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Question of the Day

This one-month devotional was written in 2012 to cover popular questions posed by those who are seeking for truth. The world today is being bombarded with distractions. Social media and the internet are popular ways to distract. If the devil can distract a person enough, he succeeds in keeping that person from seeking the One true God and Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. Please give this devotional a chance to encourage your heart and if you find the truth and receive Christ’s wonderful free gift of salvation, please comment and let me know. I would love to rejoice with you!



Day 1 – How can a loving God send people to Hell?

~Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

~Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

~Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Man was created in the “likeness” of God. Man had the choice between good and evil. However, since man was not God, or a god (as some religions teach), he was not able to say no to sin when given that choice.

God gave Adam and Eve the awesome privilege of living sin free as long as they obeyed one rule: not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At this point, Adam and Eve only knew “good.” You would think that they would understand how great their life was and they wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that life. However, they were easily deceived by Satan. He cast a shadow of doubt on God’s words (much like today’s attacks on the King James Bible). In Genesis 3:1, Satan said, “hath God said”? It caused Eve to question what God had told them. It further caused her to add to God’s words with ” neither shall ye touch it”. God didn’t say not to touch the tree but merely not to eat of it.

So from the beginning of man, it has been man’s choice to disobey God. Initially, Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not man. Hell was there before Adam and Eve came along.

~Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

However, because man has chosen to sin, man has also chosen to go to Hell.

~Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

~Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God provided a way for man to go to Heaven, but again, it is man’s choice – as it always has been. We do have a loving God. Sending people to Hell isn’t what He wanted. He gave man a choice from the beginning. God’s choice is for man to live a wonderful, sin-free life, just as Adam and Eve had the opportunity to have!

Why would God create man if all He wanted were robots who always did what they were told without choice? It’s evident that God wants us to love Him by choice, not because we have to. God gives us every opportunity to be saved from the choice of going to Hell. However, it is the hardened heart that refuses God’s love and His Heaven.

It is man’s natural instinct to blame someone else for his undoing. Adam blamed, Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Today, man blames God for sending people to Hell rather than praise God for providing a way to Heaven through Jesus Christ! It’s man’s choice to sin that takes him to Hell, not God.



Day 2 – What is considered the truth?

Just what is the basis of truth? How can anyone really know that they are reading and hearing the truth when they go to church or open a Bible? What and/or how do we measure the truth? These are all vital questions and there are answers!

In the Christian faith, the standard of truth sets on the Bible. We know this because Jesus Christ Himself quoted the Scriptures throughout His ministry. In fact, He said:

~John 10:35b … the scripture cannot be broken;

Christ laid the foundation for truth to His disciples and pointed them to it. He was qualified to do so because He was the Word of God, made flesh, so He could convey those words to man. Throughout Christ’s ministry, those words were revealed and recorded by men through the power of His Holy Spirit.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Christ also prayed that His disciples would be set apart and grounded in this truth then pointed them to what was considered to be the truth.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s Word not only is the truth but it contains the only truth for anyone who wishes to find it. It is our plum line – our standard – our tool for measuring everything we hear. The Scriptures are the inspired words of God.

~2 Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible alone is our ultimate authority. Jesus Christ quoted it repeatedly to correct the Pharisees. He also quoted Scriptures when He was tempted of the devil in the wilderness. Christ used the Scriptures to ostracize the Pharisees and He also used the Scriptures to battle Satan in the desert. The Bible is the final judge for all of man’s thinking and all of man’s traditions.

Because the Scriptures are the very words of God, we are commanded not to add to it or take away from it. To do so opens the door to error because sinful man is in charge of the change.

~Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

~Revelations 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

Our Bible is the final authority – the ultimate authority of God and it meets all of the Christian’s needs in his walk. All we encounter in life can be measured according to God’s Word.

~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In the early church, man-made traditions became the standard for the “religious” and the Word of God lost its place as the only measuring stick. But just as Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for putting tradition on equal ground as the Scriptures, so does God’s Word rebuke those religions today of the same thing.

~Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

This is found in many religions but most prevalent in the Catholic Church where it teaches “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other … And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God, which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. … As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence”.

Jesus Christ said that God’s Word is made ineffectual through tradition. There isn’t any tradition that can overpower what the Holy Spirit conveyed through the Holy Scriptures. (2 Peter 1:29) He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13) and He conveyed God’s words through the Scriptures. Because the Holy Spirit is God, there is no one more qualified to write the truth. Because the Holy Spirit wrote this truth, He is more than qualified to teach this truth to believers – He is the ultimate authority. That is another one of the Holy Spirit’s missions.

~John 16:13-15 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

Popular religions of the world have their own “standards,” and some even place that standard on their leader. Leaders are all sinners (Romans 3:23), unlike Jesus Christ who knew no sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The sinless Saviour used the Scriptures as His plum line to instruct, correct, and lead. Unfortunately, those religions who place their standard on a leader will be sincerely disappointed. These same leaders in church history passed laws/rules which were later dismissed by their current leader. Where is the plum line? What is used to prevent error? How can the common man trust leaders who negate what a leader in history said was from God? Why isn’t it “from God” now? Did their leader from years ago make a mistake? How could he if he was considered infallible? Man cannot and must not be used to BE the standard or the plum line because man is sinful.

~Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

~Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Only God is qualified to BE our plumb line and standard for truth because He is truth. The Scriptures contain the truth and it is by this truth that we will be judged.

~Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

~Psalm 33:4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.

~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

~Proverbs 22:21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

~Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and [that which was] written [was] upright, [even] words of truth.

~Isaiah 39:8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good [is] the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

~2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

~Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

It is this truth, God’s Word, that Christianity must base all doctrine. Not traditions of men. If there are questions as to whether or not a certain “tradition” be of God, seek the truth in His Word because all truth is contained therein and it is our plumb line.

~Romans 3:4 … yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, …



Day 3 – How can God love and hate sinners?

~Psalm 5:5 — “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

~Psalm 11:5 — “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

~John 3:16 — “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.”

I’m sure this sounds “contradictory” but it really isn’t when you view it as God hates the sin but loves the “person.” God could not possible hate the sinner because it would contradict:

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

If God hated sinners, He would not have sent Christ to die for us “while we were yet sinners.” However, I believe it is quite clear in the above text that God does hate those who are wicked, work iniquity and love violence. God doesn’t have any problem with casting those into the lake of fire unless they repent and believe on the Lord Jesus! (Acts 16:31)

It is still man’s choice to go to Hell, not God’s. Man can choose to continue being wicked, continue working iniquity and continue to love violence. It is these types of sinners that God hates. God is omniscient (all knowing), therefore, He knows if this sinner will come to repentance or not. Once man chooses not to repent, then God in His righteousness must judge that sinner.

God’s love is so great that He sent His own Son to take on the penalty of man’s sin. How great is that love?! Would you give up your own child for the same of someone else?



Day 4 – What is the Trinity

I don’t claim to have all the answers – especially to a foundational doctrine such as this. However, what I can do is to provide and point you to the Scriptures, which will help to explain what the Scriptures have to say about the Trinity.

The Scriptures teach there is one God (Ephesians 4:6). However, God shows Himself to us in different ways: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

~Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

~Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

There are so many verses which point to a Trinity. We are not left to imagination or invention:

~2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, [be] with you all. Amen.

~1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

~Jude 1:20-21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

One of the best verses, in my opinion, which portrays the Trinity is found in the King James Bible. All other versions skip right over this verse and make a comment that it is not found in the “originals.” How convenient! Satan has attempted to corrupt the word of God since the Garden of Eden and hasn’t quit yet.

~1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

I once heard a message on this topic which really helped me to understand the concept of the Trinity. Just as I have a body, soul and spirit, I am still one person. I have three roles, I am a daughter, I am a mother and I am a grandmother. However, I am still one person. Another good example is water. Water contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. When water is exposed to high temperatures, it becomes steam. When it is exposed to low temperatures, it becomes ice. All three have two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, right? All three are water – some form of water but yet each has a different role.

So is the Trinity. There is one God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is referred to as the Son. He is God manifested (1 John 4:9) in the flesh to be our redeemer. In this manifestation, Christ was also referred as the Word of God (John 1:1). Christ brought God’s words to man kind by becoming man. He brought mankind salvation through His birth, life, death, and resurrection!

When Christ left this earth, the Father sent us His Holy Spirit to dwell amongst us (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7). It is this Holy Spirit who dwells within the born-again Christian – He teaches us – He comforts us – He reveals God’s will to us – He prays to the Father for us when we can’t seem to find the words! He is with us always and never leaves us!

Was the Trinity present in the Old Testament? I respond with an emphatic YES! Genesis 1:26 reveals this in “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”! Genesis 3:22 also reveals this “Behold, the man is become as one of us”. Another is Genesis 11:7 “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language”. Isaiah 6:8 reveals “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

So many verses reveal God’s triune nature. We may not fully understand but we can believe by faith. (Romans 1:17) The Bible leads us to the truth – then it’s up to us to believe by faith.



Day 5 – Question of the Day – How can a loving God send people to hell?

Photography by Bob Sabo

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

A common statement heard today is that “If God is such a loving God, how can He send someone to hell?” Today’s text is a wonderful depiction of God’s love. He didn’t wait until we “cleaned up our lives.” He knew that if Israel could not live by the Law, neither would we. In fact, if we could clean up our lives, Christ’s death would not have been needed.

Hell was not originally created for mankind. It was created for Satan and his angels

~Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

God’s love for His creation went so far that He provided a way to Heaven for mankind. He went to great lengths, as a matter of fact.

~John 3:16 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.

~John 3:36 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.

~1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

~1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

These verses provide man with a choice to make: (1) he that believeth on Christ and (2) he that believeth not. It is plain and simple and quite obvious that God loves His creation and provides a choice for them to make. He won’t force Himself on us. God gave us a free will with the ability to seek things out and decide for ourselves.

By not accepting Christ, one has chosen to go to hell – he has made his choice and, therefore, is responsible for sending himself to hell.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So in closing, God is a loving God and He does not choose to send anyone to hell. He leaves that choice up to us. He provided a way for us to avoid punishment for our sin through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. The rest is up to us. It is a choice! It is our choice!



Day 6 – What does it mean to overcome the flesh?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The flesh contains no good thing, according to Paul. We are born sinners and we do not need to be taught how to sin. Look at any toddler and you will see the evidence of this statement.

~Romans 7:18a For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:

The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to his church and serves in different ministries there. The sad thing is he no longer views these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. (Romans 6:1-2) There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be pushed right into sin because of the poor testimony displayed by this man.

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as immature. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” A human being’s growth from baby to adult is very much like the spiritual life of a Christian. A dear friend wrote the following and I’ve used it a few times in my blog. However, it is so relevant to this topic I thought it was worth repeating!

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth.

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention!

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psalms 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger.

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards.

But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what no means.

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

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psalms 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions.

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives.

Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness.

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

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others.

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad.

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator.

The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self.

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them.

Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond.

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalms 143:10)

So, my friend, where are you in the Spiritual Growth Chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This need not be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the word of God, Christian. Stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work on. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord again?



Day 7 – Why are our words compared to apples of gold?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Proverbs 25:1 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Don’t you love Solomon’s style of writing? Can you just picture in your mind’s eye what apples of gold in pictures of silver look like? No matter what it looks like, it appears “regal.” But what’s the true meaning behind it? How can our words be compared to apples of gold?

The whole point of this Proverb is to bring your attention to a word that is fitly spoken and its value – words that are spoken at the right time. These apples apparently have much value in God’s eyes and, therefore, must be referencing valuable words. I believe these valuable words reference the Christian who guards his tongue and makes sure that he always has the words of hope and kindness ready for all to hear.

There are surely various scenarios in life but each requires that words be fitly spoken. The first scenario I think of is during an argument.

~Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this soft answer qualified as a word fitly spoken. Speaking kindness also qualifies in this category.

~Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

How about speaking the blessed Gospel to the lost? Oh, how fitly spoken are they?

~1 Peter 3:15 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:

But wherever you see something referencing what God loves, you don’t have to go too far in your reading before you find what the world loves. The world’s apples are quite the opposite. The wicked are known for their tongue.

~Proverbs 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

~Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

~Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Where do your words fit? Are they apples of gold or apples with worms? As disgusting as that sounds, I’m sure our Heavenly Father looks upon His children’s unfit words much in the same way.

Which would you rather be known for? Someone who spoke kind and uplifting words which the Lord likens to apples of gold? Or someone whose words are unkind, venomous, and filled with worms? We have the words of life for a dying and lost world. We have the words that change lives for those who are going in the wrong direction. This is an awesome responsibility and one not to be taken lightly.



Day 8 – What does it mean to be clamorous?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Proverbs 9:13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

Proverbs is such a great book – full of instruction and wisdom! Why don’t more people heed to its precious instructions? What is in this proverb that can be applied to our own lives?

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary’s definition is way more than what I thought clamorous meant! I thought it meant “noisy.”

CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

Now that it’s put that way, can you imagine living with someone like this? Do you recognize this in your own life? As you look at today’s photograph, it appears “busy” with the different variations of dull colors. The leave are dying and winter is just around the corner. I liken clamorous speech to dead leaves. The words are not uplifting… in fact, they destroy.

Unfortunately, clamorous women probably have no clue that they are this way – or they probably don’t care. Solomon says that these women are not only loud but repetitious! That means they are naggers and complainers and they do it loudly! I don’t know about you but I truly do not want to be known as a clamorous woman! Nor do I think a man would want to live with one either.

Solomon goes on to say that the clamorous woman is simple and knows nothing. Noah Webster defined “simple” as being weak in intellect. This person is not wise in God’s word but simple. James says that this type of person’s ‘wisdom’ does not come from above but is devilish.

~James 3:14-16 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

I believe Solomon means that the clamorous woman is simple in the word of God. You can “know” an instruction but it does not mean that you have applied it to your life. Any believer who spends daily time in the Bible seeking the Holy Spirit’s will is going to be convicted of sin in their lives. So, obviously, this woman does not make the Scriptures part of her daily life. If she does, she is reading for the sake of reading and not for the sake of growing spiritually. She is most certainly quenching the Holy Spirit.

I surely feel badly for the man who is married to such a woman.

~Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

How sad it is when a women is so prideful that she does not allow the Holy Spirit to work in her life. She prefers to dwell in a home filled with strife!

The Lord has much reward in store for the woman who can be taught. Let’s look at the flip side.

~Proverbs 9:13 A prudent woman is quiet: she is wise, and knoweth the will of God.”

This woman’s wisdom produces the fruit of the Spirit. She puts into action what God’s word has revealed to her and yields herself to the work of the Holy Spirit in her life.

~James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Women are not the only ones who can be clamorous. I personally know men who are this way. It is an equal opportunity sin and one that fills a home with strife. No one wants to come home to this type of environment. Instead, a home filled with peace, gentleness and evidence of good spiritual fruit is a home that brings joy!



Day 9 – How can I learn to control my mouth?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James.

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

It’s amazing how such a small member can wreak so much havoc one moment and yet be sweet as honey the next. Should this be the normal way of life for a believer? Absolutely not! The believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, producing the fruit of the Spirit, does not struggle with his tongue but has command over it. He has learned to control the sin of gossip.

The weak minded believer, however, does not share in this. Not only is this weak minded believer allowing the devil to control him, he does not have the sense to get into the word of God and allow the Scriptures to keep him from sin.

~Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Instead, this weak minded believer relies on what is in his heart to guide him. If the heart is ruled by sin, it won’t guide this person to anything but trouble.

How can a heart filled with gossip allow the tongue to speak gracious words? The weak minded believer thinks he can fool those in his church by pretending to be a good Christian but then gossip and strife come out of his mouth only to reveal his true colors. God’s word says that this is wrong!

~James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

This gossip stirs up strife and sows discord. I’ve yet to meet a gossip who has not caused much problems. How can the church have a sweet spirit when there’s a gossip in its midst? How can a church attract visitors when there’s a gossip in its midst? A busy body does so much damage to everyone she comes in contact with!

That gossip not only hurts people with his tongue, but he is also known as a sower of discord! If you want to see just how God feels about a gossip, a sower of discord, all you have to do is search for verses with the words “God, hate” and it will be an eye opener! God hates the sower of discord! It does not say He hates the sin – but he hates the one who sows discord. In fact, it is an abomination to Him.

~Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James continues to say that the tongue is like a fire! Fire destroys and kills. This little member of the body can do so much destruction if it is allowed to continue. We cannot sweep a sower of discord’s actions under the rug. It must be dealt with, swiftly, or the church body will be destroyed. What better testimony for the devil than to allow this sower in the church! This should not be so. What a sad day it is when families are destroyed by this person! This gossip and sower of discord is at war with everyone around him, except other gossips. Darkness fellowships with darkness.

~Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

I have witnessed this gossip in action. I have witnessed this sower of discord in action. These “supposed” Christians have allowed the devil to rule in their lives. Yes, the devil can rule in a Christian’s life. Even Jesus had to rebuke Peter and tell him that the devil was ruling.

~Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Jesus was not saying that Peter was possessed by a devil. Jesus was stating that Peter was allowing the devil to rule in his life and Peter’s words were evidence of it. Jesus did not mince words. He did not sweep Peter’s conduct under the rug. Instead, Jesus brought it out and exposed it.

The words of a gossip are wicked, wicked, wicked! There is no life in them but only destruction. Guard your tongue, oh Christian. Be careful what you expose your heart to. What is in your heart will come out of your mouth.

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

So, what is considered gossip? If you want to steer away from even the appearance of evil on this one, consider gossip as anything that is said about someone that is not gracious and kind. Many disguise their gossip with statements like, “Bless her heart, she just doesn’t have enough money to buy a dress that would cover her whole body!” My friend, don’t be fooled.

You can’t Febreeze a skunk – it will still be a skunk and it will still stink! Don’t allow the devil rule over your mouth. Yes, I said “allow”! It is our choice to gossip. Recognize the sin of gossip … repent … confess it … seek forgivness from those you have hurt … forsake it. Then fill your heart with the precious Scriptures and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, (Psalm 119:9) and prevent you from falling.



Day 10 – What does it mean to be fruitful?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we buy our fruit in the grocery store, we don’t stop to think about where the fruit came from or the work it took the fruit farmer to get that fruit to us. A tree can only produce plenty of fruit – good fruit – when it is properly cared for and has all the right “ingredients.” It needs the right amount of sunshine, rain, fertilizer and pruning. A healthy tree produces a good crop of fruit.

It is the same with our Christian lives. Without the Son-shine in our lives, we cannot bear fruit. One must be born again to produce spiritual fruit. Without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot possibly be fruitful nor can we make it without Him. Without getting to know Him better through the word of God, we cannot grow.

~John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

At times we need pruning so we can be more fruitful. Pruning comes in various ways – through trials, through the Scriptures, and through the preaching. God uses multiple things in our lives to get our attention if we are being disobedient to His word. A tree doesn’t have much choice but to be pruned. But we do! We don’t have to be pruned by the Lord. We can resist the devil (James 4:7) and the temptations by removing ourselves from the situation that is tempting us. God provides us with a way to escape temptation so we do not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:13) However, when we don’t, we can be sure we will not grow properly. This is why we won’t produce the fruit we could produce.

~Psalm 1:2-3, But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Notice that verse 3 says that his leaf shall not wither. If I water my plants regularly, they stay looking nice. If I miss a week or two, however, the leaves start to droop and they “scream” for water. So should Christians scream for the living water of the Word. Daily reading, studying and submitting to God’s word is what will produce good fruit.

~John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Don’t allow yourself to go one day without gleaning from the Scriptures. This is our spiritual food which will produce good fruit. One cannot walk away from the Scriptures without being changed. The word of God is the fertilizer that every Christian needs to be fruitful!



Day 11 – Why shouldn’t Christians concentrate on self esteem?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

I truly believe that the worse “new teaching” from the world today is the one of self esteem. This teaching is definitely not scriptural and it has done so much damage to the Christian. It is not a new teaching but it is certainly more prevalent in today’s world than in the past. Everyone is focused on me, myself and I. What’s in it for me? You offended me! You hurt my feelings. You’re no better than I am. Don’t tell Johnny, who’s in the tenth grade, that he is reading at fifth grade level, you’ll ruin his self esteem! No where in God’s word does it say that we should esteem ourselves! Why do you think people are conceited and full of themselves? Why do you think there is so much concentration in the church to “feel good about themselves”? They have been “self esteemed” ad nauseum!

Noah Webster’s definition of the word esteem is SO very different from today’s.

To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32. They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.

To prize; to set a high value on; to regard with reverence, respect or friendship. When our minds are not biased, we always esteem the industrious, the generous, the brave, the virtuous, and the learned. Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.

Merriam-Webster’s definition

is the regard in which one is held; especially : high regard

Merriam’s definition is quite diluted, isn’t it? What things in God’s Word are we to esteem?

Job 23 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Psalm 119:28 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

God’s word should be esteemed. If you were to place the emphasis of Merriam’s definition for esteem to God’s word, you would not be totally convinced that it deserved such a high rating, right? But if you put Noah’s definition, you see that the Bible is to be prized and reverenced. This is a much different viewpoint! No wonder the worldly Christians do not look to the Word of God to change them. They don’t revere it, therefore, it’s impact on their lives is minimal.

Does God regard esteem as sin?

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (emphasis mine)

God considers it an abomination if you esteem that which is ungodly.

Whom should we esteem?

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

We should esteem the brethren better than ourselves and we should esteem those who are over us – our deacons and our Pastors. No where in my of salvation have I ever read in God’s 1ord that I should think highly of myself. If I love the brethren, they will always take precedence over me.

1 Corinthians 3:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Paul says that our love for each other will cause us to be longsuffering with each other, be kind to each other, not envy one another, and not think highly of ourselves. Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

My friend, these are not the Bible verses encouraging us to have self esteem! These verses are encouraging us to be humble, meek and low in pride. What will happen to the one who thinks highly of himself?

~Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

~Ezekiel 21:26 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.

~Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

~Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

~Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

~Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

None of these verses sound like words from a support group for self-esteem. Quite the opposite. We should humble and be promoted to the front of the line by the Lord than to think more of ourselves rather than have Him tell us to get to the back of the line. If anyone had reason for self-esteem, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But He humbled Himself to the point of dying for you and I. If we are to walk in His footsteps, how can we possibly have self-esteem and say that it comes from God? This is hypocrisy – we should do well to learn from the account of the Pharisee and the Publican.



Day 12 – Are Men Superior to Women According to the Bible?

Photography by Bob Sabo

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

Not everyone is an engineer, doctor, police officer, etc. Each person is drawn to an occupation by the individual’s uniqueness. The Bible absolutely recognizes uniqueness and equality amongst Christians:

~1 Corinthians 12:14-20 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body? 20 But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.

Paul explained how the church, made up of individuals, could not all be doing the same “job.” Each unique person was needed and there weren’t any which were more important than the other. They were equal in their importance – all had a specific job to do and all were needed to make the body “whole.”

As it relates to husband and wife, as in today’s text, we note that they are heirs together. As one reads Scriptures relating to husband and wife, it is clear to see that the husband is responsible for his household by providing for it and the wife is to submit to his Godly leadership. Each has a different role. On the most part, she bears children and cares for them. Although we see some homes where the husband has to stay at home and care of the children while the wife works. Either way you look at it, it does not mean that the husband is better than the wife – it means that they are equal in their Christian walk as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20. The emphasis lies in the different roles in their marriage, just as they do in the body of Christ, the Church. It does not lie in whether one is better than the other. Not everyone in a place of business can be the president. Not everyone can be the janitor. Each is necessary. Despite the different roles, the husband and wife are joint heirs together. Paul did not outline different requirements, correct?

We know that Paul also told the Ephesians that the husband is to love his wife as he would his own body (as Christ loved the Church). A man would not belittle his own body. A man would not treat his own body unkindly. This clearly depicts equality. (Ephesians 5:28)

As well, the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31) suggests equality. Whatever we would not have done to us, we must not to do someone else. If we do not want to be treated inferior, we must not act superior. Adam tried to pass the blame for his own sin on Eve, but God punished them equally. Adam would have to toil the land dealing with weeds and Eve would have pain in bearing children. Both have different jobs but both were treated equally for their sin.

The world attaches a person’s “role” in life to equality. For example, the janitor is less important than a doctor. However, that is the world’s view. The world is most certainly caught up in social hierarchy. But the Bible does not support this amongst members of the church. We are considered the body of Christ. As Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20, there is not a part of the body that is not necessary or that is more important than the other. What a beautiful depiction of all being equal!



Day 13 – What Does it Mean to Circumcise the Heart?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Beginning in Genesis, God established a covenant with Abram and his people. This was the beginning of the Jewish people. The covenant was defined as:

~Genesis 17:10 This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

The physical act of circumcision defined a “setting apart” of a people for the glory of God. Just because they were physically set apart for the glory of God, they were not acting like it spiritually. God wanted them to be a holy people – a special people – above all people on earth.

~Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

However, they were not obeying the Lord’s statutes and, therefore, became stiff-necked. God wanted a people that desired to obey Him out of love. But the people refused and their hearts were hardened. These people were serving God by the letter of the Law rather than with their hearts. They were viewing their works as their own righteousness and, therefore, “working at being righteous.”

~Deuteronomy 6:24-25 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as [it is] at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

In other words, they were serving God in the “flesh” and not serving Him with their hearts. That is why God told them to circumcise the foreskin of their heart. This cuts away at what makes them the same as everyone else and causes them to be different – to be set apart in their hearts. It is the heart that reveals what kind of person one is – it is with the heart that one comes to salvation:

~Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

One can be circumcised in the body but not of the heart. In other words, a person can be circumcised but not have a circumcised heart – born again through repentance and faith (Acts 20:21). Once a person is truly born again, a miracle happens. A spiritual circumcision occurs in that person’s heart. He is now set apart! The Christian is to be different from the world. The foreskin of our hearts has been circumcised and we are set apart for God’s use!

~Romans 2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

~Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

~Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

The Christian is now holy to God because Christ’s righteousness and holiness is what God sees!

~1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

~Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

~1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

God chose a special people – a people that were not just to be set apart through the physical circumcision, but a people that served Him with their heart.



Day 14 – Why Should the Bible be our Final Authority?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Jesus spoke the words in today’s text. He made it very clear that it was by His words that would pass judgment on man kind. Those who reject Him and do not receive His words will be judged according to His words. (John 1:1) Since mankind will be judged according to what is in the Scriptures, then it must be our final authority in all matters.

When we break the law of the land by speeding, we will be judged by a paragraph and section in the book of statutes for that jurisdiction. The ticket issued lists the section of the code of law that has been broken. I imagine Judgment Day to be the same. The books will be opened and man will be judged according to the Bible book, chapter and verse which has been broken.

God’s words have been present amongst mankind for thousands of years. God’s words were initially entrusted to the Jews and then to the Christians.

~Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Man’s argument is that the Bible was written by man. But God knew this would be an argument and He included the Scriptures to refute them.

~2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

One of the Holy Ghost’s tasks was to record God’s words in a book by working through men. The mention of God commanding to write things “in a book” occurs 12 times throughout the Scriptures. His words are important and are not only to be used to judge us when we die, but also to help us while we are living.

~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture {is} given by inspiration of God, and {is} profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We are to apply God’s words to our everyday lives in order to become more Christ-like in our walk. It is the word of God that cleanses us and it should be our plumb line in our decision making. (Psalm 119:9) I’ve been told by religious people who do not believe that the Bible is our final authority that I am interpreting my way. However, God’s word contained Scripture to refute them:

~2 Peter 1:20-21 (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake {as they were} moved by the Holy Ghost.

It amazes me that the religious crowd can adopt their church’s traditions as their final authority but yet they cannot read 2 Peter 1:20-21 in context. These verses are not difficult to understand. The fact of the matter is that those who do not hold the Bible as their final authority are those who are afraid of what it contains. The exhortations in Scriptures put man-made laws and religious works in the light in which they should be viewed – evil and from the devil. Man-made religion does not want its followers to read the Bible because they will receive God’s words and HE will expose religious heresies!

~Hebrews 4:12 (12) For the word of God {is} quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and {is} a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God promises us that none of His words will return empty and fruitless. There is power in His words and they have the power to draw one to salvation despite of man-made religion. (Romans 1:16)

~Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper {in the thing} whereto I sent it.

As well, those who do not believe in the Bible as their final authority also do not want their followers to search the Scriptures because their false doctrine will be exposed. The Scriptures lead us to see our sin (the Ten Commandments) and they also lead us to salvation.

~John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

The Bible says that we must be born again, plain and simple. Not born again at birth (John 3) but born again to a new life. When one says they are born again after their physical birth when then they are baptized, they are ignorant of the word of God. God says that we must repent and have faith. (Acts 20:21) A baby cannot repent of its sins and have faith. This is the corruptible seed of false doctrine which results in religion that does not hold the Scriptures as their final authority.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

David knew the importance of God’s words. He realized that there was nothing that could refute what God had spoken. God’s words are forever settled.

~Psalms 33:8-11 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

~1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh {is} as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

~Psalms 18:30 {As for} God, his way {is} perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he {is} a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Nothing will supersede the word of God: not government’s laws, not man’s laws, not your church’s traditions, not your parents’ religion … nothing! God’s words are eternal and will be what is used to judge all mankind. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to be judged by something, I would want to know what it was. I keep the laws of my State because I know most of the laws. However, I will still be judged and held accountable for those laws which I don’t know. For example, it is against the law in my State for someone to spit on the sidewalk. Just because I didn’t know about it when I spit on the sidewalk, does not mean that I am exempt from that law. Absolutely not! I am accountable because I am a citizen of that State.

We will be held accountable according to the words of God written in our final authority, the Scriptures. You can’t hide your head in the sand and say you didn’t know. It won’t matter because God gives everyone an opportunity (especially today when there’s a Bible in every household) to know His word.

~Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.



Day 15 – Why Does God Allow Children to Die?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

A young friend in the Lord asked me this question and I’m glad that she did. It caused me to dig into the Scriptures! 🙂

One of God’s characteristics is that He is merciful.

~Luke 1:77-78 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

~Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

~Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

As well, He is a God of love.

~1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

~1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

He is also a God of judgment.

~Revelations 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

These are merely three areas of God’s character. We must understand that we can’t possibly understand God’s reasonings behind everything that happens in our lives. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). There is nothing more heart wrenching for a parent than to see their own child suffer and die. There are two replies to this question. One reply is for those parents who are not true born-again Christians and the other is for those who are.

Let’s look at when a child dies whose parents do not know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. God’s word says that in order for one to be saved, one must repent and believe.

~Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

A child who has not reached the age of reasoning [where he understands what sin is and that he is a sinner] cannot repent from his sin and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, when a child dies before the age of reasoning, he goes to Heaven. Once you understand this, it makes it easier to comprehend why God would allow such a tragedy. Unsaved parents who lose a child will be grieving and searching in their hearts for comfort. This allows the Holy Spirit of God yet another opportunity to reach them with the Gospel so they can be saved. So where’s the mercy, you ask? God could have taken the parents instead of the child. But where would their souls have gone if He had? They would have been condemned to an eternity in Hell. (John 3:18) Do you not see God’s mercy now? Instead of losing these precious parents to the devil, God chose to take their child because that child would be with Him. This is just another attempt by God to give the parents another opportunity to come to Him.

Then there are those times when God takes away the child of a saved couple. However, He promises to be in the midst of the trial by providing comfort (Psalm 23:4). This couple knows where their child is and they are encouraged because that child is with Christ and they will see their child again (John 14:3). Why would God take away a saved couple’s child? Missionaries to Cuba (the Cretzmans) recently lost their daughter in a car accident. You can Google their name and read article after article about the outpouring of love that was shown to this couple – it was amazing! As a result of their daughter’s death, opportunities for ministering to a lost and dying world arose and this grieving family was able to share the Gospel with others. God was glorified through it all and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up – as they witnessed the strength in this couple’s lives. That precious child’s death brought glory to God! In that trial, God comforted this family and showed His love and compassion through others. That precious family showed a dying world just how personal God was to them!

We cannot always understand God’s ways. But we know that all those things He allows in our lives is for our good. (Romans 8:28) For example, we read that Jacob was distraught when he thought that Joseph had died. (Genesis 37:34-35) We know by this account in Scriptures that Joseph had not died but went through years of imprisonment and suffering. In the end, God used this situation for the good of his people. It was because of Joseph that the Israelites were brought to Egypt and saved from famine. As well, later in time, Moses led these people to the Promised Land! God had a plan that wasn’t visible at the time but in the end, it became evident.

~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

God doesn’t want anyone to perish and go to Hell. He provides every opportunity for man to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, the Christ, Saviour and Lord of mankind. It is more merciful to take a child from his parents and allow the parents to come to salvation than to take the parents in their lost condition. That is true mercy!

~2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.



Day 16 – What is the Romans Road?

Photography by Cecelia Becker

The Romans Road to salvation is a term used to reflect the Bible verses used to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Most of the Bible verses used can be found in the Book of Romans.

I actually like the term “Romans Road” because it speaks of a path that every man and woman must walk. God wants everyone to find the path to Him. It’s also interesting that there’s an old saying that “all roads lead to Rome.” However, this Romans Road is not leading to a religion but to a relationship with Christ!

~Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.

Christ taught that the road to Him is narrow and not everyone will find it. So where is this road? How does one find it?

~Matt 7:13-20 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The road to Jesus Christ and the salvation He purchased for us can be found in the Book of Romans. If you walk this road, you will learn what it means:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

There are no exceptions here. This verse says that all have sinned. It does not leave room for any one person. We are all born under the control of sin in our lives. You don’t have to teach a child to misbehave. It comes “naturally.” So the person who reads this verse must admit that he/she is a sinner.

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are repercussions to sin and that is death – an eternity without God. This penalty is what we deserve for sin. We choose to sin and, therefore, there must be payment for that. The latter part of the verse says that salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord gives us eternal life! It also says that it is a gift of God – you cannot earn a gift – you cannot purchase this gift otherwise it is no longer a gift.

We must acknowledge our sinfulness, repent from that sin (Acts 20:21) and accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We cannot wait until we have “cleaned up our act” before accepting Christ. For the Scriptures say:

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

When Jesus died on the cross He paid that penalty for sin. We no longer need to be slaves to sin. Christ paid the cost and we are, therefore, no longer under the bondage of sin.

Repentance is key (Acts 20:21) because we can say we are a sinner but unless we repent, we will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5).

Once one has repented and accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he/she is then saved! This verse does not say, “might be,” but shall be saved!

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

Remember, the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19) but they are definitely not saved. They cannot call Jesus Christ their Lord. But we can:

~Romans 10:9,10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

All that we need is contained in the Scriptures, friend. It is the Scriptures which will lead man to repentance and salvation:

~Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

One can’t forget that salvation is not simply a repeating of words as many churches teach today. There is a cost and that cost is repentance. You can recite the words but if the heart is not changed, the words are for nothing.

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Don’t let modern-day religions or tele-evangelists suck you in by their false doctrine of blab it and grab it. This type of profession is dangerous and leads many to hell. Re-read the scriptures listed above. Once a person is truly born again, there is a change. Their “new tree of faith” should be bearing good fruit as stated in Matthew 7:13-20. Your old lifestyle should be diminishing and your new lifestyle in Christ should be increasing. Reading your Bible every day helps to train you and cleanse your heart from the evil it once knew.

Please reach out to me if you would like some help with growing in the Lord. You can leave a comment here or you can email me at k8plord @ gmail.com



Day 17 – Why Didn’t God Accept Cain’s Sacrifice?

Photography by Cecelia Becker

~Genesis 4:2-7 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

From the beginning of man’s fall, God provided a way for man to have an acceptable sacrifice for atonement for man’s sin. The sacrifice had to be the shed blood of a spotless animal.

~Leviticus 1:3 If his offering [be] a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

Granted, at the time of Cain’s life, the Oracles had not been written down. However, the same God that required a perfect sacrifice during Moses’ time, set the ground rules for offering such sacrifices during Adam and Eve’s time.

~Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

~Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

We know that Adam and Eve passed on the sacrifice requirements to their children because of Genesis 4:4. Abel brought the “firstlings” of his flock for a sacrifice. Because God is the same and does not change, the same process of sacrifice was given to Moses for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 12:6). Therefore, Cain had was taught this by his parents.

But what did Cain bring for an offering? Genesis 4:3 says he brought the fruit of his crops. Cain knew what was required. He knew that nothing would do but the shedding of blood of a spotless lamb. However, Cain chose to disobey God. Instead, he wanted to gain access to God his own way and through another door!

The shedding of the blood of a spotless lamb was a picture of what was to come. Jesus Christ left Heaven to take on human form so He could live a sinless life and shed His blood for the remission of sins. Just as Christ is the only way to Heaven, so was the sacrifice of a spotless lamb in Cain’s time.

~John 14:6-9 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Cain was so jealous of his own brother for doing what was required that he did not even want to go buy a lamb from Abel so he could have a sacrifice to give to the Lord. Instead, he wanted to do it his way. However, God’s response to Cain’s offering was not favorable and Cain was upset! Here Cain did what was wrong yet he was upset with Abel, who did what was right! So much so, he killed Abel! We know that Cain knew to do the right thing by Genesis 4:7. God asked Cain that if he did what was right, wouldn’t it be accepted? Cain didn’t do what was wrong out of ignorance.

It amazes me that this same “attitude of Cain” is alive and well today. People get angry when they are told that there is only one way to Heaven, as the Scriptures dictate. So much so, they kill true born-again Christians in the name of religion!



Day 18 – What does it mean to spare the rod?

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Biblical discernment is important and very much needed in this area of chastening. Chastening is not a “right” to physically abuse a child. God forbid! Abuse is not what the Scriptures endorse. We must remember that anger is the root of abuse. Love is the root of discipline. The Bible says that a parent who does not chasten his son, hates him. Yes, that’s harsh but it’s truth! God teaches us that He chastens us because He loves us in Hebrews 12:6. In turn, the same applies to earthly parents toward their own children.

~Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Betimes here is defined as “early, before it’s too late.” It is while our children are still young that we must discipline. For wee little ones, like toddlers, “pats” are needed. But save these for major offenses. Their behavior is developed early. But again, chastening is not always necessary. I watch my daughter-in-law with our 18 month old grandson. He understands what “time out” means and she uses it with much success. She is wise and “chasteneth him betimes.” Why? Because she loves her son and does not want a toddler who throws temper tantrums in public. Saving spankings for serious matters will make an impression in that child. To chasten doesn’t always mean to spank. There are many ways to deal with a child and a parent knows what way is best for each of their children.

As the child gets older, chastening is needed less and less. You can use restriction to a room or have them copy Bible verses like the ones below. For example, if you tell your daughter to clean up her room and she does not, have her write out Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20 multiple times each. Explain why God wants children to obey their parents. Even parents have to obey – they must obey God (Acts 5:29). While she is doing something that is time-consuming, she is learning Scripture.

In my opinion, some things that do deserve spankings would be outright rebellion (temper tantrums) and lies. Lying is a serious sin – Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when they lied to God (Acts 5:1-10). Again, relate the act with the Scriptures that tell us that these things are sin. Then explain the virtue which should be displayed rather than the sin. For example, if a child tells a lie, show that child the Scriptures dealing with honesty and the blessings that come with honesty like Proverbs 10:9 and 12:17. These instructions take time but they produce eternal results.

The verses below are not everything the Scriptures give us on discipline but they will teach the parent what God says about this:

~Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

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

~Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

~Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

~Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

~Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

~Colossians 3:20-21 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

~Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

~Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

~Proverbs 15:20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

Proverbs 29:15 shows us what happens when parents are too lazy to discipline a child. They bring shame and it is shame to the mother because the mother is the one who is with the child the most, usually. I’m sorry if this rubs someone the wrong way but what other reason would a parent have for not taking the time to teach their child to do what is right? When parents are not consistent in their discipline, I hear them say it is because the timing “was not convenient.” I dare say that their child’s temper tantrum will not come at a convenient time either.

Children are not a convenience but are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). They are a heritage – the way they act is a direct reflection on the parents.



Day 19 – Explain the Parable of the Ten Virgins

Photography by Marlene Haines

MATTHEW 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh

When reading Scripture, one needs to remember who God used to write the book, who the book was written for, and the message that God desired to communicate. Matthew was used to write this book and it was written to the Jews. Chapter 25 discusses Christ’s coming and His establishing the kingdom of God in Israel (Matthew 25:31-34).

The virgins were divided into two groups: the foolish virgins and the wise virgins. What differentiates the two? The answer is the oil which was needed for their lanterns. The foolish virgins didn’t have any oil for their lanterns (Matthew 25:3-4) and were caught unawares without oil. As we read the passage, we can see that the foolish virgins were not saved and the wise virgins were saved. The saved virgins had oil for their lamps and, therefore, did not miss the bridegroom’s return.

When oil is spoken of in Scripture, it is known to mean one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit – the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

~Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Jesus said,

~Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

~Hebrews 1:8-9 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

~1 John 2:20, 27 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The Holy Spirit, then, is known as the “anointing oil” given to the believers to teach us (1 John 2:20, 27); to heal those who are sick amongst us according to the will of the Father (James 5:14-15); and to be our Comforter (John 14:16-17, John 14:26, John 15:26-27, and John 16:7).

In closing, the foolish virgins did not have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, were not saved. The wise virgins, however, did have the anointing oil of the Spirit and were ready when the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, came. What a beautiful picture of the saints who are alive at the time of the Rapture! 🙂



Day 21 – What Does it Mean to Walk in the Light?

Photography by Bob Sabo

In today’s obsession with the paranormal, you read statements about people who have had near-death experiences and how they walked “toward the light.” Let’s not be deceived by the “feel good” stories out there. Rather, we must compare these stories with the Scriptures where all truth lies.

The Bible says that the devil is deceiving and appears as an angel of light. Therefore, we must compare stories and phenomenons with God’s word before putting our trust and faith in it. The devil wants nothing more than to deceive the masses so they won’t be searching for salvation through Jesus Christ, the Saviour. Jesus told us to beware of those false prophets who are led by the devil.

~Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

~2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

The Lord gives us the Scriptures so we can be armed with power to overcome these deceptions.

~Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

The Bible is the armour that protects us from the enemy who works evil and promotes the works of darkness.

~Ephesians 6:11, 13 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Walking the Christian path is like walking in the dark with a flashlight. It’s a great comparison, actually. When one walks with a flashlight, only what is seen in the light’s path is our line of vision. However, with a map of the roadway, one can know the turns up ahead. As well, with warnings from those who have walked the same path in the past, we are alerted to what is ahead. This is what the Scriptures do for us. They lead us to salvation and have the power to save the lost (Romans 1:16) and lead the Christian in the way he/she should go.

~Romans 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Our flashlight is only as strong as its battery. We get our fuel from God’s word (1 Peter 2:2) as we get nourishment and physical fuel from food. As we charge our spiritual battery through reading the Scriptures, we can clearly see what things in our lives we are to eliminate and what hurdles may lie ahead of us. Romans 13:13-14 give us an idea of those things we should remove from our lives: rioting (indulging in excessive feasting), drunkenness, chambering (immodest behavior), wantonness (sportiveness, frolicsomeness, negligence of restraint, lewdness), strife, envying, and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Whatever I choose to do, I should see if it falls under any of these categories. If it does, I am to stay away from it. If it reflects Christ, then I am walking in the light of His word.

~John 8:12, 9:5 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.



Day 22 – What Does it Mean, “Many are called, but few are chosen?”

~Matthew 22:1-14 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and [my] fatlings [are] killed, and all things [are] ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them]. 7 But when the king heard [thereof], he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

This parable from Jesus is a beautiful depiction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being preached to all. Whosoever believes the precious Gospel shall be saved.

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

It is no mystery that Israel is God’s chosen nation and the Jews are His chosen people.

Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

Those who were first called to the wedding feast were the Jews. God’s special people were entrusted with His oracles:

~Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

They were given every opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ. God’s word says that the Jews look for a sign and Christ gave them many miracles – He gave them every opportunity to recognize their Messiah spoke of in those same Oracles.

~1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

Instead, most refused to believe and, therefore, they killed God’s messenger, Jesus Christ.

The parable continues on to say that because of this, God said to His servants to go into the highways and find as many as possible to come to the marriage. This a wonderful depiction of where God opened up salvation to all (Matthew 22:10).

~John 3:16 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.

~Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

~1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

~2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

~Revelations 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

The wedding guests were all furnished with a wedding garment (Matthew 22:12). Through Christ’s shed blood, we are clothed in His righteousness in robes of white.

~Revelations 7:14b … and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

~Revelations 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Some try to come to salvation by another method, but cannot and, therefore, cannot wear the wedding garment. Only those whose robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb can wear these garments.

What happens if one doesn’t want to be saved? Matthew 22:13 says that those without the wedding garment, will be sent into outer darkness, where that shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 22:14 states, “For many are called, but few [are] chosen.” Only those who have the wedding garment on can enter in. There is only one way to Heaven and that way is not going to be walked by many.

~Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

There is only one way to Heaven and that is to wear that precious white robe, the wedding garment, that is washed in the blood of the Lamb.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The way is narrow because there is only one way to Heaven and that is through repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ.

~Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.



Day 23 – What Does it Mean to Sacrifice Myself?

~Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

There are many religions today that misinterpret this verse and it is so sad. To harm or mutilate and punish one’s own body because of sin in order to bring the body under subjection is absolutely wrong teaching. Christ paid the price for our sins. He took the punishment. Bringing our bodies under subjection is a figure of speech which encourages us to transform our minds! It is possible to sin less – we must view sin the way God views it!

~Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

We do not need to do anything for our sins over and above what Christ has already done. This desire to do so is as old as Cain! Nothing we do will wipe away our sin. It is all God’s doing through Christ’s death. After we, through repentance and faith, accept the fact that Christ is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6), we can then and only then start working at putting to death our old man and giving up sin (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

~1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Offering up spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable to the Lord is our calling to put to death the worldly things in our lives and replace them with that which is holy and acceptable! Just as the priests of the Old Testament offered up sacrifices, we are to offer up our own selves, if you will – yielding ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit as He molds us into the image of Jesus Christ.

~2 Tim 2:19-20 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

How do we offer spiritual sacrifices to the Lord? It is a daily work – yielding ourselves to what is good and right and forsaking what is sin. It’s a choice, friend! Notice the word “yield” in the verses below – yes, we make the choice to yield!

~Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

~Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

If you are consistently committing the same sin over and over, you’re not yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit but to the devil. When a child of God continues in sin and chooses to disobey, God will do as any good parent would do and He will chastise His child (Hebrews 12:6 and Revelations 3:19). As well, it stands to reason that if you are yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit, you are sacrificing those things which you know offend God. You are putting your body to death toward the things of the world.

~1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Why would we let sin dwell within us? We are the temple of God! We have the power to say no – we have the ability to overcome because the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us! The unsaved cannot at this because they don’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help them. We have no excuse – we have the Holy Spirit and, therefore, have the ability to say no to sin. Granted, there will be times when we will have to ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). However, this will occur less and less as we heed the Holy Spirit’s prodding in our lives. (2 Corinthians 5:17)



Day 24 – Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Death and suffering were not God’s intentions from the beginning. It is not God that causes the suffering. God created (Genesis 1:1) the heavens, the earth and everything in and on the earth – they were made perfectly by a perfect God. When He saw all that He had created, He said that it was very good (Genesis 1:31). Man had everything he needed in the Garden of Eden. There was no death or sickness. However, man wanted more and by choice, man sinned. God didn’t keep it a secret as to what would happen if Adam and Eve disobeyed – He didn’t generalize either – He was very specific. But Adam and Eve did disobey and, again, it was by choice. According to today’s text, this is where pain and suffering began and it is because of their disobedience that we experience it today. Man brought on the curse of death all by himself with no help from God. It is not God that caused man to disobey. The devil was at the root of it and man’s will fulfilled that disobedience.

Now that we know the how’s, where’s and why’s of suffering, we can deal with the question of the day. God is not responsible for the outcome of bad choices. The choices are ours to make and the outcome is a result of those choices. We have the opportunity to walk alone during suffering or we have the choice to have the Lord be a part of our lives and, therefore, reap the benefit of His peace during the suffering! Despite man’s disobedience, God’s love for us was so great that He provided man with the blessed opportunity to seek Him, find Him and believe in Him. (Romans 6:23)

God has left His light for us through the Bible so that we can find Him. The Bible has been translated in almost 2,500 different languages. Throughout its pages are God’s words leading us to Him, despite man’s rebellion and his sin choice.

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

It’s our choice to sin and it’s our responsibility to seek God for forgiveness.

~Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

He shows the way through the Scriptures. Some will read the words of God and accept them, and some will reject His words. Some also do not believe there is a God. It’s man’s responsibility to respond to God’s word, not God’s. God does not force Himself on anyone. The seed of faith is planted and then man must make a choice (Matthew 13:18-23). Those who desire to seek after God will be shown the way. The Ethiopian eunuch desired to know what God’s word said so God sent Philip to show him (Acts 8:26-40).

You can speak to any Christian who is strong in his faith and he will tell you that without the Lord, he would be nothing. He would say that without the Lord, he would not be able to go through the trials that come his way. The trials of suffering build the Christian’s faith and that Christian rests in His care. However, the unbeliever reacts differently and blames God for those trials. We can’t speak for God – we can’t know His thoughts or His ways for they are a mystery to us. But He does choose to reveal things to us through His word.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

God may allow trials to strengthen our faith so that we may act according to His word. To the unsaved, trials and suffering may be allowed so that they can turn to Him and come to know Him. We can’t know all of God’s thoughts. It is not for us to know at times.

~Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

I heard this story once about a man and his little boy walking in the woods side by side. The little boy slipped on wet leaves and fell down an embankment, tearing his pants and scraping his knee. The father picked him up, comforted him, wiped away his tears and cleaned his scraped knee. That father was walking right beside his son but yet the accident still happened. However, it is the outcome to which you must take notice. Had the child been walking alone, he would not have had his father to comfort him. Suffering happens in our lives, but God picks us up, comforts us, wipes away our tears and cleans us up. Walking with the Lord provides us with a constant companion – One who desires only the best for us.

Will suffering continue to happen? Absolutely! Some suffering is due to our own stubborn will (like smoking). Some suffering comes from a total accident. However, all the results of our suffering come by choice. We can choose to suffer alone without God or have Him present with us. (Psalm 23:4)



Day 25 – Why Don’t People Believe the Bible?

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

I became a born-again Christian at the age of 25 – nearly 32 years ago. I totally understand today’s text because it speaks of me personally. If I compare myself to God and His holiness and righteousness, I definitely am wicked. God is our plumb line – HE is the definition of holiness and we are the definition of sinful – God is THE measuring stick to which we should compare ourselves. I am not a scholar but I do understand God’s word.

Think about it for a moment, if every person on earth was sinless, there would be no death, no crime, no need for prisons, etc. The earth would be a perfect place. However, God’s word says that men’s hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked! Furthermore, sin darkens the heart – blinds it from that which is holy and righteous.

~Romans 3:10-11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

People don’t believe the Bible because they are blinded. I remember before I was saved, I would open the Bible and it was all mumbo jumbo to me. However, after salvation, it was as though a veil had been removed from my eyes and I was able to understand what I was reading. The unsaved have “spiritual cataracts” covering their eyes of understanding.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The god of this world is none other than the devil, Satan. He convinces people that they are on the right track so they do not pursue after Christ and spiritual matters. He puts just enough “spirituality” in what they hear at church or he keeps people thinking they are O.K. just the way they are. He won’t reveal his true nature because people might recognize what he was trying to do.

~2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Satan blinds their minds. Those who are not saved are under his power. However, once we are born again, we are no longer – we are free and are no longer blind.

~Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Those who do not believe the Bible are growing in numbers because of the times that we are in. The devil knows his time is short and is doing all he can to discredit the Bible. There are over 200 versions of the Bible out there – all since 1900. If the devil can succeed in causing people to believe that God’s word is not really with us today, then people won’t have the faith needed to believe what is written in their version!

~2 Peter 3:3-7 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These last-days-scoffers are willingly ignorant. Their sinfulness prevails in their lives and, therefore, they do not wish to follow after righteousness. Instead, they soothe their consciences by following what the world says about the Bible, rather than studying it out for themselves. As long as sin rules in their lives, they will not believe the Bible.



Day 26 – What is Sin?

Photography by Cecelia Becker`

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Today’s photograph is a wonderful depiction of sin. Sin is appealing and, therefore, mankind succumbs to it because it appeals to them. However, just this one sin will keep a person out of Heaven. That is because we inherited a sin nature from Adam and Eve.

God’s word tells us that there is a penalty for sin in our lives and that is the penalty death. So exactly what are we going to be penalized for? Let’s take a look at what sin is according to God’s word.

The definition of sin according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is:

The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. 1 John 3. Mat 15. James 4.

The very first mention of the word sin can be found in Genesis 4:7a If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

This passage deals with Cain and Abel. It was time for them to bring their lamb for sacrifice as they were taught by their parents. Abel offered a lamb; however, Cain didn’t. Instead, he decided that he would give the fruit of his own labor. Maybe he was jealous of Abel … maybe he didn’t want to have to go buy a lamb from Abel’s flock. We aren’t told. What we are told is that Cain didn’t do as God wanted him to do. When God rejected his offering, Cain was wroth (Gen. 4:6) – meaning he was very angry. Why? He was angry because his offering of the works of his hands was not an accepted sacrifice by God. God told Cain in verse 7 “If thou does well, shalt thou not be accepted?” In other words, had Cain obeyed and followed God’s process taught to him (just as it was taught to Abel), his offering would have been accepted by God. God also says, “and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Cain’s offering was not accepted – he sinned against God by trying to get to God in his own way. In fact, the spirit of Cain is alive and well today. People try to get to Heaven by the work of their own hands.

What does the Bible say about sin? There are 1292 mentions of sin in the King James Bible. I can’t cover each verse but we can get an idea of how God views sin. The second mention of sin is found with the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 13:13 and Gen. 18:20) We, therefore, see two areas we know God considers to be sin, even before the Ten Commandments were given: (1) the sin of trying to get to Heaven by any other way than what God has provided in His word; and (2) the sin of sodomy (homosexuality) – in fact, this sin is said to be very grievous according to Gen. 18:20.

When the Ten Commandments were given, they formed the foundation for civilization as we know it. Many courthouses still have the Ten Commandments on their walls. Sadly, liberals are working desperately to have them removed. It’s so very sad because this is what God considers to be sin! The exact wording can be read in Exodus 20.

A brief paraphrased outline of these Ten Commandments are:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
  5. Honor thy Father and thy Mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
  10. Thou shalt not covet

It’s not rocket science to understand what God considers to be sin. These same are still considered sin by God today. He does not change! (Malachi 3:6a For I [am] the LORD, I change not;)

It doesn’t end there. James says in

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.

If man knows to do good, then it must be ingrained in man to do good. When man does not do what he knows in his heart to be good, then he has committed sin according to God’s word.

It’s pretty overwhelming to the one who has not accepted God’s gift of salvation. God’s word says in

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, one must repent toward God and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. No longer do we need to offer sacrifices for our sins as in the Old Testament! Now we have the opportunity to have our sins forgiven through Jesus Christ (John 3:16, John 14:6, John 3:3, Romans 6:23)

Until we recognize that we are sinners and we need to repent, we will be a slave to sin.

(Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

There is no other way to Heaven except by repenting toward sin and having faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21, John 14:6).



Day 27 – How do I Cope with Anxiety?

Photography by Cecelia Becker

~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

My fear of heights would give me cause to worry when I look at today’s photograph. There’s a bit of a railing but not enough to entice me to go up. Plus the stairway looks very unstable to me. And if I were to go up, being at the very top looking down would stir fear in my body.

Christians are not exempt from anxiety and stress in their lives. However, unlike those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, Christians do have the wonderful capability of leaving those stresses and anxieties with the Lord. Today’s text reminds us that our relationship is now that of a child of God! He truly cares for His children as a Father cares for his child!

~1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Because of our special relationship, we know that we have a compassionate God who cares for every detail – every anxiety – every stress! Are you experiencing life’s burdens today? Are the stresses and anxieties of your life robbing you of the peace that the Lord promises can be yours? Take comfort from God’s very words in the Scriptures!

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

~Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

~Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

~Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

The Lord can calm your storms just as He calmed the winds. Notice the verse – it says there was a great calm! This same God will give you a great calm if you let Him.

~Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

~Hebrews 13:5b …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Heavenly Father,

I am filled with stress and anxiety and I need Your help! Thank You for the Scriptures where I can be comforted. I place each of my anxieties and burdens at Your feet, Lord. Please take each of them and carry them for me. Replace my fears with Your wonderful gifts of peace and comfort! I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Thank You, Lord, for keeping me in palm of Your hand and in Your perfect peace!

Amen!



Day 28 – What is Perseverance?

~Ephesians 6:17-20 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We hear how the Christian must persevere – but just what does that mean? The word perseverance appears only once (in any of its forms) in Scripture. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word as:

PERSEVE’RANCE, n. [L. perseverantia. See Persevere.]

Persistence in any thing undertaken; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business or enterprise begun; applied alike to good or evil.
Perseverance keeps honor bright.
Patience and perseverance overcome the greatest difficulties.

In theology, continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory; sometimes called final perseverance.

Verses 17-20 speak of spreading the Gospel, watching, persevering, and praying for all the saints. The spreading of the Gospel back in Paul’s day came with a cost – many times the saints died for their effort. Is it any wonder that Paul encouraged them to persevere? Those were difficult days indeed. Thirty years ago, it was easy to spread the Gospel. People were more open to listening and very gracious. However, those times are quickly coming to an end. People are much less tolerant and consider those who spread the Gospel as “haters and intolerant.”

~Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Today’s text on perseverance is, once again, becoming a “life lesson” to the believer. We can’t give up – not now after we’ve been through so much. We can’t give up telling others about Jesus Christ! We can’t give up on someone’s soul!

~Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

We are in the end times spoken of in Matthew 24, friend. As the end draws nearer, the saints are going to need to persevere. Our tribulations are only the beginning of sorrows – we mustn’t give up or faint! I totally believe that our time is short to tell others about salvation through Jesus Christ. Given a few more years, the little bit of tolerance left will be totally gone. In fact, it will probably be against the law to stand on the streets to share the Gospel. Evangelists and soul winners in Michigan are experiencing that right now and being arrested for preaching on the streets because it offends Muslims. In a few more years, this will be true all over our country.

As the world worsens as Matthew 24 warns, our testimony during trials and tribulations will speak volumes to the unbelieving world. Therefore, we must keep ourselves ‘fed’ in the word of God. The Scriptures are filled with encouraging words to help us! God’s spoken words are all there in one place, the Bible, ready to equip the saint and train them in perseverance (Ephesians 6:13).

The picture above was taken by a sweet friend and used here with her permission. Her pictures are from all over and many show God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Jill, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!



Day 29 – What’s Considered a Cult?

Photography by Jill Petrillo

Today’s picture is also from my dear friend, Jill. The different shells are all very beautiful and each has its own purpose in God’s beautiful creation. A cult is very much the same as these shells. How, you may ask? All cults claim to lead followers to a peace that is lacking in that follower’s life. However appealing their teaching is, the Bible states it is wrong. So let’s find out why.

A cult is any religious group (“Christian” or otherwise) that denies one or more of the fundamentals of the truths from the Bible and results in causing one not to be born-again according to the Scriptures. One of the more common teachings of a cult is that Jesus Christ is not God. In my opinion, this is the most important one.

Two good examples of cults that deny Christ as God are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. Both of these cults believe similar teachings of the Bible but these two very important foundational elements are not taught. Some cults have “extra” revelations left behind by their founders. The leadership of these cults use these extra revelations or teachings as a means to supersede the Scriptures and, therefore, their members are leery about reading the Bible because they have been taught that the extra books or teachings were also given by God. This is also true of Judaism and Catholicism.

~Revelations 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

God does not contradict Himself. His word is true – from beginning to end. (John 17:17) What does the Bible say about cults? Let’s look deeper at the first obstacle that Jesus Christ is God. If the Bible cannot prove that Jesus Christ is God, then all the other obstacles are obsolete. However, if the Bible can prove that Jesus Christ is God, then it stands to reason that salvation is through Him and He is God.

~Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

~Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

~Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

~Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

~John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.

~John 5:17-18 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

~John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

~Exodus 3:13-14 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

~Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

~Philemon 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

~Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

~1 John 5:7-9 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

These verses are merely a few – there are over 100 verses prophecies of Christ’s deity, His purpose to save mankind, and of His death and resurrection. Cult leaders don’t want their members to find the truth in the Scriptures and that is why they distract them with “extra” doctrine through other writings. All, I might add, are written by man – God’s word says that all men have wicked hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)! Better to trust in God and His word than man.

When it comes to the truth and the Scriptures, Peter said to obey God rather than men!

~Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.




Psalms’ Blessings

Photography by Cecelia Becker

This is a devotional series on the Book of Psalms written in 2014. Psalms has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible because it offers so much comfort and encouragement. I pray you are blessed!



Day 1 – Meditating on God’s Handiwork!

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 92:5-6 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. 6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

What wonderful words from Psalms today, amen?!!! The unlearned Christian misses out on the beautiful results of meditating on the Lord’s works. The unbeliever doesn’t “get it” because his thoughts are not centered on God at all. His thoughts are on self – exactly where the devil wants those thoughts to be.

Proverbs 12:15a The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:

The believer’s eyes are looking outward and up while the unsaved’s are looking inward and down. As a child of God, we have the wonderful opportunity for fellowship with the Father through His Word. The more we know it and are obedient to it, the more the Holy Spirit reveals to us.



Day 2 – Regrets

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

Have you ever had regrets in your life that you just couldn’t shake? No matter how bright your future appeared, you still couldn’t help but regret the outcome of some problem you had in the past. We all have one or two of those and letting go of them is not small feat. But there are times when regret can totally debilitate a person.

