Just a Cup of Cold Water

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 11 – 12Psalms 46 – 50Proverbs 10)

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

Read the “0510 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – God Spotted Him First and “Double Heart.”

“And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,” (1 Chronicles 11:17-18)

Today’s passage reveals all of the mighty men that labored and served alongside of David, both before and after he became king. These men were with him as he was on the run and hiding from King Saul, and they continued to serve with him as he was given the kingdom of Judah, and then later when he became king over all of Israel. These men were faithful to David and to the Lord, and because they were in the will of God fighting the Lord’s battles, God blessed them mightily. It is amazing to see what these men were able to do in God’s strength.

Verses fifteen through nineteen tell a strange story regarding when David and his men were fighting against the Philistines. The likely account of this battle is found in 2 Samuel 5:17 – 21 and is the first victory David had after being made king over all of Israel. David was “in the hold,” the cave of Adullam, and he had enemy forces entrenched around him in the Valley of Rephaim. He makes a strange request, probably to no-one particularly; he was likely just thinking out loud. He expressed his wish for some of the water from the well back home in Bethlehem. He wasn’t asking or expecting that somebody would actually do it, he was just longing for some of that good water back home. Maybe there was no fresh or good water where he was, who knows.

Three of his faithful men, however, hear David’s request, and risk their lives to make it happen. David is doubtless shocked that these men would do this for him, but he is also very appreciative of their love for him. He does not accept the gift, but rather “poured it out to the Lord,” as an offering. I often wondered why David would not take the gift, especially after his men risk their lives to give it to him. However, David wasn’t about to enjoy that good water while the rest of his men were thirsty. He recognized his unworthiness for the gift, and he offered it instead to the Lord. This is reminiscent of Uriah the Hittite, who would not go to enjoy the company of his wife while the rest of Israel’s army was out fighting a battle (See 2 Samuel 11:11 – 13).

There are two thoughts from this passage that I would like to share. First, I appreciate these men who took great risks to express their love and devotion to their king. David was their leader, and he was the one whom God had chosen to be the king. And he was a good king. He loved his people, and served right alongside of his men. Our King is the Lord Jesus Christ, and we ought to be willing to do anything to please Him. But, we also ought to get better at expressing our appreciation for the people who are important to us. During this COVID-19 pandemic, many are finding creative ways to express their thanks to all of the necessary workers, especially those health care workers who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus. It is interesting that Jesus actually used the illustration of giving a cup of cold water as being deserving of a reward (See Matthew 10:42).

My second thought concerns David’s reluctance to take the gift. There are many leaders of men who would have selfishly demanded a lot more than just a drink of water. They see themselves as better than other men, deserving of more honor. They expect others to serve them, but are reluctant to be “servant leaders” themselves. David didn’t see himself this way. He considered himself completely unworthy of all that God had done for him. You and I are completely unworthy of all of the blessings that God has bestowed upon us as well.


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Azel Had Six Sons – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 7 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 7 – 8; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Read the “0508 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.” (1Chronicles 8:38)

“And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.” (1Chronicles 9:44)

Good morning. I was reading my Bible when I came upon this verse. The verse was 1Chronicles 8:38. It was a verse about a man named Azel who had six sons. I wouldn’t have noticed it, except that it appeared almost word for word as1Chronicles 9:44. When God says something twice in His Word, He is saying that there is something He wants you to know. There was something here that God wanted me to see, but what? It wasn’t until I looked at the meaning of the names of Azels’ six sons did something click. This chapter (8), and chapter 9 are the only two chapters we find Azel, the father of these six sons, located in. All we can glean from these two chapters is that he was in the bloodline of Israel’s first king, Saul, which means Azel was of the tribe of Benjamin. And he had six sons. After looking at the meaning of each of the names of the sons, realized that this was about life. The names of his sons are the stages of life we go through. Azel’s first son was Azrikam. His name means…

1) The Help Of An Enemy

Did you know that God hates sin? Twice, in Ezekiel 18, He says the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born with the will to sin against God. Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned. God was no longer his friend walking with Adam in the garden, but had become his Judge. They believed the serpent, the devil. They trusted him and not God. They wanted what they wanted, and not what God wanted.

