The Field of the Slothful … by Justin Mears

Today’s Passage – Proverbs 22 – 24 (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 – Mark 15 – 16Psalms 106 – 110)

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

Read the “0722 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:” (Proverbs 24:30-33)

This is the story of a man who has a field and is slothful, and also a man who has a vineyard and is void of understanding. The slothful man is too lazy to go out and work the field, while the man void of understanding is just ignorant of danger and without discernment. Either way the men described do not take there duties seriously enough to work and think hard. These men will go on with there lives blissfully lacking and never acknowledging the failure until it is too late. Once they are without and in poverty it will be too late, they will be eating of the “fruit of their labor.” They will never get that time back. 

“So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:34)

I see this field and vineyard as the life God has given. Just as a man must work his field by breaking up the soil, planting seeds, pulling thorns, giving nutrition, and building a wall to protect it from animals that would want to devour it. You must have wisdom, work hard, have good timing, and fervently pray.

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. … The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.” (Proverbs 22:3, 13)

A man void of understanding doesn’t make the right moves because he doesn’t have the eyes of wisdom, while the slothful man makes excuses and he really believes he has an impossible feat before him. The slothful man says it can’t be done so they feel better about their laziness. How are we doing managing the field God has given us? Are we taking our duties in life seriously, working hard at home with our families? Training our children and loving our spouses? Or does our life look like the these men’s fields? Read it again

“And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.” (Proverbs 24:31)

In conclusion God wants to use us for his glory and exalt himself through us. This can only be done if we keep our fields. 

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)

The Mears Family

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What Pathway Are You On? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Proverbs 10 – 12 (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 – Mark 7 – 8; Psalms 86 – 90; Proverbs 18)

Read the “0718 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.” (Proverbs 10:2)

“Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.”(Proverbs 11:4)

“Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long-run, there’s still time to change the road your on.” (Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin)

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, and a second time in Proverbs 16:25)

“In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” (Proverbs 12:28)

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Good morning. Righteousness delivers from death. In the way of righteousness is life. Our righteousness is of the LORD: it comes from God. And despite what Dead Zeppelin (as I call them) sings about, there is only one path that leads to Heaven, and you may not have time to change the path you have decided to go down. The Way is shown in the picture above. Out of the wreckage of 9/11 stands the cross. What pathway are you on? When you look at the wreckage of your life, do you see the cross? And what about our nation? Does it see the cross, or does it call good evil, and evil good? Can the ungodly leaders care about America, and not buy votes by passing laws that mock God by allowing the killing of a life that God created? A law allowing the union of same-sex couples, calling it marriage, which God said marriage was between a man and a woman, and views homosexuality as an abomination. The Word of God says…

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

Do you weep when you see the almighty dollar worshipped, and not the Almighty God? No tears? Heart kinda hard? The church at Ephesus can relate to that…

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:1-5)

Today, you can go and visit the church at Ephesus in Turkey. It’s all in ruins, but you can still visit it. Will America be in ruins also? Soon? We need to repent. Change our minds about what we are doing. Does it make sense to argue over petty issues, when people are dying and going to Hell? No. Does it make sense. to elect God-fearing politicians into office who will do right, calling evil evil and good good. Yes, it does. And what about God? Our nation is trying to get rid Him, removing Him from our daily lives. But when all is said and done, when America is gone, God will still be standing. Jesus told the Ephesians to repent, AND do the first works: tell others about Jesus. If we would not have dropped the ball, America might still be a leader among nations. Even our enemies can see this – they aren’t blind…

“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a keynote speech. “Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.” As part of this defense of “Christian values,” Russia has adopted a law banning “homosexual propaganda” and another that makes it a criminal offense to “insult” the religious sensibilities of believers.
It’s sad when Russia, considered a godless nation, has to tell us that we are going in the wrong direction. What kind of witness does that make us? Repent and do the first works.

I want to end this with a passage from ‘The Mystery of the Shemitah” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. (A Shemitah is the 7th year of Israel’s agricultural cycle when the land rested (see Leviticus 25:1-4 and Exodus 23:10-11))…

“As the Shemitah of the year 2001 approached it’s end, America saw the collapse of it’s two colossal towers. But when the towers fell, one object was left standing. It was a steel cross forged out of the calamity – in the midst of the calamity, a symbol of hope; in man’s hatred, the love of God. That, in and of itself, was a sign.

