Who’s Your Friend? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 18 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 16 – 18; Psalms 101 – 105; Proverbs 21)

Read the “0521 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.” (2Chronicals 18:7)

How can you hate someone who is trying to be your friend? Ahab hated Micaiah because, in the king’s eyes, only evil was prophesied and never anything good. At least that was Ahab’s perception. But 2Peter 3:9 tells us…

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

God sent Micaiah to be a friend to Ahab by telling him the truth. The truth is what was written in 1Kings 16…

“And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1Kings 16:30-33)

Proverbs 18:24 tells us that a man that hath friends must show himself friendly. And Ahab hated Micaiah. This would be the last chance that Ahab would have to give heed to what God was telling him through his friend Micaiah. Did he listen? Of course not. Ahab hated Micaiah because Ahab could not have things his own way.

So Ahab went to war anyway: against the counsel of Micaiah: against the counsel of God. And you know the rest…

“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.” (2Chronicals 18:33-34)

If you have a friend, one who is walking with God, maybe you should listen to his or her counsel. It could be a warning. What a friend we have in Jesus. Who’s your friend?

Peace.


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Music – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 23 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 19 – 20; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

Read the “0514 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king. Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD. Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth: All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.” (1Chronicles 25:1-7)

Good morning. Music is a powerful mode of praise. An old saying tells us that music has charm to sooth the savage beast. We can see an example of this in the Bible: David went to work for king Saul because of this…

“And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (1Samuel 16:17-23)

In our passage today, we find harps, psalteries, cymbals, and horns to prophesy, praise, and give thanks to the LORD. We also find, in verse 7, that there were 288 members of the congregation who played for the LORD. What a band! If you look at the songbook, or the book of Psalms, you will see the prophesy, praise, and thanksgiving.

Of Thanksgiving…

“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.” (Psalm 95:1-2)

Of Praise…

“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Psalm 33:1-3)

Of Prophesy…

“They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:13-18)

Of course, this is one of the many prophecies in the Bible about the Lord Jesus Christ being crucified: dying for our sins. What more reason do we need to say thank you and praise the LORD? He gives you a song get you through the good times and the bad times.

Lord I need You

When the Sea of Life is calm.

O Lord I need You

When the wind is blowing strong.

Whether trials come or cease,

Keep me always on my knees.

Lord I need You,

Lord I need You.

-Ron Hamilton

Peace!


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The Descendants Of Levi – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 5 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Read the “0507 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.” (1Chronicles 6:1)

Good morning. In our reading today we see the descendants of Levi. These were the priests of the nation of Israel. Levi was the third son of Jacob. Levi would be scattered throughout Israel, but not as a punishment. God would choose this tribe to take care of the Tabernacle for Him.

“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:1-7)

“But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them. For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying, Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle. And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts. But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.” (Numbers 1:47-54)

What did Levi do to make his dad, Jacob, to say what he did? It is told in Genesis chapter 34…

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife. And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give. Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife. And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister: And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us: But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised; Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son. And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?” (Genesis 34:1-31)

So what can we take away from this history of the Levites? It doesn’t matter what you have done, the LORD can still use you. So don’t be kicking yourself because of what you’ve done. Receive His forgiveness, and allow Him to use you as He sees fit. Remember you are His creation, and He died for your sins.

Peace.


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Right Makes Might (but only if you do it 100%) – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 15 – 16; Proverbs 30 – 31; Psalms 146 – 150)

Read the “0430 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah. He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did. Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.” (2Kings 14:1-4)

“In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign. Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done; Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places.” (2Kings 15:1-4)

“In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign. Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD.” (2Kings 15:32-35)

Good morning. Three kings in our reading today did what was right in the sight of the LORD. But, they did not remove the high places. The people would still sin by offering sacrifices and burning incense to their false gods. If we are going to do something right for the LORD, we need to do it 100%. Look at Moses…

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:7-12)

Moses disobeyed God by hitting the rock with his staff instead of just speaking to the rock. This act kept him from entering the promised land.

Because the 3 kings did not remove the high places, the people sinned by offering sacrifices, and burning incense. Only the priests were to offer up the sacrifices, and burn incense.

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)

Even Saul, the first king of Israel, messed up, by not doing things God’s way…

“And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” (1Samuel 13:8-14)

Moses lost his chance to go into the promised land. Aaron’s sons lost their lives. King Saul lost the kingdom. What did Jesus say was the first and greatest commandment?

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:28-30)

Does right make might? Only when it’s done how the LORD wants it.

Peace.