James 4:4 says…

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

And because of Adam’s sin, today we are all sinners and at enmity with God. If your a friend to this world, you are an enemy of God. But Adam and Eve had the help of an Enemy. God made them coats of skins to cover up their nakedness. Some poor innocent animal had to die, had to have it’s blood shed, because of Adam and Eve’s sin. The innocent had to die for the guilty to be free. God showed Adam and Eve what needed to be done for the atonement for sin. Hebrews 9:22 will tell us that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. This was the beginning of the blood sacrifice which would picture the Lord Jesus Christ coming and shedding His precious blood on a cross for our sins: for the sins of the world. Azel’s first son, Azrikam, means the Help Of An Enemy. Azel’s second son, Bochera means…

2) First Born.

I’m not going to speculate as to whether this is actually Azel’s first born, but this is what his name means. Normally in the genealogies the actual first born would be the first on the list. But this is the order that the Holy Spirit put them in, so it is correct. First born. Everyone living today has been born once. Jesus explains in John chapter 3…

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John3:1-7)

You were born once, you must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. How? That brings us to Azel’s third son. Ishmael means…

3) God Will Hear

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

God is waiting; God will hear. God will hear you calling on Him to save you. That’s the only way you can be saved. Going to this church or that church will not get you into heaven. Your good deeds out-weighing your bad deeds will not get you into heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 says…

“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)

“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)

You need to to change your mind about how you are getting to heaven if it is not by Christ alone. The only way to heaven is through Christ. Call on His name, God will hear, and He will save you. You will be adopted into His family. He will be your Heavenly Father. You will be a child of God. Let me ask you, what happens to a child when he maybe reaches the teen years, maybe even sooner? They rebel. The same thing happens with the child of God: they backslide. You know what you need to do as a parent, and that brings us to the fourth of Azel’s sons: Sheariah. Sheariah means…

4) JAH (or Jehovah) Has Stormed.

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

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)

“Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.” (Deuteronomy 8:5)

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:6-7)

Our country is being chastened. What do you expect when a nation built on the Word of God turns it’s back on God? We took prayer out of the schools, along with the Bible. Millions of babies were made to pass through the fire to the pagan god Molech via abortions. Sodomites are everywhere, even in the Boy Scouts now. That happened to almost every major empire before it’s demise. The Ten Commandments were taken out of all government offices. People freely take the Lord’s name in vain. Sheariah means Jah has stormed. The scribes used a shortened version of Jehovah because they did not feel worthy to write His full name. Today it’s dragged freely through the muck and the mire: on the street, in schools, in books, in music, in movies, and even on TV where it was not allowed at one time. Pornography abounds. It’s on the Internet, in the movies, on TV. Even magazines and newspapers that you can look at with your kids as you’re waiting to pay for your groceries. How does God want you to treat women?

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1Peter 3:7)

Do you want your prayers answered or not? Even in our Christian schools there is disrespect. Not only towards the teachers, and other authorities, but among their peers too. Look at the next verses…

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1Peter 3:8-12)

Now that the chastening is over (for now), that brings us to Azel’s fifth son: Obadiah. Obadiah means…

5) Serving Jah

We’ve matured somewhat since the chastening. Now that God has us going in the right direction again, we can serve Him. Ephesians 2:10 lets us know where those good works came from. They are not our good works, but were created by God for us to walk in…

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

If we are going to do the works God created for us to walk in, then we need to be walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit will keep us doing what God wants, and not what we want. Look at Galatians 5:16…

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)

To live in the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit. Can you even imagine what could be done for the cause of Christ? It’s not impossible you understand to do that. God has given us everything we need to serve Him. God even has the Holy Spirit living inside of us. All we have to do is listen to Him. Do you think that would make God happy: His children doing His will? And that brings us to the last son of Azel. The sixth son was named Hanan. And Hanan means…

6) Favor

…he pleased God.

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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 11:5-6)

Do you want to please God? Do you want His favor? Have faith in Him. Please Him. Obey Him.

We just looked at a person’s life through the names of the six sons of Azel. That person could be you, me, or all of us. You may be in the Bochera phase: First Born. Jesus said you must be born again. Jesus needs to know you. Jesus also said…

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus needs to know you. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Believe Him. Believe God’s Word. God’s Word says…

“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)

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

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8)

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

If you ask the Lord to save you then Ishmael – GOD WILL HEAR.

