God’s Got the Details by Katelyn Erickson

Today’s Passage – Exodus 39 – 40 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 21 – 22Proverbs 2Psalms 11 – 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read the “0202 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Glory of the Lord

“31 And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: 32 When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses. 33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. (Exodus 40:31-33)

When I read about the tabernacle I’m always amazed and thankful our God cares so much about the smallest details.

Let’s be grateful for all the beautiful, interesting parts of life that God gives us each day, but it is so important to not get overwhelmed, bogged down, or anxious over all the details. 

“As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:15

As God gave out each instruction, the Bible says that Moses simply obeyed “as the Lord had commanded Moses”. 

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:15, 21

At the end of the book of Exodus it says “So Moses finished the work.” (40:33) We sometimes can get distracted by the complicated intricacies while really we need to keep our focus on the simplicity of just loving Him and keeping His commands…while leaving life’s nitty gritty details in His hands.

Then, we too will be able to finish the work that He has given us in this life that He has blessed up with.


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Stiffnecked

Today’s Passage – Exodus 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 17 – 18Proverbs 31Psalms 1 – 5 (Jump start on February because it is a short month)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 John 3:1

Read the “0131 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous post from today’s reading passage – “Willing Servants,” and “Beaming.”

“….for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.” (‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33‬:‭3‬ – ‭5)‬‬‬

Reading this chapter brought back some memories of me as a six year old boy at my great-grandmother’s house and hearing her say, Gerald you are so hardheaded!!

We see the Lord upset with the children of Israel, and it’s not his first time nor will be his last that He has been grieved by them and it’s just amazing that He never just destroyed every last one of them… but can’t the same thing be said about us?

We cannot talk enough about the mercy of God!

The Bible says that we are “but dust.” Know what that means? It means we are NOTHING!

Just take a second and think about how often we grieve our God. Too many saved, children of God, like myself that live like this. Why? Why are we so full of ourselves that we think we know better than the KNOWER of all things!?

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

So flippantly we say Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, and we know that means we are born again, but is He LORD of us? Do we live like He is? Is He Master? Does He call ALL the shots? Or does the creature know more than the Creator?!

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭46‬)

Why do we walk around living a life that screams to God, “I got it!” We live as though we were entitled to salvation or for some reason were worthy of it! We act as though we deserve to be treated a certain way in this world, when you take a step back and think about how we will never receive what we truly deserve. It ought to stop you in your tracks!

Hey every day outside of hell is a good day, NO MATTER WHAT! Without Christ, we are nothing. He is the only thing that makes us special.

We read a lot about the children of Israel and their fickleness, but we must be careful not to look our noses down at them because far too often we are guilty of the same inconsistencies. Think about the things we complain about so much in others that we do ourselves. We look at other “dirt clods” and cast them down, and promote ourselves to better, when at the end of the day, we’re all just dirt.

We must get honest with who we truly are and where we lack spiritually and do something about it.

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

Look Is He worthy of our absolute total trust in Him or not? Has He not proven countless times the obvious answer? Has our flesh proven that it’s not worth trusting with any moment of our lives, yet which do we yield to more ?

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John‬ ‭3‬:‭30‬)

Gerald, Jessica, and Troy Hicks

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What Are You So Afraid Of?

Today’s Passage – Genesis 43 – 44 (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 – 6Proverbs 17Psalms 81 – 85)

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

Read the “0117 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s reading passage – “Bereaved Again,”  “Passed the Test,” and “People Can Change.”

“And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.” (Genesis 43:18)

If the book of Genesis was a movie, this would be the part of the movie that you would be on the edge of your seat, mindlessly shoving popcorn in your mouth, wondering what’s going to happen next? The story of Joseph’s life starts out looking like things are really good. Joseph seems to have favor with his father and with God. God is giving him special dreams that seem to show him that he is going to be used for some bigger purpose. Then things seem to take a turn for the worse. Jealousy from his bothers, anger, betrayal, slavery, false accusation, prison. At this part of the movie, you’re wondering why you spent the money. It’s depressing. But things then begin to turn around for Joseph. God brings him out of prison, begins to bless him in ways that you could only dream of. 

Everything seems to be going well. This movie was crazy, but they all lived happily ever after. Then all of a sudden, Joseph is taken through a time machine, and blasted with a whirlwind of emotions. He sees his brothers. The brothers that wanted to kill him. The brothers that sold him as a slave. What is he going to do now? He know who they are, but they don’t recognize him. I encourage you to read the whole story if you haven’t yet. 

