with us through His Word, and we communicate with Him in prayer. In this new year, determine that you will carve out special time every day to communicate with the Lord.
  3. Submission – If we are going to walk with God, we are going to have to let Him lead. He is God and we are His children. Yield to His will and to His Word.

Let us start this new year off right by walking with the Lord!

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