And He will save you.

Peace!


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A Space of Grace

Today’s Reading – 2 Kings 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 21 – 22Psalms 11 – 15Proverbs 3)

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

Read the “0503 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – “He Should Have Quit While He Was Ahead;” and “Have You Found the Book?”

“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.” (2 Kings 22:16-20)

After the Word of God was discovered in the Temple while renovations were being made, King Josiah realized that the southern kingdom of Judah was far away from where she once was, and where she should have been. The king is a great man and desperately wants to get things right with the Lord, so he goes to a woman, named Huldah, a prophetess, who explained to him that judgment was certainly in store for Judah for the sins of her past. However, the good news is that the coming judgment would be postponed until after the days of King Josiah. Why? Because his heart was tender, and he was greatly humbled before God. He was determined to do what was right and lead the people of God to submit to whatever God commanded them to do.

Fast forward a couple of hundred years, way past the time of Josiah, and also past the horrible judgment that was prophesied by the prophetess as well as by others. Jerusalem had been completely destroyed, including the Temple, and the people of God had been living in captivity for seventy years, first in Babylon and then in Persia. God now opens up a window for the people of God to go back into the land of Judah, rebuild the Temple and the City of Jerusalem, and worship and serve the Lord as God had commanded them through Moses. Ezra the priest was leading a remnant of the people of God in worship, and explained to them that God had given them grace for a “little space.”

“And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 9:6-9)

I believe that God will give America a space of grace as well, even though judgment is certainly warranted for our sins as a nation. We have forsaken God; we have tolerated, condoned, and even promoted all kinds of vile immorality; and we have murdered the unborn by the millions. Our country certainly has judgment in its future, and it may be that we are experiencing some of that right now through this pandemic. But, we can also get that space of grace, if we will simply humble ourselves and submit to the will of the Lord.

“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)


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Where Did America Go? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Kings 16 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Luke 17 – 18; Psalms 1 – 5; Proverbs 1)

Read the 0501 Evening and Morning devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” (2Kings 17:7-23)

Good morning. Oops, did I say Were is America instead of Israel? No it wasn’t a mistake. America is on the same path in turning away from God. Still can’t see the connection? How about this passage…

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

Or how about this passage on the end times…

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Timothy 3:1-7)

I know, there are too many verses. How about half a verse?

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)

All sin; every sin. That is why Jesus had to die and shed His blood, and He did it for you. So, I’ll just throw in part b of this verse…

“…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

And this too…

“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.” (1John 5:12-13)

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

Some will say that I am a hater because I show you what is wrong in the eyes of God. There is only one way into Heaven, and that’s through the Lord Jesus Christ. If I don’t tell you then I actually become a hater not caring if you go to Hell or not. Jesus said…

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Peace.


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I Am The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 20 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 3 – 4; Proverbs 24; Psalms 116 – 120

Read the “0424 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.” (1Kings 20:13)

Good morning. The Bible says…

“And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:29-30)

Up to this point there was no king more wicked than Ahab. He needed a sign; the false gods he worshiped were not the LORD. But God loved Ahab: not the wickedness he did, but Ahab himself. And the LORD gave him another sign…

“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” (1Kings 20:28)

But Ahab’s time was up, when he went to war again against Syria…

“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.” (1Kings 22:34)

“So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.” (1Kings 22:37-38)

And if we go back to chapter 16, we can read Ahab’s epitaph…

“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)

How would you like to be known by this passage? Praise the LORD we are living in the age of grace. It will not be over until you take that last breath. Where will you go? The grave? Heaven? Hell? Where will you go?

“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. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 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.” (1John 5:11-13)

“I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:5-6)

“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:6-8)

“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:20-22)

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)

Peace!


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Use Your Gifts for the Lord

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Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 6 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 7 – 8; Proverbs 18Psalms 86 – 90)

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

Read the “0418 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.” – (1 Kings 7:13-14)

Not every Christian is gifted by God to be a teacher or a preacher. In this passage, we see Hiram, a man from Tyre, who was uniquely gifted by God to make all of the works of brass that were to be used in the Temple. Back in the Book of Exodus, we saw two other fellows. Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were also uniquely filled with wisdom (gifted) to build the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. As far as we know, these men never taught the Scriptures; they were not priests, or prophets; but they were greatly used of the Lord.

