Barns Filled With Plenty

Barns filled with plenty

Today’s Reading – Proverbs 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 1 – 2; Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

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

Read the “0715 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

Several years ago our church started a community garden. Although I was really not personally involved in the process, I observed with fascination as the folks first worked the ground, and then planted the seeds and plants. It didn’t look like much at first, but soon it began to take shape. I remember that first year when they brought in a tray of the “first fruits,” which was distributed to some people who needed food. It was exciting to see food that was produced from our garden go to some families in our church who needed it.

When I read Proverbs 3:9 – 10, I am reminded of that garden. This is a wonderful promise from the Word of God. It is really very simple. If we will are faithful to give back to the Lord the “firstfruits” of all that He has blessed us with, He will also be faithful to fill our barns with plenty. In my case it’s actually just a food pantry, but I can personally testify that the Lord has been very faithful to me through the years in keeping that pantry and refrigerator filled. My family has always been abundantly provided for by the Lord, not just with food, but also with clothing, a house to live in, a car to drive, and even many luxuries. Let me challenge and encourage you in this matter of giving back to the Lord. You can absolutely trust Him. He will never fail to do what He has promised to do.

Consider some of these related promises from the Scripture:

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

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:10-12)

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

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Praise God!


Today’s Reading – Psalms 146 – 150 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

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

Read the “0714 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” – (Psalm 150:1-6)

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

I remember visiting Solid Rock Baptist Church years ago, and Pastor Clark had noticed some teenagers that weren’t singing. He rebuked them, saying, “Open your big fat mouth and praise God”. I will never forget it, and I often want to shout the same thing at our church.

It is interesting how many times the word praise is used in the Psalms. In fact, every psalm that we have read this morning mentions the word “praise” several times. The Lord deserves our praise. We should praise him first because of who He is; and then because of all that He’s done for us. We should praise God all the time, but it is especially important to praise the Lord in the church house. We can praise Him through our singing, and in our prayers and testimonies. We serve an awesome God, so “open your big fat mouth and praise God”!

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David’s Psalm Of Praise – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 140 – 145 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0713 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Psalm 145 is King David’s Psalm of Praise. David was known as a man after God’s own heart; shouldn’t he be filled with praise for the LORD? He tells God, in verse 2, that he will praise God’s name for ever and ever. Why? Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. How do we praise the Him? By telling others, and by sharing your praises with them. Verse 4 tells us…

Can God get a witness? I’m sure He can. Having trouble praising God for all the wondrous things He has done? Continue reading in verse 5…

Can you praise the LORD as well as David? I’m sure you can, if Jesus is in your heart. Start by counting your many blessings: name them one by one, and you’ll see what God has done. You will praise Him too!


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The Good Ole Days

Good Ole Days

Today’s Reading – Psalms 133 – 139 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

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

Read the “0712 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s reading – “Unity“.

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?” (Psalms 137:1-4)

Psalm 137 is a very sad psalm written after the Israelites had lost their land, and had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. In this psalm they are remembering the good ole days, when they were safe and secure inside of their borders, and when they had the freedom and privelege to worship and serve God freely. But, that was all gone. As a nation, they had forsaken God’s word, neglected His worship, and had allowed all of the wicked practices of the heathen to enter in. Though God had warned them of the consequences many times through His prophets, the people just would not listen, so God had to judge them. In this psalm, they are looking back, and wishing that they could go back and do things differently.

I see a prophetic parallel to America in this psalm. I believe if we continue down the path that we are travelling as a nation, we too will lose everything, and will one day be looking back in regret, wishing we could go back and re-do things. We have not lost everything yet, but we can see the hand of God’s judgment beginning to fall upon this once great nation. It doesn’t have to happen though. We could repent, and go back to what we were when we were founded. Of course, we had some problems back then as well, and I do not advocate that we do everything exactly as we did then, but I do believe we need to put God back on the throne in this land. Our nation has become a godless, corrupt, and extremely immoral place. We have come to accept and even promote many things which God has declared to be evil. We are forsaking the houses of God’s worship, and instead are consumed with chasing possessions and pleasure. If we keep going, someday soon it will all be gone. But then, we will remember. I guess it won’t be all bad, though, because while we are remembering what we lost, we also will remember God. Just a thought.

