The Victory Is No Mystery – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – 1 Corinthians 15 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1204 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Another week has passed. Black Friday, Small Store Saturday, and Cyber Monday are all behind us. Only twenty more shopping days till Christmas. Did you get all your Christmas shopping done? Good! You had a victory. That’s what today’s blog is about: VICTORY! We already have the victory, but we don’t realize it. When we don’t realize it, we lose.

I was reminded of an Abbott and Costello skit. They go into an illegal gambling establishment to bet on the horses. This was where they may have gotten the idea for off-track betting. Just remember that legal gambling is just as bad as illegal gambling – only someone else gets to keep your money! Costello places the bet, and a voice comes over the radio…

“And they’re off…”

“The race is over…”

“You lose!”

That was a comedy, so you already knew that Costello was going to lose. Do you know you already have the victory: you are not a loser? 1Corinthians 15 tells us…

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 54-57)

We have the victory! It was given to us by God through our Lord Jesus Christ! Death has no more sting: death cannot hurt us. Death is swallowed up in victory!

How can we know this victory now?

Well, you could… die. And at the rapture of the church, when your corruptible has put on incorruption, and your mortal has put on immortality, your new spiritual body will be with Jesus. That’s victory!

Or (and I prefer this way better) by faith. 1John 5:4 says…

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1John 5:4)

Verse 58 of 1Corinthians 15 tells us the result of this victory through faith…

“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.” (1Corinthians 15:58)

We will be stedfast and immovable, standing firm in our faith. God said it; that settles it.

We will be unmoveable. Nothing, and nobody in this world, or any situation for that matter should shake and shatter our faith. We have the victory and greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

And we will be always abounding in the work of the Lord. Soul winning, tithing (supporting our pastor, the church, and it’s ministries), and what ever the Lord has asked us as individuals to do (teach, edify, be a friend), are some of the works we should be abounding in.

And at the end of verse 58 there is victory: “…forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

That’s victory. Keep on going for the Lord.

Peace.


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We Are More Than Conquerors – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – Romans 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 131 – 135; Proverbs 27)

Read the “1127 Evening and Morning“devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

Good morning. I know it’s early, but the question I want to pose today is this: are you a conqueror, or more than a conqueror? What or who do you think about when you hear the word conqueror? Do you think of Communist leaders like Lenin, or chairman Mao, who murdered people to gain power? Chairman Mao’s policies are credited to the deaths of 77 million people. Do you think of the Fascists like Hitler, who took a massive army and conquered most of Europe, and murdering 6 million Jews in the process? Do you think about the Catholic church which sent out an army of Crusaders to force people to convert over to their form of religion? Do you think about the Muslims who butchered 50,000 Christians in the city of Fez, in Morocco? What about Nero, who dipped Christians in wax, mounted them on a pole, and then set them on fire to light his palace? But we are more than conquerors! We are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ!

1) We are more than conquerors MENTALLY.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

And God is conforming us to the image of His Son. We can have the mind of Christ. We are more than conquerors!

2) We are more than conquerors PHYSICALLY.

We can do all things as the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13…

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

And we can endure all things…

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2Timothy 2:1-10)

We can endure all things: because we are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ! Think about Stephen who saw heaven opened revealing the Lord standing, and waiting for his arrival in heaven. Think about the multitude of Christians who went to their deaths and onto eternal life because of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!

3) And we are more than conquerors SPIRITUALLY.

Romans 8:2 tells us…

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Read the rest of chapter 8 about the working of the Holy Spirit.

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:3-39)

You will come to the same conclusion that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

Peace!


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A Little Word Called ‘ON’ – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – Acts 14 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 96 – 100; Proverbs 20)

Read the “1120 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:25-31)

Good morning. After you rub the sleep out of your eyes, and the caffeine from your coffee works it’s way into your foggy brain cells, you’ll probably wonder what is Mary Poppins doing on your screen. Well, I’ll explain… in a few. Get your mind off Mary Poppins, and on the Bible. Take a look at Acts 16:19-31. Paul had just cast a spirit of divination out of a woman. Of course this led to trouble with the woman’s masters. Their hope of gain was gone: it cost them money: they would have to go out and get a real job.

Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison and their feet made fast in the stocks. What happened next should be an example to all of us when things go wrong.

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:25-31)

What do you believe?

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19).

Believing alone will not cut it; believing on the Lord Jesus Christ will.

I want to focus on that little word called ‘ON’. This little word is G1909 in your Strong’s Concordance, and it means ‘superimposition’. Ahhh! Mary Poppins! Superimposition when used in film making terms is basically the sandwiching of two separate pictures to make one picture. And you need to become one with the Lord Jesus Christ. Think about it: what are you without Jesus? Jesus completes you, just like the husband completes the wife and the wife completes the husband. Jesus prayed in John 17…

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

What a beautiful prayer. You have a God who loves you so much that He gave His life, dying a horrible death, so that He and you could be one. Believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

Peace.


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That The Scripture Might Be Fulfilled – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – John 17 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1113 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3)

Good morning. What a great way to start the morning with one of my favorite chapter from the Bible: John chapter 17. Jesus is praying to His Father before going to the cross. Jesus prayed for His disciples, and us: those who would believe through their testimony: their word. And there was only one who was lost: the son of perdition: Judas. And the explanation is given as to why: that the Scripture might be fulfilled (vs12). The Scripture, God’s Word, should be one of the most cherished possessions in our lives. Chapter 17 is all God’s Word (yes, even the 13 words printed black in verse 1). Because God’s will is being done no matter what, we can trust the promises from the Scripture will come to pass: that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

1) The Father would be glorified through Jesus.

The Father would be glorified through Jesus, that the Lord’s glory would be restored as it was before creation, and that we would glorify Jesus…

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” (John 17:1-10)

Revelation 19 says…

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16)

That the Scripture might be fulfilled.

2) Safety for believers.

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:11-16)

John chapter 10 tells us also…

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John10:27-30)

We are protected so that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

3) Jesus also prayed that we would be sanctified (made holy) through the Scriptures…

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John17:17-19)

And in Hebrews 10, the Scriptures tell us that…

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

Because of His sacrifice the Scriptures say we are sanctified. I’m getting excited about this. Isn’t it great to know you’re saved and on your way to Heaven!

4) Jesus prays for the unity of believers.

In verses 20 through 23, Jesus prays for the unity of those who believe, and that the world would also believe.

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

Revelation chapter 7 gives us a glimpse into the future. John said…

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12)

And that’s only the tribulation saints, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

5) One day we will see the Living Word of God: Jesus.

I especially like verse 24 which tells us that one day we will see Jesus…

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John17:24)

Stephen saw Jesus just before he was stoned to death, Acts chapter 7 tells us…

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56)

Face to face we shall behold Him that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. And that brings us to verses 25 and 26.

6) Jesus prayed that we would have the same love of the Father that He had.

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:25-26)

This is the sacrificial love, the agape’ love. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” This was Jesus going to the cross, paying the price for our sins, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. We are supposed to have the same love in us. We need to die too: die to self. If we can be a little bit humble, maybe bury our pride, we can easily forgive our brothers and sisters when they sin against us, or hurt us. We should be demonstrating the love of God to others so that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
Peace.


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The Good Wine – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passages – John 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1106 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (John 2:1-11)

Good morning. I hope you have been blessed this week. This is a day that the Lord made: rejoice and be glad in it! I guess it depends on our attitude. Even the worst of times have no hold on us when we realize that in the end we will to see Jesus face to face in all His glory. The Good Wine is coming. John chapter 2, verses 1 through 11, give the account of Jesus’ first recorded miracle: turning the water into wine. What I want to focus on is what the governor of the feast said to the bridegroom…

“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:9-10)