I think of Lot’s wife. Why do you think she looked back? I’ve heard a few sermons on this and all were centered around the fact that she regretted leaving everything she cared about in her life behind.

Gen 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

This one little action of looking back brought sever consequences for her. It didn’t affect only her. Lot was now without a wife and her daughters were without a mother. Her city is being destroyed in a most horrific way yet she stops to look back. Her heart was back there, that much is obvious.

Today’s Psalm reveals that the child of God can rest in the Lord’s deliverance from our fears. God will help us through any difficult trial if we will only focus on Him and not on the circumstances around us. Verse 5 says they looked unto him and their faces were not ashamed. We will never have regrets if we follow His will for our lives – obedience brings peace and comfort, not regrets.

Do you have regrets, dear Christian? Leave them in the past if you have done what you can to repair them. The devil wants nothing better than to distract you from the will of God! Leave them and move ahead – keep your eyes fixed on the Lord, do His work and look forward to His return! Don’t be like Lot’s wife – don’t park your thoughts on the past and all of its regrets!

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.



Day 3 – Nothing is too hard for God

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 30:4-6 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

We are faced with impossible situations all the time. It’s what we do with those situations that shows our faith in the Lord. Do we bow down to fear or do we turn to the One who can do all things? I faced this when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008. Had it not been for my faith in the Almighty God, I would have crumbled. He reminded me frequently:

Gen 18:14a Is any thing too hard for the LORD? …

The more frequently you turn to the Lord with your doubts and fears, the more you build on your faith and add to your foundation.



Day 4 – Endurance

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

In this chaotic world with all of its wars and rumors of wars, viruses, financial collapses, etc., it is comforting to know that one thing never changes and that is God’s truth! Man is filled with sin – we are born liars.

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Since Adam and Eve’s fall, all mankind has been born into sin – meaning that we don’t have to be taught to sin – we have the ability “within” us. We do, however, have to be taught to do right and to be obedient to the Scriptures. This is where a Saviour comes into play! No one, and I mean no one, can go without sinning.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

I like what Job said:

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

No one can clean himself/herself up! Only Christ’s precious blood could do it – only His shed blood can purchase our freedom from this worldly body that is addicted to sin.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Revelation 1:5 – And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Praise the Lord that we don’t have to depend upon our own capabilities … if that were the case, we would all be doomed to an eternity in the Lake of Fire!



Day 5 – God is ONLY Good!

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Psalm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

I think of the times that I have questioned the Lord and His plans for my life because I did not understand His ways. We may not understand God’s ways for us but one thing is for certain, we can trust that His way is righteous and holy! The above verse makes that quite clear, amen?

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God lets us know through His Word that we won’t be able to figure Him out … period! Our thoughts, works and ways are not holy and righteous and, therefore, cannot be the same as God’s. We have a sinful nature and our thinking will be based on that. This is why it is so important for us to depend on God speaking to us through His Word. It is always right and it is final. Remember, God will always do right.

Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

God does right because God is ONLY good. What a wonderful thing to meditate on today! Because this is so, how can I worry about what is to come? Praise the Lord!



Day 6 – When You Need a Boost!

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 86:4-5, Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Today’s advertising world inundates us with energy drinks galore! Most are bad for you because they are loaded with chemicals. But where does one go when he/she needs a spiritual boost? The Psalmist, David, knew where to go. He went directly to the Lord! Notice what was bringing David down … the answer is in the next sentence: “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive;”

When we are living for the Lord and live according to His words, we are not despondent but are encouraged in the Lord. It’s when we are “in sin” that we get discouraged. David recognized this right off and knew where to turn. The end result was rejoicing that God is plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Him!

When you need a boost, follow David’s example! Go to the Source who can provide everlasting spiritual energy! 🙂



Day 7 – Delight Yourself

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~Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Delighting ourselves in the Lord may sound strange to some people. However, to the believer, it is an important part of worshiping God! Noah Webster defines “delight” as:

To affect with great pleasure; to please highly; to give or afford high satisfaction or joy; as, a beautiful landscape delights the eye; harmony delights the ear; the good conduct of children, and especially their piety, delights their parents.

Do my actions affect the Lord with great pleasure? Do I please Him highly? Do I give or afford God high satisfaction and joy? Do my actions speak volumes and glorify God? These are all excellent questions to ask ourselves when we do moral inventory of our lives. Keeping our spiritual life and walk with God in check keeps us out of trouble. Even better, we have a promise that the Lord will give us the desires of our heart when we do so. Will our desires always be our “wants”? No! But they will definitely be exactly what we need.

“I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than the intensity of your prayer.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon



Day 8 – Our Shepherd

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 119:169-176 TAU
169 Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

The last verse of this beautiful Psalm is a wonderful way to end this series on Reflections in Psalms! The Psalmist compares himself to a lost sheep. It’s not the first time this “theme” is found in the King James Bible. In fact, there six occurrences, which I find quite interesting. The Bible number six is defined as the number of man. So it excites my spirit to see man represented as a lost sheep! Man (the sheep) is eternally lost without a Saviour (the Shepherd) (Psalm 23:1)!

Sheep are one of the dumbest creatures on this earth. If led to do so, they will run off a cliff! God compares us to sheep who have gone astray and are in desperate need of a Shepherd to save them, guide them, and teach them (Psalm 23:2-5). Just as Israel was led astray by idols, so are the unsaved today led astray by today’s idols (Jeremiah 50:6). Man’s repeated attempts at “serving God,” failing, and falling away proved futile. The lost sheep needed a shepherd – but much more than just an ordinary shepherd. These sheep needed The Shepherd. This Shepherd would not only protect them, He would give His very life for them (Isaiah 53:6)! Furthermore, He would not lose even one but would seek out each and every one who was lost and die for them all (Matthew 18:12-13)!

I’ve heard that sheep know their shepherd’s voice and are calmed by it. What a beautiful analogy! Once we are saved, we are reconciled to our Shepherd through His precious blood and He is the Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25)! He cares for us in the same way as a Shepherd cares of His sheep! When a sheep goes astray, the shepherd uses is rod to “spank” it. If the sheep repeatedly goes astray, the shepherd inflicts pain in order to keep it in the fold (Proverbs 3:11 and Hebrews 12:7-11). Injured, the sheep becomes dependent on the shepherd and draws nigh to him! Isn’t that great?

The shepherd’s staff was used to lean on or to support one’s self. Oh how beautiful a picture this paints! I am able to lean on Christ and allow Him to support me when I can’t hold myself up (Matthew 11:28-30)! There are so many things I cannot do in my own strength and wholly have to lean on Him! I have read how the shepherd would stroke (or pet) the sheep with his staff: the sheep would be comforted by it. How many times have I been comforted in this manner during an extremely difficult trial (Psalm 23:4)! I have literally felt the Lord’s presence!

How lovely is God’s word to me! How precious! There is great comfort found when one searches its blessed pages! I hope you have enjoyed this journey as we have reflected on this magnificent Book of Psalms! I know I have 🙂



Day 9 – Uphill Battles?

Psalms 77:8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

At times, don’t you feel like you’re climbing a steep mountain and no one seems to care about your struggles? You cry and cry to the Lord but He doesn’t seem to hear? If sin is the cause of your struggles, then God is calling you back. But if your hardships are not due to sin, it seems to leave you in a dark hole, doesn’t it? We know that the Lord would never abandon us because He loves us (1 Peter 5:7). We also know that He will never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). He always provides a way out for those tempted to fall because of their burden.

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Friend, the Father’s compassion never fail. God is love, amen? With love comes compassion, does it not? You can’t help but have compassion for someone you truly love! Compassion is motivated by love – plain and simple. God is perfect and, therefore, God’s compassion is perfect also. He would not push you to the end of your rope, even though it feels like it at times. Be encouraged, friend!

In fact, here’s something that will knock your socks off! God is so compassionate that Jesus prays for you! Yes, Jesus Himself prays for each born-again believer.

Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Doesn’t that encourage your heart? Jesus left us the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us when we don’t know how to pray for ourselves (Romans 8:26). As if that weren’t enough, Jesus prays for us that the devil doesn’t overwhelm us!!! Oh friend, I pray that today’s devotional will bless your heart and will encourage you despite the trials and tribulations you’re going through at this moment!

One of my favorite hymns is “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman, Jr. Just reading the words are a blessing! 🙂

Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

2
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

3
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your Lord on high.

4
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.



Day 10 – Our Righteousness

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

Can any one of us say that we are able to keep all of God’s commandments? Can any one of us say that we do righteousness at all times? Oh how discouraging today’s verse is for the one who is trying to keep the commandments!

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah points out that even the best good thing we do is like a filthy rag, my friend! There isn’t anything that we can do that will add even one atom-sized portion toward our salvation! Think about it!

Not one of us can say that we are even close to getting to Heaven on our own. The Bible makes that clear in the following verses:

Psalms 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psalms 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

There’s a them going on in those four verses: “No, NOT ONE!” There is not one person who can get to Heaven on his/her own merit. No amount of good deeds, no amount of money, no amount of Bible reading or church attendance can tip the scales from Hell to Heaven, friend.

Jesus left His royal throne in order to pay a debt He did not owe! His love for you and I is beyond comprehension. We cannot know perfect love like this because we are not God. Only God can love to this degree and only God can pay the sin debt that we owe! We are so undeserving! Because of God’s love for us, He sent His only Son to take the punishment for our sins – through His death, His blood, we receive salvation! We receive freedom from the bondage of that sin!

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Jesus Paid It All
Elvina M. Hall

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.



Day 11 – The Devil’s Beatitudes

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 74:18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

A born-again believer living in America can’t help but feel that our once wonderful country is going to Hell in a hand basket. :'( Abortion is rampant and the conscience is seared due to apathy. The following quote is from Operation Rescue:

“of all unintended pregnancies, 4 in 10 are aborted. There are approximately 1.21 million abortions in America each year.”

Operation Rescue

Are these innocent deaths any different than those spoken of in Deuteronomy?

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

We just finished supporting Life Chain yesterday and what a sad day it was for me. Not only are we talking about 1.21 million babies being killed in the name of convenience, but the sick mentality of people who support these killings! As we stood on the sidewalks with various pro-life and pro-Jesus signs, we were mocked and yelled at by 3-4 times more people than people showing support for the cause. :'( My heart was absolutely broken! There were so many more in support of this cause in years past! Where were those people yesterday? What happened to their consciences – their hearts?

Oh, Father in Heaven, please forgive this people and this land for offering up their unborn children to the god of this world! Lord, turn the hearts of your people and revive us again so we can be bold witnesses to those who get rid of their babies because it’s not convenient! Please, Lord, keep Your hand of judgment from us and give us more time to reach out to this lost and dying world.

I found this story that really applied to the heart of what is wrong with Christians today. I hope it speaks to your heart!

THE DEVIL’S BEATITUDES

Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to assemble with the Church on Sunday; for they are my best workers.
Blessed are they who are bored with the pastor’s mannerisms and mistakes; for they get nothing out of the casermon.
Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church; for he is important to me.
Blessed are they who do not meet with the church on Sunday; for they cause the world to say, “The Church is failing.”
Blessed are they who do not give to carry on God’s work and mission; for they are my helpers.
Blessed are the troublemakers; for they shall be called the children of the devil.
Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother; for he will be with me forever.
Blessed is he who has no time to pray; for he shall be easy prey for me.



Day 12 – Life’s Storms

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

If the Master Creator can calm a storm and still the waves, how much more can He do with the storms of your life? Let’s stop and think about it for a moment!

Jesus thought this to be a very important topic to teach His disciples. So important, it was mentioned in three of the four Gospels.

Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Luke 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Each of the Gospels teaches a different aspect of the same account. Matthew shows the Master teaching His pupils – telling them of their lack of faith. Mark’s account shows just how awesome and powerful Jesus was – the God man, but fully God. Lastly, Luke describes man’s desperate need for Jesus to intercede on their behalf! Oh how wonderful to know that the Maker of the storms can also calm them.

Oh how wonderful to know that we can run to Him in the midst of our storms and cry out, “Master, master, I perish!” Oh Lord, God, how I need Thee every hour! Oh how precious are the words of this hymn to me this day! I’ve known the hymn for years but the Lord has seen fit to bless me with its true meaning!

I Need Thee Every Hour
Annie Hawks

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

Refrain

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.

Refrain



Day 13 – Thirsting

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 42:1-2 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

What a convicting passage! Do I thirst after the Lord and the things of God as the deer pants after water? Ouch!

The bread and water of life are ours because of Jesus Christ. He has provided His own flesh and blood to purchase our very salvation. What love! He doesn’t stop there – He has provided us with the Scriptures that we can turn to on a daily basis to satisfy our deepest longings.

On a really hot day, isn’t it wonderful to pour yourself a nice tall glass of water or iced tea? How wonderful it feels going down our parched throat! We ought have that same urgent desire for the things of God! This is so convicting to me.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

It’s so important to stay on top of our spiritual walk. We can easily become side tracked and our sense of urgency for the things of God diminishes. Oh that we would keep our eyes focused on the One above!! Holy Spirit, please prick our hearts – dig up the hardened soil and water it with the words of life. Help us to turn around and head in the right direction once again!



Day 14 – Doubt

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 77:3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

This verse had such an impact to my spirit! It was exactly what I needed … just when I needed it!

Psalm 77:3 is worded perfectly for the person who has any doubts in the Lord and what He is doing. Notice that the Psalmist remembered his God and that troubled him … but why did it trouble him? The colon tells us that the thought, the point, is coming. The Psalmist complained and, because of that, he was overwhelmed. Then to top it off, he inserts a rest, Selah – as if he wants us to stop and think about it. Whew! God’s words for mankind are so applicable to life today!!

Through the struggles of my life in the past few months, I’ve often doubted the Lord. What is He doing? What purpose does He have? Why is He allowing this? My spirit was troubled within me and now I can totally understand why! When we doubt God, that is when we become overwhelmed with the issues at hand. To rest securely in His care is the place to be. To rest in Him brings peace and tranquility for the weary soul!

So what’s the solution to doubt? Go back to the beginning of the verse and you will see! 🙂 The Psalmist said, “I remembered God.” Looking back on my life, I have so much for which to be thankful! There’s no doubt in my mind that these blessings were from the Father in Heaven. Doubt flies when we concentrate on what He has done for us in the past. We can rest in the knowledge that He will bless us again! 🙂



Day 15 – Evolution

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

When all is said and done and the end of the age arrives, it won’t matter what man has taught about evolution. The truth will be made known to all mankind and all those who are not “in Christ” will be judged. The Bible says that atheists are fools – plain and simple. God doesn’t mince words, does He?

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “fool” as:

In scripture, fool is often used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations, who prefers trifling and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness.

I think of the countless evolutionists and scientists who have a total disregard for the things of God. In reality, their science has become their “god”! They would rather believe in anything rather than the Bible. But God still calls them fools.

The Bible is our source for all things. It has all the answers – it’s current – it’s full of wisdom – it’s the final answer! Amen?



Day 16 – Hope

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 22:9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

I love the mental picture this paints! As a baby screams for its food and only gets louder when deprived, our hope in the Lord’s care for us should be as fervent, amen? Does a baby even stop to think where his next meal is coming from? Of course not! He just knows that when he cries, his needs are met. He doesn’t question whether those needs will be met or not.

So why do we doubt that God will meet our needs? Our hope should be in Him and Him alone! Just as Christ has our salvation secure in His blood, so does He have each of our needs nestled safely in the palm of His hand. He knows each care – each need – each trial!



Day 17 – Diligence

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 119:1-4 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Along with diligence in our walk with the Lord comes blessings. Not only blessings, but strength to keep from sin. We live in a sinful world in flesh that still desires to sin, amen? The only way to fight the battle is to remain in God’s word.

Psalms 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

A Christian needs the Scriptures daily in order to keep sin from dominating his body! Are you struggling? Get back in the word of God, Christian! It is your armor against the world!



Day 18 – Waiting on the Lord

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalms 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets anxious about situations in their life. I’ve written about this topic before but apparently I need to hear it again! 🙂 I so want to trust in Him and wait for Him to handle these situations in my life that cause me unrest but I repeatedly fail to remember that His ways are not my ways.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Waiting on the Lord is not always easy, especially when you are right in the midst of the trial! I love how Psalm 31:24 ends with, “…all ye that hope in the LORD.” My hope must solidly rest in Jesus Christ – period!. As the writer said in the beautiful hymn “On Christ the Solid Rock,” “all other hope is sinking sand.” Do I “hope” in myself? Sadly, yes! I think that I can accomplish something only to find out that it creates a great burden on me. Why do I do this to myself?

So what is the solution? I’ve figured it out … it’s staying in my Bible … it’s allow God to encourage my heart and strengthen me through His words … and, yes, it’s waiting for Him for an answer to my trial and not jumping the gun. Oh how weary I am of this flesh! I can so relate to Paul’s words:

Romans 7:14-15 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

I long for the day when my faith will be made sight and I no longer will have to battle with myself! I will no longer have to wait on the Lord because I will be right there with Him! 🙂



Day 19 – Diligently

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalm 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

A few years ago, when I commuted to work along the coastline of Oregon, I would see the same people over and over walking the beaches. It was part of their daily routine and they were diligent about it. As many of you know, it rains a lot in Oregon but yet these people would be out there walking rain or shine. Such diligence is commendable to be certain. However, what about diligence when it comes to God’s Word? We are commanded to be diligent in doing what the Scriptures tell us to do, amen?

Noah Webster defines diligently as:

DILIGENTLY, adv. With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.

Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Deu 6.

I was moved by this: “with steady application and care;” – it describes someone who doesn’t give up – someone who keeps on going no matter what. It’s not just the reading of the Word that’s important here but the “application” of the Word of God to our lives. That’s the “action” in this definition. We can read and read all we want but if we do not apply it to our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to change us, then we’ve read for nothing, amen? We need to take what we’ve read with our eyes,heard with our ears, apply it to our hearts then put feet to what we’ve learned.

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



Day 20 – Forgiveness

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 25:18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Praise the Lord that we do not have to worry about where we will spend eternity once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It is not by anything that we do, otherwise we could lose that salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The Bible says it is only by the blood of Jesus that we can be saved. (Acts 4:12) Nothing else!

Psalms 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Eph. 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Rather than live a Christian life filled with guilt, rejoice that your salvation is not dependent on you but on Christ. You were given and are forgiven. But if you sin, confess it and forsake it. Remember 1 John 1:9. The devil wants you to continue feeling guilty so you can become ineffective to the cause of Christ. Tell the Lord about it and repent from that sin and do it no more.

Ps 103:8,11 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.



Day 21 – Lighting the Way

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Have you ever tried to go for a nice walk in the woods when the fog is close to the ground like today’s picture?? You can’t see the tree roots coming out of the ground all that well. In fact, sometimes you trip over them. This immediately brought to mind how God tells us that His Word is a light on our path so we don’t have to ever worry about tripping over unseen obstacles. Granted, we will have surprises, but if we are reading regularly and meditating on God’s Word, we won’t be taken off guard.

The Lord gave us the Bible to guide and direct us in all things, amen? We can turn to the Scriptures and find answers to practically any question under the sun.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We don’t have to be led astray by the Joel Osteen’s of the world who preach the “prosperity gospel.” If this type of preaching were what Jesus wanted of us, don’t you think there would be more examples of it in the Bible? Don’t you think God would have had all of His preachers decked out and popular with the world? Jesus was not popular at all. If anyone could “visualize” his success, it would have been Jesus, after all. But no where in Scriptures do we see the preachers living lavishly and having all the world’s goodies! Solomon did but he did not end well, did he? He turned from all that wisdom and adopted the ways of his wives/concubines’ gods. This is exactly what today’s Bible verse is all about.

Don’t be led astray by the world’s gospel, which is the devil’s by the way. Be wise and studious, Christian! There are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there. They sound Christian – their words are almost identical to ours – but they are far from God. The Bible is our handbook for life – for everthing!

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.



Day 22 – Teaching Children

Psalms 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

What a beautiful blueprint for teaching children, amen? God wants us to have His Word out in the open in our homes, not hidden under a bushel. I can see where Bible verses prominently displayed on the walls and throughout the home would fit this statement, can’t you? Even post-it notes on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror can fulfill that.

The verse continues on to say that when the Word of God is not hidden, it shows the praises of God, His strength and His wonderful works. Having God’s Word as an integral part of our daily lives yields this type of fruit. We can’t help but sing praises of all that He does for us!

What are we showing our children? Today’s verse even talks about teaching them to future generations – our grandchildren! Are we showing them how defeated we are by the world? Or are we singing praises of His goodness? Are we showing them stability through trials? Are we sharing the victories where we have overcome those trials? Children are so easy to teach to praise the Lord! I dare say if Christian parents had done more of this in our day, we wouldn’t have so many ungrateful teenagers and young adults today! This simple verse is packed with wisdom, amen?

Not everyone has children, but everyone has a child in his/her world, whether it’s a relative or a Sunday School class. Start there – teach, teach and teach some more. Your time and effort will not be wasted. 🙂



Day 23 – Assured I’m His!

Psalms 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

As Christians, there is nothing that you and I can do or say that will be righteous 100% of the time. Amen? Today’s verse would be quite discouraging if we could only be the Lord’s through our own righteousness! Thank the Lord Jesus, our Saviour, for His righteousness!

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It is His righteousness that the Heavenly Father sees once we are saved! Therefore, the end of that verse applies to us! God will hear us when we cry out to Him.

Aren’t you glad that you have this assurance? The Father has set us apart in Christ for Himself!! He will hear us when we call! No maybes there! This verse is a wonderful promise to the children of God who rest secure in the Father’s hand. (John 10:29)

Hallelujah!

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.



Day 24 – God is Good

Psalms 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

A dear sweet lady in our Ladies Sunday School class brought up this statement:

God is not only Good, but He is ONLY Good!

Pause for a moment and think about that comment. Is there anything, then, that can happen to you that won’t be for your benefit? I’m not talking about repercussions from sin. I’m talking about those trials and tribulations that come your way, as in Job’s case. No matter what you go through, remember that the Lord God of Heaven can ONLY do good because He is only Good. Do you get it? Now look at today’s verse. Knowing that God is only Good, can you now see how He is gracious? Why? Because graciousness comes from good. Can you see how He is full of compassion? Someone who hates cannot be compassionate. Can you see how He is slow to anger and full of mercy? Oh my! Remember this when you are in the midst of trials. Know that since God is ONLY Good, He won’t give you more than you can carry on your precious shoulders, Christian. He can’t and won’t do that. Why? Because He is only Good! 🙂



Day 25 – Needed Strength

There are times in life where we reach a point where we just can’t go on anymore. We are at the end of our rope and that’s it! We realize that we cannot go on by our own strength. You’ve been there, haven’t you? For years you’ve reached down deep inside you and pulled out every ounce of strength you had to make it through one more day.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to go to the store and buy a can of strength right off the shelf? 🙂 I wish it would be that easy! But you can find super human strength right there in the privacy of your own home, dear Christian. Your Bible has verses just waiting to be read that will encourage your heart and give you exactly what you need … when you need it!

Psalm 22:19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

Psalm 28:7-8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

The Lord God is a compassionate God. He could destroy us in a heartbeat but His nature is such that He looks upon His creation like a father looks upon his child. God is merciful and sees our plight and is there to strengthen us.

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

What it takes, Christian, is taking time to read your Bible! It’s a simple solution – the remedy awaits you! Encourage yourself and turn to the One who is able to give you that strength. Our Father won’t give you more than you can bear! He will give you that much-needed strength to make it through one more day. Then tomorrow, you can ask Him all over again and He will supply your need. God is faithful and will not fail you!

Great is Thy Faithfulness

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!



Day 26 – Are You Afraid Today?

Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

How many times do you stop and think about the Lord when your heart is gripped with fear? To many Christians, God is not the first thing that comes to mind. But He should be! What would happen to you if you heard that negative comments were made about you by your closest friend (your husband, parent, dear friend)? What would be the first thing to come to your mind? Would you deny that your friend ever made those comments because you trusted him/her? Or would you be quick to judge the situation as well as your friend? Most times, you would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your spouse, or your friend, would never speak ill of you and, therefore, you would dismiss the situation.

Why then, can you not trust God? Would God do anything to harm you? Of course not. When we strive to walk in His will, everything that happens to us in the course of the day happens for a purpose: to bring glory to His Name!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

We don’t need to doubt – we don’t need to be afraid of anything! No matter how unknown your future is, you are still God’s child. God’s eternal love is unconditional – He died for you while you were yet a sinner. That should speak volumes to your heart! He has your best interest in mind when He allows trials and tribulations to come your way. Think of Job for a moment. Job was put through the ringer, wasn’t he? Yet he was not afraid and he trusted in the Lord.

God won’t abandon you – He won’t allow anything more than you can possibly bear. Don’t be afraid. Praise Him in all things and acknowledge the blessings you have. That will put a new song on your lips and encourage your heart. Fear will simply vanish away! 🙂 It may try to creep back in but start the process over and praise Him!

Praise Him! Praise Him!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long.

Refrain:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever;
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong.



Day 27 – Satan’s Discouragement

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Does the child of God have a right to be discouraged? It’s a good question. There are times that we allow ourselves a brief moment to sit in our pity party pool of tears. But normally, we snap out of it and move on. However, there are some good Christians out there who stay in their little pool a little too long. This is a dangerous place to be, Christian.

The Psalmist says that the Lord hears our cries and brings us out of our horrible pit and out of the miry clay. One cannot “hear” unless there’s something TO hear, amen? There must be an action of crying out first. Therefore, this is conditional upon the child of God crying out to Him first. He then places us on a rock and establishes our goings. Furthermore, the Lord puts a new song in our mouth – rather than complaining of our discouragement, we have a new song of praise to Him. This is a testimony to the lost and a testimony to the weaker Christian. Notice that the byproduct of discouragement is fear and the byproduct of praise is trust in the Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

One thing we can definitely count on is that God already knows the outcome of our situation. He walks right there alongside us! And the best part is that He has promised that He will NOT fail us nor will He forsake us. Also notice that we are then exhorted that we shouldn’t fear nor be discouraged! How can one fear or be discouraged if he truly believes that God WILL NOT fail him or forsake him?

Here’s a wonderful little fable called, “Satan’s Discouragement.” It goes with today’s devotional so well and I hope it helps you to see that discouragement serves no purpose but to bring glory to the devil. The total opposite, encouragement, brings glory to the Lord Almighty!

Satan’s Discouragement

There’s an old fable that says the Devil once held a sale and offered all the tools of his trade to anyone who would pay the price. The tools were spread out on the table and each one was labeled: hatred, malice, envy, despair, sickness, sensuality – all the weapons that everyone knows so well.

Off to one side lay a harmless-looking, wood-shaped instrument marked “discouragement.” It was old and worn looking but it was priced far above the rest.

When asked the reason why, the Devil replied, “Because I can use this one so much more easily than the others. No one knows that it belongs to me, so with it I can open doors that are tightly bolted shut. Once I get inside I can use any tool that suits me best.”

Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

I stand amazed at how many traditional hymns are based on God’s word! Isn’t this one below just so appropriate for today’s devotional? I hope you have been encouraged today, dear Christian!

Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary

Days are filled with sorrow and care,
Hearts are lonely and drear.
Burdens are lifted at Calvary,
Jesus is very near.

Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.



Day 28 – Our Helper

Psalms 46: 1-3 (To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.) God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

The storms of life happen to everyone. No one escapes it. The only difference is how one handles these storms. We can either moan and groan about a storm in our life or we can do what the Psalmist recommends.

Just reading today’s passage in Psalms calms my spirit. God’s precious words bring solace to a weary soul, doesn’t it? The Psalmist tells us that God is our refuge. When we fret about the day’s events or an upcoming battle, we should strive to run to our refuge. I picture a castle or some type of structure that is fortified and impervious to the enemy. God has chosen His words carefully and each word is in our Bible so we may glean and be encouraged. So it is no coincidence that God chose the word refuge. A refuge protects an individual from the enemy, the elements and anything harmful. Sometimes a refuge can be your spouse. But God clearly tells us here that He is to be our Refuge!

When we turn to Him during our trials, He promises us that we are now safe in His refuge, which is impenetrable, and He will protect us from the enemy. We are under His wings and protected from the elements and the enemy. Are you not encouraged, even now?

Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

As if this weren’t enough to be on shouting grounds, the Psalmist continues and says that the Lord is our strength! I’m no longer the young pup I used to be. Even when I was, my strength could not match His. I’m thankful that no matter what my strength levels are, I don’t need to rely on my own but I can rely on God’s strength. There is nothing too difficult for the Lord, Christian. Amen? Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” Amen and amen! No wonder the Psalmist was encouraged! I am encouraged! 🙂

So now, Christian, we are in His refuge (under His wings) and we don’t have to face a trial in our own strength but can rely on His strength. As if this isn’t enough, we can now count on God helping us through that trial. He will provide the solution – He will provide the way to overcome – He will provide whatever is necessary for us to survive the storm! It reminds me of “Footprints in the Sand” where we see that God carried the Christian when the Christian could not go on on his own. I’ve felt this way, many a time.

I praise the Lord that I can count Him as my Refuge, my Strength and my Helper. What encouragement that brings my soul today!!! Thank You, Father! To God be the glory, great things He hath done!

A Might Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther (1483-1546)

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.



Day 29 – The Heavens Speak

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

The same God who came to earth to take on our sin created the beauty that is all around us. The Bible tells us that just looking up at the skies reveals God to the heart of man. The native in the deepest jungles of Africa and South America see the same heavens as we do. It has always been in man’s heart of hearts to search for a Creator. The heavens declare this Creator and man is without excuse. People wonder about the natives and how they can possibly get saved. When looking at these beautiful heavens and creation, a native will sense there is a Creator. When there is a fervent heart, the Lord will send a missionary to this native to lead him to Christ.

John 1:3 – All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

What a praise this is, actually. Our Lord and Saviour not only created all things but He reveals His nature to every man through that same creation. He puts that desire in every man’s heart. God would not do anything contrary to His word. If man is created by Him, for Him, it stands to reason that Christ would do anything to draw man to Him. Amen?

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

All of creation waits anxiously for Christ’s return. Yes, the heavens – animals – all creation!

Romans 8:21-22 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Sing out, Christian! Declare with the heavens and all of Christ’s creation in waiting anticipation for His return!! He will make all things new! Read Revelations, my friend! God wins in the end and His creation is brought into the beautiful Millennium period. Earth will once again be as Christ intended in the Garden of Eden. Look up! Our redemption draweth nigh! (Luke 21:28)

To God be the Glory

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.



Day 30 – God’s GPS

Psalms 119:105 Nun. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

God left us His word to give us direction for the here and now as well as to instruct us for the future. Today’s verse tells me that everything I need to direct me for today is in the blessed pages of my Bible. All I have to do is read it. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,” – God wants to teach us and show us how to live according to His will today! “…and a light unto my path.” – God wants to guide and direct us as we walk down life’s pathway.

Everything we need is right there at our fingertips, Christian. Do you need to be encouraged?

Ps. 61:1-3, 1 (To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.) Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

Are you mourning at the loss of a loved one?

2 Cor. 1:3-4, 3 Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

No matter what life throws your way, God has a word WITH direction for you! You’re His child and He doesn’t want you to stray onto a wrong path. He has given us the Light of the world (John 8:12) and a wonderful Teacher (Luke 12:12)!! 🙂




Ponderings

What do you think about when you do your devotions? Do you simply read and walk away? Or do you sit there and think about what you’ve just read? We should be walking away with something that will carry us through the day, don’t you think? I wrote this 26-day devotional series beginning in 2013 and finished it in 2014. It covers various blessings from God’s word. As you look at this picture, think on a Bible verse and really ponder over it. That is how we glean from God’s Word. I pray it is a blessing to you!



Day 1 – Consider the Loaves

Mark 6:48- 52 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For they considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Before you sit in judgment over the disciples’ forgetting Jesus’ miracles, park here a while and think on your own life. How many times have you been through struggles? Did the Lord see you through them all? Did everything turn out OK? Things my not have turned out the way you planned. But you must admit … they turned out better.

Don’t you want to kick yourself for doubting? I know I have been in that same boat (no pun intended). I forgot about the loaves! I forgot what the Lord did in my life – the miracles He performed – my heart was hardened and despair set in, much like the disciples in the boat.

But what did Jesus do? He encouraged them and performed yet another miracle! He never leaves us in our despair. When we sincerely seek Him through it all, He rewards us! 🙂



Day 2 – What’s in the Heart

Proverbs 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

When you see your reflection in a mirror or in water, what do you really see? You don’t see what’s on the inside – you don’t see your heart, correct? The Bible tells us that what’s in the heart is displayed on the outside of our bodies. It shows on our face, it shows in our words and in our actions.

Mat. 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

If your mirror could reveal what is in your heart this morning, what would you see? Would you see an ugly, sad, dark and empty reflection? Or, would you see a smile filled with Christ’s love?

Sin creates a ripple in our heart’s reflection. What was clear and beautiful in the eyes of the beholder, now becomes distorted. This picture is a perfect example of what sin can do in our lives. You can hardly see the beautiful clouds in the water – it’s merely a mishmash. Sin distorts our testimony and changes it from Christ’s reflection in us to something that is not recognizable – no longer revealing His beauty. Sin’s effects are a slow process … at first there are no rippling effects and the picture appears perfect. However, as we continue in sin, the ripples (the repercussions of our sins) become greater and the reflection of Christ becomes more distorted. When ripples become waves from the storms of life, Christ is no longer evident.

Don’t deceive yourself, Christian. You may think that dabbling in sin doesn’t affect you, but it does. The devil deceives and is a father of lies. He will convince you that you’re OK and will keep you out of the will of God. This world sees you just as today’s Proverb describes. They see what’s in your heart reflected on your face – your life – your character. Don’t shame the Lord but glorify Him in your life. They won’t be able to tell the difference between you and your Saviour! 🙂



Day 3 – The Following

John 10:1-5 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Sheep listen to only one person – their shepherd. If you need proof of that, search it out on the web and you’ll be taken to videos of different people trying to call sheep to them. The sheep don’t move until they hear their shepherd’s voice. It’s truly amazing! I love the fact that God used this analogy in the scriptures. Our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is the only one who will lead us through the gates of heaven, my friend. There is only one way and that is through His birth, death and resurrection. His shed blood is the sacrificial offering for the penalty of our sins.

Matt. 7:13-15 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

There are many out there that claim to have the words of life but they are charlatans trying to deceive you. Jesus said there is one way – He leads us to the way.

John 10:7-18 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

There is ONE Shepherd, ONE way … Jesus Christ, the Son of God … not Allah, not Budda, ONLY Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Apostle Peter even said it in:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It’s not rocket science but the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) has blinded mankind with diversity and tolerance. This is not scriptural. Jesus came to show us the way – it’s in God’s words for mankind – all we have to do is read those words and believe in faith that He is the One and only way.



Day 4 – Does it bother you?

Do you care about God? Do you care what happens after death? Maybe you don’t care at all. I pray you would take a few moments to read this anyway. Even if only one person reads this and accepts God’s salvation through Christ, it will be worth the time spent writing it.

I am not here to pass judgment as it is not mine to pass. I merely want to share God’s word with you so that you can know for yourself instead of leaving it in the hands of someone else.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (Psalm 50:16)

God asks what it’s going to take for you to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord of all? Jesus is God’s covenant to us – His promise, if you will. Without believing in Jesus Christ, you have no covenant with God – you cannot claim His promise to you. You have no chance of heaven! (John 14:6)

Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. (Psalm 50:17)

God knows that going to church is just a chore for you – He knows that if you do go to church, it is only because it is your religious obligation. Your heart is really not into it. If you attend a church that doesn’t use bibles in its services, then you are left to listen to what the priest/pastor/minister says … and just maybe you don’t listen to that as well. You cast God’s words behind you. Remember, you cannot fool God.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. (Psalm 50:18)

Does it bother you if someone steals in your presence? Do you find it amusing that the thief “got away with it”? This is never more true than watching the news after a natural disaster hits a community. Thieves have a field day looting stores – the cameras catch them laughing as they steal things – we saw this during the Hurricane Katrina news footage and the more recent riots in the streets. How appropriate is the above verse to those looters. God goes on to say that the sinner is likened to have partaken with adulterers. Are you an adulterer? Have you looked at another woman and lusted after her? If so, you have cheated on your spouse. Jesus said that even if you lusted after another in your mind, you are guilty of adultery! (Matthew 5:28)

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (Psalm 50:19)

Cursing is all around us today. It is nothing to hear God’s name in vain in public places. Lest you think it doesn’t matter, it is still one of the Ten Commandments. Don’t think God will overlook cursing. The bible says that everything we say is being “recorded” in Heaven and will be held accountable to each of us. (Matthew 12:36) What about lying? Does your tongue frame deceit? This does not only refer to lying but also cheating. There are many who deceive and cheat people out there today. Have you sold a car to someone and not divulged everything that was wrong with it? You are in essence lying. You are also breaking one of the Ten Commandments.

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. (Psalm 50:20)

You may have thought that slandering your family wasn’t a big deal. God thinks differently. Just read on.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psalm 50:21)

What things is God speaking of here? (1) Not listening or heeding to God’s instructions in the bible (2) Stealing (3) Adultery (4) Blaspheming God (5) Lying and cheating, and (6) blaspheming and slandering your own brother. Have you done any of these things? I know that I had committed several of these things! We’re not alone – most people have!

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. (Psalm 50:22)

Unless you listen to God’s word, God will tear you in pieces. You won’t be able to hide anything from God when you stand before Him after you die. None of your friends will be there to protect you or save you from this event. I remember saying that I would meet my friends in Hell and we’d have a good time there together. Not according to God’s word I won’t! That was just foolish talking on my part because I had no idea where I was going so I hid behind my ignorance.

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23)

Anyone who desires to know about God will not go unrewarded. God will reward that person by showing him/her the truth and how to be saved from the wrath to come. The bible says: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) The bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Allah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Buddah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Joseph Smith. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by any church for that matter. It is through Jesus Christ alone. Please take a moment and read the following verses with an open heart and mind:

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

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. (John 3:16)

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

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

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)

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

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

There is nothing you can do to get to Heaven. It is impossible for us to stop sinning! IMPOSSIBLE! If it were so, Christ would not have had to die a bloody and horrible death on the cross!

After Adam and Eve sinned, that sin nature was passed on to everyone born after that. God did not make Adam and Eve that way. They were made perfect and without sin. But God did not create robots who could make no choices in life and nor did He create someone without a will of their own. He created man to think for himself. Unfortunately for us, Adam and Eve’s sin has left all of mankind with a choice. Do we admit that we cannot stop sinning and, therefore, are doomed to eternity in Hell? Eternity is too long and Hell is too hot for you to shrug this away, my friend.

It broke God’s heart so much when His creation could not stop sinning! Even His chosen people, the Jews, could not stop, despite the Ten Commandments, their sacrifices of spotless lambs, and the laws that had been created to rule them. It was this compassion and broken heart that led God to send Jesus Christ, His Son, to die for us. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood, there is not remission of sin. (Matthew 26:28, Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:22) Therefore, a perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ the Son of God, left His throne in Heaven to take on human form. Why this method? Jesus did this so that He could feel what we feel as human beings. He could experience the temptations but never sin. This made Him the perfect, sinless Lamb who would be sacrificed for all mankind. Those other lambs were but mere symbols of what was to come when Christ came. He finished that requirement by being the final sacrifice, one sacrifice for all! (Hebrews 10:10)

Jesus Christ’s work did not stop there. Not only did He die, but He arose from the dead three days later! A few weeks later, He ascended into Heaven and is waiting to come back in the air to take born-again Christians to Heaven! If you read the verses and you have allowed the Holy Spirit of God to prick your heart, won’t you please pray and ask God to forgive you? Accept His Son’s perfect sacrifice for your sins. Repent of your life style and change directions. If you are a thief, steal no more – if you are an adulterer, do it no more, etc. If you pray these things with a sincere heart, God will hear you and save you. He knows whether or not you are sincere. As a result, you will be born again – a brand new beginning – a brand new nature! Your sins will be forgiven and the weight of your sin’s debt will be lifted from you! You will now be a child of God! A child of God begins to change immediately. The desires to curse, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc. will either be completely taken away or will diminish drastically.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

A Christian is not sinless but a Christian should sin less with each passing day as he yields himself to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in his life. Read your bible faithfully every day – not just a verse or two – but really read and you will be fed God’s holy word! Look at the tab at the top of this blog for new believers and start there. Find a good Bible believing church that preaches God’s word without compromise.

I pray that this post has been a blessing to someone today! If so, please share your blessing by posting a comment!

Father in Heaven, I lift up this blog to You today and pray that Your Spirit would direct someone here who would read it and his/her heart would be convicted. Father, I beg You for a soul to be won as a result of this labor to bring honor and glory to You. I ask these things in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.



Day 5 – Our Speech

James 3:1-12 1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Our tongue is little in comparison to the rest of our body but it sure can be a sharp little tool if it is not trained! (James 3:10) One minute it can praise God and the next minute it can gossip about another!

So how can we train our tongue? (Psalm 39:1) Firstly, we must change the condition of the heart, amen? (Luke 6:45) Starting the day with the words from Psalm 19:14 is an excellent beginning 🙂 When my heart is right, the words coming from my lips will be also.

As I read today’s text, the Lord impressed upon my heart Colossians 4:6 – my speech should be seasoned with salt. Just what is the purpose of salt in our lives? Why would the Lord use this analogy? Meditating on the little word salt and comparing it to our everyday life opened this part of scripture so much more. I don’t know about you, but I really get more out my reading when analogies are used. The Lord sure knows His creation 🙂 He knows we learn better with real life applications. So what does salt actually do for us?

(1) It adds flavor to food – Again, Colossians 4:6 says my speech should be “seasoned” with salt. We all know what food tastes like when too much salt is added. It’s just not edible! But the right amount of salt makes food taste awesome! So does my speech add flavor to a conversation? Do I contribute something from God’s Word when someone opens their heart to me? When someone comes to me discouraged, do I have the right words to encourage them? (Psalm 19:14) We should strive to share verses with everyone we talk to, saved or unsaved, and add flavor to our conversations. Remember, God promises that His Word will not go out void. On the flip side, salt is also used to cause someone to vomit when poison has been swallowed. Do your words cause a Christian to fall? You literally have caused them to spiritually vomit … think about it!

(2) To preserve food – Do your words preserve? There are lost souls everywhere and their souls need to be preserved, if you will. They need to hear the Gospel and they need to hear it with “flavor.” (John 6:68) We have the words of life and they are lost! Do you see a Christian friend heading toward distruction? That friend needs to be preserved – that friend needs you to love her and show her through the scriptures what she is doing wrong. I am close to two dear ladies and both are not hesitant in preserving me 🙂 They would rather see me living for the Lord than to stray and be chastised. That is a characteristic of a good friend!

(3) To heal open sores – We have all gargled with salt water at one time or another. It helps to heal mouth sores. Do your words bring comfort and healing? (Proverbs 12:18) To the lost, your words should be the Gospel. (John 6:68) To the saved, your words should be full of mercy rather than judgment. (Luke 6:36) We say that we love the sinner yet hate the sin – do we really ? We need to remember that we all are sinners. (Romans 7:24) Not one day goes by that we are not tempted and sin because of it. So who are we to consider ourselves better than the one who has fallen? We are told to love one another – only then will our words bring healing to those who are hurting!

Our goal should be to draw others to the scriptures. (Acts 8:31) Just as salt causes us to thirst and to heal, so should our speech be to others. God’s words will not return to us void – He promises us this! (Isaiah 55:11) Every time I look at a salt shaker, you can be sure I look at it differently! 🙂



Day 6 – The Past

Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Falling away from the faith happens … it happens to all of us at some point. The key to this statement is this: Do you “stay” fallen?

To the true believer, the Holy Spirit has a way of poking and prodding our conscience. If fact, He does this so much that we just can’t live with ourselves. Our guilty conscience gets the best of us and we finally succumb to the Spirit’s calling. What sweet surrender it is, indeed! 🙂

Praise the Lord for His word – it is a living and breathing Book! In its precious pages are forgiveness and restoration! You can glance over the same verse 100 times and that verse does not pertain to your life. But one day, that verse comes to life with meaning because a circumstance has arisen and God has breathed upon you the life of His word!

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Just think about it, God is faithful even when we’re not. He is just, even when we’re not. He forgives us and, better still, He cleanses us! Do you understand that, Christian? He cleanses us … He bathes us in Christ’s righteousness! Praise Him!!!

Isaiah 43:25 – I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

God will NOT remember our sins … we are cleansed … we are bathed in the righteousness of Christ! Thank You, Lord God, my Redeemer!

1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:



Day 7 – Faint Not

Cor. 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When I look at this picture, I can truly say that I’ve been there – at the end of my spiritual rope – looking at life’s circumstances and losing trust in my Saviour. It’s hard to admit but I doubt very much that I am alone in the Christian world. Times got hard – my eyes looked at my circumstances instead of looking to Christ, the Author and Finisher of my faith.

Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He was there at the beginning of my faith – after all, it was His death – His blood that covered my horrible sin! He was there when I first believed and He is there through His Holy Spirit every minute of my life. It is when I take my eyes of Him and place them on my circumstances that I begin to stumble. I get weary and then I faint along my spiritual path.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s so much easier to simply keep our eyes on Christ and live day by day through His word. When we’re not in the word of God, we become weak and faint. God’s words are fuel for the day … get fueled up for your day, Christian. READ … be encouraged … be convicted to the point of repentance … live day by day in Christ!



Day 8 – Biggest Mistake of Your Life!

Matt. 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

God’s word is not only living but it is powerful! Jesus told the Sadducees that they were making a mistake because they didn’t know (understand) the scriptures! But Jesus did end there? No! He went on to say they didn’t know the power of God. God’s words have the power to save … His words are powerful and guide one to salvation.

There is nothing more miraculous than the change that occurs after a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour! The Bible speaks of that change in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Have you experienced this change in your life? Did you get saved only to keep living your life in the same way? There’s a problem if you did … you didn’t experience the power of God’s word! You read it, you heard it, you may have even had an “experience” that produced temporary elation. But what about the long-term effects? Were there any? Did that experience result in permanent change as it relates to sin in your life? If you were a shoplifter, did you stop? If you were a chronic liar, did you find yourself under great conviction afterwards? If you were addicted to pornography, did you stop? If not, you did not experience the true salvation spoken of in the scriptures. The scriptures say that those old sinful ways of yours pass away. Some pass away immediately … other sins are a challenge but God sees you through with the power of His Holy Spirit and the scriptures.

Your relationship with God is now new and alive – your old ways are gone and behold new thoughts and ideas have entered in. These thoughts and ideas come from God’s powerful words in the Bible. They produce a change – they produce a desire to change. They produce a new person!

You may not be sinless, Christian, but you will most certainly sin LESS! Your desire will be to follow Christ, not your old life. AND when you DO sin, you fall under extreme conviction and desire to make things right with your Saviour! If you cannot say this is true in your life, then you did not repent of your sin. Repentance brings about the change. Saying you’re sorry doesn’t necessarily come from repentance. A thief can say he’s sorry but if he continues to steal, he did NOT repent. A repentant thief will steal no more … an repentant adulterer will abandon his sin and become a faithful husband … a repentant liar will lie no more. THIS is change … this is truly the renewed life life that Jesus spoke of in John 3:3 – being born again is depicted in the old sinful man being saved from his sin and coming out a changed and renewed man!

Eph. 4:22-32 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.



Day 9 – Cleaving

Ruth 1:11-18 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines cleave as:

“To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.”

Love is not only a display of affection but is an action as well. When we love, we put that love on display through our actions, amen? You can’t love someone and not do anything for that person. It’s our natural desire to show our love through our actions.

Ruth showed that love toward her mother in law in one of the most wonderful ways. Ruth “adhered” to her mother in law. She showed her love and devotion by following her wherever she would go. Ruth was willing to abandon everything she had learned as a child for the sake of her mother in law! Ruth’s devotion went all the way to Naomi’s faith – Ruth wanted to follow her anywhere!

Would I have done this? In my brain, I would have thought that there were too many “what if’s” to worry about in a situation like that. After all, how many women do you know would follow their mother in law and not their very own family? It’s something to think about. Naomi’s faith left such an impression with Ruth that Ruth wanted to follow her to an unknown place. Is my faith that evident that others would follow me anywhere?

Ruth’s devotion to her mother in law produced great results. Sometimes it takes years – even generations – to see those results. But Ruth was rewarded in her lifetime for such devotion and love. It’s a great lesson for us. What we do now may affect our grandchildren. What we do now may not even show up for hundreds of years. This was also true in Ruth’s life. Yes, she was blessed with a wonderful husband in Boaz. But look at how it affected her future!

Mt. 1:5 Booz begat Obed of Ruth. (Obed was David’s grandfather.)

God rewarded her love and devotion by allowing Christ to come from her Gentile lineage! Our Saviour chose Ruth! Wow!

Mt. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Mt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Who would have thought that love and devotion would be rewarded in this manner? I’m sure this went far and beyond Ruth’s wildest dream!

Think about it … what we produce now, spiritually speaking, not only has an effect on us but also on our families … and years down the road. We don’t know what will happen but wouldn’t you like to be remembered for being devoted to the Lord in the same manner Ruth was devoted? It’s never too late to start … jump in with both feet and commit your ways to the Lord.

Psalm 37:5-6 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.



Day 10 – Patience

~James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Being patient in our “ministry for the Lord” is not always an easy thing. What is our ministry? It’s not always a job, like a Pastor. It is our path in life. For example, someone who has been through cancer can help others who are going through cancer. Someone who has lost a child can help someone else who has lost a child. Our life’s trials are a gift – a gift that we can share with others by helping them! Yes, we tend to get weary at times. James encourages us to continue being patient – patient in our work – patient with our brothers and sisters in Christ – patient with being persecuted for righteousness sake.

~Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Through our trials, we build patience, understanding, compassion – our hearts become established in the Lord. As we learn to immediately turn to the Lord in our time of need, we are able to teach another to do so. We are able to find our comfort, hope and peace in Him! How many Christians have you known who are going through major trials yet you see them surrounded by peace? This is that peace which cannot be explained!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

As we await the Lord’s return for us, let’s strive to keep our hearts established and firm on Him! Let’s share this gift we have received as a result of our trials!! Don’t give up, Christian!! Christ is near!



Day 11 – Faith

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

~John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

~Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

~Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

~John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Faith is like electricity. You can’t see it, but you can see the light. The proof is in the by-product and end result!

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.



Day 12 – In Our Midst

~Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Oh praise the Lord that our Lord and Saviour is right there with us, in our midst!

~Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

How can we be discouraged when our Lord and Saviour loves us this much and makes these types of promises to us? He says He will hold us up in these times! He actually rejoices over us with joy! This personalizes our relationship with Him!!! Our Emmanuel is always with us!

Thank You, Lord!



Day 13 – Time

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

When we find ourselves side tracked and spiritually distracted, we can trace our actions back to the amount of time we spent in God’s Word along the way. When we’re on track, we are in tune with His Word – our path is lit by it and we see clearly. This can’t be any more true than when we go through a physical trial. Rather than blaming God for our plight, we rejoice in His goodness and mercy!

Today’s picture gives us insight as to what is meant by this. Notice that where I was standing when I took this picture, there was less light than at the end of the path. When we spend time in the Word of God, we are able to see more clearly because He illuminates us and the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will to us.

The amount of time spent in the Word will directly reflect in our ability to cope with life’s curves!



Day 14 – Blessed Peace

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

What kind of peace does this world have to offer? It comes disguised in materialism. However, “things” bring only temporary happiness. There is no permanent joy in “things.” They do not bring peace at all. In fact, the more stuff we have, the more we have to worry about. Isn’t it a conundrum?

Our precious Saviour is the only one who can truly give this peace and joy – and His comes with a guarantee of eternal life! What blessings! One can be in the middle of a spiritual battle, a physical ailment, or an emotional struggle – but yet, peace surrounds them like a warm blanket! Christ knows what we are going through every step of the way. As we ache when our children are hurting, so does He. He is always waiting to comfort us!

Let Christ work in your heart. There’s no reason to be caught up in worry and stress. Reach out to Him for the peace which is beyond your comprehension!!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.



Day 15 – Strength

~Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Oh that we would allow God to be our strength and shield in 2010! Let’s dedicate ourselves to this very thing this year. Why? Because the Psalmist explains that when his heart trusted in the Lord, he was helped! Who doesn’t want help from the Master Creator? No wonder the Psalmist continued and said that his heart rejoiced and he sang praises because of the Lord’s help!

Each of us is going to go through difficult times this year. There can be no denying it. Instead of fretting, turn to the One who can actually help! Turn to the One who has been to the future and knows the outcome. Turn to the One who can lead you through His Word to comforting words. What you read in God’s Word today will be exactly what you need for tomorrow. God loves you that much!



Day 16 – Don’t Be Afraid!

~Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you prayed a similar prayer?

Lord, there’s a storm brewing and I can’t see through it to know how it’s going to come out. But Father, I know that You are with me and I know that You can calm those storms with just a word. I pray, Father, that You would guide me and help me to be a good testimony to those around me so they can see that You are with me!”

Just know, dear Christian, we do not go through the storms of life by ourselves. God has given us His Word – He has given us family and friends – He has given us the Holy Spirit who is within us and revealing God’s Word to us as He speaks to us. We are not alone! Ole slew foot, the devil, can stir up the storms all he wants. But we know that the Creator Himself is there with us and will not abandon us.

So what does the Lord tell us to do during these storms? He says to be strong, of good courage and not to fear! Our God, the One and only, has made a promise to us that He will not forsake us. So much so, that He has told us more than just this once in His Word:

~Deuteronomy 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

~Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

~Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

~1 Chronicles 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

~Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I don’t know about you, but God knows the frailty of man! In Bible numbers, man’s number is six. God placed this promise to His creation six times in His Word. Does this not encourage your spirit this morning? God cares for us and loves us so much that He has made a promise to us – He’s always with us and He will never forsake us!

Be encouraged today, my friend! Thank You, Father, for Your precious Word to encourage our hearts!



Day 17 – Shelter

Shelter – Kate Plourde

Lord open up my eyes
To behold Your wondrous skies
Keep my thoughts fixed on You
That I may walk in ways of truth

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Teach me to turn away
From those paths that lead astray
Resting in Your shelter
And there I find peacefulness

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart



Day 18 – The Rock that is Higher

From my porch the tears flow as the rain
I wonder when they will end
Forlorn, deserted, forsaken
When will my groanings be silenced

So I continue to cry out
Believing that You will hear
As I beg for reprieve from this testing
A glimmer, a trace of expectation

Alas, hope springs from despair
Creeping in like a flickering candle
Bringing in light through the darkness
And flooding my heart with Son shine

My path becomes clearer with each step
As I walk to my harbor of rest
And meet with the Healer of my soul
At that Rock that is higher than I

Kate Plourde

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.



Day 19 – Shelter

Photography by Bob Sabo

Lord open up my eyes
To behold Your wondrous skies
Keep my thoughts fixed on You
That I may walk in ways of truth

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart

Teach me to turn away
From those paths that lead astray
Resting in Your shelter
And there I find peacefulness

Refrain

You are my hiding place
In Your Word I seek your face
I hide it in my heart
And from it I’ll not depart



Day 20 – The Lord is my…

I was driving to work the other day and listening to my audio Bible. At the time, I was in Psalms, and the Lord impressed upon me the words “the Lord is my.” I decided to check to see how many times this phrase is used in Scriptures and what the phrase referenced. I was so blessed by what I discovered, I had to put it down in writing. I hope you are blessed as well!

The Lord is my:

Strength

(Exo 15:2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

I do not know I need anyone, let alone God, until I am down and at my weakest. It is then that I can see God at work and His strength is made evident.

Song

(Psa 118:14) The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

God gives me a new song when I finally realize that He is the one that I need.

Rock

(2 Sam 22:2) And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

God becomes my Rock because there is no other. My salvation cannot rest on anyone else or else it rests on sand.

Fortress

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

When all the world falls apart around me, I know that I can run to Him and rest in His protection. No one can take away what He has given to me – that is, my salvation.

Deliverer

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

He delivers me from the evil around me. I do not need to succumb to temptation because He is there to provide a way out.

Shepherd

(Psa 23:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord gently guides me in the paths that I take but also firmly rebukes me when I am going down the wrong one.

Light

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

My God sheds light on His Word to light my path so that I do not walk in darkness as I once did. I can clearly see what lies ahead.

Salvation

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

There is salvation in no other than in the Lord. What do I have to fear if I am threatened with death if I do not bow down to other gods?

Shield

(Psa 28:7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

My God shields me from the devil’s darts of destruction. He helps me to recognize them through His Word and helps me day by day. What comfort and joy this brings to a child who is going through tumultuous times.

Defence

(Psa 94:22) But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

When I am mocked and wronged, my God will come to my defense. It may not be in my lifetime but this child knows that it will all be made known in eternity – and that’s a long time!

Portion

(Lam 3:24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

At the moment I was born again, salvation became my inheritance. God’s righteousness is over me, not my own, praise His Holy Name!

God

(Zech 13:9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

He no longer is just “god” but He is now my God and Lord.

Helper

(Heb 13:6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

It is appropriate that the New Testament closes out this phrase with the fact that God is our Helper. There is no way we could gain salvation on our own. After salvation, there is no way we could keep it or live a perfect life without His doing. He is my Helper.

God is all these things and more to the child of the King! Rejoice in Him this morning!



Day 21 – Displaying Fruit

~Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

If I were to neatly arrange my spiritual fruit in a showcase, would I be displaying many trophies of good fruit?

The Apostle Paul explains to us that we have evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives by the fruit that we bear. Just reading about the fruit of the Spirit brings peace to my heart. Every believer has some trophies to display in his spiritual showcase. Some more than others. We each grow at our own pace but each of us has some.

As I was looking over these wonderful fruit, I found myself lacking. I even found some of my fruit was spotted. I had to ask myself, “Have I been as long suffering as I should have? How am I doing with my temperance (self control)? How’s my faith during times of testing?”

Thank God that He isn’t finished with me yet! As we see a spotted fruit messing up our trophy case, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and work toward producing beautiful fruit for the Lord!



Day 22 – The Past

~Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Pity parties – the devil absolutely loves them! How do these pity parties come about in our lives? I truly believe it is because we dwell on what has happened in our lives and not what is going to happen. The Lord knows our future – He has been there and is most qualified to guide us. To depend on Him to take care of what is going to happen is what we must train ourselves to do.

Dwelling on past sins, mistakes and life’s hardships is not going to help us press toward our Heavenly reward. In fact, it causes us to take our eyes off that mark. Ole slew foot knows what he is doing. He knows that if he can get us to focus on our daily circumstances then we will be useless for the cause of Christ. The unbeliever will see us struggling and will not want what we have. The believer will see us struggling and will not be challenged by our testimony. But our Father knows our trials and our past. If we allow Him, He will mold us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ! Let’s allow Him and be yielded to His Hand!

~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.



Day 23 – The Blessing in No

I asked God to take away my pride.
God said, “No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.”

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, “No. Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.”

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is earned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, “No. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as God loves me.
God said… “Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!”

“There’s a time and place for everything, for everyone. God works in a mysterious way.”
Just trust in God.

~Author Unknown



Day 24 – Lunch with God

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies & a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.

When he had gone a few blocks from home, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park near the water just staring at some birds.

The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer, when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

The old man gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.

Once again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was, and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, and ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. The old man gave him his biggest smile ever,

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked her son: “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

The child replied: “I had lunch with God.”

But before his mother could respond, he added: “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked: “Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied: “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.”

But before his son responded, he added: “You know, He’s much younger than I expected.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring. All of which have the potential to make someone’s day a very special one, or even turn someone’s life around.

~Author Unknown



Day 25 – The Cross

A young man was at the end of his road , seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer.

“Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.”

The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room.

Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.”

The man was filled with relief and said, “Thank you Lord,” and he did as he was told.

Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall.

“I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.

YOUR CROSS

Whatever your cross
Whatever your pain
There will always be sunshine
After the rain

Perhaps you may stumble
Perhaps even fall
But God’s always there
To help you through it all

~Author Unknown



Day 26 – God Does Hear!

~Psalm 3:3-4 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (3) I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. (4)

As we’ve been going through this series, we have been learning about God’s attributes. Today’s verse teaches us that God does hear us when we cry to Him. I can’t begin to tell you how many times someone has told me that they do not feel as though God hears them. They continue to say that their prayers seem to stop at the ceiling. Does that sound familiar to you? Don’t believe it for a minute. God tells us that He does hear us and that He stands ready to help us. David said he cried with his voice and God heard him. God hears us as well!

The weary believer gets to a point in his life that he is overwhelmed and feels as though he has been totally abandoned. However, our God stands ready to shield us from total despair if we allow Him. Sometimes we just cannot see His shield in our lives because we are so absorbed in our circumstances. That is why it is so important that we stay in the Word. Reading brings life to our down heartedness. Reading brings to light God’s promises and comforting words. One can hardly read Psalms without walking away with a ray of hope. Why is it that we fail to go to the place where healing can occur when we need it the most?

The best part of the verse is that God is the lifter of the weary believer’s head! Whether your head is stuck on a pillow because you’re exhausted or your head is drooped because of depression, God WILL lift it. He is there waiting and willing to do this. Read the Word and envelope yourself within the pages of encouragement. God will wrap His arms around you and bring you that much needed comfort and peace.




Nuggets from Proverbs

This is a 30-day devotional on the Book of Proverbs originally written in 2006. It is filled with exhortation and encouragement to live Godly lives while waiting for the Lord’s return! I pray that you will be blessed by it.



Day 1 – What Fruit Are You Bearing?

