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Read Through Psalms and Proverbs Every Month

I love to incorporate the Book of Psalms and Proverbs in my daily reading. I’ve been doing this since 1986 and it has been a blessing to me. Both provide comfort, guidance and much wisdom. I would like to share it with you! At the end of the month, you will have read through both books! 😀 Use your calendar as the reference for which day to read, i.e. Day 1’s readings on the first of the month; day 2’s readings on the second of the month, etc. (Psalm 119 has 176 verses so it’s easier to break it up in sections. The structure of this Psalm is comprised of 22 stanzas, each starting with a different letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza has 8 verses. ) If you look at the bottom of this page, you can create a PDF of this page and print it out.

Day 1:

Psalm 1 Psalm 31 Psalm 61 Psalm 91 Psalm 119:1-8
Psalm 121 Proverbs 1
Also read Proverbs 31 (if there are only 30days in the month)

Day 2:

Psalm 2 Psalm 32 Psalm 62 Psalm 92 Psalm 119:9-16
Psalm 122 Proverbs 2

Day 3:

Psalm 3 Psalm 33 Psalm 63 Psalm 93 Psalm 119:17-24
Psalm 123 Proverbs 3

Day 4:

Psalm 4 Psalm 34 Psalm 64 Psalm 94 Psalm 119:25-32
Psalm 124 Proverbs 4

Day 5:

Psalm 5 Psalm 35 Psalm 65 Psalm 95 Psalm 119:33-40
Psalm 125 Proverbs 5

Day 6:

Psalm 6 Psalm 36 Psalm 66 Psalm 96 Psalm 119:41-48
Psalm 126 Proverbs 6

Day 7:

Psalm 7 Psalm 37 Psalm 67 Psalm 97 Psalm 119:49-56
Psalm 127 Proverbs 7

Day 8:

Psalm 8 Psalm 38 Psalm 68 Psalm 98 Psalm 119:57-64
Psalm 128 Proverbs 8

Day 9:

Psalm 9 Psalm 39 Psalm 69 Psalm 99 Psalm 119:65-72
Psalm 129 Proverbs 9

Day 10:

Psalm 10 Psalm 40 Psalm 70 Psalm 100 Psalm 119:73-80
Psalm 130 Proverbs 10

Day 11:

Psalm 11 Psalm 41 Psalm 71 Psalm 101 Psalm 119:81-88
Psalm 131 Proverbs 11

Day 12:

Psalm 12 Psalm 42 Psalm 72 Psalm 102 Psalm 119:89-96
Psalm 132 Proverbs 12

Day 13:

Psalm 13 Psalm 43 Psalm 73 Psalm 103 Psalm 119:97-104
Psalm 133 Proverbs 13

Day 14:

Psalm 14 Psalm 44 Psalm 74 Psalm 104 Psalm 119:105-112
Psalm 134 Proverbs 14

Day 15:

Psalm 15 Psalm 45 Psalm 75 Psalm 105 Psalm 119:113-120
Psalm 135 Proverbs 15

Day 16:

Psalm 16 Psalm 46 Psalm 76 Psalm 106 Psalm 119:121-128
Psalm 136 Proverbs 16

Day 17:

Psalm 17 Psalm 47 Psalm 77 Psalm 107 Psalm 119:129-136
Psalm 137 Proverbs 17

Day 18:

Psalm 18 Psalm 48 Psalm 78 Psalm 108 Psalm 119:137-144
Psalm 138 Proverbs 18

Day 19:

Psalm 19 Psalm 49 Psalm 79 Psalm 109 Psalm 119:145-152
Psalm 139 Proverbs 19

Day 20:

Psalm 20 Psalm 50 Psalm 80 Psalm 110 Psalm 119:153-160
Psalm 140 Proverbs 20

Day 21:

Psalm 21 Psalm 51 Psalm 81 Psalm 111 Psalm 119:161-168
Psalm 141 Proverbs 21

Day 22:

Psalm 22 Psalm 52 Psalm 82 Psalm 112 Psalm 119:169-176
Psalm 142 Proverbs 22 (Ps. 119 finished)

Day 23:

Psalm 23 Psalm 53 Psalm 83 Psalm 113 Psalm 143
Proverbs 23

Day 24:

Psalm 24 Psalm 54 Psalm 84 Psalm 114 Psalm 144
Proverbs 24

Day 25:

Psalm 25 Psalm 55 Psalm 85 Psalm 115 Psalm 145
Proverbs 25

Day 26:

Psalm 26 Psalm 56 Psalm 86 Psalm 116 Psalm 146
Proverbs 26

Day 27:

Psalm 27 Psalm 57 Psalm 87 Psalm 117 Psalm 147
Proverbs 27

Day 28:

Psalm 28 Psalm 58 Psalm 88 Psalm 118 Psalm 148
Proverbs 28

Day 29:

Psalm 29 Psalm 59 Psalm 89 Psalm 119 Psalm 149
Proverbs 29

Day 30:

Psalm 30 Psalm 60 Psalm 90 Psalm 120 Psalm 150
Proverbs 30

Day 31: (If there aren’t 31 days in the month, skips this one)

Psalm 31 Psalm 61 Psalm 91 Psalm 121 Proverbs 31



Beside the Still Waters

Photography by Bob Sabo

There are times when a believer needs to sit by the still waters and be encouraged by God’s Word. The words of life are found in the Scriptures. This devotional was originally done in 2006 and deals with various issues of life. I wrote it to be a blessing for a friend of mine with a chronic illness. Every person needs someone in their life to walk beside them in time of need. Just as we need that Balm of Gilead to heal our wounds, we need the spiritual Balm of Gilead to heal us spiritually.

My prayer is that you will be encouraged.



Day 1 – My Refuge

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psa 91:2)

How I love the Book of Psalms! I have to admit that this book is one of my favorites because it has brought me much comfort during trial and tribulation. It’s as though God knew His children would need uplifting and encouragement. I’m looking forward to doing this next set of 30-day topical devotionals on the Book of Psalms. I’ve had 30-days worth of teaching and chastisement and am ready for the Lord’s balm through the Book of Psalms.

In reading this Psalm this morning, I noticed that David began with stating “I will say of the LORD.” I believe David didn’t keep this information to himself but was telling others about what God was doing for him. He was bragging on his Lord. Do we brag on the Lord? Do we share the blessings God has bestowed upon us with those around us? It’s one thing to share a blessing during testimony time in church but it’s quite different to share what God has done for you with an unsaved person.

This is especially true when we are experiencing trials in our lives and the Lord has brought us through them. Sharing our experience with other believers serves to strengthen them in the Lord. Sharing our experience with the unsaved world shows them that we are sheltered and protected by our Heavenly Father and He sees us through difficult times. Speaking of God’s goodness is a testimony to others of His love and power.

David goes on to say that the Lord is his refuge and fortress. We all have a picture in our minds eye depicting what a refuge and fortress is. Oh my friend, doesn’t that just excite the spirit within you? Your Heavenly Father provides a refuge which shelters and protects you from danger, distress or calamity, and ole slewfoot!

When I think of a refuge and fortress, I think of Christ’s teaching about building our house upon a rock. I believe David built his spiritual house upon this rock through his faith in his God. His rock was God. There are countless Scriptures which show God as the rock. One that I love is, For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? (2 Sam 22:32) David knew this rock intimately because he ran to this rock, his refuge and fortress, in time of need. 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)

When I was first saved, I remember reading, And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4) Christ is our Rock!! I noticed that the word rock was capitalized. So I did a word search in my e-Sword for the word rock to see if rock was capitalized anywhere else! At this point, I almost came unglued! Here are the verses for you! Be ready to be blessed as you see verses depicting our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deut. 32:4)But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. (Deut. 32:15)

Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. (Deut. 32:18 )

How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? (Deut. 32:30)

For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. (Deut. 32:31)

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Sam. 23:3) (Christ speaking to the Father!!)

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4)

A simple word search revealed that the word rock appears 119 times in 109 verses. Out of the 119 occurrences, it is capitalized seven times! Seven is God’s number for perfection! Christ is our perfect gift and the Jews’ spotless Lamb and sacrifice. Christ is revealed throughout the Word in total perfection! Rejoice, oh my soul! What lovely nuggets You have given to me this morning, Lord!! What better refuge and fortress can be provided than by the Rock of our salvation, the Lord, Jesus Christ!

Dear God…
I never cease to be amazed
At the truths Your Word provide
I run to my Rock and refuge
In Your fortress I do hide



Day 2 – My Hiding Place

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psa 32:7)

My father used to own a piece of land that was nestled in the woods in Northern Maine. On it was a ponded creek with a beaver’s dam, very much like this picture. He and I would sit for hours watching the beavers swimming to and from the dam doing their work. When their work was finished, Dad would go over the dam and remove one of the big branches. This would cause the current to go through and the beavers would sense it immediately. No more than just a minute or two later, you would see a head pop from near their lodge and off to work they would go to repair the damage. My father loved this hiding place and he would take me to it often. Out of all the memories I have of him, this one is the most special.

So many times I’ve wanted to run away to this place where I can hide from the day’s drama! Unfortunately, Dad sold the land to someone I don’t know – plus we live a thousand miles away. But the Lord showed me this morning that I did not need a physical hiding place because I had my time with Him. That hiding place can be anywhere and any time. I don’t even have to waste gas getting there!

As long as I am in my hiding place with the Lord, He will keep me from trouble. The Lord will bring such peace that He will surround me with songs of deliverance and escape. Deliverance and escape from what, you may ask? Our cares, trials, tribulations, temptations, depression, anxiousness, sorrows, etc. God promises to give us song! It is not natural to sing when we are sad, is it? David says he was surrounded with songs of deliverance from God. Meditating in God’s Word surrounds us with the Lord’s goodness and mercy. All through Scriptures we are lifted up, comforted, given joy, given peace and comfort. How can we not have a song on our lips when we serve such a compassionate God!?

Where is your hiding place, my friend? Have you run to it today to discuss the cares of this world with your Shepherd? He awaits to guide you, comfort you and encourage you. All you have to do is show up.

So I retreat to that haven each morning
All my cares at His feet I do lay
I leave them with Him for He loves me
As I travel along life’s narrow way.



Day 3 – Taking Heed

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9)

I wanted to write about how God uses the Word to bring conviction against sin to us. However, as I read and re-read this verse, it became apparent to me that the Lord used the words “young man (or woman)” here. Why would God use this adjective to describe the man? He could have just used the word man. So why did God interject with the word “young”?

I’ve seen older Christians who have remained “spiritual babes” because they have not spent time in the Word. Taking time in the Word is work but a blessing follows. Some of us work for a living and at the end of the pay period, we receive a check. At the end of our hard work of reading and studying, we also receive a check – a spiritual check. However, our check lasts for eternity. Paul spoke on these spiritual babes. 1 Cor. 3:1-2, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 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.” Paul likened the spiritual babes as carnal. They were still more concerned about the things of the flesh than spiritual things. After all, isn’t that what a human baby does? He cries and cries unto he is fed. He is only concerned about his own needs at this point. Not once does this baby consider that Mommy is really tired and could sleep an extra hour if he would just hold off! Paul used the right choice of words here, didn’t he?

The more we grow in the Lord and by His Word, the more we become spiritual adults. We no longer have the same struggles we did as younger believers. We’ve learned to trust more in the Lord; we’ve learned that we can never lose our salvation and we’re sure of it and can prove it from the Word; we’ve learned that God is faithful and won’t abandon us; we’ve received this peace that young Christians and spiritually immature Christians can’t understand. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7) Suffice it to say, however, that just reading the Word is not sufficient. One has to heed its warnings, as the Psalm continues to point out. What’s the use in reading a self-help book if you don’t apply what you’ve learned, right? Applying God’s Word to our lives is the key to maturing as a believer.

I know I sound like a broken record, but God stresses over and over in His Word that we need to be IN the Word and applying it to our lives! Without it we die spiritually. That baby would die without his Mommy feeding him, right? So will the babe in Christ stunt his growth in Christ by not opening his Bible and gleaning from its spiritual nourishment.

There’s a banquet table awaiting the believer who stops to eat!

Dear God…
May I come to you each day
With an open mind and heart
Let me search until I find
Your will, may I not depart



Day 4 – I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes

Psalm 121:1-8, “[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) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.(3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (4) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.(5) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.(6) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.(7) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (8 )

We have all been through trials, haven’t we? How we deal with those trials all depends on how we prepare for them and how we handle ourselves during the trial. When you prepare for a long trip, what do you do? You make sure you have a full tank of gas, you check your tires and all the fluids in your car. Shouldn’t we be preparing for our spiritual walk in the same manner? Shouldn’t we be fueling ourselves with the Word of God and putting on the full armour of God so we can be sheltered by the Lord during our trials? Why do we make it difficult on ourselves by not doing so?

I am particularly fond of Psalm 121. I have run to this Psalm many a times. I have especially run to it as of late to find solace and my Lord’s love there because of a major trial I’m going through. This time, however, the Psalm meant more to me than it has ever meant. I noticed the different points the Psalmist had made:

1. I have to make a conscious effort to seek my help. God won’t force Himself upon me. But when I seek Him, He is there!

2. I have to recognize where my help comes from. I don’t rest in the counsel of my spouse or my friends, but I know that God is the One who will take care of my trial.

3. I realize that my Shepherd won’t allow me to falter. The more I am in the Word, the more my faith is built. Verses come to mind as I need them for encouragement. Each step is guided by my Shepherd.

4. I realize that my Shepherd never sleeps! Praise the Lord! This verse alone brings me to tears. Nothing happens that He’s not aware of. Nothing! My Shepherd is ever watching over me!

5. I have come to know that my Shepherd will keep me safe.The Lord keeps me – watches over me – provides me with shade when fiery trials are present. That shade is found when I sit quietly reading my Bible and soaking in what He has for me.

6. I trust that my Saviour will keep me from ole slewfoot and preserve my salvation. I know that everything that happens to me has been allowed in my life for my benefit so I can grow in my faith. There is great comfort knowing that my eternal security can never be removed because God is the One that preserves my soul, not me.

7. I know that my Shepherd will guide my path forever more. When I am in the Word, feeding my soul, my Shepherd can keep me from taking the wrong path in life. I cannot claim this if I am not in the Word. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) and Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11)

I must seek for my help and know where that help comes from; I must recognize that this Help will keep me safe when I abide in Him; and lastly, my Help preserves my soul – which cannot be said of any other help this world has to offer. Why not go to the Expert? Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness in my life. Teach me what I must learn from each trial.

Dear God…
I cherish my time in Your Word
That peace and comfort there lie
I keep my eyes fixed on those hills
Where my Helper comes from on High



Day 5 – The Vanity in Worry

worry - SuccessDegrees

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psa 127:2) It is worthless, fruitless, empty and unsatisfying when one stays up late and gets up early to worry. I never gained a moment’s pleasure or peace from worrying. The Lord emphasizes here how futile it is to worry. In fact, the Lord promises His beloved children rest! He does not promise this wonderful rest to the unsaved. How do I know that? The verse says that His beloved receive sleep. Remember, when we are saved we become the children of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Rom 8:16) We are His beloved! A search to the word “beloved” in the New Testament will show that they were always referring to the brethren in Christ.

Noah Webster defines the word vain as:

Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance.Fruitless; ineffectual. All attempts, all efforts were vain.

Empty; unsatisfying. The pleasures of life are vain.

False; deceitful; not genuine; spurious. James 1.

Since I became a mother, so many Scriptures seem clearer to me. What would I think if my children stayed up nights worrying? I would be devastated first because my child is worrying. But most importantly, I would wonder why my child feels he cannot turn those worries over to his parents. I can just imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when we take upon our own shoulders the cares of this world which have not even happened yet. Our Father in Heaven loves us so much and wants so much to provide for us and comfort us. Why do we insist on taking this worry upon ourselves? I have heard that 85% of what we worry about doesn’t come to past and the other 15% weren’t worth worrying over. The time and effort spent in worrying could easily be spent in the Word and finding comfort there. The Lord has so many golden nuggets to calm our spirit with. We just have to search them out.

For example, Matt. 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (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. (29) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (30) Good night, are there better verses? After reading these verses, I decided to do a phrase search for “give rest” – here are the results. I need not say anything more.  Enjoy!

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (Exo 33:14) God’s presence goes with us (His Holy Spirit) and provides rest.

Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. (1 Chr 22:9) We find much rest from the book of Proverbs if we heed its warnings.

That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. (Psa 94:13) The chastened man receives rest from the days of affliction.

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. (Pro 29:17) We receive rest when we have corrected our children – they will delight us.

And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,(Isa 14:3) Again, the Lord provides more rest from sorrow and fear.

Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. (Jer 50:34) Our Redeemer provides rest.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28 ) Jesus, our Redeemer, provides the rest we need.

Dear God…
May I always be looking to You
Until I find comfort in Your care
And rest from my burdens of worry
At Your feet will I lay them there



Day 6 – With Thanksgiving

Thankful for ALL things? - Housing and Homeless Supports

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psa 95:2)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is fitting to focus on a thankful heart. I love Noah Webster’s definition of the word psalm:

A sacred song or hymn; a song composed on a divine subject and in praise of God. The most remarkable psalms are those composed by David and other Jewish saints, a collection of one hundred and fifty of which constitutes a canonical book of the Old Testament, called Psalms, or the book of Psalms. The word is also applied to sacred songs composed by modern poets, being versifications of the scriptural psalms, or of these with other parts of Scripture, composed for the use of churches; as the Psalms of Tate and Brady, of Watts, etc.

Can you imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when His children come before Him in the prayer closets or church services with this kind of grateful and thankful prayer? Can you imagine what it would be like if God’s children would make this joyful noise to Him with this kind of sacred psalm? I have chill bumps just thinking about it.

I know how blessed I am when my children are thankful for their blessings in life and say so. How much more our Heavenly Father? All blessings come from Him. God enjoys blessing His children just as we enjoy blessing ours. Do we like it when our children are ungrateful? Of course not. Nor should we be ungrateful to our precious Heavenly Father. After all, He sent His only Son to take our punishment for sin so that we may inherit eternal life! There is no better reason to be thankful!

Share with me today as we start preparing our hearts for one of the best holidays this country has. Yes, the world has turned it into a money-making holiday. As Christians, we must remember why we are thankful and sing sacred psalms to the One who has provided for us. I can think of many reasons why I am thankful – not just at Thanksgiving but every day: my salvation, my husband, my family, my Pastor, my dear friends, my church family, my health, and the list goes on. When I focus on being thankful, I am not thinking about my problems and trials.

O King of Kings, O Lord of Lords
Henry Burton, 1887

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, Whose throne is lifted high
Above the nations of the earth, the armies of the sky,
The spirits of perfected saints may give their nobler songs
And we, Thy children, worship Thee, to Whom all praise belongs.

Thy hand has hid within our fields treasures of countless worth;
The light, the suns of other years, shine from the depths of earth;
The very dust, inbreathed by Thee, the clods all cold and dead,
Wake into beauty and to life, to give Thy children bread.

Thou Who hast sown the sky with stars, and set Thy thoughts in gold,
Hast crowned our nation’s life, and ours, with blessings manifold;
Thy mercies have been numberless; Thy love, Thy grace, Thy care,
Were wider than our utmost need, and higher than our prayer.

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, our fathers’ God and ours!
Be with us in the future years; and if the tempest lowers,
Look through the cloud with light of love, and smile our tears away
And lead us through the brightening years to Heaven’s eternal day.



Day 7 – I Will Seek Thee

Seeking God's Face - theegeneration.org

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Psalm 63:1 Many think that they need to go to church to seek God or have fellowship with Him. Yes, there are places which promote solitude of heart and communing with the Lord seems to be sweeter there. When my husband and I were out sightseeing one day, we came across this quaint and very old church (built in the 1800’s) in Virginia. But is this the only place we can find solace?

We also visited the Natural Bridge in Southern Virginia. God’s creation is so beautiful and the work of His Hand is breathtaking. Just walking the trails to get to the bridge were peaceful and serene. All we could hear was the babbling of the brook as it led us to a small waterfall. As we sat through the Genesis story that evening and watching the light show in conjunction with each day of creation, God’s beauty combined with His Word and our hearts were full.

One does not need to look far to see the Lord at work. I believe we live in one of the most beautiful areas in our country, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. This photo was taken during one of our motorcycle rides through the Blue Ridge and our eyes could not believe what they were seeing! It was a gloomy day, the rain was coming in and we were hurrying to get to the valley before the storm came in. What a breath taking scene, to say the least. Again, God’s handiwork spoke to me and filled me with awe for a God who intricately created this earth and its beauty.

This same God who created all this, created me as well and all my intricacies. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psa 139:14)
Don’t think we’re wonderfully made? This picture of the inner ear shows us just how intricate our bodies are and reveal a side of God that should overwhelm our spirits! This is only our inner ear, my friends! I could post picture after picture of other parts of our bodies that are equally intricate. But the point is that God is the creator of them all.

I shared all these pictures just to say that our Lord God should be sought, no only in church or in nature or when we examine His creation, but also we should be seeking to learn more about Him and becoming more like His precious Son. We should seek after God as if we are dying of thirst and can’t get enough of Him when we do come to commune with Him. We can find these beautiful places in our mind’s eye even if we are sitting in our private place as we do our devotions and studying.

Dear God…
May I seek You early
Before the start of day
And cling to every word
As I go along my way



Day 8 – Thy Word

This Week's Theme: Thy Word - Velvet Ashes

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) God’s Word is the only thing in life that comes with a promise such as this. Do you know of anything or anyone who can promise that if you read and hide their product, it will keep you from sin? Nothing can do this. No one can do this, but God! God’s compassion is so great that He provided His Word to strengthen us in time of weakness.

Not only did our Heavenly Father give us His Word to grow by so that we wouldn’t sin, but He also provided His Word so that we could be cleansed should we fall into sin. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9) The Word will cleanse us and keep us from sin.

So why don’t we spend more time in the Word? I believe that ole slew foot has managed to keep the Christian today from the Word by way of distractions and excuses. Today’s distractions are many. Everyone has them. If you’re not in the Word daily and gleaning from it, then you have too many distractions. If you’re not in the Word daily and gleaning from it, you will continuously struggle with sin.

The fact of the matter is this: the believer who does not read the Word is plain lazy. Would you deprive your family from nourishment? Would you deprive yourself? Of course not! When you are not in the Word, you not only allow sin to come into your life, but you cause sin to come into your home. Your children will see it and will follow in your footsteps. So when you do fall into temptation and sin, you have no one to blame but yourself. It isn’t God’s fault, but your own. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9) If we fall, we fall because we chose to fall.

The more you spend time in the Word, the less time you will have to devote to sin.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)



Day 9 – Our Sin is Covered

Blood on the Doorposts: Passover Thoughts | All is Well

Psalm 32:1 [A Psalm of David, Maschil.] Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

The Jews have celebrated Passover since the time of Moses by painting the blood of a spotless lamb around their doorposts. This precious blood symbolized the Blood of their future Messiah, Yeshua. In faith, the Jews believed that the blood would protect them from death. What a beautiful depiction of our Saviour, Yeshua, Jesus the Christ. Oh that these dear Jews would have the veil removed from their eyes and they would be able to see their Messiah has already come and He awaits His return to reign!

What compassion our Heavenly Father has to bestow salvation upon all mankind and not just the Jews! Praise Jehovah-jireh. 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) When our spotless Lamb, Jesus, came to earth, His perfect sinless blood was shed to cover all those who repent and believe in Him. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (Joh 1:29) He became our Passover Lamb and His blood covers those who trust in Him as their Saviour and Messiah.

What a beautiful picture of our precious Saviour! The blood of spotless lambs was shed and was used to paint over the doorposts so the Jews would be “passed over” by death. The Blood of Jesus Christ was shed and was symbolically painted over born again believers so we are covered and sin is not imputed upon us. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psa 32:2)

The blood of lambs could never take away sin but merely covered sin until Christ finished the work of forgiveness on the cross by shedding His sinless blood for us all. All Jews and Gentiles who believe in Yeshua, Jesus Christ, will be able to sing as stated in Rev. 15:3, 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.

As we approach the season where Christians celebrate the birth of Yeshua, I pray that the Jews will know how much Christians love them and desire to share with them, together, in this great song of Moses and of the Lamb.

Dear God…
From the beginning You have laid
A great foundation, the Christ
May our eyes be opened to Your Word
From blindness to precious Light



Day 10 – Great Peace

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165)

The structure of this verse is so wonderful when one takes a few minutes to meditate on it. In so doing, we receive a blessing beyond words. The Lord God tells us that we will receive abundant peace if we love His law (the Word) and nothing will be a stumbling block or an enticement to us. Strong’s defines the word “offend” as:

H4383
מכשׁל מכשׁול
mikshôl mikshôl
mik-shole’, mik-shole’
Masculine from H3782; a stumblingblock, literally or figuratively (obstacle, enticement (specifically an idol), scruple): – caused to fall, offence, X [no-] thing offered, ruin, stumbling-block.

Have there been things in life which have been a stumbling block or an enticement to you? Are you quickly able to discern what should be done? The amount of spiritual discernment one has is equivalent to the amount of time spent in the Word. The more you are in the Word of God, the less you will be coming face-to-face with stumbling blocks and enticements in your own life.

It all boils down to what your priorities are. Do you spend ten minutes in the morning doing a devotional and call that your time with the Lord? How would you like to have only ten minues of time with your spouse or your children? Would that be enough? Of course not. How much time do you spend on the internet? Is it more than the time you spent with the Lord? I’ve been in this situation and so I speak from experience. So I ask you:

Do you spend time on the internet and neglect your husband?
Do you spend time on the internet and leave your children to the television?
Is your house a disaster while you are surfing?

If so, the internet has enticed you and has become a stumbling block. There is no peace in that. Instead, you work frantically to get caught up on your chores – you’re bushed when hubby comes home so he gets what’s left over of your personality – you rush to get dinner ready – your kids are hyper because they’ve been sitting in front of the idiot box for too long and you wonder why they are uncontrollable. Priorities – priorities – priorities.

How different your day would have been if you had reversed the roles and spent more time in the Word, then your hubby, then your children, then your chores, and finally a few minutes for the internet, if any time is left. There is much to glean on the internet, however, it is a huge time waster.

So, how can we receive the abundant peace the Lord promises in Ps. 119:165? We must love His law. You cannot love what you have merely scanned over for a few minutes a day. Don’t believe me? Think of your favorite book – how many times have you read it over? You must have read it more than once because you say it is your favorite. I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank over and over to the point where I knew what page to find a certain passage! I loved this book – and still do. However, do I love God’s Word more?

Although we have repented and received Christ as our Saviour, it cannot end there. Ten minutes a day in His Word won’t be enough to get you to the point where you “love God’s law”! Loving God’s law doesn’t come with hours of reading either. Loving God’s law is obeying it. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Sam 15:22b) You can read the Word all day long but if you don’t obey it, your reading is in vain, my friend.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165) The bottom line is if you love God’s Word by obeying it, He will give you abundant peace to the point where nothing will be a stumbling block or enticement to you. Nothing? That’s what this verse says. Nothing! However, you can only claim this if you love His law and obey it!

Are you being enticed today? Are there stumbling blocks in your life? The more you’re in the Word, the less you’ll have them. It’s a wonderful cure!

BLEST ARE THE UNDEFILED IN HEART
by Isaac Watts

Blest are the undefiled in heart,
Whose ways are right and clean;
Who never from Thy law depart,
But fly from every sin.

Blest are the men that keep Thy Word,
And practice Thy commands;
With their whole heart they seek the Lord,
And serve thee with their hands.

Great is their peace who love Thy law;
How firm their souls abide!
Nor can a bold temptation draw
Their steady feet aside.



Day 11 – My Cross, My Trial

Psalm 100:4-5, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (4) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (5)”

As I read these two verses this morning, the first thing that struck me was that we are to enter the Lord’s presence not only with a thankful heart but we must put action to that thankfulness by saying so and blessing Him. We have so much to be thankful for, my friend!

If you are one who looks at the world with a pessimistic viewpoint, you won’t be able to see why you should be thankful. In fact, you’re reading this and saying, “Yeh, RIGHT! Easy for you to say! You don’t know what I’m going through!” Do you truly believe that you are the only one going through trials? Every believer has a cross to bear. Every last one of us has something they are going through. What makes you think that your trial is greater than someone else’s? Everyone is allowed the wonderful opportunity to deny himself and follow the Lord. In so doing, they “pick up their cross” [whatever the trial(s) of their life will be] and follow the Lord. 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. Luke 9:23 Notice the word daily? It’s not a one-time thing, my friend. Each day has its challenges and each day we must choose to take that challenge and follow Christ and His will for us.

I doubt very much any of us can say that we have been tried as much as, or even as close to, Job. If you haven’t spent time in the Book of Job, you should. You would glean so much and it would help you through your trials – especially if you are that pessimist. I know from my own experiences that each trial the Lord has allowed me to go through has built my faith in Him. The more my faith is built, the more I trust Him to take care of these trials. With that comes comfort – what’s in my heart will show on my face. The pessimist’s face reflects how he handles each trial – it’s written all over his face. He does not stop worrying or complaining. He does not spend the extra time in the Word that he so desperately needs. He does not rejoice in the midst of the trial to encourage himself. This was true of Job when his friends came to see him. They didn’t recognize him. Now I can’t say as I blame Job because the trials he went through were enormously overwhelming. However, we still have something to learn from this.

Our trials are also a testimony to believers and unbelievers alike. They can see where our trust lies through our actions. Our trials also reveal who our true friends are – we saw this so evident in Job’s own life. These friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu) didn’t lift Job up in his time of need. We must remember that our friends are sinners like we are and will fail us from time-to-time. We must remember that we have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother and that is Jesus Christ. (Prov. 18:24) He will NEVER fail us. Be careful as to whose counsel you get when you are in the midst of a trial. Be sure that all counsel aligns with the Word before you act on anything. I’ve learned this through experience. We are not thinking at our best when we are in the midst of trial. It is best to wait on the Lord and let Him show us what He wants us to do. (Is. 40:31) The Lord is faithful and will show you what to do, whether through the Word, the counsel of your spouse, or your Pastor, etc. HE will encourage you!

My trials have always confirmed my faith in the Lord. After reading Job, I see that God restored his earthly possessions, his health, gave him more children and God even restored his marriage. Job was struck from all sides yet look how blessed he was of God because he depended on his foundation, his faith. How much more should we? Are we tried more than he was? I don’t think so. Are we tried more than those precious saints accounted in Fox’s Book of Martyrs? I don’t think so. Yes, some of you are struggling with physical problems that seem to overwhelm you. But your trial is no greater than the dear woman who has gotten saved and yet her dear husband remains unsaved. I’ve been down that road and would never wish this on anyone. Yes, they are two different types of trials, but trials none-the-less. Each person feels as though their trial is the greater. Each person feels as though they are at the end of their rope. Don’t belittle someone’s trial to make yours appear greater. If you are doing this, you are focused on yourself, my friend, and not on the will of God.

Remember, your “cross” (your trial) is yours! It’s not more than you can handle because that would make God a cruel God and we know that He is a faithful God. 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) Only you can glorify God through this trial – no one else. Do you take this trial as an opportunity to bring glory to God or to wallow in self pity? Do you take this trial as an opportunity to grow in your faith or do you run from it and smear God’s precious name in the mud? The choice is yours.

Dear Lord…
Help me to always remember
What You have done for me
Each time a trial comes forward
May I be found on bended knee



Day 12 – O Give Thanks Unto the Lord

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1Ch 16:34) Thank You Lord for our men and women serving our country to defend our freedoms. They give so much and yet we Christians fail to pray for them faithfully. Forgive our ungrateful hearts. May we strive to remember them daily and place them in Your care. Encourage them while they are away from their families this Thanksgiving day. Place a Christian in their path who will share with them the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ so they, too, may experience true thankfulness for a gift so great.

O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (Psa 105:1) Thank You Lord for my salvation! This has been the one most important life changing events in my life. My path no longer heads down the road of destruction but toward my heavenly home!

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 106:1) Thank You Lord for my wonderful husband! You had him picked for me even before my salvation and allowed me to marry the most wonderful man I know.

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 107:1) Thank You Lord for the two sons You have given us. If I could pick two sons from a line up of all sons, I would pick these two. I pray You use them for Your honor and glory.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 118:1) Thank You Lord for placing us at Tabernacle Baptist Church and giving us Pastor Zorbas as our under shepherd! I’ve never seen a Pastor who loves his people as much as he does. Thank You for working through him for our benefit.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 118:29) Thank You Lord for sending lost souls our way! Thank You for Adam’s friend, Matt’s, salvation last night! What an economical God You are to draw Matt to You and give Adam a dear friend! Thank You for using Aaron and preparing him for the ministry. May Your hand of protection be over him and may he draw closer to You with each passing day.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:1) Thank You Lord for my spiritual mother, Vicky. Without her I would not be writing today. Thank You for a friendship that started when I was 3 years old and still continues. Thank You for giving us a friendship that goes beyond just being friends but being spiritual sisters as well.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:2) Thank You Lord for giving my husband vision for our future as we work toward retirement. Thank You for filling in details which provide him comfort and rest. Your work is evident in all that we see and we glorify Your name for providing for us!

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:3) Thank You Lord for using the Internet for good despite what ole slew foot tries to do. Thank You Lord for the on-line Christian friends made and the encouragement the brethren can have through it.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:26) Thank You Lord for allowing us to live in these wonderful end times. What exciting times they are indeed! We are grateful that we can see your Word’s prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. We know that Your return can be at any moment. May we be found worthy!

PRAISE GOD, FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW
by Thomas Ken (1674)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



Day 13 – Trust Through Truth

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4,5

No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye. He did not seek man’s way to truth. He did not seek after men to solve his problems like many do. Instead, David knew that the same God of his salvation would be able to show him the way, teach him through His Word and lead him to truths. And because of this secure knowledge that David had, he would wait on God all day to get his answer.

Are we as confident as David? Do we wait on the Lord to answer our questions or work in our every-day problems? Or do we walk ahead of the Lord and try to fix things on our own? I know I have been guilty of doing just that and my solution is not usually the best solution. However, God’s solution is always the best solution. Why do we think we can do better than God can? His timing is not always our timing and so we run out of patience with His plans. This is yet another “trust” factor. Do we not trust Him enough to take care of things for us? If we did, we would not be so quick to try to do the work for Him.

This is why it’s so important to know the Word and to rely on it in times of doubt. When I solely lean on the Word to build me and encourage me, I find that I am not so quick to jump the gun and run into trouble. The Lord gives peace to those who seek His guidance and His will. Even if our answer is to wait on Him, there’s a calm assurance that He is working it out for our benefit. What a joy it is to be a Christian! I don’t know how the unsaved do it! I really don’t!

My Hope Is Built

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain



Day 14 – The Light

Sunrise - the Lord is my light Postcard | Zazzle

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? Psalm 27:1

Why does the Word compare Jesus to being a light to the world? The world is in spiritual darkness. Islam has its followers deeply entrenched in a belief system that leads to death. Catholicism has its followers just as deeply, if not more, entrenched. Judaism has its followers just as deeply entrenched – despite the fact that they are God’s chosen. My friend, all religions which lead their followers down a path of salvation through someone other than Jesus Christ is a religion of darkness.

The veil in the temple leading to the Holy of Holies was torn when Christ’s shed blood on the cross paid the penalty for our sins [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; (Mat 27:51)]. We no longer need a high priest because Jesus is our high priest and He offered a perfect sinless sacrifice in His own body for us [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)].

Which leads me back to my initial question – why does the Word compare Jesus to a light? I’ll let the verses themselves answer this question:

For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psa 18:28 )

[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? (Psa 27:1)

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psa 36:9)

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psa 43:3)

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. (Psa 89:15)

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (Psa 90:8 )

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. (Psa 97:11)

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4)

God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. (Psa 118:27)

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Pro 6:23)

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isa 2:5)

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa 8:20)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isa 9:2)

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (Isa 42:6)

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isa 42:16)

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. (Isa 60:19)

He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (Dan 2:22)

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Mat 4:16)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14)

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)

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luk 1:79)

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luk 2:32)

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (Joh 1:4)

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (Joh 1:5)

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (Joh 1:9)

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

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (Joh 3:20)

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (Joh 3:21)

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)

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (Joh 12:46)

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Act 26:18 )

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. (Act 26:23)

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. (2Co 4:4)

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co 4:6)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Eph 5:8 )

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Eph 5:14)

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Col 1:12)

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)

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: (1Pe 2:9)

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: (2Pe 1:19)

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. (1Jo 1:5)

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. (1Jo 1:7)

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)

After all of these verses, it is evident that the light can be found in the Word of God. The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Jesus is the Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psa 119:130) The simple can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and be born again. This verse does not say the proud will be receive understanding. 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)

Islam will not get you to heaven, my friend. Buddhism will not get you to heaven. Catholicism will not get you to heaven. Judaism will not get you to heaven. Only ONE can get you to heaven and that is Jesus Christ. He is the light which the Word of God speaks of. He is the light waiting to shine in your heart to show you the way to salvation. The blessed Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what will shine in our hearts and take us out of darkness.

There is NO other way. God will not compromise. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

Amazing Grace
John Newton

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.

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.



Day 15 – Balancing Fear With Love

The Adverbs of Serving the Lord - JBenSimpson.com

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psa 2:11)

Where is the fear of the Lord today? The “love” gospel is so prevalent in today’s churches that the people have forgotten that this same God who loves, also judges sin. Yes, we are forgiven of our sins but we will still be judged here on earth for the sins we commit. I’ve seen time and time again a born-again teenager making the wrong decision and suffering the consequences of that decision. A wayward Christian teenage girl gets pregnant – the baby will always ever be a reminder of that sin. The wayward Christian teenage boy who hangs out with the wrong crowd and is arrested for armed robbery – waking up each morning in a prison cell will ever be a reminder of that sin.

Where is the fear of the Lord today? Are we so smug in our religiosity that we think God will not punish us? Yes, our eternal punishment has been taken away because of Christ’s precious work on the cross! Thank You, Lord! Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) Do you really think that you can continue with your pet sins and not be punished? Are you a liar? Are you an adulterer? Do you curse? Are you never happy unless you’re stirring up trouble? Are you prideful? But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. (Num 32:23)

Would you allow your own children to go unpunished for doing wrong? If you did, what kind of children would you be raising? They know that you love them. But if you did not punish them, they would come to the realization that you did not care enough to do so. Why should it be different with the Lord? We must remember that God does love us, the Word is filled with God’s love and compassion for us. However, the Word also teaches us to fear God. The devils fear him and tremble – they know the Judge and what the judgments He can meet out.

If you do not fear the Lord, you are not growing in Christ. Today’s world bucks authority. The world was not always like this. When someone met the President or a King, there was an awesome respect and fear of that authority. Even just 50 years ago, people looked up to police officers and had a healthy fear of authority. Not so today. So much so, this same lack of fear for authority has come into the body of Christ and Christians think they are getting away with sin without fear of chastisement from God! How sad! Let me share some verses with you. May I encourage you to study on your own and develop your fear of the Lord so you can have wisdom and knowledge. Then you will be able to serve with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chr 19:7) God doesn’t have favorites nor can we “buy” our way on His favorites list by our good works, trying to sweep our sin under the rug.

And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. (2 Chr 19:9) You cannot fear the Lord when you continue in sin without repentance. If continuing in sin does not bother you and you are not under conviction, question whether your salvation be true.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 ) Fearing God’s punishment keeps us from sinning further. When we finally recognize sin at our door and run from it, we finally understand that this keeps us from God’s punishment. Remember, once we are saved we are no longer judged on where we will spend eternity. However, we will be “punished” here on earth for our sin. Don’t be fooled.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (Psa 19:9) Nothing will get passed the Lord.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psa 34:11) Teach your children that the same way you punish them for doing wrong, God will punish them also. Our homes are a “proving ground” where we are to teach our children this healthy fear of the Lord.

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. (Psa 111:10) Notice the “good understanding” – those who fear God have wisdom and understanding – they know to stay away from sin because they know what will happen otherwise. Isn’t it the same with our children? If our child lies and gets punished accordingly, the child won’t be quick to do it again. As the child is trained, he gains wisdom and understanding on how his parents will react to his wrong doing.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7) Are you continuing in your sin, thinking you’ve gotten this far without being punished? Ah, you are the fool. You are hating the wisdom and instruction from the Word which warns you of punishment to come.

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (Pro 1:29) Notice that hating knowledge and not fearing the Lord is a choice? One chooses not to fear God.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (Pro 8:13) How does one develop a healthy fear of God? Start by hating evil, pride, arrogancy, evil ways, and a froward mouth. As you begin to hate that sin that so easily gets you side tracked, you will start learning to fear the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10) Again, this fear of the Lord produces wisdom and understanding. Over and over this is repeated – do you think God is trying to teach us something?

The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. (Pro 10:27) What a lovely promise!

In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Pro 14:26) When you know you are doing right according to God’s Word, you do not fear punishment – you have a strong confidence that God’s chastisement will not fall upon you. Knowing this is comforting – we have refuge in God when we fear Him.

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 14:27) What a lovely picture!

Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (Pro 15:16) Oh how true… it is better to be poor and fear the Lord than to have riches and continuing in sin only to receive its consequences.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (Pro 16:6) As we grow in Christ, we begin to understand that when we continue in sin, God will “spank” us. Because of this wisdom we have gained, we are not so quick to sin.

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. (Pro 23:17) Yes, sinners seem to be having a good time. But God is not mocked, their punishment awaits them with eternity in hell. Our eternal punishment has been removed because of Christ. We’re encouraged to continue in the fear of the Lord all day long so we can avoid those spiritual spankings.

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; (Isa 11:2) Fearing God brings rest for us – not only for our eternal souls because we got saved, but rest in knowing that as we stay away from sin, chastisement will not follow.

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. (Isa 33:6) We all have experienced the peace in our lives when we are striving toward righteous living. We also have all experienced the unrest in our hearts when we are sinning. Fearing God gives us stability and strength. God says this fear is a treasure!

Take heed, my friend. Don’t let today’s love gospel fool you into thinking that because your eternal punishment has been secured by Christ that you can continue in your sin without repercussion. That is not fearing the Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Rom 6:1) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Rom 6:2) We are suppose to be dead to sin. It does not mean we won’t sin – it means we will sin less and less as we grow in Christ. How can we be a light to an unsaved world if we are no different than they are? The world does not fear God – we are to be different. No wonder the Word has much to say about fearing the Lord.

Come, Children, Learn to Fear the Lord
Isaac Watts

Come, children, learn to fear the Lord
And that your days be long,
Let not a false or spiteful word
Be found upon your tongue.

Depart from mischief, practice love,
Pursue the works of peace;
So shall the Lord your ways approve,
And set your souls at ease.

His eyes awake to guard the just,
His ears attend their cry;
When broken spirits dwell in dust,
The God of grace is nigh.

What though the sorrows here they taste
Are sharp and tedious too,
The Lord, Who saves them all at last,
Is their supporter now.

Evil shall smite the wicked dead;
But God secures His own,
Prevents the mischief when they slide,
Or heals the broken bone.

When desolation, like a flood,
O’er the proud sinner rolls,
Saints find a refuge in their God,
For He redeemed their souls.



Day 16 – Deliver My Soul, O LORD

WORD STUDY - A REAL JERK - חומצ - Chaim Bentorah

Have you ever been in a quandary like this psalmist? Have you ever been in a situation where lies were spoken against you yet the liar refused to see the error of his ways? If so, how did you handle it? Who did you run to? Did you run to others to gather your defenses? This psalmist ran to the Lord and cried unto Him. This is the perfect place to start. God will deal with this offender – God will allow judgment to fall on this offender. God is not mocked.

The Lord is clear in His Word as to how to deal with liars – with those who seriously offend us. Matthew 18:15-18 outlines it out for us:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (Mat 18:15)

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Mat 18:16)

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Mat 18:17)

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mat 18:18 )

There is proper order to follow in Christ’s church. Go to the offender alone. If he doesn’t listen, take one or two with you. If he doesn’t listen, bring them before the church. If they still do not listen, they are to be regarded as a “heathen” (Matt. 18:17) or a “publican”! Verse 18 is even more interesting. Matt. 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. The Lord says that the offender may have moved on from your church to another, but if he still has not repented, his actions are “bound in heaven”! Once this offender repents, it is loosed in heaven. This offender may have moved on, possibly serving in another church, but his actions are still recorded and are still bound in heaven. How can his ministries be blessed? They can’t, not until he repents and his actions are loosed in heaven. I have read these verses many times but never associated verse 18 with the previous three verses. This is serious business!

Our Pastor just preached on this yesterday morning. I think this is the first time I ever heard a message on church discipline! I’ve been saved for over 26 years! It is a needed message in today’s world. Our churches are filled with lackadaisical Christians. They come once a week and think they’ve given God their all. You also have those Christians who are whited sepulchres – they appear righteous on the outside but their insides are like dead men’s bones. One of Pastor’s comments stuck with me. He said that the Lord put these verses on church discipline there so that we would learn to fear Him. Surely, we cannot believe that we can continue in our sin and get away with it. No, no one is perfect. We all sin. However, Matt. 18:15-18 deal with those who offend another and are confronted with it.

Have you been offended by one of your brethren? Have you told them so? It could very well be that they haven’t a clue that they have sinned against you. Before you complain about it, you have clear instructions on how to deal with it in Psalm 120 and in Matt. 18:15-18. When you have gone to the Lord first and asking Him for wisdom and a heart for reconciliation, then you can follow the principles outlined in Matt. 18. With this inspired process, you chance to win a brother over. That teaches those who are spiritually immature to grow in the Lord. It teaches us to give grace to those who see their error and forgive them.

But, on the other hand, if that person is unrepentant, the Lord provides direction in how to deal with that as well. God does not leave His children in the dark. He is the God of light and truth. He provides the proper guidelines for us. I’m so thankful that we do not have to react as the world.

Early in my Christianity, I was overheard by a believer when I spoke what I then thought was one of those “little white lies”! I praise God for that believer’s boldness toward me. She pulled me aside and corrected me and showed me in the Word what I had done wrong. She was not kind but she was not rude either. I remember that to this day. I remember how convicted and embarrassed I was and the Holy Spirit used that to grow me. If I had been prideful and refused to listen, I would have hurt not only myself but those I affected with my “little white lie.” Of course, there aren’t any little white lies – they are all lies. That would be what the father of lies would have us to believe. A lie is a lie and I found that out quickly.

I praise God for pastors like mine who do not fear to preach the whole counsel of God! I can’t help but think of Ananias and Sapphira and how Peter discovered their lie and they were struck down dead because of it. Did it stop there? No. God used it in His church. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. (Act 5:11) As a church, we must fear the punishment that comes from sin and allow it to put fear into us of the judgment the Father would lay on us if we continue in sin. Pay day some day! The born again believer’s eternal security is secure but punishment will come even more severely if we go unrepentant. Whew! This taught me not to mess around with God.

We don’t hear messages like this very much and we truly need to. The church no longer fears – we have lost our testimony to the unsaved world – we live like them and think that we will go unpunished.

Thank You, Lord, for your Word and Your guidance through it. Help me to make the right choices according to Your Word because I fear the repercussions. I know this will keep me in the center of Your will.



Day 17 – Cast Thy Burden

Cast thy Burden upon the Lord - YouTube

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

Oh what a blessing this verse is when one of God’s children is going through trials. Sometimes our burdens seem to weigh us down. But my friend, we born again believers have a Heavenly Father who cares for us and desires to relieve us of our burdens. The God of all creation wants us to call upon Him. As I pondered this thought, I did a search in my Bible software on the phrase “upon the Lord” – what comfort and joy the search results brought to me. Let me share some of them with you:

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. (2 Sam. 22:7)And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. (1 Chron. 21:26)

Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers. (2 Chron. 13:18 )

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:3)

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (Psalm 18:6)

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9)

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

Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. (Psalm 99:6)

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (Psalm 118:5)

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2)

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)

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1 Cor. 7:35)

Our Father cares for His children so much and longs to have this close relationship with us. So many of us take this for granted and don’t go to Him with all our cares. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7) Don’t you desire to run to a place where the Father is waiting to listen to your every word? He is not distracted by the television. He is not indifferent to your needs. He will be as close to you as you allow Him to be.

Dear God…
I want to be so close to You … so much so that one can tell by my actions that I have come in contact with You! May you be glorified in my every thought, word and deed! Amen



Day 18 – How Great Thou Art

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psa 40:5) This morning, my spirit is overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratefulness to my Heavenly Father. My heart is overflowing with blessings because I have a Father who loves me and cares for me. His face do I seek for comfort through all my trials and His Word do I search for direction.