The Shemitah declares that, in the end, all things will pass away, everything will collapse and fall – except this – God, His love, and His salvation. Everything else we sought after or dwelt upon will mean nothing. They will all pass away. But the love of God and His salvation will not fall, nor collapse, nor fail, but will remain forever. And the only thing that will then matter is whether we sought Him, found Him, and became right with Him – in that love and in that salvation.”

What pathway are you on?


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Are You Happy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider what the Word of God says about happiness:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Things Are Looking Up – The Saturday Morning Post

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

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

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

A Song of degrees. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” (Psalm 123:1-2)

Good morning. Our pastor was right. Things look much better when you don’t watch the news. We had to cut our cable because of the move into the RV. I can’t watch the news, so I have no idea what’s going on. Good! I feel much better, and things are looking up. With our eyes off the TV, we can look up to the LORD our God, until that He have mercy upon us. You can riot. You can pull down statues and try to erase history. (Didn’t ISIS do that?). If you forget history, you are bound to repeat it. You can even abort babies all the way up to the time of birth. This nation is in trouble, and the only way out is the LORD. Why you can even cry out that Black Lives Matter, but the truth is that all lives matter to God.

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. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)

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. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Peter 3:9-13)

No need to tear things down, it’s all going to be burnt up with fervent heat anyway. What you need to ask yourself is, “Am I saved? Do I know for sure that I am going to heaven?”

The Word of God 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.” (1John 5:12-13)

You see we need a Saviour, because 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)

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

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

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)

The Bible is clear, without Jesus you cannot get to heaven. You can be as good as you can, but that still will not get you in…

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)

We are living in the end times. The Bible gives us this description…

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.” (2Timothy 3:1-5)

If you receive Jesus, you will know for sure that your final destination will be heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ promises…

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)

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

See, things are looking up!


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Worship the King … by Gerald Hicks II

Today’s Reading – Psalms 115 – 118 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

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

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

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1)

I. Worship Him for Who He is

“For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

A. God of gods

B. Lord of lords

C. King of kings

“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. … Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.” (Psalm 115:2-8, 11)

We live in the world that promotes self. A world that says you are your own god. A world that worships the creature INSTEAD OF ( not just more than ) the Creator ..

We have a world that promotes wealth and fame as success and having a lot of stuff ..

Does God have all of us? Or do we have some “idols” in the way?

Just because it’s not a statue of some kind doesn’t mean it’s not an idol in our life!

We give time and we make time for what we deem important—
Do we make time for God ?

Do we make time for the things of God?

That list talks about things that have no physical power – having eyes and ears and a nose And all these different things but with no affect , with no life to them— but yet it still has a hold on the person giving it the worship or attention—

“They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psalm 115:8)

Whether it be a hobby , finances , a job , a sin or struggle, a distraction of some kind , whatever that idol is or may be , it cannot continue to take the place of our adoration and affection and attention that our God deserves!

Let’s not get used to having God in our lives!

If you’re saved this morning , don’t get over the truth of saying “your God” – “Our God!”

Praise Him for who He is— He is Our God!

The Alpha and Omega.

The Beginning and the Ending.

The Author and Finisher of our Faith.

Our Father and Friend!

He’s the Friend that Never Leaves.

He’s the One that removed your sin as far as the east is from the west.

The One that loves you unconditionally.

The One that will never get tired of hearing your voice.

Our God is Our Everything.

Our God,,, sent Our Saviour Jesus Christ to this earth- being 100% man being 100% God and as Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:1, 3 – 15.

“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. … If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:1, 3 – 5)

Let’s reflect on this challenge that he wrote to Timothy and think of our ownselves.

Sounds like many in our world today doesn’t it?

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:6-7)

But so many live trying to obtain and conquer so much as if they can take it with them when they perish…

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (1 Timothy 6:8-11)

The world needs the Gospel!

The world needs us as Christians following the example that Paul is telling Timothy to follow after …

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” (1 Timothy 6:12-15)

No matter what goes on this world.

No matter how the hearts of men waver.

No matter what happens or changes next or what direction our society goes to next.

Never lose sight of the fact.

There is always One constant.

And He’s the same yesterday today and for ever — that’s our God!

We need to Praise Him for who He is!