Proverbs 1:29-31, “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (29) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (30) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (31)Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (22) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (23)

As I start this series on Proverbs, I’m reminded of my own spiritual growth since the day of my salvation. I reflect on my own sinful heart and realize that although Christ has forgiven me much, I must work at “defeating that sinful nature” and “nurture my Christ nature.” It does not take a rocket scientist to see a person’s spiritual fruit. You are either producing good fruit or evil fruit. Your life speaks volumes and also reveals from where your fruit is coming, my friend.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Which one are you today? Are you a wise son or a foolish one? Do you hate it when the Pastor preaches on a subject matter that rubs you the wrong way? Do you cross your arms in a defensive stance when the message he’s preaching is about something that you are guilty of doing?

Whether spiritual warnings are from your Pastor, the Word of God or a dear friend, the way you respond will determine the condition of your heart. It will also determine what type of fruit you will be bearing. It also reveals if you have a teachable spirit. The Holy Spirit is trying to mold us into the image of Christ so we must allow Him the room to do so.

If you hate what you are hearing and have a “He won’t tell me what to do!” attitude, then you will be eating of the fruit of your own way, according to Proverbs 1:29-31. Your desires are not to stop sinning at all – in fact, your desire is to continue in your sin with no shame or remorse. When you despise being taught God’s Word and what is right, you are a fool, according to Proverbs 1:7, and you must do a moral inventory in order to see if you are truly born again.

I love Galatians 5:22-23 because it clearly outlines the type of fruit that a child of God bears when they are growing in Christ. Yes, the child of God will undoubtedly sin, but the desire to continue in sin won’t be there. This same child will be quick to repent and to get back on the path of righteousness. There is nothing more beautiful than to see a born-again Christian displaying the fruit of the Spirit. How can one be a bad testimony to the unsaved world if he has the fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance?

Gal 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

You can park here and do a study on these nine fruits and walk away with many golden nuggets. But the bottom line is this: What kind of tree are you and what fruit are you bearing? 

Gal 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

If you are saved, you should be producing fruit. If you’re not, why not?

A tree bears more fruit when it is pruned. 

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2)

What areas of your life are hindering your fruit from growing? Don’t be a fool. Allow the preaching and reading of the Word to convict your heart. Take that conviction and heed it – repent and be rid of that sin. Immediately, you will receive the fruit of joy and peace – the others will soon follow if you maintain and allow the Lord to prune those areas which hinder the growth of your spiritual fruit.

The Man Is Ever Blessed
by Isaac Watts

The man is ever bless’d
Who shuns the sinners’ ways,
Among their councils never stands,
Nor takes the scorner’s place;

But makes the law of God
His study and delight,
Amidst the labors of the day,
And watches of the night.

He like a tree shall thrive,
With waters near the root;
Fresh as the leaf his name shall live;
His works are heav’nly fruit.

Not so th’ungodly race,
They no such blessings find;
Their hopes shall flee, like empty chaff
Before the driving wind.

How will they bear to stand
Before that judgment seat,
Where all the saints, at Christ’s right hand,
In full assembly meet!

He knows, and He approves
The way the righteous go;
But sinners and their works shall meet
A dreadful overthrow.



Day 2 – The Teaching of Humility in Proverbs

Prov. 6:3 “Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.”

Prov. 15:33 “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”

Prov. 18:12 “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”

According to Noah Webster, the word humility in this context means:

In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.

If Christians today practice even 10% of this definition in their humility, there would not be many fighting Christians in churches today. Each Christian has been given a gift from the Holy Spirit to use within the church body. When each believer uses his gift according to the will of God, we make a whole body and function as one in our church.

When one or more stop using their gifts, the body no longer functions as a whole body but in bits and pieces. That body has become dysfunctional. How can you tell? Look around you and see if the fruits of the Spirit are evident!

Gal 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

One who is humble and practices humility is one who displays some of the fruits of the Spirit listed above. Can one be humble if he has no joy, gentleness, meekness or temperance residing within? 

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (Jam 3:11)

I love to take teachings such as these and relate them to how the Holy Spirit equips us to fulfill the will of God through those same teachings. There are so many that are applicable and we will visit these over the next month or so. I pray you will be blessed!

More Like The Master
Charles H. Gabriel

More like the Master I would ever be,
More of His meekness, more humility;
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do.

Refrain

Take Thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;
Take Thou my heart, and make it all Thine own.
Purge me from sin, O Lord, I now implore,
Wash me and keep me Thine forevermore.

More like the Master is my daily prayer;
More strength to carry crosses I must bear;
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in;
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.

Refrain

More like the Master I would live and grow;
More of His love to others I would show;
More self denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be.

Refrain



Day 3 – The Fools From Proverbs

Prov. 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.”

Ahhh, the lips of the righteous feed many. What a beautiful picture that is indeed. I think of kind words, encouraging words, exhorting words, comforting words, wise words, words that teach, words that preach, and uplifting words. There are so many ways we can feed another person.

But the fool does not have these words with which to feed a seeking soul. In fact, the fool is dying to have wisdom. Noah Webster has interesting definitions for the word fool.

3. In scripture, fool is often used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations, who prefers trifling and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness.

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Psa 14.

4. A weak christian; a godly person who has much remaining sin and unbelief.

O fools, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have written. Luke 24.

So the fool does not necessarily have to be an unbeliever but can be a weak christian as well.

Haven’t you ever heard an unbeliever or a weak Christian make a comment over a situation that just seemed void of wisdom? I think of new believers who come into our churches and have not grown in the Lord yet. Older Christians make unwise comments about the way they dress or look or smell or whatever. The new believer is offended and never steps foot in that church again. How sad that the lips of the righteous were not the first words that new believer heard in that church. That new believer could have been feeding that babe in Christ. Instead, the fool spewed forth words which showed his foolishness. How sad is that?

As christians, we are encouraged to ask God for wisdom and He promises to give it to us liberally, nor will He reprove us for asking Him for it. 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5)

How are your words today? Do they feed those around you or do you show your lack of wisdom? Are you the type of person that people come to for counsel? Or do you keep going to others for counsel? God promises to give you wisdom if you ask. The word “wisdom” is found 54 times in 53 verses in the Bible. It is an excellent study. The person who is wise is gentle and longsuffering with others, knowing that everyone must grow in grace.

Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Longsuffering
  5. Gentleness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faith
  8. Meekness
  9. Temperance

Fruit of the Fool:

  1. Hate
  2. Sadness
  3. Turmoil
  4. Impatient
  5. Harshness
  6. Wickedness
  7. Unbelief
  8. Rudeness
  9. Over indulgent

The wise person displays these fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The fool displays fruit, but a totally different kind. This kind of fruit would cause anyone to die spiritually!

Dear Lord, for wisdom we do pray
So our words are used to feed
Those needing to see Your love
And to Your side we need to lead



Day 4 – To Speak Or Not To Speak

Prov.17:28, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

There are not too many verses in Scriptures which say that the fool can actually do something “right”! This is one verse that says even a fool can do something right – and it has to do with keeping his mouth shut! Even the “spiritual” christian struggles with holding his tongue.

The Book of James has four verses dedicated to man holding his tongue:

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (Jam 1:26)Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (Jam 3:6)

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (Jam 3:8)

I know that we have all heard the verses on holding one’s tongue. We have also heard many messages on the same topic. But if the fool can be counted wise when he holds his tongue, how much more the believer? What testimony do we have if we witness to someone and that same person hears gossip or cursing coming out of the same mouth that witnessed to him?

The believer has the ability to conquer the tongue. We have the Holy Spirit residing within us. It is His fruit that we display. If we would be displaying His fruit, we would not have the need to be bridling our tongue.

The believer who has fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance would not be struggling with his tongue. The believer would not be struggling with blessing God in one breath and then cursing someone in the next breath. 

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10)

Do not be a wise fool but we a wise christian who displays the fruit of the Spirit. It is accounted unto this fool that he is wise for holding his tongue. All the more responsibility do we have as believers to hold our own tongues.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)

Dear God…
May my words be a blessing to those
Who are filled with dismay and strife
Let my words encourage the weak
And lead them to the Fountain of Life



Day 5 – The Light of the Word

Prov. 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life”

Some of us who are older can recollect being spanked by our parents. (It’s a sad state of affairs today where children threaten their parents with reporting them to Social Services if they spank them!) With each spanking I received as a child, I learned that what I did was wrong – sometimes I learned quickly and other times not so quickly. But the key here is that I learned from each spanking.

So it is with our Christian walk. Instead of parents, however, we have the Word and our Heavenly Father. God has given us the Word to intruct us. I love the way Proverbs 6:23 says that the Word is a lamp and a light for us. It is not a deep dark secret with hidden messages only to be interpreted by a priest or rabbi. It is a light to the one who is seeking God’s will. We all can know what the Bible has to say without depending on another for intepretation. I find it interesting that the Holy Spirit impressed upon Peter to pen the following verses:

2 Peter 1:20-21, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (20) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (21)

It is not man’s interpretations that we should be seeking. We should be seeking the Holy Spirit’s interpretation because He wrote the Bible using men who submitted themselves to be used by Him. This is not the way I was raised as a catholic. In fact, not once was I encouraged to read the Bible from the time I could reason to the age of 25. Not once… instead I was told to listen and obey my parish priest blindly. I was told that this was true faith. Now that I am born again and can read and understand God’s Word on my own, I say that this was not true faith but sheer stupidity on my part. Only I will be accountable before God for my actions – not anyone else but me

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom 14:12) 

No one can stand before me in a court of law today and give an account and take my punishment for breaking a law in the United States. No one! Why should it be different before God – the Lover of righteousness? I cannot blame my actions on anyone else.

The second thing I noticed in this Proverb was that reproofs of instruction were a way of life for the believer. Daniel Webster defines reproof as:

1. Blame expressed to the face; censure for a fault; reprehension.Those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.

He that hateth reproof is brutish. Prov 12.

2. Blame cast; censure directed to a person.

Why would God include this immediately after stating that the Word was a lamp and light to us? Clearly the Word has been given to us to teach us the right way to go. When we get off the right path and disobey that instruction, God then corrects us and sometimes must chastise us. 

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Pro 3:12)

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb 12:6)

Don’t follow man’s teaching blindly – no matter who that man is. It is good to listen to good preaching but it does not remove your responsibility as a born again child of God to make sure that what you are hearing is in line with God’s Word.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Ti 3:16) 

When a man (or “church”) teaches something contrary to God’s Word, you must search it out for yourself. We will each be accountable to God for what we did in life. We won’t be able to blame another when we stand before God and give an account for believing what “the church” or “the preacher” taught us. The Word was given to each of us as a lamp and a light – it is clear that this is not a case of the blind leading the blind – the blind see no light. The born again believer is no longer blind!

Therefore, God makes it quite clear that His Word shines brightly with His teachings and doctrine. For the believer, this is very encouraging because we are not left alone to our own devices. 

Rom 1:21-22, “But to the unsaved, you are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (21) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (22) 

Don’t’ be a fool today. Let the light of the Word shine in your heart and draw you to the cross where your burdens may be lifted!

Dear God…
Your Word lightens my way
No more in darkness I hide
Desperately seeking I find
Your Precious bleeding side



Day 6 – Wise or Brutish

Prov. 12:1 “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.”

Prov. 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”

As I was reading Proverbs this morning, I noticed in Prov. 12:1 that the Lord says that the person who hates to be corrected is brutish. I had a mental picture of what brutish meant but found Noah Webster’s definition quite interesting.

BRU’TISH, a. Like a brute or beast; as a brutish form.

1. Insensible; stupid; as brutish men.

2. Unfeeling; savage; ferocious; brutal.

3. Gross; carnal; bestial.

4. Ignorant; uncivilized; untaught.

When we refuse spiritual correction, we are being insensible, stupid, unfeeling, carnal, ignorant and untaught! Ouch! We do not totally realize what we do when we refuse correction or “buck” against it. God knows, however. He is quite clear in His Word.

Another Proverb that hit me between the eyes was Proverb 15:32. God says that we hate our own soul if we refuse instruction. Those are not comforting words at all. These words should get the Christian stirred up.

Do we interfere with the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives by being brutish? Are we hating our own souls by refusing instruction? Why in the world would we want to be classified amongst those that are? Instead, the Lord promises knowledge and understanding if we heed instruction and reproof!

In the yielding of our hearts to the Spirit’s teaching, His fruit becomes evident in our lives. The Word builds our faith and with that faith we put forth fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance!

More Like Jesus Would I Be

Fanny Crosby

More like Jesus would I be, let my Savior dwell with me;
Fill my soul with peace and love—make me gentle as a dove;
More like Jesus, while I go, pilgrim in this world below;
Poor in spirit would I be; let my Savior dwell in me.

If He hears the raven’s cry, if His ever watchful eye
Marks the sparrows when they fall, surely He will hear my call:
He will teach me how to live, all my sinful thoughts forgive;
Pure in heart I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.

More like Jesus when I pray, more like Jesus day by day,
May I rest me by His side, where the tranquil waters glide.
Born of Him through grace renewed, by His love my will subdued,
Rich in faith I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.



Day 7 – How Firm A Foundation

Prov. 9:1 “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars”

Anyone with even a bit of imagination can visualize the building of a house. It is especially interesting to pull together the verses which deal with this topic. I love to see the “big picture” that God is trying to paint when He refers to our spiritual lives.

Amuse me a bit as I take you along my mental project of house building. I’ve never built a house, but I have watched many a home improvement program to know the process. One of the important factors is having a solid piece of land to lay the foundation on. There’s no sense in laying a foundation on sand – no matter how strong that foundation is, it will crack. A good solid ground, yes even a good solid rock, will hold up the foundation. This is the starting point. A word search on the word foundation in the bible blessed my heart so much.

As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation. (Pro 10:25)

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isa 28:16)

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (Luk 6:48)

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1Co 3:11)

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (1Co 3:12)

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph 2:20)

Here we see that Christ is the Chief Corner Stone (the strongest stone used in a foundation because it unites two sides) of the foundation. The apostles and prophets (the Word of God) make up the rest of the foundation. As we read through these verses, we see that the foundation of those who are saved is eternal because it is the foundation of Jesus Christ. The building materials reflect our spiritual homes as they are built upon the foundation (gold, silver, precious stones or wood, hay and stubble). We should take a moment here to compare this to the quality of building supplies used in building our earthly home… do we use cheap insulation or did we go with the good stuff? When the cold winter winds blow, do we see our curtains moving and drafts coming out of all the cracks? Our house will reflect the time and money we put into building it. Now, what about our spiritual house?

The shell of the house is next – putting up pillars (if that’s your design) – solid load-bearing walls, insulation, drywall, etc. We see that Wisdom’s house in Proverb 9:1 had seven pillars! The number seven in the Bible depicts completion. Creation was finished and God rested on the seventh day. There are seven days in the week. There are seven churches referenced in Revelation, etc. Seven is known as God’s perfect number – the number for completion. Wisdom has seven pillars on her house. The house is perfectly solid – it is complete.

Why would God use this application for wisdom, you may ask? Everyone knows what it’s like to start a new job. Oh the feeling of insecurity we have because we don’t know all the “ins and outs” of that position just yet. Our manager can teach us the various tasks and we can take thorough notes, but until we actually perform those tasks ourselves, we do not have that warm fuzzy feeling of comfort. Each day, we become more and more experienced with the day-to-day tasks at hand. Eventually, we can perform those same tasks with our eyes closed.

This simple example can be applied to our own spiritual lives. When we are saved, we now have the foundation of our spiritual homes. The more we are in the Word of God and apply and practice His teachings in our lives, we are constructing our spiritual homes upon the foundation. If our building materials are weak, we will not weather the storms of life and the devil’s attacks – our house will be shaken – we will fret in times of uncertainty. However, we can start over and rebuild using those materials which are everlasting. Those same storms can come, but this time our house will stand strong and firm! We will know Who to turn to and Who exactly is the One who calms those storms. We will remember the account of when Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4:35-39 and we will turn to those verses in our Bible and receive comfort from the Lord.

Let’s apply wisdom in our spiritual lives and building upon Christ’s solid foundation. In so doing, we will have precious building materials in our spiritual house which will fair the storms of life.

How Firm a Foundation
By John Rippon

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.



Day 8 – The Clamorous Woman

Prov. 9:13 “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.”

Proverbs is such a great book – full of instruction and wisdom! Why, then, is its wise counsel not heeded? I think each of us knows someone who fits the description of the lady of Proverbs 9:13.

I looked up clamorous in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and I must say that it was more than what I thought it meant, which was noisy!

CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

Now that it’s put that way, can you imagine living with someone like this? More poignantly, are you that someone?

A dear friend of mine lived next door to someone who fits this description perfectly. This woman probably had no clue that she was this way – or she probably didn’t care. Solomon says that women such as this one are not only loud but repetitious! That means they are naggers and complainers and they do it loudly! I don’t know about you but I truly do not want to be known as a clamorous woman! Nor do I think a man would want to live with one either. And if he does, he must be a miserable man.

Solomon goes on to say that the clamorous woman is simple and knows nothing. Why do you think he said that? I’m sure it had nothing to do with how smart she was. Noah Webster defined “simple” as being weak in intellect. I believe Solomon means that the clamorous woman is simple in the Word of God. You can “know” an instruction but it does not mean that you have applied it to your life. Any believer who spends time in the Word daily seeking the Holy Spirit’s will is going to be convicted of sin in their lives. So, obviously, this woman does not make the Word part of her daily life. If she does, then she is quenching the Holy Spirit.

I surely feel badly for the man who is married to such a woman. I think of another Proverb, 

“It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” (Pro 25:24) 

How sad it is when a woman is so prideful that she does not allow the Holy Spirit to work in her life.

The Lord has much reward in store for the woman who can be taught. Let’s look at the flip side of Proverb 9:13 – the exact opposite: 

“A prudent woman is quiet: she is wise, and knoweth the will of God.” Prov. 9:13

Are you this woman? Or, instead, are you the Proverbs 9:13 woman? Why would you want to be known as a clamorous woman? Won’t you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you?

Dear God…
Help me to see myself as You do
Each wicked sin and weakness reveal
Show me in Your Word and please grow me
So my broken spirit will be healed



Day 9 – Wise and Discrete

Prov. 3:21-23 “My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.”

The Lord warns us not to allow the Word (and Its wisdom) to depart from our eyes. Our eyes rest on millions of images throughout the course of just one day. In those millions of images, how many of them make up the Word of God? The “theme” of the ruling images will be the “theme” in which the path of your life will go, my friend.

I love Noah Webster’s definition of discretion:

1. Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones own conduct. “A good man–will guide his affairs with discretion. Psa 112.”

Proverbs 3:21-23 encourages us to keep sound wisdom and discretion. Wow! When we are in the Word of God and keeping it before our eyes, we have the capability of keeping sound wisdom and discretion. If every believer exercised discretion in their own lives, they would be very quick to monitor their own conduct. How many times have we seen a Christian with no discretion? They do not monitor their own conduct. In fact, they are busy monitoring the conduct of others instead. That is not what discretion is.

The Christian who exercises sound wisdom and discretion lives by:

Matthew 7:3, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 

The Word of God provides abundance in teaching to the one who desires growth in the Spirit. A Christian who wants to be yielding to the Spirit is one who is wise. I also think of this as the meek and quiet spirit spoken of in 1 Peter 3:4 “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” According to Noah Webster, meekness means:

1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.

It is the wise Christian who practices meekness. It is the wise Christian who practices discretion. The Lord tells us that if we practice these things, we will receive grace, we will walk safely and we will not stumble. What does this mean that we will have grace to our necks? Noah says grace means?

1. Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace.

The neck turns the head in the direction the head should go. Oh my! What a beautiful picture of the saint who practices sound wisdom and discretion! Here’s what the Christian looks like:

  • Wise
  • Discrete
  • Gracious
  • Sure footed
  • Mild tempered
  • Soft
  • Gentle
  • Not easily provoked or irritated
  • Doesn’t judge others before judging himself

This definitely portrays the beautiful fruit of the Spirit doesn’t it? Remember that fruit? It is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance! Won’t we strive to be alive in the Lord instead of dead? Being alive in the Lord is growing and continuing to grow in Him. If we are dead, we are not doing any growing at all… in fact, we are decomposing. 

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2Co 2:15)

Are we a sweet savour of Christ to other believers and the unsaved? Oh that we would guard our hearts, tongue and spirit against ole slewfoot and be diligent in the Word so we may be wise and discrete.

Dear God…
Let my eyes be fixed on You
Never losing focus or sight
May I keep Your Word in view
For in You I find my delight



Day 10 – Friendship

Prov. 22:24, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:”

Only twice in my spiritual life have I had to remove myself from a friendship because that person was the angry person spoken of in Prov. 22:24. Neither time was pleasant. In fact, both times caused me much grief and inner turmoil. This morning, I am saddened because I have had to do this. The sad thing is that this person will never know the pain and turmoil caused by their actions unless the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in their life.

I don’t believe Prov. 22:24 is telling us to stop a friendship with someone because they have gotten angry every once in a while. However, I do believe that the Lord is speaking of people who have that constant and consistent display of anger and bad attitude. We all know people like this. Nothing ever goes their way – they see the bad in most everything – their mouths get them into much trouble and their words show exactly where their hearts are.

…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Mat 12:34b)

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Mat 15:18)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luk 6:45)

God is clear when He tells us that we are not to make friends with an angry person. Why do you think that is? Haven’t you ever been around “Mr. Negativity” for a few hours and started thinking or feeling the same way? I know I have. It is far worse being around someone who is constantly angry and cannot control their temper. Friendship is a close relationship with someone – more than just a casual acquaintance. A friendship involves sometimes daily contact and interaction.

It is a sad state of affairs when you cannot even speak to this person because their angry outbursts take over. It is like a childish temper tantrum. Nor will this person accept admonition – they do not want to see their sin. In fact, in their eyes, they see you as the “bad guy”! They are quick to call you self-righteous for bringing their sin to light. No matter how much Scripture you give this person, their venom continues to spew forth.

One thing I have learned, this person is not a happy person. You become who you hang out with. We preach this to our children – our parents preached it to us. The Lord admonishes us in Prov. 22:24 not to hang out with an angry person. We are who we hang around with, right? We must heed this warning from the Lord. Otherwise, we will become just like them. How can we be a help to others if we allow ourselves to be sucked into a life of anger and discontentment? We sin against God when we display anger and discontentment. This does not display His Spirit in our lives – whose fruit we should be displaying.

An angry person also is very prideful – they cannot be taught or admonished because they do no wrong in their eyes. But the Lord has much to say about the prideful. I found it interesting that in these two verses in Proverbs, both referenced wisdom coming from the lowly and well advised. The angry person doesn’t follow this route at all. 

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Pro 11:2)

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. (Pro 13:10)

As I heal my broken heart over this cessation of fellowship, I find great comfort in knowing that I’m being obedient to my Heavenly Father. Daily must we put to death the natural man and the pain that this natural man brings. Daily must we set our sights on the Lord, His Word and go with confidence that He will bring us through each trial.

Dear God…
Although my heart is broken
You’ve reminded me that You
Are always there for comfort
With much mercy given too



Day 11 – How Are You Building Your Home?

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Pro 14:1)

How I love Noah Webster’s definition of the word build:

1. To construct, rest or depend on as a foundation;

The wise woman of Proverb 14:1 constructed her home which rested and depended upon the Foundation. This verse was not speaking of us actually constructing and building our own houses in the physical sense. This verse says that the wise woman here was constructing her house on the foundation of the Lord. This woman knew full well that this foundation would never move. How she ran her household was base on the very foundation of Christ.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

Ah, God’s foundation stands sure, ladies. His foundation does not move. His foundation does not crumble under the pressures of the world. His foundation won’t even form a slight crack – it is Perfect! What comfort for the wise woman, amen?

2 Tim. 2:19 goes on to say that the Lord knows those that are His!! I don’t know about you, but I’m doing a halleluiah dance here! God knows me! If I am building my house on His foundation, I will be leading my household to Him and He will know them as well.

2 Tim. 2:19 does not stop there either. The Lord tells us that we must depart from sin since the Father knows us. We must be sinning less and less in our spiritual walks – not staying the same – not going backward – not continuing in sin – but walking forward and sinning less. Yes, we’re going to stumble – yes we’re going to sin, but the key is not to remain in that condition. Did David remain in his sinful condition? Did Peter? God gave us examples in His Word so that we could learn and grow from their experiences. Both these men repented of their sin and moved forward doing great things for God. Are you sinning just as much today as your yesterdays? If so, why? You should be examining yourselves, ladies. We ought not to be this way.

Notice the last half of Prov. 14:1,

“…but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Prov. 14:1

Have you ever watched someone pluck a chicken? It’s not done all at once. It’s an arduous process at best, feather by feather. The chicken’s skin doesn’t appear all at once – but bit by bit, the skin is exposed. I also thought of the blood that comes out of the pore that bore the feather. The process of plucking does not go without causing pain or shedding blood. God is so awesome, ladies. He puts a word like plucketh into a verse so that we can glean from the visual picture it portrays! Each time the foolish woman tears down her home bit by bit, she is causing pain and shedding blood – maybe not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

What do you suppose the foolish woman is doing to pluck her home down with her own hands? Noah Webster defines the foolish as:

5. In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one’s own eternal happiness.

Soooo, this foolish woman does not care for the spiritual matters of her household. I was thinking of only an unsaved woman before I meditated on this a bit more. I believe this could also be referring to a woman who is saved but not looking well to the spiritual and physical needs of her family. Her actions and testimony tear down this house.

Wives and mothers are responsible for setting the “tone” in our homes. What kind of tone are you setting in your home? Does your family know you love the Lord? Is it evident in your walk with Him? Do they see you in the Word? Do your actions show that you are in the Word? If not, you’re quenching the Holy Spirit and not bearing His fruit. Don’t be like the foolish woman. Take heed from this warning in Proverbs. Don’t pluck your home down with your own hands! Instead, be like the wise woman whose home is built on the Foundation of Christ and her goal is to keep adding to that foundation with her words, her testimony and her love!!

Dear God…
Let my actions build my home
Let them not be foolish but wise
May I glorify You in all my ways
So your Name will be lifted high!



Day 12 – The House Filled With Wind

Prov. 11:29 “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”

Good morning! I pray this devotional on Proverbs is a blessing to you. It has been a convicting one for me! Today, we once again see how Noah Webster’s definition of certain words just shed light and give much more meaning to what we are reading. He defines “troubleth” as:

1. To agitate; to disturb; to put into confused motion.

Are you someone who “brings trouble” to her house? Do you bring agitation and disturbance into your home? Do you bring confusion into your home?

The fool does all these things. I found it quite poignant that Solomon would add the rest of the verse – “shall inherit the wind”! Have you ever seen the cartoon where someone turned on an oscillating fan in an office where the desk was filled with paper? What a catastrophe that produced! It’s like a hurricane hit the office! I believe this is what Solomon was trying to portray here. I think of the contentious woman who is never happy with her circumstances and is always complaining. She troubles her own house and creates a whirl wind of trouble. She reaps what she sows.

On the other hand, the Christian who is wise is quite the opposite. The wise person’s home is peaceful. True peace can only be obtained when we are truly born-again and are displaying the fruit of the Spirit. Noah’s definition of wise is:

1. Properly, having knowledge; hence, having the power of discerning and judging correctly, or of discriminating between what is true and what is false; between what is fit and proper, and what is improper; as a wise prince; a wise magistrate. Solomon was deemed the wisest man. But a man may be speculatively and not practically wise. Hence, 2. Discrete and judicious in the use or applications of knowledge; choosing laudable ends, and the best means to accomplish them. This is to be practically wise. Gen 41.

Does the fool display such wisdom? Of course not. The fool is busy doing the opposite and turning on that oscillating fan in their homes which produces nothing but chaos. There’s no peace in that home. It is not to say that a born-again Christian cannot be a fool. We have all done foolish things at one time or another. As well, there are born again believers out there who don’t read God’s word daily but only on occasion. The lack of scriptural knowledge results in foolish living. But the believer should be growing – moving forward in the Lord – seeking to better himself and becoming more Christ-like.

The fool will always be the servant of the wise one. The fool will always be in subjection to the wise Christian because the fool won’t have Scriptures to cling to or refer to – the fool won’t even be interested in applying Scriptures to their circumstances so that they may grow. 

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Pet 2:2) 

The fool is worse than a newborn baby – at least the newborn baby desires to drink and does so to survive. The fool is not interested in growing and it is evident in their childish spiritual behavior.

Are you the foolish Christian today or the wise Christian? Better yet, are you the unsaved fool? The Word says that the scenario of the unsaved fool who will not listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be likened to the Christian witness casting his pearls (the Gospel) to swine (the unsaved). 

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Mat 7:6) 

Instead, the unsaved fool thinks he is spiritually OK – the unsaved fool goes to church, knows the scriptures, does the motions but their actions speak louder than words. They are the hypocrites that Jesus speaks of.

James’ account below is also quite the eye opener and we should examine oursleves if we are guilty of being the person he speaks of:

James 3:13- 18, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (13) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. (14) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (15)For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (16) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (17) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (18)

I can see now why Jesus would tell Peter: 

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat 16:23)

Dear God…
May the words I speak
Be clean and pure
Not just in my eyes
But foremost in Yours



Day 13 – Do You Struggle With Pride

Prov. 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Prov. 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”

The usual meaning for “pride” is a high regard of one’s self (self esteem). But Noah Webster defines pride further:

2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.

This prideful person cannot be encouraged toward righteousness. This prideful person cannot be reasoned with. In fact, Prov. 16:18 says that this prideful person will be destroyed by his actions. That prideful person also has a haughty spirit which means that in addition to their pride, they have contempt for others. What a miserable life indeed.

The Christian who is growing in Christ and displaying the fruit of the Spirit will hate evil, pride and arrogancy, according to Prov. 8:13. God goes on to say in this same verse that He hates the froward mouth. Noah defines forward as:

… not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; disobedient; as a froward child.

These two verses on pride do not paint a pretty picture, do they?

How miserable a prideful person must be! There surely can’t be any peace in this person’s life. I have known a few people in my life time who are living examples of these two verses. To be honest with you, they do not see themselves this way. But the Word of God is truth and we are told that this prideful person will fall. The prideful person is always right in their own eyes. They do not see their mistakes – they only see their own good. They don’t look to the Word for their direction because they are not able to be governed by the Word. In fact, the Word says that a froward heart departs from God (His Word). 

A froward heart shall depart from me: …(Psa 101:4a) 

Is it any wonder that they can’t be governed? Is it any wonder that you can’t plead with them to change their ways using the Word of God?

It’s a shame that Christians act this way. It drags the Lord’s name in the mud and paints a horrible picture to the unsaved world. My heart breaks when a believer won’t heed the counsel of God’s Word. The Lord puts us together to help one another. We’ve all been through various sins in our lives, various trials, and various scenarios. As the Lord “grows” us through each of these, we are to take that knowledge and help someone else. 

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Cor 1:4)

It is the Word (Jesus) who will heal us and forgive us of all our unrighteousness. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9) 

Let’s be the testimony for Christ that we should be and leave pride behind. We must recognize our sin, confess and forsake it, learn from it, and help someone else to be reconciled with God through sharing our experience. That is truly the way God wants believers to be. The Word convicts, heals and challenges us toward righteousness.

Dear God…
Thank You for giving to us
Access to Living Water
It’s Cleansing and refreshing
Grounding us like an anchor



Day 14 – Discreet or Indiscreet

Prov. 19:11 “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”

Discretion does not seem to be practiced much today. The opposite of discretion is uncontrolled restraint/lack of self restraint. Oh how true of modern-day society. Even today’s Christian does not practice self restraint. They over indulge in food, etc. but most importantly, they do not over indulge in the Word of God. If they did, there would be revival in our land, but sadly there is no revival.

Every believer should be saying, “Let revival start with me!” One cannot be forgiving or merciful if that person does not have discretion. We can be self indulgent in our own feelings – we won’t let go of a sin committed against us, for example. We toy with it and harbor resentment to the point of becoming bitter toward a person. Proverb 19:11 says that the discrete person postpones his anger and passes over a transgression. An indiscrete person will be quick to get angry and will point out another’s sin without so much as praying about it or reading God’s Word before acting.

The discrete Christian is a wise Christian. The discrete Christian is a forgiving Christian. The discrete Christian is a Christian who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. How can we be spiritually revived if we cling on to the works of the flesh? 

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Joh 6:63)

We must yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. We must allow ourselves to be taught by Him. That is His job. He leads us to be more Christ-like so that Christ may be glorified through us.

Dear God…
Let me be yielded to Your will
As You teach me in Your Word
Guide and direct me in the way
So I can be pleasing to You Lord



Day 15 – Receiving Instruction

Prov. 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”Prov. 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”

Receiving instruction or correction is never easy – for anyone! But what we do with the instruction is what distinguishes between the wise and the foolish person. I can recall receiving instruction early in my Christian walk. I remember thinking “How dare she say that to me! Who does she think she is, super Christian or something?” How ashamed I am today for even having those thoughts. All this sweet precious sister wanted to do was to help me to grow in the Lord. I, on the other hand, let the devil stir up resentment and I allowed pride to rear its ugly head in my life. Praise God for giving me a patient spiritual mother who loved me and wanted to see me grow in Him! \o/

Receiving correction and instruction is like exercising a muscle actually. The more we open our hearts to receiving correction and instruction, the easier it becomes – we become stronger in the faith, we gain understanding and we become wiser. Each time we are corrected, the “pill” becomes easier to swallow and we receive the instruction with a more thankful spirit.

On the other hand, the Lord tells us that if we refuse instruction we despise our own soul! The Holy Spirit’s jobs are to teach us and to glorify Jesus Christ. 

John 16:13-14, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.(14) 

Who better to teach us than the One who wrote the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21)? As He teaches us and we grow, we become more Christ-like and we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We teach our children the Word of God and its instructions, don’t we? We teach our children to be good citizens, don’t we? The Holy Spirit wants to do the same for us.

How can we bear the fruit of the Spirit if we refuse instruction? How is it in your home with your children? If our children refuse our instruction, do they become better and more well behaved? If we don’t instruct them to do right, what will they learn? They’ll learn what the world has to offer. It’s the same with our own spiritual lives. If we do not receive instruction, either from the Word, the Pastor, or a dear friend, we become like our undisciplined children. Do we really want to be this way? I would hope not. Speaking from experience, it takes more energy out of me to fight the Holy Spirit and His instructions than it does for me to simply submit and grow in Him.

Let’s be like the wise man of Prov. 9:9 and receive instruction so we can become wiser in the Lord. It is then that the precious fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Gal 5:22) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:23) 

Do we really think that a person who refuses instruction from God would display these same fruit? It’s something to think about the next time a dear brother/sister in Christ comes to us and tries to correct us.

I always think of this Psalm when something offends me: 

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165) 

If we love the Lord and His Word, will we be offended when we are instructed? No, in fact we are promised great peace! Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Oh may I always love Your Word
And live by It with each day
May I be open to instruction
So You can guide me along my way



Day 16 – The Merry Heart

Prov. 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Have you ever been around a Christian who just simply was a pleasure to be around? Their laugh was contagious, their smile brightened your day and their whole demeanor glorified the Lord, Jesus Christ.

We always like being around someone like this don’t we? It seems that all our problems temporarily disappear and, for a time, we’ve entered their field of joy. No wonder Solomon stated that this merry person was like a good medicine. So many times I have visited a brother or sister in Christ with the sole purpose of encouraging them. Yet, it was I who was encouraged by spending time with that dear, merry saint!

Neh. 8:10b says that the joy of the LORD is our strength. In the world’s eyes, this dear saint’s circumstances were glum at best, but the Lord provides joy and peace to that merry heart. How? Through His Word! 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7) 

The person whose heart and mind are focused on Christ, won’t be worrying – won’t be depressed – won’t be anxious. Instead, this person knows that the Lord will take care of all the details no matter what. That kind of faith brings such peace – and peace brings joy. There’s nothing better than to know that a problem is being taken care of and you no longer have to fret over it.

Solomon was also quick to point out in the same sentence that the person with a “broken spirit” dries the bones. This person wears his emotions on his face. His countenance clearly tells you what is wrong in his life. The sorrows of the mind “drieth the bones” – in other words, this person’s demeanor consumes the very marrow of his being. It’s not superficial but goes way down deep into the heart of the person. He does not have a merry heart – he is joyless. I see this person walking with stooped shoulders as though the weight of the world is upon him. He has no confidence or faith in his God. He does not seek to find the solution but wallows in self pity. Rather than remove himself from the fires around him, he sticks around. Rather than go to the Source where healing can be found, he remains in his circumstances.

So, are we as quick to be around such a person? Many times, this joyless person blames his circumstances on everyone else but himself – never searching God’s Word for encouragement, let alone for healing.

I would rather be known as a Christian who has helped cheer another and brought healing into their lives than a Christian who has brought a frown upon people’s faces by my demeanor and actions.

Dear God…
Testimonies of a merry heart
Are like a ripple on still water
Touching many lives along the way
Sharing peace through stormy weather



Day 17 – Studying and Teaching

Prov. 15:28, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”Prov. 16:23, “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

How much do you study God’s Word in the course of a month, a week, a day? Is studying God’s Word the last thing you do? Reading is wonderful, but studying will open your eyes to the sin in your life. Maybe that is why not too many dive into the Word like they do other areas of the daily Christian walk. Solomon’s wisdom is compared to no other man that has ever lived. He asked God for wisdom and he received it. If Solomon didn’t use this wisdom to continue in righteousness, how much less will we if we don’t study the Word?

We have three books dedicated to his writings inspired of God. God doesn’t command us to study just to have head knowledge. He wants us to study so that we don’t need to be ashamed when someone confronts us with day-to-day life trials. we have the Word to stand on for defense! 

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

God wants to give us wisdom. 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5)

He gave it to Solomon, why not to us? Solomon didn’t have the Bible like we do today. We have God’s Word to turn to any time we want yet we do not take the opportunity to study and seek wisdom. How sad is that?

When you encounter battles with those prickly people, do you have God’s Word to feed them with? Do you have verses committed to memory? Do you know where to turn in your Bible to defend your stand? Do you at least know the verse’s “address” so you can turn to it? The believer has everything we need at our fingertips to use in the battle of everyday life. The Marine would not go to battle without his rifle, would he? Why do we go to spiritual battle without our Sword?

Amuse me for just a moment as I make an analogy. The Marine has to memorize a creed about his rifle. Ask any Marine today to recite it and he’ll be able to do so without even batting an eye. I posted it here because there’s quite a lesson to be learned from it:

My Rifle (The Creed of a United States Marine)

This is my rifle.
There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
I must fire my rifle true.
I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…
My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire,
the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make.
We know it is the hits that count. We will hit…
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life.
Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel.
I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.
I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God I swear this creed.
My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country.
We are the masters of our enemy.
We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.

— Maj Gen WH Rupertus

Can you substitute the references to the Marine’s rifle with your own Bible? Ouch! Granted, the Bible is not useless on its own because it is the Word of God. However, if man does not pick it up and read it and use it, he cannot glean from it. Our Bible does not have any weaknesses but the rifles does as pointed out in this creed. However, everything else is quite compatible. I am not trying to spiritualize the Marine’s creed for his rifle. What I am trying to do is to point out the zeal the Marine has for his rifle and learning everything about it to survive the battlefield. How much more should the believer have zeal for his Bible and learning everything about it to survive spiritual battles?

The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps. 119:105). It is our Sword (Heb. 4:12) and our Guide (Ps. 32:8).

Why not equip yourself, Christian? In so doing, you will not battle to find an answer when a situation arises. You won’t have to learn to control your tongue because you will have already built up your defenses to fight off the flesh!

Dear God…
You have fully equipped us for battle
None of us lacks a tool for this trade
The Word guides and directs us daily
Shining brightly and never will fade.



Day 18 – A Prudent Man

Prov. 22:3 “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

Noah Webster defines “prudent” as:

Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable.

He also defines “simple” as:

Weak in intellect; not wise or sagacious; silly.

The simple believeth every word; but the prudent looketh well to his going. Prov 14.

It amazes me how the vocabulary and definitions I learned in school are different from the meanings intended in our King James Bible. Prov. 22:3 is a good example of my interpretation in light of what I “thought” prudent and simple meant. When I read Noah Webster’s definition of these two words, the verse is suddenly revealed and its warning of the consequences is much more severe than I had initially thought.

We can read verse after verse with our own definitions in mind, but is what we are interpreting truly what was intended for us? I’ve mentioned this in a prior blog, but it’s worth repeating. I challenge you to look up the word “sin” in today’s dictionary and then look it up in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary. You will understand where I’m coming from.

It is nothing to wink at when we are warned that the simple will not see evil and will be punished. Look at what the prudent man does… this cautious man foresees what this evil will bring to him and weighs the consequences. How can he foresee the consequences? He has been in the Word, heeding the Spirit’s teachings and growing thereby. He has been equipping himself for battle, as I pointed out in yesterday’s blog. I am reminded of policemen at this point who enter a situation where danger lurks. They don’t immediately run into a building where a report has been made of breaking and entering. Instead, they are trained to proceed with caution. They sense danger as though it was a sixth sense. They check every dark corner – their gun is drawn and ready for battle. They do not enter alone but always have backup. If backup has not arrived, they do not proceed.

What a great analogy of the prudent Christian. We are trained by the Word of God to proceed in our Christian walk with caution. The Word teaches us to discern what is evil. 

Heb. 5:13-14, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (13) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (14) 

This discernment has been exercised by the older believer. The Word is our weapon – we need it “drawn and ready” for battle every day.

The simple one handles danger in a totally different way. This intellectually weak person has not spent any time of worth in the Word. His weapon is not loaded and ready for battle. In fact, this person walks into evil without forethought and Prov. 22:3 says they are punished because of it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t care for punishment and I surely will not be quick to enter a situation where I know the end result is punishment. We must grow from our mistakes. If not, we are a foolish one indeed.

Dear God…
May I prepare for battle
By spending time with You
May your Word direct me
In all I say and do.



Day 19 – The Mouth

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

We know that we all sin – none of us are righteous or just. 

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20) 

So who is the just man in Ecc. 7:20? Only Christ is righteous – our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6) There is nothing good in us. Therefore, today’s Proverb must be speaking of the born again believer because Christ’s righteousness covers us at salvation! Thank You, Lord!

We have the words which will lead an unbeliever to Christ! Our Heavenly Father puts people in our path that only we can witness to. What are we doing with our assignment from the Lord? Do our words reflect wisdom received from the Word? Do our mouths speak knowledge from the Word? If not, why not? The unjust cannot bring forth wisdom … it would be like expecting your 10 year old to write a thesis. If we are not bringing forth wisdom in our words, it is only because we are not spending time in the Word. It’s amazing how some can recite the words to a song after hearing it a few times. Some can rattle off the names of those in the starting line up of a football game. Some can rattle off baseball statistics like nobody’s business. But can these same people rattle off verses which will lead another to Christ? It’s not because God has not made His Word available to us.

Our actions include the tongue according to Prov. 10:31. Here Solomon goes on to say that the froward tongue shall be cut out! Froward is one of those words that deserves studying because God says that this type of tongue will be cut out! That’s a serious statement and one that we should heed as believers. As you know, I love comparing the modern-day dictionary’s definitions with Noah Webster’s 1828 definitions because the meanings are so different. Today’s dictionaries liquify the meaning of a word and, therefore, giving you a dilluted meaning of this Bible verse. Froward is a perfect example as to why I no longer use today’s dictionaries to look up words in my Bible. Listed below are Merriam Webster’s definition of the word “froward” and Noah Webster’s 1828 definition:

Merriam Webster says: 1 : habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition 2 archaic : ADVERSE

Noah Webster says: Perverse, that is, turning from, with aversion or reluctance; not willing to yield or comply with what is required; unyielding; ungovernable; refractory; disobedient; peevish; as a froward child.

Do you see why I prefer Noah Webster’s definitions? This Proverb surely packs more punch when you understand why God says the froward tongue will be cut out, doesn’t it?

We are truly blessed of God to have the Word. Most of us have more than one Bible, but not many read it regularly – let alone study it. The believer’s words should be filled with hope and excitement. In these end times, the lost world needs hope more than ever before! Can you imagine yourself being lost right now listening to the news? What hope is there for the unsaved? Nothing but gloom and doom lurks around every corner for them. We are their only hope to hear the gospel. We are their only hope for them to see the gospel in action.

We should weigh our words carefully. Remember, we’ll have to give an account to the Lord for every word we speak. 

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Mat 12:36) 

That includes words spoken by the froward tongue. I would hate to be the person who has to stand before God having to account for a froward tongue. With God, there will be no excuses and He won’t listen to justification as to why these words were spewed forth.

Let our words be gracious ones filled with hope – not only for a lost world to hear but for the building up and encouragement of the brethren. We need each other in these last days. We need to encourage and uplift each other, not tear each other down with cruel and harsh words. We believers need to encourage one another in these end times because the times are evil. No wonder the Lord placed this verse in the Bible exactly the way it was worded! 

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb 10:25) 

Rapture is upon us – any day now. Let’s make use of our last days here with words which fit a Christian who has been saved from much and is looking forward to our Lord’s return!

Dear God…
May I think before I speak
Seeking only to be a blessing
To share with a lost world
And lifting the weary brethren



Day 20 – Whose Way?

Prov. 12:15-16 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”

Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s my way or the highway!”? The fool sees his way as the only way. He does not and will not listen to reason or the possibility that he may be wrong. This fool sees all conflict in his life with a distorted view. It couldn’t possibly be something the fool has done wrong. In fact, this person truly believes that it is someone else’s fault. It is sad that one gets to the point that he cannot be taught of God. His heart has hardened to the point where the Holy Spirit cannot pierce it. 

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26)

A foolish person does not need a request to speak his mind because he speaks it quickly and loudly. You hear much more than their two cents’ worth! Solomon says in verse 16 that the fool’s wrath is presently known. This person does not take time to think about what he is going to say. He does not weigh the consequences that his words will have on his life. Instead, he speaks now! Speaking too hastily is like a tube of toothpaste. Once you squeeze it and the toothpaste comes out, there’s no way to put it back in. The words out of a fool’s mouth are quick and it’s too late to do damage control as the damage has been done. 

The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. (Ecc 9:17)

I love Solomon’s style of writing. He gives you the consequences which come as a result of the bad and the good. The wise person listens to counsel, whether from parents, a godly friend or the Pastor. The prudent man keeps himself from blowing his temper and losing his testimony. He guards his mouth carefully. The believer’s testimony speaks the loudest about how he walks with the Lord. He can blab all he wants, but his actions will reflect whose fruit he is displaying – the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the fruit of the world (the devil’s fruit). The Word says that temperance (self control) is one of the Spirit’s fruit according (Gal. 5:22-23). The more a Christian is in the Word and applying it to his life, the more he will exercise that muscle of self control. It does not come over night – it comes with much practice. The world thinks that it’s good for you to speak your mind. However, the Lord thinks differently. You can be sure that if the world thinks that speaking your mind is right, then God will say differently. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8)

Dear God…
May I guard my every step
Heeding Your Word in all I do
May each of my actions bring praise
Honor and glory to You



Day 21 – Sowing Wisdom Reaps Kindness

Prov.31:26 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”


When I was first saved, I looked at the Proverbs 31 woman as an impossible achievement. How could I possibly become like her? There are so many things about that woman that I lacked in my own life, I saw this task as impossible! It reminded me of eating that proverbial elephant!

I’m sure you’ve heard: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” I knew then that God would have to teach me a bit at a time because looking at the whole picture was so discouraging. From speaking with other believers, I find that I was not alone. Each believer had been in a similar situation in their own spiritual lives.

How do we go about becoming more like this wonderful woman in Proverbs 31? I think a good place to start would be with Proverbs 31:26 with wisdom and kindness. The two go beautifully hand-in-hand, don’t they? The Lord gives us wisdom according to 

James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” 

Therefore, we are getting our wisdom from the perfect Source. The Lord has everything we need to guide us in His Word. There is much wisdom to be given to us if we just spend time in the Bible, my friend. No Bible, no wisdom. Much Bible, much wisdom.

When we get wisdom through God’s Word, our hearts will reflect it. The Word says:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart;(Mat 15:18a) 

What we sow in our hearts will be evident (reaped) in our actions and our words. I’ve never, ever, met a believer who walked with the Lord who was not kind. In fact, each of them excelled in this area of kindness, both in word and in action. This Proverbs 31 woman opened her mouth with wisdom and she “thought” about what she was going to say. She did not speak her mind but carefully weighed her words with what God’s Word had to say. Why do I know that? The rest of the Proverb shows that her tongue had the law of kindness. Do you really think that a woman who speaks her mind is being kind? The two contradict each other, don’t they?

What an excellent spiritual muscle to exercise for the believer. We cannot be used of God if we are unkind to others. Kindness, however, is one of the characteristics of God (Ps. 31:21 and Ps. 117:2). If we grow in wisdom and show one of its fruit, kindness, then we are becoming more like Him. We are becoming more like that Proverbs 31 woman. This woman’s worth is far above rubies according to God (Prov. 31:10). I can see why, can’t you?

Dear God…
Make me more like You
With each passing day
May my words be kind
To all who come my way



Day 22 – Train Up A Child

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

How I have clung to this promise time and time again – and I still do! There is nothing in life that has a life-time guarantee! However, the Lord has shown me that this verse does have a guarantee if my husband and I do our job first. This guarantee is conditional. The promise of them not departing when they are old will only happen if we, as parents, train our children in the way they should go. No training, no promise.

Training comes in many forms: salvation/Bible, manners, chores, etc. However, all forms have one thing in common and that is the trainer must have that experience in order to do the training. How can you train your child in the Bible if you are not in your Bible? How can you teach manners if you have no manners yourself? How can you teach chores if you’re lazy? I think you get my point.

God’s Word teaches how we can become good and effective trainers to our children in 

Deut. 6:6-9, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (6) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (7) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (8) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (9) 

Here we have a clear, concise training manual to follow. How many times have I heard parents say that babies do not come with a training manual! Oh, but we do have a training manual in our very own Bibles.

Our training manual tells us in Deuteronomy to do the following:

  1. Words shall be in my own heart – I should memorize it and apply it
  2. I should teach my children diligently not just when it suits me
  3. I should teach my children throughout the day using every opportunity
  4. I should have the Word so entrenched in my heart and life that they are ever present before me and guide me
  5. My eyes should continuously/daily be focused on the Word
  6. The Word should be everywhere in my home and I should be a living example of the Word in action

When a trainer lives by this training manual, how can his child go wrong? The trainer is then assured that his child won’t depart from this teaching when he is old. This is when the guarantee kicks in, dear Christian. If you leave your child to his Sunday School teacher, you cannot claim this promise. You, personally, have to be the one to take charge in this training.

Dear God…
Guide me as I train your child
Not just in word but in all I do
Using every chance I get
Lovingly leading him to You



Day 23 – Wisdom, Knowledge, Discretion and Understanding

It is God who gives wisdom, according to Prov. 2:6. However, God won’t cram that wisdom down our throats! We must first allow His wisdom from the Word to enter our hearts. We can read and read the Bible, but if we do not let it take root in the heart and apply it to our lives, we won’t glean from God’s wisdom.

The same applies to knowledge. How many times have you read a history lesson in preparation for a test? After reading it through once, did you remember all the dates? Did you remember every single event? Of course not. To truly glean from that history lesson, you had to read it a few times, memorize dates, places, people and events, right? More importantly, did you remember any of it two weeks after the test? If you were anything like me, probably not.

It’s the same application with the Word of God. Unless we approach God’s Word with the same fervency, how can we glean? How can we walk away with the knowledge that will be pleasant to our soul, according to Prov. 2:10? If you are like many Christians, you walk away from your time in the Word and forget what you read in a day or possibly sooner. It’s not until the Word enters our heart that we are promised its fruit. How does the Word “enter our heart”? It enters by applying it to our daily lives, learning from it through studying, gleaning from it, and memorizing it.

I love the results of the efforts made by the believer to get wisdom and knowledge. The believer receives discretion and understanding. Not only that, both are promised to preserve and keep him! Preserve and keep him from what, you make ask? Verses 12-19 list what this believer will be kept from. In essence, the believer who seeks wisdom and knowledge will not only receive discretion and understanding, but will be kept from evil. The believer won’t be so quick to willfully sin because he has received wisdom and knowledge and is keeping himself from sin. Is that as clear as mud?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10)

Great promises await us when we allow God to do His work in our lives.

Dear God…
May my heart be open
To what You want to teach
Keep me from hard heartedness
So I can grow in Thee



Day 24 – God Sees All

We may not think about it, but God sees every footstep we make on our life’s journey. He is also aware of every word we speak. Not one thing in our lives escapes God’s eyes according to Prov. 5:21. Furthermore, God weighs our every action. He knows our motives. Nothing is hid from Him. Wow! If every believer truly believed these Proverbs and statements, he would be living as righteously as he could, don’t you think? God gives us every opportunity to do right, my friend. First, He provided a way for us to get to Heaven. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Second, He gave us the opportunity to say no to sin. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

We will be without excuse when we stand before Him to give an account of what we have done on this earth. 

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom. 14:12) 

Every unconfessed sin, every word, every deed, every thought, will be brought to light. Will our works on earth as Christians earn reward or be burned? 

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Cor. 3:15)

God sees everything, my friend. It’s not worth a moment of pleasure here on earth to lose reward for an eternity. Faithfulness is difficult but the rewards are great. 

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (2 Chron. 16:9a) 

God sees your efforts and is right there to show His strength when you are weak. Not only are the Father’s eyes upon the righteous but His ears are listening to every word we speak to Him. 

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: (1 Pet. 3:12a) 

What a wonderful Father we serve, my friend!

Be faithful, dear Christian. 

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: (Prov. 28:20a) 

Your eternal blessings await you! These are the blessings which count!

Dear God…
There is none like You
Your love is true and pure
May I be found faithful
Each trial may I endure



Day 25 – The Way That Seems Right

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 16:25)

I remember taking this photo of the path in the woods. My friend, Linda and I were walking behind Haceta Head Lighthouse in Florene, OR. We were looking for the best path that would give us a good view of the back of the lighthouse with the ocean in the background. The first path, gave us only a partial glimpse of the top of the lighthouse. So we took another path and its reward was a magnificent view! It was exactly what I had hoped for!

I wondered how one would know if they are on the right path when it comes to their own spiritual life. Will I go to heaven when I die or will I go to hell? Not everyone wonders this at one time or another. Some don’t even believe there is a God. They will find out the truth once they die.

I was searching for a specific group of words in my e-Sword Bible software and found that this group appeared twice in Proverbs. This Proverb was so important that the Lord put it in His Word twice. Anything the Lord states more than once in the Bible should be noted and carefully heeded, don’t you think? Why do you think God did that?

I can’t speak for God because His thoughts are not mine (Is. 55:8-9).

Isa 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  (9)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

But I can get a pretty good idea. I’ve always heard preaching on this verse in conjunction with salvation. Oh how true it is!! When I was a “good” catholic, I just knew I was in the right religion. Why did I know that? Because I was told so.. not because I had studied the Word of God to come to my own conclusion.

Notice how the verses state that this way of salvation seems right unto a man. Not “right unto the religious leaders” but unto the man himself. Every individual, every breathing soul that ever lived will have to make this choice, this decision, for himself. We cannot place the burden of blame on someone else for the choices we make. Why, then, do we think that we can leave the decision of salvation to someone else?

When I look back on the day I got saved, I remember a young woman who thought she was “OK” with God because I belonged to the biggest/richest “church and religion” in the world. After all, how could so many people be wrong?

Praise my wonderful Father in Heaven for pricking my heart through His Holy Spirit and showing me that nothing and no one could remove the burden of guilt from me but Jesus Christ.

No church, no priest, no pope can say that I have eternal salvation because I am catholic as the 1994 catechism clearly states on page 215:

#816 “The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: ‘For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.’” 

Why do I know that? 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)

Yes, the catholics will refute this by saying that Jesus IS the way but THROUGH the catholic church. The Word of God says differently, 

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) 

There is NO salvation in any other! None! The Word of God is clear. The Word of God is final. Jesus is the Word, according to 

John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

Therefore, Jesus’ authority is final. 

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (Joh 5:26) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (Joh 5:27)

This way that I thought was the right way was leading me straight to hell. I wasn’t even questioning it. I wasn’t even concerned. My parish priest never once had me thinking about where I would spend eternity. NEVER! I sinned during the week and once a month I went to confession and confessed those sins. But I was never born again of the Spirit.

I thank God daily for sending someone to warn me that I was heading down this path that was leading me to the ways of death! Thank You, Lord!

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

Dear God…
I will never stop thanking You
Precious Saviour, Lord Divine
Your death was love in action
As You gave Your life for mine



Day 26 – The Proverbs Friend

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. (Pro 27:9)

If you’ve never had a friend that has loved you unconditionally, you have missed out on a precious thing in life. Unconditional love is described as someone loving you no matter what you’ve done to them.

The perfect example of unconditional love is the love shown to us by Jesus Christ. Our sin is the reason He had to die on that cross… in fact, my sin is the reason He had to die on that cross! Yet, He loved me so much that He chose to leave His Heavenly home, come to this earth, and suffer a cruel death … just so I can go to Heaven! That’s as unconditional as love gets, my friend!

As I reflect on this friend in Proverbs 27:9, I see a friend who provides hearty counsel. This friend loves so much that he sticks with a friend through everything. How can I tell? This friend is providing hearty (strong, sincere, warm) counsel. When was the last time you had a friend who loved you enough to give you strong advice? When was the last time you had a friend who loved you enough to show you in the Word where you were going wrong? Anyone can give you worldly advice and counsel. Anyone can give you their opinion. But a true friend will counsel you when it’s not easy – when you’ve sinned. A true friend will point things out that will cause you to think. A true friend will show you that the path you’re on is going to lead you to heartache, and possibly chastisement from the Lord.

Do you have such a friend? I do. In fact, my friend is the one who led me to the Lord over 26 years ago. She brings me to tears with laughter – but she also brings me to tears with conviction through the Word. Yes, my heart has to be tender and willing to be taught in order to receive the hard counsel she has to give me. However, how many people do you know in your own life who love you despite of what you are doing? How many people do you know in your own life who see the sin in you yet their main desire is to help you get right with God? That, dear Christian, is a true friend.

I thank God, daily, for my spiritual mother. Not only has she been faithful in her friendship, but she has shared the Word of God with me when it was not easy to receive. She did not compromise the Word just to keep our friendship. She has stood firm and prayed for me so that I would stand firm also. What a friend!

Are you such a friend? Do you offend others by what you say (your opinions) or are the words you give to your friend from God’s Word? My friend’s words were. I could never go back to her and say that what she told me was her opinion. In fact, quite the opposite – she quoted Scriptures and it is very hard to refute God. How could I be offended when it was His Word that was spoken to me?

We should strive to be this type of friend to those the Lord has placed in our path. If they are truly walking with the Lord, they will look at your counsel as sweet. As well, if the Lord has put someone in your life who has given you wise counsel, be sure to keep your heart soft and teachable so the Lord can bless you through that counsel. 

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. (Psa 49:3)

Dear God…
Thank you for sending me
A friend whose love is strong
Leading me always to Your Word
And keeping me from wrong



Day 27 – Wandering

As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. (Pro 27:8 ) 

The chick thinks he can leave the nest for a moment to check out the world around him. Mother’s not in sight, here’s his big chance. He looks around – everything looks safe. He takes one small step outside the nest, pauses and looks around for predators. Still safe. So he takes a few more steps. Suddenly, a hawk swoops down from above and snatches him! The chick’s adventure cost him his life.

I love that the Lord picked a bird to convey a message to us. God wants us to think of these illustrations as we read His Word. He put them in there for a reason. There is always a good lesson to be learned by an illustration. We see this evidence in the parables Christ shared with His disciples. We know that this bird had to be a chick because of the word wandereth. The adult bird does not wander because he is quite aware of the dangers lurking about. He has learned to be careful. The nest is his haven. Not only is it his resting place but it protects him.

The Lord warns us that it is just as bad for a man to wander from his place as well. What place could that be? Surely, God does not mean that we should not wander from our homes. We must go out to work, to church, and carry on with life. I believe the Lord is telling us not to wander from our place by His side. When we do, we subject ourselves to the predator of this world, the devil.

What can we find at His side? Well, Jesus is our Shepherd. He rules over the devil and all his fallen angels. They are afraid of Him. 

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

Their knee shall bow to Him. 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Phi 2:10) 

They have no control over us and our lives unless we allow it. What are some ways a Christian allows the devil to control us? By not reading our Bibles and feeding our spirits. 

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11)

By not praying. 

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Ti 2:8 )

By allowing unconfessed sin in our lives. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1Jo 1:9)

By not being faithful in the things of God. 

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1Co 4:2)

Each time we wander from our haven at the Saviour’s side, we toy with temptation. Wandering away a little more allows temptation to turn to sin. It is our choice, my friend. We don’t need to wander. But if we do, our Shepherd is so faithful that He even provides a way for us to come back. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13)

Let’s learn from this little bird. 

As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. (Pro 27:8 )

Dear God…
May I learn from this little bird
That I must stay close by Your side
And leaving no room for the devil
So in Your Word I must abide



Day 28 – Pride

My husband and I went on vacation to the beautiful State of Alaska. We came upon a gentleman who as showing off this gorgeous eagle who was recovering from a wing injury. Once that wing healed, he was going to release this gorgeous bird! As we look at this eagle, doesn’t it instill in you a sense of pride for your Country? This pride, however, is not the pride that we are covering today. Today’s pride is the wrong kind – it is self reliant and boastful.

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. (Pro 28:25)

The proud heart thinks himself better than those around him. He does not see that this is sin. In fact, he does not even think he is sinning, but the Word says otherwise. 