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How To Start A Fire – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 18 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 1 – 2; Proverbs 23; Psalms 111 – 115

Read the “0423 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” (1Kings18:36-39)

Good morning. Today we’re going to learn how to get fire with two sticks and some dried grass, or leaves. Take a long, straight stick and carve a point at one end. Take the other piece of wood and carve a small round gully for the pointy stick to fit in. On one of the sides of the gully, carve a small triangle out (this allows oxygen in). Now place the point into the gully and using a downward motion, with the straight sick in your palms, rub your hands together rolling the stick to create friction. Soon you will see smoke appear. Keep going until you can see a spark glowing. Add some of the dried grass and gently blow on the ember and the grass should ignite. Add more leaves, dried grass, and wood to keep the fire going. Anybody can use this method, it just takes a little work.

Here is another way to start a fire. If you are saved and backslide then you know how miserable your life can be. Yet there is that small spark within you that keeps trying to call you back. It takes work, but you can do it if you want to. You have friction going between your spirit and your flesh. God sent Elijah to meet with Ahab, and there was friction.

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.” (1Kings 18:17-18)

Now you need some kindling. Wood, hay, and stubble are good to burn. In Elijah’s case: the prophets of Baal. All they did was cause all but 7000 Israelites to bow their knee to Baal. Isn’t that what sin does to you: causes you to turn away from God? Good sent the spark (or fire from heaven) that was an answer to Elijah’s prayer.

“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” (1Kings 18:37-40)

Empowered by God, Elijah was able to rid Israel of the 400 prophets of Baal. Now God could bless. Just like you looked for that small spark, Elijah was looking for a blessing from God.

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” (1Kings 18:41-46)

Remember when you backslide, it only takes a little effort on your part to allow the Lord to start the fire in you again.

Peace!


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The Biggest Loser – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0416 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.” (1Ki 2:1-4)

Good morning. Here, King David tells his son to be strong, and show himself a man. He should walk in God’s ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, judgments, and His testimonies. Why? That he would prosper. And Solomon did. He built the temple to God in Jerusalem: a grand, and beautiful, temple. And King Solomon was doing okay, until…

“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.” (1Kings 1:1-8)

And what is the first and greatest commandment?

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Mat 22:35-38)

Solomon could not love God with all his heart, soul, and mind, if he was worshiping other gods: the gods of his strange wives. And God, being true to His Word, when Rehoboam was coming to replace his dad (Solomon), then God split the kingdom…

“And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.” (1Ki 12:13-20)

And later the tribe of Benjamin.

Solomon was the biggest loser. If he would have stuck to God’s plan, Solomon may have reigned another 40 years. What about you? Are you living exclusively for the LORD? Maybe there are strange gods that have crept into your life. Show yourself a man (or woman) and stand firm for the LORD. You’ll be glad you did.

Peace.


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20/20 Vision – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 4 – 7 (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; Proverbs 9; Psalms 41 – 45)

Read the “0409 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.” (2Samuel 4:4)

Good morning. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son, Saul’s grandson. He was lame in his feet. It wasn’t his fault that he was lame. When he was 5 years old, his nurse picked him up to flee the city. As they were fleeing, she dropped him, and he became lame. Many people are lame in some way or another. They could be mentally, or physically lame. Did you know that 75% of adults in America use some kind of devise to correct their vision? Seventy-five percent. I guess not everyone has 20/20 vision. How do you feel about defective people? Do you look down on them? Do they upset you. My father-in-law got around okay, without legs, in his wheelchair. For the five years I was at Texas Baptist College, I took care of a great bunch of guys in Sunday School: the Sonshine Class. They were mentally challenged, but they still could learn about Jesus. Like I said before, you could be mentally or physically lame. The Sonshine Class helped me move across the street into another house. It wasn’t the smoothest move, but we all enjoyed pizza afterwards. My special verse says…

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

Everyone will have tribulation in the world. This tribulation my come as a defect. I had an extra nerve string in my heart that sent it a signal to beat faster. Now I have a built in diphibulator and my beats, and also my blood pressure are normal. We can learn something through our defects, and the defects of others. There are men in the Bible who were defective.

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John 9:1-7)

Was it the man’s fault that he was born blind? Was it because of the sins of the parents? No. God made him that way so the works of God could be manifested in him. Everybody has something to offer, even though they may have a defect. We can still learn from them. And not just them, everybody.

Peace.


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What Are You Listening To? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Samuel 15 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0402 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (1Samuel 16:14-23)

Good morning. I got saved late in life, so I have a lot of ‘baggage’ with me. One of those bags is music. In our passage today, we see that Saul was oppressed by an evil spirit. But when David played, Saul was refreshed. He felt better, and the evil spirit left him. Back in my day, music could say one thing when played normally and say another thing if it were played backwards. This was called backward masking. Now, if a singer wants to say something, they blurt it right out.

I could not find the correct live version of When Electricity Came To Arkansas by Black Oak Arkansas. When played forward, in the middle of the song, it sounds like the lead singer is speaking in tongues. However, when you play it backwards you can clearly hear the singer say, “satan, satan. He is god, he is god, he is god.”

