Today’s Reading – Job 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51
Read the “0609 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:2)
The story of Job in the Bible has always fascinated me. I have always loved hearing messages preached about his life. For those of you who attend our church, the “Hast thou retained thine integrity?” message is one of the all-time greats. To think that a man could go from being ”the greatest of all the men of the east” as the Bible calls him, to having nothing in just a matter of hours, and still praise God through all of it just boggles my mind. I have often wondered what it was that made Job such a “perfect and upright” man. Was it the fact that he gave his tithes and offerings faithfully? Maybe. Was it the fact that he cared so much about his family and their spiritual condition? Could be. Or maybe did God just like him better than anyone else at the time? God is not a respecter of persons, but who knows? Maybe He did favor him. He obviously blessed him with a lot. But as I read these few chapters a thought jumped out at me. Job is right smack in the middle of the absolute worst time in his life, and here come his ”friends.” They go on and on about why they think this is all happening to Job. And right in the middle of it, I noticed verses 19-20 of chapter 16. And, I may be wrong, but I think these couple verses may be the secret to Job’s “success” as a man of God. The verses say – “And now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” Job cared about what God thought, and ONLY about what God thought. He said ‘my witness is in heaven’ , and ‘ my record is on high.’ He knew that God knew everything that was going on. He knew that God knew his heart and his intentions with everything he did in his life. He knew that God knew that his tithes and offerings, his service to God, and his love for his family was out of his love and devotion to God. It had nothing to do with ANYONE else. So, when the chips were down, and everything went down the drain, he didn’t go running to his friends or anyone else. He went to God. He brought his tears to God. He knew that when things were good, it was God. When things were bad, it was God. And he praised God through it all.
As Christians we need to see that everything that happens to us, good or bad, comes from the Lord. He loves us more than we can ever know. He has a plan for our lives, and we need to trust Him and Him alone. When the chips are down, our friends won’t always be there. Sometimes even our family won’t be there. But God is always there. He never turns His back on us…who are we to turn our backs on Him?
Posted in Guest Posts, Thoughts from Job by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read the “1016 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
As the people cried out, “His blood be on us, and our children!”; the soldiers took Jesus to scourge Him. The pieces of bone, broken pottery, and metal attached to the nine strands of the whip dug deeply into his skin. And the blood flowed. True love. In the true spirit of hatred, the soldiers stripped Jesus and dressed Him in a scarlet robe: they did this to the Creator of the universe. With cruel mockeries they bowed down saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” With every ounce of hate, our Lord was crowned with a crown of thorns that pierced His scalp. And the blood flowed. True love. Then came the crucifixion. Our Lord Jesus Christ was beaten so badly that Simon of Cyrene was ordered to carry the cross. Long spikes were driven through the hands and the feet of our Lord as He was nailed to the cross. They sat down at the cross to watch Him die. And the blood flowed. True love. The mockings continued as chief priests, scribes, and elders breathed out their hatred. And the blood flowed. True Love. And then He was dead. The Lord had given up the Ghost. The payment for sin had been paid because the blood flowed. True love.
Joseph of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus lovingly wrapped the body of Jesus and placed it in a cold, dark tomb. There lay the body for three days, and three nights.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (Matthew 28:1-9)
To God, love has always been an action word. Him loving us caused Him to shed His blood paying the price for our sins. We love Him because He first loved us. When they saw the risen Lord, they held Him by His feet and worshipped Him. True love. 1Peter 1: 22 says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…”
That’s true love. Having that love in us, calling ourselves Christians, how can we kick our brothers and sisters when they are down. How can we destroy families, and cause fellow believers to leave the churches. How can we discourage and not edify Is that true love? Even when we are to rebuke someone who wronged us, it’s to be done in love and only between you and that person. Proverbs is full of wisdom about the tongue. “The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out” (Proverbs 10:31). “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21).
Remember the scourging. Remember the thorns. Remember the spitting, and pulling out the beard. Remember the cruel mocking. Remember true love. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another ” (John 13:34-35).
Posted in Guest Posts, Thoughts from Matthew by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.
Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 20 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio –click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Read the “0905 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezekiel 20:9)
“But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.” (Ezekiel 20:14)
“Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.” (Ezekiel 20:22)
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:15-16)
Good morning. How many of you remember Love Canal? It was a small community near Niagara Falls, NY. There was an old abandoned canal there on property owned by the Hooker Chemical Co. They used this abandoned canal from 1942 to 1953 to dump almost 22 tons of hazardous industrial waste. Toxic Waste. So now this small community of about 900 people is sitting on a time-bomb. They were starting to get sick. There were many miscarriages by ladies who were pregnant. There were boils and rashes that popped up too. Twenty-four years later, 1977, the winter was harsh, there was a lot of snow, and it melted. When it did melt, the excessive water caused some of the 22 tons of toxic waste to seep into the water supply, and also come oozing out to the surface. There is now a 70 acre site that is fenced in. The site has been capped, and there is no leakage. Or is there? In 1990, two-hundred and sixty houses outside the contaminated area were given new siding, and roofs. They were sold for 20% below the market value. People bought the houses, and moved in. They started getting sick. Now, in 2013, the lawsuits came pouring in. Will they ever get Love Canal fixed, and cleaned up? It is doubtful.
Let me tell you of another toxic waste site. One that only God can ever fix. In our three text verses from Ezekiel chapter 20, the Lord said that He worked hard so that His name would not be polluted in front of the heathen (or the unsaved). Do you think a good testimony is important to God? Do you think God wants His name dragged through the mud? Do you think God meant it when He told Solomon to write…
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
“A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
What does God want to see happen with His good name? This…
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
How is your witness? How is your testimony? Does God have to work hard with you so His name does not appear as toxic waste among the unsaved?
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [WHY?] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16)
We get all excited about what is happening in the world. We see by the signs of the times that Jesus may be back soon, real soon. We see all this, and we are ready to be raptured out of here. We see all that is happening, but we forget our original purpose, our work, the work of winning souls to Christ. We need to be ready…
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (1Peter 3:15-16)
How do you appear to the unsaved? Do you appear to the unsaved as toxic waste, or have you allowed the Holy Spirit to transform us into the kind of witness you should be? God told us 3 times in Ezekiel 20, that He wrought (or worked hard) for His name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen. Are you working hard to die to self and allow Jesus to shine through? Will the unsaved get saved by seeing you or Jesus? Time is moving quickly and this country is moving further and further away from God. It was just announced that First Baptist Church of Greenville, NC is going to start ordaining gay pastors, and will offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Is not homosexuality still an abomination to the Lord?
“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)
He didn’t change, so why should His Word change? The unsaved world is not getting the truth. The unsaved world is getting a polluted picture of God, and not the God of the Bible. We need to change. Allow the Holy Spirit to change us, and help us to stop being the hypocrites that the world sees. He is the only One that can clean up this toxic waste called sin.
(“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45))
Posted in Devotions, Guest Posts by Pastor Ted Stahl with no comments yet.
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)
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. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.” (Psalm 123)
“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)
“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)
Good morning. Are you ready for the “Fall”? I have to agree with many others that something big is going to shake the United States this year. It breaks my heart to see the direction that our country has taken. And according to 2Chronicles 7:14, it is our fault Christian. We have gotten away from the commandments of the Lord: our lives, or lifestyles have taken president over God. The biggest problem is that we have gotten away from soul winning. Psalm 126 says…
“A Song of degrees. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126)
Where is the laughter that should be coming from our mouths? Where is the singing from our tongue? If you could see your faces during the congregational singing, it looks like the words are being mouthed and there is no thought of what is being sung. Are you standing on the promises? When we sing “Jesus Saves!” do you remember how wretched your wicked life was before He saved you? Psalm 125:3 says…
“For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.” (Psalm 125:3)
We are given two commands for the Holy Spirit. One tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (by doing those things we should not be doing). The other tells us not to quench the Holy Spirit (by not doing what we should be doing).
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Where did that power go today? The power is still there, but the machines are breaking down: they no longer work. Maybe they need a tune-up or a rebuilding. Maybe we need to be reminded that there is a Hell, and those who die without Jesus will go there. Every September 11th, when the news remembers 911, they show the video of the second plane crashing into the tower. Has it occurred to you that the big fireball that happened on impact is what those terrorists have been living in for the past 14 years? They have over 1000 years to go before they have to stand before the Lord to be judged, and then cast into the lake of fire.