Every man sets forth good wine, and later the bad. Are we really like that? Do we take a good, long, hard look in the mirror and notice the things we are doing? Or are we like the man in James chapter 1 who beheld his natural face in a glass, and then went on his way forgetting what manner of man he was. When someone tells me I’m getting old, I tell them I’m aging like fine wine: I’m kept in the dark, I get dusty, and eventually I’ll turn sour. And that is how we get if we forget what manner of men (and ladies) we were. Have you cracked an off-color joke lately, talked bad about someone, or did something that you did before you got saved? Have you hurt anybody lately with harsh words? Proverbs tells us that…

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

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

Who is your Bridegroom? He is the one that the governor of the feast went to. What do you want the governor to say: this is sour, or this is the best? Think of the governor being other believers. What are they telling the Bridegroom about you? Maybe it’s time to edify the brethren. Treat others with the kind of respect you would like (even if they do not return that respect). Also, in that vein, when somebody hurts you, be forgiving. Pray for that person. Do you really want to see God’s wrath come down on them. God hates what they did even more than you do. The good wine is coming; the question is, how worse will “that which is worse” get before the good wine is put forth? That choice is up to you.

Peace!


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LORD, Teach Us To Pray – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Luke 10 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 141 – 145; Proverbs 30)

Read the “1030 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning, and it’s always good to start your morning with prayer. In Luke chapter 11 we find the Lord praying…

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

In this passage we see that when we go to the Lord in prayer we ask for something: we want God to do something. Lord, teach us to pray. Lord, make Your name Holy. Lord, let your kingdom come, and your will be done. Lord, give us what we need today. Lord, forgive our sins. Lord, lead us not into temptation. Lord, deliver us from evil. This is a prayer asking God to act: to do something. And notice that this prayer is not wavering, but specifically asks.

In Matthew 21, Jesus curses a fig tree…

“And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matt. 21:20-22)

In the October 2010 issue of In Touch magazine from Dr. Charles Stanley there was an excellent article by Allen Harris. The article was titled: “(All About Me) Two Prayers That Can Hold You Back.” I want to pass on these two nuggets of truth to you. These will more than likely ring a bell; we all have used them at one time or another.

The first is, “Lord, but if…”

My daughter Melissa had cancer. I would pray, “Lord, please heal my daughter from this cancer, but if not, help her to deal with all the pain and suffering.” My belief wavers. I don’t seem to believe that God can actually heal her, so I give Him a way out. God is fully capable of healing my daughter: He does not need a way out. “But if” just shows my lack of faith and trust. Now I just pray, “Lord, heal my daughter from the cancer, and giver her relief from the pain.” I’m not giving God an out, I’m trusting Him to answer my prayer. As Christians, we should be mature enough to allow God to answer: yes, no, or not right now. We need to keep asking until we get an answer. That’s what Paul did about the thorn in his side. After asking three times, God gave Paul the answer: My grace is sufficient.

The second hindrance that Mr. Harris mentioned is “Lord, let me…”

I want to see God work in my life. How can I if I’m in the way. “Lord, let me be the kind of father I need to be to Melissa.” I can do it, let me. No I can’t. Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” How about, “Lord, give me the wisdom and understanding to raise your child as you would want.” I’m relying on God to do something, and that includes giving me what I need to do the work that He has prepared for me to do.

We should all want to see God’s work in our lives. Allowing Him to work is a great start. And when we see God work, He gets all the praise. Thank the Lord for other believers who are willing to share what the Holy Spirit has taught them so the church can be edified. Jesus said…

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John14:27)

We should not be afraid to see God work in our lives. And we will not be disappointed if we allow Him to do the work.

Peace.


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Are You Angry At God? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Mark 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 111 – 115; Proverbs 23)

Read the “1023 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.” (Mark14:3-11)

Good morning. How in the world are you? I have two thoughts that may be a help to you today. In today’s reading we find the story of the woman with the alabaster box of spikenard: a very expensive ointment. And with the actions of Judas, this passage caused me to ask the question, “Have I ever been angry at God?”