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An Heritage of the Lord

Today’s Reading – Psalms 120 – 132 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click hereto view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 21 – 22Psalms 51 – 55Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

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

“3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)

Psalms 120 – 134 are all “songs of degrees”, which means songs of steps or ascents. It is believed that these 15 psalms were sung by the returning remnant as they travelled back to Jerusalem from Babylon.

“And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up (same as the word translated ‘degrees’)from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” (Ezra 7:8-10)

It is also said that the Israelites would sing these songs as they travelled up to Jerusalem three times in the year for the feasts of Tabernacle, Passover, and Pentecost. Because of this some have called these psalms, Pilgrim Songs, or “songs of the pilgrim caravans”.

Four of these songs are attributed to David. (Psalms 122, 124, 131, and 133)

Martin Luther called these “the gradual psalms, songs of the higher choir”.

J. Vernon McGee also points out that there is a spiritual significance to these steps:

There is a spiritual meaning in these fifteen psalms. It is interesting that many writers of the Talmud pointed out the fact that life is like this—it is an ascent. We come to God as sinners who are away from Him, separated, and alienated. We come to Him for salvation, and having come for salvation, we go on to sanctification as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ; it is a constant going up. We are to be climbing in a spiritual way. My friend, you and I ought to be farther along today than we were last year.[1]

So, these songs were not only geared for a physical ascent into a geographical city, they were also for a people who were “going up” spiritually – growing in their maturity and faith.

Introduction to Psalm 127

Notice that this particular psalm was a “song of degrees for Solomon.” Psalm 72 also was “a psalm for Solomon.

John Phillips believes that the psalm was written by Solomon, but he also states that he believed that it was added to the Hebrew Hymnbook by Hezekiah.

Wiersbe believes the psalm fits in within the historical context of Nehemiah and his re-building of the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian / Persian captivity.

The wording seems to indicate that this psalm was written for Solomon, not by Solomon, though many theologians attribute this psalm to him. When we consider Solomon with the first verse, we think of the building of the House of God – the Temple.

This psalm could be referred to as a family psalm. (See also Psalm 112 and 128)

This is almost the opposite of the way our culture sees children. John Phillips said this about the trend today that many couples are choosing not to have children:

Today there is a trend, even among Christians, to refrain from having children. They are not looked on as a blessing but as a burden. Nowadays so many people have heart-rending problems with rebellious children that some are suggesting it might be just as well to refrain from having children at all. After all, why spend one’s life—one’s strength, money, and emotions—bringing up children only to have them repay it all with defiance? To have them disobey, trample on one’s ideals, spurn the living God, involve themselves in drugs and sex and open sin? The chances against seeing one’s children avoid all the terrible pitfalls set for them by society today are so slim that increasing numbers of people are concluding they would be better off without them.

Then, too, the world is becoming increasingly dangerous. The superpowers are glaring at each other across the width of the world, armed with ICBMs tipped with multiple nuclear warheads. Terrorism is on the rise. Vice and violence are barely checked by society. Foul sins are accepted as permissible, even smiled upon. The church has lost its authority and most of its power. Why have children? Wouldn’t it be best to avoid bringing little ones into such a dangerous world? It is an appealing philosophy and it is occurring to many.[2]

Mrs. Wesley did not think that way. John and Charles Wesley were number 13 and 17 of Susannah Wesley’s children. What would the world be like without these two giants of the faith?

You will recall that God promised Abraham in the Abrahamic covenant that he would have innumerable offspring:

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” (Genesis 15:5)

Notice the reference in v. 4 to arrows. It takes a great deal of skill to learn how to direct the path of an arrow accurately, and it takes a great deal of diligence to raise godly children in this sin-cursed world. The world is trying to mold them into its box, the devil is constantly on his mission of deceiving, and the child’s own flesh is working against what the spirit of God is trying to do:

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17)

It takes a great deal of love mixed with prayer, instruction, correction, and protection to produce godly kids:

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

The culture that we live in would say that we are being irresponsible in this age of birth control to have a large family, but the Bible would take exception to that philosophy. My sympathies go out to those who were, or are now, unable to have children of their own.

Cindy and I have four children, and ten grandchildren. Frankly, I wish we had more. (Hint – Hannah!)