An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. (Pro 21:4) 

It is extremely difficult to witness to the proud of heart. They do not see their sin. As long as this person does not see his sin, he will not see that he needs a Saviour. We see this time and time again when we’re out witnessing to people. “Well, I’m not that bad.” One person even told me he never sinned! The sin of pride is what caused Lucifer to be cast out of Heaven. He thought himself to be like God (as good as, if not better).

Sadly, there are many believers today who also struggle with the sin of pride. Yes, they are saved but they grieve the Holy Spirit in their lives by refusing to see what they are doing as sin. This prideful believer causes strife, the Word says. God’s Word says that He resists (stands against, according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) the proud but gives grace to the humble. 

Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (Jam 4:6b) 

Why would a believer want God to stand against him? Would a son want his father and mother to stand against him? Of course not. This same son would want his father and mother to stand behind him and encourage him. This is exactly what happens when a believer struggles with the sin of pride: his Heavenly Father stands against him.

Oh that we would always keep our hearts soft enough that we hear that still small voice of the Holy Spirit when He tries to point sin out in our lives. When we do so, we grieve Him. I always thought that the word grieve here meant to make sad. 

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) 

However, Noah Webster defines this word as:

4. To offend; to displease; to provoke.

When we grieve the Holy Spirit, we offend Him – we displease Him – we provoke Him to deal with us. The Holy Spirit is God. His goal for our lives is to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ and to mold us into vessels of honour. He is our Potter (Rom. 9:21).

When pride settles into the Christian’s life, the Christian stops growing in Christ. How can I say that? The Spirit’s job is to mold us to be Christ-like – there’s no pride in Christ at all. He is the epitome of the word humility. Therefore, if the Christian battles this sin, he is not being Christ-like.

Dear God…
May my mind always be
Focused to be more like You
Help me to recognize my sin
And keep You always in my view



Day 29 – What is Your Tongue Worth

The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. (Pro 10:20)

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James. 

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5)

It’s amazing how such a small member can wreak so much havoc one moment and yet be sweet as honey the next. Should this be the normal way of life for a believer? Absolutely not! The believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, producing the fruit of the Spirit, does not struggle with his tongue but has command over it. He has learned to control the sin of gossip.

The weak minded believer, however, does not share in this. Not only is this weak minded believer allowing the devil to control him, he does not have the sense to get into the Word and allow the Word to keep him from sin. 

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) 

Instead, this weak minded believer relies on what is in his heart to guide him. If the heart is ruled by sin, it won’t guide this person to anything but trouble.

How can a heart filled with gossip allow the tongue to speak gracious words? The weak minded believer thinks he can fool those in his church by pretending to be a good Christian but then gossip and strife come out of his mouth only to reveal his true colors. The Word says that this is wrong! 

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (Jam 3:10) 

This gossip stirs up strife and sows discord. I’ve yet to meet a gossip who has not caused much problems. How can the church have a sweet spirit when there’s a gossip in its midst? How can a church attract visitors when there’s a gossip in its midst?

That gossip not only hurts people with his tongue, but he is also known as a sower of discord! If you want to see just how God feels about a gossip, a sower of discord, all you have to do is search for verses with the words “God, hate” and it will be an eye opener! God hates the sower of discord! It does not say He hates the sin – but he hates the one who sows discord. In fact, it is an abomination to Him.

Prov. 6:16-19, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (16) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (17) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (18 ) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (19)

A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (Jam 3:5) 

James continues to say that the tongue is like a fire! Fire destroys and kills. This little member of the body can do so much destruction if it is allowed to continue. We cannot sweep a sower of discord’s actions under the rug. It must be dealt with, swiftly, or the church body will be destroyed. What better testimony for the devil than to allow this sower in the church! This should not be so. What a sad day it is when families are destroyed by this person! This gossip and sower of discord is at war with everyone around him, except other gossips. Darkness fellowships with darkness. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. (Psa 55:21)

I have witnessed this gossip in action. I have witnessed this sower of discord in action. These “supposed” Christians have allowed the devil to rule in their lives. Yes, the devil can rule in a Christian’s life. Even Jesus had to rebuke Peter and tell him that the devil was ruling. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat 16:23) Jesus was not saying that Peter was possessed by a devil. Jesus was stating that Peter was allowing the devil to rule in his life and Peter’s words were evidence of it. Jesus did not mince words. He did not sweep Peter’s conduct under the rug. Instead, Jesus brought it out and exposed it.

The words of a gossip are wicked, wicked, wicked. There is no life in them but only destruction. Guard your tongue, oh Christian. Be careful what you expose your heart to. What is in your heart will come out of your mouth. 

No Word, you know much gossip and discord. Know the Word, you have no gossip and discord. 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (Mat 15:18 )

So, what is considered gossip? If you want to steer away from even the appearance of evil on this one, consider gossip as anything that is said about someone that is not gracious and kind. Many disguise their gossip with statements like, “Bless her heart, she just doesn’t have enough money to buy a dress that would cover her whole body!” My friend, don’t be fooled. You can only Febreeze a skunk so much and his scent will come right through it! Don’t allow the devil rule over your mouth. Yes, I said “allow”! It is our choice to gossip. Recognize the sin of gossip … repent … confess it … seek forgivness from those you have hurt … forsake it. Then fill your heart with the precious Word and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, and prevent you from falling.

Dear God…
Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
(Psa 19:14)



Day 30 – Apples of Gold

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

Don’t you love Solomon’s style of writing? He had a way of painting a picture for you. Can you just picture in your mind’s eye what apples of gold in pictures of silver look like? But do you really get the true meaning behind it? The whole point of this Proverb is to bring your attention to a word that is fitly spoken and its value. I see these as God’s apples. These apples have much value in God’s eyes. God looks upon the Christian who guards his tongue and makes sure that he always has the words of hope and kindness ready for all to hear.

But why would God pick the word apple? I believe in my heart that He is trying to point us to the fruit of the Spirit. Gold is a valuable and precious metal so this fruit of the Spirit is as valuable to the Christian as gold is to the unbeliever!

There are surely various scenarios in life but each requires that words be fitly spoken. The first scenario I think of is during an argument. 

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1) 

I’m sure you’ll agree that this soft answer qualified as a word fitly spoken. Speaking kindness also qualifies in this category. 

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (Pro 31:26) 

How about speaking the blessed Gospel to the lost? Oh, how fitly spoken are they? 

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: (1Pe 3:15)

But wherever you see something referencing what God loves, you don’t have to go too far in your reading before you find what the world loves. The world’s apples are quite the opposite. The wicked are known for their tongue. 

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (Psa 50:19) 

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. (Psa 10:7)

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. (Pro 26:28)

Where do your words fit? Are they apples of gold or apples with worms? As disgusting as this picture looks, I’m sure our Heavenly Father looks upon His children’s unfit words as such. Which would you rather be known for? Someone who spoke kind and uplifting words which the Lord considers as apples of gold? Or someone whose words are unkind, venomous, and filled with worms?

Dear God…
[To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.]
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
(Psa 39:1)




The Names of Jesus

This is a 30-day devotional written in 2008 on the different names for Jesus that can be found in God’s word. It’s not all inclusive but there are enough names to show us Christ’s nature through His different names! It brought me such a blessing and I hope you can say the same. After all, how can we not when we read about our Shepherd, Saviour and Friend!



Day 1 – The Consolation of Israel

Good morning! I’m hoping that you will enjoy this series as much as I have writing it. I know I say this a lot but how blessed we are to have God’s words written for us so that we can meet together like this and share in studies such as this one!! Before we go into today’s name for Jesus, let’s read this passage so we can get the whole picture:

Luk 2:25-32 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. (26) And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (27) And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, (28) Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, (29) Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: (30) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, (31) Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; (32) A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

What a unique name for Jesus: the Consolation of Israel! The Jews had been persecuted for quite some time and never achieved total peace, even to this day. Israel is certainly not dwelling in peace, both physically and spiritually. They are still awaiting their Messiah. They missed Jesus Christ’s first coming altogether. However, when Christ comes at the end of the Tribulation, all eyes will see Him and will realize who He is.

The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon, however, and Simeon’s words bring such solace to the heart of man if only man chooses to understand. I love the word “consolation” in verse 25. Noah Webster defines it as:

Comfort; alleviation of misery, or distress of mind; refreshment of mind or spirits; a comparative degree of happiness in distress or misfortune, springing from any circumstance that abates the evil, or supports and strengthens the mind, as hope, joy, courage and the like.

Jesus is not only the Consolation of Israel but of all mankind! Notice Simeon’s words in verses 30-32. Simeon reveals that he has finally seen God’s salvation (also referenced in verse 26). He goes on to say that this same salvation was for all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel. The Jews had been awaiting their Messiah for hundreds of years. Now Jesus was here to bring them comfort, to alleviate their misery, distress of mind, and refreshment of their mind and spirit!

However, the Jews were looking for a reigning King, not a suffering Messiah. That reigning King is yet to come. But for right now, that suffering Messiah conquered death and rose again! Until His return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He provides this beautiful consolation!



Day 2 – Christ

What a glorious day it is when we Christians are able to sit and study about our Wonderful Saviour!! Amen? Today’s name for Jesus is the very definition of what His mission was/is. The word Christ appears 571 times in 532 verses in the King James Bible. The word Christ in Hebrew is Messiah and Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is:

CHRIST, n. THE ANOINTED; an appellation given to the Savior of the World, and synonymous with the Hebrew Messiah. It was a custom of antiquity to consecrate persons to the sacerdotal and regal offices by anointing them with oil.

Luk 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

For a Jew to admit that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah meant eventual death. One only needs to read the history of the Apostles to learn how all of them were killed for peaching Jesus as the Christ (all except John). It was no small matter – we have to ask ourselves if we would have done the same if we knew that we would have to die in order to preach about salvation through Jesus Christ. There is coming a time where this will happen again. Christians all over the world are being persecuted and killed for their faith in the Christ of God. The Tribulation will be worse than any persecution ever, including the time of Nero and that of Hitler. We have lived a relatively easy life in the United States when it comes to practicing our faith in Jesus the Christ.

We cannot be certain that we won’t experience persecution. We were forbidden to go to church when the pandemic hit so we must not be surprised that the church will be chased underground in the future. But this is a whole other study, amen? Let’s preach Jesus the Christ as Peter did and be bold while we yet have time!



Day 3 – Chosen of God

Good morning, reader! Today’s name for Jesus is such a blessing to me. Why? It’s a blessing because the salvation of the world was not left to man’s devices. Antichrists have existed for years and the agenda they push is nothing new. They follow after the father of lies, the devil. Our Saviour, the second person of the Trinity, new from the foundations of the earth that man could not stop sinning. Nor could man’s sacrifices forgive their sins. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ could be the propitiation for mankind’s sins. Noah Webster defines the word “propitiation” as:

The atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath and render him propitious to sinners. Christ is the propitiation for the sins of men.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

God chose Himself to be the only righteous atonement for mankind’s sins. He became the perfect sacrifice by shedding His own blood. Today’s verse explains that Jesus is the Chosen but the next two verses explain it further:

1 Peter 2:5-6 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (6) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

The Chosen of God, Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone of our faith, did not leave me confounded when I accepted His perfect work on the cross for my sins! The word confounded is a beautiful word here. Noah Webster defines it as:

Mixed or blended in disorder; perplexed; abashed; dismayed; put to shame and silence; astonished.

My friend, the bible says that when we are born again, we are no longer mixed or blended in the disorder of religion. We are no longer perplexed and dismayed on a life of Christian living. Jesus, the Word of God, has provided His word through the bible so we can know all we need to know.

1 John 2:26-27 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

It is important for us to search the scriptures when we hear someone preaching. This anointing that was given to us at the time of salvation, the Holy Spirit, will alert us to preaching that is not according to the scriptures.

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Don’t be deceived by the spirit of the antichrist, which is alive and well today. There are many televangelists who are making tons of money on the backs of the poor and those seeking. They mislead many and have no shame. But the Chosen One of God promises peace and rest. He does not lay on us any “rules and regulations” that are burdensome.

Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The Chosen of God has promised rest to our souls. We no longer have to wonder IF we will make it to heaven or HOPE we will make it there. Rest means REST and peace. Our burdens are lifted at the cross of Calvary where the Chosen of God shed His blood for our sins. The Chosen of God took on our punishment and paid the penalty. Praise the Lord for Jesus, the Chosen of God!



Day 4 – The Chief Corner Stone

Good morning, reader. I pray you are receiving as much of a blessing from this series as I am! It never ceases to amaze me how many references to Jesus one finds in the scriptures! It opens our eyes to His magnificence and power. God wants us to get to know Him through the bible and He has provided us with so many different depictions of His nature. He did not leave it to chance but gave us a gift that would open our eyes to Him! Today’s name is so very important to me. It shows me that there is only one way to God and that is through Christ. New Studio Architecture wrote a blog entitled, “Architectural Cornerstones: The Meaning, History, and Intent.” The definition of the corner stone is:

In relation to architecture, a cornerstone is traditionally the first stone laid for a structure, with all other stones laid in reference. A cornerstone marks the geographical location by orienting a building in a specific direction.

https://www.newstudioarchitecture.com/

How interesting when one reads this in light of Jesus Christ, our Saviour! We find that the words “corner stone” are used four times:

Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

1 Pet 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

All four times, they refer to Jesus Christ. We know that Christ created the universe and therefore is the Chief corner stone of all things created/made, including paying the price for our sins. The path to salvation is built on Him being the Chief corner stone – laying the foundation of Christianity and salvation for mankind. The scriptures reveal that path to us.

Col 1:15-18 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Not only does verse 18 say that Jesus is the head of His church but that He has preeminence in all things. The definition of “preeminence”:

The fact of surpassing all others; superiority.

Oxford Languages
Therefore, reader, there is no other way to gain entrance to Heaven than to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

There is no other way but through Christ Jesus. Please, if you are not a born-again Christian, reevaluate your religion and search the scriptures for truth. Go into it with an open mind – just in case you could be wrong. Eternity is a long time, my friend.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.



Day 5 – Carpenter

What a beautiful depiction of our Lord and Saviour: the Carpenter!!! How appropriate that Jesus was a carpenter by trade. Jesus came to earth to die for our sins and to “build” His church. That is our job and our duty as believers, amen? We are to spread the Gospel far and wide. I can’t go to the mission field but I have those around me that I can tell about Jesus and His wonderful salvation.

As many of you know, I was born into the catholic religion. As catholics, we were taught that Mary had no other children and that Mark 6:3 were merely referencing Jesus’ disciples as brothers and sisters. However, we must read this verse in context with all the verses. Verse 4 says that a prophet is not without honour among his own kin and his own house. Why would the Holy Spirit put this verse there if it didn’t have specific meaning, amen?

Mar 6:3-4 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (4) But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

A carpenters’ job is to build. So it stands to reason that Jesus would use the terminology in building His church.

Catholics believe that Peter is the rock that the church is built on (verse 18). They disregard the three previous verses that show us to what Jesus was referring. He asked Peter who men thought He was. Peter’s response was that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah). The Jews had been waiting for a long time for the Messiah to come. This was quite the revelation to Peter. Peter’s statement that Jesus is the Christ is the very foundation of Christianity! The Jews believe there is only ONE God and this offended them. This is why Jesus was put to death! This meant that Peter and the rest of the disciples were going against everything they had been taught. Is it any wonder that the Jews wanted to kill them?

Mat 16:15-18 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (17) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (18) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek language is a lot more thorough in word usage than the English language. The Greek language has three definitions for the word “love,” while the English language only has one. The same goes with the word “rock.” The word, Peter, is defined in the Greek as “petros.” The definition for petros is “part of a rock.” So Jesus was saying: “Thou art “part of a rock,” and upon this rock (Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my church.” The word “this rock” is defined in the Greek as “this mass of rock.” It’s not Peter who is the mass rock. It is Jesus!

Peter is but a man and man is sinful. Jesus rebuked Peter, as shown in two of the gospels, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Building a church on a sinful man is equal to all the cults that are out there. Peter himself did not want to be compared to Christ. A church built upon anything but God is a cult, my friend. Jesus is the Rock! (1 Cor. 10:4)

Act 10:25-26 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. (26) But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

1 Cor 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Even the Apostle John tried to worship an angel when he was given the Revelation. There is no one we should bow down to except God, amen?

Rev 19:9-10 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.



Day 6 – Captain of Their Salvation

Good morning, dear reader! The hot days of July are upon us in Central Virginia! We’re managing the heat by keeping our activities indoors 🙂 However, I’m keeping in mind that my heart needs to stay on fire for Christ, the Captain of my salvation! Praise the Lord for today’s name for Jesus! Is He the Captain of your salvation? One can be saved and not have Him as their Captain. Who rules over you – Your flesh or Jesus? I speak to myself here as well. So many times I have moved forward with something without seeking the Captain’s thoughts. We can find His thoughts in the scriptures, amen?

A captain commands a company of soldiers. These soldiers do not do anything of their own free will but obey the commands of their captain. If they don’t, they are court martialed. There are consequences for them if they don’t obey. Do we obey Christ’s commands set forth in the bible? Or do we live our lives the way we want to? Speaking from experience, my own free will always lead me astray. But doing the Father’s will always brings peace. It draws me closer to Him!

So who is your captain, reader? Submit yourselves to the One and Only Captain! This is how we fight sin in our lives.

Jas 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.



Day 7 – The Brightness of His Glory

The brightness of His glory is an unusual name and one I had not thought about when reading Hebrews 1:3. I’ve never heard a message on this either. But I do know this: Christ in all His glory will be revealed at the Second Coming and every eye shall see Him and every knee shall bow to Him. There will be no mistake who He is and no one will mistaken Him for one of their own gods.

Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

The scripture, 2 Cor. 4:4, teaches us that the light of the gospel is what draws man to Him, amen?

2 Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Satan’s main goal is to put as much distraction in our path so that we do not wish to see that blessed light. The world has managed to distract man. But Christ will win in the end – EVERY person will see the King of Kings and EVERY knee shall bow to Him.

Isa 45:23  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.

Jesus also displayed this brightness to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17. Notice that everything about Jesus here reflects “light and brightness,” amen? Our King’s face was shining as the sun and His clothing was so bright, it would make any wife’s efforts of brightening her laundry jealous 🙂 Can you imagine His return to earth? This is what mankind will see. Praise Him!

Mat 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.



Day 8 – The Bright and Morning Star

Good morning, reader! Today’s name reveals to us that the wonderful Light of the world – the One who was sent to bring salvation to mankind. Our King was called a star in Numbers 24:17 and Luke 1:78. He was also called this in 2 Peter 1:19 and a morning star in Revelation 2:28.

Num 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

2 Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.

Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus Christ is the Light of the world according to John 1:9 and John 8:12. Suffice it to say, He brings light into our dark, sinful hearts and opens our blind eyes to the beautiful light of the Gospel! Praise the Lord!



Day 9 – The Bridegroom

Good morning, reader! Don’t you just love today’s name for Jesus? He is our Bridegroom! His church, made up of born-again believers, is His bride. If you are married, do you recall just how excited you were to get married? In Jewish tradition, when a couple was betrothed, the groom would leave for a year to build a home for his bride. He would then come get his bride, they would wed, then there would be a great celebration.

Joh 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We are waiting for Jesus, our Bridegroom, to return for us. Are we as excited for His return as we were for our own wedding? Let’s make ourselves ready and be excited! His return is so close, friend!

Jas 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. (8) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.



Day 10 – The Bread of Life

It’s a beautiful day today! Despite the weather outside, my heart is lit up with God’s word and I see Christ in many things which surround me – right down to the bread I’m eating 🙂

Jesus said that He is the bread of life and that whoever comes to Him shall never hunger. The earthly minded man will read this verse and will automatically think of earthly bread. But that is not what Jesus is going for in today’s name. He is teaching His disciples about salvation, about everlasting life. Jesus said that those that come to Him will NEVER hunger and NEVER thirst. He also said on the Sermon on the Mount:

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

When we hunger for God’s word and thirst after it, we shall be filled. God’s word provides salvation. God’s word provides instruction. God’s word feeds the soul. God’s word comforts in time of need. In every situation in life, the scriptures provide what we need. This Bread of Life not only saves but provides spiritual nourishment.

There is none righteous in and of himself (Romans 3:10).

Only Christ is righteous. That is why He was the only One qualified to become the sacrificial Lamb so our sins would be forgiven… not just covered, but actually forgiven! Praise God! Let the Bread of Life speak to your heart and let Him feed you on your Pilgrim walk.



Day 11 – The Bread of God

Good morning, reader! Today’s name for Jesus is a special blessing in that it gives us the impression that He is the food we need in order to live. Food keeps the body alive – Jesus, the Bread of God keeps our spiritual body alive! The scriptures showed us from the Old Testament, bread (manna) to survive, and the New Testament that God provides Jesus Christ, the bread from heaven, to save us from our sins!

Joh 6:32-33 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

In both cases, God the Father provided that bread. Just as God provided a sacrifice for Abraham in place of Isaac! Christ submitted Himself and became like us so He could live a sinless life, die for our sins, and rise from the dead to conquer death! When we believe this Gospel, we receive the bread from heaven into our hearts and immediately we begin our eternal path to glory! Have you received this Bread from God? God’s word, through the scriptures, feeds our spirit like bread feeds our earthly bodies. Begin your day with that spiritual manna from God!



Day 12 – Bread from Heaven

Joh 6:32-33 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Joh 6:48 I am that bread of life.

Good morning! The sun is shining outside and the Son is shining inside 🙂 How wonderful that we can have a personal relationship with the One who came to earth to provide us with eternal life!

Not only does the Lord provide us with earthly bread, as everything is His, but the Bread from Heaven provides us with the bread of life: eternal life! How blessed are we?

Each time we have communion, we celebrate the Bread of Heaven with unleavened bread to remember how Christ gave His own sinless body. This sinless body was broken as He suffered the beatings, the torturous walk to Golgotha, and crucifixion. What my Saviour went through so that I may have the bread of life! Praise Him!



Day 13 – The Branch

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Today’s name for Jesus, “Branch,” brings a picture into my mind. Jeremiah 23:5 calls Him the righteous Branch. Our Heavenly Father picked Israel to be His own. He cared for them and provided for them while they wandered in the desert. He gave them the Law to abide by. When they could not, He paved the way for a “Branch” to come forth to provide for the ultimate sacrifice, once for all.

Isa 11:1-2 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: (2) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Zec 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

Christ did not come to eliminate the Law but to fulfill it, amen? Our Branch died and paid the price for all our sins! In Him we grow and spread the Good News to others.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.



Day 14 – The Shepherd and Bishop of Your Souls

Today’s title for Jesus Christ is full of personal meaning to me!!! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “shepherd” as:

A man employed in tending, feeding and guarding sheep in the pasture.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

If you stop and dwell on this definition for a few moments, you can appreciate what Christ does for each one of His children! It’s the same “job description” as a parent, amen? The ultimate Shepherd takes care of us, He tends to our needs, He feeds us and He guards us from the enemy. He is the Shepherd of our souls! He tends to our salvation; He secured that salvation through His death on the cross as payment; He feeds our soul through the scriptures; He guards our souls and provides us with a way out of temptation!

The second title for Christ in today’s verse speaks of Him as a Bishop of our soul. The word “bishop” has an interesting definition.

BISH’OP, n. [L. episcopus; Gr. of, over, and inspector, or visitor; to view, or inspect; whence, to visit; also, to view. This Greek and Latin word accompanied the introduction of Christianity into the west and north of Europe.]

An overseer; a spiritual superintendent, ruler or director; applied to Christ.

I’m interested in the Greek and Latin definitions. Notice from what the word bishop is derived? Bishop is over us; He inspects us through the Holy Spirit; He visits us through His Holy Spirit and His word; He views every part of us. Praise the Lord that once we are His, He is the Shepherd and Bishop of our soul! Amen?



Day 15 – The Blessed and Only Potentate

1Ti 6:15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Good morning, reader! I love today’s title for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! He is the blessed and only Potentate! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “potentate” as:

PO’TENTATE, n. A person who possesses great power or sway; a prince; a sovereign; an emperor, king or monarch.
Exalting him not only above earthly princes and potentates, but above the highest of the celestial hierarchy.

Our verse finishes that Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords. That leads us to believe that He is also the Potentate of potentates. Jesus is above all, amen? He is not only the highest of celestial hierarchy but of earthly hierarchy. Not only is there is no greater Potentate but:

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Amen and amen! Salvation can only come from the One and only Potentate, Jesus Christ!



Day 16 – Beloved Son

Mat 3:17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Good morning, reader! Today’s name for Jesus is quite interesting. Some religions consider Jesus to be a created being and not God at all. However, they are misinterpreting the reason why He was named this. Jesus is called the Son of God because He was conceived (through Mary) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today’s verse reveals the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the Trinity. This announced Jesus starting His ministry. Notice the similarity in:

Psa 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

All the Gospels mention this event and as you can imagine it was probably astonishing to the disciples who actually witnessed this. (Can you imagine hearing God speak from the heavens?) This event reveals to us not only the Trinity but the wonderful act of selflessness that Jesus would become human so that He could be the first of those to be “born-again.” His death, burial and resurrection are a depiction of our own death to sin, buried in baptism and resurrected as a new creation in Him!

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Amen and Amen! We are a new creation because of the Beloved Son’s work on the cross!!



Day 17 – The Beloved

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

“To the praise of the glory of his grace” – what a beautiful phrase, amen? God’s grace came from His love for His creation! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines grace as:

Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.

Christ’s love for His creation was so great that He became the “source” for our salvation. That free unmerited love and favor of God is overwhelming when one meditates on it. How can He love me???? I fail Him daily yet He loves me. That love is certainly unmerited and I don’t deserve His favor. This unmerited love and favor has made us “accepted” in The Beloved. Once we are born again, Jesus becomes our Lord and Saviour. He should be Lord of our hearts and our love for Him should reflect what He did for us, amen?



Day 18 – The Beginning of the Creation of God

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Good morning! Today we’ll be looking at what the Bible refers to in the above verse. When one reads God’s word, one cannot make a judgment based on one single verse. We must read the entire chapter, sometimes the entire book in order to learn its meaning. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself so always look for a sister verse that defines it further. In fact, we’re encouraged to study whatever we read or hear to make sure we are not being misled.

Act 17:10-12  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.  (11)  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  (12)  Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Unitarians believe that Jesus Christ is one of the creations of God, not the Second Person of the Trinity. Arians believed this as well. Jesus Christ was not created but is in fact the Creator.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

It makes sense when we read this verse and see that Jesus is the “firstborn from the dead.” He died on that cross and arose on the third day so that we can have new life in Him. He was the first born of the Church, the Chief Cornerstone through His sinless life, death, burial and resurrection.

Christ was there in the beginning; He created all things and, therefore, this gives Him the right to be Saviour of His creation. Praise the Lord for His unending mercy and His grace!



Day 19 – The Beginning and the End

Rev 21:6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

The Beginning and the End is such a beautiful title for our wonderful Saviour! There is nothing left to be said about this name because it is first and last and the beginning and end; there is nothing more. When you read a book, you read it from beginning to end and you have completed the book. Jesus Christ created all mankind and is Saviour of all mankind if we accept His work on the cross as payment for the penalty of our sin. There’s nothing more to add and nothing to take away!

Praise Him!!



Day 20 – Author of Eternal Salvation

Heb 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Good morning, dear reader! I hope you’re enjoying this devotional series. It’s a blessing to me to be able to see the Saviour of all mankind in the different titles presented. Today’s is no exception. Noah Webster defines “author” as:

AU’THOR, n. [L. auctor. The Latin word is from the root of augeo, to increase, or cause to enlarge. The primary sense is one who brings or causes to come forth.] One who produces, creates, or brings into being; as, God is the author of the Universe.

Every word in the scriptures is there for a reason. The word “author” is no exception. Is it any wonder that this word is only used three times in the bible? They all appear in the New Testament and all refer to Jesus Christ!

1 Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This Author is responsible for our eternal salvation! He paid the price with His sacrifice on the cross, ONCE for ALL (Heb. 10:10)!

Heb 10:10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Praise the Lord! Only a Perfect sacrifice could obtain our salvation. Amen? Thank You, Jesus!!



Day 21 – The Author and Finisher of Our Faith

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Good morning, reader! Just what does “Author and Finisher of our faith” mean for us? Why is this verse even in the scriptures? Author denotes the One who wrote or created the work, correct? Of course, Finisher denotes the One who ends/finishes something: like one who finishes a race. The Apostle Paul used the words “good fight” twice in the scriptures:

1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Tim 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

When one puts together these two titles for Jesus, we see that He is the One who “authored” what exactly one needs to be saved. In the Old Testament, Israel had to offer sacrifices for their sins. These offerings would never wash away their sins. The Author of salvation knew that He would have to come to earth to form a new testament: a testament that would be complete. The price for sin would be paid in full, amen?

Heb 10:9-12 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

The Author of our faith is also the Finisher in verse 12. Christ’s sacrifice for sins is FOR EVER. You can’t get more complete than that! \o/ Thank You, Jesus!



Day 22 – Arm of the Lord

Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

John12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

Good morning, dear reader! I’m praying that Christ reigns in your heart. I absolutely love this name of Jesus! Our salvation comes from One who cares and loves us. He reaches for us with compassion, knowing what we are going through. How do I know this? Firstly, I know from experience during my husband’s illness. I felt as though Christ Himself reached out to grab me in my despair and how His love shined through. Secondly, I know this because of the scriptures.

Mat 14:30-31 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and he asked Jesus if he could join him there. However, when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked around at the storm around him, he began to sink. But notice in verse 31: immediately Jesus, the Arm of the Lord, stretched forth and caught Peter.

Jesus’ words are piercing in that same verse. “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, our faith increases. That increased faith can only come by tribulation – how else can one learn to trust? Peter’s faith was new so we cannot be so quick to judge his lack of faith. Amen? But for those of us who have been saved for a while, our faith should be strong enough to endure the tribulations that come our way. If our trust in the Lord is little, that means our faith is little. Growing that faith will help you in tough times!



Day 23 – The Apostle and High Priest

Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Good morning, dear reader! It seems that time goes faster the older we get, amen? Since our time is so short, it is even more important that we be proclaimers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let others know about His saving power, amen? Today’s names of Jesus are two-fold and are packed with blessings!

The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews in the first century and it is still blessing Christians to this day! The word Apostle means “to send away.” How appropriate is that word? In order to spread the Gospel, the twelve Apostles had to go out to preach. They could not remain in their home town or else only those people would hear. This very definition gives the command to “go ye therefore.”

Joh 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

In order for the Gospel to spread, the Apostles had to move. Christianity cannot be stagnant. It can’t help but move and spread, amen?

The second half of today’s names is High Priest! That name only appears capitalized once in the scriptures and that is in today’s verse. Christ’s name, in this case, tells us that He is the One and Only High Priest – the ultimate High Priest!

Heb 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The Jews’ high priest could not qualify to remove sins. Their sacrifices could not redeem mankind. But the Perfect High Priest, Jesus Christ, shed His own blood so we could have eternal redemption through Him! Praise the Lord!!! \o/ How appropriate are these two names, amen?



Day 24 – Anointed

Photography by Bob Sabo

Psa 2:2-3 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, (3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Good morning, reader! It’s a beautiful day when one has the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour! Amen? It can be raining outside, but the Son is shining on the inside! Today’s name of Jesus is especially a blessing because it is one of the titles that reveals Christ’s loving sacrifice to save us from our sin. The word anointed, according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, is defined as:

ANOINT’ED, n. The Messiah, or Son of God, consecrated to the great office of Redeemer; called the Lord’s anointed.

We will cover the Redeemer title later in this blog but for the moment, let’s discuss “Anointed.” God knew that mankind could not possibly gain entrance into Heaven on its own. God created man in His likeness and does not want that we should suffer eternal punishment because of our sin. It is CHOICE that determines our eternal destiny, amen? We CHOOSE to either follow after Christ or to remain in our sinful ways.

Christ CHOSE to leave His Heavenly throne, put on flesh and live a sinless life. He was set apart for this very task. He was anointed to die on the cross so that His blood would be the one and only sacrifice that would be accepted by God. Man’s sacrifices (an animal’s blood or man’s works) cannot provide redemption. Only the blood of the Anointed One will do.

Praise the Lord for this attribute! It helps us to understand Christ’s nature, His willingness to die for us and His ability to save us from our sins!



Day 25 – The Angel of the Lord

Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

The (or an) angel of the LORD (in Hebrew malakh YHWH “messenger of Yahweh”) is an entity appearing repeatedly in the Old Testament on behalf of the God of Israel. Another expression, Angel of the Presence, occurs only once (Isaiah 63:9).

Isa 63:7-9 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. (8) For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. (9) In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

What a beautiful depiction of Christ, amen? The angel of the LORD is known as a “Christophany.” A Christophany is an appearance or an incident where Christ appears as something else. For example, Christ appeared here as the burning bush; He appeared to Paul as a bright light; Jacob wrestled with “a man” in Genesis 32. There are countless appearances made by the angel of the LORD (all in capital letters). There are 1,086 occurrences in the King James Bible of the LORD, all in the Old Testament. LORD, in Hebrew, refers to Yahweh. The fact that Yahweh revealed Himself in various manifestations in the Old Testament shows that the Trinity is present. Jesus Christ is the Angel of the LORD (messenger of Yahweh), the mouthpiece, if you will.

Since the New Testament was written in Greek, we no longer see the word LORD spelled this way. Instead, we have the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ. Christophanies are no longer needed because they had God in the flesh! Praise the Lord for our angel of the LORD, our Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!



Day 26 – The Amen

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

To me, the phrase “the Amen” shows a finality. We say “Amen” at the end of praying. We also say amen when we agree with what is being said. Noah Webster defines this word as:

AMEN’. This word, with slight differences or orthography, is in all the dialects of the Assyrian stock. As a verb, it signifies to confirm, establish, verify; to trust, or give confidence; as a noun, truth, firmness, trust, confidence; as an adjective, firm, stable. In English, after the oriental manner, it is used at the beginning, but more generally at the end of declarations and prayers, in the sense of, be it firm, be it established.
And let all the people say amen. Psa 104.
The word is used also as a noun.
“All the promises of God are amen in Christ;” that is, firmness, stability, constancy.

Jesus Christ has the last word when it comes to salvation. Salvation is only through faith in Him and His complete work on the cross. That work saves all those who believe in Him from eternal punishment for our sins. Christ died for those sins and paid the ultimate price because we could not do so on our own. There’s no way a person can live a sinless life, amen? Therefore, Christ’s sacrifice is complete. He said “It is finished” (John 19:30). That was it. His sacrifice and payment for our sins is the great Amen! Our salvation is established – it is firm – it is stable and it is constant! Praise the Lord and Amen!



Day 27 – Alpha and Omega

Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Rev 21:6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Good morning, reader! It’s another wonderful name to be studying today! Jesus Christ is known as the Alpha and Omega in Revelation. Why would the Lord select this particular phrase to describe Himself? One has to ask, right? God has a reason for every single jot and tittle (Matt. 5:18) that He put in the scriptures so we must dig a little deeper in order to understand.

First let’s look at the verses that describe Him as Alpha and Omega. Re-read today’s scriptures above. It’s interesting to note that the Book of Revelation begins with Alpha and Omega in the first chapter and ends with Alpha and Omega in the last chapter. It’s, therefore, extremely significant.

God describes Himself as much in Isaiah 41:4. He makes it clear that He has been there through all eternity, amen?

Isa 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

We know from Genesis chapter 1 that God is eternal and He created all things, including time and its history and future. He was there before, during as well as what is to come. In my opinion, I believe God doesn’t see time as you and I see it. We have a very finite view in light of our own existence. But God is infinite and, therefore, He sees not only the present but the past and the future. Because of this, God views time differently than we do.

2 Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

So with God being eternal, He can easily fulfill Revelation 1:8, amen?

Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty..

It’s comforting to know that because Jesus Christ is in the past, present and future, He will guide us toward what is best for us. Praise the Lord for our Alpha and Omega!



Day 28 – The Almighty

Rev 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Good morning, reader! I pray that this study has been a blessing to you! I know it has been to me thus far. I love studying the names of Jesus because it reveals His character to us. So many titles have been attributed to Him in the scriptures so God must have a reason for this, amen?

Today’s name is quite interesting. It shows us that although Christ is known as the second person of the Trinity, He is considered Almighty God. This is not taken lightly. It is because of this that the Jews in Christ’s day were so upset at Jesus revealing that He was God. Jews believe there is only one God.

There are 44 occurrences in the King James Bible of the words “the Almighty.” Forty three of these occurrences are in the Old Testament. Only once is it found in the New Testament and it is in today’s verse. Isn’t that interesting? Christ is God and we are taught this in the New Testament in many verses. The verses below bless me so much because it depicts the Almighty God, Jesus Christ, taking on flesh in order to redeem us! What a great God we serve! Amen?

Php 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

1 Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Joh 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. (57) Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? (58) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Lastly, today’s verse is the “sister verse” to Isaiah 44:6, which states that God, Jesus Christ the Almighty, is the first and the last. What more proof do we need? Praise the Lord! \o/

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.



Day 29 – Apostle and High Priest

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Heb 7:14-28 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Amen and Amen! The Chief Apostle, Jesus Christ, left His word and Holy Spirit with us so that we can be guided by the truth! He is also known as our High Priest. This is the only time in the King James Bible that the words High Priest are capitalized. The earthly high priests of the Jewish faith had to sacrifice daily, not only for their own sins but for those of the people’s. Our High Priest was the perfect Sacrifice for all mankind. He didn’t need to offer a sacrifice for His own sins because He is God and led a sinless earthly life. Therefore, His sacrifice was perfect for all and covers all sin. Because of this, His sacrifice was offered once, for everyone. There is no longer a need for daily sacrifice.

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We are sanctified through this sacrifice, once for all! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “sanctified” as:

SANC’TIFIED, pp.

Made holy; consecrated; set apart for sacred services.

Affectedly holy.

Believers in Jesus Christ as Saviour of all mankind are made holy; we are consecrated; we are set apart for sacred services; we are affectedly holy! Not because of our own efforts but totally by Christ’s effort! Praise the Lord!!



Day 30 – Advocate

1 Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

As we begin this new devotional series, The Names of Jesus, I pray that you will be blessed and that excitement will fill your heart! How can we not be blessed, amen!? Each name given to Christ will give us insight to Who He is and what He represents. It will show us His character and hopefully, we will learn more about Him! So let’s begin, shall we?

Noah Webster defines “advocate” as:

Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law.

This word is only used once in the King James Bible and it refers to Jesus Christ! Notice that today’s verse calls Him, “Jesus Christ the righteous”! Only someone who has never sinned can be our attorney and represent us to the Father? Why? We are justified through Him, we are made free from the penalty of sin, through Jesus Christ.

Rom 3:20-24 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Therefore, when we sin, Satan can no longer accuse us before the Father. And if he does, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is there to represent us. He is able to tell the Father that His (Christ) own blood was shed for our sins and because we are born again in Him, our sin is no longer our debt to pay. Christ has paid that debt for us! Amen and amen!




Mini-Manna for Little Lambs

When John and I were raising our sons, we discovered that there weren’t any devotionals that we could use for little ones. There were Keys for Kids, but they were for ages over 5 or so. A friend of ours just had his second daughter and asked me if I knew of any devotionals for young children. I researched quite a bit and never did find anything he could use. That’s when the Lord impressed upon my heart to start the “Mini-Manna for Little Lambs” series in 2007.

I began working on this series of devotionals that parents could use with their “little lambs” up through toddler years a year or so ago. I have only 27 days but if you have any ideas for topics you would like to teach your baby/toddler, please leave a comment and I will be sure to write a devotional on that topic for your use!



Day 1 – Sharing

Coloring/Teaching

Have children color the picture of the five loaves of bread and two fishes. When they are finished, count them together – 1-2-3-4-5 loaves of bread, 1-2 fishes! Now sing this little song. Have the children stand up so they can wiggle out their energy. Use your hands and hold up five fingers (for bread) and two fingers (for fish) as you sing. Hug yourself when you are singing the last verse to show that Jesus cares. Clap your hands as you sing, too.

Sharing Song
(Sing to Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Jesus took five loaves of bread
Loaves of bread
Loaves of bread
Jesus took five loaves of bread
And made so many more

He also had two little fish
Little fish
Little fish
He also had two little fish
And made so many more

The people were in Jesus’ care
Jesus’ care
Jesus’ care
The people were in Jesus’ care
And they all learned to share

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what Jesus has to say about sharing.

(Matt 14:17-19) And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. (17) He said, Bring them hither to me. (18) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (19)

Story on Sharing

Jesus was preaching to 5,000 men plus women and children on a beautiful summer day. That is a lot of people (spread your arms out to show a lot)! That’s even more than at our church!

The sun was shining and it was so hot (wipe your forehead). The people were getting very hot and very hungry (rub tummy). Jesus knew that if He told them to go home, they would get sick because they were so hungry (rub tummy again). He loved them so much and He did not want to see them get sick (hug yourself).

So Jesus asked His disciples if they had any food to share with all these people. The disciples had five loaves of bread and two fishes (count the bread and fish in the picture). They knew there was not enough food to feed all those people (open your arms wide).

The disciples wanted to share their food so they gave all that they had to Jesus. Jesus took this food and made a miracle! A miracle is when God does something that we cannot do. Jesus is God so a miracle was very easy for Him to do. He turned those five loaves of bread and two fishes (point to picture) into enough food to feed all those people (open arms wide)!

Isn’t Jesus wonderful (sound excited and clap your hands)? There were even some left over to fill twelve whole baskets (clap your hands again)!

The Bible says it is good to share your food with each other. Do you think that means it’s good for you to share your toys, too? Yes (nod your head and sound excited)! Sharing your toys with each other is exactly what Jesus wants you to do! Thank You Jesus for teaching us in the Bible how good it is to share!

Dear God…
Thank you for teaching us how to share.
Help us to share our toys and our food with each other.
In Jesus’ Name we pray!
Amen!



Day 2 – Being Kind

And be ye kind one to another (Eph 4:32a)

Coloring/Teaching

Have children color the picture of the two little girls. Give the little girls names, if you have two daughters, use their names. As they are coloring, show them that they are sharing the flower together. See how kind Suzie is? She is letting Mary smell her flower. Suzie knows that the Bible says to “be ye kind one to another”! Good job, Suzie! (Clap your hands and shout hooray!!)

Kindness Song
(Sing to the tune of Three Blind Mice)

Be ye kind
Be ye kind
That’s what the Word
Says we must do
We must be kind to each other now
So God can be pleased with each one of us
Be ye kind
Be ye kind

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about being kind to each other.

Read Romans 12:10: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

God wants us to be kind to each other (hug yourself). Being kind means that we do not hit each other or yell at each other when we’re angry (frown as you’re saying this and shake your finger No). When your sister or brother takes your toy away from you, do you yell at her? Be ye kind one to another, Eph. 4:32. The Bible says that God wants you to be kind to your sister or brother. Is God happy when you make your little sister or brother cry? No (shake your head No and make a sad face)! God is very sad when you are not kind. Are you being kind when you spank your little sister or brother? (Spank your hand and make a sad face.) Nooooo, God is very sad when you spank your little sister or brother (shake your head No and make a sad face again). Be ye kind one to another, Eph. 4:32. God is very happy when you give a hug to your sister or brother because that is being kind! (Hug yourself and smile big and nod your head Yes!) God is very happy when you share with your sister or brother! Sharing is being kind! Be ye kind one to another, Eph. 4:32. Was Jesus kind? Yes, Jesus was very kind (nod your head Yes and smile). Jesus made sick people feel better. Do you remember when you had your bad cold? Jesus made you feel better. Thank You, Jesus, for helping Suzie to feel better (smile big and clap your hands)!!

Teaching Throughout the Day

As you see acts of kindness throughout the day, compliment your child and tell her/him what they did right. Suzie, sharing your toy with Mary was so kind! Mommy is so proud of you. Reinforce their good behavior. When Suzie spanks Mary, pull Suzie aside and ask her if she was being kind to her sister. Let her answer you. If she is too young to do this, then answer for her. Say, “No, Suzie, spanking Mary was not being kind at all (shaking your head No). The Bible says to: Be ye kind one to another. Eph. 4:32. Now go give Mary a nice hug and show her how good you are at being kind!”

Dear God…
Thank you for teaching us how to be kind to each other.
Help us to say nice words and to play nice with each other.
In Jesus’ Name we pray!
Amen!



Day 3 – To Obey

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Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:1)

Coloring/Teaching

Mary and Suzie, let’s color the letter “O”. “O” is the letter at the beginning of the word obey. Our Bible verse today has the word obey in it. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Eph. 6:1. To obey means that you do what Mommy and Daddy ask you to do right away. Discuss ways Mary and Suzie can obey you as they color the letter “O”. Example: Mary obeys Mommy when she puts her toys away when Mommy asks her. Yeh Mary!! (Clap your hands and smile!)

Obedience Song
(from Patch the Pirate)
(Clap while you’re singing this with them)

Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe:
Doing exactly what the Lord commands,
Doing it happily!
Action is the key, do it immediately.
Joy you will receive!
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

And you spell it O B E D I E N C E (yes, Sir!)
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about obeying Mommy and Daddy.

Scripture: Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:1)

Story

Mommy was busy changing Matthew’s diaper. Mommy said, “Mary, would you please get Mommy the baby powder over there?”

Mary heard what Mommy asked but she was busy playing with her doll and she really did not want to stop. Mommy had to ask Mary again. Mary finally got up and went to get the baby powder for Mommy. But Mommy had to ask Mary two times. (Hold up two fingers and make a sad face.) After Mommy was finished changing Matthew’s diaper, she took Mary by the hand and sat her down. Mommy said, “Mary, you did not obey Mommy right away. The Bible says that you should obey me because God says it is right. God says that Mommy has to punish you because you did not obey right away. So because you did not obey me right away, Mommy will have to (fill in the form of discipline you use in your home).”

Did Mary obey right away? No, Mary did not obey Mommy right away, did she? (shake head no and frown). The Bible says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Eph 6:1) Have them repeat this verse two or three times. Does God say in the Bible to obey your Mommy and Daddy? (Shake head yes, and smile!) Yes. God is happy when children obey right away. (clap your hands and make your voice perky when you say it) Our verse today says that it is right for you to obey your Mommy and Daddy. If you disobey Mommy and Daddy, will you be punished? (Nod your head yes.) Yes, Mommy and Daddy have to obey God, too. If you do not obey, then Mommy and Daddy have to punish you because God said so. Mommy and Daddy obey God right away. (Nod your head yes and smile.) What will happen if you do not obey right away? (Have them tell you what will happen – the form of punishment you use at home – this helps them to understand the consequences of disobedience.)

Teaching Throughout the Day

As you ask your children to do chores and tasks today, remind them of their Bible verse. If they do not obey right away, sing the Obedience Song to remind them. If they still do not respond, take them by the hand and recite the verse as you walk them to the task you’ve asked them to do. Toddlers who have already learned to obey will need to be disciplined if they disobey. Those who are just learning should be shown. You know when your child is deliberately disobeying. If they throw a tantrum, make sure to recite the verse and explain to them that is why you are disciplining them. Have them repeat the verse back to you. Tell them that you want to be obedient to God, too.

Dear God…
Help me to obey Mommy and Daddy right away.
Amen.



Day 4 – Being Gentle

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Bible Verse

but be gentle unto all men,(2 Tim 2:24b)

Coloring/Teaching

Here’s a picture of Bobby and Mary (point to each of them and smile). Mary has some eggs in a basket and she is showing Bobby. Do you see the eggs? (Point to eggs and smile and nod your head yes) Let’s count how many eggs there are – 1-2-3-4, there are four eggs in Mary’s box. But there’s one more egg in Mary’s hand!

The Gentle Song
(Sing to The Farmer in the Dell tune)

Oh gentle I will be
Oh gentle I will be
No hitting and no pushing but
Oh gentle I will be

I won’t push you down
I won’t push you down
I’ll hold your hand and walk with you
I won’t push you down

God’s Word says I should
God’s Word says I should
I will obey the Word of God
God’s Word says I should

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about being gentle.

Scripture: but be gentle unto all men,(2 Tim 2:24b)

Story

Mary and Bobby were playing with their Legos. Each time Bobby finished building something, Mary knocked down his Legos. This made Bobby very sad and he wanted to cry. (Make a sad face like you’re crying.) Mommy told Mary that she was not being nice. Mommy said that Mary had to be gentle and sweet. (rub your child’s arm softly when you say the word gentle.) Mommy said, “Mary, tell Bobby you are sorry for knocking down his Legos.” Mary obeyed right away and said she was sorry.

Later, Mary and Bobby decided that they wanted to play on the swing set. Bobby pushed Mary really hard while she was swinging. (Make a frown on your face to show this was wrong and shake your index finger back and forth). Mary fell down and started crying. (make a crying face again.) Mommy told Bobby that he needed to be gentle when he was pushing (rub child’s arm softly). Mommy said, “Bobby, give Mary a nice gentle hug like this and tell her you are sorry.” (Hug child and show the difference between a gentle hug and a “hard” hug.) Bobby was sad that he made Mary cry. Bobby gave Mary a nice gentle hug just like Mommy showed him.

Teaching Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, show your children the difference between gentle touches and rough touches, gentle hugs and hard hugs, gentle playing and rough playing. Teach them to be sweet and gentle when they play with their brothers and sisters. Teach them to be especially gentle to babies. A good lesson is to take hard boiled eggs (do not take the shell off). Have each child gently cup an egg in both their hands so they can’t see the egg any more (or close to it, depending on the size of their hands). Have them walk around the back yard while they are holding their egg. Then have them skip while they are holding their egg. Have the older toddlers run while they are holding their egg. If they are gentle, the egg shell won’t break, but if they are “rough” they will crack it. Explain to them that when they are gentle with their brothers and sisters, they won’t hurt them. But if they are rough with their brothers and sisters, they will hurt them.

Dear God…
Help me to play nice and be gentle and sweet.
I do not want to hurt anyone.
Amen!



Day 5 – Telling the Truth

Bible Verse

Lie not one to another(Col 3:9a)

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of Bobby today (point to Bobby and smile). What is Bobby doing? Yes, Bobby is praying (clap your hands, smile and say the word praying enthusiastically)! Who is Bobby praying to? Bobby is praying to God. Good job, Bobby!! (Clap your hands and smile and say yeh!)

Never Tell a Lie
(Sing to Mary Had a Little Lamb)

I must never tell a lie
Tell a lie
Tell a lie
I must never tell a lie
The Bible says it’s sin

I must always tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
I must always tell the truth
For God I must obey

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about lying.

Lie not one to another(Col 3:9a)

Story

Mommy asked Bobby to pick up his toys in his bedroom. Bobby did not obey Mommy (shake head no and make a sad face). Instead of picking up his toys, Bobby sat down and read his book. Mommy saw Bobby reading his book and she asked him, “Bobby, did you pick up your toys like I asked you to?” Bobby said, “Yes”! (Make a sad face.) Bobby told a lie, didn’t he? He did not pick up his toys at all (shake your head No and make a sad face). Mommy saw his toys on the floor and she knew that Bobby had told her a lie. This made Mommy very, very sad (make a sad face). Mommy had to punish Bobby because he told her a lie and the Bible says that lying is a sin. Mommy made Bobby pick up all his toys and then all of his sister’s toys, too. Then Mommy had Bobby kneel down and pray and ask God to forgive him for telling a lie. Bobby was so sad that he had lied to his Mommy. Later, Bobby went to see Mommy in the kitchen and said, “Mommy, I’m sorry that I told you a lie!” Mommy smiled and gave Bobby a big hug! (clap your hands and smile)

The Bible says it is a sin to tell a lie. Lie not one to another(Col 3:9a) Because Bobby told a lie, his Mommy had to obey God and punish him. Why did Mommy have to punish Bobby? Mommy did not want Bobby to lie again so she punished him. That is why Mommy punishes you when you are bad.

Teaching Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, make sure to listen closely to what your children are saying so you can hear right away if they lie. Use each opportunity to deal with this sin. Repeat the Bible verse several times so they can commit it to memory.

Dear God…
I know that telling a lie is a sin.
Help me to always tell the truth.
Amen



Day 5 – Mealtime Manners

boy eating dinner

Bible Verse

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: (Luk 22:17)

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of Bobby today (point to Bobby and smile). Bobby is eating his lunch! Bobby has one hand on his lap and the other hand is used for eating! This is called “good manners.” Good job, Bobby!! (smile and clap your hands). Do you see Bobby’s glass of milk? (point to the glass) What happens when Bobby drinks his milk and it’s almost empty? (Show them what it sounds like to slurp.) It is not good manners to make noise when we eat. Is it good manners for Bobby to make noises while he sips? (shake your head No and frown) No, it’s not good manners at all! Bobby is smiling because he has used all his good manners at lunch today! Yeh, Bobby (clap your hands and smile)!

Table Manners
Author Unknown
(Sung to: “Frere Jacques”)

Chewing quietly, chewing quietly
Do not slurp, do not slurp,
We must say excuse me,
We must say excuse me
When we burp,
When we burp.

Oh, Before I Eat My Meals
Author Unknown
(Sung to: “If You’re Happy and You Know it”)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands,
(scrub, scrub)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands,
(scrub, scrub)
Oh, it’s very smart I think,
Sends those germs right down the sink.
Oh, before I eat my meals, I wash my hands.
(scrub, scrub)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place,
(set, set)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place,
(set, set)
I set everything I need,
I feel very proud, indeed.
Oh, before I eat my meals, I set my place.
(set, set)

Oh, before I eat my meals, I say my prayers,
(bow your head)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I say my prayers,
(bow your head)
‘Asking God to bless my food
Before I eat is always good
Oh, before I eat my meals, I say my prayers.

Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food,
(pass the plate)
Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food,
(pass the plate)
‘Cause we know it’s only fair
For us all to have our share
Oh, before I eat my meals, I pass the food.

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about lying.

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: (Luk 22:17)

Story

Bobby and Mary washed their hands and came running to the table to eat lunch. Bobby remembered the lesson on manners Mommy had taught them this morning at the breakfast table. Bobby wanted to surprise Mommy and do all the things she taught. Bobby and Mary sat down and bowed their heads and prayed. They thanked God for their food.

Bobby helped Mary open her straw and put it in her juice box. That was very nice of Bobby to help his sister, wasn’t it (shake head Yes, smile and clap your hands)? Bobby put potato chips in Mary’s plate and then he put some in his plate. Mommy saw that Bobby had done just what Jesus had done. He gave food to his sister before he helped himself. Good job, Bobby!, Mommy said. (smile and clap your hands)

Bobby took a bite out of his peanut butter sandwich and chewed with his mouth closed. He did not make loud noises while he was chewing. (shake head No and frown) Mommy saw how good Bobby’s manners were, so she said, “Bobby, your manners are very good! I am so proud of you!” (smile and clap your hands)

Mommy asked Bobby if he wanted more potato chips. Bobby said, “Yes, please!” When Mommy put more potato chips in Bobby’s plate, Bobby said, “Thank you, Mommy!” Good job Bobby! (smile and clap your hands)

After Bobby and Mary were finished eating, Bobby asked Mommy, “May I be excused from the table, please?” (smile while you’re saying this) Mommy excused Bobby from the table. Bobby helped pick up his dirty dishes and put his empty juice box and napkin into the trash can. Good job, Bobby! (smile and clap your hands)

Teaching Throughout the Day

Have a pretend meal to teach your children what manners are expected at the table.
1. Pray before eating
2. Serve others before yourself
3. Say please when asking for something
4. Say thank you when given something
5. Chew with your mouth closed
6. Don’t make noises when you eat
7. Ask to be excused from the table
8. Thank Mom for the good meal
9. Pick up your place setting

Take this time to teach your children that good manners show others how much we love God because we are following Jesus’ example. Jesus prayed over His food and passed it around to others. When we follow His example, we are showing others that we are like Him.

Dear God…
Help me to have good manners so people will see that I love You.
Amen!



Day 7 – Staying in Bed

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Bible Verse

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20)

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of Mary as she kneels down to pray. Mary is praying because she is asking God to forgive her. We’ll find out why Mary needed forgiveness when we read our story.

Song Time

Obedience Song
(From Patch the Pirate)

Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe:
Doing exactly what the Lord commands,
Doing it happily!
Action is the key, do it immediately.
Joy you will receive!
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

And you spell it O B E D I E N C E (yes, Sir!)
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about staying in bed when Mommy tells you to.

Children, obey your parents in all thingsfor this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20)

Story Time

Mommy said, “Come Mary, it’s time to get ready for bed.”

Mary did not want to go to bed. (shake your head No and make a sad face) She continued to play with her toys pretending she did not hear Mommy. (shake your index finger in the No motion) Mommy always told her to obey right away like the Obedience song. But Mary did not want to go to bed right now. Mary knew if she did not obey, she would be punished. So she changed her mind and went to put her PJ’s on.

Mommy was happy when Mary obeyed. “Thank you, Mary, for obeying Mommy!” (smile and clap your hands)

“Good night, Mary,” said Mommy. I love you! (say this in a sing songy voice)

Mommy turned out the light and left Mary’s room. As soon as Mommy left, Mary got out of bed to go get a toy and sat down on the floor to play. She knew she was disobeying Mommy but she was not sleepy. (raise your arms up in the “I don’t know” manner and raise your eyebrows) The door to Mary’s room opened and there was Daddy! Mary jumped up and ran to her bed.

Daddy said, “Mary, are you suppose to be out of bed?” Mary shook her head No. (shake your head No and make a sad face)

“When you get out of bed when you know you are not suppose to, what have you done?” Daddy asked.

“I disobeyed.” replied Mary.

“Yes, you did disobey.” said Daddy. “I will have to punish you now. So tomorrow night, you will go to be half an hour earlier because you got out of bed.” said Daddy. “Now, Mary, you need to ask God to forgive you for disobeying Mommy and Daddy. Also, you will have to ask Mommy and I for forgiveness, too, since you disobeyed us.”

Mary got on her knees right away and prayed. “Dear God, I’m so sorry I disobeyed Mommy and Daddy. Please forgive me. I will try very hard not to disobey them again. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen”

Mary got up and climbed up in Daddy’s lap. “Daddy, I’m sorry I did not obey. I will try to always obey from now on”! “Good girl!” said Daddy! (clap your hands and smile)

Teaching Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, recite this verse with the children. Especially stress that they are to obey you in ALL things. That means staying in bed once they go to bed. Review the story with them – was it wrong for Mary to get out of bed? Yes, it was sin because she did not obey her Mommy. Did Mary do right when she prayed? Yes, we need to pray and ask God to forgive us when we sin.

Dear God…
Help me to obey Mommy and Daddy in all things.
Help me to remember to stay in bed and not get up.
Amen!



Day 9 – Biting

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Be ye kind one to another. Eph. 4:32a

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of Bobby and Mary. See how they are smiling? Look at their teeth as they smile! Are teeth used for chewing? (nod Yes and smile) Yes, teeth are used for chewing our food.

The Biting Song
(sung to Bah Bah Black Sheep)

Biting someone isn’t very nice
God says everyone be kind
Never bite just to get our way
We must be nice every day
Biting someone isn’t very nice
God says everyone be kind

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about biting someone.

Be ye kind one to another. (Eph 4:32a)

Story

Mary and her little brother, Bobby, were playing with their toys. When Bobby grabbed Mary’s stuffed animal, Mary got very angry and bit Bobby on the arm. Bobby began to cry because it hurt very much. Mommy came from the kitchen and saw Mary’s teeth marks on Bobby’s arm. “Mary!” said Mommy. “That was a very bad thing to do! God’s Word says to ‘be ye kind one to another.’ Is biting being kind?” Mary started feeling very sad for biting Bobby. Mary said, “No, Mommy, biting Bobby was not being kind.”

Mommy said, “Mary, please ask Bobby to forgive you for biting him.” Mary said, “Bobby, I’m sorry I bit you. Please forgive me.” Bobby stopped crying and smiled. Then Bobby gave Mary a big hug. (smile and hug yourself) Good job, Mary, for asking for forgiveness!

Teaching Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, talk about what we use our teeth for. For example, at lunch time, bite into a carrot making a loud crunch and say, “God gave us teeth so that we could bite into a carrot! Thank You, God, for giving us teeth!” Quote Eph. 4:32a and have your child(ren) repeat it. Explain to them that biting is not being kind. If your child continues to bite, then it becomes an act of disobedience and discipline may be in order.

Dear God…
Help me to be kind to everyone. I know it is very bad for me to bite. I pray that I won’t bite any more.
Amen!



Day 8 – Review

Review

Let’s review what we have learned so far, OK? Do you remember what we learned Monday and Tuesday? (wait to see if they will answer – if they answer correctly, clap your hands and say, “Yeh! That’s right! Good job!) We learned about table manners and staying in bed, didn’t we?

Do you remember our Bible verses? Let’s go over them together:

Bible Verses

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: (Luk 22:17)

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20)

Jesus prayed for His food and then passed it along to His friends, didn’t He? (nod head Yes and smile) That is a good table manner. What are some another good table manners? (look for the answers: please, thank you, may I be excused?, helping to pick up dirty dishes) Do you think Jesus would be happy or sad if you left your dirty plate on the table for Mommy to pick up? Yes, Jesus would be sad (nod head Yes and make a sad face.) Why? (wait for answers and clap enthusiastically when they get a right answer) Because the Bible says to obey your Mommy and Daddy, right? When Mommy teaches you to do something and you do it, you are obeying (clap hands). Table manners are very important. Let’s sing the Table Manners song!

Table Manners
Author Unknown
(Sung to: “Frere Jacques”)

Chewing quietly, chewing quietly
Do not slurp, do not slurp,
We must say excuse me,
We must say excuse me
When we burp,
When we burp.