Our forefathers gave us freedom of religion. They knew that because the real Word of God was being taught in schools, that false religions did not stand a chance. Lies would quickly crumble when confronted with truth of the gospel in the Word of God. But gradually we got away from God and His plan for everyone to hear the gospel and receive Jesus. Now Islam has the number one missionary position for recruiting and making new converts.
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. How can our children hear about faith when it’s not being taught in schools. Without faith it is impossible to please God. That’s why kids are running around like animals, having babies, aborting babies; killing each other just for the heck of it. Take a good look at the end times…
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3-8)
The time is now to get the gospel out to America, a nation dedicated to God by George Washington and others. A nation who has since turned it’s back on God. God said, “Thou shalt not kill,” yet we legalized abortions. Almost fifty-eight million abortions done since Roe vs. Wade, in 1973. Now the government tells us that it is okay for two men or two women to have a same-sex union and call it marriage. And yet God has said…
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:22-25)
The land is about to barf: it has been made sick: it’s gonna puke out some nasty chunks of the garbage it was forced to eat. Is someone going to cry out a warning? Yet 64 days (till Elul 29, 5775 or September 13, 2015) and America will be overthrown…
“And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” (Jonah 3)
It is doubtful that the President would declare a national day of fasting, and rebuke all the evil laws that his administration passed. He may, after September, but then how many of our rebellious nation would follow? So what can we do? In Joel chapter 2, God says he will pour out His Spirit on all flesh…
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (Joel 2:28-32)
And we need to take advantage of this outpouring and get the gospel out. Leave a tract with the person filling your car with gas. Leave one in a public restroom; God will get it into somebody’s hands. And then there is 2Chronicles 7:14…
“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)
Listen to our pastor’s sermon for the Sunday morning of July 5, 2015. He will explain more fully of what we need to do. We need to humble ourselves, pray, seek God, and turn from our wicked ways. “Then…”
Peace. (Psalm 124:8)
Posted in Guest Posts by Pastor Ted Stahl with 1 comment.
“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?” (Job 8:1-3)
“Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?” (Job 11:1-3)
Loosely translated, Bildad the Shuhite said, “Job, you’re full of hot air.”; and Zophar the Naamathite said, “Job, you’re a liar.” With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Good morning. They were just trying to help their friend Job, weren’t they? Of course the truth will make you free, Job, so admit you messed up and sinned. For the Lord to take away everything you had, you must have really screwed up. You can trust us: we’re your friends. Come clean Job! Give us the dirt!
King David found himself in a similar situation…
“False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.” (Psalm 35:11-14)
Sometimes it’s best not to know what the situation is. God knows exactly what the situation is. We should all take David’s example and go to God in prayer. That’s being a friend.
Peace. (Job 42:10)
Posted in Guest Posts, Thoughts from Job by Pastor Ted Stahl with 2 comments.
Read “Four Eternal Priorities of a Renewed Church” by Pastor Paul Chappell
“Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” (Genesis 29:27-35)
Good morning. Did you ever have the feeling that you were unloved, that nobody cared about you, or maybe that everyone hated you? Maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s not. Leah was hated. The Bible states that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, but when the Lord looked at the heart of Jacob, He could see that Leah was hated. What did God do? He opened her womb, and she conceived. She bare Jacob his first four sons. At the birth of the fourth son she said, “Now will I praise the LORD.”:therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Her fourth son was Judah. Judah is the tribe that the Lord chose to come to earth through: the King of Kings, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, our Emmanuel: God with us.
How do you feel about harlots? God used a harlot to hide the spies sent into Jericho, saved her and her family, then used her in the line of Jesus. Rahab the harlot was King David’s great, great grandmother (Joshua 2, 6:22-25; Matthew 1:5).
Then after a few years later, we find Ruth in the line of Messiah…
“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.” (Ruth 1:1-6)
Moab was the firstborn of Lot and his daughter. When Israel did evil in the site of the Lord, God had then serve Eglon, king of Moab, for 18 years (Judges 3:12-14). Israel hated the Moabites; God didn’t. So God put a woman of Moab, Ruth, in the line of Jesus also. (Ruth 4:13-22).