There is none like my God! He knows me personally – He calls me by name – He knows every single fiber of my being – He has the very hairs on my gray head numbered – He tells me that His yoke is easy! What yoke? The yoke of the Christian life. Once we are born again, he places His yoke upon us. Look at the picture above … notice it has two openings for the head? Does this not excite you? It does me! This shows me that my Jesus is right there alongside me, carrying the burdens, carrying my cross with me, helping with the load of care! Oh brother and sister in Christ, isn’t that just a spirit lifter? Oh how I love Psalms. As I read them, the Lord reminds me of verses elsewhere which tie in beautifully.

Jer. 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (11) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. (12) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (13) Thank You, Lord, for being “right there” and so easily accessible. I no longer have to go through a high priest, priest or Mary – I have direct access to the Father through His Precious Son, Jesus Christ, my One and Only Mediator. You know my thoughts, my motives, my heart, my desires – there’s nothing You don’t know about me. Yet, You loved me anyway, despite my horrid sinful nature. My heart and my mouth will never cease to praise You!

How Great Thou Art

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:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior 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 hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!



Day 19 – God’s Promises

(Psa 56:12) Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. Sadly, today’s wedding vows are not taken as seriously as they once were. But the vows of the Bible were permanent ones – not just in marriage but in any contract or promise.

The most popular promise or vow known to believers is God’s promise to Noah that He would never destroy the entire earth by flood again. The Lord sealed that vow with a rainbow and each time we see a rainbow today, we remember that vow. Is God a liar? Has the earth been flooded since Noah’s time? No, God is not a liar and this vow will continue. Psalm 56:12 says that God’s promises (His vows) are upon me! What promises? Well, one of them is (Gal 3:22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. We are promised eternal life when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour!

There are many promises of God in the Bible – many to the nation of Israel which have not been fulfilled yet. But they will be! You can count on it. God is not a man that He should lie (Rom. 3:4). Israel will overcome her enemy. The muslims can do whatever they want but they will not win. God says so in His Word. Christ will come again in Jerusalem and every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. (Phi 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; It doesn’t say Allah, it doesn’t say Buddha, it doesn’t say Mary – but the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God – the Beginning and the End – the Alpha and the Omega – the One and Only Saviour of mankind.

God’s vows are never broken because He is perfect – He is not a sinner. Only man breaks his vows – his promises. Whatever promises are left to be fulfilled in God’s Word, WILL be fulfilled. You can count on it – you can be sure – you can depend on it. It’s comforting to know that our Father in Heaven does not take His vows lightly. Quite the opposite – He takes them very seriously and will not shirk His responsibility. Our eternal security was promised to us – once we’ve accepted His Precious Son and Christ’s work on the cross as the only way to Heaven, He will not break His promise. We are sealed – we are secure – never more to question because the Maker of that promise is our God. His rainbow still appears and so shall we see Him face-to-face when we die. Thank You Lord!

God Is Still On His Throne
Kittie Suffield

Have you started for glory and Heaven?
Have you left this old world far behind?
In your heart is the Comforter dwelling?
Can you say, ‘Praise the Lord, He is mine’?
Have the ones that once walked on the highway
Gone back, and you seem all alone?
Keep your eyes on the prize, for the home in the skies;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain

God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own;
Tho’ trials may press us and burdens distress us,
He never will leave us alone;
God is still on the throne,
He never forsaketh His own;
His promise is true, He will not forget you,
God is still on the throne.

Burdened soul, is your heart growing weary
With the toil and the heat of the day?
Does it seem that your path is more thorny
As you journey along on life’s way?
Go away and in secret before Him
Tell your grief to the Savior alone;
He will lighten your care, for He still answers prayer;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain

You may live in a tent or a cottage,
Unnoticed by those who pass by;
But a mansion for you He is building
In that beautiful city on high;
It will outshine the wealth and the splendor
Of the richest on earth we have known;
He’s the Architect true, and He’s building for you;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain



Day 20 – Vessels Unto Honour

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; (Psa 149:6)

Today’s unbeliever looks at “christianity” and mocks it. We see it on television, books and movies all the time. The Christian is depicted as some lunatic. Yes, the world probably has always viewed the believer in this light. But I believe we are viewed in this way much more today. Why do I think this? All I have to do is to look at those professing Christ around me. They do not have the praises of God in their mouths. They don’t have their twoedged sword in their heads and mouths, let alone in their hand. The topic of Jesus Christ does not come up in general conversation amongst believers – why should His name be spoken of them in the presence of unbelievers?

I’m saddened by the lack of testimony our church holds today. No wonder the world laughs. No wonder they do not want what we have. My heart aches. We can’t agree on a Bible, we can’t agree on basic doctrine – even amongst the fundamentals – we argue amongst ourselves. Our pastor preached that more churches are started today due to splits rather than from a new work. How sad is that?

If the born again believers were busy praising God with their lips and their actions, as well as using the Word of God to lead souls to Him, they would be vessels unto honour instead of dishonoring Him. 2 Tim. 2:20-21, “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)

What can we give our Saviour in honor of His birthday this year? When was the last time you led a soul to Christ? What a gift that would be!!!

This is Jesus’ Precious Bible
Richard Davies & Thomas Levi

This is Jesus’ precious Bible,
This the gift of God’s right hand;
Teaching how to die triumphant,
How to live His pure command;
This reveals the loss we suffered
When in Eden sin enticed;
And it shows the way to glory
If we follow Jesus Christ.
Precious Bible! in my bosom
Thy dear words a home shall find.
Countless blessings are, with beauty,
In Thy promises assigned;
My poor heart once roamed a desert,
Vast and dry, of withered sod,
Till Thy guidance brought me through it
To the living stream of God.

I will hide Thy words within me
Deep, where time cannot delete;
Thou art light upon my pathway,
And a lamp unto my feet;
Friend Thou art on life’s long journey
Biding through my hours of care,
And through heaven’s eternal ages—
Thou my treasure ever there.



Day 21 – Walking in Truth

(Psalm 86:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. As we instruct our little children in our home, we are teaching them to walk and abide by our rules. In turn, they learn to obey Mommy and Daddy and their hearts learn to fear the punishment that they will receive should they choose to disobey. Oh Father in Heaven, thank You for providing the basic fundamentals of our spiritual walk through our own children!!

Our Father does not want to discipline us, but He will have to if we choose to disobey Him. Disobedience is a choice. We can’t claim that “the devil made me do it” because the devil didn’t! We are in charge of yielding to temptation. 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? (Romans 6:16) That word “yield” is an interesting word. It means to give up, to surrender, to resign! Do you surrender to temptation quickly – after a long battle – after much convincing? Does a General surrender his army because he has no choice? Of course not. He surrenders because he chooses to surrender. The enemy has overcome him. If you give up the battle, the enemy will overcome you, my friend.

That’s why Psalm 86:11 speaks of letting God teach you through His Word, walking in His truth and fearing His name – fearing the consequences when you choose not to obey Him. When we choose to obey the Master and Creator Himself, the battle becomes His and He never loses (1 Sam. 17:47). It’s God’s battle at that point and He will keep you from falling. We don’t have to fall, my friend. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24)

Don’t want to fall? Walk in truth – be in the Word – stay in the Word – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) God’s Word will sanctify us – set us apart and keep us from falling! Thank You, Lord, for loving us so much that You have provided a light for us through Your Word. Thank You for providing a balm that heals through Your Word. Thank You for giving us comfort knowing that our eternal security is kept by You and not by my actions.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.(3 John 1:4)

My King James Bible
Kate Plourde

Just reading Your Word is a privilege
I never dreamed would be
So much a part of my daily life
And impossible to shake free.
It’s become a vital food for me
To feed my hungry soul
It quenches the thirst I have for truth
And Its mysteries unfold!

It ministers to every single need
Not one does He overlook
Our questions have all been answered
In this Solitary Book!

My King James Bible, a miracle indeed
The way it all seems to flow
The Spirit authored every word
So we may be free to grow!

If you want wisdom then read God’s Book
And He’ll never let you down
Be persistent in your search for truth
And your foundation will be sound!



Day 22 – Teaching Transgressors

Create in me a clean heart

Psalm 51:10, 12-13, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (10) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (12) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (13)

Our daily prayer should start with the verses in this beautiful Psalm! The Christian praying these words sincerely cannot help but start off the day on the right track. The believer with a clean heart has already had his time with the Lord and has confessed his sin and repented. Only in so doing can we experience the true joy of our salvation daily because there is nothing separating us from our God. This does not mean that we lose our salvation each time we sin. It means that our fellowship is once again restored.

A good illustration is when one of my own children lies to me. My child will be punished and our fellowship won’t be the same until it is made right. Until my child confesses to me that he has lied and it is evident that he is truly repentant, the fellowship between us is broken. My heart is broken while our fellowship is broken. It’s not the same between us – he can’t look me in square in the eye and we can’t seem to enjoy that closeness we once had. However, once he repents and asks forgiveness, I can then hug him and that sweet fellowship is once again restored. What a joy it is to be able to fellowship is we once did. He now is not ashamed to look me in the eye and he is confident because he has been forgiven. My son knows that there’s no longer anything that separates us. At any point during this broken fellowship, did my son cease to be my son? Of course not. He was still my son, my flesh and bone – we just did not have the same relationship we had prior to his lying to me. Our fellowship was not the same until he experienced true repentance and asked forgiveness. After he did, he knew that his mother would be waiting to forgive him with opened arms, ready to restore our relationship.

I’ve heard preached that our accounts with God should be kept short – meaning, don’t let a day go by without confessing your sins and being truly repentant. This restores your fellowship with the Lord and all is well. Only then can we be effective soul winners according to verse 13 and win others to Christ. The lost can spot a hypocrite a mile away. If we try to lead someone to the Lord and our lives are filled with unconfessed sin, our efforts will be in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Just as our children, we must turn to our Heavenly Father and confess to Him our sin. Only then can we be free to witness to others without hypocrisy and without hindrance.

It’s so important that we have a clean heart before the Lord so that we do not hinder His Spirit’s work in the lives of the unsaved. I know that there will be some whom God has placed in my path and that I have not been able to effectively witness to them because I have not been right with Him! I dread the day that I stand before the Lord and He shows me those who are lost for all eternity because I did not take this seriously. Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, so I may be a better witness for You!!!

O For A Heart to Praise My God
Charles Wesley

O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
A heart that always feels Thy blood
So freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer’s throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite, heart,
Believing, true and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
And full of love divine,
Perfect and right and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine.

Thy tender heart is still the same,
And melts at human woe:
Jesus, for thee distressed I am,
I want Thy love to know.

My heart, Thou know’st, can never rest
Till Thou create my peace;
Till of mine Eden repossest,
From self, and sin, I cease.

Fruit of Thy gracious lips, on me
Bestow that peace unknown,
The hidden manna, and the tree
Of life, and the white stone.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
Come quickly from above;
Write Thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new, best name of Love.



Day 23 – Are You Sincerely Wrong?

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all ...

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)

The believer who is concerned about lost souls has heard many excuses as to why someone won’t be saved. One of the excuses I’ve heard is that there is no God and that when one dies, that’s the end. [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] 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. (Psalm 14:1)

Seems to me, I would rather take precautions while I had still had the chance than to find out that it’s too late to make any changes. I think of Jesus’ account of the rich man and Lazarus. In all of Jesus’ stories, this account was the only one that He gave the name of an individual. This was a true story and Luke, the physician, goes into great detail when he records Jesus’ account in Luke 16:20-31. The rich man no longer had an opportunity to be saved, he no longer had an opportunity to warn his family – that was it! He was stuck in hell, burning, thirsting and hurting for all eternity!!

I once heard one of our dear senior saints say, “Eternity is too long and hell fire too hot for me to take the chance of hell not being true!” Oh so very true! These are not the words of a fool, that’s for sure. The word “hell” is found in 54 verses in the Word. God wants us to know all about this place where the unrepentant sinner will go. This place called hell will be a horrifying place where the pain is so great that there will be gnashing of teeth. Noah Webster defines it as:

A grinding or striking of the teeth in rage or anguish.

I found it interesting that there are seven verses which use this phrase “gnashing of teeth.” God’s perfect number is the number seven which means “completion”! Man’s rejection of Him will be complete when he is cast down into hell’s fires. There won’t be any more chances to accept Jesus Christ as the only 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. (John 14:6)Allah won’t be able to help you. Buddha won’t be able to help you. Mary won’t be able to help you. Only Jesus can help you – and only while you are yet living, my friend.

But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 8:12)And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:42)

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:50)

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. (Mat 22:13)

And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 24:51)

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:30)

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:28 )

If you are reading this today and you are not 100% convinced that you are going to Heaven when you die, then I hope that you will let these verses speak to your heart and not be the fool as the rich man was. Denying there is a God does not remove the fact that He does exist. God is the beginning and the end. All things started with Him and all things will end with Him. He is not mocked and He does hold judgment for those who reject Him. He also holds reward of salvation for those who accept Him.

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 21:6)



Day 24 – Thy Word is Settled

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

We know that God’s Word is Jesus Christ Himself. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:2) The Word of God, our Bible, was breathed to man through God’s Holy Spirit and reveals all we need to know about Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. Is it any wonder that the different versions today try to take away Christ’s deity? Is it any wonder that they try to remove references to His shed blood and work on the cross? Is it any wonder that they try to remove the fact that there is no other way to heaven but through Him?

Psalm 119:89 says that God’s Word is for ever settled in heaven! The meaning of for ever according to Noah Webster is:

At any time; at any period or point of time, past or future.

God’s Word was settled in the past and it is settled in the future. We cannot change it because it is settled. Period! 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. (Rev 22:19)

God’s Word was, is and continues to be settled in heaven. God never changes – He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Since He never changes and Jesus is the Word according to John 1:1-2, and the Word is settled in heaven, then we must believe that there cannot be 100+ different versions of the Word of God out there. That is why it is so important to believe that God would preserve His Word. Each letter of the Word is so important that there’s not one thing contained in it which will go unnoticed. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:18 ) Why would God consider every little jot and tittle of the Word? Because His Word is settled. It cannot change. It will not change.

Beware of false imitations out there. Satan would love nothing better than to de-throne Christ. That has been his goal from the beginning. Isaiah. 14:12-14, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (12) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (13) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (14) If he can remove Christ from the different versions of the Bible out there, then people will believe that Allah, Buddha, and yes Lucifer himself is god and he will take as many souls as he can with him to hell.

Why are you so easily deceived that any version is OK to read. Would you follow a child’s drawing of a map to go to Orlando, Florida without questioning its accuracy? Why, then, are you so quick to read a version of the Bible which has been derived from Alexandrian texts? Were we not commanded to come out of Egypt, a type of the world? Why would our God contradict Himself by sending His most precious Word, which is settled in heaven, from the very country He told us to stay away from spiritually? To say that He did contradicts everything God teaches in the Word about coming out of Egypt.

Remember, God’s Word is settled – there’s no changing it. Beware, lest you fall into modernism’s trap and become like the world. Your doctrine will be diluted and your testimony will not resemble your Lord and Saviour, but will resemble the god of this world.

O, Revive Us By Thy Word
Daniel W. Whittle

Heav’nly Father, we Thy children,
Gathered round our risen Lord,
Lift our hearts in earnest pleading:
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!

Refrain

Send refreshing, send refreshing,
From Thy presence, gracious Lord!
Send refreshing, send refreshing,
And revive us by Thy Word!

Gracious gales of heav’nly blessing
In Thy love to us afford;
Let us feel Thy Spirit’s presence,
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!

Refrain

Weak and weary in the conflict,
“Wrestling not with flesh and blood,”
Help us, Lord, as faint we falter,
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!

Refrain

With Thy strength, O Master, gird us;
Be our Guide, and be our Guard:
Fill us with Thy Holy Spirit;
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!

Refrain



Day 25 – Enter His Gates

Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving | Fall thanksgiving ...

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Have you entered into the Lord’s gates today? One of our men preached the morning service yesterday and he preached on our covenant with God. It got me to thinking how blessed we are that Christ’s death and resurrection created a covenant for us with the Father – for all born again believers! What a joy to meditate on that today. So today, I want to encourage each of you toward righteousness.

We do not need to be defeated Christians. We do not need to give in to temptation. We just need to be hard workers at our faith in our precious Saviour. I’m sure many a lady gives it her “all” when it comes to caring for her husband, her family, her home, etc. We can’t stop there … we need to care for our spiritual lives with just as much zeal and effort. Yes, cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry is a chore. I just don’t get that same effervescent feeling the lady in the commercial gets about my scrubbing bubbles cleaning my toilet, ya know? It’s WORK to get these chores done – but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards is priceless!

Making sure that we cover all the areas of our spiritual lives is work also. But this “work” has eternal results. The work in our homes is temporary – the dust will always come back and there will always be dishes and laundry to do. But the work we do for the Lord is forever. I think of Christ’s account of Mary and Martha. He did not use a parable here but referred to actual women. The Lord placed this account in His Word especially for us! Mary spent her time at His feet while Martha carried on with the chores. Mary gleaned from the Master while Martha missed out on His blessings from the Word.

Working at our spiritual lives is just that – WORK! Here is a little something that helps me strive in this area of training myself and I want to share it with you.

W – Wake up with the Lord with song! Sing your favorite hymn – you know the one – it just speaks to your heart and gets you in the right mood – Mine is “Amazing Grace”

O – Open my heart to Him in prayer. I believe in making my heart right with God before praying for others. I confess my sins, I love on Him real good and then I pray for others.
I have a prayer list – in fact, I’m making a prayer journal to start using – and I keep this list with my Bible – the list is so long but I’ve broken it down by days so each day has a different grouping of people (i.e. Sunday = church family; Monday = missionaries; etc. I record specific details for each of these people so I’m praying for specific needs, not generalities.

R – Read His Word! Reading God’s Word is a learned trait. Don’t be so stringent that you don’t enjoy His Word. I have three separate times for reading.

  1. The first is my sweet time with Him. Today is Dec. 11th so I read my Proverb of the day (there are conveniently 31 Proverbs, one each for the 31 days in the month). I then read my Psalms for the day (I read Psalm 11 (then add 30), Psalm 41, Psalm 71, Psalm 101, and Psalm 131. I then read the 11th division or section of Psalm 119. This method for reading Psalms enables me to read the entire Book of Psalms every month. I then read Acts chapter 11 so I can learn about the church’s history. And finally, I read Revelations chapter 11 because we are promised a blessing in Rev. 1:3 if we read and understand this book.
  2. The second time for reading is reading through the Bible – I usually do this before bed. I
    have never been able to completely read the Bible through using a yearly plan but at least I am reading through. Sometimes we set goals that we just can’t keep and then we feel defeated and give up totally. I would rather keep at it and be blessed then to give up.
  3. My third reading comes with studying God’s Word. We’re commanded to study to show ourselves approved UNTO GOD Not to show off our knowledge to others, not to puff ourselves up thinking we’re better than others – but approved UNTO GOD. This is where we dive into meaty things and learn – not learning from someone else’s studying but learning for ourselves. You may have your own method of reading – I hope you do. In my 26 years of salvation, all the women that I’ve come in contact with who have struggled spiritually, struggled because they were not in the Word for themselves. When we stand before the Lord and give Him the reason why we didn’t do this or didn’t do that, our excuse that the preacher never taught us won’t hold water. We are commanded to study for ourselves.

K – Keep Him in the forefront of my mind all day. When we have sung, prayed and read, it’s pretty hard to forget the God you started your day with.

I use to have my time with Him at night because my children were early risers and I ran from the time they woke up till it was time for their bedtime. However, I found that I did not get the fuel and spiritual energizing I so needed to make it through the day. It took hard work to get up in the wee hours to have my time with the Lord. I was not always faithful but I kept at it.

Of course, we women have different routines and whatever works best for you is what you should be faithful in. If you have little ones at home, don’t despair. Your time will come where you will have all the time you need in the mornings. Maybe your time is nap time or after their bed time. If you don’t have a special time, resolve to yourself to make one. If you want to succeed at this, hold yourself accountable to someone. Ask a good friend to ask you daily if you spent your time with the Lord. One who won’t take excuses but will lovingly tell you that your excuse is not a good one!

Dear God…
Help me to be like Mary
As I start this day, oh Lord
Mindful of the things I’ve gleaned
From Your Holy Word!



Day 26 – what Have We Made Known Unto Men?

~Psalm 145:10-12, All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. (10) They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; (11) To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. (12)

Do we speak of God’s mighty acts to those around us? It’s easy to speak to those who are saved. But what about to those who are not saved? God’s Kingdom will come again. His Word says so. Christ will reign here for a thousand years and His reign will begin in the not-too-distant future. His Kingdom is filled with God’s beauty, His glorious works, and His blessings! How can we not shout from the rooftops?

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

The intricacies of a baby, from conception to birth, are mind-boggling! This little peanut of a child, designed by God Himself, comes to us full of innocence and beauty! From its beginning where two cells are joined, each cell thereafter is produced to go to a specific location for a specific function. The brain cell emerges and goes to the brain; the heart cell is formed and goes to the heart, etc. All these different cells with different functions come from the merger of two cells!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

God’s outer creation in the universe is also overwhelming. The Hubble telescope has only captured a miniscule amount of pictures in comparison to all that is out there to be seen! Man is high-minded and thinks he knows so much about what is in the universe. Man’s knowledge is a speck compared to what he does not know. God has shown His love for intricacies in His creation on earth – why should the universe be any different?

~ Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Tube worms were discovered at the ocean’s bottom in my lifetime! Think of all those other pieces of nature which have not been discovered because of man’s limitations! I remember watching a television special when they were first discovered. They showed how these creatures “came out” and grabbed their food! The worms sway in the current like grass when the wind blows. I stood in awesome wonder then and do still today.

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Have you ever read about the praying mantis? What a beautiful insect it is! This carnivorous insect eats other insects and can be used in a natural form of pest control around your home. I have seen one on my deck that was almost the length of my hand! I can see why they are called praying mantis because their front legs look as though they are praying. The delicate balance of God’s creation should stir our souls when we meditate upon it.

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

The only bird I know of that is able to fly backwards is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds have the ability to fly up and down, and forward and backwards because they have a rotator cuff which allows them to move their wings in a figure eight motion. They fly backwards so that they can remove their beak from the flower they are feeding on while in flight. Their normal flight speed can be 30 mph, 50 mph when escaping and 63 mph when diving!! This amazing little bird’s nest is the size of a walnut and their eggs are the size of a pea!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Have you shared your praises with others today, Christian? If not, why not? Have you forgotten what your Father in Heaven has given to you to behold in awesome wonder? Each one of the Lord’s creation is a gift to us.

The greatest of these gifts is the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Without His birth, we would not be able to enter Heaven! We cannot get to heaven on our own merit. God is Holy and He cannot allow sin into heaven. We have ALL sinned. Yes, even you, my friend. The Garden of Eden was created perfect by God – and so were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are the ones who brought sin into this world, not God. All those horrible things you see in this world are happening because sin entered in through Adam and Eve – not because God is cruel. In fact, God was so heart broken at the fact that His perfect creation would not be able to enter heaven, He found a way by sending His Only Son to earth. He loved us that much!

~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.

This Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life, died a cruel death and rose again to defeat death. He took upon Him the punishment for us all. All we have to do is acknowledge our sin, repent and accept Him as Lord and Saviour! Thank You, Father, for loving us so much that You would send Your very own Son to earth to take on our punishment!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Excerpt from O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!



Day 27 – My Rock and My Fortress

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. Psalm 18:2

The combination of these words is used multiple times in the Word of God. Usually when the Word tells us something twice, we are to take notice. But note how many times these words are used:

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. (Psa. 31:3) Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. (Psa. 71:3)

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psa. 91:2)

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. (Psa. 144:2)

O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (Jer. 16:19)

Do you think our Heavenly Father was trying to communicate something to His children? I surely do! Let’s pick out the specific terms used and meditate on them a bit.

God is our Rock. I think of a rock as stable, solid, immovable. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4)

God is our Fortress. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines a fortress as:

1. Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security. The English have a strong fortress on the rock of Gibraltar, or that rock is a fortress.

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; (2 Sam. 22:2) God is our defense and our security. When we are walking in Him (not the world), we can be assured of this!

God is our Deliverer. Christ has rescued and delivered us from an eternity of burning in hell’s fires, total darkness and separation from God! And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Rom. 11:26) He also delivers us from evil as He taught us in His example of how to pray.

God is our Strength. Noah Webster defines this word, strength, as:

Support; that which supports; that which supplies strength; security.

The Lord supports us, supplies us with His strength and gives us security in those times when men fail us! 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. (2Co 12:9) Oh thank You, Lord!

God is our Buckler. I had a mental picture of what a buckler was but reading Noah Webster’s definition made my heart leap!

A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.

Notice how the buckler was worn on the left arm – protecting the heart of man. This same buckler causes the enemies darts to fall off. I love how the Lord is our defense – our buckler – protecting us from the enemy! When we abide in Him, we have His protection over us. I think of being under His wings at this point!

God is the Horn of our Salvation. Horns were a big part of the Bible. They sounded for danger, they were used for heralding an event, etc. Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide us with salvation – there is no other. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; (Luke 1:69) 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) 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) I am so thankful that my salvation rests in Jesus Christ. He is the only One – no other!

God is our High Tower. When I envision a high tower, I see a building that is taller than the others around it. This tower allows one to see from all around when danger is coming. This same tower also provides protection to those who are within its walls. Our Lord is our High Tower – He protects us from the enemy. We can rest knowing that He is on the tower watching out for us. What comfort this brings me! My God cares for me! Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:7)

We have a God who sits atop a high tower watching out for us, shielding us and protecting our hearts from the enemy. Our salvation is secure in Him and He provides us the strength we need to deal with the enemy. He delivers us from the temptations that He sees coming. As long as we stand on His Word (His Rock), we have no need to fear. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb. 13:6) Oh thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther

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.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.



Day 28 – God’s Mercy to Those That Fear Him

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. Psalm 103:10,11

Praise the Lord that our Heavenly Father does not reward us according to our sins the way we deserve to be dealt with. Had it not been for our Saviour’s work on the cross, we would all be gonners! But the fact that we no longer have to worry about spending eternity in hell’s burning flames does not mean that it stops there.

A good study on hell and what it has in store for those who are not born again and blood bought is so needful today! I can probably count on one hand the number of times the topic of hell has been the center of conversation in those Christians around me. I have maybe heard two messages in my 26+ years of salvation on the teaching of hell. Why is that? Not only do the lost need to hear where they will be spending eternity but I believe the saved would be more challenged to be soul winners if they had a clear understanding of where these lost souls are going!

What is hell all about? The Bible mentions the word “hell” 54 times. There are three terms that are used to reference hell: Sheol, Hades and Gehenna. Most of Christ’s accounts of hell were referring to Hades and Gehenna. The most popular use of Hades was the account of the rich man in Luke 16:22-24. Here all of the rich man’s natural senses were affected by being in Hades. The account shows that the rich man could see what was happening, he spoke to Father Abraham, he could hear Father Abraham’s response, his mind was clear because he recognized where he was and where Father Abraham was, he cried to him for mercy, he asked Father Abraham to help his family on earth, he felt the pain because he thirsted and asked for water. All his senses were affected, as well as his emotions. He was so aware of his surroundings and what he was suffering that he did not want his family to go through the same thing. He knew he could not escape the torment he was in and it was too late for him, but not too late for his family. It was too late for him to be a soul winner at this point.

Gehenna is another term for hell which refers to the Lake of Fire after Great White Throne judgment. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. The souls in hell (Hades) will experience a second death at this point and be thrown into Gehenna (the lake of fire). Gehenna’s fires are so real that Jesus warned that it would be better to lose an eye or other part of our bodies than to be whole in the Lake of Fire! (Mark 9:43-48 ) That’s pretty serious stuff – to be told to cut off a part of your own body! Jesus said it is better that we cut off a hand and enter heaven a partial man than to be in that Lake of Fire with a whole body!

Jesus also said in Matt. 18:8 that the flames are everlasting! Have you ever burned yourself on the stove or with a hot iron? The first thing I do is run to get a cold glass of cold water filled with icecubes and dip my finger in it until the pain subsides. But this won’t be an option to the unsaved person who is cast here! Matthew 3:12 also says that the fires are unquenchable. It’s not like a campfire that dies down after a while. These flames keep going.

The Bible shows us that the Lake of Fire will have different degrees of punishment also. God’s punishment will be given out to the lost in same degree that they denied His Word. Luke 12:47-48 describes it well: And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (47) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (48 ) I also think of Rom. 2:5-6, But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (5) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:(6)

My friend, all will stand before Christ and give an account of every action we have done. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10) It’s reiterated in Rev. 2:23, And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

I look at it this way, those unsaved who get “few stripes” will burn for all eternity at a level like being burned all over with the most horrible sun burn he’s ever had. The unsaved who gets “many stripes” will be burning at a level of being totally engulfed with fire!! Both will be suffering but at different degrees. However, they will all share equally in hell’s permanence (eternity) and its unquenching flames – there will be no reprieve – there will be no death as a result of these burns. Granted, there is no way for me to know exactly the pain levels the lost will experience – this is just my interpretation which helps me to imagine. Whatever it takes for you to get a burden for the lost soul, do it! This is just my way of keeping myself motivated to win the lost.

The unsaved stand no chance. Luke’s account of the rich man says it all. Once the unsaved dies, it is too late. There is no going back and changing one’s mind. The Hitlers and Neros of this world will suffer greater punishment once they are released from Hades and cast into that Lake of Fire. In my soul winning efforts, I’ve come across people who just don’t see their sin. They can’t be saved if they don’t know they are lost. But upon death, it will be a horrible awakening in a place where the worm dieth not. Christ spoke this statement three times in Mark 9:44-48. Not only is there no escaping hell’s fire for the unbeliever, but the pain and torment of being burned continuously goes on for all eternity. I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like for a person to be engulfed in flames and to continuously be burned and their body not turning to ash – just continuously burning and burning and burning. Not for just an hour, a day, or a week – but forever!

Christian, have I helped you to realize your need to tell your lost loved ones about where they will be spending eternity if they don’t repent and get saved? Prayerfully, this has renewed your zeal for lost souls! If not, shame on you.

If you are reading this and you are not born again, won’t you reconsider what you believe today? You may not believe in a literal hell. Many may say that hell is here on earth. But Jesus did not preach that at all. Don’t take what others say and make it your belief. Could you possibly be wrong? Have you been right about everything in your life? What if you’re wrong about this?

God created hell for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is your choice to remain in the lost condition you are in right now. No one is forcing you to get saved. But admit this one thing … deep down inside you, you’re wondering if what I have said is even remotely true. I would rather exercise my little faith, be saved, and find out when I die that the Bible was true than to ignore my little faith and enjoy life full of sin only to find out that everything about hell was true and now I have to spend an eternity burning, writhing in pain for all eternity.

A wise Senior Saint once told me, “Hell’s fire is too hot and eternity is too long for me to ignore salvation!”

Dear God…
Please open the heart of the one who reads
What You have laid on my heart today
Create in me a burden so heavy and great
That I need to show someone salvation’s way.



Day 29 – The Right Hand of God

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

God is the one who brings salvation. Without the Holy Spirit pricking the heart of man and leading to conviction, there can be no salvation. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39) Salvation is of the LORD. (Jon 2:9b)

There is no greater joy and no greater pleasure than to be at the right hand of the Lord for ever more! There is something about the term “at the right hand” that struck me this morning. In America, it is common knowledge that the conservatives are “right-wingers” and the liberals are “left-wingers.” The right hand of the Lord is referenced in Scriptures. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (Psalm 118:15) The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (Psalm 118:16)

I did a search for the phrase “the right hand of God” and found it interesting that it appears eight times. All eight occurrences are in the New Testament. All eight occurrences refer to Christ being at the right hand of God. Christ’s blood convenant was a new beginning for mankind. We no longer had to sacrifice animals but had the Perfect Sacrifice covering our sin and making payment for our punishment! The number eight is commonly known to mean “new beginnings.” How appropriate it is that there are eight verses referencing Christ!

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mar 16:19)Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Act 2:33)

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Act 7:55)

And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (Act 7:56)

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (Heb. 10:12)

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Pet. 3:22)

Doesn’t that excite you? It does me!! There are no coincidences with God’s Word. Everything in God’s Word is there to excite us, teach us and keep us fed!

Father, God, We Glorify
John & Charles Wesley

Father, God, we glorify
Thy love to Adam’s seed;
Love that gave Thy Son to die,
And raised Him from the dead:
Him, for our offenses slain,
That we all might pardon find,
Thou hast brought to life again,
The Savior of mankind.

By Thy own right hand of power
Thou hast exalted Him,
Sent the mighty Conqueror
Thy people to redeem:
King of Saints, and Prince of Peace,
Him Thou hast for sinners giv’n,
Sinners from their sins to bless,
And lift them up to Heav’n.

Father, God, to us impart
The gift unspeakable;
Now in every waiting heart
Thy glorious Son reveal:
Quickened with our living Lord,
Let us in Thy Spirit rise,
Rise to all Thy life restored,
And bless Thee in the skies.



Day 30 – Christ, The Victor

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 Chariots and horses were the tanks and fighter jets of David’s day. Battles were won because of chariots and horses. But in that same statement, David goes on to say that he would remember the name of the LORD our God. David recognized where his help came from. [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:2)

Do we really know where our help comes from? Do we realize just Who we are serving? Our King will not lose! The battle is not ours, my friend. The battle is His. 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. (1 Sam. 17:47) The Book of Revelation shows us Christ is the Victor in the end! He will have the final victory over the enemy! I found it interesting that the phrase “every knee” appears only three times in the Word. Each time, the reference is to Christ!

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. (Isa 45:23)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)

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)

We will all bow our knee to the King of kings and Lord of lords! Our battles on this earth will all be behind us! Jesus Christ, the King, will have won not only the battles but He will have won the war against Satan! Ole slew foot’s time is almost over! He is fighting his battles with all fervancy trying to defeat the Christian. Are you going to allow the devil to win in your battle? If you do, you will be ashamed when you stand before Christ and give account for your little faith. Why not have victory instead so your tears will be tears of joy and not of shame and sorrow?!

This is the Victory
Philip P. Bliss

March to the battlefield, march on with sword and shield;
March on; the foe shall yield to Christ our King.
Onward, ye faithful band, onward at His command;
Onward, nor halting stand, but loudly sing.

Refrain

This is the victory, this is the victory,
This is the victory, we sing by the way;
This is the victory, this is the victory,
This is the victory, and faith gains the day.

Stand firm against thy foes; stand, though a host oppose;
Stand! well our Leader knows our conflicts all.
“Fear not,” He says to thee, “Fear not, but valiant be,
Fear not, but trust in Me; the foe must fall.”

Refrain

Fight, though thy foes increase; fight, till the dawn of peace;
Fight, till the war shall cease, then shout and sing.
Shout, then triumphantly, shout, shout the victory;
Shout, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord, our King!”

Refrain




Numbers of the Bible

This is a 60-day devotional collaborated with Brother Jerry Bouey. I began posting in May 2007. Not only are some of the numbers of the Bible covered, but we also had other ideas come to mind as we wrote. I pray you will enjoy this one! I always am amazed at how the Lord reveals Himself through the numbers in the Bible.

Please take time to visit Brother Jerry’s site at Home of the Real McCoy



Day 1 – Be Glad and Rejoice

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines glad in part as “Pleased; affected with pleasure or moderate joy; moderately happy… Expressing gladness or joy; exciting joy.” The Way Of Life Encyclopedia states this in regards to joy, “Christian joy and rejoicing is, above all else, steadfast confidence in God regardless of one’s circumstances.” I have heard it expressed as “a deep-rooted sense of contentment and trust in the Saviour.” Happiness depends upon what “happens” to us – if something good happens, we are happy; but, if something bad happens to us, we are sad. However, the true believer can still have joy in the midst of the worst of their trials – knowing that God is still in complete control, and that they are firmly held in His loving hands. When both my parents went home to Heaven within six months of each other, I was not happy – but I did have joy, knowing they were in a much better place, that all their pain was gone, that they both were healed completely and walking in the light of Heaven, and that I would one day see them again. There was sadness, as I did miss them; however, there was peace and joy in clinging to God’s promises and knowing He was at work all the while.

Seven times the phrase “be glad and rejoice” is used in the Bible:

1) Psalms 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O thou most High.

There are many things we can run after in our search for pleasure in this dark world – but the things of this world will never truly satisfy. Here we see what David was glad and rejoiced in: the Lord his God. If you are glad and rejoicing in the Lord, are you singing praises to Him?

2) Psalms 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities;

Are you rejoicing in God’s mercy? That is certainly something worth being glad about! The Lord knows our souls in the adversities we go through in life – that is worth praising Him for! We are never alone, nor struggling through each trial by ourselves – the Lord is always there! He sees us, considers what we are going through, and truly cares for our souls (see Psalm 142:4-5).

3) Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after Thee: the king hath brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in Thee, we will remember Thy love more than wine: the upright love Thee.

The Holy Spirit is drawing you to the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you received His gift of salvation, and are you now running after Him? He desires to fellowship with you each day. Brought into the King of Kings’ inner chambers, into His very presence, drawn to the Saviour. As you remember His love, be glad and rejoice!

Working at the Gospel Mission, I see many people who pursue wine (ie. alcohol) or drugs, pursue the pleasures of sin for a season. The pleasure is fleeting, the consequences are devastating, and they end up hating the wine they once thought they loved. However, the love of the Lord is so much greater than anything the world could ever offer. Are you glad and rejoicing in His love for you?

4) Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

The primary context of this verse is dealing with the endtimes. In the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Jewish nation will be tried in the fires of affliction and many will perish, but through it all, the Lord will reveal Himself to them. They will see the Saviour and God they once rejected, but now they will have their eyes opened and they will rejoice in His as their Messiah. They will see Jesus as He is, and will proclaim in rapture (ie. extreme joy or pleasure), “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him.”

Are you rejoicing in your salvation, rejoicing in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has saved you and that He is your God? Whenever I read this phrase, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him,” it comforts my heart so much, and thrills my soul as I anticipate the rapture (ie. being caught up together with our loved ones to meet the Lord in the air). One day in the future, we will no longer be looking for Him by faith, but seeing Him face to face – “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him!”

5) Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

Be glad and rejoice because the Lord is working on your behalf! When we call upon Him, He will answer us and shew us great and mighty things which we knew not before. (See Jeremiah 33:3)

6) Zephaniah 3:14-15 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

Are you glad and rejoicing with all your heart? The Lord is in our midst spiritually (see Matthew 18:20) – and one day He will be physically reigning in our midst, reigning from Jerusalem.

If you want your heart stirred with praise in anticipation of Jesus’ return, just meditate on the very next verses in this chapter:

Zephaniah 3:16-17 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 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.

In the first part of this passage, we are exhorted to be glad and rejoice in the Lord our God, but then we see Him rejoicing in us! Ah, what comfort, what assurance, what peace, what love! Be glad and rejoice!

7) Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

The Bride of Christ is all true believers in this church age – those who have trusted in Jesus to save them, those who have been washed in His blood and been given His white garments of perfect righteousness. The Bride (wife) has made herself ready by receiving the Groom. A time of great gladness and rejoicing is just ahead!

Weddings are always exciting. Are you anticipating our upcoming wedding with the Saviour? It will be a glorious event – one which all of creation has been looking forward to. Be glad and rejoice! I know I am!

Seven passages teaching us to “be glad and rejoice”, seven reasons to take our joy in our Lord and all that is found in Him. Are you glad and rejoicing in Jesus?

May 21st/07
(Preached May 20th/07)
Jerry Bouey

Dear God…
Be glad and rejoice
So Your Word does teach
May we always be open
So our hearts you may reach.



Day 2 – Bless the Lord

[A Psalm of David.] Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (Psa 103:1)

David is the master at blessing God. He knew Who provided him with help and Who delivered him. Psalm 103:1-5 is a beautiful picture of a man after God’s heart. As our series progresses on the “numbers” which can be found in Scriptures, I was pointed to the seven different ways that David blessed his God.

Psalm 103:1-5, [A Psalm of David.] Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (1) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: (2) Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; (3) Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (4) Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (5)

David sure had a way in blessing the Lord in song and in word, didn’t he? I suppose that the Book of Psalms is near and dear to my heart because I love poetry and I love to write about my God. I noticed that David’s style of writing is all from his heart. His life’s experiences and how God brought him through are at the center of each psalm. As I meditate on his songs, I can truly relate to many of them. Although I will never go through the same experiences as David, I do experience some of the same results.

While I studied out the five verses this morning, I was so totally blessed! David opens this beautiful Psalm of praise with blessings to God. He was preparing his heart – focusing it on the Creator and what God had done for him. He did not dwell on his simple needs being met because he knew God would provide. Instead, he focused his entire being on blessing God. Notice in verse one how David says “and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Every fiber of David’s being was singing out to God for His provision and benefit. Could an earthly father ignore a child who would approach him in this manner? I doubt it! Our Heavenly Father desires this passion from His children. This display must bless our Father!

There are seven different things David praised and blessed God for.

(1) Who forgiveth all thine iniquities.: David knew the depth of his sin and was deeply remorseful. Noah Webster defines remorse as:

The keen pain or anguish excited by a sense of guilt; compunction of conscience for a crime committed.

There is no finer example of this type of remorse than in David’s own life. What a beautiful lesson for the believer! David knew from where his salvation and forgiveness came. When we read the account of David and his hand in Uriah’s death in 2 Samuel, we see a David who totally repented of his sin. David was remorseful, David repented and David changed. There are no more accounts of David falling into sin. His repentance brought forth righteous fruit. This is not to say that he never sinned again, but he did not remain in sin. David was able to write about his experiences in Psalm 103. He was able to pen such beautiful words and pour out from his heart a beautiful picture of a repentant man who loves his God. [A Psalm of David, Maschil.] Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psa 32:1) David did not take this lightly! He knew who provided his forgiveness and his blessings!

(2) who healeth all thy diseases;Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Pet 2:24) Diseases are a by-product of Adam and Eve’s sin. Once this happened, death came to us spiritually as well as physically. Everything Adam planted was now subject to weeds and pestilence. However, God loves His children and He provided a way for us to be healed spiritually. Can He heal us physically? Absolutely! Does the Word promise that God will heal us from all physical problems? No! The effect of sin is sickness and disease. As long as we are in these earthly vessels, we will be sick because we sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 Joh 1:8) Only when we are Raptured will we receive our glorified bodies, free from sin and the disease it brings. 1 Cor. 15:50-54, Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (50) Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (51) 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)

(3) who redeemeth thy life from destruction;: David lived what he believed. He knew that God would keep him. The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. (Psa 34:22) We are not desolate because we have a Redeemer who stands ready to petition the Father on our behalf. For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. (Pro 23:11) Christ stands ready to mediate on our behalf. 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: (1 Joh 2:1) How beautiful our Bible is – so complete from cover to cover. Even David penned that his Redeemer would plead his cause with the Father! Our Redeemer, our Advocate, our Attorney stands before God on our behalf! Ole slew foot stands before God and says, “Look what Kate did! You’re a Holy God – Surely You cannot allow her entrance!” And our Beautiful Saviour and Advocate responds, “Father, she is one that I hold in the palm of my hand. My blood covers her sin because she has asked me to be Saviour of her soul!” What a beautiful, beautiful picture! No wonder David was so grateful! No wonder he was so passionate about it! After that, how can you not be?

(4) who crowneth thee with lovingkindness;: The epitomy of kindness can be seen in 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. Noah Webster defines kindness as:

Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature. Kindness ever accompanies love.

When you look at the definition in this light and compare it with Christ’s act of love driving Him to the cross, do you not just want to explode with gratitude? God loves us so much that He displayed this act of kindness while we were yet sinners! But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8) Christ delighted in contributing to our happiness! Christ exercised cheerfully in going to the cross for our benefit! Christ cheerfully supplied our wants and alleviated our distress of hell! The One who loves as no other can, displayed the ultimate kindness to us! Oh that we should be like David and bless the Lord!

(5) who crowneth thee with tender mercies;: Oh my … tears cannot be held back at this point! Thank You, Lord, for your tender mercies! The phrase “tender mercies” appears ten times in the Book of Psalms alone. David knew the mercy of God. He knew what he deserved. We deserve hell, but praise God that Christ died for us! But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (Eph 2:4)

(6) who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;: Only God can satisfy our soul! At the moment we are born again, we are complete. We are one in Him. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (Joh 17:21) We fill ourselves with the Word of God which renews us day by day. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4:16) The Word says God allows it to rain on the just as well as the unjust in Matthew 5:45. However, the unsaved soul cannot be satisfied. David knew how to thank God for satisfying his spiritual needs!

(7) thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.: This seventh blessing was one of perfection and completion. His spiritual strength had been renewed and he was now ready to soar as an eagle. His strength had been made new. He was rejuvenated and able to take on life because he knew from where his strength came. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:2) He had a new purpose! He took what God taught him and he was able to help many through the years with the words that God gave him to pen.

Do you know how to bless your God? Does your prayer life include this type of prayer time? Do you bless God in the course of your day for what He has done for you? These seven blessings are a good lesson in how to bless our God. [A Psalm of David.] Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (Psa 103:1)

O Thou My Soul, Bless God the Lord
Words: Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1650, alt.

O thou my soul, bless God the Lord;
And all that in me is
Be stirred up His holy Name
To magnify and bless.

Bless, O my soul, the Lord thy God,
And not forgetful be
Of all His gracious benefits
He hath bestowed on thee.

Such pity as a father hath
And shows his children dear,
Like pity shows the Lord to such
As worship Him in fear.

Yea, unto them that fear the Lord
His mercy never ends;
And to their children’s children still
His righteousness extends.

To such as keep His covenant
Nor from it go astray,
Who His commandments bear in mind
And faithfully obey.



Day 3 – Sevenfold Praise – Part One

Psalms 100:1-5 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100 is a short Psalm, but one of the most powerful. Out of all the Psalms, there are only two that are specifically designated as Psalms “of praise” – this one and Psalm 145. In it we find the psalmist listing seven ways to praise the Lord, then giving seven reasons why God’s people should do so.

Seven Ways to Praise God:

1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness:
3. come before His presence with singing.
4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
5. and into His courts with praise:
6. be thankful unto Him,
7. and bless His name.

How many of these seven ways of praising the Lord have you actually done in your walk with Him?

The phrase, “make a joyful noise” figuratively means “to split the ears (with sound), i.e. shout (for alarm or joy).” Have you shouted out in joy or sang aloud in praise? His Word tells us to make a joyful noise. While there is a place for skilfull playing and singing, God doesn’t demand that. He wants praise flowing out of our hearts – even if it is noise to the ears of those who cannot see our hearts, to the Lord it is a joyful noise, and He is pleased with it.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines gladness as “Joy, or a moderate degree of joy and exhilaration; pleasure of mind; cheerfulness.” Then he adds this comment, “Gladness is rarely or never equivalent to mirth, merriment, gayety and triumph, and it usually expresses less than delight.” Have you been serving the Lord with gladness, or with drudgery? Have you been going through the motions out of duty, or has your service been one that sprang forth from a glad heart?

Are you entering into His presence (whether with other believers or on your own) with singing, with thanksgiving, and with praise?

Thanksgiving is defined by Webster’s as “The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies.” Are you grateful and thankful for the Lord’s mercies and goodness in your life? Have you been expressing that to Him? Too often we (myself included!) get too caught up in merely giving our concerns and needs to the Lord in prayer and we forget to thank or praise Him. When was the last time you told your Heavenly Father you loved Him, or truly thanked Jesus for saving your soul and washing your sins away, or praised the Holy Spirit for the work that He is continuing to do in you?

Praise is defined by Webster’s as “1. To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of personal worth or actions. 2. To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works. 3. To express gratitude for personal favors. 4. To do honor to; to display the excellence of.”

Praise and thanksgiving are part of worship. It is interesting that the word worship indicates that the person being worshipped is worthy, as that is the root of the word.

Have you poured out your heart in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord – not only for what He has done in your life, but for who He is?

Have you blessed His name? Jesus’ name means “the Lord is salvation.” Do others know what His salvation means to you?

According to Websterbless means “To praise; to magnify; to extol, for excellencies.” The Way Of Life Encyclopedia defines bless as “To be thankful for and to bestow benefits upon something in a general sense; to speak well of and to desire God’s blessing upon.” Are you boasting of your Saviour, are you speaking well of Him to all those around you? Webster’s defines magnify as “1. To make great or greater. 2. To make great in representation; to extol; to exalt in description or praise. 3. To extol; to exalt; to elevate; to raise in estimation.” Are you praising the Lord Jesus Christ and magnifying Him in your life? When others look at you and your walk with the Lord, do they see Jesus, or do they just see you? As John the Baptist stated in John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease.