What did we talk about yesterday? Do you remember? Yes, good job! We talked about staying in bed, didn’t we? Is it OK for you to get out of bed after Mommy puts you to bed? (wait and let them answer – if they get it right, clap your hands excitedly) No, it’s not OK (shake head no and frown). Mommy and Daddy say that the bed time rule is to stay in bed. You should never get out of bed to get toys or to play (shake your index finger No). That would be disobeying Mommy and Daddy, wouldn’t it? Yes, it would (nod Yes and make a sad face). When you disobey, you are sinning. But when you stay in bed and obey, that is doing what is right and that makes God happy! It makes Mommy and Daddy happy, too! (clap your hands and smile)

Let’s sing the Obedience Song together!

Obedience Song
(From Patch the Pirate)

Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe:
Doing exactly what the Lord commands,
Doing it happily!
Action is the key, do it immediately.
Joy you will receive!
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

And you spell it O B E D I E N C E (yes, Sir!)
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe!

Good job!! I’m so glad that you remember what we learned! You are doing such a great job! Mommy and Daddy are very proud of you! (clap your hands)

Dear God…
Help me to always obey Mommy and Daddy.
When I obey, that means I will stay in bed and always use my table manners.
Amen!



Day 10 – Helping

Alphabet # H Coloring Pages coloring page & book for kids.

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of the hat. See the letter h? H sounds like (sound out h). Another word that has the letter h is “help”! Let’s use the word help in a sentence. I help Mommy to fold laundry.

The Helping Song
(sung to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

I help Mommy I must say
To pick up toys and make my bed
Folding towels and socks too
Washing dishes, forks and spoons
I help Mommy I must say
Obeying Jesus every day

Bible Time

Let’s open the Bible and learn what God says about helping.

And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them:(Psa 37:40a)

Story

Bobby likes to help Mommy. Mommy makes helping fun! (smile and nod your head yes) Mommy puts Bobby’s favorite Children’s Songs CD and they listen to music while they do the dishes. Sometimes Mommy makes folding laundry fun, too! Mommy gives Bobby all the socks and Bobby has to match them before his favorite song finishes. When Bobby finishes in time, Mommy gives Bobby some gummy bears!

Bobby likes to help Daddy in the garage, too. Daddy gives him a rag and Bobby cleans Daddy’s tools. “Bobby is a big boy! Good job, Bobby! Thank you for helping me!” says Daddy. “Would you help me rake the leaves, please?” asked Daddy. Bobby knew that if he helped Daddy, it would make Daddy very happy. “OK, Daddy, I will help you!” said Bobby. Good job, Bobby! (clap hands and smile)

Teaching Throughout the Day

Throughout the day, each time your child helps, clap your hands and tell them thank you! Remind them that when they are helping they are not only being a helper but they are being kind and they are doing the same thing God does. Repeat the memory verse to show them that they are being a helper just like God helps us.

Dear God…
I like helping Mommy and Daddy.
Please show me how I can help them more.
Amen!



Day 12 – Mind Your Business

awesome Sweet Child Boy Coloring Page | Coloring pages for ...

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of Joey. Joey seems happy, doesn’t he? (Nod your head Yes and smile) I think Joey is happy because he made his Mommy happy. Mommy is teaching Joey to mind his own business and Joey did a great job today! Mommy gave Joey a red ribbon because he learned so quickly! Yeah, Joey! (smile and clap your hands)

Mind Your Business Song
(sung to London Bridge)

Mind your business everyone
Everyone
Everyone
Mind your business everyone
God’s Word says so

If it does not concern me
Concern me
Concern me
If it does not concern me
I won’t listen

Bible Time

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (1 Thess 4:11)

Story

Joey and Amy were playing with their toys on the floor. Mommy was in the kitchen scolding Billy for being naughty. Joey wanted to hear what Mommy was saying so he went to the kitchen. Mommy said, “Joey, this does not concern you. It is none of your business so please go and play with Amy.” Joey obeyed Mommy right away (smile and clap your hands) and went to play with Amy.

After lunch, Amy got up from the table but did not put her dirty dishes on the counter. Mommy said, “Amy, please go back and pick up your dirty dishes.” Joey said, “But Mommy, Amy just forgot.” Mommy said, “Joey, this is none of your business. I was speaking to Amy, not to you. So please go play now.”

When it was time for bed, Mommy was helping Joey put his pajamas on. Mommy said, “Joey, Mommy wants you to learn when it is OK for you to speak and when it is not OK for you to speak. When I was scolding Billy this morning, it had nothing to do with you. The Bible says to do your own business. Was Billy’s scolding your own business? (shake your No and frown) No, it wasn’t your business, was it?” Joey said, “No, Mommy.”

“And Joey,” asked Mommy, “when I asked Amy to pick up her dirty dishes at lunch time and you told me she forgot – was that doing your own business?” Joey said, “No, Mommy, it wasn’t.” Good, Joey! (smiled and nod your head Yes) I am glad you understand what God says is not your business. When Mommy and Daddy talk to you or ask you to do something, would that be your business?” asked Mommy. Joey said, “Yes ma’am, that would be my business.”

Good job, Joey! Joey learned how to mind his own business today! (smile and clap your hands)

Dear God…
Help me to mind my own business. I want to obey the Bible and my Mommy and Daddy.
Amen!



Day 13 – Good Attitudes

Ruth And Naomi Coloring Pages - Kidsuki

Coloring/Teaching
Let’s color a picture of Ruth. Ruth left her home to follow Naomi. She loved Naomi and wanted to follow Naomi’s God. Ruth loved God and this made her happy. See how Ruth is smiling? Ruth had a good attitude. Even though Ruth had lost everything, she still had a good attitude and God blessed her.

Good Attitude Song
(sung to Bah Bah Black Sheep)

When everything went wrong
What did Ruth do?
She followed Naomi
And God too

She didn’t cry
She didn’t pout
No bad attitude
She always smiled
Because she knew
God would give her food

God saw Ruth smiling
So her heart He healed
He gave her food
From Boaz’s field

Bible Time

yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.(Psa 144:15b)

Story

Bobby liked it when Mommy and Daddy paid attention to him. Since Mary was born, Mommy and Daddy didn’t pay as much attention to him. (make a sad face) Bobby started whining so Mommy would look at him. After a while, Mommy did not listen to his whining but she ignored him.

When Mary cried, Mommy would go see her right away. So, Bobby pretended to cry so Mommy would come she him. Mommy came to see if he was hurt but she could tell that he was only prentending. After a while, Mommy stopped going to see if Bobby was O.K. (make a sad face)

When Daddy came home from work, Bobby told Daddy that Mommy did not love him because she would not come to see him when he cried. Daddy picked Bobby up and sat him in his lap. “Bobby,” said Daddy, “when you whine and cry for no reason, it is because you have a bad attitude. When you start to have a good attitude, Mommy will pay more attention to you.”

“How can I have a good attitude, Daddy?” asked Bobby. “Well, Bobby,” said Daddy, “ask Mommy if you can help her with Mary. Ask her if there is a chore she needs you to do. Smile at Mommy and give her hugs. Everyone likes to be around someone who smiles a lot and is a helper, too! People like being around those who have a good attitude.”

After supper, Bobby smiled at Mommy and asked her if he could help her with the dishes. Then he gave Mommy a BIG hug (hug yourself and smile)! Mommy said, “Oh, Bobby! I am so glad to have a helper like you! Thank you!” Bobby had a good attitude, didn’t he?

Dear God…
Help me to always have a good attitude. I know Jesus had a good attitude because He died for me. Thank You, Jesus!
Amen!



Day 14 – Being Content

Bird House Coloring Pages

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color a picture of this bird and its house. The bird is sitting on the perch outside the door. (point to the opening) The bird never has to think about what clothes to wear or what food to eat or where to sleep. God takes care of the birds, doesn’t He? (smile and nod your head Yes) We will learn about this bird in today’s lesson.

Song
(sung to The Muffin Man)
I have learned to be content
To be content
To be content
I have learned to be content
And thankful I must be
There are some who have no food
Who have no food
Who have no food
There are some who have no food
So I must not complain

There are some who have no clothes
Who have no clothes
Who have no clothes
There are some who have no clothes
God takes care of me
Bible Time

Let’s open our Bibles and read two Bible verses. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Mat 6:26) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have…(Heb 13:5a)

Story

In Matthew 6:26, God tells us that the birds do not plant a garden but they still have food because God feeds them. Do you think the birds complain about the food that God gives them? (shake your head no and frown) Does the bird complain because he does not have any clothes? (shake your head no and frown) No, the bird does not complain about what he eats or what clothes to wear because he knows that the things God gives him are good for him.

What about your dog (or other pet you have – or a pet at a friend’s house)? Does your dog complain because you give him the same food every day? (shake head no and frown) No, your dog is happy because you are giving him food to eat. He doesn’t complain at all. In fact, he wags his tail, doesn’t he? (smile and nod your head Yes)

We should be like the animals that God has created. We should not complain because we don’t like them. We should be content with what we have. Do you know what that means? Being content means to be happy with what you have. If Mary gets a doll for her birthday or Jimmy gets a toy car, do you look at your toys and think that your toys are not good? If you do, that is because you are not happy with what you have. You are not content, the Bible says. If Mary’s lollipop is bigger than your lollipop, are you sad because you did not get one just like hers? If you are, it is because you are not content with what you have. God says in Heb 13:5 that we are to be happy with the things that we have – we must be content. Being content makes God happy and it makes Mommy and Daddy happy, too! (clap your hands and smile)

Dear God…
Help me to be content with the things I have.
Amen!



Day 15 – Lying

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Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Bobby and his teddy bear! Bobby is praying with his teddy bear. Why do you think Bobby is praying? We will find out in today’s lesson.

You Must Not Tell A Lie
(sung to The Farmer in the Dell)

You must not tell a lie
You must not tell a lie
God says that lying is a sin
You must not tell a lie

I must not tell a lie
I must not tell a lie
It makes my parents really sad
I must not tell a lie


Bible Time

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exo 20:16)

Story

Bobby and Andy were playing with their toy cars. Andy did not want to share with Bobby and that made Bobby angry. Bobby threw one of his toy cars at Andy and it hit the wall and made a hole in the wall. (make a sad face) Bobby knew that Mommy would be very upset with him. Bobby told Andy not to say what happened or Bobby would be punished. When Andy went home, Mommy saw the hole in the wall and asked Bobby what happened. Bobby told Mommy a lie. (make a sad face and shake your head No) He said that Andy threw the car and it hit the wall. Bobby felt awful for lying to Mommy but he was afraid to tell her the truth. He knew that she would be very sad if she knew he had lied to her. (make a sad face again) So Bobby decided not to tell his Mommy he had lied.

The next day, Mommy hung up the telephone and came to Bobby. Mommy said, “Bobby, Andy’s Mom told me that Andy said you did not want him to say how the hole got in the wall. Bobby, would you like to tell me the truth now”? Bobby told his Mommy that he had lied and that he threw the car and it hit the wall. Bobby felt better now because he had told the truth. Mommy said, “Bobby, God’s Word says not to tell a lie because it is sin. You need to ask God to forgive you.” Bobby began to cry and hugged his Mommy. He told her he was sorry. Bobby knelt down with his teddy bear and began to pray to God and asked God to forgive him. Bobby was so happy now that he had been forgiven! (clap your hands and smile) Bobby said to his Mommy, “I’ll never tell a lie again, Mommy”! (smile again and clap your hands)

Dear God…
Help me to always tell the truth. Amen!



Day 16 – Who is God?

Wind Coloring Page - Woo! Jr. Kids Activities

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of the wind! When you go outside, can you see the wind? Can you feel the wind? The wind is just like God. We can’t see God but we can feel Him!

God is Like the Blowing Wind
(sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb)

God is like the blowing wind
Blowing wind
Blowing wind
God is like the blowing wind
I feel Him by my side.

Bible Time

(Joh 3:8 ) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Story

Billy’s Daddy bought him a kite and he was so anxious to go outside to fly his new kite! It had the picture of a butterfly on it and he wanted to see it fly! After Billy finished his lunch, Daddy and he went outside.

Daddy looked around and sadly said, “I’m sorry, Billy! But we can’t fly your kite right now because there isn’t any wind.”

“But why do we need the wind, Daddy?” exclaimed Billy.

Daddy said, “We need the wind to pick up your kite and make it fly, Billy.”

Billy sat on the front steps for a minute with a frown on his face.

“Daddy,” Billy asked, “How will you know when there is wind?”

Daddy responded, “You cannot see the wind but you can tell when it is there because you can feel it. Do you see that tree, Billy? Do you see any leaves moving on it?”

Billy did not see any leaves moving and just shook his head, no.

Daddy continued, “So when all the leaves begin to move, you can be sure it is the wind that is making them move. You will also feel the wind on your face, Billy. Let’s sit down on the front steps and I will tell you how the wind is just like God.”

So Billy and Daddy sat on the steps. Daddy said, “You can’t see God, can you, Billy?” Billy shook his head, no.

“You can’t see God but you can feel Him in your heart. When you tell a lie or when you disobey, don’t you feel badly?” Billy nodded. “That’s God speaking to you.”

“But, Daddy,” said Billy, “I don’t hear God speaking to me!”

“No, you don’t hear His voice but you know that you have done something wrong, don’t you? When you ask Jesus to come in your heart, He lives in your heart and you know He is there because you feel badly when you sin. Just like the wind, Billy. You don’t see the wind but you feel the wind on your face or you see it blowing in the trees. Does that make sense, Billy?”

“Yes, Daddy, it sure does!” said Billy.

Just as Billy finished speaking, he jumped up and screamed, “Daddy! I feel the wind on my face! Can we go fly my kite now?”

Daddy smiled, picked up the kite and off they went! (smile again and clap your hands)

Dear God…
Even though I can’t see You, I know you are nearby. Amen!



Day 17 – How to Act in Church

God So Loved The World Coloring Page | Sunday school ...

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of God and the earth! Do you see the heart? Do you think God loves you? Yes, God loves you! When you go to church, do you think God wants you to sit still and listen?

How to Act in Church
(sung to On Top of Old Smokie)

I want to show Jesus, how much I love Him
I sit still in church, and pay attention

I whisper to Mommy, if I need to speak
I listen to Daddy, every day of the week.

For God loves obedience, better than sacrifice
So I will be quiet, God’s Word says that’s wise.

Bible Time

(Psa 46:10a) Be still, and know that I am God:

Story

Mary did not like to go to church because she did not like to sit still for almost an hour. So when Daddy said it was time go to church, Mary began to cry. Daddy picked her up and asked, “Mary, don’t you want to hear God speaking today?”

Mary’s eyes got big and she said, “God will talk to us today instead of Pastor?”

Daddy laughed and replied, “No, Mary, God won’t be the standing at the pulpit. Pastor will still be there. But God will speak to Pastor’s heart and God will cause Pastor to say things that He wants us to hear. Don’t you want to hear God speak to you?”

Mary nodded. She did not know that God would speak to her. Do you know that God does speak to us each time we are in church or read our Bibles? (nod your head yes) When we sit still and listen very carefully (cup your hand behind your ear as though you are listening), we will hear something that God wants us to hear. If you disobey and you don’t sit still, you will miss what God has to say. (frown and shake your head no)

God says that to obey is better than sacrifice. When Mommy and Daddy tell you to sit still and you obey them, this makes God AND your Mommy and Daddy VERY happy! (smile and clap your hands) When you obey Mommy and Daddy , you are also obeying God. Our verse says “Be still, and know that I am God:” God wants you to sit still so that you can hear what He has to say to you while your Pastor is preaching.

Dear God…
Help me to sit still in church and to whisper if I must say something to Mommy or Daddy. Amen!



Day 18 – Temper Tantrums

picture of little girl praying black and white clipart 20 ...

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Johnny and Katie praying! Why do you think they are praying? Who are they praying to?

Temper Tantrums
(sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Throwing tantrums is a sin
Is a sin
Is a sin
Throwing tantrums is a sin
It makes my parents sad.

I cannot always get my way
Get my way
Get my way
I cannot always get my way
And fussing makes things worse.

If I learn to be patient
Be patient
Be patient
If I learn to be patient
Then Jesus will bless me.

Bible Time

(Luk 15:28 ) And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

Story

Mommy asked Johnny and Katie to pick up their toys before going outside to play on the swings. Katie did not listen to Mommy and went outside. (make a sad face) Katie disobeyed her Mommy didn’t she? (nod your head yes)

Johnny obeyed Mommy right away and went straight to his room to pick up his toys (clap your hands and smile)! Afterwards, Johnny went to play on the swings with Katie. Johnny was angry because it seemed that Katie always disobeyed Mommy but he always obeyed Mommy. (Put your index finger on your cheek and look upward like you’re thinking and say:) Johnny thought to himself, “It isn’t fair that Katie gets away with being disobedient!” (make a frown)

Later, Mommy came outside and called them in saying, “Since you’ve been such good children, come in for cookies and milk!” Johnny did not want to go inside. He was still angry because he had obeyed Mommy and Katie had not obeyed her. Katie was getting a reward for being bad and he did not like that. So, Johnny stayed outside.

Katie went in the house and said, “Mommy, I’m sorry that I did not obey you. I did not clean my room. I’m so sorry! I will go clean my room right now before I eat my cookies!”

Mommy was so glad that Katie was sorry for disobeying! (smile and clap your hands) Mommy went outside looking for Johnny to remind him to come in for cookies and milk. Johnny was very upset and throwing a temper tantrum because Katie didn’t have to clean her room and he did. Mommy sat Johnny down on her lap and said, “Johnny, Katie knew she did wrong and came to me and asked me to forgive her. Why are you throwing a temper tantrum?”

Johnny said, “Because I always obey you and Katie doesn’t always obey you! She gets cookies even when she disobeys! It’s not fair!”

So Mommy gave Johnny a hug and said, “Johnny, I know that you always obey me and that is VERY good! (smile) But the Bible says that when someone sins and disobeys and comes to ask forgiveness, we should be ready to forgive them just as our Father in Heaven is always ready to forgive us when we sin! Did you know that it is a sin for you to have a temper trantrum? (make a sad face) I’m very happy when you obey me but it makes me sad when you have a tantrum because things don’t go the way you think they should go, Johnny!”

Johnny felt badly that he had made Mommy sad. He said, “I’m sorry Mommy! I will try not to have any more tantrums!”

So Mommy and Johnny went inside to sit with Katie and they all enjoyed their milk and cookies!

Dear God…
Please help me not to have temper tantrums when things don’t go my way. I know that this makes You sad and makes Mommy and Daddy sad, too. Amen!



Day 19 – Being Different

jesus zacchaeus clipart - Clipground

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Zacchaeus! Why was he in a tree?

Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man

Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior passed him by, He looked up in the tree,
And he said, “Zacchaeus, you come down from there;
For I’m going to your house today, for I’m going to your house today.”

Bible Time

(Luk 19:2)  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

(Luk 19:3)  And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

(Luk 19:4)  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Story

Johnny was playing with Jamie in the sand box.  Freddie walked up to the sand box and told them that he wanted to play too.  But Jamie did not want Freddie to play with them because Freddie had a patch over his eye.  Freddie had an operation on his eye and had to wear a patch over it to keep the dirt out.  Jamie made fun of Freddie and called him names.

Johnny felt sad because Jamie was making fun of Freddie.  But he did not know what to do.  He didn’t want Jamie to stop playing with him.  But he did not want Freddie to be sad.  Johnny went to talk to him Mommy.

“Mommy,” Johnny asked, “What should I do?  I want to play with Jamie AND Freddie!”

Mommy told Johnny the story about Zacchaeus and how short of a man he was.  Jesus did not make fun of Zacchaeus because he climbed a tree so he could see Him.  In fact, Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree so He could go to his house to eat with him!  Jesus did not care that Zacchaeus was short.  Jesus loved Zacchaeus no matter how tall he was.

Mommy said, “Johnny, we need to be like Jesus and love everyone – no matter what is wrong with their body!  Wouldn’t you be sad if Jamie did not want to play with you ?  What do you think you should do?”

Johnny knew that he would feel badly if someone did not want to play with him because he looked different from them.

He felt so much better after talking to his Mommy.  He ran outside and told Jamie to stop making fun of Freddie because Jesus loves Freddie just as much as He loved him.  Then he turned to Freddie and said, “Come play with us!  We don’t care what you look like!”

Aren’t you glad that Jesus loves us even though there is something wrong with our bodies?  Our bodies may not all look the same but inside, we are all the same!

Dear God…
Please help me not to be nice to people even if they do not look like me.  Help me to love them the same way that You love them!  Amen!



Day 20 – Joy

Playground Equipment Coloring Pages at GetColorings.com ...

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color this picture! What are the children doing?

I’ve Got the Joy

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
down in my heart, (where?)
down in my heart, (where?),
down in my heart,
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
down in my heart, (where?)
down in my heart to stay.

Bible Time

(Act 13:52)  And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Story

Katie was sad because her best friend, Suzie, moved away.  All she could think about was how much fun she and Suzie had together!  The more she thought about Suzie, the sadder she got.  Her Daddy came into her room and said, “Why are you so sad, Katie?”

“Suzie is gone, Daddy!  I don’t have anyone to play with!”

“Awww,” said Daddy.  “What about Mary?  Why don’t you call her and ask her if she wants to play with you?  I’m sure she misses Suzie, too!” (make a sad face)

“Oh thank you, Daddy!  That’s a great idea!  I didn’t think Mary would be sad, too.  Maybe I can make Mary happy and Mary can make me happy at the same time!” exclaimed Katie.  (clap your hands and smile)

When we are sad, we can always get our joy back by being nice to someone else.  That is what Jesus would do.  Katie did the right thing, didn’t she?  (Nod your head yes.)  She knew that if she was a blessing to Mary, it would give Katie a blessing, too!

Dear God…
Please help me to be a blessing to someone else that needs it.  If someone is sad, help me to be nice to them and help them to be happy again.  Amen!



Day 21 – Days of Creation

7 Days Of Creation Coloring Pages - Coloring Home

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the pictures and match what day each was created in the song!

Days of Creation
(Sung to: This Old Man)
lyrics written and contributed by Sharon Broome

On day one God made light
Made the difference in day and night
God just spoke the words and it came true
Wonder what else God will do?

On day two Split in two
Skies above the water blue
God just spoke the words and it came to be
What will happen on day three?

On day three God made land
Then he put plants in the sand
God made herbs and grass and fruit on the tree
This was all done on day three

On day four God made lights
Some for days and some for nights
Stars are dim, but the sun and the moon are bright
Aren’t you glad that God made lights

On day five God made alive
Fish for the waters and birds for the skies
All the things that swim and birds to fly
These were made on day five

On day six God did fix
Animals, mankind and even ticks
God made lizards, cats, and other things that lick
Animals were created on day six

On day seven God in heaven
Rested from all the work he’d done
He’d made the earth, the stars, the moon, and sun
It was good what God had done

Bible Time

(Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Read the entire Genesis account of creation.

Story

Let’s read about each day and see what God made on those days. Isn’t God wonderful? He loves us so much that He gave us all kinds of things to look at and to listen to. (clap your hands and smile!)

After reviewing each one, go outside and point to the grass and ask your child(ren) what day the grass was made. Point to a bird, etc. Clap your hands and rejoice when they get the day right!

Dear God…
Thank you for creating everything for us to enjoy.  Help me never to forget that You are the Creator of everything! Amen



Day 22 – Helping Mommy

Jesus Appears to the Disciples Coloring Page Free Coloring ...

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Jesus and the Apostles.  Jesus is telling the Apostles where to throw their nets so they can catch fish!

Apostles Song
(to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me”)

Jesus called them one by one, Peter, Andrew, James and John,
Next came Philip, Thomas too, Matthew and Bartholomew.

Yes, Jesus called them, Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them, The Bible tells me so.

James the one they called the less, Simon, also Thaddeus,
The twelfth apostle Judas made, Jesus was by him betrayed.

Yes, Jesus called them, Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them, The Bible tells me so.

Bible Time

(Mar 1:17)  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Story

When Mommy asked Bobby to help her with the trash, Bobby began to throw a temper tantrum.  He was busy playing with his cars and he did not want to stop to help Mommy.  Mommy asked Bobby again but he continued to cry and say, “No!”

Mommy sat Bobby on her lap and told him how sad she was that he would not help her.  (make a sad face and shake your head no.)

“You know, Bobby, Jesus had helpers too.  He could not do all the work by Himself.  Jesus had to preach to the people, just like Pastor.” Mommy said.

She continued, “Jesus did not have time to fish or hunt for food.  So He would send the Apostles, like Peter and John, to get the food for everyone to eat.”

“I didn’t know that!” Bobby said.

“Yes, Bobby, it’s true.  Would you say no to Jesus if He asked you to help Him?” Mommy asked.

“No, I would say yes!” said Bobby.

“Good, Bobby!  I’m glad you would say yes to Jesus!  I would, too!  You know, Bobby, the Bible says that you would obey me just as you would obey Jesus if I ask you to do something.  When you throw a temper tantrum like this, it makes me sad and Jesus, too!  Jesus wants you to obey me.  And when you obey me, you’re obeying Jesus, too!”  (clap your hands and smile)

“Now,” said Mommy, “won’t you come and help me empty the trash?”

Bobby went to help Mommy right away!  Yeh Bobby!  (clap your hands)

Dear God…
Please help me to always obey my Mommy and Daddy when they ask me to do something.  I know that when I obey then, I am obeying you. Amen!



Day 23 – The Bible

Free Printable Bible Coloring Pages For Kids

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of the Bible.  The Bible is God’s Words to us!

The B-I-B-L-E

Oh! The B-I-B-L-E,
Yes that’s the book for me.
I stand alone on the word of God,
the B-I-B-L-E!

The B-I-B-L-E
I’ll take it along with me,
I’ll read and pray,
and then obey,
the B-I-B-L-E.

By F-A-I-T-H,
I’m S-A-V-E-D,
I’ll stand alone
on the word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E.

The B-L-O-O-D
That Jesus shed for me
Cleansed me from sin,
I belong to him,
The B-L-O-O-D

Bible Time

(Psa 119:105)  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Story

(Take out your husband’s flashlight and sit in a room without windows.  Compare the darkness lit up by the flashlight to God’s Word lighting our way in a dark world full of sin.)

Did you know that the Bible is just like Daddy’s flashlight?  What happens when we turn off the lights.  (Turn the lights off.)  Is it dark?  Can you see very well?  (Now turn the flashlight on and smile and clap.)  Yeh!  Isn’t it much better once we turn on Daddy’s flashlight?  Now we can see better, can’t we?

Did you know that because we do bad things – which God calls sin, our heart gets dark just like this room when all the lights are on?  God’s Word, the Bible, is like Daddy’s flashlight.  (turn the lights out and then turn the flashlight on again so they can see the comparison)  The more we read the Bible, the more the light will shine on our sins and show us how dark our sin and our heart really is.

Did you know that Jesus came to take our sins away?  He gave us His Bible, God’s Words, so that we could know that our sins are really bad.  Just like Daddy’s flashlight, Jesus wants to shine in our hearts and make it bright and clean.  We need to tell Jesus that we know our heart is dirty, dark and full of sin (frown at this point and shake your head no) and that we need Him to wash our heart clean (smile and nod your head yes)!!

Dear God…
Please help me to see the darkness in my heart.  Help me to see my sins and to ask Jesus to shine His light on them so I can see them.  Jesus please wash my sins away so I can have light in my heart.  Amen!



Day 24 – Be Careful

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Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of the little girl. She looks so happy, doesn’t she?


Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
There’s a Father up above, looking down in tender love,
So be careful little eyes, what you see.

Be careful little ears what you hear
Be careful little mouth what you say…
Be careful little hands, what you touch…
Be careful little feet, where you go…

Bible Time

(Psa 19:14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Story

Mary was playing in the sand box outside when Billy ran over to play with her. He wanted to help her build sand castles with the plastic containers Mommy had given them to use as molds.

As they were making their sand castles, Billy remembered that Jimmy had some nicer molds in his sand box. Billy ran over to Jimmy’s house and grabbed the molds out of his sand box and brought them to Mary’s sand box.

“Where did you get those, Billy?” asked Mary.

“At Jimmy’s house. He is at his Uncle’s house so he isn’t using them.” responded Billy.

Mommy came outside to bring the children some nice cold lemonade. (rub your tummy and smile)

“Oh! Where did those nice nolds come from?” asked Mommy.

“From Jimmy’s house.” said Mary.

“Did you ask Jimmy’s Mommy if you could borrow them?” Mommy asked.

“No, I just took them.” said Billy.

“Oh Billy, taking something without asking is stealing. Let’s go to Jimmy’s house and tell his Mommy that you are returning them. OK?” said Mommy.

“But why? She didn’t see me take them. Can’t we just put them back without talking to her?” asked Billy.

“No, Billy. Just because she didn’t see you, you must remember that God sees you. He sees everything you do. He hears everything you say. He even knows what you are thinking. God knows that you took them without asking. So going to talk to Jimmy’s Mommy is the right thing to do. OK?” Mommy said.

“OK! Let’s go!” said Billy. (clap your hands and smile)

Dear God…
Please help me to remember that You see everything that I do even though Mommy and Daddy don’t see me. Help me to remember, too, that You hear everything I say even when they are not around. Amen!



Day 25 – Compassion

Our Deseret Homeschool: Gospel Basics 38 Week Lesson Plan

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Katie. Katie has a present for Grandma. Giving presents makes Katie happy!


This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine…
All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine…
Don’t let Satan pfft- it out! I’m gonna let it shine…
Let it shine ’til Jesus comes. I’m gonna let it shine…

Bible Time

(Mat 5:16)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Story

Katie was carrying a present for Grandma.  As she was taking it to the car, she was humming “This Little Light of Mine.”

“Mommy, why is Katie so happy?  Why does she have a present for Grandma?  Is it her birthday?” asked Gary.

“No, Gary.  It’s not Grandma’s birthday.  It’s just a present to show her that Katie loves her.  She seemed a little sad yesterday because it has been a year since Grandpa went home to be with Jesus.  So Katie thought she would cheer her up with a present!” answered Mommy. (give a big smile)

“That’s a great idea, Mommy!” said Gary.

“That is how we let our light shine to others, Gary.  When we see someone that needs a hug or needs a special friend, we show them that light and the love that Jesus has by doing something special for them.” Mommy said.

“Do you know someone that might need something special done for them, Gary?” asked Mommy.

“Yes, Mommy, I think I do.  Mary was sad yesterday because her Daddy had to go away for 2 weeks on a trip for his job.  She will miss him a lot! (make a sad face) Do you think I should do something special for her?” asked Gary.

Mommy answered, “Yes, Gary, that’s a great idea!  What do you think you would like to do?”

“How about if I ask her to come over to play with me?  Would she be able to stay for supper, too, Mommy? Gary asked.

“Sure, Gary, that would be very nice!” Mommy said. (clap your hands and smile.)

Dear God…
Please help me to let my light shine to anyone that needs a special something today.  This way I can show them that I love you and your light is shining through me.  Amen!



Day 26 – God’s Creation

Online Free Coloring Pages for Kids - Coloring Sun - Part 42

Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture Daddy and Billy. They are all dressed up for church!

This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s World, and to my listening ears,
All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s World, I rest me in the thought,
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, His hands the wonders wrought.

Bible Time

(Gen 1:1)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Story

Billy and Daddy were packing up the car for their camping trip.  Billy was so excited that he was going to be able to spend the whole weekend alone with Daddy.

They got to the campground and put up their tent together.  Daddy taught Billy how to hammer the stakes into the ground so the tent could be tied down in case it got windy.

“Daddy is so smart!” thought Billy, as he hammered down the last stake.

Daddy and Billy went to lake to catch fish for dinner.  As they sat waiting for the fish to bite, Billy heard some loud tapping noises.

“What’s that noise, Daddy?” exclaimed Billy.

“That is the sound of a woodpecker, Billy.  Woodpeckers use their beaks to tap on a tree so they can get to the bugs to eat them.” responded Daddy.  “God created all the animals, birds, and bugs for us to be able to watch them and listen to them.  It’s like watching a beautiful movie right here at the lake, isn’t it?”

Daddy was right, Billy thought.  Billy looked around and listened while Daddy pointed out creatures and different kinds of trees.  Daddy told Billy about how God created everything at the beginning and how we can see God’s goodness in each part of creation.

And right at that moment, Billy had a fish bite at his line!  Billy and Daddy took it back to the camp ground and cooked their supper on the campfire.  That was so much fun!  Later on that night, they sat and looked at all the stars in the sky.
“Daddy, there must be a gazillion stars in the sky!” exclaimed Billy.  “Did God make those too?”

“Yes, Billy, God made everything in the universe!  Isn’t His creation beautiful?” asked Daddy.

Dear God…
Thank you for creating all the beautiful creatures, trees, clouds and stars!  I love to look at all of them and listen to them, too.  Amen!



Day 27 – Behaving

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Coloring/Teaching

Let’s color the picture of Mary crying! Why do you think she’s crying?

Acting Nicely
(sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Acting nicely pleases God
Pleases God
Pleases God
Acting nicely pleases God
And Mommy, too.

When I cannot get my way
Get my way
Get my way
When I cannot get my way
I must not cry.

Bible Time

~Proverbs 7:24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

Story

Mommy dressed Mary and put her jacket on because it was cold outside. Mary and Mommy were going grocery shopping.

“Now, Mary,” said Mommy, “I would like you to be a good little girl at the grocery store. If you behave, you and I will make cookies together for Daddy, OK?” (smile and clap your hands)

“Yeh! OK, Mommy!” said Mary.

After Mommy put all the groceries into the cart that she needed, they pushed the cart to the check-out line. While they were waiting for their turn, Mary saw some candy on the shelf. Not just any candy, but her favorite: Skittles!

“Oh Mommy, may I have some Skittles?” Mary asked.

“No, honey,” answered Mommy, “we have candy at home.”

“PLEASE? PLEASE? PLEEEEEEEASE?” pleaded Mary.

“No, Mary. Mommy will not repeat herself so stop asking.” Mommy replied. (shake your head no and frown)

Mary was so upset that Mommy would not let her have the Skittles that she started screaming and crying.

“I want some Skittles!” she yelled.

Mary did not stop crying and continued with her temper tantrum. By this time, everyone was looking at Mommy and waiting to see how she would respond to Mary. Mommy did not buy the Skittles. She paid the cashier for the groceries and then wheeled the cart out to her car. Mary continued screaming and crying all the way home.

When Mommy and Mary arrived home, Mommy brought in the groceries and sent Mary to her room until she finished putting the groceries away. Afterwards, she went into Mary’s room to talk to her.

“Mary, because you threw a temper tantrum today, you will not be able to play with your friends for the rest of the week.” said Mommy.

“But Mommy,” Mary cried, “I’m suppose to go to Ricky’s birthday party!”

“You will not be able to go to his party, Mary. Your behavior today at the store was unacceptable. You disobeyed me when I told you no. So, Mary, because of your behavior, you are being punished. God tells you in the Bible to “obey your parents in the Lord for this is right” and you did not obey.” Mommy said. (nod your head up and down)

“I know, that’s in Ephesians 6:1.” replied Mary. “But couldn’t you let me go to Ricky’s party ayway?”

“No, Mary. You did not obey so you must suffer the consequences for your actions. The next time we go to the store, I’m sure you will not throw a temper tantrum when you don’t get your way, will you?” asked Mommy. (shake your head no and make a sad face)

“No, ma’am! I will be sure to obey right away.” Mary said. (smile and clap your hands.)

Dear God…
Please help me not to change my behavior so I do not throw temper tantrums. I know that I am disobeying You when I do. Amen!




Hymns

The hymns of yesteryear were actual gospel messages. The writers were God-fearing Christians who knew the cost to living for Christ. This is a 30-day devotional, originally written in 2007, which covers hymns (prior to copyright laws), their authors and how they tie in with the Word of God. This series will be a blessing to my soul and I pray to yours! In a world of contemporary music and PowerPoint presentations used in church services, the old hymns and favorites are slowly fading away. My prayer is that we will be exhorted to go back to the old paths of our fathers and renew these hymns in our own daily lives. These are hymns written prior to this backslidden, emerging church called the Laodicean church. These are words written by those who have met with their Saviour in their prayer closets and have been moved by the Holy Spirit to pen the words which in turn have moved the hearts of men.



Day 1 – The Old, Old Way

In the first day of this series, I thought it appropriate to start with Fanny Crosby since she is my favorite composer (born March 24, 1820 and died February 12, 1915). It’s unbelievable to think that Fanny Crosby was responsible for over 8,000 hymns! There are so many that we sing in church that are our familiar favorites: Able to Deliver, Blessed Assurance, Meet Me There, To God Be The Glory, just to name a few.

The very first hymn Fanny ever wrote was when she was 43 years old, “There’s a Cry from Macedonia”! Fanny was blinded by an incompetent doctor’s helper who treated an eye infection with hot poultices when she was six weeks old. Fanny was never bitter; in fact, she was quoted to say,

“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”

One of the sweetest things I’ve ever read about Fanny Crosby was a poem she had written when she was nine years old:

Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see;
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don’t;
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I won’t.”

Could we quote these words when we experience our own trials? How could a nine-year old pen these words? It was her walk with the Lord that kept her strong. She committed many verses to memory and had the word of God hidden in her heart.

The first in this series will be a hymn that I had never heard before but the words were such a blessing to me! Fanny was approximately 79 years old when she wrote this hymn. Oh that we should glean from her many years of salvation and draw from her walk with the Lord. If you would like to hear what it sounds like, here is the link to it in Cyber Hymnal.

The Old, Old Way
Written in 1899

Is your hope of glory bright?
Are you walking in the light,
Ever shining from the Savior’s throne?
Have you gone to Him for rest,
When your heart was sore oppressed?
Are you trusting in His arm alone?

Refrain

Are you walking in the light,
In the blessèd, blessèd light?
Is it shining in your soul today?
With a firm abiding faith
That will triumph over death,
Are you walking in the old, old way?

Have you taken up the cross?
Do you count the world but dross,
For the splendor you in Christ may see?
To His question, “Who will go,”
And His love to sinners show,
Will you answer “Here am I, send me”?

Refrain

Tho’ your foes may all unite,
Will you battle for the right,
And the wonders of the Lord proclaim?
Will you stand with courage brave
And the royal banner wave,
Shouting vict’ry thro’ the Master’s Name?

Refrain

O the bliss of those who trust
In the only wise and just,
And are looking for a home above;
If your lot with them is cast
You will anchor safe at last
In the haven of eternal love.

Refrain

This hymn reminded me of what Jeremiah said:

Jeremiah 6:16, Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

It is the old paths that have been abandoned today. Today’s Christian has been deceived by the enemy to go down a wide path that will lead to their spiritual starvation. Today’s average “church” member is not focusing on his sin and his walk with the Lord. Instead, today’s church member is busy doing and have become spiritually anorexic. Although the Apostle James said that faith without works is dead (James 2:26), what good are your works if you leave your first love, Jesus Christ? What good is it for you to work in the soup kitchen if you have neglected prayer with your God? What good is it if you go out soul winning but yet your Bible collect dust during the week? What good is it if you work in a ministry in your church but yet you’ve neglected the convictions of the Holy Spirit in your life and continue in a sin?

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Revelation 3:17)

Today’s Christian quenches the burning fire of the Holy Spirit’s convicting power.

The Spirit’s words are too hard for these and, therefore, they do not continue in them. (John 6:66)

Today’s average Christian is busy with the distractions of the world. At the first mention of a sin in their lives, they are quick to be offended and they leave their church and try to find another one. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165) I’ve never seen more church hoppers than I have today. They visit from time to time but you do not see real fruit in their lives. We need more Fanny Crosby’s in this world today. If you were to be honest with yourself and examined yourself closely, would you be able to say that you actually saw the fruit of Galations 5 in your own spiritual life?

Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (22) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (23)

Do you examine yourself at the end of every message your Pastor preaches? Do you examine yourself at the end of your Bible reading? Do you ask yourself: (1) What is God trying to teach me? (2) What sin is He trying to expose in my life? (3) Is my spiritual house beginning to lean because my foundation is cracking?

What a horrible tragedy it is when the foundation of a house is not solid. If care is not taken from the beginning when laying a foundation, the results can lead to countless problems in the home. Even greater troubles will one experience if that foundation is not built on solid ground. Yes, Jesus’ parable about building a house upon a rock meant that our faith must be in Jesus and none other. However, He was referencing the old paths as well. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Therefore, what God required as a foundation of faith in the old paths are still required today. Why do preachers and Christians want to change the way services are conducted? Why do they want to change the music? Why do they want to change the Word of God? You can play Christian, but if your foundation has the cracks of change and compromise, you will begin to lean and eventually you will fall.

Brother or Sister in Christ, the old paths are not to be abandoned because we need to be “with the times”! The old paths were laid for us to grow by and to be strong Christians.

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:20)

It’s not the foundations of the modern-day preachers that God wants us to follow but the foundation of Jesus Christ, the apostles and prophets! The old paths should be what we walk upon! The old paths are built upon the firm foundation of Christ and His Word. Replacing this with modernism will lead to a crack in our spiritual foundation that will bring to ruin our earthly temples. Don’t be guilty of this! Follow the old paths – you will never go astray!



Day 2 – Open My Eyes

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psa 119:18 )

The Psalmist surely knew what he needed to be able to connect with his God! His eyes needed to be opened. His heart needed to be right before God so that he was willing to accept what was written. We can read all we want but unless our hearts are soft and willing to receive God’s Word, we will not understand. We are as blind people without the Word of God, my friend. We are as ships in the night who can only use the stars to guide them. Unless there is a lighthouse out there to warn the ship’s captain of upcoming danger, the ship will surely crash. The Word is our lighthouse and it shines ever bright to reveal to us our sin! Our path in life is guided by the pure light of the Word.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

The blessed light of Jesus Christ and His Gospel illuminates our hearts. Our sin is before us and conviction sets in and repentance comes forth. Salvation brings with it a blessed cleansing from our filthy rags and we now have the precious blood of Jesus Christ covering us!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 Jo 1:7)

Praise the Lord that the blessed Gospel light shone on me some 27 years ago! I truly understood what John Newton wrote when he penned Amazing Grace and said “was blind but now I see”! We truly are blind before salvation. We cannot see what God’s Word has hidden there for us. Those who profess to be saved or “spiritual” cannot truly understand what God’s Word has to say.

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (Mat 13:13)

The greatest of Pharisees could not understand what Jesus was speaking about so how can the unsaved understand? They can’t! They are spiritually blind. But the born-again believer has the Holy Spirit who interprets His Word to them as they read.

Today’s hymn was written by Clara Scott Born. She was born on December 3, 1841 and died on June 21, 1897. She was not much older than I when she was thrown from her buggy by a runaway horse and she went to be with the Lord. I researched her song, Open My Eyes to see what prompted her to write these beautiful words. I could not find what her motivation was for this song. However, it is evident that she was motivated by her God. If you would like to listen to the melody, it can be found at Cyber Hymnal

Open My Eyes
Clara H. Scott

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Refrain

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.

Refrain

Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

Refrain

This dear lady knew where she could find her direction in life. She knew where she could find encouragement to press on. It is evident that she loved God’s Word, her time in prayer, a closer walk with the Lord, she had a love for lost souls and a love for the brethren. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. (1 Jo 3:14a) What beautiful words she wrote, amen?

The Word of God is the wonderful key that opens our eyes and illumines our hearts! Without being in the Scriptures every day, we cannot get the nourishment we need to be a healthy Christian. Would you miss a meal? If you’re not in your Bible on a regular basis, you will be an anorexic Christian. You will be spiritually malnourished. Your spiritual life will be weak and when you need guidance and encouragement from God’s 2ord, you will have nothing to pull it from. You get as much out of the Scriptures as you put into it, my friend. Micah wasn’t afraid because he knew that no matter how dark the situation was around him, he had the light of God on his side.

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. (Mic 7:8 )

Can you say the same?



Day 3 – Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Just the title of this song alone, brings tears to my eyes. When I think of the grace of Jesus, I see in my mind’s eye, mountains majesty and waters flowing freely! When I first heard this song as a born-again Christian, I was moved to tears. I had the joined the choir in the church I belonged to and we were given this song to practice. I could not sing it because the words had overwhelmed me. I wonder if that is how Haldor Lillenas felt as he penned them?

Brother Lillenas was born in Norway on November 19, 1885, and died August 18, 1959, in Colorado. He was saved at the age of 21 and almost immediately he felt the calling of God to become a preacher. He studied music in college and he and his wife, Bertha Mae Wilson, wrote approximately 4,000 hymns together. In 1918, he wrote the song Wonderful Grace of Jesus on an organ he bought from his neighbor for $5.00. As I was looking through a list of titles of the hymns he and his wife wrote, I noticed that many were hymns on the grace of God and about His Word, the Bible! His words were so clearly written and they revealed that this man loved the Lord and that God’s Word was precious to him.

Wonderful Grace of Jesus is probably the most popular of his hymns. This hymn has the entire plan of salvation laid out for the unbeliever. To the unsaved, it reveals the precious grace that God bestowed upon mankind. To the believer, it causes the heart to rejoice because our salvation is sure and secure.

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.Refrain

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Refrain

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Refrain

I would have loved to know what circumstances in Haldor’s life prompted him to pen these precious words! The best way we can honor this man is to glean from the message he tried to give us. What have we learned?

It is the grace of Jesus that reaches down to the vilest of sinners and it is not our own works or efforts that reach up to God.

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

Our salvation is a precious gift from God, Himself!

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. (Joh 3:16)

Christ paid a great price for us – with His own life – His own blood was shed on that cross so that we would no longer have to live in sin and serve the devil.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Co 6:20)

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (1 Co 7:23)

We are no longer slaves to sin, my friend. A slave cannot free himself – he cannot pay a price to the slave owner to free himself. However, our Master did purchase us – He bought us with a great price! No more are we bound unto slavery! No more are we slaves to the devil. Christ has paid the price! We do not need to be servants to sin any longer.

Throughout the Old Testament, Christ’s precious grace was shown. I especially love these verses in Ezra! It is like reading a prophecy of that upcoming grace!

Ezra 9:6-9 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. (6) Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. (7) And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. (8 ) For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. (9)

Isn’t this beautiful? In our sin, we were delivered to the enemy. The unbeliever is the servant of sin and the devil! As God showed Ezra that He had given them a nail in His holy place, God gave mankind Christ nailed to a cross where His blood was placed on the Holy of Holies.

The payment for sin was the blood of a Perfect Lamb placed on the altar or sacrifice. Our Lamb, Jesus Christ, shed His own perfect and sinless blood and it was placed on the altar in the Holy of Holies. The Father sees only the blood of His Son when He looks for payment at our judgment! Our payment was paid in full. We were purchased with a great price!

God reached down to the most defiled – the sinner! It only takes one sin to be a sinner. We are all sinners.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23)

There is no big sin or little sin. No matter what “religion” will teach you, the little ones will condemn you as much as the big ones. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (Jam 2:10) To the unsaved, even if he should tell a lie, he is guilty of breaking all of the commandments.

God extended mercy and showed His love for us by sending His Son to die for us while we were deep in our sin. There’s nothing we can do to be good enough. Thank God, He placed this verse in His Word so we could see that!

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

Praise the Lord that I did not have to wait until I was sinless before getting saved. If that were the fact, I would have died in my sins and gone straight to hell.

With this grace, we are free from the burden of sin and our spirit is made free. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:2) I could not possibly live by the law – if I could, I could be saved on my own merit. But Eph. 2:8-9 are quick to point out that our own works cannot save us. The best of what we have appears like filthy, dirty rags to God! All of what we have appears like filthy, dirty rag to the Father!

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

Christ’s grace transforms us and makes us a new creature! If you claim salvation by His grace and yet you still do the exact same things you did prior to your “salvation,” and you do not have remorse for doing these same things, then you have not experienced Christ’s life changing grace.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17)

The Law cannot save us – we must be born again according to John 3:3. The Law, however, teaches us that we are sinners!

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Gal 6:15)

It is this new creature of the heart that Christ is looking for. We can do all we can to “earn” our way, but it will be for nothing! Unless the heart is truly saved, our efforts will be in vain. Only Christ’s grace can revive our spirit from death to life everlasting. I am no longer under the bondage of sin and can say no to sin. The devil cannot force me to sin. It is my own lust that causes me to sin.

Tit. 2:11-12, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (11) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (12)

Praise the Lord for men like Haldor Lillenas along the way who penned words that encouraged our spirits throughout the years! I love singing this song and hearing it in four part harmony! Music is such a wonderful part of the church service and it does wonders at preparing the heart to hear God’s message from the man of God. What beautiful words to hear this morning! The wonderful and matchless grace of Jesus! Amen!



Day 4 – Alas and Did My Savior Bleed?

Isaac Watts was born in Southampton, England in 1674. He passed away in Stoke Newington, England in 1748. He is known as the Father of English Hymnody because he was the first popular English hymn writer. Many of his 750 hymns are still in use today – a couple are: “When I survey the wondrous cross” and “This is the day the Lord has made.”

Isaac’s father was a nonconformist and Isaac was raised on this. In fact, his father was jailed twice for his views. According to Wikipedia, Watts could not attend Oxford or Cambridge because of his nonconformity so he attended the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington. After, he pastored a large independent church in London where he helped preachers in training. Isaac Watts’ beliefs were not the traditional nonconformist beliefs and were considered more nondenominational. In my biographical readings about him, it was not clearly outlined as to what he truly believed or practiced. His hymns, however, were quite clear. I am of the opinion that Watts’ nonconformity was more likely due to England’s 1662 Act of Uniformity and the church’s tradition. I am also of the opinion that he trusted in the word of God rather than the traditions of man.

I absolutely love today’s hymn, “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed” because it totally describes what our precious Saviour went through on the cross and why. Anyone with an ounce of compassion cannot read all of these verses without tearing up!

Alas and Did My Savior Bleed?
Isaac Watts

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Refrain

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Songs about the Blood of Christ are not popular today and will more than likely become less and less popular as we approach the Tribulation. Many churches today no longer sing songs about Christ’s shed blood. It is a shame because that is the cornerstone of Christianity. Without Christ’s shed blood, there is no remission of sin.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Heb 9:22)

How can you do away with songs about the Blood when it is that very blood, the perfect sacrifice offered once for man, that saves us?

Let’s say there was a price on salvation, what would that price be? Could everyone afford to pay the price? Salvation would not be for everyone if it involved money – the rich would pay as little as they could for it and the poor would never be able to afford it. Praise God that this is not the case! Instead, God wanted all mankind to have an opportunity to follow Him.

1 Pet. 1:18-19, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (18 ) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (19)

There is no one else who can claim this! No one else can say they have lived a sinless life. No one!

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23)

I love the fact that God’s plan is seen throughout the Old Testament through the sacrificing of a spotless lamb. These sacrifices were a testimony to what was to come when Christ died on the cross. The blood of the spotless lambs could not forgive the sins of the Jews but it merely covered them until Christ’s final sacrifice.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (Joh 19:30)

No more covering of sins with sacrifices were needed. The final sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, was made on the cross and no longer would man’s sin merely be just covered. Now man’s sins could be forgiven because of Christ’s perfect and sinless life.

Matt 27:51-53, And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (51) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (52) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (53)

At the moment of that final sacrifice, the veil in the temple was torn in half. It tore from top to bottom! It is said that the veil was 30 feet long – no man could have torn it, but God did! No longer would a high priest be needed nor would he be the only one to access the Holy of Holies. Now, all man could access Heaven through Christ, our High Priest. I love these verses in Hebrews:

Heb. 9:25-28, Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; (25) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (26) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (27) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (9:28 )

What a beautiful picture!

Without the precious blood of Jesus Christ, there is no forgiveness of sins! Without being born again, one cannot be saved.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3)

The born-again believer is the one who believes that Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life and shed His blood on the cross to become that perfect sacrifice for us. He also believes that Christ rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Rev 12:10)

When Satan accuses the born-again believer before God, Christ stands up and tells His Father that it is His blood that paid the debt for this Christian and the Father now only sees the righteousness of His Son.

Thank God we are not required to work our way to heaven! Thank God we are not allowed entrance only by our own merit for we would be doomed indeed! The perfect sacrifice of Christ is all we need to believe in.

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. (Joh 3:16)

It is so simple, yet so many enter Hell’s gates every second. This world is trying desperately to remove the blood from its services. They fail to realize that it is only by the Blood of Jesus Christ that entrance to heaven may be gained! Sin cannot enter heaven. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:14)

Isaac Watts truly possessed salvation as it is evident in his writings. Just today’s hymn alone shows us the degree of his beliefs. Watts’ anguish at his own sin and what Christ had to suffer to free him from this sin is clearly seen. Is our testimony for Christ today as evident as Isaac Watts? Can we honestly say:

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.



Day 5 – There is a Fountain Filled with Blood

I was drawn to William Cowper (pronounced Cooper) because of his testimony. He was born on November 15, 1731 in Great Berkhampstead, England and died in April, 1800. His father was chaplain to King George II so it appears that William was raised on God’s word. William studied to become an attorney but he never actually practiced law. He struggled with temporary madness to the point that he made several attempts at drinking poison only to have spasms in his hand which prevented him from doing so. Talk about the hand of God on his life! He then tried to hang himself with a strong garter. He passed out and then the garter broke while he was still suspended. After he recovered, he struggled with knowing that God could forgive him for this attempt. It was then his life changed.

Today’s hymn was the first hymn William wrote after his recovery. It is evident that the Lord worked in him and gave him the assurance of forgiveness.

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

What words! They were penned by a repentant man in need of the assurance of love from his God! William could not stand the fact that he entertained thoughts of suicide. I have been in his shoes. I did not suffer from madness but I entertained suicidal thoughts. Had it not been for the grace of God, I would not be here today writing devotionals and praising Him! My Heavenly Father sent a dear friend to me from a thousand miles away to share the salvation message! She arrived in the nick of time because a few short days later was when I planned to end it all. Thank You, Lord! I was born again and those suicidal thoughts left me and I have never entertained them since! \o/

The devil uses despair to play mind games with the believer. I have seen it in my own life and I have seen it in the lives of others. The key to despair is how we deal with it. I compare my Christian walk with that of a car. A car starts off brand new and it works beautifully. It smells good – it looks good – it drives great! Depending on the car’s owner, the car may or may not continue to run well. If the owner does not fill the car with fuel regularly, it will run out of gasoline and stop working. If the owner does not perform the scheduled maintenance checks, the car will begin to experience problems. If the tires are not checked from time to time, the owner can expect a flat. There are many things that must be maintained on a car to ensure that it runs properly.

The same holds true for the Christian. When the Christian first gets saved, he is on fire for the Lord and it seems that nothing can stop him.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17)

However, as the Christian gets older, there are things that he must do to maintain his spiritual zeal. Our fuel is the word of God. Without daily fuel from above, we can expect to sputter and eventually stop. How can we deal with the day’s problems without the proper fuel from above to keep us going in the time of storm? Without our scheduled maintenance (church services), we can expect to encounter problems with our walk. One cannot expect to be able to draw on our spiritual resources if we have not put anything into them. Being in the word of God daily helps us to remember a verse when we need one desperately. The Holy Spirit reminds us of a passage that we read a couple of weeks ago, or even that very morning. Paul exhorted the Ephesians not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God but to put away those old things (sins).

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (Eph 4:22)

The Christian who does not stay in the Scriptures will find himself grieving the Holy Spirit and he won’t be able to hear His still small voice when he needs it most. He will not have the resources to pull from when the devil begins to push him into the sea of despair. I have seen two types of people who suffer from chronic illnesses. The first is in God’s word and is able to make it through each day because of God’s grace he receives from the word. The other has become an embittered person, full of disdain for the world around him, because he has nothing to draw from. God’s word brings healing – maybe not physically, but spiritually. Our Emmanuel (God with us) is there to heal our broken spirits when the devil is busy trying us sore.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Act 10:38 )

Have you ever heard the term FIFO? It is an inventory term used in warehouses. It stands for First In First Out. It means that the first piece of inventory that goes on the shelf should be the first piece of inventory that leaves the shelf. It is the same with our own spiritual lives. If we put something into our spiritual inventory, it will be the first thing that surfaces in our lives. If we read our Bible, we will be able to draw on that when we are in need of a word from God. If we neglected our Bible reading and did other things, we can expect to have nothing to pull from.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)

When we stand before God and receive reward for the works that we have done for Him, will we stand ashamed before Him because we did not study His word? Will we have to bow our heads in shame because we fell into the sea of despair instead of using our life raft, the word of God?

William Cowper saw this in his own life, I believe. I do not know whether his temporary madness was a mind game from the devil or an illness. I could not tell whether or not it was before his salvation or after. This is not clear in the history I have read. There may be some other accounts out there detailing this but I have not read it. However, I do know that his Heavenly Father reached down to him in his despair and lifted him. I do know that from that point on, William went on to write one of the most beautiful hymns about the blood of his Saviour. He totally grasped salvation and penned a clear message of how the Saviour paid dearly with His own blood the punishment for sin we so deserved.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

Despite our sin, the born-again believer can say the power of Christ’s blood will take us home and one day, we will no longer struggle with sin. Praise God! What do you have on your spiritual shelves to draw upon when you are in need? Do you have the latest movie details, lyrics to your favorite song, or the precious word of God to direct and guide you? God’s Word promises five things:

  1. LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89): We do not have to doubt its origin, preservation or authenticity because God’s word was and is forever settled in Heaven. We have God’s word to turn to – He has promised us.
  2. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105): God’s word will keep us from stumbling spiritually because it will direct us.
  3. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psa 119:140): God’s word is pure – there is nothing in it which is polluted or corrupt.
  4. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psa 119:160): God’s word is true from the beginning of time and forever. There are no lies in it, no contradictions, and no faux pas! We can count on it to give us what we need, when we need it.
  5. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17): God’s word will set us apart from the spiritually malnourished believer as well as the unbeliever.

In the mean time, what kind of FIFO system do you have controlling your spiritual inventory today?



Day 6 – Jesus Paid it All

Elvina Hall was born in Alexandria, Virginia on June 4, 1822 and died July 18, 1889, in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. There is not much information on her but what I did find said she married Richard Hall of Virginia. After he passed away, she married a Methodist minister named Thomas Meyers.

As I listened to this hymn today and meditated on its words, it was evident that Elvina truly knew her Saviour and she knew her Bible. No one can pen these precious words and not have been in the Word!

Jesus Paid it All
Elvina M. Hall

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Refrain

And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Refrain

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

Refrain

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

Refrain

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Refrain

I would love to be able to write poetry like Elvina Hall wrote. She must have had hundreds of verses committed to memory to be able to write a hymn that so closely attached itself to verses from Scripture! In each one I was able to think of a Bible verse to go along with it.

I hear the Savior say: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. (Psa 66:19)

“Thy strength indeed is small: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Pro 24:10)

Child of weakness, watch and pray: Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. (Mar 14:38 )

Find in Me thine all in all: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Co 15:28 )

Jesus paid it all: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Rom 3:25)

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

For nothing good have I: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

I’ll wash my garments white, In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:14)

And now complete in Him: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Col 2:10)

Close sheltered ’neath His side: Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Psa 57:1)

Thy power and Thine alone: For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. (Psa 86:10)

Can change the leper’s spots: And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Mar 1:40) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. (Mar 1:41)

My ransomed soul shall rise: 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. (1 Cor 15:52)

Jesus died my soul to save: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Mat 18:11)

Shall rend the vaulted skies: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mat 24:27)

And when before the throne: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (Rev 7:9)

I stand in Him complete: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Col 2:10)

I’ll lay my trophies down, All down at Jesus’ feet: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (Rev 4:10)

Are you not blessed by the amount of Scripture that can be thought of while reading her writings? I surely was blessed by it all. I consider this type of hymn to be the epitome of hymns because it points to the Word of God and focuses on the Scriptures! I hope you were as blessed with today’s hymn as I was! Praise the Lord and Amen!



Day 7 – Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Once there was a great King who ruled his kingdom with great love as well as with an iron rod. He showered his people with blessings. But when his people were wicked, he meted out judgment. No one escaped punishment when they did wrong.

The King had a wonderful son who absolutely adored his father. He went into the village to show the King’s good will and was an outstanding ambassador to the throne. The village people loved the Prince and followed him wherever he went when he would come to visit them. The Prince loved his people as well. When one was sick, he was there to help nurse them to health. When another was destitute, the Prince gave him his own robe to wear. Everywhere the Prince went in the kingdom, the people knew he was the King’s ambassador because the Prince always spoke so highly of his father.

One day, one of the villagers was caught red-handed trying to steal potatoes so his family could eat. He was immediately imprisoned because the law of the land demanded justice. A fine of 500 farthings was imposed but the villager did not have even a farthing to go toward the fine. Because the King was just and demanded punishment for all crimes, the villager was sentenced to prison. Oh how distraught was this man. He knew that his family would be without a bread winner and, therefore, they would die of starvation. His family sent messengers to plead with their King but they were told that the King’s justice must be served. The debt had to be paid.

The King was heart broken! He, too, loved the people of his kingdom. He paced back and forth hoping that an idea would come to him. How could he provide a way of escape for this villager and yet his justice still be served? Suddenly, an idea came upon the King. The King knew how much the Prince loved the villagers and that he would do anything for them. The King went to his son and presented the dilemma to him. Because the father and the son were of like mind, the son immediately knew what his father was thinking. He told his father that he would gladly take the punishment for this villager so that he would be set free. The King was greatly moved by the compassion of his son and allowed it to be so. The Prince went to the prison guard and had the villager released. He then stepped into the prison cell and took his place. The villager’s entire debt was paid in full as the Prince took upon himself the villager’s punishment!

Isn’t this a wonderful display of love by the son?