Come to think of it, everyone in the line of Judah, up to, but not including Jesus, was a sinner: everybody who ever was and is going to be is a sinner except Jesus. He died for the Leah’s of this world, the Rahab’s of this world, the Ruth’s of this world, and everybody else who has ever lived or died in this world. And Jesus gave His life for us because He loved us…
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17)
If you feel you are one of the unloved, remember that Jesus loves you. He loved you so much that He believed you were worth dieing for. Remember Leah, Rahab, and Ruth.
How do you feel about others? Do they meet your high standards or not? Remember who God chooses to use: you just may be looking down your nose at someone who will do something great for God.
Peace. (John 13:34, 15:12 & 17; Romans 13:8; 1Thesselonians 4:9; 1Peter 1:22; 1John 3:11 & 23, 4:7 &11-12; 2John 1:5)
Posted in Guest Posts by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.
Scripture Memorization for December – The Incarnation
Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read a great article by Pastor Bob Gray Sr.– “Why?“
Watch the Growth Points video by Pastor Chappell – “Pressing Into the New Year with Godly Passion“
Read the “1214 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Rembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (1Thessalonians 1:1-10)
Good morning. I really like how chapter 1 ends:, “…even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”; and there is a wrath coming. Seven years of the wrath of God are going to be poured out upon the earth. Maybe you’re worried about this if you don’t believe what God’s Word says at the end of chapter 4. Look at this verse from chapter 5…
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1Thesselonians 5:9)
Before God pours out His wrath on the earth, He will call His people home in the twinkling of an eye. The end of chapter 4 tells us…
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Thesselonians 4:13-18)
If these words were not true, how could we comfort one another with them?
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Corinthians 15:51-58)
Yes, I would also be worried about the wrath of God, if it were not for the fact that He poured out His the wrath that He had for me on the Lord Jesus Christ: as He hung on a cross, and shed His precious blood for me. If you can’t believe the rapture verses, how can you believe the rest of the Bible. All of the Bible is God’s Holy Word, and if He says He is coming back in the air to receive His bride, then you better believe He is. Can you believe the following verse?
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
God made salvation as simple as 1 John 5:12…
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12)
I like what Jesus said about my salvation…
“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)
If we all took God at His Word – He says what He means, and means what He says – there would be more obedience to God’s Word and less arguing over it.
Sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolations share,
Till from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home, and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout while passing throu’ the air,
Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer.
Peace! (Luke 2:14)
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Memory passage for the month of November – Psalm 95
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105
Scripture Memorization for August – The Kenosis Passage – Philippians 2:5 – 11
Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “If I Don’t Pray For You“
Read the “1102 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
Good morning. When the Lord returns to earth, will He find faith when He looks at you or me, or anybody? Will the Lord be pleased? Without faith it is impossible to please Him (see Hebrews 11:6). Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith we ask God for things in prayer, the evidence appears in the form of an answer to those prayers. God gives us something to ask Him for, then He answers by granting the request: God is the beginning and the end of our faith, and everything in between. The disciples wanted to please God, so the asked for an increase in their faith…
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:5-6).
Jesus compared the Kingdom of God as a mustard seed…
“And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.” (Mark 4:30-32).
I am a mustard seed. I am nothing on my own: just a seed only 1 to 2mm in diameter. But, plant me in the ground and give me fertilizer, and water; after 3 to 10 days, I start to germinate. My roots stretch deep into the soil looking for nutrients, and water; while my leaf breaks through the surface to bask in the light of the sun. I grow from the smallest of seeds to the mightiest of all the herbs of God’s creation. I am a mustard seed.
Also, consider this…
I am a human being. I was created in God’s image, but I am nothing on my own; just a person with a soul, and a dead spirit. But, give me the gospel, and the chance to receive Jesus as my Saviour and I become a new creature. My dead spirit is quickened: made alive. My eyes search God’s Word for His will for my life. I grow spiritually. I bask in His love, and the light of His Word. I go from being dead to being alive; from being lost and now found. I am saved. I am a Christian.
We all have to start somewhere: we need to start with Jesus for without Him we could do nothing (see John 15:5). When we hear the gospel, the Holy Spirit tells us we need to believe it and be saved (see Ephesians 2:8-9, John 15:26, Acts 16:19-34). We become a new creature, a child of God (see 2Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 3:26). It is all by faith; it is all by Jesus, God the Son: He is the author and finisher of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2).