May 24th/05
(Preached May 19th/07)
Jerry Bouey

Dear God…
Behold the Lord, the Lamb of God
Who died upon the tree
We magnify Thy Holy Name
And worship only Thee



Day 4 – Five Things God Did for the Sinner

Romans 8:29-30, 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. (29) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (30)

As a young believer, I struggled with Paul’s words in these two verses. I was easily confused when the doctrine of predestination crossed my path. I knew that my Heavenly Father would not want His child to be confused as to where she rested in His family. After all, I would not want my child to wonder if he truly was part of my family or not – or in the family one day then out of the family the next because of something he did wrong. It was then that the Lord began to reveal His Word to me – teaching me as He used my earthly family as His teaching tool and related it with the Scriptures. He revealed to me how I rested in His Kingdom. When we view our relationship with our earthly family, it is easier to see how God has carved out our place in Heaven. It was then that the Word of God finally etched my eternal security deep into my heart and I knew that my place in Heaven was securely held by Him.

In these two verses in Romans 8, we see that God has outlined five things that He did for us. The number five is the number used for grace. Oh what glorious grace is found in these two verses! Join me in the blessing:

(1) He did foreknow: Romans 8:28 shows me that God knew me from the beginning – He did foreknow. The Word of God reveals the complicated issues of life with its own words. When we are confused about a passage, we can find our answers in other passages. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:16) God knew from the beginning that Kate was going to be His child on April 1, 1980.

(2) He did predestinate: Jesus knew from the beginning that His role was to include redeeming the lost. Yet He came willingly and died willingly for our sins. The redemption story is seen throughout the Word of God and is called the Scarlet Thread of Redemption. What an awesome study that is and promises a blessing to anyone who decides to dig deeper. The first mention in the Word that a Redeemer would be needed is found in the oldest penned book of the Bible. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25) Another passage in Genesis gives the promise of a Saviour. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen 3:15) How precious it is when the Christian meditates on and realizes that Jesus knew from the beginning that His creation was going to need Him to leave His royal place, take on a pauper’s existance, die and take the penalty for the sins of all mankind on His sinless body. He knew from the beginning yet He still went through with it! He knew He was going to be stabbed. He knew from the beginning that He was going to have His beard plucked out. He knew from the beginning that His creation was going to reject Him and mock Him. All this He did so He could be the first born – the first to experience the resurrection! All this so that we could receive this new life as well! Oh my! Does this not place you on shouting grounds? I know it surely does for me! Those who believe on His Name, repent and are saved were known from the beginning of time. Even the lost are known. It does not mean that God had predestined us to be saved and others not to be. It means that God knew us from the beginning.

(3) He did call: The next verse continues to bless – it does not stop there! The Word says that not only did He know from the beginning that a Saviour was needed and that I would need this Saviour, but He called me. Christian, are you not excited? The sentence could have ended after “whom he did predestinate” but it did not. God gives us all an opportunity to make up our own minds. He does not force Himself on us but calls us. This very verse proves the false doctrine of predestination all wrong. That false doctrine says I have no say so. But they fail to read further. It is up to us to answer when Jesus calls. 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. (Rev 3:20) (emphasis mine). Notice who opens the door! God does not open the door in this verse – we open the door. I love this verse! Many use it for salvation but I also see it in another light. Notice that Jesus will come and have a meal with us? This is an intimate relationship. You don’t just have anyone into your home to sit at a meal with you. Usually, people who enter your home have a close relationship with you. This totally blessed me! My Precious Saviour is my intimate Friend. He told us in His Word to what extent He would take His friendship. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 Jo 3:16) Thank You, Lord!

(4) He did justify: Those that God called, those that allowed Him in, are justified by the very death of our Saviour! Noah Webster has the best definition for the word justify:

2. In theology, to pardon and clear from guilt; to absolve or acquit from guilt and merited punishment, and to accept as righteous on account of the merits of the Savior, or by the application of Christ’s atonement to the offender.

Today’s definition according to Merriam Webster is

1 a: to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable b (1): to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2): to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property. 2(a) archaic : to administer justice to (b)archaic : absolve (c): to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation

The world has no concept of what this word truly means. They treat the true meaning of justification as “archaic”! When you read Noah’s definition and apply it to our text today, there is more of an impact on what Christ did for you and I. Christ pardoned us – He cleared us from the guilt of sin – He absolved us and acquitted us from guilt and deserved punishment – the Father accepts us as righteous because of the merits of the Saviour – by the application of Christ’s precious blood’s atonement to me! Glory! Christ did this for me!

(5) Lastly, He also glorified: Noah Webster defined the word glorify in this verse as:

2. To make glorious; to exalt to glory, or to celestial happiness.

Christ will make us glorious, my friend! He will exalt us to glory and celestial happiness because we opened the door of Rev. 3:20 and allowed Him in. We accepted His punishment for our sin.

I think the best Internet story that went around was the allegory by Dennis Hensley about a father having to sacrifice his own son to save people on a train. I wanted to add it here for those who have never seen it.

To Sacrifice a Son – An Allegory
by Dennis E. Hensley

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

A switchman sat in a shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped onto the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was about to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river, where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy, where are you?” His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.

He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked; to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?

When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?



Day 5 – Sevenfold Praise – Part 2

Psalms 100:1-5 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100 is a short Psalm, but one of the most powerful. In it we find the psalmist listing seven ways to praise the Lord, then giving seven reasons why God’s people should do so.

Seven Reasons to Praise God – these will never change if you are saved (so you can always praise Him!):

1. Know ye that the LORD He is God:
2. it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
3. we are His people,
4. and the sheep of His pasture.
5. For the LORD is good;
6. His mercy is everlasting;
7. and His truth endureth to all generations.

Reasons for rejoicing indeed! If there has been a time and place in your life when you turned from your sin and received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then all seven of these reasons are just as true for you as for any other true believer. And the wonderful thing about each of these reasons is that they will never change, regardless of our circumstances.

I really appreciate Matthew Henry’s subpoints in his commentary on this chapter, so I will use them here:

1. That the Lord He is God.

He is still your God. There may be times in our lives where we don’t let Him hold the reigns to our lives, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Lord, the God of the Bible, is the only true and living God. That He is God should have special meaning to each one of us; if we have been adopted as His children and have Him sovereignly working out all things in our lives, there is reason for great rejoicing!

Adam Clarke makes this comment, “Acknowledge in every possible way, both in public and private, that Jehovah, the uncreated self-existent, and eternal Being, is Elohim, the God who is in covenant with man, to instruct, redeem, love, and make him finally happy.”

2. That He is our Creator.

The Lord has made us – we didn’t make ourselves. As Albert Barnes has stated in his commentary on this verse, “All that we have and are, we owe to him.”

John Gill adds this, “It is he that hath made us; as men, without whom nothing is made that was made; in him we live, move, and have our being; and, as new creatures, we are his workmanship, created in him, and by him; regenerated by his Spirit and grace, and formed for himself, his service and glory; and made great and honourable by him…”

3. That therefore He is our rightful owner.

The Lord has bought us with a price; therefore we are to glorify Him in all we do (see 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 10:31).

4. That He is our sovereign Ruler.

We are His people and He is our King; therefore we owe our complete loyalty and devotion to Him each day.

5. That He is our bountiful Benefactor.

We are the sheep of His pasture; therefore it is His job to lead us and to provide for us each day. He is faithful to do that – and it is up to us to walk in right fellowship with Him and do His will.

6. That He is a God of infinite mercy and good.

Matthew Henry also adds this here: “The Lord is good, and therefore does good; his mercy is everlasting; it is a fountain that can never be drawn dry. The saints, who are now the sanctified vessels of mercy, will be, to eternity, the glorified monuments of mercy.”

7. That He is a God of inviolable truth and faithfulness.

His truth endures forever! You can always rely on your Saviour to preserve His Word, to keep His promises, and to always be faithful.

If your spirit has been quickened (ie. if you have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ), these reasons should stir you up – if not, check your pulse or your walk with the Lord, because something is wrong there! If these seven reasons given by the inspired Psalmist are applicable to you, then the trials and afflictions you will experience in your life can never compare to them or cause them to diminish. These are truly reasons for rejoicing, reasons for praising – keep praising the Lord!

To cap off this devotional, here is one of the versions of Psalm 100 in Metre put together by the hymnist, Isaac Watts:

Psalm 100
A plain translation. Praise to our Creator.

1 Ye nations round the earth rejoice
Before the Lord, your sovereign King;
Serve him with cheerful heart and voice,
With all your tongues his glory sing.

2 The Lord is God; ’tis he alone
Doth life, and breath, and being give:
We are his work, and not our own;
The sheep that on his pastures live.

3 Enter his gates with songs of joy,
With praises to his courts repair,
And make it your divine employ
To pay your thanks and honours there.

4 The Lord is good, the Lord is kind;
Great is his grace, his mercy sure;
And the whole race of man shall find
His truth from age to age endure.

May 24th/05
(Preached May 19th/07)
Jerry Bouey



Day 6 – The Nine Cares of a Shepherd

Psalm 23:1-6, [A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (1) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (2) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (3) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (4) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (5) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (6)

Why would Christ liken Himself to a Shepherd? I’ve often wondered why He would pick a “role” such as this one. As I researched the role of a shepherd, I noticed that the shepherd’s job was to: provide food and water, find them a place to rest, discipline them when needed, protect them against foes, spoke to them and gave them companionship, directed them in their travels, provided them a peaceful journey, and literally providing them with a worry-free life. The sheep have everything – all they need to do is to follow their shepherd and make more sheep, when you stop to think about it! The sheep never have to hunt their own food or find their own water. The sheep recognize only their shepherd’s voice. They do not respond to or follow another shepherd. Isn’t that amazing? The sheep are helpless without their shepherd to protect them from going in the wrong direction or from their enemies. I saw that this shepherd’s job description had nine areas of care for his sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Lord Himself used this occupation to describe Himself with us? I surely don’t.

The most famous passage in Scriptures dealing with the shepherd is Psalm 23. When I went to it, I saw that it outlines nine areas of care as well! I got on shouting grounds! The number nine is the number for “completeness, finality, and fullness.” How complete we are once we are saved! We are made full with the benefits Christ provides for us! Our salvation is final – there is nothing else needed. Praise God that the Shepherd of the Old Testament is also the Gentiles’ Shepherd! 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. (Joh 10:16) No longer was salvation only for the Jew. Praise God! Salvation is complete – salvation is for all!

The blessing that came with searching out the nine cares of the Shepherd were more than I could take today. My heart was stirred and the tears flowed because of just how much Christ cares for us! Let me share with you just how He cares for you!

Notice that Christ is a personal Saviour. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psa 23:1) (emphasis mine.) We lack nothing because of our position as Christ’s sheep. He will provide for every aspect of our lives. All our needs are in His care! He is so personal that even the very hairs on our head are numbered! But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Mat 10:30) He knows us better than anyone. The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, (Psa 94:11a) He is our own personal Shepherd. Our personal Shepherd has nine beautiful ways He shows us He cares for us!

(1) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: Christ provides us with rest. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28) When I was first saved, I felt as though a hundred pounds had been lifted from my shoulders! The burden of sin had been removed and I felt so “free”! After I read this verse for the first time, I was in tears! My Saviour had freed me from this heavy burden and had given me peaceful rest! I can see why David used the word picture of laying down in a green field, can’t you? What a beautiful depiction of the rest that Christ provides through salvation!

(2) He leadeth me beside the still waters.: Christ refreshes the soul. Each day, our time in the Word provides a time of refreshing. 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) Notice that the waters were not turbulent or even stirred. These waters were still! The Word of God does not produce confusion or conflict. It provides us with peaceful waters – still waters. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14:33) The devil has managed to cause much confusion through the many versions of the Bible. He has God’s children arguing amongst themselves – confused about what the Holy Spirit was “really” communicating. God is not the author of confusion, according to 1 Cor. 14:33, so why would He provide 100 plus versions to confuse us? This is a contradiction, my friend. My Bible says that my Shepherd leads me to still waters. It stands to reason that the devil leads us to turbulent waters since he is the very antithesis of Christ. Christ is the Word of God – the devil will attack the Word to get even with Christ. But our Shepherd promises us that while we are in our blessed King James Bible, we will have still waters – peaceful waters – and no confusion can be found within its pages!

(3) He restoreth my soul: Christ provides reconciliation to the saved. 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. (Heb 2:17) When we are trodden down with the cares of this world, He is able to lead His sheep away from that temptation. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2 Pet 2:9) Notice this verse says that Christ specifically delivers the “godly” out of temptation. Not only has He reconciled us to the Father by redeeming us, He provides a way to deliver us from temptation! However, if we have succumbed to temptation, He restores us to a right relationship with Him. 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: (1 Jo 2:1) Thank You, Lord!

(4) He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. The Bible says that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1) – He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He left us His Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we may learn to walk in righteousness as He walked in righteousness. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Tim 3:16) The Shepherd is constantly watching out for us and is ready to help. Everything we need is in the blessed Word of God and provides us with light and direction along the way. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) He is ever watchful in His leading, making sure that we do not stumble. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. (Pro 3:23)

(5) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; The Shepherd is always with us, my friend. There is no need to fear the trials of this life. He promises us that: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5b) God is not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19). He says He will never leave me or forsake me. Never! Period! As He protects us from stumbling, He protects us during those difficult trials in life – even the most difficult trial of all, our physical death. There is no need to even fear death because He will be right there with us. 1 Cor. 15:54-55, 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)

A Youth Pastor I once knew, Pastor Mike Ray, told us of a trip he took his teens on to an actual funeral home. The mortician was a born-again Christian who shared how he was always able to tell when the deceased who was brought to him was a Christian. The Christian’s countenance never showed fear or dismay, but had a peaceful look. However, the unsaved person’s face was not so. Some would even come in with a horrible look of fear! This story impacted me greatly. It proved to me that my Shepherd’s promise of walking with me through the valley of the shadow of death was true!

(6) Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The Hebrew word used for rod here is:

H7626
שׁבט
shêbet

Meaning: a scion, that is, (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.)

Our Shepherd not only wants to be our Lord, but He will punish us so that we get back on track. The punishment is not so that we become hard with rebellion against Him. His punishment, according to David, brings comfort. If the shepherd had a sheep that continuously ran away from the herd, he would break one of its legs so it would learn to stay close. When we yield to Christ’s will as He trains us, the results bring comfort. We draw nigh to Him. As a result, God promises to draw nigh to us. 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) When you punish your child for doing wrong, you don’t punish him with the intent to cause him to rebel further, do you? Of course not! Your goal is to draw him close to you so you can teach him and mold him into a responsible adult. Christ’s goal is to be so close to us that He can teach us and mold us into His image. What a wonderful picture!

(7) Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The staff had a different meaning in this beautiful passage.

H4938
משׁענת משׁענה
mish‛ênâh mish‛eneth

Meaning: walking stick: – staff

Our Shepherd will direct us in our path. If there’s a bump in the road, He will alert us through the preaching. Not only does Christ alert us, but He shows us how to deal with that bump in the road through His Word. The Holy Spirit is right there, teaching us, directing us and providing that comfort. 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) Just as the shepherd uses a walking stick to help him along the way, we have the ultimate walking stick, the Bible, which our Shepherd uses to help us along our pilgrim’s journey! This stick is not one of discipline but more a stick used for assistance. What a bless’ed picture of the Word of God assisting us!

(8) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Notice that the Shepherd prepares the table while our enemies are right there at the door. He is laying out the table cloth, setting the place matts, putting out the cloth napkins, laying the cutlery just right, putting out the fine china and rightly placing a glass of cold water beside the plate. Jesus is preparing our table while we have struggles with the enemy. He lets us know that despite the turmoil around us, He is in control – nothing bothers Him. He continues to provide for us and He will give us peace. 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) A good depiction of this was when He stilled the storm at sea. 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. (Mar 4:39) What comfort this brings the believer. No matter what is going on around us, the Shepherd is busy preparing a table to sup with us – despite the turmoil. He is always there ready to nourish us and encourage us with His Word.

(9) Thou anointest my head with oil; The oil of the Bible usually refers to the Holy Spirit. The oil here was anointed on the head showing me that the Holy Spirit will reveal to our hearts (our minds) what the Shepherd (the Word) is trying to communicate. I looked up Noah Webster’s definition of anointing and the definition in this verse was:

communicate the consolations of the Holy Spirit.

I wondered what “consolations of the Holy Spirit” meant here. Noah defines it as:

Comfort; alleviation of misery, or distress of mind

Does this not totally bless you? The Shepherd alleviates our misery and distresses, my friend!

No wonder David was able to pen, “my cup runneth over” in verse 5! You’ve been there at some point in your Christian walk where you feel that God has just “over blessed” you, haven’t you? David was bragging on his God here – Lord, stop! Stop! I can’t take any more blessings! My cup is over flowing – any more and I’ll burst!

Lastly, David speaks of how his Shepherd’s goodness and mercy will follow him, not only in his walk on this earth, but throughout all eternity. He says that he will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever in verse 6. What another beautiful depiction of eternal security. The Shepherd does not leave His sheep – everBut 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. (Joh 10:12) (emphasis mine.) Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd, not a hireling. The devil would love nothing better than to convince you that you can lose your position in Christ after you have been saved. After all, again he is the very antithesis of Christ. Christ won’t leave us when that wolf comes attacking. Thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!

My cup runneth over!

Dear God…
The Shepherd guides those in His care.
He leads them along life’s way.
He protects us from the enemy,
And He keeps those wolves at bay.



Day 7 – Fourfold Picture of Water from the Rock

1 Corinthians 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.

It is interesting to note that this fourfold picture is unfolded in chronological order in the Bible.

1) The Rock Must Be Smitten

Exodus 17:1-7 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

In order for the life-giving (living) water to flow, the rock had to be smitten with the rod of judgment – the same rod that Moses used to judge the nation of Egypt.

This pictured the Lord Jesus Christ being smitten with the rod of men (for our iniquity, not His own – see 2 Samuel 7:14), being smitten of God for our sins, being judged in our place. The Rock had to be struck BEFORE the Living Water could flow forth!

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

“The Lord Jesus, as one hymn says, is “a Rock in a weary land.” Although this is a marvelous picture of Him as the foundation — the One upon whom we rest and the One upon whom the church is built — a rock is the last place we go for a drink of water… Jesus is a Rock, but His beautiful life and durability will not save you. His teachings will not redeem your soul. His life and teachings are like polished marble which are engraved and, though you apply them to your life with Carborundum or optician’s rouge, they still won’t save you. The application of the principles taught by the Lord Jesus may polish you a little, but He is still that Rock against which you can dash your foot.

You can fall on the Rock Christ Jesus for salvation, but no human effort is able to get water from this Rock. Only when the rock was smitten did it bring forth life-giving waters. Jesus was crucified, and nothing short of believing that He died in your place and bore your sins on that cross will save you. The smitten rock is a picture of the death of Jesus Christ.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

The rock was smitten and the water flowed forth – plenty to quench the thirst and meet all the daily needs of every single person in the nation of Israel. Life-giving water was now freely available to every man, woman, and child – whosoever would. This Living Water from the Rock is freely available to whosoever will – now that the Rock, Jesus Christ, has been smitten:

Revelation 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.

Have you drunk water from the Rock?

2) We Must Be Hid In The Cleft Of The Rock

Exodus 33:12-14 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Exodus 33:18-23 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Moses desired to know the Lord even more than he did already, longed to draw even closer to Him, wanted to experience even more grace in His sight – and petitioned the Lord to let him see God’s glory. The only way that was possible was for God to stand Moses upon a rock, and then to put him in the cleft of the rock.

The only way we can see God’s glory is to be hid in the cleft of the Rock – the Rock of Ages that was cleft for us on Calvary! We are hidden in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, when we place our faith in Him alone to save us. From that moment on, we are in Christ. Being “in Christ” is one of the main themes of the book of Ephesians.

But notice one other thing about the passage above: God told Moses that he was to stand upon the rock. What is the foundation of your life – what are you standing on? Have you built your life upon the shifting sands of this world, or upon the steadfast foundation of the solid Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ?

Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the only sure and lasting foundation! If you want to know the Lord God personally – as your own Heavenly Father, if you want to have close, intimate fellowship with Him – you must be hidden in the cleft of the Rock and you must be standing upon the Rock as your foundation.

Isaiah 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.

3) Now We Need To Only Speak To The Rock

Numbers 20:7-13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

Moses was commanded to only speak to the rock and the water would flow forth abundantly out of it. God was continuing the picture here – the rock did not need to be struck again to bless the people. It has already been smitten!

Similarly, our Rock does not need to be struck again to bring blessing to His people. Jesus was already smitten for our sins – the penalty was already paid, judgment was already poured out – and the water is still freely flowing forth!

Consider these passages:

Hebrews 7:25-27 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. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 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.

Hebrews 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; 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. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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.

It is interesting to note that the book of Hebrews mentions seven times that Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins was a one-time offering, He only needed to die once (and in fact, we cannot be saved unless we place our faith in His finished work upon the cross of Calvary, place our faith in His complete atonement for our sins). In addition to the three times the word once was quoted above, we see four more references in Hebrews (read surrounding verses for context):

Hebrews 9:12 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.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The Rock was struck once – it did not need to be struck again. That is where Moses and Aaron sinned in not trusting/believing the Lord in this regard, but in spite of their sin, God was still glorified in the sight of the people – and the water still flowed forth! Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace! The Living Water was still flowing freely. As the great hymnwriter, Philip Bliss, so eloquently expressed in his hymn:

Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O brother, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.

Life-giving water was available for the asking. All that was needed for the blessing to flow forth from the rock was for someone to speak to it. If you want God’s blessing and provision in your life, make sure you are standing on the Rock and hidden in Him, then keep speaking to the Rock in daily fellowship. Living Water is flowing forth, and is ours when we speak to the Rock!

“From the Rock, Christ Jesus, come spiritual blessings today. The waters of blessing gush forth to relieve parched lips. Ephesians 1:3 informs us that, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The Rock was smitten once and from it flows an abundance of water. The fountain is brimfull. The stream is bank full. The world is not able to contain it.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

4) Spring Up, O Well

Numbers 21:16-18 And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah:

This is the first song we see the nation of Israel singing during their wilderness wanderings. A song of praise and thanksgiving – appreciation at last for the life-giving water that God had provided for their needs.

The word sing in verse 17 means “properly, to eye or (generally) to heed, i.e. pay attention; by implication, to respond; by extens. to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.” I think now the nation of Israel was learning the lesson that the Lord was longing to teach them: just ask me, and I will freely give you the Living Water!

John 4:10, 14 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… 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.

In this passage in Numbers 21, we see Israel listening to the Lord, and digging the well according to the direction of the lawgiver, Moses. That presents another valuable lesson for us today: in order for the Lord to spring forth His blessings in our lives, we need to be heeding His Word! They followed the direction of the lawgiver – we need to follow and obey God’s Word each day as well.

Notice also, after they dug the well according to God’s Word, they went from the wilderness to Mattanah. Mattanah means “a present; specifically (in a good sense), a sacrificial offering, (in a bad sense) a bribe.” Have you drunk of the Living Water flowing forth from the Rock? Are you thankful for all the blessings the Lord has poured out upon your life, upon your home, upon your church family? Are you presenting yourself to the Lord as a living sacrifice, as a sacrificial gift? Just something to ponder.

Conclusion:

The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was necessary for our salvation – there would have been no Living Water flowing forth from the Rock if it had not been smitten. The Saviour died upon the cross, shed His precious blood for our sins, was buried, and then physically, gloriously arose three days and three nights later. Jesus is alive forevermore, and able to give His Living Water to all who seek Him!

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

Romans 4:24-25 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Isaiah 12:2-3 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Song of Solomon 2:14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Are you hidden in the clefts of the Rock? The Lord is longing to hear your voice. Are you speaking to the Rock? Come boldly unto Jesus today.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (See also 10:22)

For more indepth studies that build upon some of the themes presented in this devotion, see: The Rock Of HorebWithout Blemish In Christ – Part 1 and The Glory Of The New Testament (Covenant) – Part 2.

June 3rd/07
Jerry Bouey

Dear God…
The water from the Rock flows free
We thirst no more, who thrive
Upon Your Word, we long to drink
Without we could not survive!



Day 8 – The Lord’s Eight Provisions

Psalm 121:1-8, [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) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.(3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (4) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (5) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (6) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (7) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (8 )

Although I have done a devotional on this Psalm in the past, the Lord laid it on my heart again this morning. As I read through it, I saw it in a different light. I noticed there were eight promises given to us. God is so Good, isn’t He? Let’s look at the eight promises of Psalm 121.

(1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. God promises that our help comes from Him. The Creator of heaven and earth is able to help us – He’s wanting to help us! I would imagine that my problems are a cinch for the Creator of the universe, wouldn’t you? David knew where to go for his help. He encouraged himself and exhorts us to do the same. Are you running to others to solve your problems? Are you running to your spouse to comfort you? Are you running to your friends so they can help you carry your burdens? The Word says that our help comes from God, who made heaven and earth. I believe David knew who his God was and did not need to state that He was the maker of heaven and earth. I think David was telling us that the Creator of all is the One who will help us. This is not just anyone, my friend. This is the only One who is able to help us perfectly and thoroughly!

(2) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: God is promising us that despite the dangers and trials in our lives, He will not allow us to be moved. The Word has several verses which state that God “will not suffer”:

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Exo 12:23) Surely it’s not a coincidence that this is the first occurrence of “will not suffer” – the fact that Christ’s blood over us preserves us for all eternity.

The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. (Pro 10:3) The born-again believer will never famish spiritually because God has promised to feed us. We have His living Word to eat from. Brother Jerry’s devotional, Fourfold Picture of Water from the Rock yesterday was filled with how God provided for us through the water from the Rock. 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) God is so compassionate that He will never give us more than we can handle.

Our Heavenly Father is the parent who protects His child. He is the Shepherd who watches over His flock and makes sure that we don’t slip or go down the wrong path! Our Father will not allow us to be moved spiritually, my friend. The Word does not say maybe – or might – or probably. The Word says that He shall keep us from falling! When we do fall, it is by choice – not because the Father could not stop us.

(3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Don’t you feel comforted by these words? We have a God who never sleeps. He is ever vigilant and always watching out for us! Nothing gets pass the Lord. God has promised that He will never sleep, therefore you are protected while on His watch! My son is joining the Marine Corps. He has collected so many “Marine” sayings. One of his favorites is: “Sleep well tonight, the Marines are on watch!” While I am comforted and truly appreciate that the United States Marine Corps is protecting my dear country, I am all the more comforted because my God never sleeps and nothing will happen to me on His watch which He has not permitted!

(4) The LORD is thy keeper: Jehovah also promises to be our Keeper, my friend! Like the Shepherd, God keeps us securely and faithfully. The Hebrew word for keeper is:

H8104
שׁמר
shâmar
shaw-mar’
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.

The Lord has placed a hedge of protection around us. He protects us and attends to our needs! Job experienced this hedge of protection from God. See Job 1:10. How can we be afraid of anything that comes our way when we are promised that Jehovah God keeps us?

(5) The LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The temperatures in Northern Virginia have been quite high as of late. I can truly appreciate the need for shade! I absolutely love the way David wrote this verse! His God, Jehovah, provided him with shade during the heat of the day! Spiritually speaking, I believe the Lord is showing us that even at the height of our heated trials and tribulations, He provides us with His protection – His shade. We’ve all been outside on a hot and humid day. How refreshing it was to stand under a tree’s shade, where it was a good 10 degrees cooler! We, too, can find rest, comfort and shade from our trials under the Lord’s right hand. I also noticed that although we are sitting in the shade, the heat of the day is still out there. So it is true for our pilgrim’s walk. The heat of the trial is still there but the Lord provides us shade (comfort and rest) so we can endure the trial.

(6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Do you notice that this is a complete day? God promises to be in everything in the course of our day. There is not any part of the day for which He is not there to protect us. He’s not just there in the afternoons or in the dark of night. Jehovah is there all the time. Matt. 28:20b and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The word “preserve” is used twice here. He preserves us from evil and He preserves our soul. I love the definition that Noah Webster used for the word preserve:

1. To keep or save from injury or destruction; to defend from evil.

God did send me before you to preserve life. Gen 45.

O Lord, preserve me from the violent man. Psa 140.

2. To uphold; to sustain.

O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. Psa 36.

5. To keep or defend from corruption; as, to preserve youth from vice.

The Lord promises to keep us from the evil one but He also promises to keep our souls. Our soul is eternal – God has promises to preserve our soul through eternity! From the moment we are born again, we are promised to be kept by God Himself. Our salvation not only was provided by Him but it rests in His care!

( 8 ) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Here is a blessing within a blessing as far as numbers from the Bible are concerned. My Lord preserves me for all eternity from the moment I am saved. Notice how David pointed out three different times in this verse that Jehovah shall preserve us. The Lord God Almighty shall preserve us as we go out – from the beginning of our Christian walk. He shall preserve us until we come in from our Christian walk – when we die. He also shall preserve us throughout eternity! Three times Jehovah preserves us in this one verse. The number for the Trinity, the total Godhead, will preserve those covered under the number eight – those of the new beginning – the born again believer, for all eternity! I surely do not think it is a coincidence that the God (all three of the Godhead took part in my creation – see Gen. 1:26) who created me is involved in preserving me. He played a part in my earthly creation, my new born-again life and my eternal life. Praise the Lord!

Oh Christian, do you not want to jump for joy when you read these promises – these eight provisions? Our perfect Triune God makes promises He will never break.

Doxology
(Thomas Ken)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Dear God…
I praise You, Three in One
For all You’ve done for me
You are the One I seek
From now through eternity!



Day 9 – The Eight Rocks of Scriptures

While I was on the phone with my dear friend, we were discussing the possibilities of doing a 30-day series on the verses containing the word “rock.” As I searched out this possibility, the Lord impressed upon my heart to search for each time the word “rock” was capitalized – Rock. When the results surfaced, I began to weep tears of joy along with my dear friend. My eyes rested on seven verses containing the word Rock and the seventh verse had two occurrences, totaling eight! There is no greater feeling in the world than that of finding a nugget in God’s Word that will blow your socks off! How perfectly the Eight Rocks of Scriptures fell into this series that Brother Jerry Bouey and I are doing. As I started digging into the eight occurrences, I saw that they all had a common denominator. Let’s dig for these golden nuggets together.

(1) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu 32:4) This Rock’s work is perfect. 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; (Heb 9:11) All this Rock’s ways are judgment. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (Rev 19:11) This Rock is truth and is without sin. 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) 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) Just and right is this Rock. For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. (Psa 33:4) In summary, this Rock is the Word of God – Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (1 Cor 13:10) This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(2) But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. (Deu 32:15) This verse references the Rock of salvation. 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. (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) (Emphasis mine) In summary, this Rock represents salvation. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(3) Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. (Deu 32:18) This Rock is the one that formed us. 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: (Col 1:16) In summary, this Rock is the Creator. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(4) How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? (Deu 32:30) This Rock chastises those He loves. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb 12:6) The born-again believer is now a son/daughter of God. This child now receives chastening so that we can be molded into the image of Christ. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (Joh 1:12) In summary, this Rock chastens us. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(5) For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. (Deu 32:31) There is none other that is like this Rock. 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) Allah cannot qualify. Buddha cannot qualify. Joseph Smith cannot qualify. In summary, there is only one Rock. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(6) The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Sa 23:3) This Rock is God. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7) This Rock speaks to His people. John 10:14-16, I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (14) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (15) 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. (16) In summary, this Rock is the God who speaks to His people, both the Jew and the Gentile. This Rock is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

(7) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor 10:4) The beautiful Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice for all men (the number for man is six) is the Rock of all Rocks. The spiritual Rock referenced here, Jesus Christ, is the seventh time the word “Rock” (capitalized) is mentioned. The seventh (perfect) appearance of the word Rock refers to the perfection of Jesus Christ. There is no other Rock from which we can receive salvation – this is our perfect spiritual drink. Only Christ can give the living water which we need – eternal life. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38) “That Rock was Christ” is the eighth appearance of the word Rock! Only the Rock of our salvation can give us a new beginning – only Jesus Christ can provide perfect and complete salvation for all mankind! None other!

Dear God…
The living waters flow from You
The Rock that is higher than I
You freely gave, my freedom paid
To the Perfect Rock I draw nigh.



Day 10 – Grace to Fret Not

Psalm 37:1-2 (A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

I found myself in a situation recently where some money that was owed me did not come in when I was expecting it – and when I figured I needed it to pay a bill. Because of that, I started complaining and stewing – I started fretting about the money and the person. Then the Holy Spirit pricked my conscience and showed me exactly what I was doing. He brought Psalm 37 to mind, and there I found five commands to do good instead of fretting. Five is typical of God’s grace. Often we think of grace that is necessary for salvation – and forget that grace is so needful for service, for walking with the Lord everyday!

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

The word for teaching means “to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment).” God’s grace trains and disciplines me as His child to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It was certainly ungodly for me to fret. His grace also teaches me to live right – to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Soberly means to be of a “sound mind” – to be thinking right. Righteously means to be doing right – not walking in a manner that would be displeasing to the Lord. Godly means to be like God, Christlike, living in a way that reflects my Saviour living in me.

What we see in Psalm 37:1-11 is a fivefold lesson on how grace teaches us to “fret not,” and reasons for not fretting.

First of all, what does it mean to fret?

Strong’s Concordance gives this definition: “to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy.” Notice also the word range that is given in the King James Bible: “be angry, burn, be displeased, fret self, grieve, be (wax) hot, be incensed, kindle, be wroth.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives these as some of his definitions of this word: “To rub; to wear away a substance by friction… To agitate; to disturb; to make rough… To tease; to irritate; to vex; to make angry… To wear away; to chafe; to gall… To be agitated; to be in violent commotion… To be vexed; to be chafed or irritated; to be angry; to utter peevish expressions… Agitation of mind; commotion of temper; irritation; as, he keeps his mind in a continual fret.” From this word picture, we can clearly see that fretting is not a good thing! It carries the idea of seething or burning within – and brings to my mind the idea of worrying at something, letting it eat at us within, until it wears us out – emotionally, physically, and spiritually!

Proverbs 24:19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

The fear of the Lord teaches us to depart from evil – and it is the grace of God that teaches and enables us to do so.

It is beyond the scope of this present study to cover this, but it is worthwhile to read through Psalms 37 and 73, and see the end of the wicked contrasted with the end of the righteous. I’ve read the end of the Book and know how it all works out – our temporary troubles that we experience because of the wicked will all eventually be righted.

Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Those who know the Lord will be rewarded and delivered, and the wicked who refuse to repent and trust the Saviour will be judged for their wickedness. With our eyes on eternity, God will give us the grace to fret not!

1) Trust In The Lord, And Do Good.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

To fret and be envious of the wicked is evil – yet God commands us to counter that with trusting in the Lord – ie. leaving the wicked in His hands, for Him to take care of in His time – and doing good.

The word for trust here means “properly, to hie for refuge; figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure.” To run to for refuge. When we are tempted to fret, we need to find a refuge for our hearts and minds – we need to have God’s peace within, regardless of what those around us are doing. We need to have that inward assurance and faith-based confidence that the Lord is still in control, and what He has allowed in our lives – even if caused by those same wicked people we are fretting about – He will use and even turn around for our good.

Then we are commanded to do good. Being filled with anger and letting that control our actions is wrong (see Ephesians 4:26) – instead we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and let His Word control our actions. We need to dig deeper into the Word of God, find promises that fit our situations, claim them and persevere in well doing, so that we will reap a harvest of righteousness, not wickedness in due time. True trust will result in putting feet to that faith – ie. trust and do.

Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

When we trust in the Lord and do good, this is God’s promise to us: so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

The word for fed here means “to tend a flock; i.e. pasture it; intransitively, to graze (literally or figuratively).” This is the same word that is translated as shepherd in the Old Testament (for example, Psalm 23:1). As Sister Kate has already covered in her devotional on The Nine Cares Of A Shepherd, it is the caring job of a shepherd (whether the Lord Himself or a faithful pastor) to feed his flock, as the following passages bear out:

John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Feed means “to tend as a shepherd of (figuratively, superviser).” Not only does the Lord physically feed us, He spiritually feeds our souls. We could never live by bread alone – and our Heavenly Father knows that, so He provides for us spiritually as well – through the indwelling Spirit of God, and through His precious Word.

We don’t have to be like Elimelech and his family in the book of Ruth, that ran away foolishly to “greener pasture” when famine came to Bethlehem. The Lord will meet our needs even in the time of famine – if we keep our eyes upon Him. (See Psalm 37:19) We are the sheep of His pasture, and the Lord Jesus Christ promises to meet all our daily needs as we walk in right fellowship with Him. Fret not!

2) Delight Thyself In The Lord.

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

The word for desires here means “a request; petition.” When the Lord is truly our delight – when our affections are set on Him and on sincerely doing His will, then He will give us the desires He Himself has placed in our hearts. We don’t need to fret when we know that all that concerns us has been placed in the loving hands of our Heavenly Father – and He will take care of that concern according to His perfect will.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Albert Barnes stated this in his commentary: “What you really “desire” will be granted to you. That is, (a) the fact that you seek your happiness in him will regulate your desires, so that you will be ‘disposed’ to ask only those things which it will be proper for him to grant; and (b) the fact that you do find your happiness in him will be a reason why he will grant your desires.”

Psalms 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

The Holy Spirit puts godly desires within our hearts, helps us pray about those desires – and then fufills them because they are according to the will of God:

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

We can have God’s peace within our hearts and minds when we know that we have poured out our hearts before Him, and by faith have that assurance that He will grant our requests and our godly desires:

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

“A pleasant duty is here rewarded with another pleasure. Men who delight in God desire or ask for nothing but what will please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche. Their will is subdued to God’s will, and now they may have what they will. Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; there are many things which nature might desire which grace would never permit us to ask for; these deep, prayerful, asking desires are those to which the promise is made.” (Charles Spurgeon, Treasury Of David)

Matthew Henry proposes this question: “What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.”

Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

We do not need to fret or be envious of the wicked when they are prospering in their wickedness, because when we are in the center of God’s will and seeking Him, our desires are met in Him and by Him. Fret not!

3) Commit Thy Way Unto The Lord.

Psalms 37:5-6 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

The word for commit means “to roll (literally or figuratively).” That is very picturesque. We are to cast our burdens upon the Lord, and roll our way unto Him. The word way means “a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action.” When taken together, this verse is stating we are to give the Lord our whole life, our whole future, and trust Him with it. When we do so, when we leave our plans and goals and dreams firmly in His hands, then we see Him working them out according to His will.

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

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Charles Spurgeon makes this comment, “Roll the whole burden of life upon the Lord. Leave with Jehovah not thy present fretfulness merely, but all thy cares; in fact, submit the whole tenor of thy way to him. Cast away anxiety, resign thy will, submit thy judgment, leave all with the God of all. What a medicine is this for expelling envy!”

Verse six tells us that when we place our lives in the Saviour’s hands, when we are accused wrongly, slandered, or persecuted for doing what is right in His sight, then He Himself will vindicate us – in His timing, He will make manifest to all the truth. There is no need to fret. We only need to persevere in well doing, and trust the Lord to bring forth our judgment as the noon day. It will happen, because God is faithful!

From Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible: “That is, if you are slandered; if your character is assailed, and seems for the thee to be under a cloud; if reproach comes upon you from the devices of wicked people in such a way that you cannot meet it – then, if you will commit the case to God, he will protect your character, and will cause the clouds to disperse, and all to be as clear in reference to your character and the motives of your conduct as the sun without a cloud.”

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Matthew 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Whether in this life or in the life to come, the truth will be made manifest to all; therefore, fret not!

4) Rest In The Lord, And Wait Patiently For Him.

Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Quit striving and fretting, stop being agitated and unsettled in your mind, stop fighting against the Lord and trying to take back the reigns of your own life! Rest in the Lord. Come before Him and just rest in His presence. Be still and know that He is God, and that He is the one in control of your life – not the wicked person that you are fretting about.

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

As David has already taught us: trust in the Lord and do good, delight yourself in the Lord, commit your way unto Him, rest in Him, and wait for Him to work out your situation according to His perfect will and timing. Leave it all in His hands. Like Ruth, wait for the Lord to perfect that which concerneth you (see Psalm 138:8):

Ruth 3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Like the people in King Hezekiah’s day, rest upon the Word of your King, rest upon His promises:

2 Chronicles 32:8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

James 5:7-9 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. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Be longsuffering with the wicked, set your eyes steadfastly on the Lord, don’t murmur against one another – the Lord Jesus Christ is coming, and He will right all wrongs when He returns. Fret not!

5) Cease From Anger, And Forsake Wrath.

Psalms 37:8-11 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

To cease means “to slacken,” and to forsake means “to loosen, i.e. relinquish.” The command the Holy Spirit gives us here is to let go of our anger, let go of our fuming and mental agitation – to turn away from our fretting, and to put it out of our hearts and lives. We can become angry at the sin of the wicked, become angry at their mistreatment of us – but these words in this passage show a spirit that is no longer in control: the word for anger means “to breathe hard, i.e. be enraged” (ie. passionate anger) and the word for wrath means “hot displeasure, furious, heated anger.” Together they indicate being out of control emotionally, losing our temperance and sinning towards the wicked ourselves! This is something we are not to do!

Ephesians 4:26-27 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.

It is interesting that David states the meek shall inherit the earth. This is not just a Psalm for the nation of Israel – in fact, Jesus refers to this verse in His sermon on the mount:

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Meek means “mild, i.e. (by implication) humble; gentle.”

The solution to turn from our fretting and receive God’s grace to overcome this sin in our lives is to humble ourselves (ie. be meek) before Him, and to wait upon the Lord. Vengeance is His after all – and He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the best way to deal with each situation and each sinner in light of eternity.

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

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5-6 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

What does it mean to inherit the earth? While our inheritance in Christ is a rich subject indeed, I leave you the following passages to consider:

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

In light of God’s fivefold commands: His grace to enable us to trust in Him and do good, His promise to give us our hearts’ desires when we delight ourselves in Him, His faithfulness to bring to pass our way when it is committed to Him, the commands to rest in Him and wait upon Him, and His admonition to forsake our anger and wrath, is it any wonder we are exhorted to fret not?

To God thy way commending, Trust him whose arm of might,
The heavenly circles bending, Guides every star aright:
The winds, and clouds, and lightning, By his sure hand are led;
And he will, dark shades brightening, Show thee what path to tread.

Although to make God falter, The powers of hell combine,
One jot they cannot alter Of his all wise design:
All projects and volition Of his eternal mind,
Despite all opposition, Their due fulfilment find.

No more, then, droop and languish, Thou sorrow stricken soul;
Even from the depths of anguish, Whose billows over thee roll,
Thy Father’s hand shall draw thee: In hope and patience stay,
And joy will soon shed o’er thee An ever brightening ray.

All faithless murmurs leaving, Bid them a last good night,
No more thy vexed soul grieving, Because things seem not right;
Wisely his sceptre wielding, God sits in regal state,
No power to mortals yielding, Events to regulate.

Trust with a faith untiring In thine Omniscient King,
And thou shalt see admiring What he to light will bring.
Of all thy griefs, the reason Shall at the last appear:
Why now denied a season, Will shine in letters clear.

Then raise thine eyes to heaven, Thou who canst trust his frown;
Thence shall thy meed be given, The chaplet and the crown:
Thy God the palm victorious In thy right hand shall plant,
Whilst thou, in accents glorious, Melodious hymns shall chant.

(Poem by Paul Gerhard, quoted in Spurgeon’s Treasury Of David)

June 7th/07
(Preached June 6th/07)
Jerry Bouey



Day 11 – Paul’s Final Exhortation to Timothy – Part One

The Preacher And His Preaching

2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives this as one of its definitions of charge, “To lay on, give or communicate, as an order, command or earnest request; to enjoin; to exhort.” In the Scriptures, we see various charges given to others.

To Joshua: Deuteronomy 3:28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.

To Solomon: 1 Kings 2:1-4 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

To the Levites, the priests, and the chief of the fathers of Israel: 2 Chronicles 19:8-9 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.

To Joshua, the High Priest (who here pictures the believer’s standing before the Lord): Zechariah 3:6-7 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

To the Thessalonian believers: 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

What is often overlooked is the reason behind the charge given to Timothy (and all preachers!) in 2 Timothy 4:1. I charge thee therefore… Whenever we see a therefore, we should always ask what it is there for! In light of his statements made regarding the Scriptures and their ability to save the lost and to equip the man of God in his service (in 3:15-17 – more on verse 16 later), Paul exhorts and encourages Timothy with a ninefold charge:

1) Preach The Word.

Of primary importance was Timothy’s charge to preach the Word! Not his opinions, not man’s philosophies, not the latest myths, not feel-good sermons or seeker-sensitive massages – but the Word of God itself. THAT is what the Lord will bless and where the preacher will find the power needed for his ministry.

I realize this devotional is geared more toward preachers – called to preach the Word of God – than the other devotionals in this series, but you can make applications of each of these points in your witnessing and in your exhortations to fellow believers. What every preacher – yea, every child of God – needs to stand on is the Word of God alone – not our opinions or traditions or preferences or…

Colossians 1:27-28 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

2 Timothy 1:10-11 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Titus 1:1-3 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Romans 1:16-17 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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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) Be Instant In Season, Out Of Season.

Be prepared to preach the Word of God at the best of times, at the worst of times; when it is easy, and when it is hard; when it is opportune, and when it is not convenient; when the people are open to hearing from the Bible, and when they are closed to what God has to say. The Bible doesn’t say for the man of God to always have a message prepared – but it does teach for the man of God (and the individual believer) to always be prepared.

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:

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The word for beautiful here means “belonging to the right hour or season (timely), i.e. (by implication) flourishing.” When the Word of God is preached to a thirsting soul, when it answers the spiritual needs of each person, it is timely and beautiful!

Proverbs 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

When the man of God – and any child of God – brings the Word of God to those seeking the truth on any given subject, it is a word fitly spoken indeed!

3) Reprove.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives these as part of his definition for reprove: “1. To blame; to censure. 2. To charge with a fault to the face; to chide; to reprehend. 3. To blame for. 4. To convince of a fault, or to make it manifest.”

Reproving is the main ministry of the Holy Spirit to this lost world:

John 16:7-11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Every believer, and especially every preacher, is to also reprove the wickedness around them:

Ephesians 5:11-13 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Notice, this reproof is to be according to the light of God’s Word.

4) Rebuke.

Webster’s list these among his definitions of this word: “1. To chide; to reprove; to reprehend for a fault; to check by reproof. 2. To check or restrain. 3. To chasten; to punish; to afflict for correction. 4. To check; to silence.” The idea here is to correct and stop the wandering into sin, and to put to silence the doubts or murmurings. While there seems to be some overlap in the meanings of reprove and rebuke, both indicate correction, but rebuke seems to also carry the idea of forbidding and restraining what is wrong (ie. taking the correction one step further).

It is interesting to note that to Biblically love our neighbour means we correct him when necessary:

Leviticus 19:17-18 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

5) Exhort With All Longsuffering And Doctrine.

Strong’s Concordance states that exhort means “to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation).” Webster’s gives these definitions: “to encourage, to embolden, to cheer, to advise. The primary sense seems to be to excite or to give strength, spirit or courage. 1. To incite by words or advice; to animate or urge by arguments to a good deed or to any laudable conduct or course of action. 2. To advise; to warn; to caution. 3. To incite or stimulate to exertion.” I believe my primary gift as a believer is exhortation, which the Lord enables me to do through my preaching, witnessing and writing (and like any gifts of the Spirit, I can only use it properly when I am walking in right fellowship with the Lord!). God expects (and equips) His children to call other believers near and encourage them to do what is right, to act upon (apply) God’s Word, to give them boldness in their walks with the Lord, and to strengthen and challenge them to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. (To prophesy means to preach or to witness – ie. to declare the Word of God.)

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

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Hebrews 3:12-13 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine…

Webster’s defines longsuffering as “Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked,” and Strong’s gives forbearance as part of his definition. Forbearance, according to Webster’s, means “The exercise of patience; long suffering; indulgence towards those who injure us; lenity; delay of resentment or punishment.”

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

Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

It is the Word of God that we are to use in our reproving, in our rebuking, in our exhorting – not church history, not a book written by brother so-and-so, not what some “Christian” psychologist has to say, but the Word! It is from the Word of God that we are to glean all of our doctrine – not from the creeds of our denomination, not from the “church fathers”, not from some popular religious leader, but God’s Word alone.

1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Years ago, I wrote this outline of verse 16 in the margin of my Bible:

Doctrine – what is right; reproof – showing what is wrong (or what’s not right); correction – how to make it right; instruction in righteousness – how to keep it right.

The name Timothy means “dear to God,” and Paul’s exhortation to this dear man of God was, “Preach the Word.”

All God’s children are dear to Him. Timothy – Preach the Word!

June 10th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 12 – Seven Reasons God Wrote to Believers

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) Jesus Christ has many names: Alpha and Omega, King of Kings, Saviour, Messiah, etc. My favorite of His names is “the Word.” The very words of God are given through Jesus Christ, the Word! There are seven times (meaning perfection) Jesus is called the Word in the New Testament.

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.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

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.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

I also found it very exciting that the perfect Word would state seven times the phrase “I have written unto you”! None of these verses were written to unbelievers. God had seven specific areas He wanted the Christian to focus on.

