When a Friend Turns Against You

Today’s Reading –  Psalms 51 – 57 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 4 – 6Psalms 126 – 130Proverbs 26)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Everyday Legacy

Read the  “0626 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” (Psalms 55:12-14 KJV)

It is not clear exactly what the context is surrounding Psalm 55. Some have claimed that David was referring to Saul; others have suggested that it was his son, Absalom; and still others believe that it could have been Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15) who was David’s counsellor but had turned against him. A man as great as David was, no doubt, had a lot of friends, along with a lot of enemies; and I am sure that he had several friends (and even family members) that turned on him. Nothing is quite as painful as the betrayal of a friend. It hurts deeply. You expect your enemies to treat you badly, but when a friend turns on you, it often takes you completely by surprise.

What can you do today when you are betrayed by a friend:

PrayThis whole Psalm is really a prayer from David regarding the situation. He gave the problem to the Lord. Resist the temptation to talk to people about the betrayers, and instead talk to the Lord. It is OK to “gossip” to the Lord.

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalms 55:16-17)

By the way, don’t just pray for the Lord to punish your enemy; pray that God will restore your friendship. Jesus commands us to love our enemies, which includes those enemies who used to be our friends. Pray also for God to show you where you might have failed as a friend yourself. It is very interesting that the person that betrays us often feels justified in their betrayal, and perhaps sometimes they are; not that their betrayal was necessarily right, but perhaps there may have been some underlying reasons, or hurt feelings that may have motivated the betrayal.

Love – You can continue to love and “do good to them which hate you”. This is certainly not easy, but it is the best way to demonstrate the love and grace of our Lord. He loves us, even though we fail Him continually, and even betray Him at times. We may never win back our friends, but we can make it easy for a restoration to take place. Continue to be a friend to those who no longer see you as a friend.

“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;” (Matthew 5:44)

I think we all have been on both sides of this equation. I have had people that in my view have betrayed me; but I am also sure that there are people out there that would say that I have betrayed them; and I suppose there is some truth to that. We don’t always get it right, do we?  But, we can strive to make things right with the people who are at odds with us.


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Golden Nuggets from Psalm 37

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

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

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Everyday Legacy

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

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” – (Psalm 37:4)

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” – (Psalm 37:23)

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” – (Psalm 37:25)

Have you ever noticed that Psalm 37 contains many wonderful verses that we often quote. I have listed three of them above, but really I could have added more. This Psalm almost reminds me of a chapter from the Book of Proverbs, but the theme seems to be the same throughout the Psalm. The bottom line to this Psalm is that God is encouraging us to trust in His promises and provisions; and to not worry about the apparent prosperity of the lost world around us. Their success and superiority is short-lived at best; but ours is eternal.

Let’s consider the three verses listed above. David says that a good man will “order” his steps according to the direction of the Lord. This means tha a good man will yield himself to the will of the Lord. Notice that both verse 4 and 23 say that this good man will “delight” in God. God then in turn not only provides the necessities mentioned in v 25, but also will grant his desires. What a wonderful and awesome God we serve. What does this world have to offer you that could possibly compare to what God wants to give to that “good” man (or woman) who delights in Him.


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“Wait I say, on the Lord” by Sami Erickson

Today’s Reading – Psalms 26 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Peter 1 – 5Psalms 101 – 105Proverbs 21)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Everyday Legacy

Read the  “0621 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Joy Cometh in the Morning”

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:Wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

In this day and age we have gotten used to getting anything we want immediately. If we have to wait five minutes in line we are in an uproar. We have become a very impatient people. I fear that we expect the same kind of service from our Heavenly Father as well. How many times have you prayed and asked God for something and since it wasn’t answered immediately you just gave up? I know im guilty! Sorry to say, the Lord doesn’t work like this. The Lord doesn’t do things on our time lines, He does them on His.

Wait on the Lord! No matter what the situation is, no matter how scary it may be . “The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1) I know at times you may think you need an answer right away and circumstances surrounding you are saying there is no hope but “Wait, I say, on the Lord

I have gone through times when I wondered, “does God even hear me?”  “Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me:” (psalm 28:1) God is not a God of confusion. If you Wait on Him He WILL answer your prayer, or reveal His will to you. The worst thing you can do is act on what YOU think is the right thing to do, simply because you can’t wait for God to show you. There is nothing better then to know 100% that it’s all God and zero you. “Wait , I say, on the Lord.” Gerald always says “Let go and Let God” Give it up to the Lord…. Whatever it is! And WAIT on Him.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Have a Great day!!!!


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Mountaintop or Valley?

Today’s Reading – Psalms 21 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – James 1 – 5Psalms 96 – 100Proverbs 20)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Everyday Legacy

Read the  “0620 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this mornings’s reading – “Are You Teachable?”

“Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.” (Psalm 21:2)

“O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.” (Psalm 22:2)

Isn’t it interesting the difference between Psalm 21 and Psalm 22. Many of these Psalms are just praises and prayers to God right out of the heart of David. In Psalm 21 everything is great. David is praising the Lord for all of the wonderful things that God has done for him. In Psalm 21 it appears that everything is going great in David’s life.