Even the Beatles used backward masking. But they also said things straight out. In their song: The Ballad Of John and Yoko, they used the LORD’s name in vain five times.

Norm Greenbaum, in his song Spirit In The Sky, said, “I’ve never been a sinner, I’ve never sinned. I have friend in Jesus.” But the Bible clearly says that…”

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

That’s everybody. These are only three of the songs I remember from my generation. There are others. Black Sabbath has a song called After Forever. Here is the first verse…

Have you ever though about your soul
Can it be saved?
Or perhaps you think that when you’re dead
You just stay in your grave
Is God just a thought within your head
Or is he a part of you?
Is Christ just a name that you read in a book
When you were at school?

And to song ends with this statement…

Yes, I think it’s too late.

It’s never too late, unless you close your eyes in death without Jesus as your Saviour. What are you listening to?

Peace.


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Is Your House Secure? – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what happened?

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

We have a Dan looking for us too…

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

1) Are you careless with your Christianity?

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

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

2) Are the things of this world drawing you away from God?

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

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

3) Are you self-sufficient?

I’d rather do things myself, that way they get done right the first time.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

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

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

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

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Peace.


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Service With A Smile – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

Good morning. While reading today’s passage, a question popped into my head: why serve the Lord? Israel knew God, and gave four reasons why they should serve Him, and not the false gods of the land. Joshua is giving his fair-well talk with the nation of Israel. They are ready to go to their homes and enjoy the promised land which God has given them. And Joshua is charging them:

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.” (Joshua 24:14-18)

The Lord brought them out of Egypt: freed them from bondage: freed them from being slaves to the Egyptians. The Lord did miracles in their sight. The Lord preserved them as they journeyed to the promised land. And the Lord drove out the people He knew would cause Israel to chase after strange gods. Those were the four reasons that Israel had for serving the Lord. As Christians, we have the same four reasons to serve the Lord.

First of all, He freed you from the bondage: the bondage of sin.

From the day you understand the difference between wrong and right, sin has had you in it’s grip. One day you would die because of sin. Ezekiel 18:20 tells us…

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die…”

We are all sinners and in bondage to sin: we have a death penalty placed on our heads. God saved us out of bondage through God the Son: the Lord Jesus Christ…

“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. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:31-36)

Paul reinforces this in Galatians,,,

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

So just as God frees Israel from the bondage of Egypt, He frees us from the bondage of sin. Not only that, can you imagine chasing after the Amorites with Israel? Then seeing the Lord cast down great hailstones at the enemy which killed more than Israel did with the sword. Can you imagine seeing this? And right after that…

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:12-13)

Can you imagine seeing that? Israel saw it happen, miracles from God. Have you seen any miracles? No? When you see someone bow their head and ask Jesus to come into their heart, you see a miracle. You see a dead spirit coming back to life. That’s a miracle. When you see someone you’ve been praying for healed of cancer, or some other disease, that’s a miracle. That’s the work of God the Holy Ghost. The Spirit quickens: gives life (see 1Peter 3:18). When we receive Christ, the Holy Ghost gives life to our spirit which has never lived. But this is not the only job of the Holy Ghost. Israel was preserved on their journey to the promised land, even their clothing, Moses reminded them of this in Deuteronomy

“Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.” (Deuteronomy 8:4)

God preserved Israel as they journeyed to the promised land, and He preserves us as we journey through life to our home in Heaven.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

The Holy Ghost preserves us. The Holy Ghost preserved the apostle Paul. He suffered more than anyone reading this today for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read the account he gives in 2Corinthians 11:20-28. Paul went through a lot, yet God was there and took him through it all. God preserved him.

The forth reason the people gave for following the Lord, is that He drove the people out. God knew that if the people of the land remained, that the would turn Israel away from following God. Israel would follow after their little ‘g’ gods. In looking back, I find that many of my old friends are not around anymore: the ones I knew before I got saved. It wasn’t anything I did. They didn’t run away because of giant hailstones. God got them out of my life because He knew they would turn me away from following Him. The Bible says…

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6:14-18)

He brought us out, and we may not notice it until we take a look back to whence we came.

So the Lord sets us free from the bondage of sin. He does miracles in our lives. He preserves us on our journey to heaven. He separates us from the things that may turn our hearts away from Him. Can you think of any of the many other reasons we have to serve the Lord? Yes? Then why aren’t you? God has given you a gift to edify others in the church. Using your gift to lift up the spirit of a brother or sister who is hurting is a gift that edifies. Being a “pew warmer” is not. If you are not sure how you can serve the Lord, ask your preacher. Did you know that on the average, 10% of church members do 90% of the work? Maybe the gift that God has given you will influence others to serve also. When you exercise the gift that God has given you, that 10% will grow. How much? I can not tell you, but it is a lot easier for 11% to do 90% of the work than it is for 10%. No matter what the reason, start serving the Lord.

Peace.


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