Pastor and Mrs. Gerald Hicks II

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Fix Your Hearts … by Dawson Parker

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

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

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

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

“O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.” (Psalm 108:1)

I will be focusing on the first line of Psalm 108:1 which says, “O God, my heart is fixed;” Now in context, David is writing this Psalm and he is saying that he is focused on singing to and giving God praise. This is obviously a great thing for us to do and something we should work on doing regularly. There were things that distracted David and even things that fought for priority above God on David’s list, but he had to make a choice to get all of his mind on the Lord and do it with all of his might. You may ask, what does the word fixed mean? It means settled; established; firm; fast; stable. In order to have a consistent walk with the Lord on a daily basis and in order to be a Christian that makes a change in this world, our hearts have to be fixed on some things! Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Naturally, our heart is going to stray away from the things of God and sway left on issues and just get corrupt. This means that we continually have to “fix our hearts”, and work as David did with all of his mind and might. With all the things going on around us in the year 2020, it is very easily to get distracted and even lose hope sometimes but neither of these will help us make an impact for the Lord. There is one major thing as Christians that our hearts need to be fixed on and that is the Word of God! Personal, daily bible reading, and devotion has never been so important and never been so easily neglected. We need that final authority in our life to keep us straight! It is no doubt the most attacked thing in our history and in our current age. There is a show on TV called “Alone” where people go out and try to survive by themselves in the wilderness and the rules will not even let them bring a Bible because of an “unfair spiritual advantage”. Isn’t it crazy that worldly show hosts see how important and life changing the Word of God is but so often we forget! The end part of Psalm 138:2 says, “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” and Psalm 119:89 says, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” I think it’s about time we start making the Word of God as important in our lives as it is to God Almighty!

The Lord has greatly used his word in my life multiple times. In some of the most difficult and trying times of my life, I have always been able to look in God’s Word and he never fails to speak to me and change my whole situation and outcome just because I set my heart on making his word a priority. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Dawson is a faithful member of New Manna Baptist Church in Marion, NC, and a student at Vision Baptist College in Berlin, NJ.

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Say So! Sing So! … by Sarah Camillo

Today’s Reading – Psalms 106 – 107 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 13 – 14Psalms 31 – 35Proverbs 7)

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

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

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;” (Psalm 107:1-2)

Have you ever thought about what God loves to hear you say? Have you ever wondered what song God loves to hear you sing? Have you ever pondered what it is that you speak that captures His attention? It is your voice, the voice of the sinner who has been made clean through the blood of Calvary, proclaiming to the world that you have been redeemed!

I have a song I love to sing
Since I have been redeemed
Of my redeemed Savior King
Since I have been redeemed

I have a Christ who satisfies
Since I have been redeemed
To do His will my highest prize
Since I have been redeemed

I have a witness bright and clear
Since I have been redeemed
Dispelling ev’ry doubt and fear
Since I have been redeemed

I have a home prepared for me
Since I have redeemed
Where I shall dwell eternally
Since I have been redeemed

I have a joy I can’t express,
Since I have been redeemed,
All through His blood and righteousness,
Since I have been redeemed.

Since I have been redeemed
Since I have been redeemed
I will glory in His name
Since I have been redeemed
I will glory in my Savior’s name!

~ Edwin O. Excell

 Redeemed how I love to proclaim it,

Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb,

 Redeemed through His infinite mercy,

 His child and forever I am! 

~Fanny Crosby – If you have been redeemed, you have something to say! You have something to sing about!

Sarah and Aria

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Happy Birthday, America! – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 90 – 95 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 7 – 8; Psalms 16 – 20; Proverbs 4)

Read the “0704 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” (Psalm 95)

I’m 66 years old, and have many memories of many Fourth of July’s. In 1976, my brother took me to see the Tall Ships come in for Operation Sail. And the fireworks around the Statue of Liberty were fantastic. On July fourth of 1999, the sign in front of our church (Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, TX, at the time) said ‘FIREWORKS INSIDE.’ And I’m sure that you also have fond memories of The Fourth. It was only 244 short years ago that we broke from the tyranny of man, and dedicated our new nation to God. We started off well. We could sing right along with verses 1 through 7 of Psalm 95. Then something happened. We became rich, and a world power. Soon we didn’t need God anymore. We took Him out of the schools. We took His commandments out of our courts, and out of government buildings. Our children turned into animals, not knowing right from wrong, killing each other, spreading STD’s; sacrificing their unwanted babies to Molech through abortion. Children are being taught that evil is good, and good is evil. Society is telling our children that it is okay if they didn’t like being a girl or a boy: they can change the way that God made them by mutilating their bodies. They never tell them the truth: that God made them a boy or a girl to use for His purpose. Woe unto those doctors and teachers…