(1) To warn us to stay away from certain Christians who continue in specific sinsBut now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Cor 5:11) We are to stay away from anyone who is called a “brother.” Paul used the word “brother” here instead of “unbeliever” like in 2 Cor. 6:14. Apparently, there was an issue with believers continuing in certain sins. The Lord wants us to separate ourselves from those believers who are not living separated lives. The sins specified here are:

fornicators;

covetous (Noah Webster defines it as: “Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess; directed to money or goods, avaricious.”);

idolater (Noah Webster defines it as: “A worshiper of idols; one who pays divine honors to images, statues, or representations of any thing made by hands; one who worships as a deity that which is not God; a pagan”);

railer (Noah Webster defines it as: “One who scoffs, insults, censures or reproaches with opprobrious language.”);

drunkard;

extortioner (Noah Webster defines it as: “The act of extorting; the act or practice of wresting any thing from a person by force, duress, menaces, authority, or by any undue exercise of power; illegal exaction; illegal compulsion to pay money, or to do some other act. Extortion is an offense punishable at common law.”).

We are to separate ourselves from those believers who do not walk in righteousness. Don’t let them contaminate you, my friend. Just because they are members of your church, it does not mean you should fellowship with them. This does not mean you are not to be nice, but it does mean you are not to have close fellowship with them. It is very easy to fall into the same sin. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Gal. 5:9)

(2) To warn us of those who add to salvation and promote false doctrine. Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. (Gal 6:11) Why would Paul throw this verse in the midst of this chapter? Despite his infirmity, Paul was compelled to write. What was so important? I believe the answer can be found in the next two verses: Gal. 6:12-13, As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. (12) For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. (13) Paul was so concerned about false doctrine getting into their church, he had to warn them. Those believers who were not Jewish were being told that they had to be circumcised to be saved. It must have been a common heresy because Paul had to teach this to the Romans as well. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: (Rom 2:28) 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. (Rom 2:29)

(3) To warn us of false teachers. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (2 Pet 3:15) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Pet 3:16) Peter warns us against false doctrine and false teachers – changing the Scriptures and wrestling with what they don’t understand and twisting it into another gospel. There are many false teachers in our world today. All one has to do is turn on the television set and the stations are filled with false doctrine. Are you able to recognize them? Or do you simply take for granted that they are speaking the truth?

(4) To teach us stand firm on the Word of God. 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 Jo 2:14) John writes to us and gave us instructions on how to stand firm as Christians so we can glorify the Lord, Jesus Christ. The Word (Jesus Christ) left us His Word so that we would not be deceived. We have a firm foundation in the Word of God. It is through this Word that we can overcome Satan and his darts in our lives. When the Word of God is firmly planted in our hearts, we cannot be easily deceived.

(5) To teach us to recognize the truth and not believe lies. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 Jo 2:21) God does not want His children to live in darkness but in light. God gave us His Word so that we could recognize a lie when we hear one. His Word is truth so we can rest assured that if we are in the Word, we won’t be deceived. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17) There are believers among us who are deceived by charlatans. These charlatans speak just enough truth but the rest is all lies. How can you recognize lies if you are not in the Word of God? God does not leave us defenseless, my friend. Nothing says it better than: Eph. 6:14-17, Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (14) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (15) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (16) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (17) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Tim 3:16)

(6) To warn us against those who can seduce us away from the truth. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (1 Jo 2:26) A Christian who is in the Word will be able to recognize what is a lie. However, what about lies which are spoken by those who are found in the midst of us? Are we so comfortable with our brothers and sisters in Christ that we could be seduced? Are you so strong in the Word that even a close family member cannot seduce you away from your beliefs? I believe this is where John was going with this statement. I have seen it happen time and time again where a Christian who did not have a definite and solid stand was seduced into contemporary “Christian” music, the tongues movement, etc. What about the desperate Christian with cancer who is looking for a miraculous healing? If that Christian is not solid in the Word, he will be easily drawn into believing someone who tells him that a certain man has the gift of healing. There are some right in our midst who can deceive the spiritually weak in our own churches. Satan is not stupid – he knows exactly who to attack and he will attack those within the church to divide it.

(7) To teach us that we have eternal life and we do not need to worry about losing it. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 Jo 5:13) How many Christians have you known in your lifetime who have questioned his or her salvation? There are so many who doubt. The devil knows if he can get you to doubt your salvation, your testimony will be powerless – you will be ineffective for the cause of Christ. Do your children question whether or not they are in your family whenever they have done wrong? Of course not! They feel secure knowing that they will remain your child whether they are good or bad. How much more your Heavenly Father?

In these seven writings, we see the Lord speaking to us on:

1. Separation from ungodly Christians
2. Adding to salvation
3. False teachers
4. Standing firm in the Word
5. Recognizing truth
6. Those who can seduce us away from truth
7. Our eternal life is secure

Perfection is found in Jesus – Perfection is found in the Word.

How appropriately named is Jesus Christ when He is referred to as “the Word”! It is the Son of God, the Word, who has left us with an instruction manual, the Bible, so we can live Godly Christian lives.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1)

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)

Dear God…
How wonderful is Your Word
Each jot and tittle is pure
So Your child is well equipped
Our foundation strong and sure



Day 13 – Paul’s Final Exhortation to Timothy – Part Two

The Preacher And His Living

It is interesting to note that the Apostle Paul gave the young preacher, Timothy, seven charges for himself and for the people he was pastoring in the two letters addressed specifically to Timothy:

A) 1 Timothy 1:3-4 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

B) 1 Timothy 1:18-19 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

C) 1 Timothy 5:7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

D) 1 Timothy 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

E) 1 Timothy 6:13-14 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

F) 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

G) And the seventh charge, which is actually a ninefold one:

2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The first five points were covered in part one:
1) Preach the word;
2) be instant in season, out of season;
3) reprove,
4) rebuke,
5) exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

6) Watch Thou In All Things.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives these are part of his definitions for watch: “1. To be awake; to be or continue without sleep. 2. To be attentive; to look with attention or steadiness. 3. To look with expectation. 4. To keep guard; to act as sentinel; to look for danger. 5. To be attentive; to be vigilant in preparation for an event or trial, the time of whose arrival is uncertain. 6. To be insidiously attentive.” Way of Life Encyclopedia defines it as “spiritual alertness.” Whether in regards to our Lord’s return or in regards to our own spiritual welfare, the theme of watching is one that is repeated throughout the New Testament.

Pastors are shepherds given the duty to watch over their flocks – to protect them from danger and to prevent them from straying:

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Acts 20:27-31 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Being watchful is a duty for every true believer. It is our lack of spiritual soberness and alertness that gets us into trouble so many times. We need to heed the warnings of Scripture, and prayerfully watch in all things:

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Matthew 26:38-41 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Mark 13:33-37 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke 12:35-40 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

1 Thessalonians 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. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Revelation 3:2-3 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Are you watchful? We need to be!

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

7) Endure Afflictions.

The Greek word for the phrase endure afflictions means “to undergo hardship”, ie. undergo severe labor, trials or sufferings.

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Paul is stating that there will be hard times for the man of God, there will be trials, there will be afflictions and times of suffering that he must endure in his ministry. This Christian life is a battlefield after all! You entered it the moment you got saved.

The true preacher or pastor will stick with what God has entrusted him with, and will not run to greener (ie. more lucrative and less challenging) pastures. He will persevere in and plug away at whatever God has called him to. There are too many hirelings today – running after a buck, wanting to run some “easy” ministry, but then running away at the first sign of real trouble – but not so with the preacher or the pastor that God has put in place.

John 10:11-13 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 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. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

The hireling neither cares for the sheep, nor for the ministry God has called him to. He is like the false professor of salvation, who turns from the truth at the first sign of real trouble:

Mark 4:16-17 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

The preacher after God’s own heart is not like the hireling. He will suffer affliction and patiently endure whatever trials the Lord wills him to undergo in his ministry.

James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Like Abraham, he knows that the Lord will reward his faithfulness and steadfastness – he just needs to persevere in well doing because the harvest will be reaped in due time:

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1 Corinthians 15:58 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.

Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Hebrews 10:32-36 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

The trials are just the stepping stones to greater glory!

1 Peter 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

If you are having a hard time enduring afflictions in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, consider the following passage, and learn from the example of Jesus:

Hebrews 12:1-3 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, 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. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Love compels and constrains (see 2 Corinthians 5:14) true believers to endure hardships for their Saviour and for the sake of the lost they encounter each day:

1 Corinthians 13:7 Charity… Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

8) Do The Work Of An Evangelist.

The word evangelist means “A preacher or publisher of the gospel of Jesus Christ; a messenger of good tidings.” Of course the good tidings we are to proclaim is the message of salvation.

It is interesting to note that though not all Christians are called to fulfill the office of an evangelist, all are called to do the work of an evangelist. Our Saviour has commissioned us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (see The Great Commission). The responsibility to get the message of salvation out to the lost is laid upon every believer. We are all to be ready with the Gospel, taking whatever opportunities come our way.

The word evangelist is used only three times in the New Testament. The first use of this word is found in Acts 21:8 in reference to Philip, one of the seven deacons chosen by the Jerusalem church in Acts 6. By looking at Acts chapter 8, we can note several things about this evangelist:

A) He was busy doing the work that the Lord had already called him to do – verse 5.

B) He went where the Lord told him to go – verses 26-29.

C) He took the opportunity that the Holy Spirit placed in his path – verse 30.

D) He preached Jesus Christ to those he encountered – verse 35.

E) He exhorted this new believer to obey the Lord – verses 36-37.

When you break it down like that, it looks so simple: take the opportunities given to you to get the Gospel out to those you encounter each day; open up the Scriptures and use them in your witnessing to clearly present Christ to the lost; then encourage those who respond to the Gospel and receive Christ to obey the Lord in all things, starting with believer’s baptism (see Matthew 28:18-20). (I realize there is much more to the ministry an evangelist does than what I have brought forth, but I wanted to bring out several applications that all believers can easily apply.)

John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Matthew 9:36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Are you being wise? Jesus said, “Follow Me!”

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

9) Make Full Proof Of Thy Ministry.

To make full proof of means “to carry out fully, entirely accomplish.” Jamieson, Fausset and Brown define it as, “fulfil in all its requirements, leaving nothing undone.” Matthew Poole gives this explanation, “make a full proof unto others of thy faithfulness in thy ministerial office and employment.” Lastly, Matthew Henry provides these comments: “It was a great trust that was reposed in him, and therefore he must answer it, and perform all the parts of his office with diligence and care. Observe, (1.) A minister must expect afflictions in the faithful discharge of his duty. (2.) He must endure them patiently, like a Christian hero. (3.) These must not discourage him in his work, for he must do his work, and fulfil his ministry. (4.) The best way to make full proof of our ministry is to fulfil it, to fill it up in all its parts with proper work.”

Whatever the Lord has called you to do in service to Him, that is what you are to fulfill. Don’t worry about the ministries of others – you must give account for your own! If you are a God-called pastor or preacher, you have a ministry only you can fulfill – fulfill it in the will of God.

As I read this particular phrase, make full proof of thy ministry, what comes to my mind is the necessity of proving (ie. testing and trying) what is God’s will or ministry for each of us, and then fulfilling it so the proof is evident to others that you are called of God to that ministry. Consider the following passages:

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. 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.

Ephesians 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

2 Corinthians 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

2 Corinthians 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

Galatians 6:4-5 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.

1 Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

Timothy had already proven himself to the Apostle Paul, and now he was to serve the Lord in such a manner that his ministering was proof to others as well.

Philippians 2:19-22 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

Are you fulfilling the ministry the Lord has called you to do – whatever that ministry is?

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

A brother in my church recently made this comment in his preaching: “Whatever God calls you to do is the most spiritual work you can do.” We should not be seeking a ministry, we should simply be fulfilling what the Lord has already given us to do! As we walk with Him, He will open the doors He wills in our lives. We each just need to be faithful to what God calls us to do.

Do you think, perhaps, that the Lord has not given you a ministry? We may not all have a position of ministry, but, behold, we have all been given a ministry:

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

God has called each and every one of His children to do the work of an evangelist and to make full proof of our ministries. Are you being used of the Lord to get the Gospel of Christ out to a lost and dying world?

The following two articles were posted online:

Job or Ministry?

A job is one you choose;
A ministry is one Christ chooses for you.

A job depends on your abilities;
A ministry depends on your availability to God.

In a job you expect to receive;
In a ministry you expect to give.

A job done well brings you self esteem;
A ministry done well brings honor to Jesus Christ.

In a job you give something to get something;
In a ministry you return something that has already been given to you.

A job well done has temporal remuneration;
A ministry well done brings eternal rewards.

~Anonymous~

Do you have a JOB or a MINISTRY?
(Quoted from Standing In The Gap)

Check this perspective. Some people have a JOB in the church; others involve themselves in a MINISTRY. What’s the difference?

If you are doing it just because no one else will, it’s a JOB.
If you are doing it to serve the Lord, it’s a MINISTRY.

If you quit because someone criticizes you, it’s a JOB.
If you keep on serving, it’s a MINISTRY.

If you’ll do it only so long as it does not interfere with other activities, it’s a JOB.
If you’re committed to staying with it even when it means letting go of other things, it’s a MINISTRY.

If you quit because no one praises you, or thanks you, it’s a JOB.
If you stay with it even though no one recognizes your efforts, it’s a MINISTRY.

If your concern is success, it’s a JOB.
If your concern is faithfulness, it’s a MINISTRY.

The average church is filled with people doing JOBS.
A great and growing church is filled with people involved in MINISTRY.

Where do you fit in? Where does your church fit in?

If God calls you to a MINISTRY, don’t treat it like a JOB.
If you have a JOB in the church, give it up and find a MINISTRY.

God doesn’t want us feeling stuck with a JOB,
but excited and faithful to Him in MINISTRY.

~Author Unknown~

June 12th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 14 – Five Ways God is With Us

Five times we are promised in the Word of God that He is with us. This number representing God’s grace, shows His children that we have nothing to fear because He is ever right by our side. When I first discovered there were five verses stating that God is with us, I never thought I would walk away the one most blessed. I pray today’s gleaning will shower peace over you, as it did over me.

Let’s look at the five ways God is with us:

(1) When you are afraid. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. (Jer 42:11) We all have our giants in life: whether they be actual people, physical trials, life problems, etc. God loves us so much that He recognizes our emotions. He knows we will have fears and His desire is to comfort us. I can almost see God putting His arm around Jeremiah and saying, “Don’t be afraid, Jeremiah! I’m right here!”

(2) To stir our spirit. Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. (Hag 1:13) Have you ever found yourself dreading a certain task because it seemed overwhelming? This was the case with the people in this chapter. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, (Hag 1:14) God knew they needed to be encouraged so he stirred their spirit. He has done that for me as well. No task is too great that God calls us to do, my friend. With the task, He provides us with the abilities and the tools. God is not cruel and will never call you to do something and leave you empty handed. He knew that we would feel this way so He included a verse to show us that when we are overwhelmed, He is with us and will stir our spirit within us and encourage us as we complete our task.

(3) To encourage us when we don’t quite understand. Hag 2:2-4, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, (2) Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? (3) Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (4) Some of the people had seen the first temple built by Solomon and remembered its glory. However, this temple was not anything in comparison to the first. God assures them that it is not the building that is important but His presence. How many times have you been in a situation in life that you don’t quite understand how God can possibly use it to His glory? I know I have been there many times and will be sure to go through many more. But our compassionate and blessed Heavenly Father loves us so much that He reassures us that He is with us during these times as well. He knows that we will be seeing the circumstances around us and be disheartened. So He encourages us to remember that His presence is ever with us and the circumstances will reveal His glory in end. What a loving God we serve!

(4) To show us that we have nothing to fear when we are doing His work. 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. (Mat 28:20) Oh my, what a blessing! Not only do we have God’s Spirit with us, but He has left us His Word to comfort us. These people did not have the Word in their homes yet, as we do. The comfort and encouragement found within the blessed pages of my Bible cannot compare to what man can provide. Jesus knew that His disciples needed to be assured that He would be with them – not only for a period of time but even until the end of the world! God is not a man that He should lie. He keeps His word.

What a comfort to know that while we are out trying to win lost souls to Christ, that He is right there with us. This means that nothing can happen to us unless He has allowed it. I think of the analogy I heard about how God walks beside us. As a father walked along side his daughter, she stumbled on a rock and fell down an embankment, scraping her legs and arms. He ran to her and picked her up, carried her home, soothed her tears and cleaned her scrapes. Although he was right there beside her, he could not prevent the mishap. However, because he was right there, he was able to pick her up and care for her. It is the same with our precious Heavenly Father, my friend. He is right here with us. He is walking along side of us while we are on this path in life. We, too, will stumble and hurt ourselves during our trials and tribulations. But that does not mean that He was not there. What it does mean is that He is there to pick us up and heal our hurts. We have all heard Christians say, “Why did God do this to me?” God did not do anything. He allows us to go through trials so that we may see Him in action as He works in our lives to heal us and mold us into His image.

(5) To give us a promise that one day we will be able to be where He is. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. (Joh 13:33) Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (Joh 13:36) It’s no coincidence that the fifth verse shows God’s grace – a promise that we will be going to be with Jesus in the place that He has prepared for us! What encouragement that is to the believer!

Emmanuel (also spelled Immanuel), means “God with us.” As I completed the five points, I thought how appropriate that this is one of the names of God. This name for God appears three times the Word:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa 7:14)

And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. (Isa 8:8)

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. (Mat 1:23)

Three Immanuels/Emmanuel (three standing for Trinity) and five verses with “I am with you” (standing for grace)! Our Three-in-One, our Emmanuel, is with us “even unto the end of the world”!

Dear God…
Ever watchful, ever mindful
Always by my side
As you keep me in Your care
Daily grace provide



Day 16 – Paul’s Final Exhortation to Timothy – Part Three

The Preacher And His Graduation

The Apostle Paul was a faithful preacher – he was a preacher that fulfilled this nine-fold charge of preaching the Word of God – and he exhorted Timothy and all other men of God to be likewise faithful to this charge.

1) Preach the Word – nothing else is as powerful and lifechanging!
2) be instant in season, out of season – be ready always!
3) reprove – confront and correct the sinner!
4) rebuke – restrain and check their sin!
5) exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine – be patient as you preach the Word!
6) watch thou in all things – be spiritually alert!
7) endure afflictions – be faithful in the midst of the trials and tests!
8) do the work of an evangelist – keep reaching out to the lost!
9) make full proof of thy ministry – fulfill God’s will for your life!

2 Timothy was written near the very end of Paul’s life, and contains his conclusion (and the Lord’s) of Paul’s walk with his Saviour. Perhaps Paul’s next statements may one day be said of us as well:

2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

His Offering

I am now ready to be offered…

Verse six describes a devoted servant of the Lord who is now ready to depart, and to be with Christ, ready to go home to his Saviour.

I love the way J. Vernon McGee explains this verse:

“’I am now ready to be offered.’ If you had gone into that execution room in Rome, you would have seen a bloody spectacle. Very candidly, it would have been sickening to see him put his head on the chopping block, to watch the big, burly, brutal Roman soldier lift that tremendous blade above his head, then with one fell swoop sever the head from the body and see the head drop into a basket on one side and the body fall limp and trembling on the other side. But Paul says if that’s all you saw, you really didn’t see very much. That happened to be an altar, and his life was being poured out as a libation, a drink offering. Paul used that figure of speech before in his letter to the Philippians, when he was arrested for the first time and thought death was before him. He wrote in Philippians 2:17, ‘Yea, and if I be offered [poured out as a drink offering] upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.’ He wanted his life to be poured out. Now he could say at the end of his life that his life had been poured out like a drink offering.

“What was the drink offering? There were no specific instructions given by God to the Israelites concerning the drink offering. However, it is mentioned again and again in Exodus and Leviticus. The wine was taken and poured over the sacrifice, which, of course, was really hot because it was on a brazen altar with fire underneath it. You know exactly what would happen. The drink offering would go up in steam. It would just evaporate and disappear. That is exactly what Paul is saying here. ‘I have just poured out my life as a drink offering on the sacrifice of Christ. It has been nothing for me but everything for Him.’ Paul’s life would soon disappear, and all that could be seen was Christ. This is one of the most wonderful figures of speech he has used. So many Christians try to be remembered by having their names chiseled in stone or by having a building named in their memory. Paul was not interested in that type of thing. He says, ‘My life is a drink offering poured out; Christ — not Paul — is the One who is to be exalted.’ This is a very rich passage of Scripture.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

The apostle Paul wanted his life to be a sacrifice for the Lord Jesus Christ, an offering poured out in service and worship to the Lord – a life lived in complete dedication to the Lord, so that all who saw him in life or in death would see his Saviour living through him at all times. What a goal to strive for! What an example to emulate, to follow with all our heart!

Dying To Self

Matthew 16:24-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Luke 9:23 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.

John 12:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1 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.

Galatians 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.

Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:11-13 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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.

Following Christ

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Walking In His Steps

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

2 Corinthians 12:18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?

Romans 4:11-12 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Steps in the New Testament means “a track,” ie. following a path already laid out. The word for walk means “(to range in regular line); to march in (military) rank (keep step), i.e. (figuratively) to conform to virtue and piety.” We are to follow the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2; 5:9), the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10), the Lord Jesus Christ, the Pioneer who blazed the trail for us to follow spiritually – and we are to also follow faithful believers inasmuch as they are closely following the Saviour’s example, carefully walking in the Saviour’s steps.

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

Order means “to set up.” Jesus has already set up the path for our lives in His Word – all we have to do is follow.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Are you dying daily? The flesh needs to be mortified – nothing good can come of it.
Are you a living sacrifice – willingly placing yourself on the altar in dedicated service to the Lord?
Are you following the Saviour? Following the example of godly believers?
Following in their steps? Following in Jesus’ steps?
I truly believe the Apostle Paul was doing all these things – he was walking in the footsteps of faith. Are you?

His Departure

The time of my departure is at hand…

For a wonderful commentary on 2 Timothy, see To My Son by Guy King. The following is taken from chapter 15, At The End Of The Road:

“The Departure – the ‘unloosing,’ as the word literally means. This is a most interesting word, and most illuminating.

It may be said to have at least five connotations, each of them throwing a flood-light on death.

(i) It is a prisoner’s word – meaning his ‘release.’ What especial comfort that would bring to Paul, shut up as he is in that foul Roman dungeon: he is about to be let loose. It carries that thought also to us who are imprisoned within this mortal body, and who that day will be set free from all its restrictions and disabilities.

(ii) It is a farmer’s word – and would signify the ‘unyoking’ of an ox, when its long hard day’s work was done. Paul had ploughed a toilsome furrow all through his life’s long day, and now comes rest. A thing that we too shall greatly esteem if our life has been strenuously occupied in God’s service.

(iii) It is a warrior’s word – the encampment has been pitched here, and a fierce battle joined; now that is victoriously over, he strikes his tent, ‘unloosing’ its cords and stakes, and is on the march again to the last great conquest of the campaign. How true of the battle-scarred old veteran who pens the words, and of all who follow in his steps.

(iv) It is a seaman’s word – and would be used for the ‘unmooring’ of a ship that has been tied up to the quayside, and which must now put to sea again. In Paul’s case, and in ours, it is the setting sail upon the ocean of our last voyage, our vessel Homeward Bound.

(v) It is a philosopher’s word – suggesting the ‘unraveling’ of a knotty problem. How many puzzles have agitated our minds, and disturbed our hearts, while we have pondered upon our life here, and its mysteries; ‘but then shall I know even as also I am known,’ as Paul himself said in 1 Corinthians 13:12.

How utterly grand to have all our questions satisfyingly answered. Well now, our ‘departure’ implies all this – and more, much more, besides. It is true, of course, that Death is an intensely solemn thing – that comes out in Paul’s first figure of the ‘outpouring’; but, looked at in this second way, it is an unimaginably glorious thing.”

To use the fourth description found above, Paul’s departure was as a ship leaving the harbour and heading out to sea, sailing home at last! This is expressed so eloquently in the the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Like the Apostle Paul, are you ready to see your Pilot face to face? Can you look back on a life of faithful service since you came to know the Lord, or will there be regrets, tears, fears, when you stand before Jesus Christ at His Judgment Seat? If you are still alive and eagerly awaiting the Saviour’s return, there is still time to repent and do the first works, there is still time to come back to your first love and serve Him again with all your heart. There is still time to make that choice NOW to glorify the Lord in all that you do.

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Philippians 1:21-23 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

You may have heard this illustration before, and it certainly captures Paul’s life of dedicated service to the Lord:

“A Roman coin was once found with the picture of an ox on it; the ox was facing two things – an altar and a plough; and the inscription read: “Ready for either.” The ox had to be ready either for the supreme moment of sacrifice on the altar or the long labor of the plough on the farm.”

Are you ready for either? Ready to serve the Lord or ready to give your life for His cause? Paul was ready for either.

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

June 17th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 17 – Eight Ways the Lord Gets Personal

Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. (Psa 77:14)

Being saved is having a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. To many, this is not understandable – they are merely words. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. So much so, He has written all about it across the pages of His love letters to us in His Word.

I wondered how many times I would find the phrase, “The Lord is my” in the Bible. To my delight, I discovered that it was used eight different ways. How appropriate is that? Eight is the number of “new beginnings” – how wonderful that our new beginning as born-again Christians is reflected in our personal relationship with Christ! My Pastor stated that everlasting life does not begin at the moment we die and leave this physical body. Everlasting life begins at the moment we are born again. We merely exchange our earthly bodies for a heavenly body at the time of death. This new beginning at the time of salvation had new meaning to me as I meditated on what he preached.

As born-again believers, were are adopted into the family of God and now worship a personal God.

(1) God 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.

(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.

(Psa 118:14) The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

There have been so many times in my walk (as I am sure in yours) where I felt as though I could not go on one more minute in my own strength. I felt so weak and discouraged. It is at these times of depression that God ministered to me. It was as if He had sat down beside me and placed His strong arm around me to say He was right there and He would take care of everything. I have relied on the Lord’s strength many times. I think of my dear sick friend who battles daily with her physical trials. She battles depression because of it. This friend needs the strength of her God. It reminds me of: 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)

(2) God is my Rock:

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; (2 Sa 22:2)

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. (Psa 18:2)

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor 10:4)

When we build our spiritual foundation upon the Rock, Jesus Christ, we are able to claim these verses, my friend! When you look at today’s picture, can you imagine this mountain falling apart? I can’t, but I know it is possible. The Lord chose a rock to depict His strength, His stability, His power and might. We can run to this Rock and be protected. There are times when nothing else can do what God can do for us. He knows our frailties, He knows our weaknesses and He pities us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) He wants us to be able to run to Him and hide in Him. He is not like the rocks of earth which may crumble and fall. His strength is permanent and unwavering. My favorite times in the Word have been those where I have desperately needed a miracle and hid myself in His Word. The miracle I received was not the one I wanted but it was the spiritual one I needed from the Rock of Ages.

(3) He is my Shepherd:

[A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psa 23:1)

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14)

In my devotional, The Nine Cares of a Shepherd, the Word taught me just how thoroughly Christ takes care of me. Christ knows His sheep – He knows us by name and each part of us (even down to the number of hairs on our head)! Does this not touch you at the very core of your heart? God, the Creator, knows you by name! Praise His Holy Name! He will guide you, care for you, protect you and love you!

(4) He is my Light:

[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? (Psa 27:1)

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)

When we are saved, God gives us the ability to read and understand His Word. We are no longer stumbling in the dark but we have a new spiritual light within us called the Holy Spirit. He illuminates His Word and reveals to us what He intended for us to learn. Each day the Word is fresh and new. 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. (Heb 4:12) It is here that we will see the light of God. He reveals His will to us within the pages of our Bible. The believer who does not spend time in the Word is walking in spiritual darkness and will stumble. The Lord promises to light our way so that we don’t have to stumble. When we do, it is because of our unfaithfulness, not God’s. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) and But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Pro 4:18) God is light and promises to shed light on our way so we are not in darkness.

(5) He is my Defence:

But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. (Psa 94:22)

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. (Psa 62:6)

Noah Webster defines defence as:

1. To drive from; to thrust back; hence, to deny; to repel a demand, charge, or accusation; to oppose; to resist; the effect of which is to maintain ones own claims.

God stands ready to oppose all our enemies, including ole slew foot himself. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

(6) He is my Portion:

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lam 3:24)

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psa 73:26)

We have just as much of the Holy Spirit at the time we are saved that we are ever going to get. The key is are we yielded to Him? We grow in Christ and become more like Him because of our yieldedness to the work of the Spirit in our lives. He is our portion – our flesh will fail us but the Holy Spirit is our strength to overcome trial and temptation. He is always with us. Once we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit of God and the Word says that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Co 1:22) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) That’s a promise! What a portion of God we have!

(7)He is my God:

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. (Zec 13:9)

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (Joh 20:28)

Can the unsaved claim this verse? How can they personalize their god in this way? They cannot. How can a statue of Buddha be personalized? I have never heard or read of a muslim saying that Allah was a personal god to him. But our God meets our needs in a very intimate and personal way. He knows our every need. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Mat 6:32)

(8) He is my Helper:

Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. (Psa 86:17)

(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. God is our helper, my friend. Many times I have found myself in a situation that I just can’t fix. I’m going through a trial such as this at the moment. [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. (Psa 46:1) Am I in trouble? No, but my trial is one that I personally cannot fix. There is nothing that I can humanly do which will solve this problem. Can God? Absolutely! I have seen the Lord come to my rescue time and time again. I can rest on my past experiences because He has been faithful in helping me. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Heb 10:23)

I will not waver – I refuse to waver in this area of faith because my God is personal. My personal God is my Strength, my Rock, my Shepherd, my Light, my Defence, my Portion, my God and my Helper! What have I to fear? 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. (Deu 31:6)

Dear God…
You are our Abba, Father
You know our every need
There is not one thing hidden
To You we humbly plead.



Day 18 – Paul’s Final Exhortation to Timothy – Part Four

The Preacher And His Victory

2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

His Fight

The following is quoted from Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory written by John Bunyan. At this point in the story, Christian had just gotten saved and was now in the House of the Interpreter (who represented the Holy Spirit), having various things explained to him. This was the first thing he was shown:

“Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him; so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.

Then said Christian, What means this?

The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he can beget children, 1 Cor. 4:15, travail in birth with children, Gal. 4:19, and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure in the world that comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.”

Being a preacher or a pastor after God’s own heart takes some effort. Being faithful to the Lord means that the believer cannot take the easy road. We cannot swim downstream with the world and then expect to be blessed and rewarded. I love this passage of Scripture because it shows us both the confident expectation that the faithful believer has, and also reveals the battle that is waged in our spiritual lives.

The good news is that we are more than conquerors through the Lord Jesus Christ – He gives us His victory, and it is up to us to claim those promises and walk accordingly. This is just as much true for the preacher or pastor, as well as for any believer, regardless of age or background. Our victory is in the Saviour, and we receive that victory through faith (ie. trust) and obedience to His Word.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

Psalms 18:32-35 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Habakkuk 3:19 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.

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Our victory is in Jesus.

I have fought a good fight…

Paul fought a good fight – in fact, he fought the best fight, the only worthwhile fight in light of eternity: the fight of faith. He earnestly contended for the faith. He preached it, and he lived it! He exhorted Timothy to follow his own example:

1 Timothy 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.

And now he states that he did exactly what he set out to do. “Timothy, remember when I encouraged you to fight the good fight of faith? That’s what I did. Like a boxer or a wrestler, I fought, and I won the battle – with sin and compromise, with spiritual forces of wickedness, with myself. Oh Timothy, follow my example!”

His Course

I have finished my course…

On his first missionary journey, the Apostle Paul made this comment about John the Baptist:

Acts 13:25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

John Gill makes these comments in his Exposition Of The Entire Bible:

“The life of every Christian is a race, and especially of a minister of the Gospel, and which requires strength, courage, agility, patience, and perseverance; this world is the place in which they run; and this is only the running time; in heaven they will sit down on the throne with Christ; the way in which they run, is the way of their duty, the way of God’s commandments; the mark they have in view, which they keep their eye on, and to which they direct their course, is Christ; and glory is the incorruptible crown they run for, and which, when they have finished their course, will be given them by the chief shepherd and righteous judge.”

Adam Clarke adds this:

As John fulfilled his course… It signifies properly his ministry, or life. A man’s work, employment, function, etc., is his race, course, or way of life. John had a ministry from God; and he discharged the duties of it with zeal and diligence; bore the fatigues of it with patience and resignation; and was gloriously successful in it, because the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Years later, Paul made this statement about himself:

Acts 20:22-25 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Paul knew that if he persisted in going to Jerusalem, that journey would involve greater hardship and imprisonment, permanent separation from some of his fellow labourers in ministry. At this point in time, I do not think that Paul yet knew that this trip would result in his being taken captive to Rome in chains, brought before Nero, the Roman Emperor, and then just a few more years after that ending in his death. Perhaps he had some fears, perhaps some temptations to take an easier route – but the Apostle was headstrong and determined, and would not be moved from his set plans. Whether he faced life or death, whatever the future held for him, he was determined to finish the race the Lord had laid out for him and to be faithful in the ministry he had been given.

Now at the end of his earthly life, he could victoriously proclaim that he had finished his course! He ran the race of faith, and won the race against himself:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The following is from my study on the Patriarch Jacob, Wrestling Until The Day Break:

“Paul says the believer is to strive for the mastery and be temperate (self-controlled) in all things. The word for striveth is agonizomai (from which we get our word agonize) and means ‘to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something).’

The word strive is also used in the following verse:

2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Here the word used is athleo (where we get athlete from), and means ‘(a contest in the public lists); to contend in the competitive games.’ To wrestle against the devil, to wrestle with God, and to wrestle against ourselves will involve some effort. It will cost us something – there is no such thing as instant spirituality.”

From the devotional, Running The Race Of The Christian Life:

“As we can see, winning the race will involve some discipline (temperance) on our part, it will involve agony, it will involve us striving against ourselves and our sinful natures, if we hope to win the prize. We are not competing for a corruptible crown of laurel leaves, but for the victor’s crown, one that is eternal and incorruptible. There is a definite aim and discipline involved if we hope to attain the prize…

We cannot win the victor’s crown, unless we are striving according to the rules – and the rules for the Christian life are found in the Word of God. If we hope to be rewarded for our service to the Lord, we need to run according to the plan He has for our lives, according to His will as revealed in His Word.”

So run, that ye may obtain. The word for obtain means “to take eagerly, i.e. seize, possess, etc. (literally or figuratively).” We are to give it our all, strive according to the rules God has laid down, and reach eagerly for the prize that awaits the faithful runner:

Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 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.

The word apprehended in this passage is the same word in Greek as obtain in 1 Corinthians 9:24. Reaching forth means to “to stretch (oneself) forward upon.” Stretching oneself – that takes some effort! Press toward, pursuing, striving after. Just as no Olympic runner can win the prize unless he is striving towards it, unless he gives it his all; we can’t win the prize before us unless we set our sights upon it and eagerly pursue after it.

Paul knew the mark, the goal, he was reaching for! He was striving to fulfill the will of God for his life, to be a faithful steward of all that had been entrusted to him, and looking forward to his Master’s return and hearing his commendation:

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou 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.

I don’t know about you, but being able to enter into the joy of my Lord looks promising to me! It certainly beats looking back over our lives and regretting that we didn’t live for our Saviour, that we didn’t give Him our all!

…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…

Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace – mercy that wipes out our sins, and grace that gives us a new start when we put our eyes firmly back on our Saviour and repent of our waywardness and lukewarmness.

His Faith

I have kept the faith…

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the term the faith as “The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.” There are various places in the New Testament where this term is used as a reference to the body of truth that the true Bible-believing Christian clings to and holds dear. Paul says he kept the faith. In an age when so many are departing from the faith, Paul’s example stands out so clearly!

The word for kept here (and keep in 1 Timothy 6:14) means “to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon).” Paul exhorted the young preacher, Timothy, and all who would later read these letters, to keep the faith, keep God’s Word, keep the commandments He has given to us!

1 Timothy 6:13-16 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The word for keep in the last two passages means “to watch, i.e. be on guard (literally of figuratively); by implication, to preserve, obey, avoid.” Like Timothy, we are to keep the trust the Lord has given to us, we are to hold fast to His Word, we are to guard it in our hearts, we are to avoid anything that would hinder us from doing so – and we are to keep this trust by power of the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Consider these other New Testament references to the faith:

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

His Reward

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Looking back over his life since he turned to the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, the Apostle Paul was satisfied that he had been faithful and that there was a crown of righteousness waiting for him as a reward for his faithful service to the Lord. These rewards weren’t just for the Apostles or for pastors or preachers, but are available for all the children of God, for all that are faithful in their service to the Lord.

The following is adapted from: Smyrna: The Persecuted (Suffering) Church.

“There are five crowns altogether that are given as rewards to the faithful Christian – five being the number for God’s grace. The word for crown in all of the following passages is stephanos, which is the victor’s crown.

1. The Incorruptible Crown – 1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. This crown is promised to those Christians who keep themselves in subjection and are temperate (self-controlled), and do not let the flesh dominate in their spiritual walk.

2. The Crown Of Rejoicing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? This crown will actually be those believers we have had a part in leading to the Lord and will one day spend eternity with in Heaven.

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

No wonder it is called a crown of rejoicing!

3. The Crown Of Righteousness – 2 Timothy 4:8 (quoted above). This crown is the reward for those who faithfully yearn and look for the Lord’s appearing.

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

4. The Crown Of Life – James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. This crown is promised to those who endure temptation or are faithful unto death. The word for life in this passage and Revelation 2:10 means ‘spiritual life.’

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

5. The Crown Of Glory – 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. This crown is the one that is promised to faithful Pastors (elders).”

When I was preaching last week on this passage of 2 Timothy, I realized something: These five crowns picture the grace the Lord gives to us. Not only is salvation all by grace – Jesus Christ paid the complete penalty our sins deserve, and there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, only trust in the Saviour to save us – but these rewards are too. By that I mean, He saves us, He equips us to serve Him, and then He rewards us for doing so! Oh the boundless love of God!

One final point that might be a blessing to you: 1 and 2 Timothy contain so many exhortations to the young preacher, Timothy, to stand strong and be faithful, to follow Paul’s example, to cling to and uphold God’s Word in his ministry – and when we go to this passage at the end of the book of Hebrews, we find he did just that!

Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

It’s possible that Hebrews was written after 2 Timothy, and if so, it is interesting to see that Timothy also endured imprisonment, and was faithful to the Lord as well.

If Paul and Timothy can serve the Lord faithfully, so can we! We have the same indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us, the same Word of God to preach and change lives, the same promises to claim, and the same Saviour to look forward to seeing face to face one day.

Paul fought the good fight, he finished his course, and he kept the faith. Will that be said about you, or I?

June 18th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 19 – I am the Lord that…

I have truly been enjoying this series of the numbers from the Bible. Everything I read now, I am looking for something to glean in this area! I was in Genesis 15 the other day and read “I am the LORD that…” When I did a search for that phrase in my electronic Bible, I discovered seven beautiful verses! I just stand amazed how these blessings have been hidden from me all these years and are coming out through this series! Let’s review the seven things the Lord does.

(1) The Lord that brings us out. (Gen 15:7) And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. The Lord God brings us from of a life without Christ to an eternal inheritance in Heaven. He is the One who brings us out of the world to salvation.

(2) The Lord that heals us. (Exo 15:26) And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. The Lord heals us, not only physically but spiritually. (Isa 53:5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Without Christ’s death on the cross, we would not have salvation.

(3) The Lord that sanctifies us. (Exo 31:13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. The Lord sanctifies us. (Heb 10:10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. God sets us apart from the world. He wants us to be a peculiar people. 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: (1 Pe 2:9) Noah Webster defines peculiar as:

Exclusive property; that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.

We are the Lord’s exclusive property. He has purchased us with His own blood. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:14)

(4) The Lord that brings us out of the world. (Lev 11:45) For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. We cannot change ourselves. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (Joh 15:19) It is the Holy Spirit of God that convicts us and molds us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. God does not leave us helpless once we are saved. 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. (1 Jo 2:27)

(5) The Lord that knows us. (Isa 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; The Creator of all things formed us and knows us intimately. (Col 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: God outlines His qualifications in Is. 44:24. Who better than the Creator of all to take care of us? Is any detail too intricate for Him? Just meditating on the human body and all of its intricacies should answer this. Look at the inner ear! The smallest bone in the human body abides there! The God who created a planet created this tiny bone!

(6) The Lord that chastens. (Eze 7:9) And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth. Noah Webster defines smiteth as:

4. To afflict; to chasten; to punish. Let us not mistake God’s goodness, nor imagine, because he smites us, that we are forsaken by him.

(Heb 12:6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Praise God that we are His child! He will not allow us to continue in sin, my friend. He will chasten us to mold us and form us into His image. If we ignore His chastening and cause harm to His ministry, He will take us home. Ananias and Sapphira are good examples of this.

(7) The Lord that judges. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. (Eze 20:12-13) We should not take lightly what the Lord commands us to do as a nation and as a church. He has not only set us apart and sanctified us but He expects us to follow and obey His Word. Many believers today do not view the God of Heaven as a God of fury and judgment. This side of God is taken lightly. But we cannot forget the history found in the Word. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our country is reaping what it has sown through the years of continuing down the path away from God. God has begun His judgment on our nation. It is evident in the news daily. He is also judging the church. I have often wondered how Christ’s words in Luke 18:8 could come to past. I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luk 18:8) But I can clearly see it happening today. Soul winning has changed dramatically since I was first saved 27 years ago. There are more and more people who have not even heard of Jesus Christ. I never thought I would ever see this for myself.

Perfection provides us with all that we need. God tells us that He is the Lord that:

1. Gives us eternal life
2. Heals us spiritually
3. Sanctifies us
4. Brings us out of the world
5. Made all things so He knows us intimately
6. Chastises
7. Judges our country and the church

God is complete – His provisions are complete – His Word is complete – His judgment is complete.

GOD IS WORKING HIS PURPOSE OUT
Ar­thur C. Ain­ger, 1894.

God is working His purpose out
As year succeeds to year;
God is working His purpose out,
And the time is drawing near;
Nearer and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west,
Where’er man’s foot hath trod,
By the mouth of many messengers
Goes forth the voice of God:
“Give ear to Me, ye continents,
Ye isles, give ear to Me,”
That the earth may be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God’s work,
To prosper and increase
The brotherhood of all mankind,
The reign of the Prince of Peace?
What can we do to hasten the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

March we forth in the strength of God,
With the banner of Christ unfurled,
That the light of the glorious Gospel of truth
May shine throughout the world;
Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin
To set their captives free,
That the earth may be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth
Unless God blesses the deed;
Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide
Till God gives life to the seed;
Yet near and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.



Day 20 – Eight Reasons David Loved the Lord

Psalm 18 was a Psalm that David very likely wrote before he became king. This is the introduction to the Psalm:

Psalms 18:1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,) I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

This Psalm was written to proclaim the deliverances the Lord had given to him through the years. Because of all these deliverances and the Lord’s care of him through every trial and distress, David loved the Lord his God. It is interesting that verse two gives us David’s eightfold reason for loving the Lord.

Psalms 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.

1) The Lord is my Rock.

Jesus is the Rock. A life built upon faith in Him is a life built upon the Rock (rather than sand. He is the sure and stable foundation that will last through all the storms of life, regardless of how fierce and strong they may blow.

One nugget I gleaned this morning was looking up the Hebrew word behind the word rock. It is “cela or sela.” This word is the same as the name of an ancient city in the Bible: Sela, the rock-city of Idumaea, now called Petra. If you have ever seen pictures of this interesting city carved out of the rock walls and cliffs, you would be amazed at its wonder. Taking a look at this ancient city in Edom gives a possible inkling of what David had in mind when using this word in reference to the refuge and safety found in the Lord.

Psalms 18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

Psalms 18:46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

2) The LORD is my fortress.

A stronghold, a place of strength, a place where the enemy cannot enter. Like the previous term, this word also holds some wonder. This Hebrew word for fortress or stronghold is where we get the name Masada from. This was a city built on top of a mountain, that was inaccessible to the enemy. As far as the history of this particular city goes, it is quite sad – however, the picture presented to us in Scripture is a blessing to consider.

Psalms 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

1 Samuel 23:25-29 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them. But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth. And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at Engedi.

3) The LORD is my deliverer.

The one who rescues from all distress, from all enemies, the one who pulls me out of the muck and the mire that I’ve fallen into.

Psalms 18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Psalms 18:48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

Psalms 18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord delivers us because He delights in us! That statement brings tremendous comfort and assurance to the soul!

4) The LORD is my God.

When pondering on this verse a while ago, I was thinking that David was here just naming his Deliverer, ie. He is God, then giving seven specifics about how personal God was to him. But upon further reflection, I think David was stating that God was his God. God was the one with David’s life in His hands, with David’s welfare on His mind, and with David’s care on His heart.

The Lord’s relationship to David (and to us) was an eightfold one, as expressed in this verse. Eight is the number of new beginnings – and if you are saved, all of these eight things are true of you as well – you had a new beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ the moment He became your God, the moment He became your Saviour. With the Lord as your God, with your Heavenly Father in control of all that goes on in your life, there is no need for fear. The word for God here means “the Strong One, the Almighty.”

5) The LORD is my strength, in whom I will trust.

The word for strength here is “properly, a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally, a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge,” from a root meaning “to cramp, i.e. confine.” Seeing both this term and rock used in the same verse presents some contrasts:

Rock (sela) means “to be lofty; a craggy rock, literally or figuratively (a fortress)”; and speaks of the inaccessability of those hidden in it. Whereas this term strength also refers to a rock, but focusses more on the strength of the rock – ie. consider the strength of a mountain. Your enemies cannot move it! If your strength comes from the Lord, and His strength is as the mountains, nothing will move you (or Him); you are secure in Him. The wind and the waves may come – but the Rock holds firm!

Psalms 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Psalms 18:39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

David said it was in the Lord he would trust. Knowing that the Lord is watching out for David and working in his life, protecting him, sheltering him, delivering him, David placed his confidence and reliance on the Lord. We can learn from this great lesson and continue to place our day-to-day affairs into His capable hands. We can trust fully in the Lord!

6) The LORD is my buckler.

The Lord is our shield – He is the one that will protect us spiritually and physically in this life. Too many people try to make their own shields – whether a cushion of wealth or being surrounded by bodyguards or an army – but David said the Lord was to be our shield, our Protector. As long as He is watching out for His children, if we are walking closely to Him and striving to do His will, then we don’t have to fear men or anything else that comes our way.

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.

Psalms 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Like verse 19, this verse is excellent! Truly, it is God’s gentleness in reaching down to us that lifts us up and makes us great. His kindness and tenderness reaches out to His children and exalts them in His sight.

Psalms 18:16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

7) The LORD is the horn of my salvation.

Horns in the Bible represent power. Think of an animal fighting with another animal – the horn is what gives one an advantage and helps it to win. It can be used to defeat the enemy and protect itself. Well, it is God’s power that defeats our enemies and protects us, that keeps us safe until we are home in Heaven with Him.

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Psalms 18:17-18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

8) The LORD is my high tower.

Here is another place of refuge and safety. The benefit of a high tower is that you are placed above the battle and can see the enemy coming before they can get to you. But you are also protected and sheltered within it. David knew the Lord was his high tower, his refuge and safety.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Psalms 61:3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

Psalms 144:1-2 (A Psalm of David.) Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

The Lord wasn’t just a fortress, wasn’t just any high tower or deliverer. He was David’s fortress, David’s high tower, David’s shield and deliverer. Is He yours?

Preached June 21st/07
Written June 22nd/07
Jerry Bouey (Note: linking to these websites on Petra and Masada does not indicate an endorsement of them. They are provided merely to show pictures and give general information about these two ancient cities. Please use your own discernment as to their content.)



Day 21 – Five Peculiar People

Noah Webster defines the word “peculiar” as:

Exclusive property; that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.

Five times the word “peculiar” is found in the Word of God. God’s grace is shown to those who desire to be part of His peculiar people. I wondered just what peculiar meant. It amazes me how definitions in English language has changed over the years. I’ve always known this word to mean:

1 : characteristic of only one person, group, or thing
2 : different from the usual or normal

This is Merriam Webster’s definition. Notice how it lacks in the emphasis which the Word is portraying? Yes, the believer is “characteristic of only one person, group, or thing.” However, when you put it in light of Noah’s definition, our place in the Body of Christ becomes more meaningful, don’t you think? We are the exclusive property of Jesus Christ. He has bought and paid for us with His own blood. “…to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Act 20:28b)

Let’s look at these five wonderful verses. God’s intent for the Jews was to be a peculiar people and it continues to be His intent for the born-again believer. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – He never changes.

(1) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exo 19:5) The born-again believer hears the voice of the Shepherd and is a part of His fold. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (Joh 10:27) Notice that this verse says that He knows them! This peculiar people are considered a treasure to God! We are His treasure, my friend! Does that not excite you? Christ paid dearly for our salvation!