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13)

Our Prince, Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace – left His throne to take on our punishment for sin so that His Father’s justice would be served. Sin demands judgment, my friend. Aren’t you glad that Christ paid the penalty so we would not have to? I know that I am!

This lovely hymn by Emily Elliott totally blessed my heart today. Emily Elliott was born on Ju­ly 22, 1836, in Bright­on, Eng­land. She passed away on Au­gust 3, 1897, in Islington, Eng­land. There is not much history on the Internet that I could find about Emily. Her father was a rector at St. Mark’s Church in Brighton. Emily was editor of the Church Missionary Juvenile Instructor.

This hymn is one of three that are credited to her and it is the only that I had ever heard. The words are absolutely beautiful! They lead us into a direction in our mind’s eye that is not all that common. Yes, we know that Christ is King of Kings. But do we really meditate on His true royalty? It is helpful at times to think on these things and realize exactly where Christ came from – His work then becomes more meaningful. This same Christ came from the greatest Kingdom of all, the Kingdom of Heaven. He came to glorify His Father and lead us to Him. He did not stop there – He even paid the penalty for our own sins so that His Father’s judgment would be served! Praise His Holy Name!

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
Emily E. Elliott

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.

Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.
Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

Refrain

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.

Refrain

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.

Refrain

When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”

Oh what precious words!

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown: Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. (Psa 89:14)

But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luk 2:7)

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom 10:9)

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest: And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Mat 8:20)

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word, That should set Thy people free: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:35)

But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn: And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (Mat 27:29)

When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing, At Thy coming to victory: A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. (Mat 12:20)

Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room, There is room at My side for thee: And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. (Luk 14:22)

Praise the Lord that our King of Kings left His royal throne to take upon Himself the penalty for our sin! Praise the Lord that it is not left to us or we would all be doomed. Our Heavenly Father cannot look upon sin and cannot allow sin into His Heaven. Only because of the righteousness of Christ are we able to gain entrance.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Rom 3:25)

Amen and amen!



Day 8 – At Cavalry

William R. Newell is credited with this wonderful hymn! We sing this song frequently at our church. I love the words – they do so reflect what is in my heart! William was born on May 22, 1868, in Savannah, Ohio and passed away on April 1, 1956, in DeLand, Florida. He became assistant superintendent at Moody Bible Institute in 1895 and was also credited with Bible commentaries on Romans, Hebrews, and the Book of Revelation.

It is so obvious that William experienced a true born-again conversion. He intimately knew what the Saviour went through for him to be saved and it was obvious that he loved to write about it.

At Calvary
William R. Newell

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Refrain

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Refrain

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Refrain

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Refrain

As I read the words to this hymn, verse after Bible verse popped into my head! I’m excited to share my thoughts with you:

Years I spent in vanity and pride: I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Ecc 1:14) and Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18 )

Caring not my Lord was crucified: The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psa 10:4)

Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary: And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (Luk 23:33)

Mercy there was great, and grace was free: The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psa 145:8 ) and Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Rom 3:24)

Pardon there was multiplied to me: For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. (Psa 25:11)

There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:2)

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) and So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)

Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned: My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. (Psa 119:120)

Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary: Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Rom 3:19)

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28 )

Now I gladly own Him as my King: And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Rev 15:3)

Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary! Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (Heb 2:12)

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! 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. (Joh 3:16)

Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 )

Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary! And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (Luk 16:26)

Praise the Lord for the words in this hymn! How can you walk away from singing this and have a burdened heart or a heavy spirit?



Day 9 – At the Cross There’s Room

What a beautiful hymn this is. Just the title alone is a testimony in itself! At the Cross there is room! Does this stir your heart? It surely does mine. It is comforting to know that there is not a limited amount of room. Fanny Crosby’s biography was previously done on Day 1 of this series on Hymns. One piece of information, however, that was not stated on Day 1 was the fact that written on her tomb­stone were the words, “Aunt Fan­ny” and “Bless­ed as­sur­ance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a fore­taste of glo­ry di­vine.” Fanny’s love for the Lord was evident in her writings, wasn’t it? Each hymn that she wrote depicted a Christian who walked closely with the Lord. I can’t help but admire someone who was blinded at such a young age by the carelessness of one man and yet she did not harbor resentment toward that man or God. She could have wasted away her life and been cared for by others. But instead, she glorified God and allowed Him to use her – and used her He did!

At the Cross There’s Room
Fanny Crosby

Mourner, wheresoever thou art,
At the cross there’s room!
Tell the burden of thy heart,
At the cross there’s room!
Tell it in thy Savior’s ear,
Cast away thine every fear,
Only speak, and He will hear;
At the cross there’s room!

Haste thee, wand’rer, tarry not,
At the cross there’s room!
Seek that consecrated spot;
At the cross there’s room!
Heavy laden, sore oppressed,
Love can soothe thy troubled breast;
In the Savior find thy rest;
At the cross there’s room!

Thoughtless sinner, come today;
At the cross there’s room!
Hark! the Bride and Spirit say,
At the cross there’s room!
Now a living fountain see,
Opened there for you and me,
Rich and poor, for bond and free,
At the cross there’s room!

Blessèd thought! For every one
At the cross there’s room!
Love’s atoning work is done;
At the cross there’s room!
Streams of boundless mercy flow,
Free to all who thither go;
Oh, that all the world might know
At the cross there’s room!

Each human being goes through so many phases in their life time. Fanny covered many of these phases in this particular hymn. She encouraged the reader to come to the Cross of Christ in each phase showing them that Christ was there for all of them.

  1. When we mourn: She encouraged the reader who was mourning for whatever reason to come to Christ and give Him their burden. Whether you have lost a loved one or you are grieving your sins, Christ cares. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pe 5:7) Why would this verse be included in the Scriptures unless God wanted us to know that He cares! Does this not stir your soul? The Creator of all cares for you! Praise His Holy Name!
  2. When we need someone to talk to: The Lord hears all our prayers to Him. He is always nearby waiting to hear from us. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psa 4:3) There are no “maybe’s” in this verse. We are clearly told that the Lord will hear us when we call on Him. He does not sleep so He is always available to hear us. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (Psa 121:3) Glory!
  3. When we wander away from Him: We know that when we wander away from God’s side, he is right there waiting our return. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (Jam 4:8 ) Notice the condition we must be in to draw nigh to Him? We must purify our hearts, cleanse ourselves from our sin (repent), and we must not ride the fence of indifference. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (Jam 1:8 ) The Christian who struggles in his walk with the Lord is one who is unstable – double minded. You cannot play with the world and expect to come out spiritually minded. But the believer who seeks to be close to his God will repent and come to His side. He is always there, waiting to receive us.
  4. When we are burdened with the cares of this world: Our Saviour desires to carry our burdens with us. He does not remove the burden but He promises to make it lighter because He is carrying it with us. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28 ) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Mat 11:29) In the devotional Three Steps to Christ in a Two-Fold Way, I touched upon the yoke and its significance. What a comfort it is to know that we are not left alone to carry our own burdens! Praise the Lord that the Creator of the universe is in that yoke right along with me! What a blessing it is to go along in life knowing that the Saviour, my Shepherd, is helping me with every area of my life! Thank you, Lord!
  5. When the enemy troubles us: When we are persecuted for the cause of Christ, God promises to take care of them in His time. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (2 Th 1:7) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (2 Th 1:8 ) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Th 1:9) We do not need to be distracted by the enemies around us. God will take care of them – if not in this life time, in the next.
  6. When we need salvation: When we are aware of our sin and the need for salvation, Christ is there ready to provide us with His saving grace. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Act 16:31) Everything else in life is fruitless without the Lord and His work on the Cross.

There is room at the Cross for all – from salvation until the day we are taken home to be with the Saviour! It is at the Cross we receive atonement for our sins and without the Cross, we have nothing. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Rom 5:11) Once salvation is received, Christ’s mercy and grace follows the believer and His power is shown through our testimony. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phi 4:13)



Hymns – Day 10 – Amazing Grace

What a beautiful picture of Fall foliage in Northern Maine! Having grown up there, I remember the most vivid colors and how magnificent was the Lord’s handiwork! However, I don’t recall seeing leaves such as these. Did you notice the beautiful green centers of the leaves? It made me think that no matter how much turbulence there is around us, as long as we are attached to the Tree, we will have His likeness within us. The Holy Spirit resides inside us and glorifies Christ through our words and our actions. I praise the Lord for my salvation, don’t you? I cannot even begin to tell you how much He has changed my life!

Before I was saved, I had heard the instrumental version of the hymn that we are covering today. I had never “heard” the words, however. This hymn was played during the first church service I attended after salvation. When I heard the words for the first time, I broke down into tears! The lady sitting next to me turned to me thinking that I wanted salvation and walked me to the front of the church! God knew I needed to make public profession so this was timely. But the words penned by John Newton spoke to my heart. Although I did not have the same testimony as Newton, I was a sinner on my way to hell just as he. I shudder to think what would have happened if my dear friend had not submitted to God’s will to travel 1,000 miles to witness to me at the time that she did. Little did she know that had she not obeyed the Lord, I would have been dead a few short days later! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Thank You, Lord!

John Newton’s words reveal a very personal relationship with his Lord and Saviour. The softest of born-again hearts can utter the words of this song today and become teary eyed with gratefulness! John Newton was born on July 24th, 1725, and died on December 21, 1807. He wrote Amazing Grace at the age of 54 years old. He lived to be the ripe old age of 82!

John’s mother passed away when he was just seven years old. Can you imagine losing your dear mother at such a tender age? He was left alone to be raised by his father, a sailor. His father took John and set sail when he was but 11. John grew into a godless man and, as a result of such years, became a slave ship commander in Africa. God used these experiences to draw Newton to Him. His grace shown upon John at the age of 23 when his ship was taking on water and death seemed imminent. He spent the next six years growing in the Lord. After six years of commanding a slave ship, Newton spent the next nine years studying Hebrew and Greek, learning from Wesley, Whitefield, and other Nonconformists. He was ordained and became curate at Olney in 1764, where he became a friend to William Cowper and with him produced the Olney Hymns.

I look upon his testimony and how he looked back on his years as a slave ship commander and penned the most beautiful hymn known today. Amazing Grace is the most played hymn known to man. Why is this so, one might ask? Put yourself in Newton’s shoes as a young man on a sinking ship. He had read a piece by Thom­as à Kemp­is and it had sown a seed in his heart. Had it not been for these circumstances, these beautiful words would not have been written!

Amazing Grace
John Newton (1779)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

(Mr. Newton did not write this last verse)
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

The first verse of this song summarizes salvation! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 ) That saved a wretch like me! Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev 3:17) I once was lost, but now am found; For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Mat 18:11)

Was blind, but now I see. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (Joh 9:39) John Newton began this hymn with the best news he could possibly write about!

The remaining verses spoke of how God revealed Himself to him and how he has been the Lord’s ever since, and forever more. Newton’s gratefulness to God cuts to the core, doesn’t it? I remember rejoicing and my heart leaping for joy when I heard this man’s beautiful song. I remember being able to relate to John Newton and being able to sing these words with truth and joy!

To have the veil removed my eyes where I could see the sinner I truly was and what great salvation was provided to me was more than I could bare! When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I felt as though a hundred pounds had been lifted from my shoulders! The lady who led me to the Lord gave me a Bible and when I opened God’s Word for the first time and read the Book of John, I melted! I could not believe that I actually understood His Word! I could read and understand whereas before salvation, the words were as dry as dust! Praise the Lord that He found me, His lost sheep!

I did not know John Newton’s testimony at the time I first heard this song but I remember praising God that He had placed such a beautiful song in my path that day so that I could sing along with the author the words that so beautifully depicted the joy in my heart!



Day 11 – The Love of God

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39)

Nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of God! Amen and amen! I look at pictures of the Grand Canyon and see its depth and height and width – this is how I can bury this verse deep in the soil of my heart! Looking at this picture gives a whole new meaning to the vastness of God’s love and the emphasis His Word has on this love and how He never leaves us! Praise the Lord! If this does not bless you today, your blesser is broken!

Today’s hymn is about the love of God and its intensity. What a wonderful topic to cover, isn’t it? How can one be depressed or discouraged when there is a God that loves us like this and to this extreme? This type of hymn helps us to encourage ourselves – it encourages us to dig into the Word and be blessed beyond measure! Frederick M. Lehman is the author of these beautiful words! He was born on August 7, 1868 in Mecklenburg, Germany and died February 20, 1953 in Pasadena, California.

His family came to the U.S. when he was four. He grew up in Iowa and was saved at the young age of 11. It was the beauty of nature that brought him to Christ while he was out walking one morning. When I read this, it reminded me of Paul’s words in Romans:

Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God can reveal Himself even to a child through His beautiful creation! Their tender hearts are so open to receive Christ.

Although Lehman pastored at Audubon, Iowa; New London, Indiana; and Kansas City, Missouri, he spent most of his life writing hymns. His first one was written in 1898 when he was a pastor in Kingsley, Iowa. He moved to Kansas City and assisted in founding the Nazarene Publishing House.

Today’s hymn was written in 1917 and published in 1919 in Volume 2 of “Songs That Are Different.” I’ll say his song is different! Cyberhymnal had this tidbit that simply amazed me:

The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages. One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song… Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity. Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948

The music to this beautiful hymn was arranged by Lehman’s daughter, Claudia L. Mays.

The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Refrain

My friend, if you are feeling alone in the midst of total chaos today, please know that there is nothing that can separate you from your Heavenly Father! He is right there – going through your trials along with you.

Rom. 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (38 ) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (39)

This got me to thinking about the preciseness of this verse – Paul left nothing to chance – he included everything that a human being could think up in his quest to find the limit God’s love. There is nothing!

Death – The saved child of God will die but he cannot go to hell. It only serves to emphasize that We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Co 5:8 )
Life – The saved child of God cannot be separated from God no matter how he lives his life – it is not a license to sin but it proves to us that our sin is not what separates us from Him! Our sin hinders fellowship with God but does not remove our position in His family.
Angels – the devil is a fallen angel – he cannot separate us from God!
Principalities – No supreme power on earth can separate us from God!
Powers – No power whatsoever can separate us, including ole slew foot himself!
Things Present – No circumstances in the present can separate us.
Things to Come – No circumstances in the future can separate us!
Height – It just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of height can separate us! Visualize it in your mind’s eye.
Depth – Again, it just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of depth can separate us!
Any other creature – No creature can separate us! This puts to rest those who believe that you can choose to give up your salvation. God says that no other creature can separate us from His love. If your child divorced himself from you and your family, would that make you any less of a parent? Of course not.

Praise the Lord that our salvation is not dependent on anything that we do! Our salvation is totally dependent on God’s love and what He did for us!



Day 12 – Lead Me to Calvary

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psa 61:2)

What a beautiful verse this is! Sometimes the trials of life require us to look up unto the hills from whence cometh our help (Psalm 121). Each time we look to that Rock that is higher than we are, we are assured that the Lord will be there, ready to meet our needs.

At the hour I was saved, I did not know the meaning of Calvary and all that it involved. I merely knew I was a sinner in need of a Saviour and Jesus Christ was that Saviour. It did not take much time in the Scriptures to discover exactly what my Saviour went through to pay the price for my sin debt! Today’s hymn leads us to Calvary and shows the heart of its author, Jennie Hussey.

Jennie Evelyn Hussey was born on February 8, 1874, in Henniker, New Hampshire. She lived most of her life in New Hampshire where she died on September 5, 1958. She was born and raised a Quaker and began to write poetry when she was young. In my readings about Jennie, I found very little about her life. There is no indication that she ever married. She died while living in a home for the aged.

Today’s hymn was written in 1921 and first appeared in “New Songs of Praise and Power.” Although some of my beliefs are different from those of the Quakers, I enjoy this beautiful hymn because it revolves around the Cross of Calvary and what my Blessed Saviour went through for me! If it were not for His shed blood on Calvary, where would we be? If it were not for His resurrection, where would we be? Praise the Lord – He has risen!!!

Lead Me to Calvary
Jennie E. Hussey

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Refrain

Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Refrain

I cannot lose my salvation because it revolves around Calvary and the free gift (see Galatians 5)! Christ died once for all.

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

I am born of the flesh once. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (Joh 3:4)

I am born again once. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Joh 3:6)

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

If I could lose my salvation and get saved over and over again, then my salvation would be based on my works, not the blood of Christ. It is no longer a free gift. Because we are a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we no longer are born of corruptible seed. We are born again of the incorruptible seed.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Pe 1:23)

If we could lose our salvation, then this seed would be incorruptible and that is not what the Word says. Praise be to God!

So with the confidence of always being a child of the King, I can boldly go to that Rock which is higher than I and look unto those hills from whence cometh my help. My trip to Calvary was made once but I continually go there in my heart to meditate on what the Lord Jesus Christ went through for me!

With a deeper understanding of His suffering, I can carry my own cross of trials.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luk 9:23)

These trials and burdens I am called to bear will draw me closer to Him and will allow me opportunities to minister to others who are going through the same thing. We are to be “Jesus with skin on” to a world that is blind to spiritual matters. We may be the only Bible that some people will ever see. Let our words and our actions take the unbeliever to Calvary!



Day 13 – To God be the Glory

Once again, I will touch upon the work of Fanny Crosby. This dear saint is such an inspiration to me. It is said that at ten she could recite correctly the first four books of both Testaments! This proves to me that a child of ten years old is able to set aside the circumstances of life and allow the Lord to work in her heart!

I discovered that while she was at the school for the blind, she would often read her poetry to visitors and would also meet with presidents, generals and dignitaries. Later, she was known for her mission work – giving most of the money she earned for writing hymns to this work. Her devotion to serve others was also a wonderful inspiration to me.

I will share more about Fanny Crosby as we go along this series. There are so many of her 9,000 hymns that I want to share with you. I guess I could have done a devotional just on her songs alone! Each time I meditate on one of her hymns, I can more clearly see her walk with the Lord.

This particular hymn is a blessing to me. The whole song is a praise directed to Jesus Christ, the Saviour. The beautiful words depict an author who was truly grateful for her salvation. So should we be, amen?

To God be the Glory
Written in 1875

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.Refrain

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Refrain

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Refrain

Despite her blindness since the age of six weeks old, Fanny Crosby learned to sing praises to the Lord. Her circumstances were not controlling her life – instead she was controlling her circumstances.

There are fifteen verses in Scriptures which use the phrase “sing praises“! In fact 14 out of the 15 were recorded in Psalms. I truly believe that Fanny rested in this Book many a time to have the heart for the Lord that she did. One cannot have a heart full of praise when one is having a pity party.

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. (2 Sa 22:50) Sing praises because you are thankful!

Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. (Psa 9:11) Sing praises to let others know what He has done for you.

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. (Psa 18:49) Sing praises as a testimony to the unsaved.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. (Psa 27:6) Sing praises despite the enemies all around you.

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. (Psa 47:6) Sing praises to God, your King. He loves to hear from His children.

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. (Psa 68:4) Sing praises to God and be specific for what you are praising. Let others hear just how much He has done for you!

Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: (Psa 68:32) When we praise God individually, it spreads to those around us – let the Church sing praises to God!

But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. (Psa 75:9) Sing praises until your last breath here on earth and then continue into eternity.

[A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.] It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: (Psa 92:1) Sing praises because it is good for us to give thanks!

I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. (Psa 108:3) Sing praises to God to everyone around us. It is a testimony to His goodness!

Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. (Psa 135:3) Sing praises because it is pleasant to do so. Anything that is pleasant motivates us to look up!

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. (Psa 144:9) Sing praises in song – poetry – hymns … Fanny surely took this one to heart!

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. (Psa 146:2) Sing praises while you have a chance here on earth to be a testimony to the lost. Singing praises amongst the brethren is also a wonderful encouragement in time of need.

Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. (Psa 147:1) Sing praises because it is comely – it is suitable for a Christian – it should be what defines a Christian – it should be part of our nature. The opposite of praise is complaining – this is what the world does. The world is not satisfied, therefore, they are always searching to fill a void in their lives. The satisfied Christian sings praises in all circumstances.

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. (Psa 149:3) Sing praises and let it “show” in your life – don’t hide your light under a bushel but let it shine brightly for all the world to see.

A believer who spends most of his time praising God has very little time to be unhappy. His eyes are focused above instead of on his problems. Where do you rest your eyes? Where are your thoughts focused? Do you look at life’s circumstances and let them overwhelm you? Are you like Peter when he saw the storm about him?

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Mat 14:30)

As soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Before you start to judge Peter, remember that he was the only one who was brave enough to step out of the boat to walk on the water! His faith took him part of the way and then fear set in when the circumstances about him were too much. Are you like this in your Christian walk? Do you have enough faith to press forward but then you fall apart when the going gets tough? The world needs to see faith in action – to some, it may be the only Bible they ever see!

The Lord gave us the remedy in His word and Fanny Crosby was able to tap into the Source and apply it to her own life. She could have been bitter. She could even have allowed the world to take care of her because of her disability (as it was common in those days). But instead, not only did Fanny get out of the boat to walk on the water, but she allowed the Lord to keep her afloat by singing praises to His Name.

Won’t you do the same Christian? When you are overwhelmed, sing praises! When you are sad, sing praises! When you are angry, sing praises! When you are joyful, sing praises! Is it not the same Lord who helped Peter who will help you? No matter how difficult the circumstances or heavy the burden, there is always something for which to praise the Lord! We just need to keep our eyes fixed on Him and have a song in our heart.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.



Day 14 – Great is Thy Faithfulness

August 2011 · 14 comments · Categories: Maranatha Devotionals · Tags: Faithfulness, Hymns
I think it is safe to say that Thomas Chisholm personally knew about the faithfulness of God. No one can pen words such as these and not have enjoyed God’s compassions.

Thomas Obediah Chisholm was born in Franklin, Kentucky on July 29, 1866. At the age of 57, he wrote Great is Thy Faithfulness (in 1923). He did not attribute this song to anything in particular going on in his life at the time. It is evident then that his life’s experiences had drawn him near to God’s side. Mr. Chisholm became a teacher at the age of 16 at the same small school he attended. It was in 1893 that he became a Christian. In his life time, he wrote over 1200 poems – he published 800 and set many to music. At the precious age of 93, this dear saint went home to be with the Lord.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

The faithfulness of God is something this believer has never quite fully comprehended. It amazes me that God would love a wretched sinner like me! It is not because of anything I have done that He loves me because He loved me before I ever loved Him.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 Jo 4:19)

I was blessed when I searched out the phrase thy faithfulness. As you read these verses, stop to meditate on God’s faithfulness to all of us. Today’s photograph was taken by a dear sister and it depicts God’s faithfulness to Noah and to all generations after! This same God is the One who watches over you and I and His faithfulness is never ending!

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. (Psa 36:5)

I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. (Psa 40:10)

Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? (Psa 88:11)

[Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.] I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. (Psa 89:1)

For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. (Psa 89:2)

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. (Psa 89:5)

O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? (Psa 89:8 )

To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, (Psa 92:2)

Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. (Psa 119:90)

[A Psalm of David.] Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. (Psa 143:1)

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lam 3:23)

My Heart is Full

There is no other who can fill my heart
The way You can, dear Lord.
There is nothing else that satisfies
Like a drink from Your precious word.

Each page is perfect, what I need to read
To guide and light my way.
When my heart is heavy, overwhelmed
Your words are fresh like winter air.

There is none other like you blessed Lord
You know just what I need
On each page Your Spirit whispers truth
And the waters of doubt recede

You raise me up each time that I am down
My heart you cause to sore
As I look unto the hills for You
I find Your love and so much more!

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour He is.
Deservingly adored.
The Alpha, Omega, first and last,
And King of Kings forever more!

Kate Plourde



Day 15 – She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: (Mat 9:20)

This song is a beautiful tribute to the healing power of our Saviour!

George F. Root was born on August 30, 1820, in Sheffield Massachusetts and died on August 6, 1895 in Bailey Island, Maine. By the time George was 13 years old, he was able to play 13 instruments. I could not find any biographical information on George’s spiritual background. But as I read another one of George’s hymns entitled, Thou Art My Rock, it was evident that he was saved. No one could pen words as poignant as these and not know the Rock of Ages personally! Maybe I will use this hymn on another day. I felt that today’s hymn was needed, not only for those who have a physical trial but for those who have another kind of trial or burden, whether it be emotional, spiritual, marital, etc.

She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment

She only touched the hem of His garment
As to His side she stole,
Amid the crowd that gathered around Him,
And straightway she was whole.

Refrain

Oh, touch the hem of His garment!
And thou, too, shalt be free!
His saving power this very hour
Shall give new life to thee!

She came in fear and trembling before Him,
She knew her Lord had come;
She felt that from Him virtue had healed her,
The mighty deed was done.

Refrain

He turned with “Daughter, be of good comfort,
Thy faith hath made thee whole!”
And peace that passeth all understanding
With gladness filled her soul.

Refrain

God is so good, isn’t He? Although this dear soul in Matthew 9:20 was healed physically, there is much to glean about being healed spiritually and emotionally. Have you had a need to touch the hem of the Lord’s garment today? Have you come to Him today?

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (Joh 6:37)

The unsaved cannot claim this and cannot share in the joy and peace that is found there.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28 )

I found it interesting that it was the hem of Christ’s garment that was touched and not His arm or His shoulder. One must kneel to reach the hem of a robe. This takes humility and setting pride aside.

And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Mar 1:40)

I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus put this particular gesture in the Scriptures for this very reason.

To the believer, much can be gleaned from touching the hem of the Saviour’s garment as well. Just because we are saved, our own righteousness is still nothing in the eyes of God.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

Kneeling before the Lord in prayer acknowledging who He is draws us to His side.

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (Heb 7:19)

We are able to find solace at His feet and we recognize that the Creator of the Universe is there to heal us from our burdens – whatever those burdens may be.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psa 55:22)

Are we all guaranteed physical healing? The Scriptures say no! If that were the case, everyone would have been healed when the Apostles walked the earth and exercised the gift of healing that the Holy Spirit had given to them. Instead, Paul struggled with his own physical trial – the thorn in his side.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Co 12:7)

Also, Paul could have healed Timothy’s stomach problems.

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Ti 5:23)

Furthermore, Gaius would not have had physical issues because John would have healed him. (3 John 1:2)

All physical healings are subject to the will of God in our lives. If anyone had a chance to be healed, it was Paul. However, God told him that His grace was sufficient for him.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Co 12:9)

When God allows us to experience physical trials, it is because He can be glorified even more through the trials. Paul recognized this.

Our Heavenly Father would never give us more than we can handle. If He did, that would make Him cruel and we know that is not so!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13)

The word temptation in this verse does not mean being tempted to sin. The Greek word here is peirazō – meaning:

G3985
πειράζω
peirazō
pi-rad’-zo
From G3984; to test (objectively), that is, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: – assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try.

In other words, God allows these tests in our lives to discipline us spiritually or to prove our metal, so to speak. Not only does this draw us closer to Him but when we are weak, we can use it to examine ourselves and learn and grow thereby.

How are you handling your physical trial today? Are you wallowing in self pity? Are you bitter? Are you angry with God? If you are any of these, forsake it and allow God’s grace to be sufficient for you. Allow God to work through you for the benefit of others. Allow God to draw others to Himself as they witness His grace in your life.

Those with physical trials are not going through anything more difficult than those who are going through other types of trials. Each of us has a cross that we must bear in life. If you think your burden is heavier than someone else’s, then your eyes are on others and not on the Lord. God allows the trial in our lives to draw us to Him and Him only. Who do you run to when you are suffering? Your friend? Your spouse? They are not the ones who can help you.

[A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:1)

Whatever it takes for us to see only Christ is exactly what God will allow. I could not bear the burden of fibromyalgia and God knows that I would not glorify His name. However, He has allowed me the opportunity to glorify Him through the trials assigned to me personally. The cross He has given to me to carry is allowed especially for me so that I can help others). There’s nothing new under the sun, the Scriptures say. (Ecc 1:9) There are others out there who are going through the same exact trial as I am. It is up to me to help them through their trial as God helped me through mine. This is what brings glory to God. That is why we are here – we are to minister to the needs of others.

Today’s hymn is so beautiful! The Lord shows us that through faith we can overcome our circumstances by touching the hem of His garment. He promises to heal us one way or another – if not physically, He will lift our spirits so we can sore with the eagles!

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa 40:28 )

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isa 40:29)

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (Isa 40:30)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)



Hymns – Day 16 – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Psalm 121:1-2, “[A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (2)”

This dear saint lived to be nearly 100 years!!! Could it be because she actually lived the words of this song? Helen Howarth Lemmel was born on November 14, 1863 in Wardle, England. She died shortly before her 98th birthday in Seattle, Washington.

Ms. Lemmel had a beautiful singing voice and gave many concerts in the United States. She later became the vocal music teacher at Moody Bible Institute. She retired in Seattle, Washington where she became a member of Ballard Baptist Church. One of the memorable things in her life for me was that Billy Sunday used one of her works, a hymnal, for over ten years in his ministry. In fact, her vocal group was part of Billy Sunday’s group at the height of his career as an evangelist.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Refrain

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Refrain

This hymn has been one of my favorites since I was saved in 1980! In my opinion, it should be the Christian anthem for struggling believers. I know it has been mine! I love how she turned weariness and burdens into focusing on her Lord, His word and winning the lost! What a wonderful recipe for the Christian life despite the circumstances!

Most believers who have done anything for the Lord have been those who are burdened and carry a heavy cross. Many do not even realize that their burdens are heavy because they walk so closely with their Heavenly Father. They have learned to leave their burdens at His feet! Helen Lemmel seemed to have perfected this in her walk.

Meditate with me this morning on this very fact, dear saint! Do we leave our burdens at the Saviour’s feet where they belong? Do we continuously take back our burdens onto our own shoulders? Why would we even want to? Isn’t it easier to give them over to the Lord and leave them in His quite capable hands?

I have a dear friend who struggles with worry. In fact, while we were in South Carolina last week, our motor coach had some electrical problems and we had to sleep with the coach idling all night to charge the batteries. My friend, a born-again Christian for many years, stayed awake most of the night worrying that gases would asphyxiate us! She shared this with me the next day because she saw that I had a great night’s sleep and felt convicted.

I remember being in her shoes. Fretting is just not fruitful to the believer. I was able to share:

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. (Psa 4:8 )

What kind of testimony are we to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords when we fret and worry about circumstances beyond our control? Why would the world want anything to do with our God if they see defeat and worry in our lives?

It is this very thing that weighs heavy on many Christians’ lives. They cannot control worrying when God’s word is filled with verses that encourage us to lean on Him. Sweet peace can be found in the arms of Christ, my friend.

So where are you today in your walk with the Lord? Do you really trust Him to care for your burdens? Do you desire that same precious walk that Helen had with the Lord? You can have this walk but you will have to train yourself. How does one train himself? As you turn a burden over to the Lord and reap the benefit of peace, write it down – remember it. When your next hurdle or burden comes across your path, remember the previous blessing of peace.

Train yourself to remember when God brought you through previous trials and trust that He will do it again this time. Count your blessings daily and that will convince you and prove to you that the Lord is always at work in your life. As a new trial or burden arrives, you will then be quick to remember how He came through for you and you will be ready to turn the burden over to Him. Don’t be a fretter.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. (Pro 29:25)

My friend’s fear brought a snare into her life. She was trapped by this fear and did not sleep all night long. Notice that the Scriptures say that had she trusted Him, she would have been safe? Nothing happens to us that the Lord does not authorize. Look at Job! In searching God’s word for trust, I discovered many verses that just blew me away! God has so much to say in this area. Could it be that He really does not want us to worry?

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. (Psa 73:28 )

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. (Psa 115:11)

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psa 118:8 )

[A Song of degrees.] They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. (Psa 125:1)

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

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:9)

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. (Pro 3:25)

Our Saviour does not want us to be afraid!

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (Mat 14:27)

And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. (Mat 17:7)

Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. (Mat 28:10)

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (Mar 5:36)

For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. (Mar 6:50)

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. (Luk 12:4)

But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. (Joh 6:20)

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: (Act 18:9)

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (1 Pe 3:14)

What an awesome Father we have! He does not want us to be afraid or to fret about things which are out of our control. He just wants us to trust Him – just as we would want our own children to trust us!

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



Hymns – Day 17 – O Lord my God! how great art Thou!

John Quincy Adam, our sixth President, was a wonderful poet. He was born on July 11, 1767, and died on February 23, 1848. I had never heard this hymn before – the words are absolutely beautiful! It was set to music by Lowell Mason Hamburg in 1824. If you click on this hyperlink, it will take you to Cyber hymnal and you can listen to it. It is a beautiful hymn and the words are an absolute blessing.

President Adams was blessed with a true gift of poetry. His style just flows and the words magnify God! As I read his hymn, I felt the peace of God cover me like a blanket. Meditating on these words truly causes one to be overwhelmed with God’s power and might. At least it did for me.

O Lord my God! how great art Thou!

O Lord my God! how great art Thou!
With honor and with glory crowned;
Light’s dazzling splendors veil Thy brow,
And gird the universe around.

Spirits and angels Thou hast made;
Thy ministers a flaming fire;
By Thee were earth’s foundations laid;
At Thy rebuke the floods retire.

Thine are the fountains of the deep;
By Thee their waters swell or fail;
Up to the mountain’s summit creep,
Or shrink beneath the lowly vale.

Thy fingers mark their utmost found;
That bound the waters may not pass;
Their moisture swells the teeming ground,
And paints the valleys o’er with grass.

The waving harvest, Lord, is Thine;
The vineyard, and the olive’s juice;
Corn, wine, and oil, by Thee combine,
Life, gladness, beauty, produce.

The moon for seasons Thou hast made,
The sun for change of day and night;
Of darkness Thine the deepest shade,
And Thine the day’s meridian light.

O Lord, Thy works are all divine;
In wisdom hast Thou made them all;
Earth’s teeming multitudes are Thine;
Thine—peopled ocean’s great and small.

All these on Thee for life depend;
Thy Spirit speaks, and they are born;
They gather what Thy bounties send;
Thy hand of plenty fills the horn.

Thy face is hidden—they turn pale,
With terror quake, with anguish burn;
Their breath Thou givest to the gale;
They die, and to their dust return.

And Thou, my soul, with pure delight,
Thy voice to bless thy Maker raise;
His praise let morning sing to night,
And night to morn repeat His praise.

We should take the time to meditate on God’s goodness to us as well as His power and might. Like the Psalmist David, President Adams allowed his thoughts to dwell on the Almighty and in turn glorified Him through his writing.

So what does this song do for you, oh Christian? Do you read it like any other song or do you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart? The Spirit’s job is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you allowing Him the opportunity to do this for you in your life? Meditating on God’s Word is a must if we want to grow spiritually. Reading songs and poetry like this and listening to Godly music also works in a Christian’s heart.

Eph 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

If it were not so, the Lord would not have dedicated the entire book of Psalms to music. God knew that music is an important part of a person’s life and can be a blessing!

I know that today’s devotional is not typical of my others. There really is not much more to add to words so beautifully penned. May the Lord use these words to work in your heart and draw you to Him, His goodness, power and might!



Hymns – Day 18 – Count Your Blessings

Not much is known about Johnson Oatman, Jr., the author of one of my favorite hymns! Mr. Oatman was born on April 21, 1856, and passed away on September 25, 1922. Did you know that he wrote lyrics for 5,000 hymns? Not only did he pastor local churches but he also worked full time in the retail and insurance industries!

Count Your Blessings
Johnson Oatman, Jr.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

The most important characteristic I found about Mr. Oatman was that he was a grateful man. He must have gone through many trials as a salesman. The life of a salesman is not an easy one. Most salesmen depend on commissions and, therefore, their income fluctuates. I’m certain Mr. Oatman had bounty and I am certain at times he had nothing. Can’t you just see this throughout his lyrics in this blessed hymn?

What do you do when trouble comes knocking on your door?

Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (5) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (6)

As you can see, there are four verbs in these two verses. The first three verbs are commands to us from God: Trust in the Lord, lean not unto thine own understanding, in ALL thy ways acknowledge him. The fourth verb in verse 5 is a promise that He SHALL direct thy paths! When we pick apart verses and meditate on the meat, we see that the Lord has given us golden nuggets which will help us when we need that help the most! How can you trust someone you don’t know or barely know? You can’t!

Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As we build our faith by being in the Word, we learn to trust God more and more. You cannot trust if you are only in the Scriptures on occasion. Could you trust a stranger? Could you trust someone you had only spoken to a few times? Why is your walk with the Lord any different?

Do you think Mr. Oatman held those verses close to his heart? I know I do. I have made these my life’s verses. Many times in my Christian walk have I wondered why the Lord was allowing certain circumstances in my life. Each battle He has allowed me to go through has drawn me closer to Him. Each battle has taught me to trust Him more and more. Now when a battle comes, I immediately go to Him – knowing that He will carry me through.

My friend, He will do the same for you if you let Him. Remember

1 Sam. 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.

The battle is the Lord’s, my friend! It’s not ours. When God allows a trial into our lives, He does not leave us or abandon us. He provides exactly what we need, when we need it. It is through the battles that we learn that our Commander in Chief is not asleep on the job but is in the front lines winning the war!

My friend, won’t you count your blessings this morning? Write them down – share them with others – name them one by one! Even in the darkest of circumstances one can find a blessing in his life! When you feel as though the world is caving in on you, take your eyes off your circumstances and count your blessings! Start doing something for someone else. It is in doing for others that you will find many a blessing! Before you know it, you will be counting your blessings out of habit and you will no longer have to search for them – they will be all around you!



Hymns – Day 19 – There Shall be Showers of Blessing

Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

What a beautiful song Daniel Whittle penned! The words bring hope and encourage the Christian to seek after God.

Daniel W. Whittle was born on November 22, 1840, and died on March 4, 1901. Whittle served as a Major in the Civil War, where he lost his right arm, and was known thereafter as Major Whittle. It was during the Civil War that he was saved. He was asked to pray with a dying young soldier because he had been seen reading a Bible. He obeyed the request and it was at this young man’s bedside that he asked God for forgiveness. Major Whittle then prayed with the young soldier and the soldier found Christ before passing away. The Lord used this situation to draw Major Whittle and the young dying soldier to Him. What a blessed story this was to read! After the war, Major Whittle became treasurer of a watch company. It was in this company’s quiet vault that he committed his life to the Gospel.

Major Whittle not only wrote this blessed hymn but also wrote two more which you will recognize: The Banner of the Cross and Christ Liveth in Me.

There Shall be Showers of Blessing
Daniel W. Whittle

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Refrain

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

Refrain

Today’s verse and song speak of showers of blessing but yet the photograph at the top is totally the opposite. Without the beautiful benefits of the season of Winter, earth cannot produce the precious seeds and harvest of Spring and Fall. God gave us the four seasons for a purpose and each affects the other three.

The Winter season has many benefits other than the obvious cold weather. The frigid temperatures provide mankind with a natural pest eliminator. Viruses and germs cannot survive in continuously cold weather. Bugs, which damage crops, cannot survive the cold. Molds and mildews die off as well. Winter is God’s natural way to rid the earth of these things.

When I lived in Northern Maine, I not only felt healthier in the Winter time but I had more energy when I spent time outside. Haven’t you ever felt invigorated by the blast of cold air that hits your face the moment you step outside on a cold day? The Winter winds stir up the atmosphere on a greater scale than the Summer winds – they purify the atmosphere. While orbiting the earth on a Winter day, astronauts have said that the atmosphere is clear and clean. As the earth expands and contracts in the Winter time, the soil is pushing the seeds upwards and preparing them for Spring’s showers.

I liken earth’s Winter season to our own spiritual maturity. Are you in the Winter season of your spiritual walk? The Spring time brings salvation and newness of life.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

During the summer years of our walk, we grow and mature as Christians.

1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

As we enter the Fall season of our spiritual growth, we shed old habits and sinful ways like the trees shed their leaves.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Then as we walk in the Winter season of our Christian life, we experience trials and tribulations. Each one drawing us closer to the Lord. We eliminate those pestilences that have hindered our walk. It is when we remove the barriers between us and the Lord that the showers of blessings from the Spring time can freely flow into our lives.

1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Our Heavenly Father sends blessings along the way but these blessings flow more freely as we become more like His Son.

What a beautiful comparison this is. There is something to be learned in all of God’s creation, including the Seasons. The Lord blessed me and showed me that the trials and tribulations of the day will produce showers of blessings in the end as I draw nigh to Him.

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

As our hearts are softened, we get closer to God.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Our Heavenly Father loves us no matter what we do.

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

But our love for Him is shown when we allow ourselves to be molded into Christ’s image.

2 Timothy 2:19-21, Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (19) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (20) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (21)

It is at this point in our spiritual walk that we can fully receive the showers of blessings that God wants to shower upon us. When we fully lean on Him and trust Him with all areas of our lives, we receive that peace which passeth all understanding.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.



Hymns – Day 20 – He’s Coming Soon

I was drawn to the Saviour because of the promise of His blessed return to earth to Rapture the Saints. When I heard this song, written by Thoro Harris, I received such a blessing!

Thoro Harris was born on March 31, 1874, in Washington, D.C., only 30 miles from where I now live. He died on March 27, 1955. He produced his first hymnal in 1902. When I read the words to this beautiful hymn, I cannot remain in a discouraged state of mind. I cannot remain ungrateful. It is beautiful hymns like these that encourage the Saint to look up to the hills from when cometh our help!

He’s Coming Soon
Thoro Harris

In these, the closing days of time,
What joy the glorious hope affords,
That soon—O wondrous truth sublime!
He shall reign, King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Refrain

He’s coming soon, He’s coming soon;
With joy we welcome His returning;
It may be morn, it may be night or noon—
We know He’s coming soon.

The signs around—in earth and air,
Or painted on the starlit sky,
God’s faithful witnesses—declare
That the coming of the Savior draweth nigh.

Refrain

The dead in Christ who ’neath us lie,
In countless numbers, all shall rise
When through the portals of the sky
He shall come to prepare our paradise.

Refrain

And we, who living, yet remain,
Caught up, shall meet our faithful Lord;
This hope we cherish not in vain,
But we comfort one another by this word.

Refrain

This dear brother in Christ sure knew his Bible. “He shall reign, King of kings and Lord of Lords.” Our Saviour shed His grace upon man and give His very blood so we could reign with Him. Isn’t that awesome?

(1 Cor. 15:52) 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.

(Tit 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what a blessed hope we have indeed! Chances are I will hear from one of my readers who picks apart my writings and accuses me of heresy over and over. He thinks he will “convert” me back to the “religion” of my youth but he is mistaken for sure. There was no hope in that religion. All I could say was that I “hoped” I would go to heaven. But after reading Ephesians 2:8-9, I saw that my religion was one of works and I could not get to heaven based on anything good that I had done.

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

My friend, our own righteousness (that which we think we have in our own lives and our own works) is considered a filthy rag in God’s eyes.

(Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

You know who you are, Sir, and I pray that you will allow God’s word to speak to your heart through His Holy Spirit so you can find true salvation – not man’s – not a church – but through Jesus Christ. Do so now for He is coming soon!



Hymns – Day 21 – Saved from the Wreck

I have never heard the hymn that we are covering today. I was searching for something that would deal with the storms of life, and this came up. After reading the words and listening to the melody, I’ve discovered a treasure!

This beautiful hymn was written by Eliza Hewitt. This dear lady was born on June 28, 1851 and died on April 24, 1920. It appears that she was born, raised and lived in Philadelphia all of her life. Eliza’s teaching career ended when she became disabled due to a spinal problem. Here is a dear saint who did not allow the physical trials in her life to stop her from serving the Lord through writing hymns. She also served the Lord as a Sunday School superintendent at the Northern Home for Friendless Children and later on at the Calvin Presbyterian Church. It is also noted that she was a contributor to Sunday-school Helps.

Saved from the Wreck
Eliza E. Hewitt

Adrift on the waters, so dark and so cold,
Afar from the beautiful city of gold,
A vessel is sinking, for heavy the gale,
The cable is broken, and tattered each sail.

Refrain

Poor child of the wreck, see the lifeboat is near,
A sweet voice is heard, for the Master is here;
He walks every billow, controls every wave,
’Tis Jesus, King Jesus, “the mighty to save.”

Oh, I was the sinner alone on the sea,
But love’s blessèd signal were floating for me;
Though thunders were rolling, and billows at strife,
Lo, Jesus was calling, “escape for thy life.”

Refrain

I stepped in the life boat, provided for me,
And Jesus my Pilot, my Captain to be;
His bosom my refuge, my “haven of rest.”
I’m rescued from shipwreck, so happy and blest.

Refrain

Life’s turbulent surges are kissed into peace,
The beacons are shining, and songs never cease;
Fair moonbeams, bright sunshine, illumine the tide,
While onward to glory we’ll joyfully glide.

Refrain

Eliza must have gone through many a turbulent trial with her infirmity. I know so many dear saints who have debilitating diseases and chronic illnesses and yet they serve the Lord in whatever capacity they can.

The Christian is not promised that he will never go through hard times. But we are promised that in the midst of the storm, our Shepherd will lead us to still waters.

(Psa 23:2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I think of those dear saints the Lord has allowed me to meet in my life who have been stricken with physical problems. Each of these saints has blessed me more than I could possibly say. Although they struggle to stay afloat in their physical storms, they minister to others showing how Christ has brought them to those still waters spiritually.

Where are you today, dear friend? Are you wallowing in self pity because of your ailments? You can serve the Lord despite all of your circumstances. Everyone wants to feel needed. The Lord wants to use you to help others – yes, even with your physical impairments the way they are. There are others in this world who are suffering just like you – with the same ailments as you. You can be a blessing to someone else and help them through their physical trials by sharing what the Lord has done for you and how He has helped you. You can meet this person’s needs by sending cards, praying for them, or even calling them. I have a dear friend who has fibromyalgia and every year the illness progresses. She sends “care packages” out to those who have the same illness and gives them information they need to help them through this illness. She sends them devotionals, Bibles, and anything else the Lord lays on her heart to be a blessing.

What struggles are you going through? Has the Lord helped you through depression? Then help someone you know who is struggling. We all have our crosses to bear in life – but we never bear them alone.

Psalm 107:28-31, Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (28 ) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (29) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (30) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (31)

You may be the one that God wants to use to help someone out of his/her distress. People today are lonely and searching for peace and tranquility – yes, even Christians. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and He will direct you to someone to help. You will find that in helping others, you will be guided to the still waters and will find comfort from your trials.



Day 22 – ‘Tis Jesus

When I think of Christ’s love, I think of how vast the love of God is as well as how much we are forgiven! I thought this beautiful photograph was appropriate for today’s hymn.

(Rom 8:38 ) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come (38 ) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (39)

When we see a picture which helps us to understand a Scripture verse, the teaching implants itself in our heart and we are able to fully comprehend what our Heavenly Father is trying to teach us. I looked at this photograph this morning and the first verses that came to mind were these in Romans.

I have never heard today’s hymn. The words are simple, yet beautiful. They were penned by J. Wilbur Chapman who was born in Indiana on June 17, 1859. He passed away on December 25, 1918. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister and he pastored several churches. When reading the words to this hymn, it is evident that Mr. Chapman knew about Christ’s love and the depth of His love for mankind.

‘Tis Jesus
J. Wilbur Chapman

I know of a world that is sunk in shame,
Where hearts oft faint and tire;
But I know of a Name, a precious Name,
That can set that world on fire;
Its sound is sweet, its letters flame.

Refrain

I know of a Name, a precious Name,
’Tis Jesus.

I know of a Book a marvelous Book,
With a message for all who hear;
And the same dear Name, His wonderful Name,
Illumines its pages clear;
The Book is His Word, its message I’ve heard.

Refrain

I know of a home in Immanuel’s land,
Where hearts ne’er faint nor tire;
And His marvelous Name, His own dear Name,
Inspires the heav’nly choir;
Hear the melody ringing, my own heart singing.

Refrain

You cannot get to Heaven but through Jesus Christ, my friend. There is no other, according to the word of God. God did not leave us defenseless in today’s world. He left us His Bible so that we could find salvation. Look at the Ethiopian in Acts 8 – he was in the desert and searching for salvation. There was no one around – yet God sent Philip to witness to him and give him the wonderful Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. God will reveal Himself to anyone if they are searching for Him.

(Act 4:10-12) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (10) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (11) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (12)

Do you see that? There is NO other name under heaven whereby we can be saved! That means Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, or Buddha. NONE other name under heaven – only Jesus Christ. As well, no “church” will save you either. Being a member of a certain church does not get one to heaven any more than being in a garage makes you a car.

When you meditate on God’s love in light of this photo and these verses, your heart becomes tender to what Christ had to go through so that we could be united with the Father. Our born-again experience did not come cheaply, my friend. Jesus Christ had to pay a price for us – a huge price – His own shed blood on a cruel cross!

(Mat 26:28 ) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

He did this freely! It was His free gift to mankind. There’s nothing we can do to earn a free gift – otherwise it would not longer be free! Just read Galatians 5 and you will see what the Scriptures have to say about Christ’s free gift.

If someone were to save you from drowning, you would shower this person with thanks and even reward him for his part in saving you, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t ignore your rescuer but you would shout from the roof tops what he had done for you.

(Hos 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

When a person rejects Jesus Christ, he rejects the fact that He came to save him. This person will realize his ungratefulness when he stands before Christ on the day of judgment and finds that his name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

(Rev 21:27) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

At that point, it will be too late to admit that Christ came to save him. Christ died for all man – not just a few. To deny Him brings eternal damnation in the lake of fire. What a price to pay for rejecting such a wonderful gift!

(Joh 3:16) 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.

The fact of the matter is that Christ came to earth in human form because mankind could not be “good enough” to save himself. Being a member of a church does not gain you entrance to heaven either. That would mean that you could “earn” it yourself and the Word contradicts that thought.

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

For the lost, Christ brings salvation and eternal life.

For those who are already born-again, today’s devotional encourages you to meditate on Christ’s vast love for you. It should motivate you to do all you can while you still have time to draw others to Him. What a wonderful gift to give the Lord as we remember His birthday – the gift of leading someone to a saving knowledge and the depth of His love!!

(Psa 126:6) He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.



Day 23 – Will Jesus Find Us Watching?

This is probably the third or fourth Fanny Crosby hymn that I have chosen for this devotional series. She has so many songs that bless the heart. One thing I found interesting about Fanny is that she used many pseudonyms. A pseudonym is a pen name taken by a writer so the writer can remain anonymous for whatever reason. I have read that this was done by women in the early years when it was thought that only men should be writers and composers. Taken from Cyberhymnal, here are the pseudonyms Fanny Crosby wrote under:

Adrienne, Cora
Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Andrews, A. E.
Apple, James
Armstrong, Alice
Atherton, Rose
Bell, Carrie
Bethune, Catherine
Black, James
Black, James L.
Black, James M.
Blair, H. E.
Blair, Henrietta E.
Booth, Florence
Bruce, Charles
Bruce, Robert
Burns, Charles
Carlston, Mary
Carlton, Leah
Church, Fannie
Craddock, Eleanor
Culyer, Lyman G.
Dale, Ella
Dayton, Flora
D. D.
D. D. R.
Eliot, James
Edmonds, Lizzie
Edwards, Lizzie
F. A. N.
F. J. C.
F. J. V. A.
Fannie
Fanny
Forrest, Mrs. Edna
Frances, Carrie
Frances, Grace J.
Frances, Lillian G.
Frances, S. Trevor
Frances, Victoria
Garnet, Jenny
Glen, Jenie
Gould, Frank
Grinley, Mrs. Kate
G. W. W.
Harmon, Ruth
Hawthorn, Carrie
Hope, Frances
Hops, Frances
James, Annie
James, Mary
James, Sarah
J. F. O.
J. W. W.
Judson, Myra
Lankton, Martha J.
Lincoln, H. N.
Lindsay, W. Robert
L. L. A.
Lowry, Minnie B.
Marion, Maude
Martin, S
Martin, Sallie
Martin, Sam
Miller, Laura
Montieth, A
Montieth, Alice
Park, Edna L.
Prentice, Mrs. L.C.
Smiling, Mrs. Kate
Smith, Sallie A.
Smith, Sallie E.
Smith, Sally
Smith, Sam
Sterling, J. L.
Sterling, Julia
Sterling, Rian J.
Sterling, Ryan
Sterling, Victoria
Stewart, Victoria
Taylor, Ida Scott
The Children’s Friend
Tilden, Louise W.
Tilden, Mary
V., Jenny
Van A., Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Fannie
Van Alstyne, Fannie Jane
Van Alstyne, Mrs.
Van Alstyne, Mrs. Alexander
Viola
Wallace, Zemira
Wilson, Carrie
Wilson, Mrs. C. M.

[yes, she sometimes used these marks instead of a name!]

#

‘*’


Isn’t that interesting? I have not been able to find out why she chose to write under so many but nonetheless, she surely did a lot of writing!

Today’s hymn is a very special one to me. Since the day I was born-again, I have thought of Christ’s return every single day. I was born again at noon on April 1st, 1980. I use to laugh and say that I fooled ole slew foot because I was saved on April Fool’s Day. But each day since, I have looked forward to Christ’s appearing at the Rapture of the Saints!

It is the topic of the end times that drew me to the Saviour and it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have studied the Rapture of the Church thoroughly and am convinced that Christ will be here at any moment! In the twinkling of an eye, we are told!

(1 Cor. 15:52-58 ) 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. (52) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (53) 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. (54 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (55) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (56) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (57) 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. (58 )

Oh Glory!

Fanny Crosby must have taken verse 58 very seriously, in my opinion. She was steadfast – she was unmoveable in the work of the Lord. Despite her blindness, she held no resentment in her heart and she moved forward in her work for the Lord. I wonder how many of her songs are sung throughout the world on any given Sunday during church services? Her songs have even been translated into different languages! Today’s hymn is a blessing because it exhorts the believer to be steadfast as well.

Will Jesus Find Us Watching?
Fanny Crosby

When Jesus comes to reward His servants,
Whether it be noon or night,
Faithful to Him will He find us watching,
With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

Refrain

O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, waiting when the Lord shall come?

If, at the dawn of the early morning,
He shall call us one by one,
When to the Lord we restore our talents,
Will He answer thee—“Well done”?

Refrain

Have we been true to the trust He left us?
Do we seek to do our best?
If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,
We shall have a glorious rest.

Refrain

Blessèd are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there?

Refrain

Whenever I sing this song, I fall under conviction. It actually should be my song every morning when I sit to do my devotions. If I were to adopt this as my daily song, I dare say I would not be so quick to look away but would keep my eyes fixed on the Lord’s return. When I read through the words this morning, my thoughts were fixed on my work for the Lord. What I have done for Jesus that would answer me – Well done!

(Mat 25:23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

We cannot earn our way to Heaven by the work that we do here on earth. That is clear in

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

The Lord made sure to put these two verses in the Scriptures so that man would not able to boast of his accomplishments. He would not be able to say, “Look at me! Look at all I have done or money I have given so that I can enter those pearly gates!”

However, after we are saved, the born-again believer’s actions and works should be such that an unbeliever sees Christ through our works. Our good works and our actions should draw the unbeliever and should attract him. These works should speak volumes without a word uttered!

(Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Before I was saved, my works were impeccable. I taught catechism – I helped the poor – I volunteered for good causes. However, none of these brought me assurance that I would go to Heaven when I died. You can purchase a gift to give to someone. However, you cannot purchase a gift that is given to you. The Word is clear about the Father’s gift to us. It cannot be purchased – it cannot be earned. If it could be, it would not be a gift at all. Along with Eph. 2:8-9, the Lord has given to us three more verses which teach us this fact:

(Joh 4:10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

(Act 8:20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

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

Where are your works today? Are you working for God because you believe that you will be rewarded by entering Heaven? Or are you working for God because you are a born-again child of the King and you want to please Him? The believer has peace knowing that he is a child of God and does not have to question his place in God’s family. However, the unbeliever does not have such peace. They do good works so that they can obtain this peace but this peace evades them. In the end, they are not convinced that they are going to enter Heaven. They wonder and hope that they will go to Heaven.

(Oba 1:15) For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Don’t be counted among the saved who will be ashamed at the Lord’s return. Do something about your laziness today. Work for the Lord for the day is fast approaching.

(1 John 2:28 ) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Take delight in boldly approaching the Lord knowing that you have done a good work today for the Master! I believe Fannie can be counted among these brethren. I have never read one negative comment about her service for the Lord. What a great day it must have been for her to enter Heaven!



Day 24 – He Lives on High

I love to sing songs about Christ’s reign, His coming, His grace and His mercy. There are so many good hymns which can lift my spirit in time of need. This is one of them, written by Baylus Benjamin McKinney. Mr. McKinney was born July 22, 1886, and died September 7, 1952. He attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary and taught there between 1919 and 1932. He pastored in Fort Worth, TX from 1931 to 1935 and afterwards became the music editor for the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee.

He Lives on High
Baylus Benjamin McKinney

Christ the Savior came from Heaven’s glory,
To redeem the lost from sin and shame;
On His brow He wore the thorn-crown glory,
And upon Calvary He took my blame.

Refrain

He lives on high, He lives on high,
Triumphant over sin and all its stain;
He lives on high, He lives on high,
Some day He’s coming again.

He arose from death and all its sorrow,
To dwell in that land of joy and love;
He is coming back some glad tomorrow,
And He’ll take all His children home above.

Refrain

Weary soul, to Jesus come confessing,
Redemption from sin He offers thee;
Look to Jesus and receive a blessing,
There is life, there is joy and victory!

Refrain

When I read the words to this hymn, I cannot get past the first verse without tearing up. “And upon Calvary He took my blame”! Jesus Christ, took my blame – my sin upon His shoulders and He paid the price for my much deserved punishment!

(1 Cor 6:20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

(1 Cor 7:23) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

This time of the year should cause the believer to meditate more thoroughly on Christ’s mission. Our blessed Saviour left His Throne on high to take on the form of man. He suffered as we suffered and was tempted as we are tempted. Yet in all of his trials and tests, not once did He sin. He fulfilled Jewish law that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed. He was the perfect sacrifice, the perfect lamb. He opened the gates of redemption by dying for all of us, not just the Jews! The Gentile now has the opportunity for salvation. Praise the Lord!

Because of Christ’s payment for our penalty, we will be able to participate in this beautiful choir after the Rapture, my friend:

(Rev 5:9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

(Rev 5:10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

(Rev 5:11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

(Rev 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

What a gift we have been given! Oh praise the Lord with me today!



Day 25 – Behold, the Grace Appears!

I thought it fitting to include a Christmas hymn in our series. Isaac Watts has 518 hymns attributed to him. In all of my devotionals, I have quoted Isaac Watts at least five or six times. One of my favorites of his is “Alas and Did My Saviour Bleed?”!

Behold, the Grace Appears!
Isaac Watts

Behold, the grace appears!
The promise is fulfilled;
Mary, the wondrous virgin, bears,
And Jesus is the Child.

The Lord, the highest God,
Calls Him His only Son;
He bids Him rule the lands abroad,
And gives Him David’s throne.

O’er Jacob shall He reign
With a peculiar sway;
The nations shall His grace obtain,
His kingdom ne’er decay.

To bring the glorious news
A heav’nly form appears;
He tells the shepherds of their joys,
And banishes their fears.

“Go, humble swains,” said he,
“To David’s city fly;
The promised Infant born today
Doth in a manger lie.”

“With looks and hearts serene,
Go visit Christ your King;
And straight a flaming troop was seen:
The shepherds heard them sing:

“Glory to God on high!
And heav’nly peace on earth;
Goodwill to men, to angels joy,
At the Redeemer’s birth!”

In worship so divine,
Let saints employ their tongues;
With the celestial hosts we join,
And loud repeat their songs:

“Glory to God on high!
And heav’nly peace on earth;
Goodwill to men, to angels joy,
At our Redeemer’s birth!”

As a writer, I love to see the motivation behind a person’s writing. To me, it is easy to see what motivated Isaac Watts. His love for the Lord is evident in every piece I’ve ever read. I also enjoy his style of writing. Each verse is tied into Scripture. I can easily read his writings and a verse comes to mind to go along with that particular verse.

Verse 1:

(Tit 2:11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

(Heb 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

(Mat 1:18 ) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Verse 2:

(Luk 1:32) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Verse 3:

(Luk 1:33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Verse 4:

(Luk 2:10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Verse 5:

(Luk 2:15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Verse 6:

(Luk 2:13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Verse 7:

(Luk 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Verse 8:

(Psa 30:4) Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Verse 9:

(Luk 2:14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

My favorite hymn is one that draws me to the Bible. Today’s Christian music may have good words – the melody may be beautiful – but do the words draw me to the Scriptures? At times, the music stirs me but the words do not cause me to think of a particular Bible verse. The hymns of old do, however. Especially those of Mr. Watts. I believe that music that glorifies the Lord is music that brings His word to mind and moves you to serve Him better.



Day 26 – Just As I Am

Photography by Bonnie Cipriani

(Psa 121:1-2) [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (2)

These two verses have been my encouragement and my prayer so many times. In fact, I have probably used Psalm 121 more than any other Scripture in my writings. I took this photo when John and I went on vacation to Alaska. Mt. McKinley, also known as Denali, is breathtaking! As you read the verses above and look at this photo, you can see why the psalmist penned this!

The unbeliever cannot claim such a verse because he does not have a relationship with the God who provides such promise. In order for a person to be heard of God, he must be saved.

(Psa 66:18 ) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

We all regard iniquity in our hearts.

(Rom 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Therefore, God does not hear the sinner’s prayers until he has accepted Christ as his Saviour and is now clothed in the righteousness of His own Son.

(Eze 33:13) When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

It’s not by our own righteousness that we are able to gain entrance into the Holy of Holies to commune with our God. God regards our righteousness as a filthy rag!

(Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Because Christ’s blood covers the born-again believer, our sins are no longer seen by the Father.

(Psa 103:12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Since our own righteousness is not acceptable in God’s eyes, then neither are our own works. We have to come to God knowing that there is nothing in our lives that can be allowed in Heaven. We deserve eternal punishment because of our sinful nature. We must come to him broken and humble knowing that there is nothing that we can do for salvation. God is the one who is in charge of salvation – salvation through Christ Jesus!

(Jon 2:9) But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Salvation does not come by being a member of a church or doing good your whole life.

With that in mind, I was drawn to the “invitational” song, Just As I Am, this morning, written by Charlotte Elliott. Miss Elliott was born March 18, 1789, and died September 22, 1871.

Just as I am, Without One Plea,
Charlotte Elliott

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

This beautiful song shows the humbleness of heart of its author. Miss Elliott became an invalid when she was around 30. I loved reading what she wrote about her severe physical condition (very similar to that of chronic fatigue):

“My Heavenly Father knows, and He alone, what it is, day af­ter day, and hour af­ter hour, to fight against bodily feelings of almost over­pow­er­ing weak­ness and lang­uor and ex­haust­ion, to re­solve, as He en­a­bles me to do, not to yield to the sloth­ful­ness, the de­press­ion, the ir­ri­ta­bil­i­ty, such as a bo­dy caus­es me to long to in­dulge, but to rise ev­ery morn­ing de­term­ined on tak­ing this for my mot­to, ‘If any man will come af­ter me, let him de­ny him­self, take up his cross dai­ly, and fol­low me.’”

I discovered that when Dr. Cesar Malan (of Geneva) came to her father’s house to visit, he caused her to think about her salvation. Because of her illness, she was irritable toward Dr. Malan and told him she did not wish to discuss religion. Dr. Malan’s humble response to her was that he would not continue the discussion but would pray that she accept Christ as her Saviour. The Holy Spirit used this to convict her and she apologized to Dr. Malan a few weeks later. She asked him how she could be saved and his response was to come to Jesus “just as you are.” She was saved and later was moved to write this beautiful hymn.

She is a testimony to those who suffer from chronic illness. Her life since her salvation was devoted to writing. This hymn was published in the “Invalid’s Hymn Book.” Despite her ailment, she made herself useful – she edited the Religious Remembrancer magazine and wrote 31 hymns. What a blessing it is to read about how God used her despite her illness. She replaced her bitterness with a servant’s humble heart. This heart was reflected in today’s hymn, wasn’t it?

I hope Charlotte’s testimony was a blessing to you today. If you are suffering from a chronic illness or you are dying from an illness, please take heart today. Your service for Christ does not need to end. In fact, you need His comfort in your life even more now than ever! There is joy and peace that comes with serving Him – a peace which goes past any understanding you will ever have.

(Php 4:7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When our hearts and minds are fixed on Christ and His will for our lives, we receive blessed peace. The world looks a Christian who is going through such a trial and witnesses a person who is not eaten up with bitterness but one that is glorifying the Lord in his work for Him!



Day 27 – In the Garden

~Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I absolutely love this verse! The Lord could have picked a different word than “sup” here. He could have said, “I will talk with him,” or “I will sit with him.” Instead, Christ picked the word sup. There’s nothing more intimate than a meal together. Family meal time is a precious time for me. I look forward to sitting down with my family after a long day and reconnecting with one another. I love to hear the chatter and laughter – it’s music to my ears. Sitting around a table for meals is a time children will remember; at least this is true in my family.

One of Jesus’ names is “the Word of God.” I truly believe that Christ picked every word written in the Bible and chose each word very carefully. I believe He had every intention to use the word sup here. The Lord desires to make entrance into our lives and meet with us. Not just to talk, but to actually have an intimate time – a meal, if you will. He desires to sit with us for more than just a few minutes but for the time it takes to have a meal. He desires to have that chatter and laughter, and sometimes even tears, in our time with Him.

Today’s hymn is also one of my favorites. It really should be accompanied with Revelation 3:20 whenever it is sung, don’t you think? The songs we sing should stir our hearts and bring the Scriptures to life, stirring our hearts. This beautiful hymn was written by Charles Austin Miles. Mr. Miles was born on January 7, 1868, and passed away on March 10, 1946. He started out his career as a pharmacist but left it to write Gospel music. His first song was “List ‘Tis Jesus’ Voice.” I loved this quote by him,

It is as a writer of gospel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire.

His desires were fulfilled, I would say! We sing a few of his songs in our own church.

In the Garden
Charles Austin Miles

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Refrain

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Refrain

(Psa 5:3) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

(Joh 10:27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

(Psa 128:1) [A Song of degrees.] Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

(Joh 10:29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

(Mar 4:39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

(Php 4:6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

(Php 4:7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When I sing this song, my heart is stirred to the Word. I think of my Saviour’s voice calling to me to get saved – Praise the Lord! I think of how I was placed into the Saviour’s care by the Father and no one can remove me from that care. I can meet with Him any time I want – any where I want and He is there. The One who created me and all that is around me can still any storm in my life and provide the peace which passes all understanding.

It is a joy being saved, amen?! It is a joy to meet with the Saviour in our “garden”!



Day 28 – A New Name in Glory!

Unfortunately, I can’t recall who shared this photo with me. A storm was coming through and we can see the lightning in the distance. When I look at it, I am reminded that our Saviour will one day return for His sheep in the air quickly – like a flash of lightning – the bible says in the twinkling of an eye! And just as Jesus left the earth, He will return.

(Act 1:9-11) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (9) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (10) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (11)

Aren’t you excited?

As we celebrate the time of His birth, let us not forget that His was not an ordinary birth. Jesus Christ’s life was no ordinary life! His death was no ordinary death!

(Mat 28:6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Christ conquered death and took on our punishment so that we may one day live with Him for all eternity. (1 Cor 15:55-57) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (55) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (56) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (57)

Because of this wonderful act of love from our Saviour, we are able to sing today’s hymn and rejoice! We covered this author yesterday so I won’t repeat myself and will just continue on with this blessed hymn!

A New Name in Glory
Charles Austin Miles

I was once a sinner, but I came
Pardon to receive from my Lord:
This was freely given, and I found
That He always kept His word.

Refrain

There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
And the white robed angels sing the story,
“A sinner has come home.”
For there’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound for Heaven,
Never more to roam.

I was humbly kneeling at the cross,
Fearing naught but God’s angry frown;
When the heavens opened and I saw
That my name was written down.

Refrain

In the Book ’tis written, “Saved by Grace,”
O the joy that came to my soul!
Now I am forgiven, and I know
By the blood I am made whole.

Refrain

Is your name written down in glory? For every born-again believer, singing this song is an encouragement to a weary spirit! Christ gave Himself for you and for me! Does that not touch you to the core?

(Gal 1:4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

(Gal 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

(Tit 2:14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(1 Jn 5:10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Why did Jesus do this for us? Why would He give Himself for us? Oh the blessed love of God! When I read these two verses, I am drawn to tears that my Lord would love us so much that He would do this for us! (Heb 2:17-18 ) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (17) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (18 )

Jesus Christ, the Perfect Lamb of God and our Saviour, voluntarily came to earth for the sole purpose of being tempted, living a sinless life and then dying so that He could take on our penalty of sin so we would not burn for all eternity! He stands before the Father as our High Priest always making intercession for us!

(Heb 7:25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We are saved to the uttermost! Noah Webster defines this word as:

UT’TERMOST, a. [utter and most.] Extreme; being in the furthest, greatest or highest degree; as the uttermost extent or end; the uttermost distress.

Strong’s Concordance says:

G3838
παντελής
pantelēs
pan-tel-ace’
From G3956 and G5056; full ended, that is, entire (neuter as noun, completion): – + in [no] wise, uttermost.

Can one be partially saved? If you are drowning and a rescuer comes to save you, does he save you then allow you to start drowning again and then save you again – so on and so forth? If you are burning in a fire, does the fire fighter save you, throw you back in only to save you again? If you are lost in your sin, does the Saviour die on the cross for your sins only to have to go die again because your salvation was lost? It sounds absurd when put it in this light, doesn’t it? But the definitions are awesome – they are clear to me! The Lord wants you to know that you have been saved to the uttermost – to completion – entirely. That means your sins from the past, present and future have been paid for, entirely, by Christ Himself! Glory! This does not give you the right to continue living your old sinful life and not change. For the Word says

(2 Cor 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Anyone who is grateful for being saved from eternal punishment burning in a lake of fire will not remain the same. They will allow the Holy Spirit of God to change them out of appreciation to Christ for what He has done!

What a lovely thought for today!

(Phil 4:3) And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

My name is written in the book of life – Jesus knows my name and my name is written down in glory!

(Joh 10:3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

(Psa 100:4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.



Day 29 – Sweetly the Holy Hymn

(Psa 123:1) [A Song of degrees.] Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

This photograph reminds me of the condition of my heart when I come to meet with the Lord. I look to the heavens to see my God and I prepare my heart to meet Him there.

(Psa 113:5) Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

Today’s hymn is one that I have never heard before. But I love Charles Spurgeon and knew that anything that he wrote had to be beautiful! Sure enough, I was not disapponted in the least. Brother Spurgeon was born June 19, 1834, in Kelvedon, Essex, England and passed away on January 31, 1892, in Montone, France. Although he was a well known preacher, he wrote several hymns which were collected into a work called “A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Public, Social, and Private Worship, 1866.” By the time Spurgeon reached the age of 21, he was the most popular preacher in London! He had no formal education yet he preached to thousands in his life time. God used him mightily.

He not only preached but he pastored, he founded churches, Sunday schools, and an orphanage; he also founded the Pastor’s College, and he also edited a monthly church magazine! He was definitely busy for the Lord. Today, many of us read the daily devotionals by Spurgeon. He continues to touch the lives of people and will continue to do so even after we’re gone.

There were two things from his biography that impressed me about this man: (1) He was not timid about calling out error in the Church of England or amongst his own Baptist circles and (2) he absolutely grieved over the trend of the day toward biblical criticism.

Today’s hymn shares with us a desire to meet with the Lord in prayer and song. Spurgeon spoke of his walk each day as a battle and the need to prepare for this battle by meeting with His God!

Sweetly the Holy Hymn
Charles H. Spurgeon

Sweetly the holy hymn
Breaks on the morning air;
Before the world with smoke is dim
We meet to offer prayer.

While flowers are wet with dews,
Dew of our souls, descend:
Ere yet the sun the day renews,
O Lord, Thy Spirit send.

Upon the battlefield,
Before the fight begins,
We seek, O Lord, Thy sheltering shield,
To guard us from our sins.

Ere yet our vessel sails
Upon the stream of day
We plead, O Lord, for heavenly gales
To speed us on our way!

On the lone mountain side,
Before the morning’s light,
The Man of sorrows wept and cried,
And rose refreshed with might.

Oh, hear us then, for we
Are very weak and frail,
We make the Savior’s Name our plea,
And surely must prevail.

Our Saviour’s name will surely prevail! It was interesting to find three verses in the Word that described how every knee would bow at the name of Jesus! The number three symbolizes the Trinity in the Word.

(Isa 45:23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

(Rom 14:11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

(Phil 2:10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Praise the Lord!



Day 30 – Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord

(John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Today’s song ends our series on hymns with another beautiful hymn by my favorite composer Fanny Crosby. I’ve only heard this particular song sung a couple of times a long time ago. Please go to Cyberhymnal and listen along while you read the words. The words bring joy to a weary heart and encourage one to press on until His return. This is what God honoring music should do, my friend. Today’s music may have great words or even a nice melody, but does the song move you toward righteousness? Does it draw you to the Word? Does it cause you to run to the Saviour’s side and to His Word so you can fellowship with Him? If it does not, you should contemplate changing your listening habits.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord
Fanny Crosby

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!
Sing, O ye people, gladly adore Him;
Let the mountains tremble at His word;
Let the hills be joyful before Him;
Mighty in wisdom, boundless in mercy,
Great is Jehovah, King over all.Refrain

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!
Let the hills be joyful before Him.

Praise Him, praise Him! shout aloud for joy,
Watchman of Zion, herald the story;
Sin and death His kingdom shall destroy;
All the earth shall sing of His glory;
Praise Him, ye angels, ye who behold Him,
Robed in His splendor, matchless, divine.

Refrain

King eternal, blessèd be His Name!
So may His children gladly adore Him;
When in Heav’n we join the happy strain,
When we cast our bright crowns before Him;
There in His likeness joyful awaking,
There we shall see Him, there we shall sing:

Refrain

(Rev 4:8 ) And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.(Psa 98:8 ) Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together(Psa 98:9) Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

(Job 36:5) Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.

(Psa 132:16) I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

(Isa 52:8 ) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

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

(Psa 66:4) All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

(Isa 6:3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

(Job 1:21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

(Psa 113:2) Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

(Dan 2:20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:

(Rev 4:10) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

(Rev 4:11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

(Rev 1:7) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Do you think Fanny knew her Bible? Here was a lady without sight yet when you read her hymns, you can tell that she had much of the Bible in her mind’s eye. She penned the word of God throughout each of the verses. When you sing this hymn or merely read its words, you are drawn to the word of God.

So this concludes our series on hymns – hymns we’ve loved throughout the years and hymns we have never heard, although they were hymns of old. I pray that this series was as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!

(Psa 106:48 ) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.




God’s Goodness

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’ve learned to find the smallest of blessings in the things that God provides for us each and every day. One wouldn’t think that gourds are a blessing but I do. As you look at this photograph, look at the beautiful colors! As Summer comes to an end, we see the Fall foliage and crops pop with their exquisite beauty! I pray this 30-day devotional (written in 2007) will help you to concentrate on God’s creation and see how we can learn about Him through it all.



Day 1 – Wolves

I thought it would be a blessing to spend the next thirty days looking at God’s Goodness through His creation. The Lord loves stories and analogies – He used so many when teaching His disciples. One of those heard often is:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Mat 7:15)

Can you just imagine an actual wolf dressed up like a sheep and what the impact is? What can we learn from this? What can we learn from the characteristics of a species? God’s Goodness is revealed through all of His creation. So for the first in our series of God’s Goodness, let’s take a look at the wolf.

As we observe the wolf’s habits, we can apply teachings and warnings to our own Christian lives. Wolves live in packs with the alpha male and female leading the way. Where they go, the pack follows. As the Pastor leads the church he has been called to under shepherd, the church follows, as long as his leading is scriptural. Does this mean that a church can follow a female pastor (the alpha female)? The Word says that a pastor is the husband of one wife (1 Tim 3:2). No where is it recorded that she is the wife of one husband.

The wolf pack follows the alphas by instinct. If Christians followed by instinct, we would be easily deceived. However, Christians have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are warned to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but are ravenous wolves. Whatever this wolf in sheep’s clothing is saying, it can be compared to what the Word of God says – the Word is Truth. Jesus is the Word and is there to guide us – to be our Shepherd.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14)

We that are His, hear His Spirit guiding us and He keeps us safe from these wolves.

An interesting trait of the wolf is his hunting habit. The hunting habits revolve around the chase. They are able to run for long periods of time before giving up on their prey. There are two ways we could look at this characteristic. The Christian should learn from this wonderful trait and be long suffering as they work toward winning the lost to Christ – not giving up quickly. But on the flip side, the devil is relentless in his attacks. He will attack (run) for long periods of time before he gives up on the Christian. He will keep after us until he sinks his teeth into us. The more prepared and vigilant the believer is, the better prepared he is to see ole slew foot’s attacks coming!

As I searched the Scriptures for the words “wolf” and “wolves,” I discovered there were twelve verses dealing with this species – ten that dealt with that of devouring the weaker animals. There were, however, two encouraging verses in Isaiah depicting the millennium period:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isa 11:6) and The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Isa 65:25)

Isn’t this exciting? I love the fact that although this animal was depicted in a negative way in the Word, the Lord portrays the wolf in a peaceful way when Christ’s reign here on earth brings peace, even to nature. Once again like in the Garden of Eden, carnivores will become herbivores and will no longer be a threat. It will be a joy to walk up to the wolf and be able to pet him, won’t it?

I’m looking forward to focusing the next thirty days on the Lord’s creation and how He speaks to us through it! I hope it will be a blessing to you as well.

Dear God…
All creation has a story
Where we learn a truth
Each one unique in his own way
Each pointing toward You



Day 2 – Lions

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Psa 91:13)

Today’s Goodness from God revolves around the lion. What a majestic animal this is! What beauty this animal possesses. The Word has so much to say about the lion. As I read the verses, many compared the lion to the devil. The devil’s tactics to prey upon the believer are very much like the lion’s tactics as it preys on the weak and defenseless.

Let’s look at some of the lion’s characteristics today and be blessed. The Lion is the King of the Jungle. My Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Juda:

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (Rev 5:5)

My Lion is the ultimate of lions. The female lions hunt at night or before sunrise and they hunt in packs. This reminded me of the darkness of sin and that Satan abides there. He and his minions do not cut any slack but come and attack in packs. Lions also steal food from other predators. Isn’t that just like Satan? He doesn’t play fair. He will take whatever he can get no matter what the expense. At times, lions prey on the younger of the species and the infirmed. The devil gets believers when they are at their weakest. He can attack a full grown spiritual adult but he cannot succeed because the Christian has the Shepherd watching out for him.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 )

Lions can reach speeds of about 37 mph! However, they cannot run for long distances because they don’t have the endurance. Therefore, they have to get really close to their prey before they can attack. The other lions circle around the prey to prevent escape. Doesn’t that just sound like the believer’s life under attack from the devil? We are attacked in spurts, from all around at times – never for the long haul, however, because our Father wouldn’t allow that. Our Precious Father allows a way of escape for us – oh His wondrous love for us!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13)

The Book of Psalms uses lion(s) eleven times to depict the behavior of the lion and how it relates to the believer’s life. Yes, we have our bouts with ole slew foot, but the Lord has the victory over him! Each verse shows the desperation felt – placing the lion here as an example truly depicts where we are at times!

Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. (Psa 7:2)

He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. (Psa 10:9)

Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. (Psa 17:12)

They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (Psa 22:13)

Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. (Psa 22:21)

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Psa 91:13)

The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (Psa 34:10)

Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. (Psa 35:17)

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. (Psa 57:4)

Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. (Psa 58:6)

The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. (Psa 104:21)

We may not have the enemies David had but we do fight against the flesh, evil and the devil. Everyone’s battle may be different but they are battles nonetheless. We should not underestimate the devil’s power. He is not compared to the lion for nothing. The devil waits to devour us – he waits until we are weak and never, ever plays fair.

In the end, however, the lion will be brought down from being a predator to being a big cat.

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Isa 65:25)

He will no longer devour flesh but will eat straw! The devil will be brought down by the King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda and He will defeat sin once and for all.

Dear God…
Your creation amazes me
I stand in wondrous awe
Each creature You designed
For enjoyment one and all



Day 3 – The Beaver

Beaver Den Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images ...

Having grown up in Northern Maine, seeing beavers was quite common for me. My father owned land which had a beaver’s dam on it. He and I would sit for hours watching them at work. As I meditated on these memories, I noticed a few things about them that blessed me.

A beaver is hard-working and diligent. They do not stop working to build their dam until the job is finished. As Christians, we should not grow weary in well doing but continue on in our work for the Lord.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:9) and But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. (2 Th 3:13)

The beavers use this same process to build their lodge. They don’t quit until their home is built. The mud gets packed so tightly with the wood that when it freezes, no predators can get through. I thought about our “temple.” The Christian’s foundation must be solid and impenetrable.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:11)

With Christ as our foundation, the enemy cannot and will not prevail. As I meditate on the mud-packed lodge, I’m impressed that our spiritual lives should be so “packed” with the Word of God that ole slew foot can’t step in. When we are equipped with the Word of God, the devil cannot penetrate us because God is our strong hold and protector.

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nah 1:7)

I also noticed that the beaver is quite tenacious. My father would purposely go remove a few pieces of wood from the dam. This caused the water to start flowing out. The next thing I saw was a little head come popping above the water and he would cautiously swim toward the break in the dam. He would make sure that there wasn’t a predator lurking about. A few minutes later, a few more beavers would show up to give a helping hand.

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. (Ecc 10:18 )

Dad and I would sit for hours watching them patch the dam. They didn’t dilly dally either, nor did they wait until night fall. If they did, the water level would get so low that their lodges would be exposed to predators. We should be so tenacious as we “build” our temples with the reading of the Word, our study habits and serving the Lord. Working at our spiritual lives is not easy but it produces great results. It keeps us close to the Source and protected.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

And lastly, I noticed that beavers have poor eye sight so they rely on their other senses. When one hears an enemy lurking about, he slaps his tail on the water. The sound is very similar to when you hit the top of the water with your hand. This signals their family members to be on the alert and to swim back to their lodge. Christians who are in tune with God will be able to hear warnings from the Holy Spirit. When danger lurks, we should run back to our Lodge (the Word of God). Our Stronghold awaits there to protect us. It also reminds me of our church – the Pastor slaps the water by preaching a warning from the Water of Life (our Bible) and warns us of danger lurking. We band together and stay strong as a body and church. The Pastor exhorts us to righteous living. He feeds our spirit so we can leave the church house and go into the mission field.

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer 3:15)

I have the most wonderful memories watching these beautiful creatures with my father. I am awed at how God reveals Himself through His creation. It’s such a blessing to be able to pick out certain characteristics and apply biblical principles to them. I look forward to each of the mornings ahead as I search for God’s Goodness in His creation. I look forward to not only look at animals, but to also look at the beauty of our heavens and our earth!

Dear God…
I pray that I learn from this creature
To be fervently seeking Your way
Quick to see when danger is lurking
And by Your side walking each day



Day 4 – The Stars

Bright STaRs program | AGU

One of the topics of discussion at Our Final Authority (now no longer a message board) is that of God’s creation. This is what prompted this series I’m currently writing. One of our administrators, Pastor John, shared some things on the stars that had such an impact on me! I wanted to spread the blessing with you today.

One of my favorite creations of God is the stars. There are more then 300 references to astronomical objects found in the Bible. The Bible is clear that all creation can teach us of God. The Psalmist teaches that the stars teach that they were created by the Almighty One:

Psalms 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” The stars also tell us of our Creator’s character.

Psalms 97:6, “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”

Because of the stars telling the story of their Creator, Paul was able to write: Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

The Bible has much to say about the constellations. The people of biblical days only knew of 48 constellations. Aratus gives the earliest description of these constellations in his poem Phaenomina, 270 B.C. This is the poem that Paul quotes in his sermon on Mars Hill in:

Acts 17:27, 28, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

The Greek writer Homer referred to the constellations as early as 1000 B.C. Speaking of his hero Odysseus observing the starry sky as he sets sail:

There viewed the Pleiades and the Northern Team,
And great Orion’s more refulgent beam.
To which around the axel of the sky

Notice the words of Job in:

Job 9:9, “Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.”

Another interesting constellation is Virgo. The Hebrew word for this constellation is Bethulah, which means virgin. The brightest star in Virgo is Spica, which the Jews call Tsemach, which means branch. This Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament to refer to the Messiah.

Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

The fact that the Branch is found inside the Virgin is no accident. We know that the Messiah, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Just beside Virgo is Leo the Lion. This should cause our minds to go to:

Revelation 5:5, “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Below Leo is Hydra, the Great Serpent. Here, again, we should be brought to the book of

Revelation 12:9-13, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”

The fact that Leo is above Hydra alludes to the fact that Jesus is the victor over Satan.

Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,”

The Fool Loses His Belt

In the Bible, the writers mention many of the constellations that are seen in winter. The prophet Amos points our attention to two in particular.

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.” (Amos 5:8 ).

The constellation Orion is easy to spot because of the star that marks the left foot, Rigel. Rigel is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. This star is actually 21,000 times brighter than our sun, but because of its distance from us, it appears as a dot in the sky.

In the center there are three stars that seem very close together, they are called The Belt of Orion. The star to the right is Alnitak, an Arabic word meaning “the belt.” The star in the center is Alnilam, “the string of pearls.” The star on the left is Mintaka, an Arabic synonym for “belt” or “girdle.”

In ancient times Orion was known to be a giant, a mighty man, or a great hunter. We know that the Greeks knew Orion as a great hunter because that is what Homer called him in The Odyssey. The Arabs thought of Orion as a giant, calling him Al Jabbar, “the giant.”

In the Old Testament, Orion is referred to four times in an astronomical sense. The Jews call him “lesil,” which means fool. This Hebrew word is interesting in that it does not refer to someone who is mentally deficient, but to someone who is ungodly, someone who is rebellious to God. In the book of Proverbs, the fool is referred to as someone who rejects God.

Proverbs 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

In the book of Job, God asks an interesting question,

“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” (Job 38:31). There are two possible interpretations for the question “or loose the bands of Orion”:

1) This may refer to Orion as being bound in his place in the sky, as a rebellious person is bound in his sins.

2) Or, it could refer to the belt of Orion. The people of that day wore cords as belts. I am amazed that modern astronomers have discovered that the three stars that compose the belt of Orion are moving in such a way as to appear as if the belt has been loosed and is falling off. This is a proof to us of the wisdom and power of God.

Thank you, Pastor John, for this wonderful blessing! We just touched upon a few stars and constellations. The universe is vast – endless. Can you just imagine what is in store for us as we seek God in His creation? This is one way to encourage your spirit when you are down.

Dear God…
How wonderous are the stars You’ve made
Your Word revealed in all
A golden nugget we receive
Gazing on them as night falls



Day 5 – Trees

We can get a glimpse of the Creator’s imagination and eye for beauty when we look at the various types of trees He created. I’m no arborist, by any stretch of the imagination. But as I look at trees, I see each one as having three parts: the roots, the trunk and the branches. I see God through these three parts, don’t you? I see our Heavenly Father as the roots. He is our stronghold and the basis of all that is Good. I see the Son as the trunk, receiving from the Father and giving to the branches. I see the branches as the Holy Spirit, feeding what He receives from the Son to conform us, the Christian, to His likeness.
The Heavenly Father is the Provider of all things. He is Jehovah-jireh. The roots provide the tree and branches with everything needed.

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Gen 22:14)

God provided Abraham with a lamb to use (Gen. 22:8 ).

The tree trunk (or the vine) is symbolic of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Joh 15:5)

The branches represent the Holy Spirit, who lives within all of those who are born again. Although there are many different types of trees, all have roots, trunks and branches.

The branches are symbolic of the Holy Spirit, who resides within every born again believer. Each branch varies from species to species and even within the same species – some blossom and bear fruit, some have leaves that change colors, etc. I see the born-again Christian from all of time reflected in this. Many bear fruit, many don’t. Many only “produce or getting going for the Lord” when they have been through fiery trials (changes in their spiritual lives like changes in the leaves’ color). Some who are weathered, break due to pressures from the elements. Many spiritual comparisons could be made at this point between the branches and the Christian. But that could be a whole other post for another day!

The tree cannot have branches without the trunk. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ – He brings glory to Jesus Christ. Those who are in Christ will bear fruit and will be growing in Christ through the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26)

Without the Spirit, we cannot do anything. Without relinquishing our will to His, we can bear no fruit. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (Mat 21:19)

The trunk also receives its nutrients from the roots. The Son receives all things from His Heavenly Father.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Mat 11:27)

I find it interesting that the branches cannot know the root unless they are “in the trunk.” Doesn’t that make you want to whoop and holler? The branches cannot get to the roots on their own. They have to be attached to the trunk in order to receive the benefit of the roots and its nutrition. Neither can we come to the Father unless we go through His Son!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)

The branches receive their nourishment from the trunk, which in turn receives it from the roots. Our Saviour recognized that He was nothing without the Father. The trunk is nothing without the roots.

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (Mar 10:18 )

Both the Holy Spirit and Christ cannot be set apart from the Father any more than the branches and trunk be set apart from the roots.

As the tree grows and bears fruit, it matures into a beautiful piece of art work from God. The believer grows in Christ by yielding himself to the Holy Spirit who molds us into His image. We mature as believers and grow. The age of a tree can be measured by the rings found in its trunk – measured from the bark to the center of the trunk. Some trees are so old that they become hollow in the center as the dead heartwood rots away. Oh what a beautiful picture this was to me. As we grow in Christ and become one with Him, our old flesh will become dead heartwood and it will rot away.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29)

All parts of the tree form the tree – none can exist without the other. The Trinity is One.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 Jo 5:7)

All creation speaks of this. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20)Thank You, Lord, for these blessings this morning!

Dear God…
My heart is overwhelmed today
At what Thou hast given me
The beauty all around doth speak
Of the magnificence found in Thee



Day 6 – The Sun

In Genesis 1:1, God created heaven and earth. The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). In verse 2, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters – another part of the Trinity depicted. God created light in verse 3. The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

It excited me to see that the Trinity is depicted in these three verses – the Three in One are completed in verse 3. Each verse shows each part of the Trinity. Doesn’t this excite you?

As we look at God’s Goodness today, I would like to share what the Word has to say about it. I have been asking others for input about God’s creation and would like to share some thoughts from a couple of people. Pastor John Snipes of Fundamental Baptist Forum (no longer an active message board) put it together so well.

The sun is the most important astronomical object to mankind. It has been both feared and worshipped. The rays of the sun supply us with vitamin C that is necessary for our bodies to function. Through the process of photosynthesis, the sun provides the energy for plants to grow which provides us with food. Scientist are hard at work to find how to use this energy to replace gasoline.

The sun is mentioned in Scripture at least 154 times. The first mention is of the creation of the sun found in:

Genesis 1:14-19
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The sun seems so very large to us. It has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s. Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close to us, averaging 93,000,000 mile away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.

Psalms 19:4-6, “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.

Joshua 10:12-13, , “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”

How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot not say. What I can say is that the Creator God who established the laws of nature is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.

A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.

Isa. 38:7-8, “And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”

Will the Sun last forever? Scientist tell us the answer to that question is no. The Bible does not say that the Sun will end; however, it does tell us that it will not be needed.

Revelation 21:22-23, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”

It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the forth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.

“The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, closes with the mention of the Sun of Righteousness which is yet to rise. It holds out a hope for a cursed earth, and that hope is the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation closes with the Bright and Morning Star, which is a figure of Christ at His coming to take the church out of the world. The Rapture is the hope of the New Testament, just as the revelation of Christ was the hope of the Old Testament. And the Book of Revelation will complete the revelation of Christ.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

Brother Jerry Bouey had these thoughts to share:

I wrote this in my Bible, next to Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

“Like the moon reflects the light of the Sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.

When the world comes between the Sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the Sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the Sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.” – Jerry Bouey.

Sunlight is the main source of energy on earth. So Christ, our Sonlight, should be our main source for our spiritual energy. He sustains us, feeds us through His Word and gives us that spiritual nourishment and energy we need to walk this earth and be testimonies for Him.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Mat 4:4)

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (Joh 6:33)

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:35)

I am that bread of life. (Joh 6:48 )

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (Joh 6:51)

Without Him, we are lost and on our way to eternity in hell in total darkness.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun have antiseptic properties, according to Wikipedia. The Word of God, also known as the Son (John 1:1), has antiseptic properties which heal us spiritually. The Word says there is a Balm in Gilead (Jer. 46:11) Our Balm of Gilead, Jesus Christ, heals us spiritually. Without Christ, we are sick with sin – we are lepers – with no hope of being healed. Praise God for our Balm!

The shape of the sun’s path is known as the “analemma” – it forms a figure 8. The number 8 represents “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is the New Beginning – the New Covenant!

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:24)

Through His precious Blood, we have a new beginning when we were born again. I love this correlation!

I find it interesting that even in darkness, the Lord God has given us enough light to find our way. We are never in total, complete darkness as long as there is some kind of light appearing in the heavens. (John 1:5) It is also true for the believer in our spiritual lives. The Word promises that it lights up our path showing us the way.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

The Son IS the Word (John 1:1) and He is the light (John 1:4). As Pastor John wrote, when we reach Heaven, we will no longer need the sun or the moon. The Lord God will be our light.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

Wikipedia also notes that scientists have studied the sun intensively, however, they cannot figure out why its outer atmosphere has a temperature of 1 million K while its photosphere has a temperature of less than 6,000 K! Like the Son, we won’t be able to understand fully what He (God) is all about until we reach Heaven.

Dear God…
I love to see You through
All that You’ve created
Each with its own story,
In them Your love is stated.



Day 7 – The Eagle

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

I took this photo of a beautiful eagle when John and I were on vacation in Alaska. What a majestic bird it is indeed! He had been injured and was going through rehabilitation.

According to Wikipedia, there are 8,800–10,200 living bird species! Does this not simply amaze you? If we did not have any other living, breathing creature on this entire earth, just looking at the number of different birds should be enough to point us to the Creator! Each has something different – a different size, a different color, a different song to sing – some can fly, some cannot.

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

The eagle is a beautiful and majestic bird with strength in its wings. He is quite the fisherman – fish is 90% of his diet. The Master Fisherman, Jesus Christ, came to be a fisher of men and teaches us to be fishers of men as well.

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (Mar 1:17)

Eagles have exceptional eye sight and can spot a fish from one mile away! Have you ever tried to spot a fish more than three feet away from you? It’s not easy. This is how we should be able to spot sin – from “a mile away.” Sadly, however, we venture way too close to sin and come away with its stench upon us. A good analogy is the skunk – you only have to come within a few feet of it to walk away smelling like one. God promises us that His Word shines a light on our path so that we can plainly see sin – we can spot it from afar.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

Most of the time, the eagle snatches fish from the water’s surface rather than diving into the water like other birds. I see a beautiful analogy of the Christian’s soul winning techniques here. We should fish for men but not plunge into their life style just so we can win them. We must keep ourselves spiritually above them so we can be a testimony. How can we throw them a Life Saver (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) if we are treading water right along side of them?

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Cor 6:17)

The Lord does not tell us to become “like the world” to win them. This would contradict 2 Cor 6:17. Yes, Christ ate amongst the sinners but so do we whenever we go to a restaurant, don’t we? That excuse just doesn’t hold water. Would you buy stocks and bonds from a homeless person or someone who had the “Wall Street” look about him? We are children of the King of Kings, let’s put on the appearance of princes and princesses.

I also love how the Word compares this beautiful eagle to God. The eagle’s wings portray strength and we can rest in the strength and protection of the Lord – under His wings.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. (Deu 32:11-12)

God protected Jacob just as an eagle protects her young. This same protection is available to the born-again believer! What comfort!

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. (Exo 19:4)

Another beautiful analogy is that of God renewing our strength as that of the eagle.

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psa 103:5)

Remember the joy of your salvation? God had filled your mouth (your soul) with His Word and you felt as though you could conquer anything! Your spirit had been renewed like the eagle! I remember a time being in the depths of despair and cried unto God to restore me, and He did. I came out of that trial feeling renewed and as though God had lifted me up! My spirit soared as the eagle! The most popular verse in Scriptures depicting this is:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

What a blessing! This has been an encouragement to many throughout these thousands of years!

God also used the eagle’s flying capabilities in His Word. Did you know that an eagle can fly as high as 10,000 feet? It is no wonder that God used the eagle in describing the height and depth of a man’s pride.

Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD. (Jer 49:16)

I find it interesting that Hitler named his command complex the Eagle’s Nest. A coincidence? I don’t believe so. If you’ve ever seen pictures of it, you’ll note that it sits high on a mountain overlooking the German and Austrian Alps. Hitler was definitely full of pride, but God sure brought him down.

The Word compares God’s judgment to the strength of eagles.

Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. (Jer 4:13)

Yes, woe unto those who deny Christ as their Saviour. Woe to those whose pride stands in the way where they wish to seek “another way” to Heaven.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)

Acts 4:10-12 says it clearly.

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (10) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (11) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (12)

You can justify your religion all you want, but the Bible still says there is only one way and that way is Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t you rather mount up with wings as eagles and be saved rather than be spoiled (burn eternally in hell) when He returns on horses swift as eagles?

Under His Wings
William O. Cushing

Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

Refrain

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.



Day 8 – Water

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

The term “living water” appears only three times in the Word. What a wonderful depiction of the Trinity, once again. The Father provides a way, the Son IS the way, and the Spirit prepares the way (the heart of man) for salvation. All Three are One pointing to the Living Water – salvation through Jesus Christ. Without each of the Truine God working, we would not be able to be saved!

As I meditated on the water molecule, I began to see several correlations. The water molecule is made up of three atoms: two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. God gathered the waters together in Gen. 1:10.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). The Trinity created water (which is made up of three atoms) and all known forms of life on earth depends upon it to live. Without water, they die.3formsWhen we look at water, we see that it can be in three different forms: liquid, frozen, and gas. All three forms are made up of two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. However, each is in a different form – each having a different function. What a beautiful depiction of the Trinity! Each member of the Trinity is God, but each has a different function.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 Jo 5:7)

Seventy-five percent of the earth is covered with water and only three percent of that is drinkable. Out of the three percent, 75% of it is frozen in the polar ice caps. It is not only a precious commodity, but it is vital for life. It amazes me that only a small percentage of the water on this earth is drinkable. It reminded me that only a small percentage of mankind will accept Jesus Christ, our only source of Living Water.

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)

Although a person can live without food for more than a month, a person can only live without water for approximately one week. Only God can sustain a person after a week. We know that He is able because the Word says God sustained Moses twice for 40 days and 40 nights.

And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exo 34:28 )

And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (Deu 9:18 )

As vital as water is to sustain life here on earth, it can never cause us to live forever. Only the Living Water can give everlasting life. Jesus gave Himself for us so He is the only One who is able to give us everlasting life. It is His to give. There is nothing we can do on our own to achieve this.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (Joh 4:14)

The only thing we must do to get everlasting life is to drink of the Living Water. We must be born again. Jesus says we will never thirst again! What a wonderful depiction of eternal security! If we were to lose our salvation, we would thirst again. Even for those who say that we can freely give up our salvation – in doing so we would have to thirst again to be saved again. But Jesus said that we would NEVER thirst again. Never is forever. Only man adds a time limit to the word never. God does not. God says He never breaks His covenant (Judges 2:1) which means NEVER. Jesus is our new Covenant and is everlasting.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (Heb 13:20)

Praise the Lord that our eternal life is secure through the everlasting life provided by Christ and His Living Water! Glory be to God!

Dear God…
Thank you for the Living Water
In which our salvation rests
Its bless’ed life giving power
If the work of Your Son we confess



Day 9 – Volcanoes

Mt. St. Helens during sunset, taken from my iPhone [OC ...

And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; (Rev 8:8 )

The beauty of volcanoes lighting up the night sky is breath taking, isn’t it? How can something so beautiful also cause such destruction!

Throughout history, we have seen the havoc wreaked by one of these awesome mountains. As we look at the volcano, we can see how God can use one to accomplish His wrath, but what good can come from them? As I searched the Internet, I learned that volcanoes provide hydrothermal vents which are responsible for almost all of our iron, copper, nickel, platinum, gold, silver, zinc, etc. The metals available to mankind are a result of this fabulous creation! Don’t you see God’s Goodness in that? The Lord can take something He created, which we consider bad and destructive, and He can use it for good. That is why I included the volcano in my series on God’s Goodness.

The Word is filled with God using His creation to fulfill prophecy – the Great Flood, the plagues on Egypt, etc. It is no different with the volcano. Our text verse in Revelation shows a possible volcano turning the sea into blood. Volcanoes which erupted in history will be considered child’s play compared to the end times.

In history we learned that Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. In May 1980, Mount St. Helen destroyed 57 people, miles of highways and flattened millions of Douglas fir trees over a fan-shaped area of 230 square miles! The blast was likened to 2500 Hiroshima’s! This picture shows trees knocked down like match sticks. The ash columns were almost as high as 6,600 feet (that’s 1.2 miles)! My brother lived 250 miles away from Mount St. Helen in 1980 when everything in his town was covered in ash! This was from 250 miles away! Today, just six miles from the base of Mount St. Helen, are flowers and life rising through the flattened trees. The devastated landscape is now scattered with green and various wildlife. It will take years for a new landscape to emerge but new life is sprouting.

A friend shared a story he remembered about Mount Pelee.

I thought I would share some of what I remember. I used the illustration once in a message on soul winning.

The story was the eyewitness account of a local scientist who lived in the town or close to it anyhow. He was very well educated in the earth and I believe he was a vulcanologist(?) This town was a sea port, a very rich seaport. It was the main revenue for the town.

Any way, the scientist started noticing different things starting to happen. Water turning color and putting off odor, fish dying, animals disappearing, minor thing at first. As he investigated he started to become sure that the volcano would soon erupt. He went and told the town counsel, but they were more concerned with their revenue than anything this guy had to say.

Well more and more strange things started to happen, people started disappearing, small fissures opening in the ground,and smoke starting to rise from the mountain. The signs were becoming more and more evident that disaster would soon strike and if the town did not evacuate thousands of people would perish. still the counsel would do nothing. The scientist warned who he could but few would listen, they were to tied up in their affairs to really care.

Then it happened, the Mount exploded with such violence, it is hard to imagine, some people most likely did not even know what happened, they were simply dead. The pyroclastic(?) flow, which is nothing but intensely heated gas vapors moves so fast and with such force and with such a searing heat, something like an atom bomb. Many people were killed were they stood, it is the ones that survived, for a while that stuck in my mind. That flow of super heated vapors was so hot that it burned the eyes out of the socket, seared the throat shut, and burned limbs so severely that they could no longer feel anything but burning. They could not see(utter darkness) they thirsted but could not drink, the only thing they could do was hear the weeping and feel the burning.

So my point was that these people were suffering yes, But the suffering in Hell is much, much worse, and their will never be relief. Jesus, like the scientist has warned us that the end is coming, we see the signs, we have the evidence, but will we sacrifice our comfort, our lifestyle, our income, to go out and reach those that are lost.

I liken the eruption of a volcano to unconfessed sin in our lives. If a person is not saved, sin will wreak havoc and cause destruction in his life and in his path. Sin separates man from God. It will also destroy the unsaved person’s relationship with his family, and it can destroy him in death, both spiritually and physically. Someone else pointed out, he looks at volcanoes as “the joy of the Lord which erupts from a heart surrendered to the Holy Spirit within”! What a beautiful picture! When a yielded believer allows the Holy Spirit to work within, everyone who comes in his path will be permanently affected as that believer shares the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Another said that she remembered hearing a message once where the preacher said that whenever a volcano erupted it was Hell expanding because more people had died and gone to a Christ-less eternity. What a thought, huh?

Dear God…
Your creation brings such wonder
To this simple heart of mine
Through each and every aspect
I can see Your handiwork so fine



Day 10 – The Dove

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psa 55:6)

Everything about the dove is gentle – its appearance, its sound, and even its motions. Have you ever observed one in flight? The grace and beauty of its landing upon a rooftop appears to be effortless – light as a feather. One of the most relaxing sounds I have ever heard is the cooing of the morning doves in the mornings. Their beautiful sound could calm the most restless soul. I can’t think of a better way to start my day than to hear those coos. This helps me to truly appreciate why God used the dove to represent His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not barge into our lives. His entrance is gentle, His sound is gentle and His motions in our lives are gentle. He speaks to us in that still small voice. I once heard preach that the Holy Spirit was a Gentleman – He does not force Himself upon us like a roaring lion but as gentle as the dove. I love that about Him, don’t you?

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Co 14:33)

Therefore, when our lives are filled with noise and confusion, we know it is not from the Holy Spirit but from the god of this world. It’s so important for us to be plugged into God’s word to receive our necessary spiritual power, just as it’s necessary to plug in a lamp in order to receive electricity.

All four Gospels give the beautiful account of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus after He was baptized. It is in this account that the Trinity was evidenced – The Son submitted, the Spirit rested upon Him, and the Father spoke. The first appearance of the dove in the Bible is in:

Gen. 8:8, Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Isn’t it wonderful that The Holy Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters in Gen. 1:1 and the first mention of the dove was to send it out over the face of the waters to see if the waters had abated? God’s Word is so thorough – nothing is by chance – God reveals Himself throughout the Word. I thought that was so like God to show His Spirit in these two verses! Gen. 1:1 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

I also discovered that the dove (turtledove or young pigeons) was the only bird that was used in sacrificial offerings, Luke 2:24. God’s justice requires atonement for sin but sacrificial offerings could never provide complete atonement because our sin is never ending. But God’s love was so great for us that He provided the perfect atonement by taking on the form of man and becoming the perfect, sinless sacrifice on our behalf. It is only through the sacrifice of the Cross that we can have atonement for our sin. God no longer sees the born-again believer as a sinner because His Son’s blood was the atonement needed – the price had been paid over 2,000 years ago.

The gentle and quiet Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ. He testifies to us of Christ through the Word of God.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26)

What a beautiful depiction the two turtledoves were – they were a testimony of the coming of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ to us and presents us this wonderful Gift. Oh thank you, Lord!

With the acceptance of Christ’s work on the Cross, we receive eternal life and the sweet peace that accompanies salvation. I can’t think of sweeter more gentle animal than the dove to depict the Holy Spirit and how He introduces us to Christ. We are not forced to believe in Christ. We are gently stirred and called – and when we yield ourselves and accept Christ, the Spirit comes to reside within us. Thank You, Lord, for the beautiful picture of Your Holy Spirit today!

My Father lovingly prepared a way
And provided an atonement for sin
The Holy Spirit like a dove
Pricked my heart and entered in!



Day 11 – The Pearl

How Pearls Form and Which Species Makes Them

The pearl is a beautiful gem stone. All other gems are taken from the ground by man. However, this gem is formed by one of God’s creation. In my research, I discovered that the irritant is rarely from a grain of sand but typically from parasites, organic material (ingested when the shell opens for feeding) or other broken pieces from other parts of the oyster’s body.

Two beautiful analogies can be seen when looking at the pearl. The Lord Himself compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a pearl of great price. The merchant found this pearl of great price and sold all he had to purchase it. This merchant was willing to sell everything in order to buy this pearl.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mar 8:36)

A major hurdle for unbelievers is that they do not wish to part with their sin or worldly ways. Repentance has its cost – forsaking known sin for salvation is not easy but it is most certainly necessary.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luk 13:5)

The unrepentant sinner is no better than these disciples who followed Jesus but could not continue to do so for His teachings were too difficult for them.

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (Joh 6:60) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (Joh 6:66)

It’s not that Jesus’ teachings were so intellectual, they could not understand what He was saying. Jesus taught repentance and salvation but they did not believe. But there are some of you that believe not.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (Joh 6:64)

Don’t you find it interesting that those unbelievers who chose not to walk with Jesus were described in Chapter 6, verse 66 (666)? They went the way of god of this world, the devil, in this verse. I love how every jot and tittle was inspired by God – even the chapter divisions and verse markers.

Another wonderful analogy is to the Christian’s life and how the pearl is formed. As believers, the Holy Spirit brings convictions which form us into the image of Christ.

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

We will have trials and tribulations in our lives – each one teaching us and growing us spiritually – each layer making us more like Christ. With each one, we learn to draw nigh to Him. Just as the irritation in the oyster produces a pearl, our trials and tribulations will strengthen our faith and conform us into the image of our Saviour.

I also noticed that there are different types of irritants which bring about this pearl of great price: parasites, organic material, other broken pieces and occasionally that grain of sand. All sources were different but all produced a pearl! Our trials, like the pearl, come from various sources also. The parasite in the Christian’s life can be those unsaved friends or those we think to be friends. Noah Webster defined a parasite in his day as:

In modern usage, a trencher friend; one that frequents the tables of the rich and earns his welcome by flattery; a hanger on; a fawning flatterer

No wonder we are warned not to be unequally yoked.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Co 6:14)

These parasitic friends can produce quite the irritation in our spiritual lives and yield tribulation. You become who you hang around with and we must guard ourselves in this area.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: (Pro 22:24)

The key here is to grow from it and not repeat it. This is a trial that we can avoid if we heed the Word. It is also a trial that will build us and form us as we grow from our experiences.

The second irritant is organic material which I liken to the world’s goods and what the world offers. We are not to love the things of this world. It is difficult to control the lust of the flesh. However, in so doing we are building up our pearl – we are being conformed to Christ’s image Who is the pearl of great price.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jo 2:15)

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 Jo 2:16)

Notice the pearl is also formed by broken pieces from inside the oyster’s body. What a beautiful comparison to the believer letting go of sin in our lives – breaking away from sinfulness and being more and more like Jesus. When we are broken, we are ready to receive what the Lord has to teach us.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psa 34:18 )

As a broken vessel in the Potter’s Hand, we can be molded and reshaped into a vessel unto honour.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (2 Ti 2:20)

Lastly, on occasion that one grain of sand can produce a pearl as well. Do you realize how small a grain of sand is? A grain of fine sand is measured between 1/8 mm – 1/4 mm!! No matter how small the trial you are going through, God will still use it to produce this pearl: conforming you into the image of Christ, the ultimate pearl of great price.

What trials and tribulations are you experiencing today in your life? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit of God to conform you into the Saviour’s image? What kind of pearl are you producing in your spiritual oyster? Are you producing a pearl at all? It’s only through our submissiveness to changing as we experience these irritations that we produce that pearl. If we do not yield to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and forsake sin, we won’t yield a beautiful pearl. But a yielded vessel will grow from each trial and will become more and more like that Pearl of Great Price, the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

More Like the Master
by Charles H. Gabriel

More like the Master I would ever be,
More of His meekness, more humility;
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do.

Refrain

Take Thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;
Take Thou my heart, and make it all Thine own.
Purge me from sin, O Lord, I now implore,
Wash me and keep me Thine forevermore.

More like the Master is my daily prayer;
More strength to carry crosses I must bear;
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in;
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.

Refrain

More like the Master I would live and grow;
More of His love to others I would show;
More self denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be.

Refrain



Day 12 – The Wind

Wind is defined as the rough horizontal movement of air across the earth. The Holy Spirit is likened to the wind in the Word.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 )

Wind does not blow from the bottom or from the top but horizontally. The Holy Spirit does not crush us with burdens too great to bear. Nor does He cause us to stumble or be swept off our feet. Instead, he guides us through the Word in a Godly direction. We can’t see the wind in this picture but we know it is there by looking at the flag and the direction it’s pointing.

I found it interesting that the first time the wind is mentioned in the Bible is in chapter 8.

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; (Gen 8:1)

The number eight is symbolic of “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is our New Covenant and that Covenant provides a new beginning for all born-again believers. Through His shed blood, we have remission of sins. After His resurrection, He left us the Holy Spirit to reside within us and to stir us, move us to be more like Christ. If find it a blessing that the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind. I believe that even the chapter and verse divisions in the Word of God are there for us to be blessed with! The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 ) Isn’t it interesting that this chapter heading is the number three (indicative of the Trinity) and the number eight, New Beginnings? I won’t know for sure until I reach Heaven if the chapter and verse numbers were meant to bless me in this way, but in the mean time, I consider myself blessed!

In my research on the wind, I discovered that still air is a great insulator. That means that heat does not flow well in still air. This is the reason why heat rises in a still room. When there is a fire, we’re told to lay on the floor and crawl out of harm’s way. Where there is no breeze, that heat goes upward. The wind (breeze) stirs up that heat, circulates it and the fire grows. When we are spiritually not moving forward, we are still. We are like that still air, insulating our spiritual lives and not moving. When we are not growing in Christ, the fires of the Holy Spirit aren’t moving within us. Our spiritual embers need to be stirred by the movement of the Spirit in our lives. Only then are we productive Christians and yielding spiritual fruit.

We’ve had some pretty powerful wind storms the past few days due to a Nor’easter sweeping up the East coast. Prior to the winds, the ground was saturated with rain and the root systems of the trees were weakened. The wind caused much more damage because of this. We have a cedar tree on the side of our house that is leaning into another cedar tree. If it weren’t for that supporting tree, this leaning tree would have come down on our fence. If the wind were to switch directions, it would push that leaning cedar into our house. The winds are now dying and I’m thankful that my Heavenly Father has protected us yet again! As I meditated on the power of this Nor’easter, I made some beautiful correlations to the Spirit’s movement within our lives. When our lives are not saturated with worldliness, we are yielded and the Spirit’s wind will move us, conforming us to the beautiful image of our Saviour.

However, when our lives are saturated with worldliness, we are unyielding to the Spirit and He must draw us back with stronger winds. Sometimes the spiritual winds break us, sometimes the winds cause havoc in our lives as a result of our own actions. Isn’t it easier to yield to the Holy Spirit than to have to pick up the broken pieces later on? God will not force us to submit to Him but, like a loving Father, will allow the storms of life to come upon us so we can turn once again to Him. Look at your own children and how you deal with them. You don’t force them to decisions but you guide them. When they make the wrong decision, they have to reap the consequences of those decisions. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit in our own lives, my friend.

This same wind has the power to rejuvenate and encourages new growth on this earth. The wind carries pollen from one place to another to create new life. The wind stirs up the ground from the winter’s effects. The wind prepares that ground for Spring. What a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit. Our dead heart is made alive by the Spirit moving in us. He converts that fallow ground of our heart into a good soil, ready to receive the precious seed of the Gospel. Upon salvation, that seed will grow and will bare the fruit of the peace of Jesus Christ! And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (Jam 3:18 )

What a blessed analogy the Lord has given me this morning! I love to find Him in His creation, don’t you? The Word could not describe the Holy Spirit in a better way than to compare Him to the wind. Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Thank You for Your Spirit
May He direct my way
Help me to be yielded
With each and every day



Day 13 – The Horse

I discovered that it is the nature of the horse to flee from danger. They only stay to fight if it involves their offspring or if there is no where for them to flee. They put up a good fight, too! But is there something about this magnificent creature that we can apply to our spiritual life? All of God’s creation has something to teach us.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

What do we do when sin comes knocking – do we do as the horse and run? Or do we stay and and toy with it? When we do have to fight, do we have the ammunition with which to fight – the Sword of God? Or are we weak in the Word and have nothing to encourage our heart in that time of need?

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)

The horse is ever vigilant of what goes on around him. The horse watches and stays alert. His seeing and hearing senses are much better than the human. The horse’s eye is second to the ostrich of all land animals in its size. The horse’s eyes can see 350 degrees! Their ears rotate so they can catch sounds from every direction. Oh that we Christians should be so keen in spotting sin and listening for false doctrine!

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pe 5:8 )

The riding horse is known for its speed, agility, alertness and endurance. Isn’t this a beautiful comparison to how a believer ought to run the Christian race? We must be quick and agile to spot danger and speedily run away from sin. We should also use this same speed to go out into all the world to win souls.

…Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (Luk 14:21b)

We should be alert, ever watching and vigilant so we are not caught unawares by ole slew foot.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Pe 2:1)

Endurance to finish our race here on earth is another fine quality we can learn from the horse. We must not be easily discouraged.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Heb 12:1)

Paul encourages us to run the race with patience – have endurance – don’t give up – we must keep on keeping on for the Lord.

Horses are also very social animals and have “friends” amongst their own species as well as with other animals and humans. It would be difficult for a horse to make a “friend” with a dog unless the dog reciprocated, right? The two animals are in agreement in their “friendship.” Although the horse loves the dog, he does not become “like” the dog nor does not adopt the mannerisms of the dog. We Christians need the equally yoked fellowship we get from our church family. We should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers where we learn their ways. An unbeliever will never fully understand our Christianity – never! Remember that. They are serving their father the devil and cannot understand. What you believe is foolishness to them.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Co 6:14)

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Co 2:14)

I love the way a horse communicates to other horses and to us humans. It is beautiful to watch a horse’s body language when it sees its master. When I went to visit my brother in Oregon, he introduced me to his three horses. One of his favorites came right up to him and pushed up against him so he would rub its face and head. Whenever my brother stopped rubbing, his horse would push up against him again. This magnificent, huge animal was desiring to be touched by his master. This powerful and beautiful animal showed its need to touch and be touched. Do we react toward our Master, Jesus Christ, in the same manner? Do we desire to be touched by His Word and to touch others with His Word?

And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. (Mat 14:36)

We have only to read the Word with the same eagerness my brother’s horse had to be touched and we, too, can be made perfectly whole spiritually. Yes, I know we are already saved. But how many times have you gone to the Word desperately in need and God has met you there and met that need? Even when your prayer was not answered, God gave you the calm sweet assurance that He is in charge. Oh my, the Hand of God reaches down and touches us when we make that first move to touch His garment through His Word!

I’m sure there are many other characteristics about the horse that I could look at and correlate with the Christian’s life and God’s Word. Thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!

Dear God…
Your creation always bless me so
The simplicity of life each day
I see Your perfect hand in all
Teaching me along the way



Day 14 – The Rose

Not only has God given us one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers to enjoy, but He also has given us countless different types of roses! Each species bringing its own beauty and wonderful fragrance! Our God is a God of detail and imagination, isn’t He? As I meditated on the rose this morning, I was so totally blessed by its intricacies. I stand amazed at how our Heavenly Father poured Himself into this one part of His creation!

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

There are so many different species of the rose to choose from! It was difficult to pick one. I was going to pick the obvious rose found in many florist shops, however, I wanted to pick something unique. Then I saw it – the rose that jumped off the page at me – the Dog Rose. The Dog Rose’s similarities to Virginia’s Dogwood tree caught my eye. I would never have thought this flower to be a rose, would you? It’s not the typical looking rose. This Dog Rose is found in Europe and the Middle East. The Creator of all gives us a glimpse of His power by giving man so many different types of roses to enjoy. I stand amazed at how awesome God is!

… and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isa 64:8b)

Have you noticed the petals of this beautiful Dog Rose? There are five petals – the number five symbolizes God’s grace. The Victorian “language of flowers” says that different colored roses each have their own symbolic meaning – how appropriate that the color pink, according to this language, stands for grace! Grace is defined as unmerited favor! No more appropriate definition can be given to our salvation! There is nothing we can due to earn this favor – it is freely given to us by our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 )

When we see the Dog Rose, or any other five-petal flower, it should remind us of the grace, the unmerited favor, the Father has given to us.

This beautiful rose has another distinct quality about it. Its center explodes with bright yellow rays, resembling the sun’s rays shooting outward. When we accept Jesus Christ, His love and the light of His Word should be radiating from us. We are to be a witness to the unsaved world with the light of His Word.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)

When we see a beautiful rose bush, we do not realize the tender care and love that has gone into it. It is for the rose bush’s health that the gardener prunes it and keeps harmful bugs away. He meticulously prunes each branch so that it can produce more beautiful flowers. He carefully pulls the weeds so the plant will be healthy and strong. Then he painstakingly picks out every bug which would ruin his work and he sprays to keep future bugs away. What a beautiful portrayal of the Holy Spirit caring for the believer! It is for our own spiritual health that He prunes us – He desires us to bear precious fruit. He prunes us into the image of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Eph. 5:9-10, (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; (9) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (10)

Like every plant, this Dog Rose bush grows toward the sun which provides the light. So should the Christian grow “toward” the Son – becoming more like Him. Our yielded vessel will be used of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ. The Spirit teaches us and prunes us to be more like Jesus!

John 16:13-14, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (14)

The Dog Rose does not interfere with the gardener – she allows him to carefully tend to her needs so she can become beautiful. So should the believer be – do not interfere with the Gardener (the Holy Spirit) as He carefully tends to our needs and molds us into vessels unto honour for the Master.

Dear God…
I thank Thee for the rose’s beauty
It’s color and fragrance sweet
Within each petal and each leaf
Thy Hand I clearly see



Day 15 – The Butterfly

As I meditated on God’s goodness this morning, my heart rested on the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. The wonder of God is shown through its beautiful lines and structure. The vibrant colors make this creature stand out, don’t they? The first thought that popped into my mind was the four different stages the butterfly goes through from the time of its inception. The number four represents the number of creation – isn’t it interesting that the butterfly’s final “creation” stage results in a new creation?

The Monarch Butterfly begins its life in the form of an egg. This egg represents the beginning of the born again believer’s life.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 and Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7

The egg hatches and next is the caterpillar stage. This second stage represents the baby Christian.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Pe 2:2)

How interesting to note here that the caterpillar feeds on “milk”weed. Isn’t it just like the Lord to give us this lesson through His creation? During this stage, the caterpillar stores energy in the form of fat and nutrients, which will be needed for the next stage.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)

I found it interesting that the milkweed is poisonous to the Monarch’s enemies but not to the Monarch itself!

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Co 2:14)

Because of this poison, the Monarch’s enemies have learned to stay away, recognizing the Monarch by its colors. Because we are a new creature in Christ, the world should not want to have anything to do with us. They prefer to live in darkness.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (Joh 3:20)

The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. (Joh 7:7)

The caterpillar prepares himself for the next stage, the pupa stage, where transformation will take place. He spins a silk pad on a leaf or twig and hangs upside down from his pad by his prolegs. The Holy Spirit forms us into the image (shape) of Jesus Christ!

O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (Psa 92:5)

The Holy Spirit begins a work in us at the time of salvation. We begin with the pure milk of the Word. As we go through trial and tribulation leaning on the Lord, we begin to take on His characteristics! Praise the Lord!

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

It is through these trials and tribulations that we learn to be yielded vessels. The beautiful yielded vessel will not only be conformed into the image of Christ but will be able to be used by God for His purpose.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Ti 2:21)

What was ugly on a branch, the pupa goes through a miraculous change inside. He molts, becoming encapsuled in a green casing. It is then that the butterfly begins to be shaped. I have been taught that when the butterfly begins to emerge from its casing, it struggles for quite some time to be set free. If a human being were to “help” the butterfly in this process, the butterfly would die. The struggle it goes through to reach freedom is what is necessary for the butterfly to fly. The arduous task of setting itself free from the casing is what gives it the ability to live and fly! What a beautiful picture of the maturing Christian. Each of our trials is necessary to pave the way to be more like Christ. Do not take light of each difficult period of time in your life. When one leans on the Lord during these times, one draws closer to the Source. We become more beautiful because we become more like Christ!