Now when we get to Psalm 22, it seems like the bottom has fallen out of David’s life. Notice in verse 2, he accuses God of not hearing him. That’s funny because in the first Psalm he said that God gave him the desires of his heart. What happened? Is there some kind of a contradiction here?  No.  It is just that David, like us, is viewing God through the eyes of his present circumstance. Apparently his circumstance in Psalm 22 was not as good as Psalm 21. Remember, these Psalms are expressions of the deep feeling coming straight out of David’s heart.

I find that my prayer and praise to God is much the same way. Like David, I too go through different seasons. At times, it feels like nothing is going wrong in life; but at other times it seems as if God is completely absent from my life and the devil is having a “free for all”. Do you ever feel that way? I guess maybe David was just as human as we are. I would like to some day get to the place where my praises to God are consistent regardless of the valley or the mountaintop I may be traveling through.


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Call Upon The Lord

Today’s Reading – Psalms 17 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Hebrews 9 – 13Psalms 91 – 95Proverbs 19)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Everyday Legacy

Read the  “0619 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this morning’s reading – “My Words and My Thoughts

“I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Psalms 18:3)

“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (Psalms 18:6)

“He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.” (Psalms 18:17)

“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” (Psalms 18:33)

“Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.” (Psalms 18:43)

“Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” (Psalms 18:50)

When we hear the phrase, “call upon the Lord”, we tend to think about a person calling upon the Lord for salvation from Hell. It certainly is a wonderful truth to know that anyone who calls out to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith will be saved from the penalty of their sin. (Romans 10:13) The greatest day in my life was the day that I realized my need for a Saviour, and trusted Him alone to save me. His shed blood on the Cross of Calvary paid the full atonement price for my sin. Praise the Lord!

However, we also have the wonderful privilege as the children of God to call upon the Lord during times of earthly trouble. The context of Psalm 18 refers to a time in the life of King David when God delivered him from the hand of one of his greatest enemies. King Saul hated David, and was extremely insecure and jealous of the attention that David was getting from the people of Israel as they recognized God’s hand upon him. Saul became consumed with David’s destruction, and eventually spent much of his time pursuing him. What a shame. David wasn’t even a threat to Saul, and never did anything but lift up Saul, and support his authority as king. Saul wasted all his energy in his last years trying to eliminate David, but David called upon the Lord, and the Lord delivered him, by eliminating Saul.

We have many enemies in this life who are trying to destroy us as well, and we also have many trials that we will have to face. It is very comforting to know that we do not have to face these problems alone. We have a wonderful God who desires to deliver His children from the enemies, and also help him get through the struggles of this life. What are you trying to go through today by yourself in your own strength? Why not call upon God? He wants to fight your battles for you and with you, and he wants to help you go through the trials of life. Stop trying to live the Christian life on your own. Allow God to live it through you. Without Him, you cannot win; but with Him, you are invincible. Call upon the Lord.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalms 34:4)

“Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” (2 Timothy 3:11)

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Draw Me Nearer

Today’s Passage – Psalms 140 – 145 (Click on the references to listen to the audio)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 25 – 26; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13)

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

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

“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” – (Psalm 145:18)

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – (John 8:31-32)

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” – (James 4:8)

Recently, we had a man visit our church who did not come from any type of a Christian background. He currently knows very little about the Lord, but he does has a desire to learn. He is searching for the truth. I spoke to him after the service, and I concluded that this man was not going to be convinced about the truths of Christianity, and particularly salvation, in just a few minutes. I gave him some things to think about, and I gave him some literature to take with him, and I promised to pray for him. We later visited the man in his home, and talked to him a little more, and gave him some more material to read. He is coming closer to salvation. His heart is open to the truth, but he is just not sure yet what the truth is. He reminds me a little of myself as I was searching for the truth many years ago. I shared with this man, that if he genuinely wanted to know the truth about Jesus Christ, God would reveal it to him. I am convinced that this man will come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ shortly. Pray for him.

God is as close to us as we want Him to be. That statement is true for the lost man searching for Christ, but it also applies to the Christian as well. I find that many Christians aren’t too comfotable with God, and His will getting to close to some areas of their lives. They want to have God as a part of their life, but their are also many parts of their life that they don’t want God to interfere in; some rooms in their home that they don’t want God to go in. As a result, their relationship with God is not as close as it could be. As we grow in our faith, we should constantly be drawing nearer to the Lord, and as we draw near to Him, He will come close to us.

Draw me nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.


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Unity

Today’s Passage – Psalms 133 – 139 

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24; Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” – (Psalm 133:1-3)

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; … And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,” – (Acts 2:44, 46)

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” – (Philippians 1:27)

The local church cannot function as it should without unity. We have been studying the Book of Acts on Wednesday evenings, and once again, last night, we saw the phrase “one accord”, which is repeated over and over again throughout the book. One of the great characteristics of the Church at Jerusalem was the fact that they were of one heart, one mind, and one purpose. They all had a burning desire to see the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ communicated throughout the world. They wanted to tell everybody about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to have that kind of unity of purpose today in our local churches. It seems that Christians today are divided as to what the church is supposed to be all about; but our purpose today is the same as in the early churches: the communication of the gospel, and the fulfilling of the Great Commission. It’s all about getting people saved. That was Jesus’ purpose – seeking and saving the lost; and it should be ours as well.