(2) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (Deu 14:2) We are so blessed. We do not have to look for a high priest to offer sacrifices for us. We no longer need a priest because we have direct contact with the Lord, Himself. Our High Priest is Christ Himself. He sits at the right hand of the Father and His sacrifice is all that is needed. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (Heb 8:1) His blood on the altar of sacrifice is all we need to cover our sins. We are a peculiar people which God has chosen for Himself! What a find in God’s Word! The Creator of all the universe has chosen us for Himself! These are shoutin’ words! We cannot be holy on our own. 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) The Father demands punishment for sin because He is holy. But His grace is great and He provided a way for us because He pitied us. There is no way we could get to heaven on our own merits. But praise God that His Son took our sins upon Himself so that the Father sees His Son’s righteousness. We would be doomed to eternity burning in hell otherwise. Thank You, Lord!!

(3) And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; (Deu 26:18) Noah Webster defines “avouched” as:

1. To affirm; to declare or assert with positiveness.

I don’t know about you, my friend, but the very words of our King James Bible come to life like no other. God says that He has declared or asserted with positiveness that we are His people! Can anyone claim the name of Jesus and live like the devil? Many do but they are not truly saved. One cannot be saved and continue to live in known and unconfessed sin. A peculiar person strives to live a separated life because of what has been done for him. This peculiar people obeys God’s Word. They may sin, but they do not desire to continue in sin. There’s a difference there – that’s the key. Those who claim to be saved but yet live a life that has no change, desire to continue in sin. The true born-again believer does sin, but they do not desire to continue in sin. They are remorseful and seek God’s forgiveness. They continually strive toward not sinning but know that when they do, they are forgiven and they work daily at becoming more like Him. True remorse and repentance are the fruit of the born-again believer.

(4) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:14) This peculiar people have been redeemed from ALL iniquity. This includes those sins of the future. Notice that He purifies us unto Himself – He cleans us and purges us from sin as we yield to the Holy Spirit. A yielded Christian becomes zealous of good works. I’ve never met a Christian who was walking close to the Lord and was lazy. Yes, I’ve met people who claimed to walk close to the Lord who were very active but they were using their works to justify their continuing in sin. How many Christians do you know who faithfully serve in their church but do not live a separated life? However, the Christian who is faithful in his walk with the Lord Jesus will be zealous of good works. Walking with the Lord produces a desire to do more for Him.

(5) 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: (1 Pe 2:9) A peculiar people praises their God and shows the world what He has done for them. They are a changed people who have gone from living a life of sin to a people who are walking in the light – testimonies to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Are you living as though you are part of this peculiar generation, friend? We are a chosen generation and a treasure to God. How can one not be excited over being a peculiar Christian? I sure am!

What Raised the Wonderous Thought
George V. Wigram

What raised the wondrous thought,
Or who did it suggest,
That blood-bought saints to glory brought
Should with the Son be blest?

Father, the thought was Thine,
And only Thine could be—
Fruit of the wisdom, love divine,
Peculiar unto Thee.

For, sure, no other mind,
For thoughts so bold, so free,
Greatness or strength, could ever find;
Thine only it could be.

The motives, too, Thine own,
The plan, the counsel, Thine!
Made for Thy Son, bone of His bone,
In glory bright to shine.

O God, with great delight
Thy wondrous thought we see,
Upon His throne, in glory bright
The bride of Christ shall be.

Sealed with the Holy Ghost,
We triumph in that love,
Thy wondrous thought has made our boast
“Glory with Christ above.”



Day 22 – I Am Thine

While I am certain there are other passages that could be found on this theme, here are ten passages I was able to find a few days ago (the last three are closely related).

1) Psalms 119:94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

I have been studying out Psalm 119 last week, and one morning before work the first three words of verse 94 leaped out at me:

I am Thine…

How many times over the years have I read that Psalm and never focussed on those specific words? But reading that verse recently caused that phrase to hit my heart with tremendous force. Often we think of the Lord being ours, of our finding Him when we turn to Him for salvation – but here the emphasis is on us being the Lord’s. Those three words made an impact on me that, Lord willing, I will never forget.

I am Thine… What comfort and assurance!

2) Acts 27:22-25 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

The Apostle Paul faced shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea, but the Lord sent an angel to give him courage in the midst of the danger that confronted him. He made a statement of simple fact, simple faith: God, whose I am, and whom I serve… The God whom I serve is able to protect me, and deliver me. The God whose I am loves me enough to look out for me in the midst of any trials or afflictions I may face.

The encouragement here to us is that, if you are a born again child of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the statement Paul made is also true of you. Just put yourself in his place, and apply these words to yourself: the God, whose I am. You are His!

3) John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jesus’ sheep are those He laid His life down for on Calvary, and who have trusted Him alone for salvation. They are His! He knows each one of them personally!

We love to quote Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. But how much do we meditate on the fact that we are His sheep?

4) 2 Timothy 2:19 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.

The Lord knows all about us – everything about us – and still calls us His! That is one of the best exhortation we could find to live right. We are children of the King of Kings, so let’s live like it. We are Christians, so let’s live like ambassadors/representatives of Christ. The world cannot “see” our Lord (ie. physically), but it can see us – let’s live in such a manner that they can see our Saviour through us!

1 John 4:10-12 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.

It is interesting how verse 12 above starts with the same phrase as John 1:18:

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

No man hath seen God at any time… Just as no one can see what the Father is like until they see Him manifested through Jesus Christ; even so, no one can see what our Heavenly Father is like until they see Him reflected through us, until they see Christ living in us (see Galatians 2:20).

5) Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Thou art Mine…

God has called you by your name, and you are His! He will never leave you, nor forsake you – regardless of what trials may await you in the future. He is always there for you, looking out for His own. As Sis Kate has stated recently, we are His peculiar people – a people for His own possession. We are His!

Whenever I read the passage above and think about its promise for the future (ie. when thou passest through the waters… when thou walkest through the fire), I am always reminded of this verse from the Psalms that give us the same promise from a past perspective:

Psalms 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

God was faithful and kept His promises! He was always with His people through the trials – He stood by His own!

6) Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

The word portion indicates “an allotment, an inheritance.” We are what the Lord has set apart for Himself, for His enjoyment, for His inheritance. We are what He looks forward to and takes enjoyment in!

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

7) Malachi 3:16-17 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

This is an amazing promise – the Lord will remember and reward true believers when they fellowship together and meditate on Him! He will write it down for a memorial when we fear (ie. reverence) Him and speak to one another about Him, about His name, and what He has done in our lives. Then He states, they shall be Mine! He claims those who claim Him as their Lord and Saviour, and considers them as valuable jewels worth keeping and sparing from harm. Our Lord will delight in and rejoice over us, because we are His!

Isaiah 62:3-5 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

8) Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

This is the first of three similar references in the Song of Solomon. Like most new believers, the Shulamite (picturing believers and their walk with the Lord) rejoices in the fact that she has found the Lord (though, of course, it was the Lord looking for us first), and that Jesus is hers. My Beloved is mine – I have a firm grasp on Him… And I am His too – almost as an afterthought.

9) Song of Solomon 6:3 I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Now she is maturing more, having walked with her Saviour a little longer, and she realizes that she is His first and foremost. She is still boasting about her hold upon Him, but that is nowhere near as important as His hold upon her.

10) Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Now see the difference in focus: she is no longer boasting about her claim on her Saviour, but rather in His claim on her! If she is anything like me (and she certainly pictures me in all other areas), she understands that she has failed and faltered so many times, and that her hold on the Lord is weak and fragile at times. But His hold on her never falters, never loosens, is never in danger of letting go! The fact that we are our Beloved’s is the primary focus – it doesn’t matter how weak and frail we may become at times, nothing can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:35, 37-39), nothing can pluck us out of His hand (see John 10:27-29), nothing can prevent our Saviour from keeping us by His power (see 1 Peter 1:5).

Lastly, notice how she focusses on His desire toward her. The word desire here means “in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing.” It also comes from a root word meaning “to run after.” As a young believer, she rejoiced in her desire towards her, now she just takes comfort and assurance in the knowledge that Jesus is the one delighting in her, that He is the one running after her for fellowship.

Song of Solomon 2:14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Psalms 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

I am my Beloved’s…

I am His…

I am Thine…

I Am Thine, O Lord
(Words: by Fanny Crosby; Music: W. Howard Doane)

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Chorus:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Preached on June 22nd/07
Written June 26th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 23 – The Seven Comforters

It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit of God would be depicted as a dove. It’s a wonderful picture – gentle in descent – cooing. God’s Spirit gently comes on us – He is not forceful, but “lights” on us. His “cooing” is not a blaring noise or a scream – but a gentle coo – a still small voice, which works in our hearts to woo us to Christ. Thoughts like these bring great comfort to me. They still my troubled spirit and create in me a calmness. We can be in the midst of the most tumultuous storm in our lives but the Spirit brings us comfort, reminding us that God is in control of even the worst of storms. God is not the author of confusion – He does not have to resort to such measures to get our attention. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14:33) Instead, He has left us with the Holy Spirit to draw us to Him. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. (Jam 4:8a)

The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. Oh joy! God’s Word doesn’t coincidentally portray Him as such. God meant to show us that although He is a Judge, He is also our Saviour and our Comforter! As I searched for the word comforter, I discovered that it was conveniently used seven times in the King James Bible! The joys that come from God’s Word when we but only search through it. How blessed we are!

(1) So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. (Ecc 4:1) Solomon, the wisest except for Christ, said that he observed all those who were oppressed and they had no comforter. We are no longer over powered by the devil and sin. We are no longer over burdened with the load of sin. We have freedom through Christ Jesus! We have the Comforter, given to us at the time of salvation and we are, therefore, sealed unto the day of redemption! And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) The first mention of the word comforter is applied to mankind being separated from God. There is no comfort outside of God, my friend. Only He can provide a comfort which is lasting – nothing else can bring this kind of comfort to the soul. The Hebrew word for comforter here is:

H5162
נחם
nâcham
naw-kham’
A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): – comfort (self), ease [one’s self], repent (-er, -ing, self).

It is not a coincidence that these definitions describe the Holy Spirit’s ministry. I also thought of the verse where Christ breathed upon His disciples so they could receive the Holy Spirit. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (Joh 20:22) Jesus said and did this right after He told them “Peace be unto you” in the previous verse. The Holy Spirit definitely brings peace to the believer – what a Comforter He is!

(2) Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. (Lam 1:9) The unsaved do not have this wonderful Comforter as we do. The enemy reigns in their lives and sin rules their bodies. Jeremiah weeped because Zion had defiled the things of God. They did not have the Comforter convicting them of sin as we have Him today.

This is the second appearance of the word comforter. The number two, symbolizing “witness or separation,” is evidenced in why the Comforter was not with Zion. They had defiled the things of God – they were no longer separated and a peculiar people unto God! The heathen could not see anything different about God’s people.

(3) For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. (Lam 1:16) Our Blessed Comforter relieves our soul from eternal damnation – from an eternity of burning in hell’s fire – from eternal separation from the Saviour! Praise the Lord for the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit who woos us to Christ and brings us to the saving power of the Cross! There is salvation only through God. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that we find this beautiful Triune God in (1 Jo 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, draws us to Him and brings to memory what His Word teaches (John 15:26).

(4) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16) I lost my father in 1993 and I grieved so deeply for him. How I missed his presence and his teasing! When my mother passed away, I felt like an orphan, even though I was almost 50 years old at the time. It is not so with our Heavenly Father! He has left us His Spirit, our Comforter, who promises to abide with us forever! Jesus Himself promised us this! What a glorious promise it is indeed! I am not an orphan at all! I was born into God’s family on April 1st, 1980, and His Comforter was given to me to be with me forever! Oh Glory!! This is the I fourth mention of the Comforter. The number four symbolizes “earth, creation, and world.” Despite the fact that earth shall pass away, our Comforter is with us forever. He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5b) … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

(5) 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) This same Comforter is not only with us forever, but He also is our Teacher! He wrote the Word of God. 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. (2 Pe 1:21) Who better to interpret the Word to us than the One Who wrote it? We don’t need someone to interpret God’s Word for us. If we are diligently seeking the Lord’s will in our lives through His Word, He will show us what He desires for us. I did not go to church for three months after I was first saved. During those three months, I was very studious and read my Bible at least three hours a day and soaked it in like a sponge. When I heard my first message preached three months later, everything that the preacher said had been taught to me by the Comforter Himself! I definitely was comforted and elated at that very moment. I knew that God had taught me during my readings and He was the one that had taken care of me spiritually so I would not be drawn to false doctrine! What a blessing this was to me! This was my first experience knowing that I was His child and He would care for me!

This fifth (five symbolizing grace, cross, atonement, life) appearance of the Comforter shows us that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind and teach us from His Word all that we need to know regarding Christ and how to live the Christian life. Coincidence? I doubt it! Can this beautiful pattern of God’s numbering be duplicated in any other version than the King James? Nope! Just for the fun of it, I looked up the word in a few other versions and some had more and some had less. God means for us to be blessed by His Words. He means for us to find golden nuggets within the pages of our Kings James Bible, my friend. All we need to do is search them out. Bless His Holy Name!

(6) 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) Our Comforter is also the One who will reveal Christ to us. He woos us to Christ, He pricks our heart and convicts us of our sin so we see the need of Christ, then He molds us to be like Christ. As He teaches us the truths from the Word, He testifies of Christ and glorifies Him through our yielded lives. What a beautiful portrait! This is the sixth appearance of the word Comforter – six symbolizes man. Man cannot gain entrance to Heaven without Christ. Man is lost and on his way to hell without Christ. How wonderful that God would place the sixth appearance of the Comforter in this light – showing man his need of salvation through the work of the Comforter!

(7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (Joh 16:7) Our Saviour did not leave us empty handed upon His departure. He left us in good hands. He left us His Spirit to dwell within us. This Comforter was sent to us by the Good Shepherd who knew exactly what we needed to complete our mission here on earth! Bless God! Glory to the Highest! Our comfort is complete because of the work of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter! God’s perfect love for us is shown by leaving His Spirit with us! Perfection, again, in the Trinity is shown here by the seventh use of this blessed word comforter!

Brother Jerry Bouey added these insights – what a blessing!

“First of all, we have the promise of the Comforter. The word ‘Comforter’ is interesting. It is used to translate a Greek word, Parakletos, which is a compound word meaning, one who comes to the side of another, that is a helper in time of need. In the First Epistle of John (chap. 2:1) we have ‘Advocate,’ which is exactly the same word in the original.

There is a sweetness and preciousness about that word ‘Comforter’ that appeals to the heart. After all, we cannot use any other word in our language that would so adequately represent the Greek word, for the Paraklete is in very truth the Comforter. Our English word ‘Comforter’ is also a compound. ‘Comforter’ comes from two Latin words – con, and fortis, the one meaning ‘to be in company with,’ and the other ‘to strengthen,’ so that actually the Comforter is one who strengthens by companionship. That is one of the great ministries of the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete is one who comes to your side to help, to give aid, and so the word is properly used. An attorney-at-law, or an advocate, is one who comes to help you in your legal difficulties, and the Holy Spirit is all this. He has come from heaven, as promised by our blessed Lord, to assist us in every crisis, in every time of difficulty that may arise in our Christian lives – He strengthens by His companionship.” (Quoted from Addresses On The Gospel Of John by H.A. Ironside, pages 622-623)

Jerry’s added comment:

A trace of the root words behind Parakletos gives us this definition: “One who is called alongside.” With these two definitions (ie. Ironside’s and Strong’s) taken together, we arrive at the conclusion that the Comforter is “one who comes alongside to strengthen” – in this case, strengthening from the inside. That is a wonderful picture. A believer can come alongside and strengthen someone else with their words of comfort, but the Holy Spirit does His special work of comfort from the inside, using the Word of God as His means of comforting.

This series has truly proven to be quite a blessing! Never did I imagine that we could glean so many “groupings and numbers” in God’s Word! The joy that I have received is more than I can contain!

The Comforter

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I realized I was doomed, pretty hopeless I’ll say.
But The Comforter entered and brought me such peace.
I knew I was different, that burden released.

Those tears just kept coming, His Love could it be?
How precious and sacred that time was to me!
He washed me and saved me from sin and despair.
I was heading for hell, it seemed no one cared.

But my Heavenly Father loved a wretch such as me.
That He sent His Dear Son to shed blood on a tree.
He took upon Him all my sin and my shame.
That some day with Him I would be able to reign.

Praise my Wonderful Lord from Whom all Blessings Flow.
How wonderful these words, how they bless my soul.
How wondrous for me is this Act of Great Love.
Provided by my Father from Heaven Above!

Thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Kate Plourde



Day 24 – Is Your Name Written Down?

Have you ever read a biography of someone that made an impact on their generation? I’m sure it was neat to see their name written down for all to see, neat to learn about the differences they made. It is especially edifying to read about Christians who made a difference in the lives of those around them because they did something for the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom – they touched lives for the Saviour’s sake.

In Matthew 26:6-13, we have the story of a woman who, grateful for forgiveness and the gift of salvation, sacrificed what could very well have been her most valued possession to honour her Saviour.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Jesus honoured that woman for her faith. And His statement is very true – every time you read the Gospels, you read the account of her sacrifice. I believe John 12:1-8 is an account of the same event. Both of these accounts mention this event that occurred in Bethany just before Jesus’ final Passover. The book of John gives us this woman’s name: Mary of Bethany (Lazarus’ and Martha’s sister). John 11:2 It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Mary’s name was written down in the eternal Word of God; her name is preserved forever as a memorial to her and an encouragement for others.

In Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18, we have the mention of a book called the book of Jasher, which means upright. Some historians wrote down the names and accounts of some of Israel’s leaders. These books were not inspired of God, and therefore the record of them has been lost over time, but it was important to honour these leaders in future generations, and to remind others of what these godly men did. The names of Joshua, Saul, Jonathan, and others, were written down for all at that time to read or learn about. Later, we have record of the names of David’s mighty and valiant men. (See 1 Chronicles 11-12) Their names are written down for the service they have done for their king. Are our names written down for the service we do for our King?

In the books of Kings and Chronicles, we have mention of several books that recorded the acts, faith, and wisdom of other godly kings, and we have accounts of some less than godly kings! (I wouldn’t want to be remembered for the evil I do!) 1 Kings 11:41 says, And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? This phrase is one we see over and over in these books: And the rest of the acts of …, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

I love the passage in Malachi 3:16-17 that says Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. When true Christians gather together and fellowship with one another about their Lord and Saviour, He remembers and writes their names down in a special book of remembrance, as those that have honoured Him. Jesus Christ places great value on our sweet meditations of Him. May all our meditations be pleasing to the Lord! Psalm 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.

In the book of Hebrews (chapter 11), we have the names of many Old Testament saints who honoured the Lord through their acts of faith. We are able to see how these believers lived by faith, and how some even died in faith. Their names were written down in the inspired Word of God, to honour them and exhort others to be likewise faithful. The Lord remembers those who are His!

I believe that the canon of Scripture was closed at the end of the first century, when the Apostle John penned the last line of the book of Revelation. For the sake of this illustration, if the Lord was still writing Scripture, would your name be written down? Hebrews 10:38 says Now the just shall live by faith… Are you living by faith? Are you serving by faith? Are you seeking Him (in prayer) by faith? Would the Lord have something good to say about the way you lived your life in His name? Or would He be sadly disappointed with you as He will be with many at His return? Luke 18:8 …Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?

But more important than having your name written down in a book of remembrance: Is your name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life? This book is the record of all the names of those that have placed personal faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His death on the cross for their sins. Philippians 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.

There are seven references to the Lamb’s Book of Life in the book of Revelation (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19).

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. This is a promise to believers in the Church Age, that if they overcome through personal faith in Jesus Christ, their names will be written forever in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (See 1 John 5:4-5) This verse teaches eternal security for believers when we consider that it is not a threat, but a promise to keep their names in this book. In the dark ages, the Catholic Church excommunicated true Bible believers and threatened them with removing their names from their church rolls. Because they taught that salvation was found only through “The Church” (meaning the Catholic Church), when someone left the Catholic church (voluntarily or involuntarily), they were threatened with the proclaimed loss of their salvation. But we see here that whether or not someone’s name is written on a church roll, whether their name is written down in Heaven is what is most important! Luke 10:20 …Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Even if the whole world rejects us as believers, we just need to believe 2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. Our Heavenly Father will never forget who His children are!

In Revelation 17:8, the Bible teaches that true believers’ names were written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation of the world! Jesus Christ knew before He ever created the world who would respond to His precious gift of eternal salvation.

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

At the end of the Millenium, when all the unsaved are judged at the Great White Throne Judgement, the basis of judgement will be whether someone’s name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life or not. As it turns out, no unsaved person’s name will be written down there. There might be a blank space where their name could have been. Then they will be judged for all the evil acts, words, and thoughts that they have ever committed. All these evil works will be written down in God’s books.

But we need not face this judgement! The Bible teaches that when we turn in repentance and faith toward the Saviour, believing in His death for our sins, in His burial, and His literal physical resurrection, then He wipes out the record of all our sins! They will no longer be written down, but our names will already have been written down in His book of the saved.

Has there ever been a time and place in your life when you realized that you were a sinner before Almighty God? The Bible teaches that All have sinned. (Romans 3:23) Have you ever repented of your sins (which means acknowledge to God that you have sinned against Him, and turned from your sins), and turned toward the only Saviour who paid the complete penalty for your sins? Acts 20:21 says Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not enough to simply turn from your sins, you need to receive the Saviour and be born again through faith in Him. (See John 1:11-13 and 3:3, 7) The Bible teaches that we cannot earn our way to Heaven through our good works, but we must receive salvation as the free gift of God. It is something that we could never earn. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (See also Titus 3:5) Our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight. (Isaiah 64:6) We need the perfect righteousness of the sinless Son of God, who shed His blood to pay for our sins. (See 1 Peter 1:18-19) When we realize that we cannot earn salvation, but we accept His gift, we are made children of God that very moment. All those that have ever trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation (or those who will ever trust Him), have had their names written down for eternity in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 21:25-27 And the gates of it (the New Jerusalem) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 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.

Is your name written down?

I sure hope so. I’d love to see you in Heaven someday!

June 22th/02
By Jerry Bouey



Day 25 – Seven Points of Prayer

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luk 18:16) Jesus loved when children came to Him. Their faith and trust are so simple and innocent. Children do not need complicated explanations or dissertations about God. They just simply trust – no questions – just action. Is it any wonder that Christ wants us to come to Him like children? God desires to be a Father to us. He desires for us to come to Him like a child – with child-like faith, knowing that our Father loves us and will take care of us. Is this too much to expect from your own child? Of course not! Why, then, do Christians struggle in this area of prayer?

Christ wanted us to have an intimate relationship with God. Christ did not want to leave us without power or empty-handed. Christ is our Shepherd and wanted to lead us in the perfect direction so He taught us how to pray. He gave us the perfect prayer. Since perfection is symbolized in the number seven, why does it not surprise me that the Lord’s Prayer would have seven points! The Lord teaches us that we have the most perfect and complete prayer as a pattern for our own prayer life. Some religions teach that you have to repeat this prayer over and over. However, if this were to be so, it would have appeared word-for-word in Luke (Luke 11:2-4) as well but it was worded differently. Christ used this as a pattern to teach us how to pray.

Our pattern has seven points:

(1) Who we are to pray to:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Mat 6:9) Recognize who you are praying to. Notice that Christ, from the beginning, tells us that we are able to pray to our Father. My friend, because we are born again, we are now able to go to God like a child to his own earthly father! Does this not amaze you? Three times, the Word uses Abba, Father. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that “Abba, Father” appears three times. I simply stand amazed at the perfection of God’s Word!

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:36)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)

This verse continues and teaches us to honor our Father in Heaven. This first verse beginning our prayer time with the Lord teaches us to start with Him; recognize Him for who He is, our Abba, Father; and recognize that He is holy. This sets the mood for our spirit to pray. The number one symbolizes “beginning, one” – how appropriate that this first verse of prayer symbolizes the beginning of perfect prayer to the only One we should pray to!

(2) Acknowledge His Kingdom:

Thy kingdom come. (Matt 6:10) As we are looking forward to His Kingdom and being/reigning with Him, we must also remember that we are to work diligently in building that Kingdom through winning souls. Our Shepherd guides us but it is the sheep who make other sheep, my friend. Isn’t it interesting that the number two symbolizes witnessing and the second verse of our perfect prayer talks about the Kingdom? Whew! I stand amazed at the spiritual beauties and gold nuggets found in my King James Bible.

(3) Desire God’s will:

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mat 6:10) Why would anyone want anything but God’s will for their lives? It is in His will that we can find perfect peace and rest. God’s perfect will is found in His perfect Word. What do we know to be the will of God? We know that God’s commandments reveal His will. God’s will is taught in the Word through His precepts, statutes and His commandments. God did not leave us empty-handed – we can easily find His will – His perfect law – through His Word. He has given us the Word, in flesh, and left us His Spirit to teach us. What a perfect example of the Godhead – the triune God! Amazingly, the number three symbolizes the Godhead and this verse depicts the Godhead in the perfect will of God.

(4) Petition your Father for your needs:

Give us this day our daily bread. (Mat 6:11) I truly do not believe that Christ is teaching us to pray for our daily physical needs here – otherwise He would be contradicting Himself in the following verses: Mat 6:25-26, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (25) 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? (26) Instead, I believe that Christ is teaching us to ask the Father to feed us spiritually. Christ did not want us to worry about food, housing, clothing (earthly, physical needs). So much so, He stressed it again in Mat 6:31-32, Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (32) I believe the Lord was teaching us to seek after the things of God as He did. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luk 2:49) The number four symbolizes “earth-creation-world” – how appropriate that the Lord would be teaching us not to be concerned about the things of the world but to be concerned about God – about His Kingdom – about His will – about His Word.

(5) Seek forgiveness and forgive:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Mat 6:12) How appropriate that the One who gave His life so that we would be forgiven would teach us to seek forgiveness through Him and then forgive others for their transgression. The Provider of forgiveness faithfully goes to the Father seeking forgiveness on our behalf so why should we not follow His pattern? Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luk 23:34a) How can we expect to receive forgiveness and yet not forgive others who have sinned against us or offended us? It was by God’s grace that we’re sent a Saviour to die for our sin so we could receive His forgiveness. It is by God’s grace that we are saved. Nothing we could possibly do would take us even one step closer to Heaven! How appropriate it is that this fifth point of prayer is about receiving God’s grace and the number five symbolizes grace! Thank You, Lord!

(6) God’s protection:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Mat 6:13) This is such a beautiful request depicting a child asking his Father to protect him from evil’s way. This child is asking his Father to show him the path that he should take where he will not be tempted. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) But if he is tempted because of his own lusts, he can also ask his Father to deliver him and provide a way out of this temptation. 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) God is so good to us, my friend. Again, how appropriate that the sixth point of prayer deals with man’s sinful nature and the number six symbolizes man!

(7) Praising God:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13b) The seventh and final point of prayer teaches us to praise God and acknowledge who He is, that all power is His, and all glory is His, eternally! God’s kingdom will be perfect because He is perfect. His power is complete because He is perfect. Our God deserves all the glory because He is the perfect and holy God. The one and the only God! Again, how appropriate that God’s perfection is reflected in the seventh verse and the number seven symbolizes perfection!

Does it surprise you that the Lord would teach us this perfect pattern of prayer and have it outlined in such a way that it completely reflects the meanings of the numbers from His Word? It does not to me! I stand amazed each time that I dig my nose into His Word, I find something that brings these Bible numbers out! Thank You, Lord!

A Blessing in Prayer
Eliza E. Hewitt

There is rest, sweet rest, at the Master’s feet,
There is favor now at the mercy seat,
For atoning blood has been sprinkled there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain:
There’s a blessing in prayer, in believing prayer,
When our Savior’s Name to the throne we bear;
Then a Father’s love will receive us there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

There is grace to help in our time of need,
For our Friend above is a Friend, indeed;
We may cast on Him every grief and care;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

When our songs are glad with the joy of life,
When our hearts are sad with its ills and strife,
When the powers of sin would the soul ensnare,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

There is perfect peace tho’ the wild waves roll,
There are gifts of love for the seeking soul,
Till we praise the Lord in His home so fair,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain



Day 26 – Eight Daily Blessings

Psalms 145:1-5 (David’s Psalm of praise.) I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

The following eight blessings are not presented in order of importance, but in the order the main passages used appear in the Word of God. All the promises of God in the Bible depend upon a personal relationship with Him. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, the promises in His Word are yours to claim – including these eight daily blessings:

1) Daily Guidance And Teaching From The Lord (From His Word)

Exodus 13:21-22 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Numbers 9:15-17 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.

Look up and consider the next six verses in this passage (Numbers 9:18-23), and notice the seven times the phrase at (according to) the commandment of the LORD is used.

Nehemiah 9:12, 19 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go… Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

Every day the Lord God led the nation of Israel in their march through the wilderness – all they had to do was follow His clear guiding, whether it was by night or by day that the pillar moved before them.

Luke 21:38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.

John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Every morning Jesus was in the temple teaching the people the Word of God. Now we do not have Jesus physically teaching in our midst, but we have the Word of God before us to read and study and the Holy Spirit working through us to teach us God’s will for our lives each day.

Psalms 25:4-5 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Are you waiting upon the Lord? Are you seeking His will and determined to follow it as it is revealed step by step to you?

2) Daily Strength

Physical Strength:

Deuteronomy 33:25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

The Lord promises strength for each day – strength to do His will, whatever He has called us to do.

Spiritual Strength:

Psalms 138:3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

I like this promise found in the Psalms. When we are in need of spiritual strength, that strength is ours when we cry out to the Lord and seek Him for it. Day by day. Are you relying upon the Lord’s strength today?

3) Daily Wisdom

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

The Lord promises to freely provide us wisdom each day – and then blesses us as we heed that wisdom from Him! What grace!

Proverbs 8:12-20 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

When we seek our Heavenly Father for His wisdom early and diligently, when we seek Him in faith and trust Him to give us the wisdom needed for each day, He will provide. Proverbs eight is a neat chapter in which we see the Lord Jesus Christ pictured as wisdom. He loves those that love Him, and those that seek Him early will find Him – will both find His wisdom each day, as well as find the Lord Himself in personal fellowship. What a promise!

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.

Wisdom is available for the asking – have you asked the Lord to give you His wisdom today?

4) Daily Benefits

Psalms 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Daily our Lord loads us with benefits and blessings – daily He showers His grace upon us, blessings we could never earn or deserve – and those blessings all start with repenting of our sins and placing our faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His finished work upon the cross of Calvary (salvation from our sins, and from the penalty and guilt of them; as we walk with the Lord, He also delivers us from the power of those sins; and one glorious day in the future from the very presence of them). Then we need to be seeking Him daily and trusting in Him to meet our daily needs (more on this in part 7 below).

Psalms 103:1-2 (A Psalm of David.) Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Have you praised and thanked the Lord today for the blessings He has given to you and your loved ones?

5) Daily Lovingkindness

Psalms 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives this simple definition of lovingkindness: “Tender regard; mercy; favor.” When you break down the English words into its two root words, you get loving and kindness. Webster’s also defines kindness as “1. Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature. Kindness ever accompanies love. 2. Act of good will; beneficence; any act of benevolence which promotes the happiness or welfare of others. Charity, hospitality, attentions to the wants of others, &c., are deemed acts of kindness, or kindnesses.” I’m certain all of us could use that assurance that the Lord loves with an everlasting love us and showers His kindness upon us every day!

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

In regards to “alleviating [our] distresses,” I am encouraged by David’s steadfast desire to seek the Lord each morning in prayer – every morning he would cry out to God, and then look to the Lord expectantly for His answers!

Psalms 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Here are some wonderful declarations and promises about God’s lovingkindness towards us:

Psalms 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalms 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Psalms 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Are you glorying in the fact that you know the Lord? Are you rejoicing in His lovingkindness to you?

6) Daily Mercies

Lamentations 3:21-26 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

One of the basic truths of the Christian life is that the Lord has shown us His mercy – He has not given us what we deserve because of our sins and our many failures and falterings. He gives us new mercies everyday! So even if you fell flat on your face yesterday, if you look to the Lord in repentance today, He will give you His new mercies and a new beginning today! That new beginning will also include forgivness and cleansing from our sins – oh, how we need that everyday!

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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.

Psalms 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Because of the Lord’s lovingkindness and tender mercy shown to them every morning, the Psalmists chose to declare and sing about their Lord every day, as a testimony to others – we should do likewise!

Psalms 92:1-2 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

Psalms 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.

What’s new with you? Have you claimed those new mercies today – that new beginning – and are you singing a new song?

7) Daily Provision

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

We are not to worry or fret about our daily needs – we are instead to seek the Lord, seek His will and do it daily, and then He promises to meet all our daily needs. If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, which was your greatest need, then your Heavenly Father promises to meet all the rest of them as you walk with Him.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Psalms 34:9-10 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Psalms 145:15-16 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

The Lord will give daily provision. It is interesting that the words provide and provision mean (as defined by Webster’s) “literally to see before. To procure beforehand; to get, collect or make ready for future use; to prepare.” The Lord has seen all your needs ahead of time, and has set things into motion so that those needs would be met in their proper timing. I would encourage you to read a biography on a great man of prayer named George Mueller, and be amazed at all the ways the Lord had provided for the needs of his orphanages throughout the years. The Lord changes not! He is still the same, and able to meet our needs just the same!

Whether the Lord has to drop manna from the sky to feed His people in the wilderness (see Numbers 11:7-9; Exodus 16:35), bring ravens by to feed His prophet Elijah, or bring neighbours by with extra food from their gardens, God is not limited, and can still meet all our needs today!

Nehemiah 9:20-21 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

1 Kings 17:3-6 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Are you seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today?

8 ) Daily Renewal

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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.

Sometimes this world wears us down – whether it be physical and mental struggles of living in a sin-cursed world, spiritual battles and learning how to die to ourselves daily, or being oppressed and distressed over the sins of others – and we just need to get away from all the hustle and bustle of this weary world, and spend some much needed time with our Saviour. Jesus promises rest for those who are heavy laden; promises refreshing to those who take time out from their busy schedules, come away from the world, and learn from Him.

Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 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; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Let’s follow Jesus’ example, and spend some time with our Heavenly Father in prayer:

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Have you spent time today with your Saviour? Spent time in His Word? Spent time in prayer and fellowship with Him? Have your soul been refreshed and renewed today? If not, He is still waiting to spend time with you!

Great is Thy Faithfulness
(Words by Thomas O. Chisholm)

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.

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!

Chorus:
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!

Praise the Lord for all His daily benefits unto us!

July 1st/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 27 – The Three in One Blessing

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev 1:3)

The Book of Revelation is the only book in the Word of God which promises a blessing if we read it. In my opinion, if a Book promises a blessing then we should be quick to read it. I do believe that the Book of Revelation is the one book that produces the most controversy. Many scholars state that it should be taken symbolically and others say it is prophetic and we should heed its warnings. There are three things we must do to receive this blessing which is promised in this verse. We must first read it, then we must hear it, and lastly we must keep what we have heard. The number three is symbolic for the Godhead. How complete a blessing is when it is surrounded around the Lord Himself! I believe that if the Book of Revelation were symbolic, we would not be promised a blessing if we read it, hear it and keep it. How can you keep a reading which is symbolic? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) When we read the Word of God, our faith in Him is built and we become more like Him, therefore able to keep that which we have been taught. It’s not rocket science when you rightly divide the Word of God.

Here is what you must do to receive the blessing of Revelation 1:3:

(1) You must first read the Word to receive the blessing. You cannot understand what you read without first being born again, my friend. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) Jesus is the Word of God – there is no salvation outside of Him. 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) Anyone can read – but not all can understand what they are reading. Before I was saved, reading the Bible was like drinking dirt – dry at best. After salvation, the Word of God was opened up. It gave new meaning to: “I once was blind, but now I see” from the beautiful hymn, Amazing Grace. The born-again believer, then, must first read the Word to receive the blessing promised in this verse. You cannot merely listen to the preaching in church, although that is good. You must read for yourself. This is where God will shower you with blessings from above!

(2) You must hear the words of the prophecy. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) Our faith is built when we understand what we have read and it is confirmed through the preaching of the Word. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. (Joh 8:43) These people heard Christ speaking but they didn’t hear Him – meaning, they did not understand what He was saying. Their hearts and minds were hard.

Before you get pious and think highly of yourself, how many times have you ignored what the Word told you to do and gone down your own path? We willfully disobey. The unbeliever is serving their father the devil and do not know any better. But when the heart is ready to receive what it has heard, the understanding comes with it. The born-again believer has the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within. He opens our hearts and gives us the understanding of the Scriptures if we but ask. 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) God promises to give us this wisdom liberally – not just a little.

(3) You must keep those things which were written. Five times, Jesus used the words “keep my”:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. (Joh 8:51)

Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. (Joh 8:52)

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Joh 14:15)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (Joh 14:23)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (Joh 15:10)

It’s not sufficient to read and hear – anyone can do that. However, those who strive to keep God’s commandments will receive this blessing.

What blessing are we speaking of here? It is the understanding of the words of the prophecy! Jesus promises that we will receive a blessing when we read, hear and keep the Word because we will be able to interpret the prophecies which were written. The believers today are living proof of the blessings we are receiving from this wonderful Book of Revelation! We see prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes. Our eyes are looking up and we are longing to witness for ourselves the wonderful return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is our Blessed Hope and He will keep us from that hour of testing which will come before all of the earth. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Tit 2:13) I long for the day that the Rapture will happen! It could be today! Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Rev 3:10)

What a Day That Will Be
Words and Music by Jim Hill

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus



Day 28 – Eight Things God Requires of Man

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Micah 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The numbers two and three in the Bible are indicative of witness, testimony (see Deuteronomy 19:15). When God repeats Himself in the Scriptures, it is important to pay attention to what is being emphasized. Here we have the testimony of two passages that have a very similar message: What does God require of us? The conclusion of Ecclesiastes also contains an exhortation that fits in line with the testimony of the first two passages.

What does God require of man?

1) To fear the LORD thy God… Fear God.

The fear of the Lord is a reverence for God. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines reverence as “Fear mingled with respect and esteem; veneration… The fear acceptable to God, is a filial fear, an awful reverence of the divine nature, proceeding from a just esteem of his perfections, which produces in us an inclination to his service and an unwillingness to offend him. Reverence is nearly equivalent to veneration, but expresses something less of the same emotion. It differs from awe, which is an emotion compounded of fear, dread or terror, with admiration of something great, but not necessarily implying love or affection.” Reverence therefore implies love and affection – it is not just a holy fear of God, but love mingled with admiration. Webster also defines revere as “To regard with fear mingled with respect and affection; to venerate; to reverence; to honor in estimation.”

We can only fear the Lord our God in this manner if we are saved, if we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and now have God as our Heavenly Father. This fear will prompt us to do what is right in His sight, and prompt us to make it right when we have done wrong. There is a saying, “We should always keep short accounts with God,” stating that we should never continue on in sin, but when we are convicted we should always repent and confess that sin to quickly restore our fellowship with God. I believe the more reverence we have for our Saviour, the less desire we will have to backslide or take our eyes off of Him, and the greater our desire will be to turn from those sins that we have allowed to temporarily come back into our lives.

2) To walk in all his ways.

Ways here means “a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action.” We are to walk in the road that the Lord has already trodden out for us – our way of life is to walk according to the paths we see laid down for us in the Word of God. We are not merely to walk in some of His ways – picking and choosing what we want to follow – but to walk in all His ways. Of course, we can only do that in the strength and wisdom that the Lord provides. Are you walking in His ways, or in your own?

3) To love him.

Is your heart set upon the Lord? Are your affections set upon the things of God? Do you delight in doing the will of God? We honestly can’t say we love the Lord when we don’t cleave to Him in faith and obedience! We can’t truly say we love the Lord when we do not hate evil!

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The greatest commandment in the Bible is to love the Lord our God with all that we are and all that we have.

Mark 12:28-30 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Joshua 23:11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

Psalms 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

4) To serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

How many professing Christians today are going through the motions in their service to the Lord? Too many! The Lord wants us to serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul – that means with everything that is in us, with all our being. A hypocrite is someone that puts on a show outwardly when there is something different going on in the inside. The Lord wants our outsides to match up with our insides – for our walk to line up with our talk (ie. our living to line up with our profession of faith). We need to be honest and sincere with God, and make sure our sincerity is in line with the truth. It is no good to have a sincerity and zeal that is based on falsehood!

Psalms 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Too many in Christendom today are claiming to worship God, but they are not doing His will!

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.

2 Corinthians 1:12 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.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

May we never go through the motions!

Here is a statement that I coined several years ago about our profession lining up with our walk:

“The Final Proof of our Love is in the Faithful Pattern of our Living.”

Do your walk and your talk line up together?

5) To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes… Keep his commandments.

Love and obedience go hand in hand. We do not keep the commandments to go to Heaven – salvation is a free gift, and must be all of grace, because none of us have ever kept all of God’s commandments without failing. Sin is the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4), and the only sinless person who ever lived was the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh. But once we turn to Him for salvation, we receive His righteousness credited to our account, and are given a desire to obey Him. Now we obey the Lord out of love for Him, and our obedience shows our love to Him!

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Our love is perfected (made complete) when we keep His Word and obey His commandments:

1 John 2:3-6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

6) To do justly.

According to Webster’s, this phrase means in part: “In conformity to law, justice or propriety; by right… Honestly; fairly; with integrity.” Webster also defines integrity as “The entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. Integrity comprehends the whole moral character, but has a special reference to uprightness in mutual dealings, transfers of property, and agencies for others.” Doing right to all, not showing favoritism, but treating all with equity. “In practice, equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim. It is the treating of a person according to justice and reason.”

How many people in our day and age favour those who are rich, those who are part of their inner circle or clique, those who love them in return?

The three moral duties required by God in Micah 6:8 are summed up by our Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament:

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

In the context, judgment means “justice and equity.” Faith (and the love of God – see Luke 11:42) being the equivalent of the phrase, to walk humbly with thy God.

James 2:1-4 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

James 3:17 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.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Proverbs 24:23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

1 Timothy 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

It is interesting that when we are impartial, we are doing what God Himself does; however, when we are partial, then we are walking in the steps of the wicked!

2 Chronicles 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

Matthew 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

7) To love mercy.

Webster’s gives this powerful definition of mercy: “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.”

Not much more I can add to that! We are to love mercy. In order to do so, I truly believe we must experience and know God’s mercy towards ourselves. The more I see God’s mercies at work in my own life, the more I want to pass that mercy on to others! As the story of the woman in Luke 7:36-50 illustrates forgiveness and love reciprocated, even so I think there is a definite parallel between our receiving mercy by the Lord and our showing of it to others.

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

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.

Luke 6:32-36 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Romans 12:6-10, 14-17 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another… Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 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. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

We are saved and forgiven by God’s mercy (and grace); therefore we should likewise be showing this same mercy, grace, and forgiveness to others.

Titus 3:4-6 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

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

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

8 ) To walk humbly with thy God.

We can’t walk with God unless we are humble before Him! As the saying goes, “Sheep follow; Goats butt.” If you are reading the Word of God or hearing it being spoken by others, and your reaction is, “Yes, but…”, then you are not walking humbly before God! In your response, you are acting more like a goat, and less like a sheep! The Lord wants humble servants, servants who will walk in faith before Him, walk in simple love and trust toward Him – like a little child (with childlike faith), who simply accepts the Word because it is God who has spoken, who simply obeys because it is his Lord and King that commands him, who simply trusts God fully in all things because, after all, it is his Heavenly Father at work in his life!

The simplest illustration I can think of regarding faith and trusting is that of a little child standing on a table and the father telling him to jump into his arms. The child says, “I love you, Daddy, and I trust you.” But if the child never takes that jump into their father’s arms, do they really trust? If you hold back from committing yourself to those everlasting arms that are underneath you, are you really walking in faith, are you really trusting in your Heavenly Father? I think the answer is obvious. The solution is to get into the Word of God and build your faith (see Romans 10:17), then act upon that faith – take and apply!

Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

There is a simplicity that is in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 11:3). It is man that complicates things!

Colossians 2:6-10 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

James 4:6-10 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

It is interesting to note that this last passage quoted above links humbling ourselves with casting our cares upon the Lord! Pride says, “I can do it all on my own.” Humility says, “I will place all I am, all I have, and all that I plan to do in the hands of my Heavenly Father, and trust Him with it.” Humility is walking according to the will of God, not our own way. It takes humility to acknowledge that God owns you, that He has bought you with a price (the precious blood of Christ), and therefore He has the complete right and authority to tell you how to live. We also know that God loves us and is working out His perfect will in our lives, according to His wisdom and sovereign power – humility can live with that, and prefers it (yea, even wholly desires it) above any of our own plans!

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

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

I believe that if we follow these eight things that the Lord requires of us, our walk with him will be fruitful and our faith greatly strengthened. These are not presented as some kind of ultimate formula, or as some list indicating that this is all we are accountable for – but are merely an attempt to dig into and apply some basic requirements of a walk with the Lord that He is pleased with and will bless.

Do you fear God? Are you walking in His ways? Do you love Him and are you serving Him with all your heart and soul? Are you obeying His Word? Are you treating others justly? Do you love mercy? And lastly, are you walking humbly with your God?

May the Lord richly bless you as you apply these passages of Scripture to your life.

July 4th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 29 – Overcoming

What a blessing it was to open the Word this morning! All praise, honor and glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I initially was heading down a different path with the word “overcometh” but God took me down another instead. How thankful I am for the Word of God which spiritually feeds our hungry souls!

I am struggling through an area in my life which God knows all about. As I strive to overcome this fear, the Lord has taught me that He has overcome all for my benefit! These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Joh 16:33) There is nothing that we need to overcome because Christ has already done it all for us. We simply must trust in Him. Notice how Jesus said that He has spoken to us through the Bible so that we might have peace! There is no peace in worry – there is no peace in the things of this world. However, there is peace knowing that we are born again and that Christ has paid our sin debt. There is nothing we have to do. Also, there is peace knowing that He has been in every situation we have ever been through or will ever experience and He has overcome them. Jesus states that He has overcome the world, my friend. Because we are in Him, we can rest assured that we will overcome because of Him and only Him.

This thought process is what led me into the word search for overcometh. This word does not appear in the Old Testament. Could it be because the Messiah had not yet come and the Jews could not overcome the world in their own flesh? They could not claim this promise yet until Jesus came. Don’t you find it interesting that this word was not even used once in the Old Testament?

There are, however, ten occurrences of the word overcometh in the New Testament. Interestingly enough, the number ten symbolizes “law, government, and restoration“! Oh the joy I have received from God’s numbers in the Bible and seeing how He uses them in His Word! Christ is the only One who has overcome the world (John 16:33). Being saved means that our fellowship has been restored with God the Father – only because we had faith and believed in Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, His shed blood on the cross was payment for our sin, His resurrection and He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. We are promised that we will overcome this world in the end and reign with Him because we are now His. Ten verses in the New Testament speak of overcoming – when we are born again through the Word of God, our fellowship with God is restored and we will reign with Him for all eternity. What a beautiful portrait indeed!

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 Jo 5:4)

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jo 5:5)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Rev 2:7)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:11)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Rev 2:17)

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (Rev 2:26)

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Rev 3:5)

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Rev 3:12)

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:21)

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Rev 21:7)

Although today’s devotional is quite short in my own words, God’s Words are quite powerful and require nothing more be said. I pray you have enjoyed this as much as I have!

Able to Deliver Thee
Fanny Crosby

O troubled heart, be thou not afraid,
In the Lord thy God, let thy hope be stayed;
He will hear thy cry and will give thee aid,
Whate’er thy cross may be.

Refrain

He is able still to deliver thee,
And His own right hand thy defense shall be:
He is able still to deliver thee,
Then be thou not afraid.

O troubled heart, tho’ thy foes unite,
Let thy faith be strong and thy armor bright;
Thou shalt overcome thro’ His pow’r and might,
And more than conqu’ror be.

Refrain

O troubled heart, when thy way is drear,
He will rescue thee and dispel thy fear;
In thy greatest need He is always near,
To Him all glory be.

Refrain



Day 30 – Gracious and Compassion Come in Threes

I have my own definitions of the words gracious and compassion formed through the years. But interestingly enough, my definitions are quite far from what was intended at the time the King James Bible was translated. Noah Webster defines gracious as:

1. Favorable; kind; friendly; as,the envoy met with a gracious reception. 2. Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings. Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful. Neh 9:17. 3. Favorable; expressing kindness and favor. All bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded from his mouth. Luke 4. 4. Proceeding from divine grace; as a person in a gracious state. 5. Acceptable; favored. 6. Renewed or implanted by grace; as gracious affections. 7. Virtuous; good. 8. Excellent; graceful; becoming.