We have many people in our churches today who have also been uniquely crafted by the Lord to fulfill His purpose. They may be builders, like the men referenced above. They may be men or women that have a knack for cleaning, or landscaping. These are all very necessary and important jobs in the service of our churches today. As I read this passage today, I thought of a man in our church who was used of the Lord to build our platform in the auditorium along with the sound booth. He did a wonderful job, and our church building is much more beautiful and functional as a result of his using his gifts for the Lord. We also have some folks in our church that like to cook, and when we have a dinner of some kind, these people go to work, preparing delicious food for the rest of us to enjoy. They work mostly behind the scenes, but their work is very important to the Lord.

God tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” – (1 Corinthians 12:18)

Not every member is an eye or an ear: some are hands, some are feet. Not everybody is a preacher or teacher; and those that are gifted in areas other that teaching are just as important to the work of the ministry as those who teach or preach.

What is your gift? What is your sweet spot? The thing that you were born to do. Hiram was born to make brass, and he did it very well. God will be well pleased with your life if you find the thing that He has equipped you to do, and then do it for His glory.


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Ignorance Is Bliss – The Saturday Morning Post

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Today’s Passage – 1 Kings 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 5 – 6; Proverbs 17; Psalms 81 – 85)

Read the “0417 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” (1Kings 4:34)

Good morning. Everybody who knew of King Solomon’s wisdom came from all over the world to here it.

“And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” (1Kings 4:30-33)

And how did Solomon become so wise? He got his wisdom from God…

“And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” (1Kings 3:11-13)

So, why did the Supreme Court ban the Bible (God’s Words of wisdom to us) from schools. Maybe so you can have the results we have today where kids are killing kids in drug deals gone wrong. Where women fight for the right to kill babies. Where Godless Socialism runs rampant throughout the world. Where the homosexuals work to get the age of accountability lowered so they can “know” your children. And where children can choose to be something other than what God made them. Wonder why?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)

Sounds much like the world is today. So what can we do?

1) Preach The Word

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2Timothy 4:1-4)

2) Watch In All Things

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions…” (2Timothy 4:5a)

Godless Socialism is working hard to take away your freedom. Are you getting your covid19 passport for traveling between states?

3) Do The Work Of An Evangelist

“…do the work of an evangelist…” (2Timothy 4:5b)

Get the Word out, God’s Word. Make disciples who will do the same.

4) Make Full Proof Of The Ministry.

“…make full proof of thy ministry.” (2Timothy 4:5c)

We should be faithful to do whatever God has called us to do. Be the best Pastor. Be the best Assistant Pastor. Be the best Sunday School Teacher. Be the best Nursery Worker. Whatever God has given you to do be the best.

Peace.


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God Doesn’t Forget

God Doesn't Forget

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 51

Read the “0414 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” (2 Samuel 21:1)

Remember back in 1 Samuel when King Saul was mad at the priests because they had helped David. (See 1 Samuel 21 & 22) Saul ended up killing all of the priests (85 of them) and then proceeded to wipe out Nob, the city that the priests lived in. What Saul did to the priests and to their families was bad enough, but there was also a group of people who lived in Nob as servants to the priests who were not Israelites: they were Gibeonites. Now, you may also remember from the book of Joshua that the Gibeonites were the people who tricked Joshua into making a covenant with them. Joshua promised these people with an oath that Israel would let them live, and in return the Gibeonites would be Israel’s servants. God never forgot that covenant, so when Saul (acting on behalf of Israel) broke the covenant and slew the Gibeonites living in Nob; God held them (Israel – not just Saul) accountable. God doesn’t forget, even when we want to. Here, an entire nation is suffering for the decision of one man.

We should be admonished when we read passages like this. First of all, we should realize that our actions affect more people than we think; and we should carefully consider the outcome on others around us from the decisions we make today as well as the impact they will have on future generations. Secondly, we need to think about any unfinished business we may have with God or other people. We are so quick to promise things; but so slow to deliver the things that we promise. God never forgot the promise that Israel made with the Gibeonites.