I believe the lack of unity in many of our churches is due to the fact that the preachers are not clearly communicating to the congregation the purpose of the church. We are sending mixed messages, and we have failed to “keep the main thing, the main thing”. If preachers were to clearly instruct about what the church is supposed to be doing, and then keep that purpose before the people regularly, the individuals within the congregation would be forced to make a decision to either get on board, or leave. I don’t want to see anyone leave our church, but it is better for them to leave than to be working against the direction of the church. I praise God for the unity that we have at Jersey Shore, but I want to see us even more vehement in our desire to strive together for the faith of the gospel.

By the way, unity does not mean  that we will all be cookie cutter copies of each other. We are all uniquely gifted by God, and we have different personalities, backgrounds, etc.; but we should all have the same goal. Find out what you can do individually within the body of your local church that will help complement what the other members are doing to advance the purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is pleased with unity, and He can accomplish much with a church that is unified in the purpose of winning people to the Lord Jesus Christ.


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Happy To Be At Church!

Today’s Passage – Psalms 120 – 132 (Click on the references to listen to the audio reading.)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 21 – 22; Psalms51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Scripture Memorization for July – Hebrews 1

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

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Bearing Precious Seed”

Watch “Being God’s Instrument in Someone’s Life” by Pastor Paul Chappell

“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)

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, gossipping, 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 pastor and the people are striving together, submissive to the will of God, is a place that is a downright joyful place to go for the Christian who also loves the Lord and is living for Him. 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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Not Short on Truth

Listen to Sunday Night’s message from the Fifth Psalm.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 115 – 118

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

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – James 4:10

“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” – (Psalm 117:1-2)

Did you ever notice that some of the most powerful messages in the Bible come out of passages of few words. For instance, Peter’s message at Pentecost, which was used of God to lead 3000 people to Christ, was only 25 verses long. The people at our church are hoping that I would learn to preach some of those short sermons. Anyway, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in all the Bible, but it is certainly not short on truth. This Psalm speaks about two very important doctrines in the Bible: God’s mercy, and God’s truth. It really says it all if you think about it. Through God’s mercy a way was made possible for us to receive the forgiveness of our sins; and it is because of His truth that we could find out about His mercy. What an awesome little passage of Scripture!


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Be Ye … Unmoveable

Listen to “The Difference That One Man Makes”, which was preached at Jersey Shore Baptist Church on the Fourth of July.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 108 – 114

Second Milers also read – Matthew 15 – 16; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read “5 Ways To Be God’s Friend” by Pastor Kurt Skelley

“Surely he shall not be moved forever…” (Psalm 112:6)

“…his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7)

“His heart is established…” (Psalm 112:8)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,  forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Cor 15:58)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed….A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”(James 1:6,8)

There is far too much instability among God’s people today; they just can’t seem to make up there minds as to where they stand. The Bible says about Jesus that His face was set like a flint, meaning He wasn’t budging from the will of God.  Why is it that His children, however, are always moving in their doctrinal positions, and in their personal convictions.  We need to learn the lesson that the Psalmist teaches here in the 112th Psalm.

Notice the characteristics of this unbending, righteous man spoken of here in the Psalm:

1  He is unmoveable about His Bible.

“He delighteth greatly in his commandments” (v 1)

He is not the type of guy that changes the Bible he uses, or what he believes about the Bible.  He is bull-dogmatic about Bible principles.  He believes and applies what God says; and doesn’t deviate off of the course that the Word charts.

2  He is gracious and full of compassion. (v 4)

Even though you are not going to move him about what he believes, he will be gracious and compassionate with those who have not yet grown to where he is.  He gives people who are heading in the right direction time to get there.  He is willing to give somebody a second and third chance when they demonstrate true contrition and repentance.

3  He is generous in his giving. (v 5, 9)

He knows that the source of all of his wealth is God.  He knows also that God expects him to distribute the wealth that he has given him in order to be a blessing and a help to others.

How often do we change our minds and our actions regarding our Christian walk.  We need to be a little more like this man mentioned in the Psalm.  We need to dig in, find out what we believe from the Bible, and stick with it until the Lord takes us home.


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So Great Is His Mercy

Click on the Scripture references below to listen to the audio reading of the passage.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 103 – 105

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

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

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

“He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” – (Psalm 103:10-12)

I have a good friend who is an evangelist, and every time I ask him how he is doing, he always says, “Better than I deserve”. He’s right. He doesn’t deserve to be doing as good as he is doing, but God has been very good to him; and good to me as well. Today’s passage teaches this truth, which is perhaps the most wonderful truth in the entire Bible: that God is merciful to sinners. Of course, I must be clear to point out that this truth only applies to sinners who have received the gift of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a principle in the Bible called sowing and reaping, which basically teaches that we will reap in judgment what we sow in sin. But for the Christian, this principle does not completely apply. Those of us who are the children of God will never reap in judgment what we sowed in sin. The judgment of our sin was reaped by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. He suffered for what I sowed. Now, to be sure, there will always be corrective consequences for sin in this life, and perhaps loss of reward in eternity for the disobedient Christian; but we will never get what we truly deserve for our rebellion against God. God is merciful. He has removed our sins. He truly has made them white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) All of our past sins are gone completely, and He will not “impute” any new sins to our account. (Romans 4:8) What a wonderful God we serve! Have you taken time today to thank the Lord for His mercy? Have you told the Lord how much that you appreciate what He did for you on the Cross? Think about it: if you and I received what we deserved we would be burning in the Lake of Fire right now, but our God is merciful to those that come to Him in repentance and faith. Praise His Name!!