Compassion is another one of those words that I have a definition in my brain but when I read Noah’s definition, it made me realize how skewed my thinking is. It’s not that I don’t understand that my God is gracious and full of compassion. I do understand and I do believe – however, the extent of my understanding is minimal compared to what was intended by Mr. Webster. Compassion’s definition according to Noah is:

1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

He being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity. Psa 78.

His father had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15.

Tell me this does not bless your socks off! When you read the definitions, do you not see just how much we human beings lack in this area? We are gracious and compassionate toward those we know personally and love. However, what about the complete stranger? God is gracious and compassionate to all, my friend! This ought to not only convict us, but it should excite us because it shows us just how the Lord feels about you and I! It opens our eyes to the extent of His love. Oh thank You, Lord!

Where am I going with this today? Glad you asked! I thought it appropriate to end this month’s series with the compassion and graciousness of God!

As I searched my Bible software for this phrase gracious and full of compassion, I was excited to see that it only appears three times. The number three symbolizes the Godhead and how appropriate it is that these three verses refer to God and not some man!

(1) He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. (Psa 111:4) I find it interesting that the first use of this phrase talks about God’s creation. The number one symbolizes the beginning. As we behold these wonderful works of God, we remember that He created them in six days and we glorify Him for His excellent work. [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psa 8:1)

(2) Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4) The born-again Christian has the blessed light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give to a lost and dying world. How appropriate that the second use of this phrase refers to this. The number two symbolizes witness and separation. The born-again Christian has received the Light of the Gospel. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14) How can a Christian be a light to the lost if we live like the devil and hide our light under a bushel? We can’t! The Christian is to be a light to a people who are stumbling in the dark because of their sin. We are to lead them to Christ so they, too, can sing “I once was blind, but now I 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)

(3) The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psa 145:8 ) Thank You, Lord for showing us in the third use of this phrase two more characteristics of Your nature! Again, the number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that this third use would further detail the characteristics of this Godhead! Not only is our God gracious and full of compassion, but He is patient and merciful! Not only did God pay for my sin debt but He is patient and merciful toward me even now when I daily fail Him. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

The blessed Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not finished with us. The Father demands justice be served for the sins of man so He provided a way of salvation through His Son. Jesus Christ took on the form of man, lived a sinless life so He could be the sinless sacrifice which paid the price for our sin. The Holy Spirit was given to the believer and He resides within us so He can reveal to us God’s nature and mold us into the image of the Blessed Saviour! Oh thank You, Lord, for today’s blessing! How gracious You are and full of compassion! You revealed this side of You to us in three blessed verses to show us your completeness. Help us to be more like You and to live out these characteristics as we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ and with a lost and dying world!

Dear God…
Oh the Blessed Three in One
So full of compassion and grace
Work in my heart and move me
Til I reach my heavenly place!



Day 31 – The Threes Found in Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1-6: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (1) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) 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. (3) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (4) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (5) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (6)

This is the first complete Psalm I ever memorized. I love how the Book of Psalms immediately starts with a blessing, don’t you? It sets the mood, if you will, for the precious writings we are about to read. Early in my salvation, a Youth Pastor’s wife recommended that I memorize Psalm 1 so I could learn to live a successful Christian life. I have turned to this Psalm many a time and am thankful the Lord put it in His Word. I want to be blessed by God, don’t you?

I never noticed how God grouped the thoughts found in these six verses into groups of threes.

I. The three blessings of the Godly:

(1) Blessed if I don’t walk in counsel of the ungodly – Noah Webster defines the word counsel as:

1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation.

I always thought counsel here meant “advice.” However, Noah defines it to include the advice or instruction of the ungodly as well. This opens things up a bit more. This not only includes the unsaved but the backslidden. It’s amazing how the backslidden love to take others with them in their sin so they do not have to sin alone. Therefore, to be blessed of God, you should get all your advice, opinions and instruction (dealing with the Word of God and life choices) by someone who is spiritually mature.

(2) Blessed if I don’t stand in way of sinners – The moment I was born again, I desired to be around other born-again Christians! I did not enjoy being around the ungodly friends of my pre-salvation days. In fact, my spirit picked up on every little ungodly thing they said or did. I no longer enjoyed their company and truly desired to be around Christians so I could talk about the Lord. There is nothing that provides more blessing than to be around believers who love the Lord and talk about Him and glorify Him in their words.

(3) Blessed if I don’t sit in the seat of the scornful – You’ve been around the unsaved who mock God in word and deed so you know exactly what this verse says. They laugh at sin, their life style and curse God. They live in the “here and now” and do not fear death and hell. In fact, how many times have you heard someone say that they would go to hell and join their friends and have a party? The Christian will be blessed if he stays away from these scorners. I know that when I am around a scorner, my spirit is unsettled. The work place always seems to have one or two of these. I am uncomfortable around them and we butt heads because of their mouth. I am not rude to the scorner but I will not allow the scorner to mock my God. Unfortunately today, we are seeing believers becoming pansies in this area. I have personally seen believers keep silent when God is mocked! This reminds me of: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luk 18:8 )

Time and time again in my devotionals I have found that life’s blessings come from being in the Word of God. How true verse 2 is! I am blessed because my delight is in the Word! Noah Webster defines the word delight as

A high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind; joy.

Do you receive a high degree of pleasure by being in the Word? If not, it may be because you are not in the Word enough. It’s not necessarily the quantity of words you read but the time you spend chewing and meditating on what you have read. Since I started writing devotionals a year ago, I have gleaned so much more from the Word than I had in my previous 26 years of salvation! I would occasionally get a gold nugget from the Lord in my studies – but now, I get them daily because I’m writing about them.

So David taught us how to be blessed by staying away from certain things in life. The outcome of obeying his counsel in the first two verses lead to three blessings as a result.

(1) I will receive spiritual nourishment – Verse 3 says that I will be like a tree planted by water. The lawn at my house has not received rain in quite a while. We water it but not enough. You don’t see the dry grass and drooping leaves of trees, however, near a brook, do you? The water is ever flowing and that tree thrives because it is thoroughly nourished and continuously nourished. So are we when we heed the counsel of the Word of God. We won’t wonder what to do in certain situations because we have already consulted the Word and we know what God wants us to do.

(2) I will bring forth fruit in its season – My walk and my talk will reflect my Christianity. I will not be a hypocrite but will be living what I believe. Not only will my actions be a testimony to the ungodly but my words should be leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as well. As I grow in Christ, I will be more fruitful.

(3) I will prosper – I doubt very much this means prospering financially or all Christians would be rich. What I believe this to mean is that my decisions in life will prosper when I seek the counsel of the Godly; when I don’t let the ungodly influence me; when I’m in the Word and know God’s will for my life.

There are three things that happen to the ungodly.

(1) They will be like the chaff – Noah Webster defines the word chaff as:

2. Refuse; worthless matter; especially that which is light, and apt to be driven by the wind. In scripture, false doctrines, fruitless designs, hypocrites and ungodly men are compared to chaff. Psa 1:4; Jer 23:28; Isa 33:11; Mat 3:12.

Whatever the ungodly speaks or does is considered to be worthless. Their words and deeds will not stand the test of eternity in Heaven. They will not prosper – they will miss that great gift of salvation.

(2) They will not stand in the judgment – This reminds me of a court scene when the defendant has to testify. He can lie all he wants but when the jury has finished deliberation, the defendant must stand and face them to receive his verdict. God’s verdict is always just. The ungodly will not be able to stand in his defense because he will see all his sins the way God sees them. It is then he will realize what a goner he truly is. It will be too late. The small amount of joy the ungodly received while living on earth will be replaced with an eternity of torments. What a huge price to pay for a short time of ungodly pleasure.

(3) The way of the ungodly will perish – The Lord is emphatic here. The ungodly will perish! Not only will the ungodly slip into eternity in the lake of fire, his way will perish as well. I was thinking about the “way” spoken of and it reminded me of the snowfalls we had in Northern Maine when I lived up there. We would go walking in our snowshoes to enjoy the beautiful evergreens. We had to be sure that we knew our way because if snow started falling, our trail would get covered up and we would lose our way back home. The way of the ungodly is the same – the sinner can enjoy his wicked life and think that his way is wonderful. But his trail is no better than that of the trail being covered by snow fall. Christians will live for eternity in Heaven with God and His way will always remain. But the way of the ungodly will perish right along with the ungodly!

What a beautiful way to start the Book of Psalms! David set a pattern that provided wisdom and instruction for the believer! The way of the Godly will lead us to that glorious day when we shall behold the Lord Jesus Christ! We will finally meet Him and be with Him for all eternity. We will get to meet those dear saints we have read about in the Word – those precious martyrs whose accounts are penned in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – those dear saints we have met on the internet but not face-to-face! What a day that will be – all because we followed the counsel of Psalm 1!

The Happy Crowning Day
Eliza E. Hewitt

There’s an hour which no man knoweth,
Nor the angels round the throne,
When the Lord shall come in glory from the sky;
All the saints shall rise to meet Him,
For He calleth for His own;
They shall hear the trumpet sounding by and by.

Refrain

Are you ready? ready?
Looking for the King?
Ready, while you labor, watch and pray?
Are you ready? ready?
Looking for the King?
Ready for the happy crowning day?

What a blessed transformation,
In the twinkling of an eye,
When the mortal shall immortal life put on!
Those who love Him shall be like Him,
When He cometh from on high,
At the noontide, at the midnight, or at dawn.

Refrain

Though our sins have been as scarlet,
Let us seek the streams that flow
From the cross that rose on Calv’ry’s rugged height;
He is able still to keep us,
And present us white as snow,
When He comes again, as clouds of dazzling light.

Refrain



Day 32 – Twelve People God Considers Blessed

This series has truly blessed me! It amazes me how God has used numbers throughout His Word to further bless us! Today’s especially blessed me. I did a search for the phrase blessed are they and came up with twelve times it was used throughout the Word. Twelve symbolizes:

Family, Mankind/Humanity (6) x (2) = (12) Family; the families and tribes of humanity are represented by their 12 leaders. Jacob’s family had 12 men/leaders/Patriarchs, so did Ishmael’s family, Likewise we the Family of the Church have our 12 Disciple Apostle leaders

How interesting that there would be twelve uses of this phrase to depict people. It’s like God confirms His statements in the Word even further with the use of numbers. Totally mind boggling!!

Let’s look at the twelve types of people who receive God’s blessings:

(1) People who “dwell” in God’s house. (Psa 84:4) Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Notice that this verse does not say “visit” but dwell. This has a connotation of residing at the house of God. The Hebrew word is:

H3427
ישׁב
yâshab
yaw-shab’
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: – (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.

I love that this Hebrew word is defined as “causatively to settle, to marry”! Praise the Lord! The unsaved cannot “dwell” in God’s house – only the born-again Christian can do so because we are the bride of Christ! We are to be married to Him – hence, dwell with Him!

(2) People who keep judgment and do righteousness at all times. (Psa 106:3) Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Ouch! Even the born-again Christian cannot do righteousness at all times. But praise God that He does not see our own righteousness but He sees Christ’s. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Rom 10:4) Only the believer can claim this.

(3) People who keep his testimonies and that seek him. (Psa 119:2) Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Those who obey the Word and seek Christ will be saved, therefore blessed with eternal life! So, again, the believer is the one who can claim this.

(4) People who keep God’s ways. (Pro 8:32) Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Even a moral society enjoys the blessings of God when they do right. However, the wicked receive His judgment. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mat 5:45) However, the work keep is key here. The world does not keep God’s ways. This is evident all around us. Therefore, only the believer can keep God’s ways because of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we fail, however, Christ is our Advocate with the Father.

(5) People who mourn. (Mat 5:4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. I am not certain that Christ was referring to people who mourn the loss of a loved one through death. The unsaved mourn and are not comforted. The born-again believer mourns at the loss of an unsaved loved one and we are not comforted because we know they are in torments. Personally, I believe that Christ is referring to those who mourn over their own sin and their own actions with true repentance. I believe these individuals are the ones who are comforted. We receive true comfort at salvation and are given the Holy Spirit, the true Comforter. Praise the Lord!

(6) People who thirst after righteousness. (Mat 5:6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. The Apostle Paul was a great example of this. He desired not to sin and desired to do right. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Rom 7:24) The unsaved thirst after sin because of their sin nature. We have a new nature which causes us to want to do what is right – thirst after righteousness. 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)

(7) People who are persecuted for the cause of Christ. (Mat 5:10) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are seeing more and more people around the world being persecuted for their beliefs. We are beginning to see it in our own country: Christians attend gay pride rallies and are silently praying are being arrested! Only a believer would be persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

(8 ) People who hear God’s Word and keep it! (Luk 11:28 ) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Only the born-again can fulfill this one. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) The unsaved can hear the Word of God but they cannot keep it.

(9) People who believe without seeing. (Joh 20:29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Again, the born-again believer is the only one who can fulfill this one. Thomas got to see Christ and had visual proof. The born-again believer has not seen Jesus for himself and is blessed because he has believed without seeing Him in the flesh.

(10) People whose sins are forgiven and covered! (Rom 4:7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. The born-again believer’s sin is covered by the Blood of the Lamb! Praise the Lord! Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (1Co 5:7)

(11) People who attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev 19:9) 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. The born-again believer is part of the Bride of Christ. We will be at the marriage supper, bless God!

(12) People who have eternal life will have the right to the tree of life. (Rev 22:14) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Only the born-again believer can claim this. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 Jo 5:13)

I don’t know about you, but today’s devotional was a true blessing to me (no pun intended). We have twelve blessings given to us from God! How can we not stand up and rejoice!

Showers of Blessing
Fanny Crosby

Here in Thy Name we are gathered,
Come and revive us, O Lord;
“There shall be showers of blessing,”
Thou hast declared in Thy Word.

Refrain

Oh, graciously hear us,
Graciously hear us, we pray:
Pour from Thy windows upon us
Showers of blessing today.

Oh! that the showers of blessing,
Now on our souls may descend,
While at the footstool of mercy
Pleading Thy promise we bend!

Refrain

“There shall be showers of blessing,”
Promise that never can fail;
Thou wilt regard our petition;
Surely our faith will prevail.

Refrain

Showers of blessing, we need them,
Showers of blessing from Thee;
Showers of blessing, oh, grant them,
Thine all the glory shall be.

Refrain



Day 33 – Jesus’ I Am Statements – Part One

The seven popular “I Am” statements in the book of John are some of believers’ favourite sayings in the whole Word of God. In them, Jesus reveals much about Himself and what He wants to do or be in each of our lives. By declaring Himself the “I Am”, Jesus was clearly identifying Himself as God, the God of Israel, the God of the whole earth, the Creator of the universe. The Old Testament name “LORD” (with all caps) is Jehovah, “I Am”, the self-existent God. Consider the following passages:

Exodus 3:13-15 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? 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. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Exodus 6:2-3 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

I.) It is quite interesting to note that the name Jehovah is in our King James Bible seven times (including the above passage):

Genesis 22:14 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.

Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

There are nine compound names of the LORD in the Old Testament (ie. Jehovahjireh, etc.) – though only three of them are transliterated into English. I will cover these nine names in Friday’s devotional.

Psalms 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

II.) There are eight “I Am He” statements made in the book of Isaiah, clearly indicating that the speaker was God Himself:

(In various places in the OT, “I am” and “I am He” were equivalent statements.)

1) Isaiah 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.

Notice that here the LORD refers to Himself as “the first, and with the last.” Very similar to Jesus’ own statements in the book of Revelation. (See next section.)

2) Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

There is only one true God! He is the LORD, Jehovah, the I Am.

Isaiah 43:11-12 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

We are to be His witnesses that He is the true God, the only Saviour!

3) Isaiah 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Only the LORD God has all power, all authority – He is omnipotent! No one can hinder the work that the LORD is doing!

4) Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Only the LORD has the power to blot out our sins – this He did by shedding His precious blood and dying for us on the cross. I love how this verse says He did it for His own sake.

The LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake – 1 Samuel 12:22.
For thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them – Nehemiah 9:30-31.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake – Psalm 23:3.
He saved them for his name’s sake – Psalm 106:8.
His righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable – Isaiah 42:21.
For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger – Isaiah 48:9-11.
Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you – Ephesians 4:32.
Your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake – 1 John 2:12.

Many times in the Psalms and the Prophets, God is appealed to for the sake of His mercy, His righteousness, His goodness, His name, His truth.

5) Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The LORD Himself is the one watching over His children, carrying them, bearing them, and delivering them from the trials they face in life. Everytime I read statements like this, I am reminded of the Footprints poem – when I falter, He is the one who lifts me up and carries me!

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

6) Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

The LORD is the one we are to hearken to; we are to heed His Word. He is the one who has called us into fellowship with Him. The LORD foreknew who would respond to His call of salvation – those that will, He promised to predestine, to call, to justify, and to glorify them. Praise the LORD for His grace and for all those things He has done for us, even when we didn’t know Him yet!

7) Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

What a tremendous verse! It is the LORD that comforts us! It is the LORD that gives us freedom from fear. It is the LORD that redeemed us, and gives us His gladness and joy!

Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

8 ) Isaiah 52:6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.

When Biblical prophecies are fulfilled, God’s people will know that it was the LORD fulfilling His Word. What assurance that the LORD will always keep His Word and fulfill every one of His precious promises!

III.) Jesus’ seven names/titles in Revelation chapter one:

Revelation 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.

Revelation 1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 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.

a) Alpha and Omega – Jesus is everything we need in life. Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. This is similar to “the first and the last.”

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:

b) The beginning and the ending – All creation finds its beginning and its ending in Him.

c) Which is, and which was, and which is to come – A comparison of Revelation 1 verses 4 and 8 will reveal the Deity of Jesus Christ. In verse 4, God the Father is called “Him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” In verse 8, Jesus is called by this same name, thereby giving Jesus equality with the Father.

d) The Lord – obviously equating Himself with the LORD of the Old Testament.

e) The Almighty – Only God is almighty.

f) The first and the last – This is a direct claim to Jesus’ Deity – and there is only one true God – one God in three persons, the Trinity or Tri-une God.

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.

Many cults deny the deity of Christ and will twist or change Bible passages (or even make their own corrupt version!) to suit their devilish doctrines. A comparison between Revelation 1:8, 11, 17-18; and 22:13 clearly prove that “the first and the last” is Jehovah, the Almighty God, AND He is the one who died and rose again! Jesus is God – not a god, but THE GOD, the God of the Bible, the true and living God!

g) He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore

Praise the LORD our Saviour died for our sins, and rose again!

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

IV.) Seven other less well-known “I Am” statements Jesus made in the book of John:

1) John 4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Here Jesus declares to the Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah, He is the Saviour that was prophesied since the fall of man.

2) John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Unless we believe that Jesus is the “I Am”, the LORD, the eternal self-existent God, then we will die in our sins! That makes the deity of Christ one of the fundamentals of the faith, that we must believe in order to be saved.

3) John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Since Jesus was lifted up on the cross, many throughout history have come to realize who He truly is – the LORD God coming down from Heaven to save us from our sins.

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

He didn’t say “I was”, but “I Am” – declaring Himself God manifest in the flesh – stating that it was He Himself who spoke to Abraham all those years before!

5) John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

The context here is Jesus’ quotation of an Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah being betrayed:

John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Various other OT passages teach that the Messiah would be the Mighty God, God with us, the Everlasting Father, the Saviour whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (ie. indicating that He is eternal). Jesus was saying that when those prophecies about the Messiah were completely fulfilled in His life, His ministry, His death, burial and resurrection, then many would come to believe that He IS that prophesied Messiah, the LORD God Himself.

6) John 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

Jesus knew the time for Him to be betrayed, falsely slandered, then led to the cross was at hand. He was the one Judas was seeking to turn over to the mob. He went forward to head them off, and show that He was in control – that even though evil men were seeking to kill Him, He was the one who was laying down His life of His own free will. He was not a martyr, but the sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb of God, dying for the sins of the whole world!

John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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.

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

Notice their response to Jesus’ identification of Himself – a declaration spoken with true power, a declaration that showed who He truly was to these trembling men who sought Him:

John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

7) John 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Taking control of the situation, Jesus put the focus of the armed mob upon Himself, and gave His apostles opportunity to flee unharmed, while He was led away to be crucified (the end result of the mock trials that took place all that night).

Acts 2:22-24 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Acts 4:27-28 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Even in what would be our Saviour’s darkest day, God was still in complete control of the events – only allowing what fulfilled and suited His ultimate purpose. Praise the LORD for providing for our salvation!

In parts Two and Three, I will cover the compound names of the LORD in the Old Testament and Jesus’ seven “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John. I am sure you will be blessed, as I always am whenever meditating on who our Saviour truly is, and what He has done and has promised to do in our lives.

July 11th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 34 – The Armour of God

The Christian is in a no-man’s land between the opposing forces of Light and darkness: between the Almighty God and His dire enemy, Satan – otherwise known as the Devil. On our own, we cannot face the demonic schemes and principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world; therefore, we must align ourselves always with God and take the Heavenly aid that God provides through His divine weapons of warfare and through His Armour – the Armour which the Son of God (Christ) Himself wears.

In Isaiah, two passages about the coming Messiah declare that: “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head… And righteousness shall be the girdle {belt} of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle {belt} of his reins.” (Isaiah 59:17a, 11:5)

In 1st Peter, we are told to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ) Paul, in Romans 13:12, tells us to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. We are to resist the devil and be stedfast in our faith. (1 Peter 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

No soldier in his right mind would ever enter a battlefield weaponless and without his protective armour, yet many Christians do this every day. Utterly defenseless, we are easy prey. Christians must begin their day by putting on each piece of God’s Armour, found in and provided by Jesus, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:14)Ephesians 6:10-17:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

As these verses indicate, there are four items of defense. They are as follows:
A belt, a breastplate, a shield, and a helmet.
There are also two weapons here:
Shod feet (which may not sound like a weapon at all), and a sword.Ordinary items of armour would be ineffective because we are not struggling against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of Satan and his devils (fallen angels). Yet none of these items are ordinary or useless – they are divinely empowered by our Lord. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

(1) We are first told to gird ourselves with the Belt of Truth.

We are to learn the truth and bind ourselves with it. This foundational piece of Armour holds us together and, in fact, securely fastens all other pieces in place (like the belt on Roman armour holds the rest of the armour together.)

This is the first stage of being a Christian – learning the truth and making it so much a part of our being that we can’t live without it. When the day of evil comes, we won’t fall apart or be crushed because we are wearing this Belt.

NOTE – If you will look at the verb tenses in verses 14 and 15, you will find that they are in the past tense (having girt, having on, having shod): As Christians, we are already wearing the first three pieces of God’s Armour (the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace), but it is up to us to make use of them.

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” (2 Corinthians 6:4a, 7)

(2) The second item of defense is the Breastplate of Righteousness.

This important piece of Armour covers and protects your heart, where God’s Word and Law are written by the Holy Spirit. (See 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 and Jeremiah 31:33)

When we believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Saviour and Lord, God credits His (Christ’s) righteousness to our account. Then when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin and imperfection, He sees Christ’s righteousness. (See Romans 3:22-24 and 4:2-3) It is God’s grace accepted by our faith in Jesus Christ that makes us righteous in God’s eyes. It is not a result of any of our own works or good deeds. (2 Timothy 1:9 and Ephesians 2:8-10)

While it is not our good deeds that save us, but God’s grace, now if we are children of God, our salvation should result in good works. Read James 2:20-24. Good works and a righteous lifestyle are evidences of true faith, that come after we are saved.

So the Breastplate of Righteousness represents Christ’s righteousness – our holy standing before God – and our changed heart, which results in righteous deeds and righteous living. When God changes our hearts, He gives us a desire to serve Him.

If our hearts are kept pure and we are living a righteous lifestyle, Satan won’t be able to gain a foothold.

Two ways to guard our hearts are found in Philippians 4:8 and Romans 12:1-2. Watch what you spend your time doing (speaking, looking at, where you are going, etc.) and thinking. The way to transform your mind is through reading God’s Word.“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Ponder the paths of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

(Proverbs 4:23-27)(3) Next, our feet are shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

This, I believe, is the willingness to go wherever our Lord leads with the good news of salvation. Read Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:13-15.

This item is used offensively to free Satan’s captives. After you are saved, by knowing the truth and accepting it, and as your heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, you will want to tell others about Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, many Christians do not use this piece of Armour. I think that is part of the reason why Christians become defeated or ineffective. (See Revelation 12:11) We are not putting on all of God’s Armour. Personally, I find that I have more joy and purpose when I am witnessing to others about Jesus Christ, and about what He is doing in my life, and teaching (discipling) other Christians about what the Bible says.

When you start stepping across Satan’s boundaries and offer freedom to those locked in bondage to sin, Satan attacks more fiercely – which is why you need the next defensive item in God’s arsenal.

(4) We need our Shields of Faith to protect us now.

This protects your whole body, like a full-length Roman shield, and is used to extinguish the doubts, fears, and lies that Satan throws at us. If we use God’s Armour effectively, not a single one of Satan’s evil arrows will get through. Read 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Psalm 18:30 and Proverbs 30:5.

Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” The word “buckler” here is Strong’s #5507, and means something “surrounding” the person, i.e. a shield. Spurgeon defines it as “an all-surrounding coat of mail.” So here we have both a shield and a coat of armour.

So how do you strengthen and build your faith? By trusting and believing what the Lord has said in His Word.

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

(5) The Helmet of Salvation guards our minds.

This is the place where Satan concentrates most of his attacks. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

If you truly believe that you have eternal life through Jesus Christ and that someday (when He returns) your hope of redemption (of your body, Romans 8:23) will become a present reality, Satan’s tactics of war will seem pale by comparison. If you know who you are as a Christian, and what riches and resources you have in Christ, then, for you, the battle for your mind is mostly won.

Read Romans 13:11.

(6) The Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

This is the main offensive weapon we have in our arsenal. Like the Belt of Truth, it protects and purifies us. But this sword is also powerful enough to cut through Satan’s strategies and deceits. It can be used to make our enemy flee, as Jesus demonstrated when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11); and it can also be used to advance the Kingdom of God and to free the minds and souls of Satan’s captives. Only God’s Word has this power. Read Hebrews 4:12 and Jeremiah 23:28-29.

If we equip ourselves with all of the Armour of Light, we will be well protected whenever evil comes our way.

(7) The Final Component.

Now our Armour is almost complete. Because we, as Christians, are special targets of the enemy we need to equip ourselves constantly with the final component: we need to pray.Ephesians 6:18-19:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,
that I may open my mouth boldly,
to make known the mysteries of the gospel.”James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b)

If you want to resist the Devil and not give an inch of ground, you must be sure to put on every item in God’s arsenal. All of this divine Armour works together and each element can be found in God’s Word – the Bible. You need to be completely filled with truth, righteous in God’s eyes and in the way you live, and ready to march in to battle wherever the Gospel is needed. You must have the faith to stand firmly on all of God’s promises – believing that our Lord is faithful and true to keep them. You must also be filled with the hope that, on that glorious Day, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will meet us in the air and we, His people, will be transformed into His likeness.

The Word of God and fervent prayer are our most important weapons and we must look for every opportunity to use them in our battles.

The Lord has promised that His Word will not return void. (See Isaiah 55:10-11)

We must remember that God gave us His Armour to equip us for warfare. Like a soldier in an army – we are soldiers in God’s Army of Light, freeing the captives of darkness. A shield will only protect us from the front – we can’t turn and flee. We must face our foe and fight, whatever the cost to us. But all is not lost.

We can fight the good fight of faith and persevere with courage because the enemy of our souls – Satan – and his horde of devils have already been defeated at the cross of Jesus. They are just awaiting judgement, and might get a little desperate in their attacks. So until the day that they are cast into the Lake of Fire, we must remember two more promises:“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you,
and keep you from evil.”

(2 Thessalonians 3:3)
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work,
and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.”

(2 Timothy 4:18 )

Jerry Bouey



Day 35 – Jesus’ I Am Statements – Part Two

V.) The Nine Compound Names Of God In The Old Testament:

The nine compound names and their translations into English are as follows:

1) Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD my Provider

Genesis 22:13-14 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 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.

Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

I love this name in the Bible – it is the first of these compound names that is presented to us, and is in fact the most important (or at least the foundational one). The LORD has seen our greatest need and has provided for it: our need of salvation. Jesus, the Son of God, was the Lamb of God that took away our sins on Calvary. It is interesting to note that Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac, means “The LORD has seen,” and it truly was on that mountain that the LORD provided for our greatest need – as Calvary/Golgotha is part of the range of the mountains of Moriah.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

The LORD has already met our greatest need in providing salvation; if you have trusted in Jesus and received His free gift of eternal life, then He also promises to meet all your other needs as you walk with Him.

For a more indepth look at Genesis 22, see this study: Abraham Offering Isaac.

2) Jehovah-Rapha, The LORD my Healer

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

It is the LORD that heals our diseases. He is the Great Physician. He provided healing for our greatest disease, that of our sin, through His death upon the cross:

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

He is able to heal our backslidings:

Hosea 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

He doesn’t just slap a bandaid on our sin, but He removes it completely. He heals the underlying problem – and restores us completely to Him when we repent and confess our waywardness to Him.

He is also able to heal any other sicknesses or diseases that we may be afflicted with in our life – according to His perfect will. Sometimes it is not His will to heal believers down here, but rather to heal them by taking them home to Heaven, where they will have all trace of sin and sickness removed forever.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

3) Jehovah-Nissi, The LORD is my Banner

Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

The LORD is the one that we are to rally around, and He is the one that gives us victory in the spiritual battles we face.

For more on this theme, see His Banner Over Me Was Love.

4) Jehovah-Qadash, The LORD thy Sanctifier

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

It is the LORD that sanctifies us, that set us apart for His use and for His glory.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

There are two parts of sanctification:

a) Being set apart for God at salvation – our Standing (this is eternal):

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Hebrews 10:10, 14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

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.

b) Being set apart from the world in our daily walk with the LORD – our State:

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

Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2 Timothy 2:21 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.

While it may seem that our daily sanctification seems to be ever-changing (ie. sometimes we struggle and allow things into our lives that hinder our walks, and other times we make choices that strengthen them), the LORD will one day finish the work that He has started in us:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

5) Jehovah-Shalom, The LORD our Peace

Judges 6:23-24 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

The LORD Jesus Christ is our peace – through faith in Him, we have peace with God the Father; through steadfastly walking with Him, we have peace in our trials, peace of mind and heart – regardless of the storms raging around us!

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

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

6) Jehovah-Raah, The LORD my Shepherd

Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It is the LORD Himself who is the Shepherd of His sheep – He is the one who is responsible for leading them, providing for them, protecting them, etc. Sis Kate has done a wonderful study on The Nine Cares Of A Shepherd, so I won’t duplicate her devotional, but I would encourage you to read it for yourself. It is a tremendous blessing.

It is interesting to note the following seven-fold comparison between Psalms 22, 23, and 24 and their New Testament parallels. (I cannot now remember the original source of these notes that I had marked in the margin of my Bible a few years ago – if anyone knows what commentary they came from, please let me know and I can give proper credit to the author.)

Psalm 22: – 1) The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
2) The Saviour
3) The Foundation
4) Christ Dying
5) The Cross
6) He Gives His Life
7) Grace

Psalm 23: – 1) The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20)
2) The Satisfier
3) The Manifestation
4) Christ Living
5) The Comforter
6) He Gives His Love
7) Guidance

Psalm 24: – 1) The Chief Shepherd
2) The Sovereign
3) The Expectation
4) Christ Coming
5) The Crown
6) He Gives His Light
7) Glory

7) Jehovah-Sabaoth, The LORD of Hosts

Isaiah 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.

The LORD is the one who commands the army of Heaven – the angelic army made up of the holy angels. He is also the one who commands Israel’s armies too. This name (or variants of it) shows up at least 235 times in the Old Testament! It is also referred to twice in the New Testament:

Romans 9:29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

The LORD is the one who fights the wars for His people, He is the one who gives them deliverance from their enemies, and as James reveals above, He is also the one who rights the wrongs His people have suffered throughout history by their oppressors. He is definitely someone you want on your side! Or to put it more Biblically, His is the side you want to be on!

Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

This Captain of the LORD’s host is Jesus. He has already overcome the world – and promises victory to all those who trust in Him! Are you walking in light of that victory today?

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

8 ) Jehovah-Tsidkenu, The LORD our Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:5-6 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. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. We have no righteousness of our own, except for our self-righteousness, which is an offense to a righteous, holy God.

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.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

But in the LORD Jesus Christ, we have that perfect righteousness that is acceptable toward God – the righteousness of the LORD Jesus Christ Himself credited to our account:

Romans 1:16-17 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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 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: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 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; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 4:3-6 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Romans 5:17-19 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Romans 9:30-33 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

2 Corinthians 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.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 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.

9) Jehovah-Shammah, The LORD Is There (ie. Present)

Ezekiel 48:35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

During the Millenium, Jerusalem will be known as The LORD is there – a name significant because of the reality behind it! The Lord will dwell among His people during His millenial reign – and during eternity:

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Revelation 22:3-5 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 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.

But we don’t need to wait until Jesus’ 1000 year reign to have Him dwelling in our midst:

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Where true believers are gathered together in His name, the LORD is there! One of His names, after all, is Immanuel, God with us!

10) Jesus, The LORD Our Salvation

Matthew 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.

Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

The name Jesus is the equivalent of the Old Testament name, Joshua (who in many ways was a type of Christ). The LORD our salvation. It is noteworthy that this is essentially the tenth compound name of the LORD God – 10 being typical of the whole world. Jesus IS the Saviour of the whole world, the Saviour FOR the whole world. Faith in Him is the only means of salvation, and He is the only Saviour, as many passages throughout the Bible testify.

1 John 2:1-2 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: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

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.

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.

In four different time periods, we find the names of our Saviour capitalized in our King James Bibles:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS – Declared in OT prophecy: used in Jeremiah 23:6.
JESUS – Declared at His birth: used in Matthew 1:21, 25; Luke 1:31; 2:21.
JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS – Declared at His crucifixion: in Matthew 27:27 and John 19:19.
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS – Declared at His triumphant return: used in Revelation 19:16.

Truly, He is the LORD our righteousness, He is our Saviour, He is our King!

Whatever need we face in this life, the LORD will see it and provide it for those who trust in Him for salvation, and walk with Him day by day. Our Shepherd will heal us, sanctify us, and give us His peace. Jesus is our banner, and our LORD of hosts fighting our battles. He is always with us!

Truly, this study puts me on shouting ground!

Psalms 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

July 13th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 36 – The Perfect Holy Spirit

It is no wonder that Christ would leave us with His perfect Holy Spirit to reside within us. I love the fact that we don’t have the Spirit hovering over us in a cloud as the Jews did in the days of the Old Testament. No, instead we have Him right inside us – He’s there all the time, wherever we go! No wonder Christ could say that He would never leave us or forsake us!

I have heard messages preached on the fruit of the Spirit, but as I was searching out about the work of the Holy Spirit I discovered that there were seven different works that the Holy Spirit does for us. As the number seven symbolizes perfection, we can see that God’s work is meant to be perfect – it is man’s sin that stands in the way. We will lack nothing from God as His work is perfect. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu 32:4)

Let’s take a look at how the Holy Spirit of God works in our lives. Rom. 8:26-27, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (26) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (27)

1. He helps our infirmities: The Holy Spirit helps us and carries our burdens. In this case, He helps us with our weaknesses, both physically and mentally. Not all are to be physically healed (as in the cases of Paul, Timothy and Gaius) but all can be spiritually healed. I absolutely love the verse: 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) Christ promises rest for the soul (salvation) in this verse. The Holy Spirit draws us to Him and the result is help for our sin – salvation through Christ and the promised rest for our soul is given to us.

2. He makes intercession for us: Noah Webster’s definition of intercession absolutely blesses the heart!

INTERCES’SION, n. [L. intercessio, from intercedo. See Intercede.]

The act of interceding; mediation; interposition between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation; prayer or solicitation to one party in favor of another, sometimes against another.

Your intercession now is needless grown;

Retire and let me speak with her alone.

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession

for the transgressors. Isa 53.

Compare Noah’s definition with Merriam Webster’s definition:

Main Entry: in·ter·ces·sion
Pronunciation: “in-t&r-‘se-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin intercession-, intercessio, from intercedere
1 : the act of interceding
2 : prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another

Is it any wonder that the believer does not receive the blessing he would receive if he were to look up the definitions intended at the time the King James Bible was put into English? I glean so much more from the Word when I take the time to read the definitions as they were intended.

The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, my friend. He mediates to the Father for us. I can see Him tell the Father, “Father, Kate really needs a new winter coat. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give her a mink coat but I do believe that second-hand wool coat would provide her with great warmth!” Can’t you see Him saying that? The Holy Spirit “interposes between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation” – We are at variance with the Father until we come to Him through Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ with the goal to reconcile us to the Father! He prays to the Father in our favor, and sometimes against our favor. When we are praying for something the Spirit knows is not to our benefit, He will approach the Father against our favor. How beautiful a picture of praying in God’s will. The Holy Spirit sees to it that our Heavenly Father is approached with the right kind of prayer on our behalf. How can we go wrong?

Notice how verse 26 goes on to say “for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The charismatic groups use this in defense of speaking (praying) in tongues. However, the verse says “which cannot be uttered! The word utter means:

1. To speak; to pronounce; to express; as, to utter words; to utter sounds.

You’ve been there in your prayer life – a prayer request that you just don’t know how to put into words or even how to pray for. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It does not mean that you are now going to speak or pray in an unknown tongue because verse 26 says that it is not “spoken, pronounced or that sound is not made.” The Holy Spirit’s work here on our behalf is to put into words to the Father what we are not able to do for ourselves. He prays it just right for us.

3. He searches the heart: The Holy Spirit searches our hearts for the reasons behind our prayers – our motives – He investigates every aspect and knows all there is to know. I picture Him with a flashlight going through the dark recesses of my heart where He finds what He is looking for. He is the ultimate investigator. He strives to prevent us from fulfilling this verse: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (Jam 4:3)

4. He teaches us: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luk 12:12) He is our teacher. He will put God’s Word in our minds and hearts when we need it so that we know what to say when we need to say it.

5. He comforts us: 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) Why would the Lord use the word “Comforter” in this sentence instead of Teacher? Have you ever been led to a verse in the Word when you were down hearted and it brought to you the comfort you needed desperately? I know I have. I think of Psalm 121 and how many times I have turned to that chapter in desperation only to walk away uplifted and encouraged. I can see why the Lord use the word Comforter here. The Holy Spirit brings to our memory the Word of God, where to turn to in the Word, what to read in the Word and what to glean from the Word. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. There’s no greater comfort, my friend, than to possess the Spirit of God within us – the Spirit who stands ready to give us exactly what we need.

6. He draws us to Christ: To deny the Holy Spirit’s calling is serious business. He draws us to Christ. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mat 12:32) A person who says “no” to the final calling of the Holy Spirit for salvation is damned for all eternity. My Pastor stood by a dying man’s bedside and absolutely begged him to get saved. This man kept saying, “I just can’t”! He had denied Christ too many times that he had reached the point that he just couldn’t be saved. If someone who is reading this devotional today is not saved, please keep this in mind. You can say you’ll get saved “some” day. But that day may come and it will be too late for you. Please don’t wait. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Cor 6:2)

7. He testifies of Christ: 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) The Holy Spirit verifies that Christ is the Son of God – the Second Person of the Trinity. How can He do this today? By the written and published Word of God – through witnesses beginning with the Apostles and those who saw Him in person! He can also use the Christian to witness to what Christ has done in his or her life. Noah Webster defines the word testify as:

TEST’IFY, v.t. To affirm or declare solemnly for the purpose of establishing a fact.

We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John 3.

1. In law, to affirm or declare under oath before tribunal, for the purpose of proving some fact.

2. To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony.

To testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20.

3. To publish and declare freely.

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

How blessed we are to have the perfect work of the Holy Spirit directing our path! It is complete – it is perfect – it is thorough! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Faithful

Lord, You’ve been so faithful in
those times I’ve cried to You.
You’ve answered so many prayers,
and made wondrous dreams come true!

You’ve always been there to guide me
when I wasn’t sure what to do.
You gave me strength when I was weak,
and Your light came shining through.

I thank and praise You for Your gentle touch,
of reproof when I’ve gone astray.
You promised You’d never leave my side,
and You’d walk with me every day!

Kate Plourde



Day 37 – The Seven Depictions of Christ in Revelation

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. (Rev 3:20)

I find the studies on the number seven to have been my biggest blessing thus far. I was looking at the seven churches in Revelation and reflected on how each referenced “saith he” and just who that “he” was. We all know that He is Christ. However, the characteristics used to depict Christ are awesome!

1. Jesus holds His messengers in His right hand and walks in the midst of the church. Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; The seven stars are the angels, the messengers. It is thought that these messengers are the pastors of the seven churches (the candlesticks). It is interesting that these angels are held in the palm of Christ’s right hand! They are His. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (Joh 10:29) Also notice that the seven candlesticks (the seven churches – seven is perfection, completeness) are shown with Christ walking in the midst of them. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat 18:20) Not only is the Pastor held in Christ’s palm but Christ Himself walks amongst us through His Spirit. How can we go wrong?

2. Jesus is the first and last and is alive! 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; We do not serve the dead gods of the world. We serve a Risen Saviour! 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 1:18 )

3. Jesus is sharper than any two edged sword! Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; Since Jesus is known as the Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) – He is fulfills the following verse: 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. (Heb 4:12) Jesus came in the flesh – He became the spoken Word of God to us in the flesh. When He returned to Heaven, He left us His spoken Word in written form through the power of His Holy Spirit. 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)

4. Jesus is the Son of God! Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; The only time the Son of God is found in the O.T. is in Dan. 3:25 when the Son of God walked in the midst of the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! The phrase Son of God appears in 45 verses in God’s Word. I found it interesting that the number forty symbolizes “probation, testing, closing in victory or judgment” and the number five “grace, cross, atonement, life”! Isn’t it appropriate that Jesus’ ministry on earth (His hour of testing) closes with His reign in both victory and judgment? Isn’t it also interesting that His grace given to us by His blood’s atonement on the cross results in eternal life for us? Glory!! How can we say that God’s Word is not complete? Every jot and every tittle will be made manifest one day. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:18 ) This series is only scratching the surface – it would be like placing a pencil mark on Mount Everest! I’m certain that when we reach Heaven, we will see so much more!

5. Jesus has the seven Spirits of God. Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. The Holy Spirit resides within every born-again believer and every born-again believer makes up the church. The word “hath” reveals that Christ holds the church and possesses the church. What a blessing this is!

6. Jesus is holy, He is true and is the door. Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; Jesus is the only door. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (Joh 10:7) and I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (Joh 10:9) It’s interesting that the phrase “I am the door” appears twice to depict the Second Person of the Trinity! I also found it interesting to see that the door reference is for the Church at Philadelphia – the church that will experience the rapture!

7. Jesus is the Amen. 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; (Rev 3:14) Salvation is final, firm, established and complete in Jesus. 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) Jesus is the only way to Heaven – He is the final way to Heaven – He is the beginning and the end – no other way! Plain and simple! Period! No Allah, no Buddha, no Mohammad! It is Jesus and Jesus only!

What a blessing to read these this morning! God is so good to us, my friend! We spend but a few minutes or hours in the Word yet we walk away with eternal blessings! Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Hark He is Calling
Fanny Crosby

Though young in years, we are all taught,
The way that leads to Jesus;
The way that must by faith be sought,
If we would come to Jesus.

Refrain

Hark! He is calling every day,
He says to each one, “I am the way.”
Let us arise, arise without delay,
And come at once to Jesus.

How happy they, who safely rest
Within the fold of Jesus;
Beneath His kind protection blest,
They walk and talk with Jesus.

Refrain

There is a door that leads from sin,
That blessed door is Jesus;
And there we all must enter in,
To reach the fold of Jesus.

Refrain

And, as His sheep have learned to know,
The loving voice of Jesus;
So we, like them, may gladly go,
And ever dwell with Jesus.

Refrain



Day 38 – My Seven Most Used Passages

2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

God’s promises are for God’s children – to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.

To make this series a little more personal, today and in my next devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?

My seven most used or claimed verses are:

1) Provision – Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Worrying about our needs is one of the greatest fears many of us face on a regular basis – but with promises like these, we do not need to live in fear. What we need to do is be faithful, seek the Lord and do His will – and He will provide for us each day.

There are so many examples I could think of in regards to God’s provision in my life – whether big or small. When I moved back to Kelowna in 1997, I was involved in street ministry and started volunteering at the Gospel Mission – because I was 100% sure that was what God had called me to do at that point in time. I was not yet working, but my student loan payments were due to start soon. I remember claiming this verse in my daily prayers, and just trusting that the Lord would do as He said. Very shortly afterwards, a friend from the Bible study group I was leading approached me and gave me $400 to use towards my bills. He had just filed his quarterly tax return, and stated he did not need that money and thought I might be able to use it. Praise the Lord!

Another time, in 1994, I was burdened for my family on my Dad’s side that I got to know a little when I was a teenager (lived for a year and a half at my Dad’s place in Saskatchewan). My uncle was not doing well – and was without a farm hand, so I offered to come and work for him that summer for free to help him out. He promised to think about it. I made it a matter of serious prayer – that was Wednesday; by Friday morning he called me back with information that a woman that worked with his wife was visiting relatives about 40 miles away from where I was, and her family was driving back to where my uncle lived the following Monday! He had already contacted them, and they were willing to take me with them, without costing me anything. In fact, my roommate drove me to meet them, gave me $20 to take with me, and this family paid for my meals during the trip! God opened the door for ministry to my family, and He provided for ALL my needs!

One of my favourite verses on this theme is:

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Notice that it is a seven-fold, all encompassing promise. God is always faithful!

2) Forgiveness

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.

This is another one of those primary verses I use practically every day. When I repent, God’s forgiveness and cleansing is there for me.

It always comes back to the new beginning and clean slate God offers His children each day – a new beginning that we can always claim by faith when we put our eyes back on the Lord.

Lamentations 3:21-24 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

This new beginning is what can give us hope – ie. a confident expectation – when we have messed up or wandered from the Lord; hope of restoration and renewed fellowship with the Lord; hope of renewed usefullness in our service to the Lord. Here is a new beginning each day!

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.

3) Wisdom

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.

A verse claimed most times when I come to the Bible for reading and studying, and many, many times claimed throughout the months and years since I came to know the Saviour – through all the situations the Lord has placed me in. I need my Heavenly Father’s wisdom in every trial and trouble I face!

4) Strength

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

God has NEVER called us to do something He won’t equip us to do! If we are lacking strength or resources, I can see two possibilities: Either we are not doing His will, or we are not right with Him and depending upon Him for His strength, mercy, grace, etc.

2 Corinthians 12:9 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.

5) Grace

Hebrews 4:15-16 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. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

We have a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, that can identify with ALL that we go through, and is there to give us His mercy and grace when we come to Him in prayer – whenever we need it.

I love doing word studies. The Greek word for help in verse 16 (when traced to its root words) literally means “run to the cry.” When I need help and turn to my Lord, He will come running to my cry! What a blessing to my soul! I am never alone, and I never have to face life alone – He is always there for me!

6) Peace

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Whenever I find I do not have peace of mind, it is a strong reminder for me to put my eyes back on the Saviour again! Because when I do, He fulfills His promise to me. I often associate this promise with another similar one:

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

If I give all my worries and concerns to the Lord, and leave them in His hands, then He will give me His perfect (complete) peace that passes all understanding. It is a peace within – regardless of what is happening on the outside, a peace regardless of our circumstances. And it is a peace that protects our hearts and minds, where Satan’s attacks are directed.

7) Guidance

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

I don’t need to know what lies in my future – I know the Lord has His perfect plan that He is working out. I just need to give each day to the Lord, and let Him lead me! He knows what He is doing; He is carrying out His purpose according to His will. My responsibility is to make sure I leave my plans in His hands – then trust my Shepherd to lead His sheep in the right paths, and to open or close the doors in my life – doors of opportunity, doors of ministry, doors of service.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

July 18th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 39 – Ten Plagues

The Ten Commandments is God’s law to mankind. The law shows man his sinful nature. The first and second commandments deal with not having other gods or graven images before us. I found it interesting that all ten plagues given to the Egyptians dealt with their gods and graven images.

The number ten symbolizes the law, government and restoration. God gave us the law and clearly outlined that we are not to have any other gods before us. God also shows how we can be restored to Him – through His Son, Jesus Christ and His work of the cross. I thought I would incorporate those two concepts into the ten plagues. I could not believe how God blessed me through this! I hope they bless you as well!

1. Water into blood: The Egyptians viewed the Nile as their god – the giver of life. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. (Exo 7:20)

The Hebrew slaves shed much of their blood at the hands of the Egyptians but now God showed them that the Egyptian Nile god was no longer the giver of life – God gave them much blood to drink. Exo 7:20 says that all the waters in the river turned to blood. This was their drinking water – sustenance for their crops and cattle. Can you just imagine what impact this had on them? Think of how you wouldn’t be able to live without water!