So Christian, let me ask you again: will the Lord find faith when He returns to earth? As His return comes closer, and the devil’s time grows shorter, what little faith we have may be shaken. Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
God is in control. He knew about all the ups, and the downs you have had, have, or will have in your life. He already has the solution to your problems, all of them. Trust Him. Believe Him. Have faith in Him.
Peace. (Hebrews 11:6)
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Scripture Memorization for August – Psalm 1
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4
Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “Anatomy of a Servant’s Heart“
Read the “0928 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:11-18)
It’s a miracle! No more crime! We’ve become a cashless society. Just think, I can go into any store to buy something; all they do is scan my right hand (where my chip is) and a computer debits my bank account. If I’m hurt in an accident, the doctors can get my medical records almost instantly. This is great. (I guess you know where I’m going with this now.)
“…And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles…” (Revelation 13:14)
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thessalonians 2:8-12)
The lies about life: about evolution, no God, or we are all gods can be overwhelming: but many will believe the lie. It’s sad to see our country go down the toilet because of the love of money, power, and greed. Lies to advance their cause, and nothing more.
In October of 2004, the FDA approved the RFID chip for use in humans. The chip had been used in animals for some time already. While I was down in Texas, going to college, Kroger’s (a grocery store) was offering a certificate to get one put in your pet. I graduated college in 2000: the chip has been in use for over 13 years. Something happened in September of 2007. The news went out that the chip had caused cancerous tumors in some animals. And it is interesting to note what God’s Word says…
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men, which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image…”
“…And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:1-2 & 11)
The chip is here today. The technology is here today. And the Antichrist can’t be fare behind. Those destined for destruction are primed: they tried to have God removed from everywhere in our country. They don’t believe in God, and they don’t believe the Bible. After the rapture hits, they will believe in God, but they will not turn and repent: they will turn and blaspheme their creator, the one who loved them so much that He died on a cross 2000 years ago. Jesus is coming back soon to get His bride. Are you ready?
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Scripture Memorization for June – Pre-Tribulation Rapture Passages
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15
Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell – “5 Skills for Healthy Communication“
Read the “0817 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
If you had asked me a few years back if I thought America was under God’s judgment, I probably would have said I didn’t think so. Everything appeared to be going okay. After 9/11 things drastically changed in the United States.
An illustration that many preachers have used is about how to cook a frog. If you toss a frog in a pot of boiling water, he will hop right out. But if you place a frog in a pot of water, and slowly bring up the heat, he will stay there in the pot till he gets cooked. That’s what happened to us. The devil has been working on this country for quite some time. The religion of Evolution is preached in our schools as truth instead of just a theory. Children are taught that the baby formed in the womb is just an unfeeling blob of goo, so abortion is okay. People are numbed by propaganda telling them that homosexuality is an alternate life style and not sin. The Word of God has been removed from schools, government buildings, and books of “higher learning” (Romans 1:22).
Coexist is written on many of our bumper stickers. You can be whatever religion you want, just don’t attack anyone else’s. It doesn’t matter if they are on their way to Hell: they’ve been taught that there is no Hell. Why, you can even be a god yourself. Just jump around like Shirley McLane and John Denver shouting I am god, I am god. Is it any wonder that many Americans have tried to push God out of their lives, and unfortunately the lives of others too?
Even if the godless succeed in removing from the Pledge of Allegiance the phrase: one nation under God; we are still, and always will be one nation under God. And God chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:5-11). Look what God said about Israel in Psalm 81:8-16:
“Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.”
Maybe one of the problems is that as Christians today, we don’t see God work in our lives. Why should we see God work? Look at what God says in Isaiah 43:12:
“I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.”
God has spoken to us through His Word. God has saved us, not only salvation from sin, but also problems attacking our lives. And God has showed us His great love to us. And we are supposed to be His witnesses of these things. And God did these things in our lives. He did them “when there was no strange god among” us.
Logic with me for a minute. If anything that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Then anything that we deem more important than God, is a strange god. What is more important than God to you? Is it sports? Is it your job? Is it a favorite TV show that’s in the same time-slot as church? What is your strange god? When we get rid of them, maybe God will start working in our lives again. We will be witnesses for Him. He will heal our nation (2Chronicles 7:14). Psalm 85 is a good model prayer:
“LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”
Tired of not seeing God work in your life? Get rid of the strange gods.
Peace! (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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