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Enduring To All Generations

Today’s Passage – Psalms 96 – 102

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

“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” – (Psalm 100:5)

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

What a glorious privilege it is to know that we have the Truth of the Word of God. Many people are out there searching for the truth that is already freely available to them, if they just knew where to look for it. Others believe, like Pilate, that there is no absolute truth available. But we who are saved know the truth, because the truth has indeed made us free.

Over 22 years ago, I was saved through the ministry of Christian radio. I knew that I would need a Bible if I were to grow spiritually, so I went to a local Christian book store and asked the owner which Bible I should purchase. She first showed me a variety of the modern versions, but finally she handed me a leather-bound King James Bible. She tried to talk me out of it at first because she felt the “archaic” language would be hard for me to understand; but then she told me that this was the version that most preachers and churches used. That sealed it for me. There was just something about that Bible that drew me to it. Somehow I knew that I had found the Truth. I have since learned that I had indeed chosen the inspired Word of God for English speaking people. I have owned many other Bibles since that time, but each of them were King James Bibles; and I have passed down this truth to my children and now grandchildren. Praise God for a Truth that endures through every generation.

For many of us the “which Bible” question has been settled for a long time. We know we have the Truth, and cannot be convinced otherwise. Our problem is not where to find the truth as much as it is what to do with the truth we already possess. Do we examine the truth regularly, and then obey what it tells us? The truth will only free us if we apply it to our lives. If you are reading this blog you most likely have already spent some time today in the Word of God, and that is great. Make sure, however, that you apply what you learn to your life. Let God take that “quick and powerful” truth and use it to purge out some of the dross from your life; and then let him light your path so that you will be able to clearly see His will.


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Visit This Vine

Today’s Passage – Psalms 80 – 85

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

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 51:11

Read – “What Your Children Will Never Forget” by Pastor R. B. Ouellette

“Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.” (Psalm 80:14 & 15)

The context of this passage of Scripture involves a time period in the history of Israel (the vine) when the people of God were under judgment due to their falling away from Him.  Most people believe that it specifically involves the time of the Babylonian captivity. You will remember that God raised up the nation of Babylon to come and judge the northern kingdom of Judah in 586 BC because God’s people had turned away from Him and had fallen deeply into idolatry and immorality. The psalmist was pleading with God to return His favor to the vine (Israel), and to allow her to be restored to a place of God’s blessing; a place of provision and protection.

As a child of God today, I desire the same thing for my home, my church, and my nation.  I so desperately want to see God move in my family and in my church.  I want to see the evidence of God’s hand in the place where He has called me to live and to minister.  I want God to visit the vine called Jersey Shore Baptist Church. I want God to use this place as a bright light in a dark world.  I want to see multitudes of souls saved here; and I want to see the wayward saints return to the vineyard.

I believe this can happen.  I believe we can see a great revival, even in these last days.  But how is it going to happen.  The answer to that question is found in vv 3, 7, & 19.  Three times the psalmist pleads with God to:

“Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”

Notice that it begins with a movement of God.  The Psalmist asks God to move in the hearts of the people and cause them to desire to be turned toward the things of God.  I guess that’s kind of what God has called me to do as a preacher.  My job, in part, is to plead with the people and exhort them to turn away from the world and their sin; and turn back toward God. There can not be a salvation without a turning.  Don’t misunderstand, I do not believe that this Psalm is specifically dealing with the salvation of a soul from Hell, but the principle can be applied.  In order for a person to be saved they obviously have to turn to God; and in order to be moving in the direction of God, one must be moving away from their sin.

The same is true for the revival of our worldly, cold and indifferent hearts in the local church.  We need to turn away from our sin and all of the trifles that this world has to offer; and turn back to God with all of our hearts.  We are living here for a purpose; but merely living here is not that purpose.  We are here to glorify our Lord in this dark world by shining the light of His glorious gospel.

God, please visit the vine of my life, my family, and my church; and cause me to turn away from all of those things that are hindering me from fulfilling your perfect will for my life.  Help me to glorify you in everything that I do and say; and help me to wet the appetite of the people around me  for the things of God.


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Where Is Their God

Today’s Passage – Psalms 78 – 79

Second Milers also read – 45 Proverbs 1; Psalm 1 – 5; Mathew 1 – 2

Scripture Memory for July – Hebrews 1

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servantswhich is shed.” (Psalm 79:10)

Have you ever asked the question, “Where is God?”  I have often heard the people of this world ask this question when bad things happen on the earth. They will say that if there was a loving God, He would not allow all of this evil in the world. I have also hear some of the people of God pose the same thought when they or somebody they care about are experiencing hardship in life. However, the context of the verse written above is a little bit different. It seems that the psalmist here has penned these words at a time in Israel’s history when they have suffered a horrible defeat to the Babylonians (around 586 BC) which included the complete destruction of Jerusalem along with the people of Israel being taken into captivity.  Here the psalmist is pleading with God to avenge them of their adversaries. He tells God that their enemies are mocking them, saying that their God must either not care or must be absent altogether. The irony of the whole situation is that God actually “raised up” these Babylonian attackers for the express purpose of getting the attention of His people who had seriously departed from following Him.