I found it interesting that the magicians could duplicate this plague but they could not make it go away. The world can try to duplicate the way to heaven but only through Christ’s shed blood can we gain entrance. It is His blood that brings forth the waters of everlasting life! He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38 )

2. Frogs: The Egyptian goddess, Isis (the goddess of fertility) was represented as a frog. And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: (Exo 8:3) God showed the Egyptians that she was not a god by giving them dead piles of frogs. These frogs were everywhere! Imagine finding frogs in your house – in your bedroom – in your bed – in the food – everywhere you looked? That’s a LOT of frogs! I found it interesting that the magicians could make the frogs appear but they could not make them go away. The devil can bring things into our lives to make our lives putrid and disgusting – permeating every area of our lives, but only God can clean it up and make it new. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor 5:17)

3. Lice: The Egyptians worshipped the earth god named Seth. And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (Exo 8:16) God caused the tiny little lice to come up out of the earth and make the Egyptians’ lives miserable! Can you imagine each piece of dust in the land turning into lice? If any of you have had lice or one of your children has come home from school with head lice, you know how absolutely annoying they can be to get rid of! It was interesting to see that the magicians could not duplicate this plague. God created the earth – He can cause it to do whatever He wants. Not so with their earth god. The lice reminded me of sin and how much it can permeate our lives and consume us. It takes strong chemicals to be rid of lice and we have to boil our clothes and bed sheets, etc. – and still no guarantee that they are completely gone. It is the same with sin. We can try all we want to use the methods of the world to be rid of them, but only the precious blood of Jesus Christ can wipe them away – permanently!

4. Flies: The prince of the air, Beelzebub, was thought to use the flies as his ears. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. (Exo 8:21) Egypt’s priests could not make them go away. They were coming in droves and were everywhere but the Hebrews were not bothered by them at all. Evil was separated from good. It reminded me of: 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) Sin is putrid 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) God sees our best behavior as filthy rags – putrid smelling.

5. Grievous Murrain: The Egyptians worshipped Apis, the sacred bull. Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. (Exo 9:3) God caused a disease to come over all the livestock of the land. God showed them that there is no other who is holy or sacred. … for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (Mar 12:32b)

6. Boils: The Egyptians believed that their medical sorcerers could cure their diseases. They were looked upon as gods. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. (Exo 9:10) God showed them their god could not heal them – in fact, they had the boils themselves. Have you ever had a boil? These were not just boils but had pustules (blains) coming from them. I know this sounds disgusting but the point is that it could not have gotten any worse! These boils were also on their animals! How gross is that?! After having a pestilence throughout the land affecting their animals, the Egyptians could not have had many animals left. God showed them that only He could remove disease.

7. Hail with Fire: The Egyptians worshipped their weather sorcerers, who supposedly could control the weather. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. (Exo 9:23) God showed them here that only He could control the weather. 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. (Mar 4:39)

8. Locusts The Egyptians also worshipped their agricultural sorcerers. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. (Exo 10:13) They supposedly controlled the crops by doing magic to their gods. However, God showed them that they could not outdo Him. The locusts were bigger than they had ever seen and did not leave – they covered the entire land so that everything appeared black. Ex. 10:14-15, And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. (14) For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. (15) Can you imagine this? We’ve never seen anything like this but it did happen and it will happen again according to Revelation 9:3. Sin has a way of destroying everything in our lives – our physical bodies – those around us – our circumstances. Sin covers us with black in the eyes of God. Only Christ can make us 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 )

9. Darkness: The highest and most powerful god of the Egyptians was Rah, the sun god. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: (Exo 10:22) Rah was supposedly Pharaoh’s father and, therefore, the most powerful of all their gods. God showed the Egyptians that He was greater than their god by overpowering the sun! Jesus Christ, the “Son,” overpowers all gods. He 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)

10. Death of the First Born: To the Egyptian, the first born represented their gods’ favor toward them. And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. (Exo 11:5) The Old Testament is filled with God requiring that the first born be consecrated to Him. God removed the Egyptians thoughts of their gods favoring them by showing them that He favored the Hebrews. God spared the Hebrews’ first born by instructing them to paint their doorposts with the blood of a spotless lamb! When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorposts, He passed over them just as God’s judgment and punishment pass over us because of the perfect Blood of Christ covering us! Praise be to God! God portrayed His desire to consecrate the first born by giving us His Son to pay the penalty for us.

Ah, the number ten – a beautiful depiction of God’s Law – man’s inability to keep that law – and God’s plan to restore us to Him through Christ. I never thought I would see this in the ten plagues but it sure was fun picking it apart!

When I See the Blood
John G. Foote

Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,
Died for the sinner, paid all his due.
All who receive Him need never fear,
Yes, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Chiefest of sinners, Jesus will save;
As He has promised, so He will do;
Oh, sinner, hear Him, trust in His Word,
Then He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

Judgment is coming, all will be there.
Who have rejected, who have refused?
Oh, sinner, hasten, let Jesus in,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

O great compassion! O boundless love!
Jesus hath power, Jesus is true;
All who believe are safe from the storm,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain



Day 40 – My Seven Favorite Verses

2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Of course, this promise about God’s promises giving us all we need to live for His glory in this world is also one of my favourite ones too!

God’s promises are for God’s children – to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.

To make this series a little more personal, today and in my last devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?

My seven favourite verses (within the last few years) are:

1) God’s Sovereignty

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

No matter what the trial or affliction in my life, the Lord will ultimately turn it around and use it for my good! That doesn’t make the evil good in itself (as some would claim), but it means that everything the Lord allows into my life has some purpose that fits His plan for me – whether something to strengthen my faith, something to chastise me, something to draw me even closer to Him, something to teach me more about Him and His Word, or perhaps something to better enable me to relate to and offer comfort to someone else going through a similar trial further down the road – whatever the purpose, the Lord God is still in control!

I love the Old Testament equivalent of this promise too (as stated by Joseph to his brethren):

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.

2) The Lord Is With Me In All My Valleys

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

One of my favourite themes of study in the Bible is that of the valleys we face in this life – and the Lord has promised to be with us in each one, and to bring us through them (not leave us stranded in the midst of them). In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, is the Lily of the Valleys.

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

I love that old hymn of the faith which was inspired by this verse, but the author of the hymn didn’t get it completely right – Jesus is the Lily of the VALLEYS (plural).

Whatever the valley you face, Jesus is there. These valleys were all wonderful to study out and tackle in my preaching at the Gospel Mission:

a) The Valley of the Shadow of Death – which we will all face at one time or another, not only the looming shadow of our own death, but the shadow of the death of our loved ones. Still Jesus is with us!

b) The Valley of Trouble (Achor) – this is the backslider’s valley! This is where the Lord brings us to the end of ourselves, so we will return to Him. The true believer will sing in that valley because it is the door of hope, the door back to repentance and to fellowship with our Saviour.

Hosea 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

c) The Valley of Strength (Elah – in 1 Samuel 17:2) – what are the giants you face in your life? The Lord can give you complete victory in Him! The battle is not won in the strength of man, but in the Lord’s strength – the battle IS the Lord’s!

1 Samuel 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.

d) The Valley of Blessing (Berachah – 2 Chronicles 20:26) – when utter defeat looms on the horizon, victory is found only by trusting in and praising the Lord!

2 Chronicles 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

e) The Valley of Weeping (Baca) – The Lord can bring comfort and blessing out of our times of sorrow and grief, when our strength and hope is found in Him.

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

f) The Valley of Decision – this is the decision we all face in this life, the decision to choose or reject the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

Joel 3:2, 14 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

3) The Burden Bearer

These two verses go together:

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

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

I don’t have to carry my burdens alone – in fact, I don’t need to carry them at all! I can throw them all upon Jesus and let Him carry them for me! I love the end of 1 Peter 5:7: for he careth for you! He will bear your burdens – when you give them to Him – because He loves you. Five simple words of assurance and comfort, but how tremendous their impact!

Once I give Jesus my burdens and cares, then I can take His yoke upon me and work upon my life with Him – my Lord and I, both of us together.

Matthew 11:29-30 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.

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

4) No Fear, But Power

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A rich word study is found in this verse! Meditate upon these definitions:

a) Fear – dread or timidity.

b) Power – force, ability, strength – dunamis, where we get our word dynamite from!

c) Love – agape – selfless, sacrificial love towards others. Love is an action word!

d) A Sound Mind – discipline, i.e. self-control.

The Lord has NOT given us the spirit of fear! We do not have to dread or be afraid of what He has planned for us – for what He has called us to do, He will equip us for. He has given us tremendous power to serve Him with, love to enable us to reach out to others, and a sound mind that is willing and able to do His will. The Lord has given us the ability to control ourselves, to put out whatever fear we may have (whether caused by Satan or by ourselves), and to serve Him in love and faithfulness.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

5) God Proved His Love

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

Whenever you are tempted to think, “Woe is me! Life is hard and unfair,” remember the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord! Jesus already proved it to the world by dying for our sins – and He proved it to you personally by saving your soul the instant you turned to Him in repentance and faith.

“When you are wondering if the Lord cares and if He is watching from above
Take a second look at Calvary – and there behold God’s wondrous love!”

6) The Lord Thinks About Me

Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

In a world that tries to beat us down, tries to make us feel worthless, tries to make us feel like a number, tries to make us focus on what we lack, rather than glory in all that we have in our Heavenly Father, here is a wonderful verse that reminds us of the Lord’s tender care and compassion upon us. He thinketh upon me! Thinketh… present tense, ongoing – my Saviour is always thinking about me! Who cares if the world does not value me – the one who is most important does – and that is what counts the most in light of eternity! My sins and situations in life may strip me of my dignity and self-worth, but my Heavenly Father loves me in spite of myself, loves me while knowing everything about me – loves me anyways! Praise His name!

It is interesting to note that the very next verse (Psalm 41:1) begins with this phrase: Blessed is he that considereth the poor… From the context, I would say that our Heavenly Father considers Himself blessed everytime He thinks about us!

Psalms 139:17-18 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Amen! Those thoughts are precious to my soul!

7) The Lord Will Finish His Work In My Life

Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Someone has compared our lives to a pathway with a curtain hanging one step in front of us; as we walk each step, the curtain advances one step further on. We never know what our future holds – but, by faith, we can trust that our Heavenly Father has it all planned out for us – and we can know that He will work out what He has begun in us, and in our lives. There are various times I have had to claim this verse by faith. Whether it was waiting for the results of a job interview, waiting for important paperwork to be processed, waiting for a life or death situation to be resolved so my sister and I could make the right decisions in a difficult time, or waiting for doors of ministry to be opened or closed in my life – the Lord perfected (completed) that area of my life so that I could glorify Him and step out in faith to fulfill what He had planned for me.

While I believe the above verse primarily applies to the circumstances we face, we also have God’s promises that He will perfect the work He has begun inside each of us!

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

I Know Whom I Have Believed
(Words: Daniel W. Whittle)

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Chorus:
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Precious promises indeed!!

July 20th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 41 – Given By The Father To The Son

I was blessed these last few days by meditating on John 17 and Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, being reminded again of the seven times that Jesus states that the Father gave all true believers to Him, the Son. There are 17 references to gave(st) and give(n) altogether in this chapter. Each verse says something slightly different, and it is edifying to look at what they encompass. These seven references to us being given to the Son are contained in six separate verses:

1) John 17:1-2 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Seven times in the Gospel of John Jesus refers to His hour, the hour He would be glorified by the Father through His death upon the cross for our sins, His burial, and His physical resurrection: 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23 (see also vs. 24), 27; 13:1; and 17:1. There are eight times in this chapter that Jesus uses the word glory or a form thereof (glorify, glorified).

We might say about verse 2, “This one’s a given,” meaning that we already are familiar with this truth: all that have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour have been given the gift of eternal life in Him. I love how the next verse expresses exactly what that eternal life is – fellowship with the Father and the Son:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 John 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.

Salvation is eternal life – fellowship with the Lord our God – life, living in the presence of God for eternity.

2) John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Many times the Scriptures refer to the “name” of the Son, but here Jesus refers to the name of the Father. He declares that He has manifested (made plain) the Father’s name to His disciples. The main name for God (the Godhead, not just the Father) used throughout the Bible is Lord (or LORD), Jehovah, I Am – and we can see Jesus identifying Himself as the great I Am throughout His ministry. He and the Father are one (see John 10:30) – one in essence, and one in unity. When we see Jesus, we see the Father through Him (John 14:9); in Jesus, we truly see God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) as He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Hebrews 1:1-3 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Notice the seven-fold description here of the Son – seven statements that assert His divinity.

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

In Jesus, we see everything God is. Knowing this, the next verse contains tremendous assurance for those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation:

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Verse 6 mentions how Jesus’ disciples have kept His Word. The word kept here means “to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon.” True believers will cling to the Word of God, hold to its teachings, and not let the Devil or the world snatch these doctrinal truths from their hearts.

John 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

3) John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

In Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, we don’t just see the Son fellowshipping with the Father, but we see Him also praying for His own – in fact, this is the primary ministry He is currently occupied with in Heaven.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 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.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8 is one of my favourite chapters of the whole Bible. Notice how it teaches that if you are a born again child of God, all three members of the Godhead are for you: Romans 8:26-27, and 31-32.

4) John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

In this portion of Jesus’ prayer, we hear Him petitioning the Father to keep us safe so that we may be one with Him and in Him. This is a unity based on the true God and on truth (see verses 2, 17, and 19). Too many in our day are striving for a man-made ecumenical unity – but Jesus’ prayer was for a unity of fellowship and purpose among the true children of God, not among apostate Christendom. (For the sake of clarification, I believe the primary unity the New Testament teaches is unity within each local church – not unity among all believers worldwide; though even among true believers there should be a unity among the fundamentals of the faith.)

John 17:21-23 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Romans 15:5-6 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Ephesians 4:3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

In this passage, there is a seven-fold unity that God has established. This is one of two places in the New Testament where the Trinity is expressed in this fashion: Spirit, Lord, and God (the Father). The other reference is 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.

The word fellowship basically means “a sharing in what we have in common together.” There is not much in the way of fellowship between professing believers who are not likeminded, who do not hold to the same doctrines, the same general Bible principles and standards, the same Saviour (and, of course, there is no fellowship between a true believer and an unbeliever). Whether on a message board or in a local church, in a church potluck or in a coffee shop, fellowship must be based on what we have in common in the Lord Jesus Christ and the faith we share in Him and in the precious Word of God.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Philippians 2:1-2 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Philippians 3:9-10 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:5-7 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. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

It is interesting to note that in John 17:11, Jesus refers to His Father as Holy Father (the only time this name is used in the whole Bible) in the context of keeping us safe in this world – keeping us in His name will involve separation from ungodliness and sin, will involve holiness in His children, will involve true believers being set apart (sanctified, holy) from the world. Verse 24 also contains the only reference to the name Righteous Father.

5) John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Jesus states that He has kept all those that the Father has given Him – He has not lost a single one, except the one that He never had to begin with! Judas was never saved, had never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation; therefore he was still lost. A careful studying out of all the passages relating to Judas (especially in the Gospel of John) will bear out this fact. Judas never repented of his sin, nor placed his faith personally in the Saviour. After his betrayal of Jesus Christ, he regretted the consequences of his betrayal (ie. Jesus being led to death), but he did not turn to God for forgiveness of his sins. For further study, consider John 2:23-25; 6:64-71 (devil means slanderer, accuser); 12:4-6; 13:2 (notice that Judas is possessed by Satan himself in verse 27), 10-11, 18-30, plus the accounts of the betrayal. The phrase, the son of perdition, is the same term used for the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, of whom, no doubt, Judas was a type. In Matthew 27:3, it states that Judas repented himself, which is a different word in Greek indicating remorse or regret for what happened, not repentance toward God.

I covered all that to re-emphasize the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ keeps His own! He never loses anyone who truly repents of their sins and receives Him as their Saviour. No one can be separated from His love (see Romans 8:35, 37-39), and no one can be taken from His hands or the Father’s hands – we are doubly held! (see John 10:27-30).

The Greek word for keep and kept in verses 11-12, and 15 is the same as that used in verse 6, in regards to the disciples keeping Jesus’ Word (see definition above). However, the Greek word is different the second time kept is used in verse 12 (those that thou gavest me I have kept), and means “through the idea of isolation; to watch, i.e. be on guard (literally of figuratively); by implication, to preserve, obey, avoid.” Our Lord is watching over us, watching over our souls, He is guarding us and keeping us by His power – and no true believer will ever be lost! He will keep and preserve us until He takes us home to live with Him forever in Heaven!

John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

It was Jesus’ prayer that the Father would keep us (ie. guard and protect us) from evil – that He would keep us safe while we are in this world, safe from the evil influences of this world. The above passage is where we get our phrase from, “We are to be in the world, but not of the world.” The word world is used 19 times in this chapter. Some passages that also speak of God’s same protection for His children are:

Galatians 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:

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

This last verse contains the wonderful promise to the Philadephian church (the Missionary church, the church of brotherly love) that the Lord will rapture them out before the time of Tribulation comes to test the whole world. True believers have already made their choice, have already received (and kept) the Word of God, already received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and therefore will be removed from the time of trouble that will come upon all the world. We do not need to be tried or proven to see what we will do with Jesus, as that decision has already been made by those who have trusted in Christ.

One point worth mentioning in a day of ecumenicism: the word for all the world is used three times in the book of Revelation – and is a reference to the lost world opposed against the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Greek word oikoumene, where we get our word “ecumenical” from! And there are naive or deliberately deceptive people today pushing the ecumenical movement on us! That will only lead to the one-world church and one-world government of the Antichrist in Revelation 13. We need to beware! Beware when the whole world is running after the same thing, when the whole world is running after the same “Christian” leader, when the whole world is running after the same movements or philosophies! The “whole world” does not love the things of God, does not love the Word of God – beware!

Revelation 12:9 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.

Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

6) John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

This last statement in our study is Jesus’ prayer that all true believers would be with Jesus in Heaven forever, and that we would behold His glory. I believe Peter, James, and John were given a glimpse of that glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, and John saw the glorified Christ when he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos – and one day we will see Him totally glorified and transfigured before our eyes, because then our sin nature will have been removed, and there will be nothing hindering us from beholding Him as He truly is. Like the Lord told Moses, when he asked to see God’s glory:

Exodus 33:19-23 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

In order to see God’s glory, we must be hidden in Christ, hidden in the Rock!

Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9:2-3 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

As an added study, it is also interesting to note the various other things that Jesus said the Father has given Him:

a) power over all flesh – vs. 2
b) the work which thou gavest me to do – vs. 4
c) whatsoever thou hast given me – vs. 7
d) the words which thou gavest me – vs. 8
e) the glory which thou gavest me – vs. 22
f) my glory, which thou hast given me – vs. 24

And what He has given His disciples:

a) I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me – vs. 8
b) I have given them thy word – vs. 14
c) the glory which thou gavest me I have given them – vs. 22

The last verse of this chapter contains an amazing statement:

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

God the Father loves His children with the same love He loves the Son! He wants us to be filled with that love, and dwell in us, working through us. This verse exposes the Devil’s lie that God doesn’t care for us or that His love is conditioned on our own worthiness – He loves us as much as He loves the Son because we are in the Son! Is that love evident in your life, evident in you and through you?

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.

Romans 5:5 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.

July 26th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 42 – The Son of God

There is only one path to Heaven. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only way. 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) My husband took this picture when we were camping. I loved it because both paths are similar. However, one path is more narrow than the other. You can look down another path and think it is the right way, but the Word says it is the wrong way. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 16:25) If Heaven were entered by many paths (like the statement all roads lead to Rome), then Buddha, Allah and Confucious would lead to Heaven. This contradicts the Word of God, however. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Mat 7:14) Jesus said, I am the way and NO man can come to the Father but by Him. Why do you think that this is so important and is attacked by the false religions of the world? I believe it is because they deny Jesus’ Deity – the fact that He is the Son of God.

I did a search for the phrase, “Son of God,” and was delighted at my findings. I discovered there was actually one verse in the Old Testament that referred to the Son of God! My heart jumped with joy! He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Dan 3:25) The rest of the verses were found in the New Testament. As I read through the 47 verses, I found that they could be placed into twelve different categories – each describing the Son of God. The number twelve symbolizes divine government. This had me rejoicing in my spirit because of: 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. (Isa 9:6) Does this not excite you? The deity of Christ is found in Isa 9:6 – He is the Son – He is the mighty God – He is the everlasting Father! My friend, Jesus is the only way! If you are not saved and reading this, I pray that the Holy Spirit of God pricks your heart and opens your eyes to this wonderful Truth.

Let’s look at how the Son of God is described:

He walks with usHe answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Dan 3:25)

He intercedes for usSeeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Heb 4:14)

No matter what sin we have committed after salvation, Christ goes before the Father and shows Him that our sins are covered by His precious blood! Like David, in the account of Bathsheba, we acknowledge our sin and guilt before God and repent (turn) from our sin and do it no more. This is the difference between the saved and the unsaved. The saved are chastised by God when we sin and we repent from that sin. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (Heb 12:8 )

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 7:3)

He requires faithI 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. (Gal 2:20)

Can perform life altering miracles: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Mat 4:3) (See also Luke 4:3)

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Mat 4:6) (See also Luke 4:9)

If the Son of God can change stone into bread, how much more can He help us with our daily lives? The Creator of all stands ready to help us just as He stood with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! He stood with them in the fire and they had not heard of Jesus Christ yet, my friend! How much more will Christ stand with us who live in Him by faith? Oh joy!

Has charge over devilsAnd, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Mat 8:29)

And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. (Mar 3:11)

And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. (Luk 4:41)

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 Jo 3:8 )

Pastor is covering 1 John in our Wednesday night series. He used this verse as an example of how many Christians struggle with their salvation because of this verse. The sin described here is the sin of an unbeliever. All it takes is one sin to keep us out of Heaven, right? Have you sinned at least once since you were saved? We all have! That would mean that none of us would go to Heaven then! This refers to those who stay in their sin – who continue in their sin. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Rom 7:19) Even Paul struggled with sin but the key is not to make it a part of our lives. Instead, we acknowledge each sin and strive not to sin. 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: (1 Jo 2:1)

His Deity recognized by manThen they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Mat 14:33)

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Mat 27:54)

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. (Mar 15:39)

And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. (Joh 1:34) Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (Joh 1:49)

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (Joh 11:27)

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Act 9:20)

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Rom 1:4) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. (2 Co 1:19)

He was ridiculedAnd saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. (Mat 27:40)

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (Mat 27:43)

He brought Good News/SalvationThe beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (Mar 1:1)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (Joh 5:25)

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? (Joh 9:35)

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (Joh 20:31)

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Act 8:37)

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 Jo 4:15)

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jo 5:5)

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. (1 Jo 5:10)

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 Jo 5:12)

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 Jo 5:13)

His mission was heralded by angelsAnd the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luk 1:35)

He brings judgment: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (Joh 3:18 )

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; (Rev 2:18 )

He is to be glorified: When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. (Joh 11:4)

Came to die: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. (Joh 19:7)

The Word of God clearly speaks in this topic today, doesn’t it? To God be the glory! Praise to the Son, our Lord and King!!

Jesus, Son of God Most High
Thomas B. Pollock

Jesus, Son of God most high,
God from all eternity,
Born as man to live and die,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

Leaving Thine eternal throne,
Making mortal cares Thine own,
Making God’s compassion known,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

By Thy life, so lone and still,
By Thy waiting to fulfill
In its time Thy Father’s will,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

May we mark the pattern fair
Of Thy life of work and prayer,
And for truth all perils dare,
Hear us, Holy Jesus.

Bid us come, at last, to Thee,
And forever perfect be,
Where Thy glory we shall see,
Hear us, holy Jesus.



Day 43 – Be Strong and of A Good Courage

Deuteronomy 31:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Moses was near the end of his life – very soon (within a matter of days) he would be passing off the scene, and Joshua would then lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. It was time for Moses to give them (and Joshua) his final words of exhortation and instruction. Seven times in Deuteronomy 31 and Joshua 1, we read the exhortation to “be strong and of a good courage.” God had a plan for the nation of Israel – to conquer the land of Canaan – and it would involve strength and courage; it would require God’s strength and the perfect courage He could give them, if they relied on Him.

1) 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.

Perhaps, upon hearing this, Joshua was reminded of his commission years before of spying out the Promised Land and bringing back a report – as well as the consequences of the nation of Israel rebelling against God’s clear leading:

Numbers 13:17-20 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

Joshua, just like you had nothing to fear back then, even so you have nothing to fear today! As your name indicates: The LORD is salvation – He it is that goes with you, and will deliver you from all your enemies. In fact, He will deliver all your enemies into your hand and give the land to you. You do not need to fear man – the Lord is with you! He will not fail to keep His promises, and He will never forsake you; therefore there is no reason for fear or hesitation. Go conquer the land in His name! He will give you the victory!

What has the Lord commanded you to do in your life? I believe this promise is just as much for us today as it was for the nation of Israel. 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.

This is one of my all-time favourite verses – one I memorized to a melody, and one that continually comes back afresh to my mind whenever I need it. We have the Lord’s seven-fold promises to spur us on!

It is interesting to note that two other people within the Bible itself quoted this verse to exhort others:

Joshua to the nation of Israel – in Joshua 10:24-25 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

King David to Solomon his son – in 1 Chronicles 22:11-13 Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

And again in 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.

We are following in the footsteps of faith when we take and apply God’s promises to our lives!

2) Deuteronomy 31:7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

The first of these seven promises was to the whole nation of Israel (though still addressed to the individual, as the word “thee” indicates), but the other six were specifically directed to Joshua himself. He is the leader that will go before the people and lead them into the Promised Land, lead them into the inheritance that the Lord God has promised them. Our Joshua, our Leader, the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who will lead those who trust in Him into their inheritance. Our inheritance is through the Saviour, and by the Saviour. He is the one that will cause us to inherit it! Despite the cost, despite the powers of darkness arrayed against Him, despite the separation from God the Father as He bore the sins of the world, Jesus, our Leader, was strong and courageous – and fulfilled the Father’s will for His life and provided for our salvation.

In the following four passages, the Greek word for prince, captain, and author means “the chief leader,” the pioneer.

Acts 3:13-15 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Acts 5:30-31 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 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.

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.

Just as the Lord led Joshua through the Jordan River and into the Promised Land, even so the Lord Jesus Christ led the way through the Garden of Gethsemane, from the cross to the tomb, and then arose in victory over the grave. Even in times of trials and afflictions, the Lord goes before us and prepares the way.

A Song In The Night

Though darkness hides the sunlight,
A song is in my soul;
In the night of my affliction,
The Lord is in control.

I cannot see His footsteps –
The path He leads me down;
All the way, there’s a promise:
His path leads to a crown.

Within the stormy blackness,
Jesus has His eye on me;
Though the darkness hide Him,
By faith I still can see.

Though nighttime falls around me,
The cross leads to the tomb,
My footsteps will not falter,
His Word lights up the gloom.

Though I know not the journey,
The Lord will take me through;
I will trust in my Saviour –
He has my best in view.

Even though my steps be darkened,
My Father knows the way;
And He will safely guide me –
From the shadows into day.

June 14th/06
Jerry Bouey

3) Deuteronomy 31:23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.

I love the certainty of this verse: thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land… I will be with thee. What God called Joshua and the nation of Israel to do, He equipped them for; what the Lord calls each of us to do in our walks with Him, He will equip us for. We do not need to fear – we just need to be strong and of a good courage, and step out in faith and obey Him as He leads the way! The times the nation of Israel did not have the victory were times they were not walking by faith or in obedience to God and His Word.

4) Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

The Lord exhorts Joshua to go conquer the land of Canaan, because God promised it to them! God was telling them it was already theirs and they only needed to enter into it and claim it by faith.

Joshua 1:1-5 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 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.*

The following quotes are taken from Genesis: Claiming The Promises (please read that study for the context of these quotes):

I believe the land we are to claim are the promises found in God’s Word. We are to go through the land of the Scriptures, walk about the length and breadth of them – From Genesis To Revelation – find the promises that the Lord wants to give us, and then claim them by faith. How many believers do this? Not enough from what I have seen! There are many promises and passages that the average Christian is woefully ignorant of – yet those very same promises and passages would have helped them so much in the battles or struggles they faced day by day!

Too many people want to find satisfaction and fulfillment outside of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word – as if these weren’t enough to equip us for the Christian life. Yet I find that this is exactly what we need – a living, vital relationship with Christ and a heart that meditates on and digs into His Word.

…When was the last time you walked spiritually through the Promised Land – or should I say, the Land of Promise? When was the last time you searched through the Scriptures, looking through the length and breadth of God’s Word for promises that applied to the situations you were currently facing, and then claimed them by faith? Isn’t it about time you took another stroll? There are more promises waiting to be discovered! Claim some today!

*Joshua 1:5 is quoted in the New Testament and is applied to all true believers:

Hebrews 13:5-6 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. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

5) Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

If you want to prosper in your walk with the Lord you need to heed His Word. God won’t bless a rebel; however, He will bless the believer who humbly walks in faith, who trusts and obeys. Consider the very next verse in this chapter:

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Success is doing God’s will for your life. George W. Truett made this excellent statement:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. To find the will of God is the greatest discovery. To do the will of God is the greatest achievement!”

We cannot do God’s will unless we are meditating upon and applying His Word by faith, day by day.

Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.

Psalms 119:1-3 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.

Psalms 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

6) Joshua 1:9 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.

Don’t be discouraged – be of a good courage! Encouragement is pouring courage and strength into someone. Our courage comes from the Lord, as does our strength. How do we receive that courage? By waiting upon the Lord in prayer and stepping out in faithful service to Him.

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.

Isaiah 40:31 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.

7) Joshua 1:18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

It will take strength and courage to do God’s will! It takes strength to resist a world that is bent upon rebelling against your Heavenly Father. It takes courage to go against the flow, to stand up for what is right in a world that is darkened by sin. We can’t expect the Lord’s blessings when we follow the crowd, when we swim downstream with the rest of the world, into the muck and mire of sin. But what tremendous promises and encouragement is ours when we follow the Lord by faith!

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.

Step out in faith, walk through the Land of Promise, be strong and of a good courage – claim the victory that is yours through the Lord Jesus Christ – for we have His wonderful promise to each one of us that He will not fail us, nor forsake us!

With a Saviour that faithful, what are we afraid of? Be strong and of a good courage!

July 30th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 44 – Perfect Water of Life

Three times the phrase “water of life” is found in the Word! We were having a discussion about this very topic yesterday at Fundamental Baptist Forum.

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 21:6) I noticed that Jesus says “It is done” here. It reminded me of when He was given vinegar on the cross and then said “It is finished” and He gave up the ghost (John 19:30). Here He says “It is done” and He promises to give water of life! The beginning and the end – the Alpha and the Omega’s work of the cross is finished and He freely gives water to those that thirst!

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev 22:1) Again, the water of life flows from Christ – He is the Lamb!

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. (Rev 22:17) I love this verse – notice the bride is here? We have received freely from this water of life and are with the Lamb!!!

I also found that the phrase “fountain of life” appears three times in the Word and all three times in the Old Testament.

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psa 36:9) Jesus is not only the fountain of life but He is the light. 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)

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 13:14)

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 14:27) Again, Jesus is not only the fountain of life, but Jesus has the keys to hell and death. 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 1:18 )

Three times the Word says in John that He is the living 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) Not only is Jesus the Living Water but He is the gift of God. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (Joh 4:11)

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

Jeremiah also referred to the Lord as: O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jer 17:13)

Jesus is know as the living water and is also known as the Rock. I love how God used both these examples and combined them into something impossible. How can water flow from a rock? God took both to reveal Himself to us. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exo 17:6) On Christ the Solid Rock we stand and He provides us with Living Water! Praise the Lord!! And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor 10:4)

It amazes me how God shows Himself through objects – giving us object lessons. Our Rock, our foundation, is firm and steady and cannot crumble or be destroyed. In fact, out of our Rock comes living water – not polluted or unclean – but pure! And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev 22:1) The Perfect Lamb of God gives us living water which freely flows from His throne!

When I sit and meditate on how Christ reveals God’s character and how He reveals Himself through the Word, I tear up! I stand amazed at how God feeds us over and over and it is fresh every day. Nothing gets stale, the Water never flows dirty! The Living Water of the Word continues to quench my spiritual thirst every single day. It is not old – it is new every morning! Thanks be to God!

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!



Day 45 – Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church

Sis Kate has already tackled several aspects of the seven letters to the churches in this series – I believe this study would fit there as well. It is interesting to note that there are three things Christ says about Himself in the opening part of the letter, and three things He counsels them to buy from Him through faith. The five things they were lacking in are all met by grace in salvation (grace is often pictured by the number five).

Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church

There is much we can glean from the seven letters to the churches in Revelation chapters two and three. They not only cover the broad spectrum of professing Christendom at any given moment (from Christ’s perspective), they also show the progression of the church age: starting with Ephesus (the churches in the time of the Apostles, the first century churches), to Laodicea (the end-time lukewarm churches).

Revelation 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;

It is interesting to note that Laodicea means “the righteousness of the people.” No longer are these professing believers trusting in the righteousness of Christ to cover their sins, but in their own self-righteousness!

Here Jesus Christ (who is speaking) identifies Himself in three ways:

1) The Amen – the Messiah and Saviour in whom all the promises of God are fulfilled. Just as we seal our Amen to our prayers (to indicate our agreement and desire for fulfillment), so Christ sets His seal on all the promises and prophecies in Scripture. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2) The faithful and true witness – In an age where many are denying that there is a source of ultimate truth, here Jesus declares Himself the source; when many believe all truth is relative and subjective, here Jesus proclaims Himself as the witness of the truth. What He says in His Word is faithful and true and can be relied on. John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.

3) The beginning of the creation of God – the word beginning here means “first in time, place, order, or rank.” Jesus is stating that He is to have first place in our all lives, first place in all of creation. Colossians 1:15-18 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 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.

Revelation 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.

The true danger in professing Christendom is not the atheist or agnostic who doesn’t “believe in God”, nor the Satanist or New Ager who is fully against God, nor the true fundamental, Bible-believing Christian (as the media would like to portray), but the lukewarm believer. It is easy to determine where all of the above stand in relation to Jesus Christ and the things of God, but the lukewarm believer is half-in half-out of the world; professing to be saved, but living like the Devil; proclaiming to believe the Bible, but picking and choosing what parts they will accept from it and explaining away the rest; claiming to believe in Christianity, yet denying the fundamentals; claiming to believe that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, but yoking up with unbelievers of all stripes. That is the danger in Christendom! The true believer won’t be sidetracked by what is obviously openly against Christ, will embrace what is faithful to the things of God, but will sometimes be deceived by the counterfeit that is out there. And there are many in the lost world who will detest the lukewarm “Christianity” that they are familiar with, and will perhaps never get saved. Just like we want to spit a lukewarm drink out of our mouths, even so the Lord Himself will spit out these lukewarm professors unless they get right with the Lord.

Revelation 3:17 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:

In Matthew 24:12 we read, And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold. Sin will cause our love for the Lord and others to grow cold. In Revelation we find that being satisfied with material goods will cause us to be lukewarm. Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. There is the danger of looking to our possessions and prosperity to meet all our needs, yet there is more at stake than just the physical.

Jesus addresses this fallen spiritual state. While I believe the primary picture painted here is that of an unsaved person, I still believe that the true believer can judge their heart and see if they fit in any of these areas. Have we grown lukewarm in our love for the Lord and the things of God?

Wretched – Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? In this chapter of Romans we see the battle that the true believer faces between the sinful nature and the new spiritual nature. Paul states that when he was not able to overcome sin, he was a wretched man. Likewise all the lost are in this state, wretched in God’s eyes, unable to overcome the sins they are in bondage to – they do not have the power, nor the spiritual resources to overcome sin. The only solution is to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and walk according to the leading of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8 ). Apart from Christ, mankind is wretched indeed!

Miserable – 1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. Apart from the hope of eternal life in Christ, there is no hope beyond this life. Believers have the assurance of Heaven and rewards for faithful service, but the lost do not have this hope. Truly they are miserable in the Lord’s eyes.

Poor – Luke 12:20-21 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Here is the case of someone that is poor in God’s eyes, spiritually bankrupt. The only solution is to turn in faith to Christ and have His perfect righteousness credited to their account. Sin on their account makes them poor indeed!

Blind – John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. The lost are blind, unable to see their lost condition and their need of a Saviour. (See 2 Corinthians 4:3-4) When we heed the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding our lost estate, our eyes are opened to understand what the Saviour has done for us and we see our need for Him. Without Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the unsaved are truly blind!

Naked – Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Sin makes us ashamed before God. Like Adam and Eve fleeing from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden after they sinned (Genesis 3:6-10), even so sin today will cause us to be ashamed in His presence. (See Proverbs 30:12) We need the blood of Christ and the robe of His righteousness to cover our sins. Without it, we would be naked indeed!

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Gold tried in the fire – faith. This is what will make us rich in the eyes of the Lord. The gold is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our reliance upon Him for salvation, and our trust in Him during the trials we will face in this life. The fire is what tries that gold to make it pure, to make it precious in the eyes of God.

1 Peter 1:7-8 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Job 23:10 But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

White raiment – This is the righeousness of Christ that is credited (imputed) to our account when we turn from our own self-righeousness, and receive His righteousness, believing that He paid the full penalty that our sin deserved when He died upon the cross for us. His resurrection three days later was proof that the payment was satisfactory to God the Father. It is only when we are clothed with this white raiment that the nakedness of our sin is removed completely.

Romans 3:22 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:

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:23-25 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Eyes anointed with eyesalve – Receive spiritual sight. Turn to the Lord in faith and He will open your eyes. His Holy Spirit will indwell you and will enable you to understand the Word of God, which He inspired. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 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. John 3:3 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. (See also 1 John 2:20, 27)

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

He rebukes us and disciplines us because of His great love for us. If He did not care, He would let us go on our own way to destruction without warning us and pleading with us. Be zealous and repent – here is the heat! Zealous means “to be hot, have warmth of feeling for.” We are to repent of our sins (turn from them in our heart, which will result in an outward turning) and to be zealous for the Lord. While sin will cool our love for the Lord, meditating and musing on the Word of God will make it burn hotter. Psalms 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. (See also Jeremiah 20:9)

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.

“He uses all proper means to awaken sinners, and to cause them to open to him: he calls by his word, he knocks by the impulses of his Spirit upon their conscience.” – Matthew Henry.

Behold, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and He wants to come in. If you are lost and do not know Him as your Saviour, He wants to come and dwell in your heart through faith. He wants to come into your life and save you. (See Ephesians 3:17) If you are saved, He wants to fellowship with you.

Are you maintaining that fellowship, that daily walk and communion with the Lord, or have you grown lukewarm? Why not heed His knock, hear His voice, and open the door today?

Revelation 3:21-22 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

A promise to the true believer. It is our faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, our faith in His shed blood and finished work on Calvary that gives us the victory in this life. (See 1 John 5:4-5) Do you have that victory?

Heed what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches – and to you!

Written August 28th/04
Jerry Bouey



Day 46 – The Gift of God

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. (1 Th 4:17)

What a day it will be when the Rapture takes place and we meet our Saviour in the clouds forever to be with Him! I long for the day, don’t you? I feel that the Rapture is one of Christ’s gift to the born-again believer! How precious a gift it is indeed! This picture was taken in Monticello, Virginia, at Thomas Jefferson’s home. A storm was coming and the clouds were rolling in. What a beautiful view we had. Mr. Jefferson’s home sits on a hill and we had a panoramic view of the valley as we watched the storm come in. My son, Adam, took this picture of the clouds as the sun’s rays came through. He commented how he believed the clouds would look this way at the time of the Rapture! Oh what a gift! A grateful heart always takes our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances and places them on the Lord. We are able to thank Him for our blessings even while in the midst of a storm!

I recently celebrated my birthday and received several wonderful gifts which were so appreciated. I meditated on the absolute and Perfect gift – God’s gift to me through the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, so I may be saved! Praise the Lord for this wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. I did a search for the phrase gift of God and was delighted to see that there were eight verses with this phrase in the Word! The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings” and Christ gives us a new beginning through the new birth! Praise His Holy Name!!

In reviewing the eight verses, I noticed that they could be broken down into seven categories.

1. The fruit of our labour: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. (Ecc 3:13) and Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (Ecc 5:19) Why should we consider the fruit of our labour a gift? If it weren’t for the health God has given us and the ability to work, we would not be able to enjoy the fruit of our labour. I also think of the precious fruit of saved souls as a result of the labour of our work at soulwinning.

2. Jesus is our gift: 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) There is no greater gift in the world than to give your life for a friend. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) I think of those who give their lives every day in defense of freedom for our country and they die for those they don’t even know! Praise God!

3. The Power of the Holy Spirit: But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (Act 8:20) To think that the power of God could be purchased is ridiculous. However, there are religions today who practice this very belief. There is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). Buy indulgences and buy your way out of purgatory – buy masses for those who are dead and their time in purgatory will be greatly reduced!

4. Eternal life: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23) What a gift indeed! To be forever with our Saviour in Heaven is indeed a gift!

5. God’s spiritual gifts to Christians: For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Co 7:7) We’ve all been blessed with one or more gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are a whole other study unto themselves but the fact of the matter remains that we all have at least one. The gift is not for our glory or benefit but for the glory of God and for the cause of His work. All the gifts put together through the various members of a church make up a whole body of unified believers who are producing a beautiful work unto God.

6. Grace: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 ) Grace, unmerited favor, is most certainly a gift! God shows us His agape love by giving us His undeserved kindness! We are putrid sinners, my friend. It only takes one sin to keep us out of heaven. A Holy and Righteous God cannot allow even one sin into His presence. To do so would infest a perfect place. Look at the Garden of Eden – it was perfect until Adam and Eve’s sin entered. They were cast out of the Garden. Lucifer and his band of angels were cast out of heaven when they sinned. Praise God for His grace in our lives and giving us His only Son so we can have eternal life in His heaven!

7. Preaching: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Tim. 1:6) What a gift indeed. Our Pastor is our gift from God. How do you treat a gift which has been given to you? Do you discard it? Do you mistreat it? No, you cherish it and you make sure that it is well cared for because it is precious to you. So should our Pastor be to us. So should any preacher of the Word, an evangelist, a missionary, or a street preacher! If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pe 4:11) Treat your Preacher as a precious gift and let Christ’s name be praised in so doing!

It amazes me that this phrase, gift of God, can be categorized into seven types! Seven symbolizes perfection and completeness! Doesn’t this totally bless you? God’s perfect and complete gift to us is through His Son, who gives us a new life!

How can one not be blessed by the Word when you pick it up apart and see that God has given us more to glean from! What people miss when they don’t spend time in the Word!

Father, God, We Glorify
Charles and John Wesley

Father, God, we glorify
Thy love to Adam’s seed;
Love that gave Thy Son to die,
And raised Him from the dead:
Him, for our offenses slain,
That we all might pardon find,
Thou hast brought to life again,
The Savior of mankind.

By Thy own right hand of power
Thou hast exalted Him,
Sent the mighty Conqueror
Thy people to redeem:
King of Saints, and Prince of Peace,
Him Thou hast for sinners giv’n,
Sinners from their sins to bless,
And lift them up to Heav’n.

Father, God, to us impart
The gift unspeakable;
Now in every waiting heart
Thy glorious Son reveal:
Quickened with our living Lord,
Let us in Thy Spirit rise,
Rise to all Thy life restored,
And bless Thee in the skies.



Day 47 – God’s Perfect Grace

Niagara Falls is a wondrous work to behold for certain! There is nothing that speaks of God’s power and might than to rest our eyes on a waterfall of this nature! It causes me to meditate on God’s mercy and grace on my own life. His power and might are most certainly seen when I look upon this wretched sinner who has been saved from eternal punishment! There is nothing I have done or could ever do that would allow me even a glimpse of heaven. However, Christ loves me so much, He took my punishment! That is mercy and grace at its best – a more perfect gift could not be given a person!

What is this perfect gift? It is the blood of a perfect lamb! I searched my e-Sword to see how many verses had the words “blood, lamb” and was delighted to see that only five verses had that combination! Five symbolizes grace! Oh yes, glory!

And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: (Lev 14:25) The blood of this lamb was for the sinner’s trespasses! Praise God that the perfect blood of Christ cleanses us from our trespasses!

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isa 66:2) He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. (Isa 66:3) Only he that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at the Word of God will have the sacrifice that God looks for in a person. The one who sacrifices with a heart described in verse 3 are not sacrifices which God will receive. Their sacrifices are tainted and unacceptable – notice the comparison to a swine’s blood? The pig is an unclean animal and would not be an acceptable sacrifice to God.

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Pe 1:19) It is the precious blood of Christ – He is the Lamb without a spot!

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) Our robes can only be washed in the blood of the Lamb! It is this blood that the Father sees!

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. (Rev 12:11) Again, only by the blood of the Lamb can we overcome eternal punishment and death.

Praise be to God that even the references to the blood of the Lamb come out to five verses depicting His perfect grace! There is none other!

Blessed Be The Fountain
Eden R. Latta

Blessed be the fountain of blood,
To a world of sinners revealed;
Blessed be the dear Son of God;
Only by His stripes we are healed.
Tho’ I’ve wandered far from His fold,
Bringing to my heart pain and woe,
Wash me in the blood of the Lamb,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than the snow,
Whiter than the snow,
Wash me in the blood of the Lamb,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Thorny was the crown that He wore,
And the cross His body o’ercame;
Grievous were the sorrows He bore,
But He suffered thus not in vain.
May I to that fountain be led,
Made to cleanse my sins here below;
Wash me in the blood that He shed,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Father, I have wandered from Thee,
Often has my heart gone astray;
Crimson do my sins seem to me—
Water cannot wash them away.
Jesus, to the fountain of Thine,
Leaning on Thy promise, I go;
Cleanse me by Thy washing divine,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain



Day 48 – Precious and Growing Faith

2 Peter 1:1-2 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Seven times in the books of first and second Peter we come across this word preciousWebster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as: “1. Of great price; costly; as a precious stone. 2. Of great value or worth; very valuable. 3. Highly valued; much esteemed.” Something precious is worth more because of its rarity. For example, think of a precious stone – worth much more than a common stone because it is rare. Here are the seven things that Peter declares are precious:

a) The Trial Of Your Faith

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

b) The Precious Blood Of Christ

1 Peter 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; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

c) A Living Stone (ie. a true believer – precious to God)

1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

d) The Corner Stone (Christ)

1 Peter 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.

e) Jesus

1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

f) Like Faith – 2 Peter 1:1 (quoted above)

g) Exceeding Great And Precious Promises

2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

As these verses clearly state, God’s Word (and the precious promises found therein) are given to His children to enable us to live in a godly manner in this present evil world. Godliness means “Godlikeness, holiness.” Corruption means “Depravity; wickedness; perversion or deterioration of moral principles; loss of purity or integrity.” The Lord wants us to be like Him in this world, holy, separated from sin and wickedness. We are to cling to these promises and walk in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, a manner that refuses to give in to the corruption and moral decay around us. According to God’s Word, with these promises and the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, we have all we need to live for the Lord and to do His will.

1 John 2:15-17 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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It is worthwhile to note that 2 Peter 1:3 states that we will be able to do this, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

It is through walking with the Saviour day by day that we learn to be more like Him. As we diligently spend time in His Word and grow in our knowledge of Jesus, then we will become more like Him, as this verse teaches:

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

One main theme of Second Peter is that of knowledge. Seven times this word is used in this book: 1:2, 3, 5, 6, 8; 2:20; and 3:18. It is this knowledge believed and applied that will set us free from sin.

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Consider this verse:

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

In this case, they had a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but it wasn’t taken to heart – it wasn’t believed; therefore these apostates being referred to went back to the pollutions of sin that they were entangled in before.

But we do not need to be like them! If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, you have His precious promises and the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

Virtue means “Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion… A particular moral excellence… Excellence; or that which constitutes value and merit.”

2 Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

We are not to be lax in our spiritual growth, but are to be diligent in it, earnest, taking the effort needed to ensure that we grow in our walks with the Lord. If we are living (ie. spiritually alive), there should be evidence of it, there should be growth. Of course, each believer will grow at different rates, depending upon their exposure to the Word of God (how much it is understood and applied); upon their fellowship and service in their local New Testament church; upon their separation from sin and any teachers/teachings that contradict God’s Word (see Psalm 1:1-3); among other things. According to Peter, growth will take effort on our parts.