And the story goes on. The brothers are wondering why they are being singled out. Joseph, no doubt is wondering if or when his brothers will recognize him. Eventually we get to the passage of Scripture that I have at the beginning. The brothers are afraid. They are looking over their shoulders, expecting to be deceived. Have you ever noticed about certain people, that they think everyone is lying to them all the time? I’ve come to find in most cases, they themselves are compulsive liars. Or, people who think others are talking about them all the time, are generally the biggest gossips. They live their lives a certain way, and they they just assume that everyone else is the same as they are. I think that is the case with Jospeh’s brothers here. If you read back through the past couple of chapters, you can see stories of lies, deceit and deception all involving Joseph’s brothers. So, naturally they are here expecting Joseph to be the same way. And Jospeh does use some deceit here. I believe he does it to wake them up. They have lived their lives in deceit so much, they now have deceived themselves into believing their lies. 

Joseph, on the other hand, lived a life of honesty and integrity. He lived a life trusting God. And even though he faced many difficult situations, he was never looking over his shoulder wondering what was going to happen next. He just trusted that God knew what He was doing, and although he may not enjoy what was happening at the moment, he knew God was with him. 

I have lived my life at times, sadly, like Jospeh’s bothers. I have, at times, to the glory of God, live my life like Joseph. And I can tell you, that the latter helps you sleep much better at night. In this new year, I don’t want to be afraid, constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for what’s going to happen because of an ungodly, selfish way of living. I want God to be with me. I want God to be pleased with me. How about you? Let’s tackle 2023 together, living a life that is pleasing to God.


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Facing Your Fears – Guest Post by Cindy Erickson

Today’s Passages – Genesis 31 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24Proverbs 12Psalms 56 – 60)

Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “No More Jacob,” and “Following the Will of God.

“11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” (Genesis 31:11-13)

“20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.” (Genesis 31:20-21)

“7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.” (Genesis 32:7-8)

In our passage today, we continue looking into the life of Jacob who has his named changed to Israel (Genesis 28). Jacob certainly had his share of troubles in the past. He had deceived his brother and father back in chapter twenty-seven, which caused his brother to threaten to kill him. Jacob then flees from his brother to his uncle’s home in Padanaram. There he is deceived by his uncle Laban, and is tricked into serving an extra seven years for the woman he loved. Eventually, God blesses Jacob and his family so much in Padanaram that they become wealthier than Uncle Laban, which causes a lot of resentment and bitterness from Laban and his sons. God tells Jacob that it is time for him to go back to Canaan, the place that he had fled from twenty years earlier.

Jacob was afraid. He is escaping from Uncle Laban and is afraid of what will happen if Laban catches him. He is also afraid of his brother, the one who threatened to kill him, which was awaiting him back in the land of Canaan. As we read through this passage we can almost smell Jacob’s fear. He is scared to death. But he still obeys the Lord and follows His plan by going back to Canaan. Jacob faced his fears. Someone once said that courage was not the absence of fear, but it is being willing to do what is necessary even when you may be terrified. I don’t like writing these devotions. I am always scared when my husband asks me to do it, but I plow through it, knowing that it is something that God wants me to do, and if God wants it done, He will enable me to do it.

Another thought that God showed me from this passage is that though Jacob would have preferred to avoid facing either Laban or Esau, God arranged that he had to face both, to get things right with each of them. We probably all have friends or family members who have wronged us in the past. Or, perhaps, we may have wronged them. God will make sure that one day we will have the opportunity to face them and make things right with them. It is always scary to face someone who we were once at odds with, but rarely are our fears ever realized. Usually, we end up feeling much better because the relationship rift has been repaired.

Fear will cause us to avoid doing the hard things, but if God is calling us to do them, we can move forward, even though we are scared, because we trust that God will get us through it.Maybe, God will change our name (reputation) as well.

Pastor and Cindy Erickson


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Thoughts About Job from Phil Erickson Jr.

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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)

(Second Milers Read – Philippians 1 – 4; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

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?


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True Love by Pastor Ted Stahl

The-effects-of-the-cross

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

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

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.

True Love

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)

True love.

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


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Toxic Waste – The Saturday Morning Post

animas-river_EPA spill

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)

(Second Milers also read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalm 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

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)

…and also…

“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.

Peace!

(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))


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Our Help Is In The Name Of The LORD – The Saturday Morning Post

incredible_sunsets_01Today’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. 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)


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With Friends Like These… – The Saturday Morning Post

 

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

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 1 – 3; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

“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)

 

 


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The Unloved – The Saturday Morning Post by Pastor Ted Stahl

Today’s Passage – Genesis 29 – 30 (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 – 22Proverbs 11Psalms 51 – 55)

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)


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