My thought for this morning, however, is that I wonder how many of of the people around us: our neighbors, our co-workers, our family members, etc. can see God in our lives.  Can they see the reality of our faith working throughout our day to day living. Maybe they are tolerant and even polite to us regarding what we say about our faith; but I wonder sometimes if they aren’t secretly thinking, “where is their God?” Can they see the reality of God in our lives?  No wonder we are having a difficult time reaching the people around us. If God isn’t real to us, how can he reveal Himself to others through us. I believe we have a tremendous responsibility and an awesome opportunity to show people our God through our lives.

1  Show them God by living out your faith.  If you really believe God, then live according to the principles found in His Word.  Walk with Him daily.  Yield to His Spirit and His will.  Separate from the things that are not apart of His perfect plan for your life.

2  Show them God by loving the people around you.  God loves people, unlovable people just like you.  Demonstrate the reality of God by demonstrating God’s love to people.  Look for ways to express the love of God to the lost world around you.  Don’t take separation beyond where God intended it to be.  He wants us to impact their world; not only with the truth, but also with compassion.

The greatest compliment a person could give me would be for them to say that they saw the reality of God in my life.


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Time is Running Out

Click on the Scripture references below to listen to the audio of the Scripture reading or song; or to view the Scripture Memory page.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 69 – 72

Second Milers also read –  Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 29 (Note – we will start back again reading the New Testament on Sunday, July 1)

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15

Read a previous post from this passage – “Who Are You Magnifying?”

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” – (Psalm 71:18)

A few years ago, the verse referenced above would have meant little to me. I would have probably glance right over it, quickly, without giving it much thought. However, the older I get, the more I realize that there is still a great deal more that I would like to see accomplished through the ministry the Lord has entrusted me with; yet I am quickly running out of both the time and energy that I need to do it. You may think based upon what you’ve just read that I am in my 70’s. Though I feel that old at times, I am only 47; but I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that my time on this earth is very limited.

I want my life to count for something. I want to be used of God to help “shew” my generation the strength and power of God. I need to get busy, and I need to become more proficient at what I am doing so as to make the best use of the time that I have left. I am not all that pleased with what has been accomplished so far in the twenty-two years that I have been saved; or even in the ten years that I have been a pastor. I know that God could have helped a lot more people through a more yielded vessel. But, He is not through with me yet. This morning, I have made a choice to not dwell in the failures (or even the successes) of the past, but instead look to the future. God has given me life today; and today I can give that life back to Him, for His use, and for His glory. So can you. What are you living your life for? What are you accomplishing today that will be used of God to make a difference in eternity. The Psalmist prayer was to remain here on the earth until he was able to fulfil his ministry of telling everybody about God. That’s a great request, and it should be the prayer and goal of each of us who are saved today. Time is running out; your appointment with death is approaching.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – (Ephesians 5:16)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” – (Hebrews 9:27)


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Make His Praise Glorious

Click on the references below to hear the Scripture passages and song, and to view the memory passage.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 65 – 68

Second Milers also read – Revelation 20 – 22; Psalm 136 – 140; Proverbs 28

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read an earlier post from this passage – “What Are You Thinking About?”

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

Our God is an awesome, and wonderful, and great, and powerful God. The English language really does not contain enough adjectives to describe how glorious our God is. Yet, we who have been saved through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ are encouraged to learn about the greatness of God from His Word, and then communicate our appreciation and admiration to Him first, and then to the people around us. In order to do this, we must first study God. One of the reasons why many Christians hava a tough time praising Him is because they don’t know Him; and there are others who are praising Him, but not according to knowledge. We are commanded to study God through the Scriptures. If the God you serve seems vague or small to you, it is because you do not know Him very well. Open the Bible and read about His awesome power, as well as His infinite wisdom, and loving compassion. He is wonderful. Get to know Him.

Once we know some things about God, we are to sing about Him. These Psalms were all originally songs, and many of them are songs of praise. I sometimes get a kick out of watching the song service at our church. I often see people going through the motions, thoughtlessly and half-heartedly mouthing the words of the hymns. Every once in a while I have to shake myself, and remember what I am singing, and to whom I am doing it. Singing is a form of praise and worship. When we sing the songs of God, we are worshipping Him, and praising Him. If there is one part of our church service that I have really been trying to work on, it is the song service.

Notice also Psalm 66:3:

“Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.” – (Psalm 66:3)

We are to speak our praise to God, and for God continuously. The Scripture says that the redeemed of the Lord are supposed to “say so” (Psam 107:2). We have an awful lot to be thankful for; and an awful lot to praise Him for. My preacher in Texas used to say, “if you’re not going to Hell, you ain’t got no problems; and you ought to be shouting.” He is right. I once heard Pastor Charlie Clark say, “Open your big, fat mouth, and praise God.” Perhaps if we started praising the Lord as we ought to, more people would be attracted to our God. Jus a thought.


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You Can’t Take It With You

Today’s Passage – Psalms 46 – 50

Second Milers also read – Revelation 8 – 11; Psalms 121 – 125; Proverbs 25

Scripture memory for June – Psalm 139

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

Read a previous guest post from this passage by Sarah Becker – “A Very Present Help”

“For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.” – (Psalm 49:17)

You have heard it said that you will never see a U-haul behind a hearse, except, of course, in comical pictures like the one above. The bottom line from Psalm 49 is, however, that your accumulated wealth and status in this life will do you no good in eternity, unless your life and wealth have been invested in the cause of Christ, and in the lives of others. This Psalm admonishes us to not envy the lifestyles of the rich and famous among us. First of all, we don’t see the whole picture. While they may seem to be enjoying life on the surface, we know that lives that are lived outside of the will of God are not really happy on the inside. There is a lack of inner peace, and a void that cannot be filled with the things that this world offers.