How about you? When things don’t go your way, or the way you perceive they should go, do you blame God? Many people do. Cain was angry with God because He would not accept his offering. During the great tribulation, during the seven years, rather than repent, many will turn and shake their fists at God. Here in this passage we have Judas. John chapter 12 gives us a little glimpse into where his heart was at…

“Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:4-6)

So Judas was angry with God. What happens next? Judas goes to the chief priests to betray Jesus. God’s Word tells us to be angry, and sin not…

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath…” (Ephesians 4:26)

Sin has a price. Judas was told by Jesus what the price would be in verse 21 of Mark 14…

“The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.” (Mark 14:21)

And you know the rest of the story: Judas betrayed Jesus anyway, and ended up hanging himself. The Bible tells us that Judas went to his own place. Is that the hottest part of Hell? I don’t know, but it all started with being angry at God. We all need to ask ourselves that question: “Am I angry at God?”

Remember…

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

That leads me to my second thought…

I had a friend who went home to be with the LORD 11 years ago. Bob was having heart problems. And we all have an appointed time. Bob’s time had come. And here is the connection…

God had given this alabaster box of priceless ointment for us to hold onto for a while. The time had arrived to give it back: to pour it out and anoint the Saviour’s head and feet. Because of God’s grace, because of Jesus coming and dying on the cross and shedding His precious blood to pay for Bob’s sins, he is in Heaven today. One day you will meet him if you’re saved. God’s Word tells us that we are all sinners…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

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

and that…

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

The Bible makes it simple. In 1John chapter 5, the Bible says…

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1John5:12-13)

All you need do to receive Jesus for your own is to call on his name.

Romans 10 says…

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

You can’t get to Heaven on your own. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us…

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

To God, love is an action word. Love was an action word to Bob also. Because of God’s action, Bob has a home in Heaven…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Peace.


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True Love – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Matthew 27 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1016 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

As the people cried out, “His blood be on us, and our children!”; the soldiers took Jesus to scourge Him. The pieces of bone, broken pottery, and metal attached to the nine strands of the whip dug deeply into his skin. And the blood flowed. True love. In the true spirit of hatred, the soldiers stripped Jesus and dressed Him in a scarlet robe: they did this to the Creator of the universe. With cruel mockeries they bowed down saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” With every ounce of hate, our Lord was crowned with a crown of thorns that pierced His scalp. And the blood flowed. True love. Then came the crucifiction. Our Lord Jesus Christ was beaten so badly that Simon of Cyrene was ordered to carry the cross. Long spikes were driven through the hands and the feet of our Lord as He was nailed to the cross. They sat down at the cross to watch Him die. And the blood flowed. True love. The mockings continued as chief priests, scribes, and elders breathed out their hatred. And the blood flowed. True Love. And then He was dead. The Lord had given up the Ghost. The payment for sin had been paid because the blood flowed.

True love.

Joseph of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus lovingly wrapped the body of Jesus and placed it in a cold, dark tomb. There lay the body for three days, and three nights.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” (Matthew 28:1-9)

True love.

To God, love has always been an action word. Him loving us caused Him to shed His blood, paying the price for our sins. We love Him because He first loved us. When they saw the risen Lord, they held Him by His feet and worshiped Him.

True love.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Peter 1:22-23)

That’s true love. Having that love in us, calling ourselves Christians, how can we kick our brothers and sisters when they are down. How can we destroy families, and cause fellow believers to leave the churches. How can we discourage and not edify. Is that true love? Even when we are to rebuke someone who wronged us, it’s to be done in love and only between you and that person. Proverbs is full of wisdom about the tongue.

“The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.” (Proverbs 10:31)

“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Remember the scourging. Remember the thorns. Remember the spitting, and pulling out the beard. Remember the cruel mocking. Remember true love. Jesus said…

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John13:34-35)

True Love.

Peace.


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How’s Your Belief System? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Matthew 12 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Read the “1009 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58)

Good morning. I don’t know whether to ask, “How’s your belief system?”, or “Seen any mighty works lately?”