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

This nation has turned it’s back on God, and is going down fast. Today, through Psalm 95, God still sends out a plea for His people to return to Him…

“…To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” (Psalm 95:7-11)

God also said in His Word…

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.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

Do you want America to have a happy birthday? Then it’s time for America to turn back to God. And this must start with you and me. As Christians, we must rededicate ourselves to the Lord. We are His people, called by His name. The tyranny in this nation will not stop until every Christian is on his or her knees begging God to heal this nation. Will He? As the late Yogi Berra, catcher for the Yankees baseball team said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”


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Finding God’s Strength … by Caitlin and Glen Tarr

Today’s Reading – Psalms 80 – 85  (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

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

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

Read the “0702 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” (Psalm 84:5-6)

When reading Psalm 84 the two words that stuck out to me were strength and Baca.  Finding out that Baca could mean weeping, I also associated the word with the word weakness.  I then went to focus on finding God’s strength when we are weak.

During 2020, I have found myself at some of the weakest points in my life.  I had to leave school for medical reasons which I now call a blessing in disguise because I was safely at home when the world shut down due to COVID.  When it was time to register for classes for the summer and fall semester, I was excited to register and get back to school.  Try to make up some of the credits I lost in the spring semester.  Yet again, I am finding that the Lord has other plans for me, one’s I don’t understand.  I was unable to secure the funding for school and have been forced to take a leave of absence for the upcoming school year.  Yet, through this all, one thing has remained the same: God.  I have been able to pray and gain his strength.

Two quick examples from the Bible Isaiah 40:27-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Both passages talking about the strength of God. The same strength that we can call upon when we are weak. His power never fails, never needs to be recharged. His power and His strength are both ours when we call upon the name of the Lord.

One of my favorite poems is Footprints in the Sand, the author unknown.  The last line reads this, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you.  During the times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand it was then that I carried you.”  Through all the trials in our lives, through all the storms of this life, God has always been there.  His strength, not ours, gets us through.  He has placed people in our lives to help us get back up on our feet when we stumble and fall.

Every situation we find ourselves in, whether that be good or bad, God is there.  All we need is to ask for His help and remember it is his footsteps we see in the sand when we need the most help.

Glen and Caitlin Tarr

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Give Ear … by Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – Psalms 78 – 79 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

Second Milers also read – Proverbs 1Psalms 1 – 5Mathew 1 – 2)

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

Read the “0701 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 78:1)

I believe since the invention of the smartphone we have become the worst listeners. Just think about it, how many times this week have you seen someone or yourself on their phone while having a conversation with someone else? It has become so hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone, because they are not giving their full attention. I have seen myself do this way too often. What happens is usually I’m not one hundred percent sure what the person talking to me is saying. Sometimes I even have to stop and say, “what were you saying?”  It’s extremely rude, but it also can be costly. Someone may be telling you important information, and now you were not able to retain the information because you were not paying attention. Listening is what this particular Psalm is talking about.   

The first thing the psalmist says is “give ear.” He’s saying I need you to listen. He wants them to listen to the word of God. He goes on to talk about why you should listen. I think why I should listen would be to help my life, or make my walk with God better. However, this passage is not to benefit me at all. The reason he’s telling us to listen is for the generation to come. God says, you had better start listening to the law for your children’s sake. If you are a parent, or a mentor to the generation to come you have a responsibility. Your responsibility, for the next generation, is for you to have a personal walk with God. God is saying, if you listen, and you follow me, the generation to come will have a better time following. I have seen this to be true today. I know there are mighty Christians who have had their children stray away. Yet other times the children leave God, because the parents were not really listening to God. These parents would go to church, but after church they would watch or listen to something that is wicked. They would bring their Bible to Church, but that is the only time they would open it up. The generation to come is watching, and they are thinking if it’s not real to my parents, why would I make it real for myself?

“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

At RU (the addictions program I run at my church) I often have addicts say they are just “hurting themselves” and not anyone one else by partaking in their addiction. I inform them that is not the case. Number one they have people whose hearts are breaking because their loved one is trapped in an addiction. Number two many children of addicted parents tend to get caught up in the same addiction. Could that be hereditary? Maybe. Rather, I think a big part of it is watching their parents partaking in the addiction. 

So how are we doing with our Christian walk? Are we listening daily to God so that the future generations have someone prepared to lead, or are we like the person talking to someone, with a smartphone, unaware of who may be following us? Let’s “give ear” to God.

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark. Travis is an assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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