I want to be clear to point out, however, that wealth or possessions are not evil in themselves. God blesses His children with some of the non-sinful pleasures in this life. The key, however, is found in v. 20:

“Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” – (Psalm 49:20)

Notice that only the man that understandeth not is like the beasts that perish. Honor and wealth, and possessions, etc. are wonderful gifts given by the Lord to the person that “understands” Him, and His will. So, go ahead and enjoy the possessions that this life contains, but do not let them possess you; and remember to thank the Lord who gave them to you.


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Forgiven

Today’s Passage – Psalms 32 – 35

Second Milers also read – 1 John 4 – 3 John; Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1

The Book of Hebrews admonishes us to grow up in our faith and move beyond the foundational truths of the Christian life. That’s good advice: we cannot stay babies forever.  However, it is wonderful to be reminded often about the simple truths of the forgiveness that God offers to all those who are willing to put their faith in Him. In this passage, there is a reminder to all of us who are saved.  The verse above simply reminds us of the fact those who have their sins forgiven are a blessed people.  To think that an omniscient God, who knows every sinful act of my past as well as every evil thought, would be willing to forgive me, and even look at me and treat as if I had never done or thought any of those horrible things.

It gets even better.  Notice verse 2:

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”(Psalm 32:2)

It is one thing to choose to forgive the acts of the past; but to also forgive ahead of time all of our future transgressions is beyond comprehension.  God loves us unconditionally.  He says he will not “impute” our sin.  The word impute means to assign to or credit to.  God says that he will not assign or credit our debts or sins to our account.  Why?  Because 2000 years ago he laid all of the debt of my sin upon the His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus paid my sin debt for me.  What a wonderful thought. Notice how that happened to David:

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

He acknowledged his sin.  He did not deny them or hide them.  He then confessed them to God and asked the Lord for forgiveness.  God could only forgive him because the debt would be paid by Christ. Have you confessed your sin to God, and asked Him for forgiveness?  Have you come to the foot of the cross and called upon the name of the Lord for salvation. If you haven’t done so yet, please call upon Him today.

To those of us who have received the forgiveness of God through the remission of our sins, how are we at forgiving each other?  God has forgiven everything that I have ever done or will do.  What right do I have to withhold forgiveness from others?  Just a thought.


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Are You Teachable?

Today’s Passage – Psalms 21 – 25

Second Milers also read – 1 Peter 4 – 2 Peter 2; Psalms 96 – 100; Proverbs 20

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read a previous post from this passage – “Mountaintop or Valley?”

“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” – (Psalm 25:4-5)

It’s really a very simple question, isn’t it? Are you teachable? Can God shew you  and lead you as He did David, and countless other men and women in the Bible? I would like to pull some thoughts out of this Psalm that I believe will help us identify some of the problems that most of us have in learning from God. In order for God to teach us, there are some attributes that must be present in our lives:

1  We must first be saved

God will instruct a lost man regarding salvation, but in order for a man to really get to know God, he must first have trusted Christ as his Saviour.

“What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. … The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” – (Psalm 25:12, 14)

2  We must be submissive

By this, I mean that we must be humble. Most people cannot learn, because their pride causes them to think that they already have all of the answers. God cannot teach the man that is full of himself. None of us knows all that God wants to teach us. We must keep our hearts open to new truths constantly, from the mouth of God and from the instruction of people that God places in our lives. Someone once said, “Every man is my teacher”. That is a true statement. We can learn something from everybody.

“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” – (Psalm 25:9)

As you read through this Psalm, you will notice that David recognizes that he is nothing without God. Notice how often he asks for forgiveness. Keep in mind that David is seen as a king in the eyes of men, but he knows that the only true king is God.

3  We must be starving for God

God will not instruct those that do not desire to be instructed. As you read through this Psalm, and others penned by David, you can easily see his hunger for God. He wanted all that God would give him.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” – (Psalm 63:1)

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – (Matthew 5:6)

One of the characteristics of true spirituality is that a person will remain teachable throughout his life. We never arrive. In fact, the closer we get to God, the more we realize that we are still very far away; and the more we become like God, the more we recognize that we have fallen short in so many ways. Stay teachable: always growing, learning, and drawing closer to Him.


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Does God See?

Listen to yesterday morning’s message by Evangelist Taylor Gillespie. There is 15 minutes of singing by Vessels of Honor, a tour group out of West Coast Baptist College before the message.

Today’s Passage – Psalms 9 – 16

Second Milers also read – James 1 – 4; Psalms 86 – 90; Proverbs 18

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

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

“He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.” – (Psalm 10:11)”

The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” – (Psalm 11:4)

“For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” – (Psalm 11:7)

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” – (Proverbs 5:21)

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” – (Proverbs 15:3)

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

The simple answer is yes – He sees. I believe the Scriptures referenced above make that clear, and there are many other verses  we could include. Yet, little man thinks that somehow his actions and his thoughts are hidden from the eyes of God, but He sees it all. There is both a negative and a positive side to this principle. The negative, of course, is that God is aware of every evil though that we contemplate, and every sinful thing that we do. The positive side, however, is that God also sees all of the things that we have done for His glory. Whether any man ever sees it or not is not important. We know that God knows, and we also understand that God will reward us for all that we do for Him. Just a thought.