Notice in v. 5 that children will be a defense for the home and family. This was particularly true in Bible days. Notice the reference to “the gate”. The city gate was a place where business matters were discussed. (Ruth 4:1) However, in this context, the reference may very well be to the gate of the man’s property.

They will also support the family, especially the elderly parents in their old age. The Amish often build a “dawdy house” on their property for the grandparents. Sometimes, it is even attached to the house like an in-law suite.

Cindy and I are both close to 60. We have no life insurance. We have very little in retirement savings, but we have God and we have the children that God has given us who would each not hesitate at making sure that we are taken care of.

[1] McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed., Vol. 2, p. 851). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2]  Phillips, J. (2012). Exploring Psalms 89–150: An Expository Commentary (Vol. 2, Ps 127:3). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

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Open Thou Mine Eyes


Today’s Reading – Psalm 119 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

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

Read the “0710 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalms 119:18)

“105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. … 130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:105, 130)

What a wonderful privelege it is to be able to open up a copy of the Word of God. Our reading this morning in Psalm 119 is all about God’s word. Almost every verse in this Psalm contains a word that is synonymous with the Bible. For instance, in vs. 1 – 6, you will see the words, “law,” “testimonies,” “ways,” “precepts,” “statutes,” “commandments,” and “judgments.” All of these words are references to the Word of God. They all have slightly different meanings, but together they help us to understand what the Word of God is, as well as what it does. This is a wonderful psalm, replete with tremendous truths and promises regarding our relationship with God through the Bible.

My attention this morning was drawn to v. 18, where the psalmists asks the Lord to open his eyes so that he could understand (see) wondrous things from the Word of God. The Bible does contain a myriad of “wondrous things,” but oftentimes our spiritual eyes are not open enough to receive them. There are certainly many reasons for this but I believe one of them is the fact that we do not approach the Word of God expectantly and prayerfully, anticipating a life-changing truth. Our prayer should be the same as the psalmist every time we open up the Bible: “Open thou mine eyes.”

Everything that we need to succeed in this life is contained in the Bible, but we are missing so many principles that would guide, instruct, and protect us simply because we are not looking, because our eyes are closed. Stop approaching the Word each day as a religious ritual but rather open it, looking for the truth that you will need to help you survive, and even thrive as an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ. God has the answers for the problems and challenges that you will be facing today and tomorrow. They are in His Word. Ask Him to help you to see them.

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Not Short on Truth

Not Short On Truth

Today’s Reading – Psalms 115 – 118 (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 – 18; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

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

Read the “0709 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“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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Today’s Reading – Psalms 108 – 114 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0708 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“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.” (1 Corinthians 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 112:

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. (vs. 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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Never Satisfied

Never Satisfied

Today’s Reading – Psalms 106 – 107 (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 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0707 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15)

The Scripture referenced above has to do with the children of Israel during their wilderness wanderings. It seems that the people were always griping and complaining about their condition; always discontented about what God had provided for them. You will remember that God gave them manna from Heaven, but the people lusted after meat. God gave them what they wanted, but at what price? The Psalmist tells us they received leanness into their souls. I don’t think that God was upset with them because they had a physical hunger; but He did judge them because they put their lust for the physical above their love for Him.

How often do we put our physical, and other fleshly desires over the things of God. There is nothing wrong with food, but when we become so consumed with eating, playing, enjoying, etc. that we become negligent of the spiritual we too will suffer the consequences of a spiritual famine. I love to eat, I love to enjoy the good things that God has given us to enjoy in this life, but I don’t want to trade off the spiritual blessings that God has for me because of an over-appetite for the physical.

Notice the historical reference of this event from Numbers 11:

“And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.” (Numbers 11:33)

Our flesh is enemy # 1. If we are not careful, we will allow our flesh to take over our lives. We may be physically fat, but we will also be spiritually famished.

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Bless The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 103 – 105 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0706 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Good morning. Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. What comes out of your mouth when you talk about the Lord? Does it bless His holy name? Are you using all your power: all that is within you? Bless His holy name.

He forgives, heals, and keeps you out of Hell. He shows you His loving kindness, and His tender mercies. He supplies you with good and healthy food He shows the oppressed His righteousness and judgment. He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Are you His creation? Were you made in the image of God? Yes? Then you need to bless the Lord!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, because of His honour, His majesty, and His greatness.


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