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66)

If John 6:66 is the saddest verse in the Bible, then Matthew 13:58 is next in line. Jesus did not do many mighty works because of the unbelief of the people in His home town. Believing is faith going to work: faith is not stagnant. And Hebrews 11:6 says…

“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)

It is a good thing to review what we believe that the Lord has given us to exercise our faith. So here’s a little check list that may help.

___ I am a sinner saved by grace: the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:29, 3:14-18; Acts 16:27-31, 19:4)

___ Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ is a perfect salvation: an eternal salvation. I am saved forever. (1John5:13; John6:36-40, 10:27-30; Ephesians 4:20; 1Corinthians 3:11-15; Hebrews 9:11-15)

___ I pray. (1Theselonians 5:17; Matthew 7:7-11; James 4:2, 5:16)

___ I read my Bible daily. (Romans 10:17; Psalm 119:9-16)

___ I tithe because everything I have belongs to God, and I know that He will supply all my needs. I can do more with 90% of my income and God, then with 100% of my income without God. (Philippians 4:19; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:27-33; Luke 6:38)

___ I tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; John 15:8,16; Proverbs 11:30)

How many could you check off? Don’t let me know – that’s between you and the Lord. If you could not check off all of these, then we (yes, I said we because I could not check off all of these either) need to work on those unchecked. James said…

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:17-18)

Peace.


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Are You A Curse Among The Heathen? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Zechariah 6 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

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

Read the “1002 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not: So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.” (Zechariah 8:13-15)

As I mull over this passage that the Lord has given me I have to ask myself am I a curse among the heathen, the unsaved? I sometimes could care less about what other Christians think about me. They need to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. But what kind of impression do I make on the unsaved? Do they see any Jesus, or just me? Verses 16 and 17 instruct us in what to do.

1) Speak the Truth.

“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates…” (Zechariah 8:16)

If I love my neighbor as myself then I will want to be truthful to him. The Gospel cannot be watered down. Have you broken any of God’s commandments? Welcome to the club: we are all sinners, and as sinners we need a Saviour: Jesus Christ, who shed His precious blood to pay for our sins. As a preacher, I will preach that it was a bad idea that as a Christian nation we tried to keep God out of the government by removing the Bible from schools, the 10 Commandments from offices, and whatever else this anti-Christ ruling class has come up with. I will preach that homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle, it is an abomination (See Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13). Don’t look down your nose at the sodomite, what about your little white lies? The abominable and all liars have their place in the lake of fire (See Revelation 21:8 ). We all need the Saviour, and that’s the truth…

2) Do The Truth.

The second half of verse 16 tells us to execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates. We all need help in this area: doing the truth. I look forward to our Saturday morning prayer time at the church. Sometimes I don’t make it. But 1Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. I haven’t mastered that yet. But I going to keep trying and praying. God says that 10% of my income belongs to Him (Malachi 3:8-12). I’m still going to tithe, because I know that I can do more with God and 90% of my income then without God and 100% of my income. God set the tithe up to supply the pastor with his needs and to get the gospel out. When a church is tithing, the pastor can spend more time with God and feed the flock better: he shouldn’t have to work a secular job. Also tracts can be purchased, ‘Done’ books, and the like: things that edify the body of Christ. I’m going to support missions with an offering, because Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” I can’t go into ALL the world, so I’m going to give to missions. And the Bible says…

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

That should lead you to a question to ask yourself: “Am I putting my trust in the all mighty dollar, or the Almighty God?”

So we should Speak the Truth, and Do the Truth, and we should also…

3) Focus and Meditate on the Truth.

“And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.” (Zechariah 8:17)

The Bible also says…

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5)

You will have a love for people: friends, enemies, neighbors. If you love them with the mind of Christ then you will not imagine evil in your hearts against them. Read God’s Word. The more Bible you have, the quicker the Holy Spirit can bring Scripture to mind when you need it. If you have the mind of Christ then speaking and doing the truth should be no problem.

Don’t be a curse among the heathen. If we are going to be called Christians, let’s live like Christians. Speak the Truth. Do the Truth. Focus and Meditate on the Truth.

Peace.


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