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Kiss the Son

Today’s Passage – Psalms 1 – 8

Second Milers also read – Hebrews 10 – 13; Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17

“[11] Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. [12] Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” – (Psalm 2:11-12)

I have enjoyed our reading in the Book of Job but I am also excited now that we are exploring the Psalms.  My though this morning comes from the second Psalm.  In this Psalm we get a glimpse into Heaven and we hear from the throne of God; but we also have a view into the earth where we see that the rulers of this world have set themselves in rebellion against God.  In verse 4 we see that God laughs at this.  Who does little man think he is in comparison to an almighty God.  The rulers of this world may think that they have power and authority, but few of them realize that it was God that gave them their power, and God could remove it at any time.

As we get closer to the end of this present age we will see the mighty men of this earth become more brazen in their fight against God.  At times it may seem that God is absent or even powerless to fight back; but don’t lose heart, He is in full control of His universe, and His patience with the rulers of this present world is quickly running out.

God’s warning to the kings of the earth holds true for the common man as well.  He tells us to “serve the Lord with fear” and to “kiss the Son”.  If you have not yet received Christ as your Savior you need to “kiss the Son” by receiving the forgiveness that only He can give you through His shed blood on the cross of Calvary.  If you are saved, you still need to “kiss the Son” by living your live in complete submission to His will.


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Like The Beasts That Perish – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Passages – Ephesians 1 – 3; Proverbs 10

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 46 – 50; Memorize – Isaiah 9:6)

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

Good morning! There was a lot of great stuff in today’s Bible reading, but the passage that caught my eye was Psalm 49:16 thru 20: “Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.”

Before we changed over to the 2 station, really cheap cable TV plan, one of our favorite stations was Animal Planet. I was watching a show on lions. They showed a lion take down a wilder-beast (or some other animal like that). If you look into the eyes of the wilder-beast they showed total shock. It knew that it’s life was about to end, and there was nothing he could do about it.

Psalm 49:20 tells us a man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. What a horrible thought: to know your life is going to end right now, and not knowing where you will spend eternity. In the few second between life and death, you may see your life pass before you. You may be able to see all the times you rejected God’s offer of His free gift of salvation. What terror to finally know that Heaven and Hell are real, and your final destination will someday be the lake of fire.

As we read today in Proverbs 10, and verse 2: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.”

Righteousness is what delivers from death. It is not our righteousness. Our righteousness, as the prophet Isaiah says, is as filthy rags. If you look up filthy rags in your Strong’s Concordance, it gives the impression that our righteousness, the good we do, are like menstrual rags. That’s how our good works appear to God. He tells us in His Word that there are none righteous, no not one, and that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Ezekiel chapter 18, verses 4 and 20, warn us the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Do you believe God? 1John 1:8-10 tell us: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

If you call a Perfect, Holy, and Righteous God (who cannot lie) a liar, then you’ve just boar false witness: you broke commandment number nine. You lied about God: you’ve fallen short: you’ve sinned. Now what are you going to do? If you read Ephesians 1 thru 3 today, you read verses 8 and 9 of chapter 2: “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.”

Sin requires a blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22). Our blood is tainted by sin: it’s no good. God, knowing this, humbled himself, left heaven, put on flesh, lived a sinless life, and then shed His perfect blood to be the perfect sacrifice for sins. God did that for us, because He loved us. 2Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

You see, Romans 6:23 declares: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

You don’t have to be like the beasts that perish. You don’t have to leave this world in a state of shock. You can come to Jesus for His forgiveness and know for sure that when you close your eyes on earth, for the last time, they will open in Heaven. Romans 10:13 tells us that: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Peace. (Luke 2:10-14)


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How’s Your Singing? – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Passages – Acts 11 – 13; Proverbs 19

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 91 – 95; Memorize – Philippians 4:6)

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

Psalm 92:1: “A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:”

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

Good Morning! Thanksgiving is almost upon us. And it is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD. It would appear that if you have thanksgiving in your heart it will reflect on your singing. I wish you could see what you look like when you sing. It is not a pretty sight. No wonder many preachers claim Jeremiah 1:8 (Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.). It isn’t really like that. But when we sing, according to Psalm 92:1, we should be singing praises to the LORD. And for those of us who cannot sing, there is Psalm 95:1 and 2. If you can’t sing, make a joyful noise. Think about the words you are singing…

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

Come we that love the Lord, And let your joys be known, Join in a song with sweet accord…

To God be the glory – great things He hath done!

I will sing the wondrous story Of the Christ who died for me…

Sing above the battle strife – Jesus saves! Jesus saves! By His death and endless life – Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Sing it softly thru the gloom, When the heart for mercy craves; Sing in triumph o’er the tomb – Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus…

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High…”

Peace (like a river).