Note – A separate thought from this passage of Scripture. Notice in 21:8 that five of  the ”sons of Saul” (actually grandsons) that were to be killed were possibly the adopted sons of Michal, David’s first wife. These sons were actually her nephews, the sons of her deceased sister, Merab (1 Samuel 18:19). Michal had lived a troubled life due to men who had used her for their own gain. Saul promised her to David and reluctantly gives her to be his wife; later Saul took her back and gave her to another man; After Saul’s death, when David is in power, he takes her back, away from a man that really loves her; and now here she is losing her sons.


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And The LORD Do That Which Seemeth HIM Good – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 2 Samuel 8 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

Read the “0410 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” (2Samuel 10:12)

Good morning. Joab was going to lead some of Israel in an attack against the Syrians, while his brother, Abishai, led the rest of Israel against the Ammonites. The battle started and the Syrians along with the Ammonites fled before Israel. That’s what the LORD wanted: His people to trust Him.

Where you upset with God because He allowed those who won the election in the U. S. to win? (I have to watch what I say because big brother may be watching… oops.) Anyway, God allowed the liberals to win because that is who won in His great plan. And our God is perfect and never makes mistakes, so it is in our best interest that those who won, won. Could it be that President Biden will get saved during his term and lead the country back to God? VP Harris?

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” (Isaiah 59:1-13)

King David trusted in the LORD, and He delivered him…

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1Samuel 30:6-8)

“And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” (1Samuel 30:18-19)

Where is our faith in God? Are we praying for those in office?

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:43-46)

1) Pray for those who have the rule over us.

I am reminded of the opening line of Southwest Radio Bible Church: “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things.”

Just some statistics…

Castro murdered 15,000 to 17,000 of his political enemies.

Stalin murdered 950,000 to 1.2 million of his political enemies.

Hitler murdered 6 million Jews plus 500 of his political enemies.

What will happen in America if we don’t pray?

2) Have faith in God.

Remember that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The LORD knows what to do to turn a heart back to Him. Have faith in God.

“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)

3) Trust God.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

We know that Godless Socialism is wrong. The LORD knows this too. We just need to trust Him. Trust with all our hearts, and not our own understanding.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Peace!


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Check With God First

Man-Praying

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 – 18Proverbs 9Psalms 41 – 45)

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

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

“And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” – (2 Samuel 7:3-5)

In 2 Samuel 7, David comes to the prophet Nathan, and informs him of his desire to build a permanent dwelling place for the ark of the covenant: he wanted to build the temple. You will recall that up until this time the corporate worship of God took place in a portable tabernacle that God had designed for them while they wandered the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. But now it was time to build a permanent structure in the capital city – Jerusalem. It was a good thing that David wanted to do, and it was also good that he went to inquire of the man of God before he did it. The problem here is not with David, but with the prophet Nathan. He gave David the green light to “do all that [was] in [David’s] heart”, before he checked with God. In other words, he spoke on behalf of God, but did not say what God wanted him to say. He spoke prematurely. As it turns out, God had other plans. He did not want David to build the temple. That job was going to go to David’s son, Solomon.

There is a great lesson to be learned here for us. Before we offer our advice on a matter, we ought to check with God first. How we go about doing that is a little bit different today than it was in David and Nathan’s day. In their time God would speak directly to the man of God. Today, however, we have to discern the will of God in the following way:

1  We first go to the Word of God – check to see what the Bible says about what you want to do. Just about every possible scenario is covered by Biblical principle. Let’s say for example that a young lady wanted to know if it was OK to get involved with a young man who is not a dedicated Christian. She could look into the Word and see that it says that she is not to be “unequally yoked” together with an unbeliever. She would also see that the Scripture says that she can not “walk together” with someone whom she is not in agreement with. And there are many other passages of Scripture, which would advise her against what she wants to do. The bottom line is that if the thing we want to do is in violation of sound Biblical principle, we should not do it.

2  We go to God in prayer. We ask God to reveal to us personally His will regarding the matter. I believe that if a person is really concerned about the will of God, He will direct them. When I was praying about where to serve God after Bible college, God revealed to me precisely that He wanted my family to serve Him here in Galloway, NJ.

3  We get advice. The Bible is clear that there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Find some people with godly wisdom that you can go to for counsel regarding your decision, and give them some time to pray first before they give you an answer.

Nathan should have put David on hold until he had a chance to find out what God wanted him to do.


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