Eph. 4:23-24, And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (23) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (24)

At last, the beautiful Monarch Butterfly appears. Its beautiful colors are categorized as the “warm colors,” which are defined as colors of excitement. The more like Christ we become, the more vibrant and excited we are toward the cause of Christ – that of spreading the Gospel! As the butterfly’s egg passes away and forms a totally different creature, the born again believer dies to self and becomes more like the Master.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17)

Won’t you rejoice with me today in the trials and tribulations our precious Heavenly Father has allowed us to go through? The Holy Spirit works through us to form us into the Ultimate Beautiful Butterfly, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

More Like Jesus Would I Be
by Fanny Crosby

More like Jesus would I be, let my Savior dwell with me;
Fill my soul with peace and love—make me gentle as a dove;
More like Jesus, while I go, pilgrim in this world below;
Poor in spirit would I be; let my Savior dwell in me.

If He hears the raven’s cry, if His ever watchful eye
Marks the sparrows when they fall, surely He will hear my call:
He will teach me how to live, all my sinful thoughts forgive;
Pure in heart I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.

More like Jesus when I pray, more like Jesus day by day,
May I rest me by His side, where the tranquil waters glide.
Born of Him through grace renewed, by His love my will subdued,
Rich in faith I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.



Day 16 – The Cardinal

When I first moved to Virginia, one of the first things I noticed was the variety of different species of birds! We were astonished at the variety of wildlife just in our backyard alone. The house we lived in at the time had 22 trees out back and they were home to all kinds of critters. We had our own little National Geographic episode right before our eyes. Amongst the Morning Doves, Blue Jays, woodpeckers, squirrels and turtles, we were excited to see that the Cardinals made their home in our trees. Their colorful feathers make it so easy to spot them. Even when they are hidden, we can listen to their beautiful songs ringing out.

I do believe one of my fondest memories is that of the Cardinal perched in one of our trees in the winter time. The plumage of the male is a bright scarlet red and he wears the crest proudly on his head like a crown! This species does not migrate South for the winter but sticks around for the cold. So we are privileged to see it in all four of our seasons. I do believe, however, that its greatest beauty is seen in the winter! Its colors pop out over the blanket of white snow.

As you can see in this picture, the female is much lighter, but beautiful in her own way. Again this morning, God’s Goodness was seen in this creature’s colors and habits. When I behold the awesome scarlet red feathers of the male, I think of Christ shedding His blood on the cross. Throughout the Word of God, we see that Scarlet Thread of Redemption and God’s creation drawing us toward Him and His redemptive work.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20)

I’m sure if we truly set our minds to it, we could see God’s Hand in each piece of His creation. Why not take advantage of the lessons He has for us in nature?

Another wonderful characteristic of the Cardinal (and most perching birds), is the way they sleep. Brother Aaron Adams of Fundamental Baptist Forum, shared some thoughts on perching birds. “Have you ever watched a bird sleeping on it’s perch and never falling off? How is it possible? The secret is the tendons of the bird’s legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steel trap! The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly.

Isn’t this also the secret of the power of the Christian? Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan government tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go and bent his knee at least three times a day. He held firm when others faltered, because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee. From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of how to get a hold of God’s power! That secret is the knee bent in prayer.” Thank you, Brother Aaron, for this beautiful comparison.

I also noted in my research that the more soundly the Cardinal sleeps, the tighter his claws grip to the perch. The more we rest in God’s care the stronger we become as Christians. We grip to the Creator of all because He provides us with the help we need.

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:2)

The power in a Christian’s life can be directly linked to the amount of time this Christian spends in prayer.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 Jo 3:22)

God answers the prayers of those who walk in His will.

Furthermore, I noted that the Cardinal cannot move until he has raised himself up and straightened his legs, thus setting his claws free. After the Christian has met with the Master in prayer, he is ready to meet the day and all it has in store for him. The believer walks away from prayer time with God’s arm of protection over him.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Eph 6:13)

He is equipped for the day knowing that each moment rests in the hands of the Creator.

Another beautiful characteristic of Cardinals is the way they keep themselves warm in the winter as they sleep. I did not know that the air around the Cardinal (and all birds) is what keeps them warm. That totally amazed me! The Cardinal hides his head under his wing and fluffs up his feathers, like in the picture above. As the air comes in and settles among the soft down, it warms up and warms the Cardinal. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? As we are yielded vessels resting in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit “heats” us up – He energizes us – and He fuels us with what we need for the day. The Creator of all took time to create a beautiful creature and provide it with a way to warm its tiny body in the cold of winter. So much the more, will our Heavenly Father care for His children who trust Him!

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (Psa 36:7)

As the bright crimson male Cardinal can be seen at a distance, even with trees and bushes full of foliage, so should the Christian be different. The world should be able to see something different about us because we have put on Jesus! We are the only “Jesus with skin” they will ever see. Do we appear to the lost as the beautiful Cardinal or do we appear like the vulture? We are children of the King and we should represent the King in how we look, how we speak, and how we walk.

And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. (Zep 1:8 )

God has given us salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who deny Jesus Christ wear the “strange apparel” but we do not. We have been washed in the precious scarlet Blood of Jesus Christ. He went through much so that we could have salvation through Him and the opportunity to wear royal robes.

Each time I gaze upon this beautiful creature, the Cardinal, I cannot help but meditate on Christ’s complete work on the cross. Won’t you join me this morning in God’s Goodness and glorify His name through His creation of this beautiful creature? Hopefully, the next time you see a Cardinal, you will be reminded of what Christ went through for you.

Dear God…
Another blessed time with You
Has been given me this day
Drawing me to Your Precious Blood
For my soul You dearly paid



Day 17 – Sundogs

Sundogs: Rainbows Beside the Sun

There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. (Deu 33:26)

Sundogs are formed by the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up certain types of clouds. As I found this picture of a halo-type sundog, it reminded me that our Creator’s finger paints the skies for us and provides us with a beautiful tapestry of shapes and colors to behold. Does this picture not look like it could be God’s eye looking over the earth? This type of sundog is a halo. It sent shivers up my spine to see the awesome wonder of all that occurs in the skies that we are unaware of. I’m certain I could write a devotional each day for one year and not exhaust the heavenlies! When I found pictures of today’s topic, I was totally blessed – I had not even penned a word. I guess it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words!

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psa 104:24)

I know that if I had not seen them with my own eyes, I would have thought these photographs to be camera tricks. However, witnessing such a spectacular event caused me to want to know more about my Heavenly Father. I stood in wonder and awe and meditated on the Creator and His Goodness. I know that I’ve used this verse several times but I can’t help but understand it more clearly with each part of God’s creation I write about.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20)

The halo-type sundog appears at sunrise or sunset. It reminded me that we should seek our Father’s face from the time we rise until we go to sleep.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psa 25:5)

John and I see the rainbow-type sundog frequently as we ride motorcycle. I spot them quickly if I am wearing sunglasses as they are harder for me to see with the naked eye. These types appear at any time of the day but I see them more clearly when the sun is high in the sky. The colors are like those of the rainbow and quite beautiful. It’s as though God Himself painted a piece of rainbow in the middle of His sky just for us to enjoy! Each time I see this type of sundog and its colors, I think of the rainbow. The rainbow appeared twice in the Word – once in Genesis and once again in Revelation – in the first book and in the last book. It reminds me of my Alpha and Omega, my Beginning and my End, my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (Isa 45:8 )

All these phenomena require light in order to appear. Without light, there is utter darkness. Nothing can be seen – nothing can be appreciated. So are we without Christ. We are in utter darkness and the Father does not see us. But the moment we are born again, the Father sees His Son’s blood over us and we now are precious in His sight.

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: (Isa 43:4a)

Without the Light of the Word, many souls will go into that eternal, utter darkness. But the born again believer has received the Light of the Son and we will spend eternity in a City that needs no light.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 Jo 1:5)

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

Thank your Heavenly Father for providing you with glimpses of His nature through the various lights in the sky. Let these lights remind you of His holiness, His covenant with us through Christ, and His coming Kingdom!

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psa 40:3)

Dear God…
Thy wondrous beauty I behold
Each morning and each night
Just gazing to the heavenlies
I see Thy glorious might!



Day 18 – Deer

The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. (Psa 29:9)

Our God is not only responsible for creating this beautiful animal, but He is also responsible for them multiplying and their very lives! Our Father’s Hand is on all His creation!

I thought of the useage of the word hind in Scriptures. Hind is another word for deer. I recalled Psalm 18:33 how God said He will make our feet like hinds’ feet and will set us upon our high places. I did a phrase search for hinds’ feet and it resulted in three verses. Isn’t it neat how the number three shows up again? Again, the Three-in-One are caring for us… God provides us with sure footing and a place for spiritual renewal!

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. (2 Sa 22:34)

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. (Psa 18:33)

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Hab 3:19)

It is God who gives us the strength we need to walk the paths of difficulty in this life. My father owned acreage in a forest which was home to the beautiful white-tailed deer – we called this land “the Beaver Dam” because it also was home to a family of beavers. Oh how I loved going there with my Dad! Some of my fondest memories rest there with him at that Beaver Dam. The white-tailed deer were plentiful and we would sit ever so still for long periods of time, not wanting to scare them away. Dad loved to watch them graze and it showed me the tender side to my father. Growing up on this haven of rest, I saw deer run like the wind and not falter – not one step when danger was near. They would run up the steep hill as if it were nothing. It’s as if they didn’t even need to look where they were going – they just flew! Did you know that they can move up to 40 mph through the forest and dart side to side as they run?

As I meditated on these three verses about the hinds’ feet, I could not help but remember all those difficult hills (spiritual battles) I have been through in my saved life. Looking back, I notice that when I rested in the Master’s care I had that sure footing. I had a confidence that all would work out and I didn’t need to worry about a thing. It’s those times that I was in the Word, daily feeding my spirit and encouraging myself in the Lord – strengthening myself and learning to recognize God’s Hand in each detail. Despite the storms around me, I did not fear. I knew that the same God that stilled the storm and the waters, would still my storm!

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (Psa 16:9)

I grew to appreciate why Fanny Crosby could pen the words to Blessed Assurance. Especially the following stanza:

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I believe she knew how to reach the mountain top. I believe she knew how to watch and wait as God handled matters. How else could she be lost in His love and filled with His goodness as she watched and waited?

Upon further reflection on these beautiful verses, I noticed that the Lord tells us three times that He will set us upon the high places. When we are abiding in Him, our spirit is lifted and encouraged and the Lord places us on the mountain top of sweet fellowship! When we finish each trial and see the wonderful Hand of God throughout, it becomes easier to place those trials in His care when they surface.

…for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. (Jer 31:13b)

The high places are a place of refreshing – spiritual renewal – rest awaits there for us. It’s these times of spiritual refreshing that should be foremost in our memory as we see a trial approaching. This is how we encourage ourselves in the Lord – we know that He will be right there to help us be sure footed and again, He will be faithful to lead us to the mountaintop.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

The picture above was taken at a safari place near Natural Bridge, Virginia. There were several white-tailed deer just grazing nearby. As we drew closer, the young deer perked right up as if posing for me. She wasn’t afraid because her tail was still down, but she sure was watching every move we made.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Pe 3:17)

We should be alert, ever watchful of the deception around us so we do not fall prey to it.

On another one of our trips, we stopped at an overlook where we saw the beautiful view. From this viewpoint, we can see for miles on a clear day. Also from this viewpoint, we can see danger from afar.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Mat 24:4)

We should be able to spot deception from afar, my friend. However, we cannot spot it if we are not in the Word long enough to find out what deception is. There is comfort and encouragement when we have been in God’s Word and He has shown us what too look out for. We are not caught unaware.

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luk 21:34)

When we’re in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit teaches us what to expect in these end times so we are not caught off guard. Rather, we are encouraged by the signs of the times and rejoice that our Saviour is soon coming! Not only does God provide us with a spiritual refreshing on that mountain top but He gives us the ability to see when danger approaches! We are spiritually acute because we have been walking with our Shepherd.

I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. (Psa 119:93)

He has guided us and cared for us! What a beautiful picture of Him, amen?

We can be assured of going through many valleys on our path here on earth.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; (Psa 23:4a)

As a child of God, it’s important for us to follow David’s example and how he encouraged himself in the Lord. He feared no evil in his valleys because David knew God was with Him. He reflected on God’s Goodness with each previous trial and knew that the same God would be there for all future trials. Psalm 23 is such a beautiful picture of David’s relationship with God. It is to our downfall when we don’t spend extra time in the Word during these valleys – we do not prepare ourselves and, therefore, have nothing to draw from. It’s like going on a long trip and not putting fuel in the gas tank before leaving! David was an excellent example of someone who could encourage himself in the Lord. Reading about his trials and then his accounts in Psalms encouraged me in my times of need. It was because of his example that I was able to write the devotional on Discouragement and Encouragement.

Dear Christian, spend time in the Word and let God teach you and feed you. Then you, too, will be able to have the sure-footedness of the deer and God will place you on that mountain top of spiritual refreshing! And the next time you see a deer, I pray you will be reminded of this devotional and be encouraged to get in the Word, find the Lord there and reach your high place!

Dear God…
May I never cease to meet You, Lord
Each day must I seek Your face
Please guard my step as You do the deer
And set me on that high place.



Day 19 – Fish

Job 12:7-9, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (7) Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. (8 ) Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? (9)

Did you know there are about 30,000 species of fish today? With so many different species, we could park on this topic for a while and learn from God as He instructed us to do in the Book of Job.

What can we learn from the fish? No matter how many different types there are, they all have some things in common. Did you know that fish would die unless they are in motion? That is because it gets its oxygen through its gills. The blood flows through the gill in one direction and picks up the oxygen it needs from the water flowing in the opposite direction. Fish must pass new water over their gills continuously to keep a supply of oxygenated water available for diffusion. I can see why God told us in Job to study His creation, can’t you?

If the Christian stops moving forward in his spiritual walk, it is because he is not in the Word of God. The Word is where we get our fuel (oxygen) needed to survive. As the fish picks up its oxygen from the water, so do we pick up our spiritual food from the Water of Life.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

We receive life through the water of the Word, my friend. Our Bible is a gift to us. How can we leave it so neglected? We perish spiritually if we do not drink from it.

As I observe the habits of the fish, I find that most travel in schools. I wonder what God would have to teach me through this characteristic? A school is a group of fish (school sizes vary with different species) which travel together as a group. The school concept has several advantages: (1) safety in numbers from the enemy (2) feeding (3) protection, and (4) helping one another.

Only forward moving (living) fish can belong to a school. I liken this to the church. Only born-again believers can belong to the church. Amongst the brethren, we feel safe – we can enjoy fellowship and the preaching of the Word of God. For a fish to remain in a school, it cannot be a straggler or it becomes dinner. It cannot move away from the school or it becomes free game for the predator. How true of the believer! If the believer does not continue to grow in the Spirit by being in the Word and hearing the preaching, he falls for every wind of doctrine.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

If that believer continues to lose ground spiritually and falls out of church, he becomes prey to ole slew foot.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pe 5:8 ) and Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

Staying in church is so important – just as it is important for the fish to remain in the school.

When dinnertime comes, food is easier to find with a school of fish. Having 50 sets of eyes and noses gives the school a better chance of finding dinner. How true of believers gathering together to feed on God’s Word. Interacting with believers to hear what they gleaned from the Word and share experiences is so rewarding. I love Sunday School classes for this reason. Interacting with one another as we learn always produces a spiritually “meatier” class, don’t you think? As a body, we teach one another and help each other to grow in Christ.

Heb. 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

I learned that some fish schools are more like gangs where they patrol their territory and run out the intruders.

Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Those who are strong in the Lord and His Word, are able to discern what is evil in the church. Our Pastors and deacons need to be spiritually full so they can protect those in their charge.

Scientists have stated that it is believed that fish who swim close together reduce friction and this allows the fish to conserve energy. When a church works together, exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit, much can be accomplished. I’ve been in churches where it felt like we were spinning our wheels. Energy was not being conserved, that’s for sure. However, when each Christian blooms where he is planted and utilizes the gift(s) God has blessed him with, you have a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ.

But now are they many members, yet but one body. (1 Co 12:20)

The Gospel goes out effectively when everyone works together.

I truly believe that God has a wonderful sense of humor! In most of His creation, there’s one that is odd looking – at least in my opinion! I find this flatfish as God showing us His sense of humor, don’t you agree?! Notice how this flatfish has both eyes on one side of its head? Look at his mouth – it almost looks like this picture was morphed or something! It seems to me that the flatfish could only see off one side of its body and miss the predator on the other side. However, God in His infinite mercy, took care of this part of His creation. He gave this odd looking fish the ability to spot his predators. The flatfish lies flat on the bottom so he actually sees better because he has two eyes scanning in the same direction! Isn’t that just awesome? I thought of Christians who are not watching for the devil – some walk into traps blindly and some do so willingly!

1 Thess. 5:5-6, Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (5) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (6) God always gives us the armor and tools to fight our spiritual battle here on earth. He does not leave us unequipped. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph 6:11) 2 Tim. 3:16-17, and All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (16) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (17)

Lastly, the one thing that is true of all fish is their awful stench soon after they die. Sin in our lives causes our testimony to stink, my friend. The unbelieving world will look at us and despise us because of our stench. David recognized that and penned it for us.

Psa 38:4-5, For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. (4) My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (5)

No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye! He did not blame his sin on someone else or on the circumstances around him. He said that the wounds of his sin stunk and were corrupt because of his foolishness! How many Christians have you heard excuse after excuse from because they weren’t in church or they didn’t read their Bible that day or they succumbed to temptation – whatever the case! Instead, we should be growing in Christ, more like the Master with each day – producing a sweet odor – a beautiful testimony for the unbelieving world.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2 Co 2:15)

I have to be honest with you, when the fish came to my mind for today’s devotional, I honestly did not think I would have much to glean from! God is so Good! Thank You, Lord, for Your Goodness to me today!

Dear God…
From the smallest of creation
You have given me delight
To see Your hand in each of them
And to teach me of Your might!



Day 20 – The Ant

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Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

This is the first time the word ant appears in the Bible. I love how God uses different species to teach us a lesson. The ant is used to teach us how not to be lazy! As I was researching this strange little creature, I found out some interesting facts.

Did you know there are 11,880 known ant species? This is just one piece of creation! God amazes me more and more each day that I work on this series. What a blessing this has proven to be. When ant colonies have been observed, they are likened to a super organism because they seem to function as one! I found that quite interesting. Could it be that God wants us to learn from this part of their makeup? The church should function as “one” just as the ant. All working together for the cause of the Gospel!

“… that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phil. 1:27)

Brother Lee Pierson, of Our Final Authority (message board has disbanded), was sharing his thoughts about the ant.

I have always been fascinated with ants and other social insects. Ants have a structured hierarchy and each ant knows his function within his family. Each ant is born with a specialized function and he has been given the tools to perform his task. There are workers and guards, gatherers and builders. They grow gardens and milk cows and there are even some that just work in the nursery caring for the eggs. They work and sacrifice for each other and the colony. They do not get jealous of each other and they all work together as one.

What a beautiful picture of how the church should be! Working as one unit for the glory of God!

God knew this tiny creature would need a method of communicating amongst themselves. When an ant finds food, it leaves a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow. God gave them different types of pheromones: there are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect their behavior or their circumstances. An ant that has been crushed will give off an alarm pheromone which sends nearby ants into an attack craze. Brother Lee witnessed an event that truly blessed my heart:

When I worked near a river that was overflowing with floodwaters, I really became impressed with the local ant colonies. It had stopped raining a couple of days earlier but the river had not yet crested. As the water level came out of the banks of the river and slowly rose to claim the surrounding fields, the local ants began to gather dry leaves and twigs to use as life rafts. When the water reached their nest, they all jumped on board their rafts and floated away hanging onto the raft and to each other!

We are a lot like these ants. We can see the flood of judgment heading our way and we have our raft to float away on. Like the ants, we did not build our rafts we just accept God’s Gift when He provided the raft for us. One day soon, we are going to just float right out of this place!

Thank you, Brother Lee, for your contribution! What a blessing this was to me!

I also noticed that the Word mentions the ant twice. I wondered what God was trying to communicate to us through observing the ant. I realized that both verses encouraged us to be wise – to see after wisdom.

Prov. 30:24-25, There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: (24) The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (25)

Again, God says that if we pattern ourselves after the ant, we are wise. Solomon, the wisest man ever to live (past, present and future) wrote the Book of Proverbs. It is to our benefit that we heed what God is telling us. God is telling us to “get wisdom” – let’s look at that a moment:

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Prov. 4:5)

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Prov. 4:7)

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (Prov. 16:16)

Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? (Prov. 17:16)

All four verses tell us to get wisdom but they also encourage us to get understanding. Only the fool, in the fourth verse, “hath no heart to it” – meaning he didn’t understand – he read but didn’t get understanding. I think of the unbeliever who does not understand the Word of God.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

Christians have no excuse – we have the Word of God – it is Perfect, without error! We have every opportunity to get our wisdom and understanding! Especially in our country! Come on, people – many of you have more than one Bible sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Shame on you! God is waiting to open our understanding!

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Luke 24:45)

Two of my favorite verses in the New Testament were both penned by James.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

This wisdom is given by God, not man. God is not cheap – He gives us wisdom liberally to all men if they ask. Mankind has no excuse – if they don’t ask, they won’t receive it and be saved. How ashamed will the Christian be when he stands before Christ Himself having to justify why he didn’t read the Word!

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

The world’s wisdom is of their father the devil. The world’s wisdom would be totally opposite of what God provides. Breaking down this verse truly blessed me. Let’s look at this verse as if it were the devil encouraging the world to get his wisdom:

But the wisdom that is from below is first polluted, then tumultuous, unkind and wild, stubborn, unmerciful and evil fruits, having favorites, and hypocritical.

Wow! This is the wisdom the devil wants you to have. We get this kind of wisdom in the world’s entertainment, the world’s goodies, and the world’s habits.

Be careful! Learn from the ant – get wisdom and understanding as God’s Word tells us.

Dear God…
The ant is but a tiny thing
But much from it I’ve learned
To diligently seek Your Word
And to Your wisdom turn.



Day 21 – The Sun

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

As you can tell by now, I like to add some graphics to each of my posts. I feel that it gives us a preface of what that day’s post will be covering. Today is no exception – isn’t the beautiful sunrise breathtaking? My friend Jill took this picture and just wow!

Without the sun, our earth would die, plain and simple! Plant life requires sun for photosynthesis and without plants and trees giving us oxygen to breathe, the beautiful balance that God created is not there. From the beginning of time, the sun has been the center of mankind’s attention. Not only is the sun a source of light, it is a source of energy, it is a source for plant life to grow – it was and still is in some cases used in forms of worship – it provides man with essential vitamins – and it heats the atmosphere and the earth.

The word sun appears in 152 verses in the Word of God. Although its first appearance is found in Gen. 1:14-19, the actual word sun does not appear until Gen. 15:12.

Gen. 1:14-19, And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (14) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. (15) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. (16) And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, (17) And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. (18 ) And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (19)

Creation goes full circle – God provided light prior to the sun’s creation and God provides the light after the sun is no longer needed! A pastor friend shared this blessing about the sun:

It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the fourth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.

I found it interesting that our Triune God’s light is what shown for the first three days! God is seen in every verse and every part of creation – just when man thinks he is so smart, God shows man just how little he knows.

Pastor Snipes insight continued to bless me with the following:

The sun seems so very large to us, and it is! Did you know that it has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s? Wow! Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close, averaging 93,000,000 miles away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.

Psalms 19:4-6, “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

Man thinks the universe just happened – a big bang. What foolishness this is! It takes more faith to believe this theory (and that is all it is), than it does to believe that God created everything. It takes more faith to believe that living organisms came from non-living organisms! This belief is called abiogenesis. Scientists have had numerous debates over this belief, which began in the early 20th century. With all their head knowledge, they lack wisdom. Why do I say this? I say this because they mislead people into believing something that has no facts. Were these scientists present when it first happened? No, of course not! Yet, they theorize that life came from non-living organisms. The wisdom of man is foolishness.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

God’s Word says that by His hand, He holds everything together. At any time, God could take His hand off and all things in the universe would collide!

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Col. 1:17

God used the sun in the Bible to show us His power. Pastor Snipes continued to share:

In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.

Joshua 10:12-13, “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”

How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot say. What I can say is that the Creator God, who established the laws of nature, is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.

A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.

Isa. 38:7-8, “And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”

Even scientists agree that the sun will not last forever. They believe that the sun will die in 5 billions years! Oh the ignorance of man. God is still in control. The Bible says that at some point we will have no need for the sun or the moon.

Revelation 21:22-23, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”

Thank you, Pastor Snipes, for your help in putting this beautiful piece of creation into this devotional.

The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world! He sheds the blessed light of His Word into our hearts so that we are no longer blind. I remember the day of my salvation like it was yesterday! Not two minutes after I accepted Christ as my Saviour, I opened His Word to the Book of John and I could read and understand His Word! I never could understand the Bible before that day. It was like drinking sand to me. But on that beautiful, glorious day April 1st, 1980, Christ shined His light into my heart and I could clearly see!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

Jesus is our Sonlight!

Sunlight
Judson Van Deventer

I wandered in the shades of night,
Till Jesus came to me,
And with the sunlight of His love
Bid all my darkness flee.

Chorus
Sunlight, sunlight in my soul today,
Sunlight, sunlight all along the way;
Since the Savior found me, took away my sin,
I have had the sunlight of His love within.

Though clouds may gather in the sky,
And billows ’round me roll,
However dark the world may be
I’ve sunlight in my soul.

Chorus

While walking in the light of God,
I sweet communion find;
I press with holy vigor on
And leave the world behind.

Chorus

I cross the wide, extended fields,
I journey o’er the plain,
And in the sunlight of His love
I reap the golden grain.

Chorus

Soon I shall see Him as He is,
The Light that came to me;
Behold the brightness of His face,
Throughout eternity.

Chorus



Day 22 – The Moon

Photography by Bob Sabo

Deu. 33:13-14, And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, (13) And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, (14)

As the sun provides radiant heat during the day for earth’s precious fruit, the moon provides needful moisture in the night to nourish these precious fruit. God’s own Goodness provides His creation a nightly drink! God goes one step further and gives us the dew, (sparkling like diamonds in the morning sun) to behold just because He can! Our Father paints a picture for us so beautiful, so intricate, so delicate!

Today’s picture was taken in my back yard as we sat by the firepit. With a full moon shining its beautiful light, we can see the clouds and trees! As each following phase of the moon appears throughout the month, we see less light but yet we know it is there.

Ps. 139:14, “Marvellous are thy works.”

The moon’s light is viewed in many ways, isn’t it? Couples view its romantic aspect:

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, (Son 6:10a).

Meteorologists and farmers watch it for seasons:

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (Psa 104:19).

While the child of God sees God’s handiwork:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; (Psa 8:3)

God created the moon for our enjoyment – for us to gaze upon, to draw us closer to Him. Surely one cannot look at a lake with the moon’s light reflecting upon it and not be drawn closer to the Creator!

Be still, and know that I am God: (Psa 46:10a)

Mankind attributes the wonders of the skies to science, but God will be exalted in the end – the truth will be revealed to all.

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isa 2:11)

Remember when Joshua asked God to make the sun still? God did cause the sun to be still but little do we hear that the moon was also made still.

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. (Josh 10:13a)

I never noticed that before – God’s Word always has something in there to take notice!

One day, these lights will be gone – their purpose no longer needed.

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isa 60:20)

We will no longer need the lights in the skies because God will be all the light we need. I can’t even imagine this in my finite little mind!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8 )

But God says it will be so and, therefore, it will be so.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

A lunar and solar eclipse is a phenomenon that is beautiful to witness, isn’t it? I’ve seen a few in my life time and each time I’m filled with wonder. Prior to salvation, I viewed it as a scientific wonder. But after salvation, I could not help but see God in it – beholding His wonder!

A friend shared some notes that he had written in his Bible next to Matthew chapter 5. What a blessing!

“Like the moon reflects the light of the sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.

When the world comes between the sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.”

Amen! We can see God’s Goodness throughout His Word and throughout all of His creation!

Lastly, I thought it appropriate to end today’s topic with one of Noah Webster’s definition of the word eclipse,

“All the posterity of our first parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life.”

What a wonderful use of God’s handiwork in the sky to reveal the spiritual condition of mankind!

Dear God…
Your hand has placed a lovely moon
On Your canvass in the sky
As Your children look up below
Your Name do they glorify



Day 23 – The Wild Columbine

Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) - Wild Seed Project

I normally reduce the size of my pictures but I simply could not do it with this one. It took away from its intricacies. This beautiful flower, the Wild Columbine, can be found growing in the State of Wisconsin. It reminded me of a dear, precious sister in the Lord who lives there. Today’s devotional is for this dear friend. I am praying that the Lord would bless it and use it to encourage her.

Looking at this magnificent piece of God’s creation, I noticed that its colors are so vivid! The bright yellow center, like rays streaming from the sun, is surrounded by a beautiful reddish-dark pink blanket. It reminded me of Christ’s precious blood covering our sins and how His Spirit should shine forth in our lives. Christ’s agape love drove Him to die for us so that our sins would be covered! It sure opened my eyes to the true meaning of:

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Pe 4:8 )

At its center lies the sweet nectar used in pollinating! Oh that our lives should be sweet nectar to the unsaved world! We should be ready with the sweet honey from the Word – ready to show them salvation through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the entire flower look like a lantern bursting forth with light? This beautifully clad flower is an example to us that we should be a light to a lost and dying world.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (Luk 8:16)

The little buds on the plant are waiting for the perfect time, God’s time, to open up and reveal the beautiful flower within. Our new life in Christ produces a spiritual bud which will burst forth as we grow in grace. When we are born again, we become new creatures.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17)

We possess the wonderful Holy Spirit who molds us and forms us into the image of Jesus Christ.

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Co 15:49)

Buds on a plant pop up and grow at different times. The bud cannot survive without the plant – apart from the plant, this bud would die.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Joh 15:5)

As we view the life of a Christian as it relates to this plant, we see the new born again believer – he is like a new bud. The bud then begins to open, beginning its life as a flower – so the believer grows in grace and begins to look like his Saviour. The more the bud opens, the more it looks like the flower it is going to become. The same goes for Christians – the more we grow in Christ (through trial and tribulation), the more we become like Him.

Each bud belongs to the same plant just as each believer belongs to the Vine. Yet each is unique in its own way. They are all Wild Columbines but yet different in the time they bud and in their appearance. Some may have blotches due to disease – some may have little holes due to insects. Each Christian goes through life experiencing trials and tribulations which produce blotches. Each Christian will go through physical trials because of Adam’s sin. But we have encouragement in the Word because nothing is unique – somewhere, someone has been through the same trial (whether spiritual or physical) and we are not alone.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Co 10:13)

The Lord’s mercy is seen here – we can encourage one another during various trials so that a brother or sister does not get totally discouraged. We are to use the gift(s) God has given us to lift up those who desperately need to see the Lord. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ it is when each Christian is using his gifts for His glory! The church works together as one to bring glory to the Son! All our gifts working together in harmony will form a church family that is ready to meet the needs of a lost and dying world. These same gifts will be as a healing salve for the hurting Christian. Just as these buds on the Wild Columbine plant contribute to the whole plant, so does each born again believer contribute to the Body of Christ!

Lastly, this beautiful flower reminds me that not all Christians are at the same place spiritually. We are all growing at different paces – we are a work in progress. We need to be patient with one another. We will not achieve perfection until we reach Heaven. In the mean time, our Heavenly Father is busy molding us into a vessel fit for His use.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isa 64:8 )

As Christians, we will fail as we walk this pilgrim’s path. However, God’s Word promises that He can pick up the broken pieces and make something new fit for His use.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4)

Did you notice that the potter here did not throw away the marred vessel? Instead, he “made it again” into another vessel! God can take our sins, our mistakes, our messed up lives, and mold us into something new that he can use! He is the God of second chances – and, yes, third, fourth and even more!

Never did I dream when I started meditating on the beautiful Wild Columbine that I would walk away this blessed! Oh Lord, “Marvellous are thy works.” Ps. 139:14

Thank You, Lord (for saving my soul)
Words and Music by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace
In prayer I would repeat:

Chorus
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise,
Because I know He’s mine.

Chorus

I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.

Chorus



Day 24 – The Cockroach

Probably one of the worse subjects for me to talk about is that of cockroaches – or any bug for that matter. As disgusting as this little creature is, there is something there that God can use to teach us something from His word. God’s lessons can not only be found in the most beautiful of His creation but also in the most loathsome creature! When I think of cockroaches I think of the pestilences of Scriptures. Whether the cockroach was a part of these pestilences or not, they certainly are pests to be reckoned with today.

He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; (Psa 78:50)

Unless you have experienced an annoying pest problem, you can’t begin to imagine in your mind’s eye what a pestilence can truly be.

Did you know that here are roughly 3,490 species of cockroaches in six families? Cockroaches are found worldwide, except for the polar regions. Only a handful of these species dwell in buildings. But once you find a cockroach in your house, you can be sure there are a lot more hidden in the walls.

The most common cockroach in the U.S. is the German cockroach. Their female carries an egg case on the end of her abdomen. (OK – I just had a chill run up my spine!) The egg case holds about 30–40 long, thin eggs, packed like hot dogs in its case. As disgusting as all this sounds, it brought to mind how the world is filled with lost sinners, packed together living their lives without thought of their spiritual condition. There is no better place to view this than at a night club. I do not need to elaborate on this – all you have to do is remember your unsaved days and when you visited these places – sinners crammed together like sardines just so they can fulfill the lusts of the flesh – all in the guise of fun!

Yet, in this darkness sin runs rampant – no one is seeking to walk righteously. God says in His Word that pestilence walks in the night. I wondered if He was referring to the likes of cockroaches.

Ps. 91:5-6, Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; (5) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (6)

One thing that I did find fascinating about the eggs were how they hatch. The hatchlings continuously gulp air until they “swell” like a balloon. Their combined pressure causes the case to break open. These little nymphs are initially white in color and they continue inflating themselves with air. Within about four hours, they have hardened and darkened in color. This process reminded me of a baby coming into this world. As this baby grows, the sin nature takes hold and this beautiful innocent child becomes harder and harder to win to salvation because the sin nature now reigns. The inflating cockroach brought to mind how our sins are multiplied every day – I can see why God likens them to filthy rags.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

Once salvation is found, those filthy sins – those scarlet sins are made white as snow because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

Our hard, sinful nature has been replaced with a heart filled with the seed of the Gospel planted into good soil.

Because of our sin nature, our sins are multiplied daily. Just think of it this way – if you were to live until you were 80 years old and you commit only one sin per day, you will have sinned 29,200 times! And that’s only one sin per day! Our Heavenly Father created Adam and Eve perfect and sinless! It was not His desire for them to be sinners. He created them perfect, as well as the entire earth. God gave them a free will so they would serve Him willingly, not as robots. They exercised their free will by succumbing to sin. This sin had them kicked out of the perfect Garden of Eden! This sin brought curse to this earth.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Rom 5:12)

It is not God’s choosing but ours.

Anyone who has had roaches in their kitchen can verify that they are a nocturnal creature – they come out by night. The minute you turn the light on, they scatter, thus the phrase, “scatter like roaches.” The sinner finds comfort in the night because he thinks he cannot be seen.

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? (Isa 29:15)

The sinner is blind to the things of God.

And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? (Luk 6:39)

A believer cannot hang around a lost person for very long because he will find himself going back spiritually.

Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; (Pro 2:13)

We do not need to walk in darkness any longer. We have the ability to say no to sin and to walk in the paths of uprightness.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1Th 5:5)

In looking at the cockroach we can see God’s Goodness in the lessons He has for us. So as the cockroach scatters when the light is brought forth, so should we scatter when sin crosses our path. We have the blessed light of the Word of God to lighten our way.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

We do not need to stumble as the lost do.

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19)

Learn from the cockroach. Use this piece of creation to teach you how to be a better Christian.

Dear God…
You have used the vilest of creatures
To teach Your child today
May we watch and diligently listen
As Your word lights up our way!



Day 25 – The Senses

I wanted to do something unusual and not “obvious” in today’s post. The senses came to mind so I meditated on that for a while. As with any part of life, I found the Lord in all of our senses. We are so blessed! Of course, the first thing I noticed was the number five – for five senses. By now, you’ve noticed I have a love for God’s references to numbers in the Bible. The number five is the number for grace. So how does God’s grace affect all of our senses? Let’s dig in! I hope this is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!

Let’s look at the the first sense – sight.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (Isa 64:4)

Can you imagine this? Just think of the most beautiful waterfall or majestic mountain that you have seen. God says that your eye (or anyone’s for that matter) has never seen what awaits you in Heaven. Glory!! It amazes me how God intricately created the eye. Just the eye alone has so many parts and all work together to enable us to behold God’s beauty! Have we ever stopped to think what we would do without our eyes? We would stumble in darkness. God likens the lost in this way:

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19)

Does not this just illuminate the song verse “I once was blind but now I see”? Truly such amazing grace!!

The next sense is that of hearing.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Co 2:9)

As Paul was quoting Isaiah, he pointed out that nothing that we have heard with our own ears can be compared to what we will hear in Heaven! I have heard the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir singing Handel’s Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus, and I thought this was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I was certain this would be sung in Heaven when we gather to worship Christ. I’ve also enjoyed listening to the beautiful coos of a sweet, precious baby! But God tells us that no one has any idea, or even a clue, of what we will hear in Heaven! Double Glory!! Christ used the sense of hearing seven times in the Book of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. The Word says that with our sense of hearing we will come to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)

God is so good to His children. He has given us eyes and ears with which to enjoy the beauty and sound of His creation!

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. (Pro 20:12)

Next is the sense of taste.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psa 34:8 )

How can you “taste” God? Have you not walked away from your Bible reading with the feeling that you ate sweet honey because God has healed your broken spirit? Have you ever walked away from your reading with a “bitter” taste in your mouth where God has revealed a sin to you?

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psa 119:103)

I think of how Christ used the sense of taste in His words to us. He is the water of life – He said we should be like salt to the unsaved! Christ used the senses as examples to us so as to teach us. So did Peter.

1 Pet. 2:2-3, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (2) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (3)

The sense of touch is next.

Touch not; taste not; handle not; (Col 2:21)

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Co 6:17)

We touch thousands of things in the course of a day. Our hands touch what our eyes see and our brain leads us to touch. We must be so careful to protect our eyes so that our hands are not led to touch what we should not. If we protected ourselves in this manner, we would be able to fulfill 2 Co 6:17 without a problem. Our desire (our heart) should be to touch what is good in God’s eyes. I love sitting with my Bible and running my fingers across its leather cover and eagerly anticipating my time spent in reading its blessed pages. I love to hold a rose and touch its velvet-like petals. I love to touch a baby’s skin and nuzzle my nose into its sweet, precious soft neck.

Lastly, let’s look at the sense of smell.

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. (Amo 5:21)

God even used the sense of smell to reveal to us His desires and His will. God does not want the work of our hands – He does not want us to play religion. This verse says that God hates the smell of our unrighteous sacrifices. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. Man’s relationship with God was severed in the Garden of Eden. However, Christ came to restore that relationship. He has saved us and His sacrifice is the sweet savour that God smells. In kind, our testimonies should be a sweet savour to a lost and dying world.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2 Co 2:15)

The lost should be able to see that our “religion” is not one of burnt offerings of our own works but the blessed sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what they should see in us – our testimony should smell like a rose to them, not like a skunk.

God’s Word has so much on the senses. I never gave it much thought until this morning. Just doing a word search in my Bible software showed me just how much God used the senses to teach us. What an awesome God we serve!

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. (Psa 49:3)

[Maschil of Asaph.] Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (Psa 78:1)

Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things? (Job 6:30)

All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. (Psa 45:8 )

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)



Day 26 – The Wind/Part 2

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; (Gen 8:1) 

The first mention of the wind is in Genesis 8:1. You all know my love for God’s use of numbers in the Word – and I believe He continues this love right down to the chapter numbers and verse numbers. The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings.” When we are born again, we have a new beginning – we receive the Holy Spirit of God within us who seals us. The Holy Spirit stirs our hearts like a breeze stirs the embers in a fire.

Another beautiful analogy I noticed was how the wind blew across the waters and caused them to asswage (to move and pull back). Christ, through His Word, is our Living Water and His Spirit moves within us to convict us, grow us, and pull us away from the world. 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) 

The Living Water of the Word of God is stirred by the Wind, the Holy Spirit. 

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 )

As the Holy Spirit stirs our spiritual embers, we grow in grace. He stirs us and reveals to us what His Word says. He guides us in our spiritual walk and reveals false doctrines so we can be equipped when cultists come our way. He pricks our hearts when we “hear” a different gospel. He reveals God’s will in every page of the Word. He shows us how to communicate to our Heavenly Father. God uses examples of the wind and makes His Word come alive through examples. The Master Painter paints a picture in our mind’s eye so we can better understand what He is communicating to us. God didn’t just give us His Word but He uses His creation to explain Himself more clearly. How blessed we truly are! 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (Jam 1:6)

Another aspect of wind is its force. Wind carries dust and debris and sometimes it clutters the way and creates obstacles, like in the instance of a tornado. The Christian who spends time in the Holy Spirit breathed pages of the Bible will be able to discern teachings which are not scriptural. The new believer is a prime candidate for falling victim to deception. They are not yet experiencing the meat of the Word and they will be easily deceived. Spending little time in the Word invites debris and obstacles in their spiritual path.

However, the Christian who spends time in the Word, growing thereby, can recognize the devil’s winds about him. 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14) 

The devil is the father of lies according to John 8:44. But God did not leave us helpless, my friend. We have two of the most powerful defense weapons known to man: the Bible and prayer. The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God through men and He speaks to the Father through us when we cannot find the words. How many times have I searched for just the right words to express to the Father what my heart contained. Yet, the Spirit had already told Him! The Spirit had already completed the mission and was revealing God’s will and plan through the blessed pages of my Bible in my reading time.

The wind is a magnificent part of creation to which much of God’s teachings can be attributed. How blessed we are that we can look at every facet of creation and see our God and His character. As Christians, we should take advantage of it and meditate on whatever it is that God puts in our path each day. God is waiting there to teach us and bless us through His creation. Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Your blessed Holy Spirit
Is seen in the softest breeze
Please move and stir within my heart
And mold me as You please.



Day 27 – Thunder & Lightning

When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: (Job 28:26)

One of the most awesome of God’s wonders to me is a good lightning and thunder storm! I love to sit and watch one; I stand amazed each time a lightning bolt goes across the sky and the sound of thunder claps afterward.

Man in his “finite wisdom” still does not know exactly why this phenomenon occurs. Here we are in the 21st Century and it is still a mystery! But here is what they do know. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity that happens mostly during a storm. It also occurs during a tornado, along with hail, as well as when a volcano erupts. It also occurs when it’s hot, called heat lightning. Scientists say a bolt of lightning travels at 100,000 miles per hour and that its temperature reaches almost 50,000 °F! It is said that the average bolt of lightning can produce enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for two months!

The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. (Psa 77:18 )

When I see lightning, I think of the Lord’s return.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mat 24:27)

A lightning bolt shoots across the sky so quickly (100,000 mph), so will Christ’s return be! What a glorious thing to behold!!

When I was a little girl, my father told me that when I see lightning, all I have to do is to start counting when I hear the thunder. The number I reach is the distance in miles the lightning is away from me. It’s amazing what people attribute thunder to: the angels bowling, the clouds colliding, etc.! But even today, scientists do not completely understand what causes thunder. The current theory is that plasma expands in the lightning bolt’s trail and creates a sonic shock wave caused by the rapid heating and expansion of the air around the lightning. We see lightning before the thunder because light travels faster than sound.

I love the fact that even with all the head knowledge of our scientists today, they still cannot figure out lightning and thunder completely. They have but a “theory”!

Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. (Psa 81:7)

God’s Word says that thunder is in the secret place … I wonder if God intends to keep it a secret from man until His return!

How appropriate to end today’s devotional with the great song, “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg! In 1885, he was walking home after church and watched a storm over Monsteras Bay in Sweden. The storm captured his attention and inspired him to pen the words to this beautiful hymn.

How Great Thou Art
Carl Boberg

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Chorus



Day 28 – Waterfalls

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psa. 114:7-8, Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; (7) Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. (8 )

What a beautiful work of the Master’s Hand! The waterfall’s beauty brings such peace as we behold it. All along the water’s edge one sees the life that the water produces.

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psa 65:9)

Our Heavenly Father provides everything for His creation. Not only is His provision useful for our bodies but also for our spiritual nourishment. The thunderous sound of the waters falling remind me that no matter how beautiful the waters are, the force of the water as it hits bottom stirs up the loose earth and debris below. So should God’s Word stir up our souls and move us forward in our Christian walk toward spiritual maturity.

[To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Psa 42:1)

When we “pant” for God’s Word and time spent with Him, we are rewarded with refreshing waters from the water of Life. Thank You, Lord!

My heart was full this morning after my time with Him. All I could do was pen what He had done for me. I share this with you now in hopes that it will bless you.

My Heart Panteth for You
Kate Plourde (May 21, 2007)

My heart is full as I sit with You,
During this time of solitude.
A time ever precious and so sweet
Each day my heart’s made new!

Despite the problems of the day
I’m not feeling overwhelmed.
The loving Captain of my ship
Stands watchful at the helm.

The Master of the sea loves me!
My best is His loving plan.
He guides me through the storms of life.
I find rest in His bless’ed Hand.

Dear Lord, be the Commander of my life,
For You care so diligently.
The Word has promised You’ll never sleep,
While you guide me on life’s sea!



Day 29 – Snow Flakes

Photography by Cecelia Becker

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (Job 37:6)

Most snowflakes are known to have six sides. Some do have three sides, which I found to be interesting because scientists say that this three-sided snowflake is still a mystery. Don’t you love it? Man still cannot figure out God’s creation!

Although it’s widely believed that no two snowflakes are alike, scientists cannot prove it nor can they disprove it. Their finite minds want to believe that it is impossible for no two things in the whole universe not to be alike in some way. But their “fact finding” minds have to concede that it could be possible. They hate the fact that the Christian’s God could make something so beautiful and unique so they deny it.

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. (Pro 23:9)

But as Christians, we know that God created all things, including each snow flake. Job 37:6 says that God places them on this earth. What more proof do we need? None whatsoever! When I think of all the sizes and shapes of snow flakes, I am astounded at God’s wonders! It equally boggles my mind to know that He has every hair on my head numbered, as well as yours and every other human being that has ever lived on this earth!

Jesus said, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Mat 10:30)

Jesus, Himself, said this! If you are not baffled, you should be! Meditating on the intricacies of creation, such as the snow flake, will cause you to know the God you serve!

The snow flake, on the most part, has six sides. The number six is the number of man. I wonder if no two snow flakes are alike because no two human beings are exactly alike. We see this truth in finger prints. God teaches us that as the snow flake is unique, so are we. He knows each one of us intimately. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Our Father knows us better than our spouse. He knows us better than our parents. He knows us better than we want to admit in knowing ourselves.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (Psa 139:2)

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (Psa 139:4)

God knows our thoughts (afar off) even before I have thought them and my words even before I have spoken them. This makes me trust in my Maker, my Creator, so much more because He knows who He is dealing with and knows how to mold me into His image. Knowing what God knows about each one of us, He molds us into unique creatures – each one of us having different talents, different colored eyes, different skin, different hair, etc.

God also creates snow flakes with three sides reminding us of his Triune nature. There is none like Him. It is this Triune God who made man.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen 1:26)

How can we look at a snow storm and not see the Lord God in it? Growing up in Northern Maine allowed me to witness the most beautiful snow flakes ever! I remember those storms where the flakes were huge! You could see each of the designs so beautifully. More recently, we had such a snow storm in Northern Virginia and viewing those beautiful nickel-sized flakes revealed God’s Goodness to me. I was awe struck!

Oh Christian, we don’t have to look far to see God’s Goodness in His creation. All we have to do is to be still for a moment and behold the beauty around us. Why do you think God tells us to be still? Yes, He means for us to stop getting in His way and let Him work in our lives. But He could also mean for us to be still long enough to recognize His Goodness.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psa 46:10)

When we look at snow flakes and their simplicity, we can see God. This beautiful pure white, six-sided (man’s number) piece of creation is likened to our Precious Saviour and His work on the cross for us. The next time you behold snow with your eyes (whether in real life or in photos), meditate on Christ’s purity and how God sent Him to save your wicked soul. Meditate on His purity and allow His Spirit to change you.

So, my friend, did you think that meditating on a snow flake would be so rewarding? I didn’t and walked away this morning totally blessed! Thank You, Lord!

Whiter Than Snow
James L. Nicholson

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself, and whatever I know,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessèd Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

Refrain



Day 30 – Trumpeter Swan

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (Song 2:12)

The largest of the North American waterfowls, as well as the largest of all swans, is the graceful Trumpeter Swan. What a beautiful bird it is with its pure white feathers and long slender neck. Next to the dove, eagle and cardinal, this is the one bird that has had the most spiritual impact on me. When I see a Trumpeter Swan, I think of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! His grace and beauty are seen in many of the swan’s characteristics. I wanted to share with you what the Creator of all gave me this morning as I meditated on this remarkable creature. God’s Goodness cannot be matched – His Greatness cannot be exceeded – His love never ends!

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (Psa 31:19)

About 25 years ago, John and I went on a motorcycle trip from Virginia to Northern Maine. We stopped overnight in a small town in Connecticut. The motel had the most beautiful large pond in front of our room. This beautiful pond was surrounded by Weeping Willows all around. It was picture perfect, so serene! Unfortunately, those were the years of 35 millimeter cameras and Polaroids and I do not have a picture to post here. We watched these beautiful Trumpeter Swans lazily gliding across the pond. Back and forth they would go with their young cygnets frantically swimming behind them. As they swam, the peaceful waters were disrupted, creating ripples all the way to the shore line.

The swan’s beautiful white feathers remind me that the Redeemer’s blood has made me white as snow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

My sin is seen no more by my Heavenly Father because He sees His Son’s blood over me. The white feathers also remind me of when Jesus was transfigured.

And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. (Mar 9:3)

The Creator, Jesus Christ, gave this beautiful swan colors and its grace to bless our hearts. In turn, it reminds us of Him – it draws us to Him.

As the swan glides across the waters so gently and gracefully, it reminds me of how the Holy Spirit gently works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ. As we read the Word and are convicted by the Spirit, we become more and more like Jesus.

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

God patiently works in our lives, leading and directing, molding and forming us so we can be like Him.

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

Jesus promises us peace and rest when we come to Him.

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

Not only does our Saviour give us peace but He carries our burdens if we allow Him to do so!

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:30)

It took me a while to grow in this area of allowing the Lord to carry my burdens. Once I learned this blessed truth, what a fool I felt I was for not having done so sooner. There is no happier and more peaceful place to be than in the center of your Saviour’s Hand. We are secure there.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Joh 10:28 )

As the Holy Spirit works to change us and mold us into the image of Christ, the changes create a rippling effect in our lives, just as the swan creates when it swims. These changes touch other lives through our testimony and leads them to Christ. Their lives touch other lives, etc. Thus the rippling effect goes to the shores of our lives. My testimony should have this effect on others, reaching out to the uttermost!

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. (2 Cor 1:12)

I did a little research on the internet about this magnificent creature. I learned that they often mate for life. The female (known as the pen) molts and loses her flight feathers shortly after her young hatch. She is vulnerable to predators at this point. The cob (the male) goes through this process about a month later when the female has completed her molt. The Creator knew that they would have to protect one another during their flightless time. What a merciful God we have – He watches over every creature in such a tender and caring way!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7)

Our Heavenly Father does not leave us defenseless. He is not like the devil who will kick us while we are down. Peter warns us that ole slew foot is like a roaring lion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 )

God does not leave us to be devoured by the devil. We have nothing to fear because while we are spiritually molting, the Lord is right there protecting us against evil and the evil one. God wanted us to rest assured so much so that He penned it in the Word by giving us an example when Jesus prayed for us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13)

One of the swan’s predators is the wolf. This beautiful creature can be attacked without notice and quickly. We’ve all see nature shows about wolves and how they run in packs and have no mercy on their unsuspecting victims. Just because we are saved does not mean that we are exempt from the wolves of this world. The devil sends his minions out within the very walls of our churches to attack from within.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Act 20:29)

We are to be vigilent, ready and prepared for the enemy. Notice that Luke does not say that the wolves are from the world but these wolves are among us in our very churches! This tells me that we should be even more vigilent in this case. We have a tendancy to let down our guard when we are in church because we believe we are in a safe haven. However, the wolves are among us and the Word says they are grievous. Noah Webster says that grievous means

“Causing grief or sorrow.”

Have you ever been prey to a grievous wolf in your own church which has caused you grief or sorrow? The Word says it will happen – Luke said “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,”! Luke knew it would happen. Don’t be deceived – be alert! Know your Bible so that you can spot trouble from afar. God gives us more and more discernment and wisdom and we grow in grace.

And lastly, I discovered that the swan makes a trumpet-like sound like that of a french horn. That is why it is called the Trumpeter Swan. God used the trumpet sounds quite often in the Scriptures. The word trumpet appears 59 times in the Bible. A trumpet was sounded when danger was spotted. Christ left us His Word so that we would be able to find encouragement within its pages. He left us His Word so that we could learn to spot danger. Seeing a swan encourages us to be in the Word, seeking out the warnings. The prophecies of the end times are good examples of these warnings. The trumpet was also used to make an announcement. My favorite verse relating to a trumpet is found in Rev. 4:1, where the rapture is depicted.

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev 4:1)

Jesus Christ will call us up, “Come up hither!”

1 Thess. 4:17-18, 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. (17) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (18 )

Glory! Does this not comfort you? Just as I sat tranquil and comforted watching the beautiful swans on that pond, so should you be with these words!

The next time you see the Trumpeter Swan, I hope you see our Magnificent and Almighty Lord in its beautiful features.

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (1 Tim 6:15)

Dear God…
Oh Lord, my God, I sit amazed
At Your creation, with beauty bright
Revealing Truths in such bless’ed ways
Reflecting Your power and might.




For the Weary

Photography by Bob Sabo

Do you find yourself in a dark place in your life? Christians are not exempt from illness or difficulties. This is a 28-day devotional written in 2008 and written for those who are weary of the Christian battle. Whether your weariness is due to chronic illness, spiritual battles, serving God, or even if you don’t know God intimately. I pray this devotional series will be a blessing to you!



Day 1 – Medicine

Photography by Bob Sabo

For this devotional series “For the Weary,” I will be using pictures taken by Carol Meyers with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Finding Healing

~Malachi 4:2a But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;

~Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Finding healing … we all are in need of some kind of healing, aren’t we? Some of us have physical problems. Some have spiritual problems. Others have emotional problems. We live in an age where there is a doctor for every kind of problem known to man!

When it comes to the spiritual problems, however, Preachers are the ones we turn to. They find themselves counseling members for all sorts of spiritual problems. Healing cannot be found if the sick one does not apply the recommendation given to them. A doctor can prescribe a pill or recommend a surgery, but if the patient does not take the advice, he will not get better. It is the same with the spiritual help. The Pastor can recommend but he cannot force the Christian to read his Bible, etc.

Perfect Healing

God is perfect, however, and promises healing to those who seek Him. God’s healing is not a “hope so” but a definite one! Does everyone who has physical problems get healed by God? No! Sometimes those with illness are more able to help others because they have the compassion to serve because of their illness. God does not promise to heal all physical problems, but he does promise to be there with you. He will also provide rest and healing to those who are spiritually sick and have become weary.

~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

You can tell when you have come across a Christian stricken with a chronic illness and who has drawn close to God. This person does not have his eyes on his own pain and suffering, but has placed them on the needs of others. You can also tell a Christian who has not been drawing close to God during his trial.

~Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

You have been around people like this, haven’t you? I have and it is not encouraging to say the least! The person who does not seek healing in God’s Word becomes so bitter that the only thing that comes out of their mouth is complaining.

The Remedy

(1) Matthew 11:29 says to take Christ’s yoke upon us and learn of Him. If you picture a yoke in your mind’s eye, you will see it has two openings – for two oxen heads. Place yourself in one opening and look to the other – it is there that Christ has promised to be – right along side of you so that your burden, whatever that may be, is lighter. You are not carrying it alone in your spiritual battle! You are not alone in your physical battle! You are not alone in your emotional battle! My friend, the King of kings and Lord of lords is in the other opening of your yoke! Woah! That packs a whallop, doesn’t it? Half of our battle is realizing that we are not alone and that someone cares about us.

(2) Secondly, Christ says in verse 29 to learn of Him and you will find rest. Being in the Word of God will cleanse you and, thus, bring spiritual and emotional healing.

~Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The chronically ill Christian can avoid bitterness by being in the Word. It is there he will learn what Christ would have him to learn. Jesus brings healing with each word. But you must read it to glean. It’s like the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The answers to your problems may not be the answers you were looking for but they will always be what the Lord says is best for your life. Furthermore, your problem may not go away but your attitude about it will have changed.

Jesus has the medicine for us for every area of our lives. He may not choose to heal your physical problems but He has exactly what you need, when you need it, for your spiritual life. Rather than wallow in self pity and be miserable and bitter, lean on Christ who is helping you to carry the weight of illness in your yoke. It is the physically sick Christian who needs to be careful so he does not get to the point of weariness. The sick Christian needs to be in his Bible more because he will find himself growing weary. He will find himself getting discouraged. Jesus said to learn of Him – He will teach you how to remove this burden and rest in His care.

Discipline yourself from dwelling on your illness. Instead, place your eyes on someone else. It is when we are busy helping others that we are able to keep our eyes off the pain in our bodies. When you take your eyes off others, you will soon find yourself hurting more and becoming bitter.

Learn from Christ and find rest!



Day 2 – Looking

Photography by Bob Sabo

It is when we look at our own circumstances that we become dissatisfied and we then begin to covet. We become jealous of others who are not stricken with the illness that we have. We hear ourselves saying, “Others cannot know what I am going through because they do not have the problems that I have.” The moment we take our eyes off the Lord and place them on our problems, we will grow weary.

~1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Did you notice the reference to the “lust of the eyes”? You may wonder what this has to do with the topic of growing weary. When we begin to look at what we feel is wrong in our lives, it is very easy to become covetous. Ole slew foot will be sure to kick you when you’re down, my friend! He will make sure that the grass you are looking at on the other side of that fence will appear to be a whole lot greener than your own! You will become resentful of your lot in life and you will desire what others have. You may not covet their belongings, but you will resent your own life for not being like theirs – what appears to be care free.

“Why do I have to be the one who is sick when Jean Jones seems to have everything in life?” This statement is a direct result of the lust of the eyes. This person would not notice that Jean seems to have everything in life if she had not looked at her own circumstances and compared them with Jean’s.

Changing Our View

It is critical that we change how we view our circumstances. God’s Word teaches us how to do this. Use your eyes to focus on someone else’s needs rather than your own. Allow God to let you be a blessing to someone else. God can see when a need must be met and if you allow Him, He will use you to meet a need. Have you heard the statement, “God wants you to be Jesus with skin on”? We have the Holy Spirit residing within us and His goal is to mold us into the image of Jesus Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to use you – each time you do, you become more and more like Christ. When we yield ourselves to the Spirit’s will, God is glorified.

God would be glorified if He healed you right now or took away whatever trial you are experiencing. However, God may receive more glory by allowing you to go through the trial to help others.

So, where should you start? Look within your own church family. Look for those who are lonely or hurting. Often times they are the ones who are quiet and probably do not get the opportunity to fellowship with others very much. They are sadly left out for one reason or another.

~1 John 4:7-12, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Our church has a membership directory and it is a good place to start. Take your church’s directory and write little facts you know beside each member. For example: Jane Smith has chemo from June through August; John Green is a recent widower and has no family living nearby; Mary is caring for her invalid mother; Susie’s husband is not saved and she does not get much Christian fellowship with other ladies, etc. If you personally do not know what the needs are, call your Pastor or the church secretary. They are usually the first to know when a need has arisen in the church. You can also glean from the weekly prayer bulletin.

Everyone has a need in their lives, my friend. Everyone! Use your eyes to see what these needs are and then focus your efforts on meeting those needs using the talents God has given to you.

Use Your Talents

Every one of us has a talent given by God above. You may not view your abilities as a talent given from God but they truly are. As each part of our body is needed to make a fully-functional human body, so is each talent and ability given to make Christ’s fully-functional precious church! We can’t all be good cooks because we also need someone to work on the Pastor’s computer when it goes down.

Are you a good cook? Make some extra food at your next meal for someone who could use a “touch” from the Lord. Notice I said, “from the Lord”? Your talents are to be used for the glory of God, not yours. Be that “Jesus with skin on” and let the Lord meet their need through you. When you are a humble and willing servant, you accomplish the Master’s tasks no matter if you receive a thank you or not. Your joy will come from being willing to be used of God.

If you cannot deliver the meal yourself, ask someone else in your church if they would like to do so. Some people don’t like to cook but they don’t mind delivering a meal to someone in need. God will put the two of you together and you’ll make a good team. Working together strives to make your church family a well rounded, fully-functional family. Each one using his/her talent for the Lord! Maybe someone else likes to make cards and has one that could be included with the meal. As well, maybe someone else has a beautiful flower garden and would like to include a bouquet of flowers. Do you see how God can be glorified through your abilities? The meal deliverer can also keep an eye open for things that may need to be done in the dear Saint’s home. For example, as she sits and chats for a bit, she can see if housework is needed. When can let the church secretary know this and the house cleaning can be assigned to ladies who love to do this. Or if a shutter is falling off a window, or any other fix-it project, etc. She can call the Pastor and let him know so he can assign it to o