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It’s All Good – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Sathl

Today’s Passages – Luke 23 – 24; Proverbs 5

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 21 – 25; Memorize – Jude 22)

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

Read a great article, “5 Steps off the Plateau”, by Dr. Paul Chappell

Good morning! In Psalm 22, David is going through the wringer. He is crying out to the Lord for help. The Holy Spirit forms the words in his heart, and paints a picture of the crucifiction of our Lord. Have you ever been there? Did you ever reach a point in your life that you felt like the dogs have surrounded you, ready to tear you apart? How do you deal with it? Has the Lord your God forsaken you? That’s wierd: He said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Maybe the problem is us. Every good gift comes from God. Since He is the Source of everything we receive, doesn’t that make it all good? Our perseption must be off. We preceive the bad things as bad when in reality they are actually good things. The bad things are designed to bring us closer to God. To help us help others. Sometimes for chastisement, which is also for our good.

I had a rough time at work two weeks ago. I worked 73 hours. Yes, I made a nice paycheck, but at what cost. I missed my wife. I missed our preachers tenth anniversary dinner. I actually cursed (not that I used bad words) my job. But it was for my good. That week was actually a good gift. I understand now that I need to be more organized at work. I appreciated getting away for the men’s retreat here at Camp Calvary. But as I said, it is all how we precieve the bad things that happen to us. We need to look at them as good things: good gifts from God: training on survival in this world.

I think if I come away with anything from this retreat, I would like a better attitude. Looking at my problems as being good is a great start.

Peace. (John 16:33)


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The Haven Of Rest – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Passages – Mark 12 – 13; Proverbs 22

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 106 – 110; Memorize – Daniel 12:3)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

Good morning! Sorry I’m late, but… (fill in your own excuse). Mine started when I punched into work around 6pm on Thursday night. I felt better though when I punched out around 5pm on Friday night. The only reason I’m here doing the blog is that the Lord gave me the stamina to endure, and got me home from the Vineland store okay (I started at the Absecon store, then Sicklerville, before going to the Vineland store. What a day! (and night)). Anyway, that’s not your problem. You have your own problems that are unique to you. Take a look at Psalm 107, and verses 23 thru 30…

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”

Things happen in our lives. Did you ever see a piece of driftwood that was washed up on the beach? It is well worn. The bark has fallen off, and the wood is smooth and well rounded. That piece of driftwood started as a tree. God only knows where it came from: where it broke off and fell into a stream. That stream became river, and God watched as that river carried that piece of wood to the ocean. He saw the branch tossed about by waves that could reach as high as a three to four story building. As the wood nears the shore, it is taken and smashed on the beach, pulled out again, and smashed again: pounded by the waves over and over again. That is what you found on the beach in that piece of driftwood.

They that go down to the sea in ships can be tossed about by the waves. But God is always watching, and they cry out to Him. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.

This world tosses us around like the waves sometimes. But God sees this, and calms the storms in our lives. He delivers us to a safe haven…

The tempest may sweep

o’er the wild stormy deep,

In Jesus I’m safe ever more.

Peace. (Mark 4:39)


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Are You Happy?

Today’s Passages – Psalm 140 – 145; Proverbs 13

(Second Milers – Matthew 25 – 26; Memorize – John 10:30)

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 144:15)

Last winter, I was researching some ideas for a new gospel tract for the church.  I came across one that really caught my attention.  On the front cover it had a picture of a smily face with the question, “Are You Happy?”  I thought that this tract would be a great attention getter for others as well; but I wondered, is it biblical?  I’m not talking about the contents of the tract, which is doctrinally sound.  I am talking about the concept of happiness.  What does the Bible really say about happiness?  I had always been taught that God’s people can be joyful, but joy is deeper that happiness.  In other words, you can be joyful even when you’re not happy.  I suppose that may be true at times, but I did a little more research and discovered that the Bible very clearly teaches that God’s children should be a happy people.  Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that there will be times in our lives when we are sad; and to some degree I think feeling sad is good for us and part of our complete emotional makeup.  But, for the most part, we who are saved ought to be the happiest people on the planet.  Why?  Because we have an awful lot to be happy about.

Consider what the Word of God says about happiness:

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:”(Job 5:17)

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” (Psalm 128:1&2)

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:” (Psalm 146:5)

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Psalm 3:13)

“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21)

Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 28:14)

I could list some more verses, but I think you get the idea.  Why then are so many Christians miserable, discontented people? Why are we always so negative?  It’s no wonder, we are failing terribly at reaching the world with the gospel.  Why should the lost world want what we claim to have with our doctrine, but fail to demonstrate in a happy, contented life.  I don’t think happiness is all that elusive.  I think it can be found in a right relationship with God.  By that I mean that you are saved and yielded to the Spirit of God, surrendered to His will.  If you are saved and still doing things your way, you are not going to be happy, because you will have an inner turmoil going on inside of you as God the Holy Spirit works to bring you into submission.

By the way, we ordered the tract, and it was a great eye catcher. We even had a special series of messages surrounding the theme “Are You Happy?”.


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Today’s Passages – Psalm 133 – 139; Proverbs 12

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24; Memorize – John 10:30)


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The House of the Lord

Today’s Passages – Psalm 120 – 132; Proverbs 11

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 21 – 22; Memorize John 10:30)

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)

For my devotion this morning I have listed a few verses from our reading today 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, gossipping, 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 pastor and the people are striving together, submissive to the will of God, is a place that is a downright joyful place to go for the Christian who also loves the Lord and is living for Him. 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.


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