If you are saved – if you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation – then you have a measure of faith, but we are to add to that, to build upon it. The word giving in the phrase “giving all diligence, add…” means “to bear in alongside, i.e. introduce simultaneously.” While I do believe that this passage presents an order for spiritual growth in our lives, it also indicates that we are to keep working on each of these areas as we move to the next one – we are to keep introducing these seven characteristics simultaneously as we walk with the Lord. We are not to work on the first area and then abandon it when we get to the second one – but are to build upon each element of growth already strengthened. The word add means “to furnish besides, i.e. fully supply, (figuratively) aid or contribute.” Like doing renovations on a house, we keep adding and building, furnishing the house, making the structure better over time; even so, we are to keep working on these seven areas of growth, diligently taking and applying these characteristics to our lives, and building upon each element as we mature in the Lord – furnishing our lives with these seven things.

1. The first thing we are to add is Virtue.

“[Virtue] characterized the very finest of Roman manhood: strength, valor, courage, and excellence. My friend, these same qualities should also characterize your life and mine. How the world needs believers who have the courage to stand for that which is right and to stand up and be counted for God in this day! Therefore Peter is saying, ‘Add to your faith courage.’ (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

2. Then Knowledge.

We are to learn more from God’s Word, about the Saviour, about His will for our lives, about Bible principles and promises – letting the Word of God be the filter we gauge ALL our life by, every part of it. The Bible is to be our sole authority in all things for faith and practice. That means it is to be where we obtain all our beliefs (doctrines) from, and also where we look to see how the Lord would have us live day by day.

One thing that puzzled me a little when I was studying out this passage months ago, in preparation for preaching it, was that we are commanded to add virtue first, then knowledge. Why? On a practical level, we ALREADY know much that we should be applying to our lives – and I believe the Lord is indicating that we should be putting into practice what we already know. If we do that, we have this promise:

Mark 4:23-25 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

When we take and apply what we already know, the Lord will give us more. When we disregard what the Holy Spirit has been teaching us, then the Lord states that we will lose what we already have. Personally, I believe this is why many professing Christians have a difficult time remembering what they have learned and studied from God’s Word – they are not applying it! It is all head knowledge or entertainment to them – but the Lord wants us to live what we learn – then He promises to give us more.

3. Then Temperance.

Notice how each of these seven characteristics build upon one another. We are to add virtue, then knowledge, then temperance – each of these being continually developed. What is temperance? Self-control. First I take courage and work on those areas I need to; then I build on that knowledge. When I know what I need to do, then I use self-control and apply that knowledge and virtue to my life.

4. Then Patience.

This word, as used in the Bible, is different than how we use it today. Strong’s Concordance gives this definition of patience: “from 5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy.” #5278 means “to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere.” Patience is the ability to stick with the trial, to work through it, to undergo the trial and learn what the Lord would have you to learn. Without patience, we would flee the trial and not grow or be strengthened as believers. But the Lord wants us to continue to apply His Word to our lives, to continue applying what we know to be right even in the midst of the trials; adding to that knowledge, and being temperate in those areas we have already grown in.

5. Then Godliness.

This is becoming more like our Saviour, more like God (Godliness equals Godlikeness). Strong’s defines it as “piety,” and Webster’s defines piety as “Piety in principle, is a compound of veneration or reverence of the Supreme Being and love of his character, or veneration accompanied with love; and piety in practice, is the exercise of these affections in obedience to his will and devotion to his service.” Combining these definitions, we see that godliness and piety indicate a drawing closer to the Lord, becoming more like Him, more devoted to Him. Our growth should not just be outward – ie. putting things out of our lives and adding other things in – but should also be inward – ie. developing a love and devotion to our Heavenly Father that is strengthened and increased over time. Otherwise, I think we could be in danger of merely going through the motions, and that will eventually fail us and cause us to stumble when our love grows dim.

6. Then Brotherly Kindness.

Love for our brethren is next. As we grow in our virtue and knowledge, and learn how to apply that to our lives, then patiently endure and persevere through the trials, showing Christlikeness to those around us, then we are to add brotherly kindness to our lives. That means caring for other believers – for our spiritual family. This is the proof of our growth. It is easy to say we love others, it is easy to change some outward things in our lives – but how do we treat our brethren? Do we love them? Is that evident in our actions and attitudes towards them?

Kindness is defined by Webster’s as “Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature.”

The book of 1 John gives brotherly love as one of its tests to indicate whether someone is a true believer or not:

1 John 3:14-18 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4:7-8 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.

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Are you loving in word (ie. with just your mouth), or in deed (ie. with your actions) and in truth (ie. according to the Word of God)?

7. Then Charity.

Matthew Henry defined charity as love for both God and man. When the translators believed just one was in view, they translated the word as love – but when the context indicated both God and man were being spoken of together, charity was used. The word charity comes from the Greek word agape – which is the deep, selfless, sacrificial love of God. We are to learn to love our brethren first, then we are to learn to love the rest of mankind – the lost – with the selfless love of God. And we are to grow in our love for God too. In fact, this passage lists the order of love toward God and man:

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Love is shown by obeying God, doing His will, obeying His commands.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Love is an action word. To actively love others, I will obey God’s Word (and commandments) in my dealings with them – I will treat them as Christ has treated me. I will not steal from them, or lie to them; I will not lust sexually for them (ie. neither commit physical adultery with them, nor adultery in my heart), nor covet anything they own; I will not kill them, or bear false witness against them. But true love isn’t just limited to what we shouldn’t do, it also focusses on what we should do to our neighbours – yea, even to our enemies:

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Luke 10:29-37 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

1 Corinthians 13 gives a wonderful description of charity (agape love) as an action word:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Growth involves becoming more and more like (ie. being conformed to) the Lord Jesus Christ, day by day:

Romans 8:29 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.

Growth involves renewing our mind and being transformed by His Word:

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. 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.

Growth involves becoming more holy in our walk, more godly – more Godlike and Christlike:

1 Peter 1:14-15 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

When we take and apply these seven elements of spiritual growth:

virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity,

then we have this promise to claim:

2 Peter 1:8-11 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

As long as we are abounding in these seven areas of Christian growth, we have God’s promise that we will not stumble or fall in our faith; instead, we will be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is when we cast off these seven characteristics, when we stop diligently working on these seven areas, that we are in danger of getting blinded by compromise and sin – and that is a road we do not want to go down. It is a scary place to wander so far from the Lord that we no longer have that inward assurance of our sins being forgiven. Better to walk closely to the Lord, keep short accounts with Him, and have that full assurance of hope, faith, and understanding that can be ours as we keep our eyes and hearts clinging steadfastly to the Saviour.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

One last verse for you today:

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Are you growing in your walk with the Lord?

Is there evident growth in these seven areas of your life?

Are you closer to the Lord, and more like Him, today – more than last year, last month, yesterday? If not, why not?

2 Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Give all diligence!

August 7th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 49 – He is Their Help

As a bridge helps us to cross troubled or difficult waters, our Heavenly Father provides us with the same kind of help. The Word is filled with verses about our God helping us in time of need. As I meditated on this picture today, I noticed several things about it:

1. The waters are not high, but yet a bridge was needed. So the picture is deceiving – if there is a need for a bridge, then something we do not see hinders the traveller while crossing. This stream may swell due to rains and the waters rise and make travelling across dangerous.

2. The waters are filled with various-sized rocks which could make the walk across difficult – not impossible, just difficult.

3. The shores on both sides are covered in bushes and trees so the approach and exit would be cumbersome as well.

4. The bridge provides a safe and comfortable entrance, an easy walk across as well as the exit.

Jesus Christ became our bridge over 2000 years ago, my friend! He has provided the born-again believer with a bridge to the Heavenly Father. No longer do we need to go through a high priest to offer sacrifices for our sin. Praise the Lord that Christ, our High Priest, has offered the ultimate sacrifice – the one and only sacrifice for our sins. There is no other way to heaven but by Him. I love this verse: 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. (Heb 2:17)

The road to heaven is not an easy road. In fact, it is a narrow road according to Matt. 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: (13) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (14) The word strait means narrow – not only is the gate narrow but the way to heaven is narrow. This leads me to believe that people are not going to enter heaven in droves – otherwise the gate and the way would be wide. Matthew says that the gate and way is wide that leads to hell! Oh how sad that people would be willing to be part of a crowd entering hell for all eternity! My heart just absolutely aches!

What does this have to do with our Bible number series you wonder? I was thinking how blessed we are to have this Bridge in our lives! This same Jesus who provides us with the way to His Father also helps us and shields us on our path. Just as the picture depicts rocks in the waters and obstacles along the shoreline, so does the Lord provide us with help in our daily walk! He won’t remove these obstacles but He will provide us with a bridge over them, so to speak.

Three times, the Word of God tells us that we can trust in the Lord and He will be our help and our shield! Praise His Holy Name!

O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:9)

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:10)

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:11)

The number three symbolizes the Godhead. Our blessed Trinity will be our help and our shield, my friend! Each part of the Godhead will take care of us. We have a compassionate and caring Heavenly Father who pities us and provides us with everything we need. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) We have a Saviour who stands before the Throne mediating for us. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have the Holy Spirit who resides within us and teaches us exactly what we need from the Word to make it through each day. 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) The Lord ministers to us completely! The Godhead completely shields us and gives us help when we trust in Him.

I really needed this today! God knew exactly what I needed in the most perfect way! Praise be to God! We can be going through circumstances where our future is unclear and the road ahead seems rocky, but praise the Lord that He knows and will always have a bridge for us as we cross the troublesome waters. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psa 23:4) I may not be walking that valley of death but I will fear no evil because God is with me! Emmanuel lives within my heart and keeps me safe – He is my shield! Who better to trust in than the King of Kings! Glory!

King of Kings
John B. Herbert

O thank the Lord, the Lord of love;
O thank the God all gods above;
O thank the mighty King of kings,
Whose arm hath done such wondrous things.

Refrain

King of kings forever and ever;
Lord of lords, forever and ever,
King of kings forever and ever;
King of kings and Lord of lords!

Give thanks to God, for good is He,
Thanks to the God of gods give ye;
Thanks give the Lord of lords unto,
Who only wonders great can do.

Refrain

Who thought on us amidst our woes,
And rescued us from all our foes;
Who daily feeds each living thing;
O thank the Heav’n’s Almighty King.

Refrain

O praise the Lord, for He is kind,
Give thanks to Him with heart and mind;
His mercy flows an endless stream,
To all eternity the same.

Refrain



Day 50 – Happy is the Man

The man whose life is centered on God is a happy man, according to His Word. Only three times can you find the phrase “happy is the man” as it relates to God. Three symbolizes the Godhead – completeness – the Trinity. What a blessing to know that our happiness is complete in the Three-in-One!

I began to pick apart the three verses which describe man’s happiness! How exciting to see that the Trinity is depicted in these three verses!! Oh joy!

(1) The Father: Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: (Job 5:17) Our Heavenly Father corrects us and chastises us when we sin against Him, just as our earthly father corrects us. It is only through the Father’s chastening that we learn to stay on the right path. We learn from our mistakes – or at least we should. The longer we take to learn, the harder the chastisement, I have found. It is best to learn early and be happy! A father corrects For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Pro 3:12)

(2) The Holy Ghost: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. (Pro 3:13) One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to draw us to Christ. He penned the Bible through holy men so that we could have God’s own words to show us the way to Christ. And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, (Exo 31:3) He teaches us all we need to know about salvation through Christ. 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) Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, a sinner is lost for all eternity. Saying no to the wooing of the Spirit when He is trying to draw you to Christ is the sinner’s spiritual death sentence. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Mat 12:31) This is the unforgivable sin – if a sinner does not accept Christ as Saviour, he is doomed!

(3) The Son: Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. (Pro 28:14) Jesus Christ 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. and 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) Those who do not accept the fact that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, is doomed to spending eternity in hell. Happy is the Christian because he knows that he has done the only thing that will allow him entrance into heaven – to accept Christ as his Saviour. Without doing this, man should fear. Salvation through Christ brings peace – rejection of Christ brings fear. There is no rest or peace in the heart of the lost.

What a blessing to glean from God’s Word this morning! Everything always seems to fall into place each time I study His Word! God always shows Himself to me when I spend time in my Bible! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)



Day 51 – Forgiven

I was prompted to do a search for the word forgiven yesterday, and was blessed by the results. There are seven main passages I came across in the New Testament that deal with being forgiven – the first two showing Jesus offering forgiveness to repentant sinners who trust Him by faith, and the remaining five are wonderful promises of assurance. (There are more passages in the NT with this term, but they dealt with either not being forgiven, warnings about the need for forgiveness, or requirements for it.)

1) Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

This story of Jesus’ miracle of healing and the forgiveness of the paralytic is told in the first three Gospels. We see that both the crippled man and his friends that brought him to Jesus all believed that Jesus could heal this man. And Jesus did heal him – however, He first and foremost focussed on the spiritual healing that was needed, and the physical healing was secondary.

Matthew 9:5-8 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

1 Peter 2:24-25 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

It is only God Himself that has the authority AND power to forgive our sins – our sins which are against Him. This is another proof of the Deity of Christ and the truth of the Trinity. Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, believing in your heart that His death upon the cross was for your sins, that He was buried, and that He literally, physical arose after three days and three nights in the grave? If you have sincerely repented of your sins and trusted the Saviour to save you, then I believe that this word describes you too:

FORGIVEN!

What a wonderful word to hear, to know, to experience in your own life!

2) Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

This is the story of the woman who broke the alabaster box over Jesus’ feet. She did this out of gratitude for the salvation the Lord offered her – even with her dark past, her sinful past, with the blackened record of sin on her account.

Jesus used this parable to illustrate how we are all sinners in need of His mercy and grace, in need of His forgiveness:

Luke 7:40-43 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small sinner (with only 50 sins – in your life altogether, or each day…), or a great sinner (with 500 sins) – you are still a sinner in need of a Saviour!

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

But praise the Lord – whether our sins are big or small, whether they are many or few, there is forgiveness available. As the wonderful hymn by William Cowper states so eloquently:

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

Luke 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

FORGIVEN! Cleansed of all sins! Sins blotted out and wiped away! No more trace of them in His sight!

Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Hebrews 8:10-12 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

3) Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Paul here is quoting from Psalm 32. When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, not only does He remove our sins and refrains from crediting (imputing) those sins to our account, He also gives us His righteousness instead. Consider this illustration:

In God’s eyes, our sins have made us spiritually bankrupt. We are so far in debt to God, that we could never repay what we owe to Him – we could never get our sins right – we are destitute, impoverished – with such a great negative balance credited to our account. But then Jesus comes… When He is received, when His gift of forgiveness and eternal life is accepted through repentance and faith, then something amazing happens: His perfect righteousness is credited to our account, so instead of having a negative balance, we now have a positive balance – we are now billionaires spiritually – our debt has been wiped out (no more trace of it!), because the Kinsman Redeemer has paid ALL our sin-debt and purchased us back from our slavery to sin and to Satan.

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

The word forgiven used in most of these verses (except for the next two main passages covered in this study – in Ephesians and Colossians) means “to send forth.” And the word cover means “to conceal, to cover over, to hide.” Taken together we have a wonderful picture – the same one that was shown to us on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 with the two goats. The High Priest laid his hands on the scapegoat and confessed all the sins of the nation of Israel over it (spiritually their sins were laid upon the scapegoat – and this pictured our sins being laid upon Jesus Christ). The blood of the first goat was shed, and the people’s sins were covered with that blood (covered from God’s sight – atonement literally means “to cover” – see Leviticus 17:11); then the scapegoat was released into the wilderness, bearing their sins far away.

Leviticus 16:21-22 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Not only were their sins covered, they were removed completely out of sight – out of their sight (and out of God’s sight) forever. This is what Jesus Christ did when He fulfilled all the OT types. His precious blood covers our sins, and His death has borne them far away forever! Our Saviour didn’t just cover our sins, He took them away forever!

FORGIVEN!

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

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

We are to treat one another as our Lord has treated us. We are to show the same forgiveness that He bestowed upon us.

The word for forgiven used here and in the next passage is given this definition in Strong’s Concordance:

“From 5485; to grant as a favor, i.e. gratuitously, in kindness, pardon or rescue.”

#5485 means “graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).”

Wow! I was reading a sermon outline yesterday that pointed this definition out. It certainly is powerful. It is God’s influence upon our heart and life that makes us grateful. Are you grateful for the Lord’s forgiveness? In your gratitude, are you showing this same forgiveness to others? Are you being kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you? Does the fact that you are FORGIVEN affect your life? It should!

FORGIVEN!

5) Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

When we trust Christ for salvation, we are made alive (quickened) together with Him, and forgiven all our sins. Jesus has blotted out the record of our sins that were against us, having nailed it to His cross. This signified that the debt was fully paid. In the first century, when criminals had finished suffering the penalty due their crimes, when they had paid the full penalty by bearing the stripes meted out and remaining imprisoned until their punishment was completed, then they were set free and the list of their offences was nailed to their prison door – marked as paid in full. This record and the statement marked on it told the world around them that they were now released from their crimes – and could never be charged with them again – the penalty was paid completely. In the same way, we can no longer be judged or condemned for our sins again, as our Saviour already paid their complete penalty – paid in full! – and the record of them is nailed to His cross!

This is what H.G. Spafford was referring to in his hymn, It Is Well With My Soul:

“My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

Colossians 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Strong’s Concordance gives this definition for the word sin as used in this passage: “from 264; a sin (properly abstract).” #264 means “properly, to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin.”

We have all missed the mark of God’s perfect will for our lives – and that is sin. Praise the Lord that there is forgiveness for our sins!

There is a different word for sin used in a parallel passage though:

Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

“A side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression.” This word includes the idea of falling into sin – not necessarily heading into it deliberately, but stumbling and falling in our day to day lives. Praise the Lord there is forgiveness for our deliberate sins, as well as for our stumbling and faltering!

FORGIVEN!

6) James 5:15-16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I believe a careful study of this passage reveals that it is referring to a true believer who has backslidden, who has wandered into sin – and gotten sick as a result of God’s chastising on their unrepentant sin. The sickness was to get their attention and bring them back to the Lord. When the backslider accepts God’s correction and makes his sin right, the forgiveness and cleansing is there for him. The word for faults here is the same word used in Ephesians 1:7 for sins (ie. side-slips), and the context indicates that it was a sin(s) against another believer (hence the need to confess it to one another).

We are to seek to wash one another’s feet spiritually (ie. bring the Word of God to bear on their lives in an attempt to halt their backsliding and bring the believer back into right fellowship with the Lord – see John 13:1-17); to restore our brother in a spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1), and to convert (ie. turn) him back from his waywardness – before the Lord has to use stronger means of chastisement in his life.

First, God speaks – through His Word, through other believers, through the prompting of His Spirit, through our circumstances.
If that doesn’t halt our progress in sin, then He spanks – that is light chastisement designed to get our attention (see Hebrews 12:5-13).
If that isn’t effective, then He scourges – that is chastisement that leaves scars, that is permanent, that proves to us God isn’t playing games with our sin.
Then His last resort is to take us home when we have committed the sin unto death (ie. not a specific sin, but an unrepentant attitude that will not get the sin right) – then He separates (death is a separation – the separation of the soul from the body – see 1 John 5:16-17; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

This last aspect of chastisement is what James is referring to in this passage – sickness that may lead to death if not repented of. However, when repented of, there is forgiveness:

James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

FORGIVEN!

7) 1 John 2:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 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.

There are three types of believers pictured in this passage: little children – ie. young believers; young men – ie. believers who have grown a bit and have gained a measure of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; and fathers – ie. mature believers who have been walking with the Lord for a while now, maintaining their walk and fellowship with their Heavenly Father.

I love the fact that the first thing emphasized for the little children – for the new believers – is that they are FORGIVEN! They are forgiven for His name’s sake – forgiven because He is the Saviour and they have trusted in Him for salvation. Yes, there is a lot of growth and a lot of changes to come in their lives – but they have a clean slate now, they have a new beginning in Christ – they are:

FORGIVEN!

Are you?

I love the statement, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven!” No, we aren’t sinless (as that is typically what is meant by this phrase) – but we are forgiven – and that should mean something to each and every one of us!

Forgiveness

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
When a heart that once was stone
Stops exalting its own self,
And lets Christ reign from His throne.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
When all bitterness departs,
When the water of the Word
Purifies a broken heart.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Though sometimes walking by sight,
Now reaching for God’s promises,
By faith, grasping them tight.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Though blackest sins barred the way,
With rivers of mercy flowing,
Christ can wash them all away.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Eternal life by God’s grace,
With joy, looking to Heaven,
And beholding our Saviour’s face.

Poem written November 2nd/99
Devotional written August 13th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 52 – Fear and Wisdom

When I look upon God’s creation, it never ceases to amaze me! The wonder of God’s Hand upon all that man can behold is enough to cause us to believe! The Bible says that we are without excuse – God has provided His creation to move us, if you will, into searching for the Creator. Romans 1:18-20 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (18 ) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (19) 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: (20) My Pastor is going through Romans in our morning services on Sundays and he covered these very verses this past Sunday.

Even when I was not born again, I knew in my heart that there had to be a God because when I stared at the Northern Lights or at a sky filled with stars, there could be no other explanation. This was replaced with a healthy reverence for God – this is what led me to Him at the age of 25. God knew that my heart had this reverence for Him and it needed to be nurtured with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was at that time that I was gloriously saved! Praise be to God in the highest!!

It is this reverence – or in the Word it is referred to as “fear” – that drew me to the Lord and He has since given me wisdom through His Word. I did a search for verses with the two words fear and wisdom and was delighted to discover that there are seven verses! Coincidence? I doubt it!! The number seven symbolizes perfection. How can we be made perfect, my friend? Only through the perfect, shed blood of Jesus Christ. When we are born again, the Father no longer sees a sinner – but He sees the perfect blood of His Son over us! OK, now I’m whoopin’ and hollerin’! Let’s look at the seven verses together!

(1) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 ) It is this fear – this reverence for God – that drew me to salvation several years later. Although I was raised catholic, I did not have a desire to find God in that church. It is hard to explain but I believe it was God’s hand of protection over me. He drew me to Him by placing awe of His creation deep within my heart and then using that reverence to point me in the right direction! This fear (awesome reverence) turned into wisdom on April 1, 1980, at noon – that is when my heart accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour! This is the beginning of our eternal lives – our born-again nature will live on forever! I love how this beginning coincidences with the first verse – the number one symbolizes beginning!

(2) 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. (Psa 111:10) Once I was born again, this wisdom began to grow. Notice this verse says that it is the beginning of wisdom. How does one gain this wisdom? The answer is in the latter part of the verse. We get wisdom by being in the Word and doing what the Word commands us to do. The Holy Spirit moves us and molds us into Christ’s image. As we yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives, we become more like Christ. With the beginning and understanding of God’s Word, we can be witnesses for Him. Notice how this is the second verse? The number two symbolizes witness and separation! It is only through reading, understanding and growing in the Word that we can learn how to live godly lives.

(3) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7) It’s wonderful to see the progression here. Do you see it? After one is born again and growing in the Word, we begin to really know what we know about what we know! Our knowledge grows as we study God’s Word and sit under the preaching. It is at this point in our spiritual lives that we find ourselves at spiritual cross roads. We make many choices between what is right and what is not. We begin to think of our testimony to others and eliminate things from our lives that are not necessarily sin but may be a hindrance to others. Notice that the fool despises wisdom and instruction. There are many Christians out there who fit this role. They don’t spend any time in the Word, they don’t yield themselves to the Holy Spirit’s prodding. They don’t grow spiritually – and if they do, they grow very slowly. When we grow, we begin to realize the role that each part of the Godhead has in our lives. We see how the Heavenly Father looks at us as we do our own children. We see what the Saviour has gone through and done for us! We experience the Holy Spirit’s working in our hearts! How lovely that this is revealed to us in the third instance of these verses! The number three symbolizes the Godhead!

(4) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10) When one understands why we must be holy and what the benefits of living righteously are, one has gained much knowledge according to God. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pe 1:16) We cannot be holy if we are not practicing righteousness in our lives. Practicing righteousness means that we are allowing the Holy Spirit access to and control over our lives. In so doing, we are able to worship God in spirit! God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:24) God’s Word has a wonderful way of intertwining and developing itself, doesn’t it? If we spend time in the Word, we are surely rewarded. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) When we absorb the Word of God in daily reading and studying, we see that Christ (the Word) was in the beginning. He is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. The number four symbolizes earth, creation and world. Christ was at the beginning – He created everything. 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: (Col 1:16) How appropriate is that?

(5) The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (Pro 15:33) I think of how Christ had to humble Himself to take on the form of man and give up His very life for our sins. He now sits at the right hand of the Father and awaits His reign here on earth. It is only through His shed blood that we can receive salvation. When we humble ourselves and accept the perfect work of the cross, we are given life eternal through Christ and we will reign with Him. The precious grace of God to man was given through Jesus Christ, our Saviour! The number five symbolizes grace, the Cross and atonement. The placement of these verses in this particular order is not a coincidence, my friend! Glory!

(6) 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; (Isa 11:2) When the Holy Spirit rests upon man (residing within the born-again believer), He provides us with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of God! It is the Holy Spirit Himself who moves us and guides us in all things. Mankind is nothing without the Holy Spirit in his life. Mankind is lost without the Holy Spirit wooing him to Jesus Christ. Man needs the Spirit to direct us and feed us spiritually! Praise the Lord for God’s Spirit in our lives! The number six symbolizes man. Man is nothing without Christ. Man cannot have the spirit that this verse speaks of without Jesus as his Saviour. Man is incomplete without the Spirit of God within him.

(7) And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. (Isa 33:6) Oh blessed God of all, thank You for these verses this morning! The last verse, the seventh verse, covers salvation being our treasure! Our Pearl of Great Price! The number seven symbolizes perfection and completeness. There is salvation in no other, my friend! Christ saves us completely. He was the Perfect Lamb of God – without sin – there is no other!

Lord, thank You for lifting my spirit today and placing me on shouting grounds! Praise and honor be to Your Name!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



Day 53 – Behold: A Fivefold Picture – Part One

In the whole Bible, there are 1275 verses that contain the word behold – yet among all these there are only five specific statements that tell us to behold the person or character of the Saviour, the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament and clearly portrayed in the New Testament. There are five profound statements about the Lord Jesus Christ. Often the word behold has a comma after it, indicating that the author of that book wants us to pay attention and hearken to what is being said – Behold, I have something to tell you; or Behold, consider this. But these five statements are different.

1) Behold The Lamb Of God.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

The Messiah that would come and take away the sins of the world is the central theme of the whole Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types and animal sacrifices – they all pointed to Him and the work of redemption that He would do. From the slaying of the animals and the coats of skins made in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:21) to the blood washed robes in Heaven (Revelation 7:14), the picture is there for all with eyes to see. Man’s sin deserved death, but God loved us so much, He sent His Son to die in our place. I love Abraham’s prophecy and how it is worded:

Genesis 22:7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

It doesn’t say, “God will provide a lamb for Himself,” but that God Himself would be the Lamb! From the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12, to the Lamb led to the slaughter in Isaiah 53, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8 ) – it is one central, glorious theme.

1 Peter 1:18-20 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; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Jesus is that Lamb of God!

Behold the Lamb!

Before we go to the next phrase, I want to draw your attention to two creatures in the Word of God:

A) The Cherubim

Ezekiel 1:5-10 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14-15 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

B) The Four Beasts In Revelation

Revelation 4:6-7 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

The Living Creatures (Cherubim) and the Four Beasts were not the same creatures – each cherub has four faces, and each Beast has only one – but all together all four Beasts have the same four faces as the cherubim:

a) a lion – the king of the beasts,
b) a calf/ox (referred to as a cherub in Ezekiel 10) – the beast of burden,
c) a man – the highest creature in all of God’s creation, and the only creature He died to redeem,
d) and an eagle – the most majestic of the birds of the air, soaring among the heavens.

Just as the four pillars for the gate to the tabernacle (see Exodus 27:16) give a fourfold picture of the one way inside (see John 14:6) to where God’s glory dwelt, so too do these four faces represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fourfold picture of Him we see portrayed in the four Gospels. We may not know all of why God created these creatures the way He did, but it is obvious that one of the reasons was to be a testimony to the one they were created by and will spend eternity worshipping.

“Another Old Testament type which anticipated the fourfold division of Christ’s ministry as recorded in the four Gospels may be seen in Exodus 26:31, 32, ‘And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.’ From Hebrews 10:19,20 we learn that the ‘veil’ foreshadowed the Incarnation, God manifest in flesh — ‘through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.’ It is surely significant that this ‘veil’ was hung upon ‘four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold:’ the wood, again, speaking of His humanity, and the gold of His Deity. Just as these ‘four pillars’ served to display the beautiful veil, so in the four Gospels we have made manifest the perfections of the only-begotten of the Father tabernacling among men.” – Arthur Pink, Why Four Gospels? (Note: this quote does not indicate a complete endorsement of Pink or of all his theological stands. There is much I have read from him that has been a blessing to me, but other things that I would caution against. Please only read him with discernment, comparing all things diligently with the Word of God itself.)

2) Behold Your King!

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus Christ as the King. In his Gospel, we see clearly that Jesus is that King that was foretold to come, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the descendant of King David. As the lion is the king of all beasts in the animal kingdom, Matthew presents Jesus as the King of all kings.

Genesis 49:9-10 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

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.

Matthew starts off with presenting us with His royal lineage (His geneology), then shows the danger of the jealousy of a rival king. From the wise men coming to worship the King of the Jews, and the parables and references to the Kingdom of Heaven – as this Gospel unfolds, we come to realize that Jesus is that King. We see His kingly authority in His teachings, the keys of the Kingdom He gave to the apostles, and His Great Commission; His kingly majesty in His transfiguration; the comparison in various parables about the King and the King’s Son; the fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies related to a coming King; the New Testament prophecy of the Son of man (Jesus) as King judging the nations in Matthew 25; and Matthew’s account of the trials and crucifixion of this King.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

John 12:14-16 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Matthew 27:29 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!

Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Praise the Lord that the story does not end with the King’s mock trial and crucifixion, but with His resurrection and ascension to glory! He is coming back again to reign from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 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. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

It is interesting to note how there is a reference to the Branch that fits under each one of these last four points. That is something I have never noticed before this morning. It certainly adds to the picture!

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Are you ready for the King’s return in glory? Are you seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness – are you looking for His kingdom to come? Behold your King!

3) Behold My Servant!

Isaiah 42:1-4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

As a calf or an ox is often used as a beast of burden – the servant of the beasts, if you will – so Mark’s Gospel presents the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Servant. No geneology for a lowly servant, just a dedicated soul busy about His master’s business. In Mark, many times you will see Jesus rushing from one place to another; read the Gospel writer’s terms such as immediately (used 17 times), straightway (used 19 times), forthwith (3 times) – often you will find many verses linked with the word and indicating that the events portrayed occurred one right after another. In Mark’s Gospel, we see various times where Jesus is shown as having authority and power delegated to Him by the Father – as a master will delegate authority and responsibility to his servants. We also see Jesus seeking to draw attention away from Himself, not to Himself – a true servant is more concerned with doing God’s will than drawing attention to Himself, more concerned with giving God the glory than taking it from Him.

Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

This prophesied Servant would be a Man of action, would be continuously busy, continuously showing others what a true servant is like. I love these descriptions of Jesus’ ministry, and their example to us:

Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 9:33-35 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

John 13:1-5 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

John 13:15-17 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Luke 12:35-37 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Luke 22:25-27 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Jesus is that Servant that was prophesied in the Old Testament – the one who would both be a servant doing the Father’s will (represented by the beast of burden), and a sacrifice (represented by the bullock slain and burnt on the altar). Fulfilling God’s will and laying down His life for us – a true Servant indeed – a willing Servant!

Mark 14:35-36 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Matthew 12:14-21 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

That victory came when Jesus conquered sin and Satan, death and Hell, by shedding His blood upon the cross and dying for the sins of man, then arising victorious over the grave.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

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

Zechariah 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.

Are you following Jesus’ example of service? Are you learning of His meekness and humility? Are you becoming a servant and serving others, like your Master did while on earth?

Behold My Servant!

The continuation of this fivefold picture in Part Two will give us Luke’s and John’s Gospel presentations of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Behold The Man!

Behold Your God!

August 20th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 54 – Jesus’ I Am Statements – Part Three

Brother Jerry asked me to search out the Book of John and the “I am” statements that Jesus made. What a delight to find eight such statements! Eight symbolizes a new beginning and we find this new beginning through Jesus Christ and His requirement that we be born again (John 3:3) – our new beginning! What joy the Word brings us when we take the time to search it out.

Let’s look at the verses that make up the eight “I am’s”:

Bread of Life: 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) and The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (Joh 6:41) and I am that bread of life. (Joh 6:48 ) and 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) Jesus is the Bread of Life. This is the first of the verses that had an “I am” statement. Can you live without eating? Of course not! Neither can we live without the Triune God – neither can we live without the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) Jesus is the Word of God and we cannot live without His Word – it is what sustains the believer. 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) Jesus is our Source of nourishment.

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) and As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (Joh 9:5) and I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (Joh 12:46) Not only is Jesus our very sustenance, but He lights our way – removes our blinders and gives us light to the Truth and through the Truth, the Word of God. I once was blind, but now I see (Amazing Grace)! No longer do we need to walk around in spiritual darkness. Jesus brings the blessed light of the Gospel to us and sheds that light in our cold, dark and sinful hearts. Once we see our sin for what it really is, the way God sees it, we realize we are completely lost – we realize we are in utter darkness and deserving of hell. Jesus is our Source of Light.

Good Shepherd: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (Joh 10:11) and I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) These two beautiful verses give us insight to the compassion of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! Not only does a Shepherd lead, guide and care for his sheep, but this Shepherd gives His life for His sheep and He intimately knows His sheep. His sheep know Him intimately as well when they are born again and growing in Him. If you ever want a blessing in your morning devotions, study out what the job of a shepherd was in biblical times – even in modern day times. It will bless your socks off. Jesus carefully chose His words to be penned, my friend. These analogies are not meaningless. The Lord had every intention of communicating with us clearly. He used our senses to help us to understand the depth of His words. All one has to do is study it out and they will receive a blessing. Without the Shepherd, the sheep will fall off a cliff. They will walk into the path of danger because they do not have the sense to stay away. Does this sound a bit like us? Oh my, it sure does! Jesus is our Source of Care.

The Door: Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (Joh 10:7) and I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (Joh 10:9) Our Good Shepherd leads the lost to a door. But alas, like the old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” the lost can be led to the door of salvation but they can’t be made to walk through. It is a decision only they can make. Jesus is the only door to salvation. He emphatically states in John 10:7 that He is the door of the sheep. Verily, verily – Surely, surely – For certain, for certain … There is no other way. 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) Again, the Lord used a wonderful analogy here. You cannot enter your house without going through a door. You cannot open that door without physically turning that door knob. You, my friend, have to do the work. Your front door does not just open itself to allow you in. You physically have to open it. Jesus is our door but we physically have to gain entrance by being born again. Jesus is our Source of entrance.

The Resurrection: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (Joh 11:25-26) The cross would be nothing without the Resurrection of Christ. Had Jesus not risen from the dead, He would not be God and the whole account would be fiction. However, Jesus did rise from the dead. This is what separates Him from the world’s other gods. Mohammad did not rise from the dead. Confucius did not rise from the dead. Joseph Smith did not rise from the dead. He is the only One who can claim this because He is God. Because He conquered death, He has the keys to hell and death and provides us with the opportunity to live for all eternity with Him. 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 1:18 ) Jesus is our Source of eternal life.

The Way: 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) Praise the Lord for this road map, the Word of God, our Bible! It is the Word of God that leads us to Him. The Word of God, breathed by the Holy Spirit of God, draws us to salvation and builds our faith after salvation. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) The Word guides us and instructs us as we walk the pilgrim’s path here on earth. There is only one way to Heaven and once we are saved and are walking the pilgrim’s pathway, Jesus is our Guide along the way. His Word provides us with a clear map – clear instructions – of everything we will need along the way. He provides stop signs – He provides green lights – He provides cautions – everything we need is found in His Word until we reach Heaven. Jesus is our Source of direction.

The Vine: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (Joh 15:1) and 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) Anyone who has grown anything knows that a leaf apart from the tree lives temporarily and then withers away. We are the same. Without daily walking with Christ, we become weak. Without daily nourishment in the Word of God, we are easily led astray and begin to wither. As long as we are attached in and through the Word, we abide in Him. The Word cleanses us and the Holy Spirit is able to take our yielded vessel and mold us into the image of Christ. If we detach ourselves from the Word and cease to grow spiritually, we leave ourselves open to the devil and his temptations. It is then that we see ourselves droop and then wither away. Jesus is our Source of life.

Son of God: Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (Joh 10:36) Only Jesus could say that He is the Son of God. The other gods of this world have claimed this but none have been able to prove it. Their lies and deception eventually came to light. In the end, these antichrists will be made known to all the earth. There is only One Son of God, the Christ. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Mat 16:16) This is the very foundation of Christianity, my friend. Jesus is God. Jesus is our Source – period.

Chief of Sinners
William McComb

Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus shed His blood for me;
Died that I might live on high,
Died that I might never die;
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.

O the height of Jesus’ love!
Higher than the Heaven above;
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lasting as eternity;
Love that found me—wondrous thought!
Found me when I sought Him not!

Jesus only can impart
Balm to heal the smitten heart;
Peace that flows from sin forgiven,
Joy that lifts the soul to Heaven;
Faith and hope to walk with God
In the way that Enoch trod.

Chief of sinners though I be,
Christ is all in all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own;
Safe with Him from earthly strife,
He sustains the hidden life.

O my Savior, help afford
By Thy Spirit and Thy Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.



Day 55 – Behold: A Fivefold Picture – Part Two

I want to build upon something that was presented in Part One of this study. It is interesting to note how the cherubim in the Old Testament are a type of Christ. They each have four faces, and each face represents one Gospel:

A) Matthew, the Lion, presents Jesus as the King, dealing with the Kingdom of God and with His authority.

This Gospel is written primarily for the Jews and deals more with that nation and focusses more on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy than the other Gospels. It is in this Gospel that we find more references to Jesus being the Son of David, the King that is to reign. Here we find Jesus being referred to as the Son of Man (ie. the Messiah) – in contexts that are more reflective of His power (eg. His returning in glory and reigning, His charge over angels).

Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Behold Your King!

B) Mark, the Ox, presents Jesus as the Servant, always doing the will of His Father.

This Gospel is geared more towards the Romans. In it we see a Servant under the authority of another (ie. His Father) – all power is given unto Him to fulfill His mission, but we still see Him subservient to His Father. This Gospel also refers to Jesus as the Son of Man, but the majority of those references are to His mistreatment and suffering – ie. the Suffering Servant.

Matthew 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Mark 12:6-9 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

Isaiah 49:5-6 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

In the last chapters of Mark, as we see this Servant being led closer and closer to the cross, we hear more references to His departure and returning again in glory.

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

Behold My Servant!

C) Luke, the Man, presents Jesus as the perfect Man, always depending upon the Father.

Luke’s Gospel is more geared towards the Greeks, presenting the Ideal Man. In it we see Jesus in all His humanity. This is the only Gospel that gives us a glimpse of His childhood – and in it we learn more about the events surrounding the virgin birth. Here we see our Saviour teaching more about prayer, and showing us the important of it in His daily life; we also see Him doing His miracles and teaching and preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:17-21 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 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, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Here we see Jesus experiencing more emotions, showing more compassion, and interacting more with the Gentiles around Him. In this universal Gospel, we see Jesus reaching out to the lost of all nations.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Here is the Saviour, the Messiah, for the whole world, not just for the Jews. Yes, to them first, but not only to them!

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.

Behold The Man!

D) John, the Eagle, presents Jesus as the Son of God come down from Heaven, and focusses on who He is and His coming to save man from their sins.

Like Luke, this Gospel is universal – I believe we can even say this Gospel is more geared for every nationality than the others. Here Jesus is portrayed as the Saviour for the whole world – He didn’t just come for one particular nation (ie. the Jews). This Gospel focusses more on His deity than the others do, more on the fact that He is GOD manifest in the flesh, He is equal to the Father and is one with Him. He is no mere man – He is GOD with us! Here His glory is displayed, here His miracles shine forth His power, here we see the image of the invisible God in all His fulness!

John 11:25-27 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

While this Gospel more clearly sets Jesus forth in all His glory and gloriously manifests His deity to the lost world, and is the best Gospel to use as a witnessing tool to reach the lost, to reveal Jesus to them, we also find it is the favourite of many born again believers. The Gospel of John’s main focus is to clearly present Jesus Christ as God, as the Saviour/Messiah come down from Heaven to redeem fallen man.

John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Not only does this Gospel reveal to us how to have eternal life in Christ, it also shows us what that life means on a practical basis.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 10:10 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.

Eternal life is more than being saved – it is living life to the fullest in right fellowship with your Saviour!

Behold Your God!

I am sure there is nothing like having an Introduction in the middle of a study! Now to continue where we left off in Part One:

4) Behold The Man!

John 19:1-5 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

Luke presents Jesus Christ as the perfect Man, the Son of Man. The genealogy he gives in his Gospel shows that Jesus, in His humanity, is a descendant of the first man, Adam. It is noteworthy that the term Son of God occurs seven times in Luke’s Gospel – six (being typical of man) in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, and once in reference to Adam, whom Jesus descended from and who was directly created by God Himself. Jesus is both God and Man – perfect God and perfect Man in one. God clothed in a human body, manifest in the flesh, so He could die for the sins of fallen man. He had to become one of us to redeem us.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

(See also Luke 3:38; 4:3, 9, 41; 8:28; 22:70.)

Jesus is both the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. Though there is some overlap on the themes presented in each Gospel (to flesh out – so to speak – the picture of the Saviour), I think it would be appropriate to call Luke’s Gospel the Gospel of the Son of Man.

Prayer is a major theme of His Gospel, showing the Son’s dependance upon His Father.

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luke 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

Luke 9:28-29 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Luke 11:1-2 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Luke 22:39-46 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Jesus not only depended upon His Father, He sought and did His Father’s will in all things.

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

Luke 22:29-30 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

If Jesus, the sinless Son of Man, the Perfect Man, needed to depend upon His Heavenly Father moment by moment, day by day, shouldn’t we also need to? If our Saviour needed to cling to His Father and seek His Father’s will in the midst of His temptations and trials (ie. the events leading to His crucifixion), shouldn’t we also need to? Are we following in His example of prayer and trust?

Zechariah 6:12-13 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: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Luke 19:46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Behold The Man!

5) Behold Your God!

Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

This follows on the tail of the prediction of John the Baptist’s declarations of who the Messiah would be, and the need to prepare the way for Him – prepare the way physically, prepare the people’s hearts spiritually:

Isaiah 40:3-8 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

“Including His own affirmation of it, seven different ones avow His Deity in this Gospel. First, John the Baptist: ‘And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God’ (1:34). Second, Nathaniel, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God’ (1:49). Third, Peter, ‘And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God’ (6:69). The Lord Himself, ‘Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?’ (10:36). Fifth, Martha, ‘She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world’ (11:27). Sixth, Thomas, ‘And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God’ (20:28 ). Seventh, the writer of this fourth Gospel, ‘These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name’ (20:31).” – Arthur Pink, Why Four Gospels?

John’s Gospel is the Gospel of the Son of God. In it we see the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ more clearly and more often than what is presented in each of the other three Gospels. Seven times in John’s writings he refers to Jesus as the Word:

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.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

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.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Five times he refers in his writings to Jesus as the only begotten Son (of 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.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

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 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

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.

Over and over again in John’s Gospel, the deity of Christ is emphasized – as well as the need to believe in His divinity as one of the fundamentals of the faith:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

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

John 5:18 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. (Compare with Philippians 2:6)

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, Jesus clearly professed to be the I Am of the Old Testament, clearly professed to be God! And with those statements of His deity, He also declared Himself to be ALL that His people would ever need in this life, in eternity.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 35:3-4 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Jeremiah 32:17, 27 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee… Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Isaiah 11:1-5 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 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; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Behold Your God!

Have you searched the Scriptures? Have you personally come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Have you received Him as your Lamb, the Lamb of God that took away your sins?

Do you Behold Jesus in the Scriptures as:

The Lamb Of God?

Your King?

God’s Servant?

The Man?

Your God?

Behold this fivefold picture – He is all these and more!

BEHOLD!

August 22nd/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 56 – Be Ye Holy

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. (Psa 68:5) Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. (Psa 150:1)

Is there anything as magnificent in God’s creation than mountains? When I behold pictures such as these, I stand in awe of the Creator! I am reminded of His might, His love, and His holiness. As I meditated on this today, I was deeply impressed about how God wants us to be holy like Him. I searched the Scriptures for the phrase, be ye holy, and discovered it appears three times! Praise His Holy Name! The number three symbolizes the godhead, the Three-in-One, the Triune God! Holiness is complete in the godhead!

Let’s look at the verses together. I was blessed beyond measure when I discovered the numbers within the numbers themselves!

1. LORD – Jehovah: Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (Lev 20:7) The word LORD in this verse refers to Jehovah. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob says we must be holy. Noah Webster defines Jehovah as:

JEHO’VAH, n. The Scripture name of the Supreme Being. If, as is supposed, this name is from the Hebrew substantive verb, the word denotes the Permanent Being, as the primary sense of the substantive verb in all languages, is to be fixed, to stand, to remain or abide. This is a name peculiarly appropriate to the eternal Spirit, the unchangeable God, who describes himself thus, I am that I am. Exo 3.

Jehovah is the Jewish national name of God. They do not recognize the Three-in-One, but we do. It is so clear once you are born again and are able to understand the Scriptures and how they show us this blessed Trinity. Their Jehovah, our Heavenly Father, wants us to be holy!

2. He that called us: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Pe 1:15) Our Saviour, our Shepherd, calls us to Him. Jesus calls us out of darkness into His light – the light of the Word of God. 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: (1 Pe 2:9) We are His sheep and we know His voice! 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. (Joh 10:16) He knows us by name. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. (Exo 33:17) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) The second Person in the Trinity, who has called us, is asking us to be holy!

3. He that writes to us: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pe 1:16) The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God so that we would have God’s very words to grow by, to guide us, to teach us. 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. (2 Pe 1:21) The third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has written to us and is asking us to be holy!

The Three-in-One, our God, wants us to be holy as He is! 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) Praise the Lord that Christ’s shed blood covers us and our sins are no longer seen by God but only Jesus’ blood is seen. 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 ) Because of this precious gift of salvation, we are able to be holy as God is holy. Do we live like we are holy? We should be striving to do so. We cannot be perfect but we can strive toward perfection. Do we live a separated life, abstaining from the very appearance of evil? If not, we should!

Take Time to be Holy
William D. Longstaff

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.



Day 57 – Turning Bitter Waters to Sweet

Exodus 15:22-26 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

The Lord was testing the nation of Israel as they were wandering in the wilderness. There were over 600,000 men, plus women and children that were in need of daily water and food – and the Lord was providing for them. But He allowed them to feel their lack and their need of His provision before He gave what they needed to prove them. Everytime a trial came their way, what was in their hearts came out: murmuring and griping; complaining against God and the leader He appointed to lead the people.

The nation of Israel at first couldn’t find any water, and then, when they did, the waters were bitter (Marah means “bitter”). As long as the people were rebelling and going their way, their way was bitter. But when the tree was put into the bitter waters, they were made sweet.

Consider these verses:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Acts 10:38-40 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. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Acts 13:23, 28-30 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus… And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead:

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

The cross of Christ is compared to a tree (it certainly was made out of beams from a tree). Without the salvation Jesus provided by dying upon the cross for our sins, our lives are empty and bitter. Yes, sin may bring pleasure for a season, but the pleasure eventually leaves a spiritually bitter taste in our minds. Sinful pleasures can never fulfill the longing in our souls – only knowing the Lord and walking with Him can do that!

I remember how bitter my life was like before I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ: it was bitter. All the abuse in my past created scars that wouldn’t heal, bitterness that tainted each day, leaving a depression and a complete lack of purpose. Life was bitter to me!

But then came Jesus – and He healed my soul, healed the waters of my spirit, healed the wounds in my heart and mind – gave me a reason for living, gave me forgiveness. With Jesus’ cross (ie. His death upon the cross) affecting me, the waters of my life were made sweet! There was healing.

There is also another application to this passage in the Bible: that of taking up our cross daily.

Luke 9:23 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.

When we, as believers, get our eyes off of the Lord, life is made bitter again – there is no joy, no peace of mind. When God has only half of a believer’s heart, you might as well call them Mara!

Consider the story of Naomi recorded in the book of Ruth. Naomi and her family moved to Moab in a time of famine, instead of trusting the Lord to provide and staying in Bethlehem. They went their way, out of the will of God, and it cost them dearly. Within ten years, she lost her husband and her two sons, and one daughter in law went back to her pagan gods. Empty and barren, Naomi returns with Ruth to Bethlehem, and we read this sad account:

Ruth 1:19-21 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

Naomi means “pleasant.” But she was no longer pleasant; instead she was bitter and anquished. As the story goes on, she puts her eyes back on the Lord and gets right with Him – and He brings healing to her troubled soul.

When we are determined to go our own way, there is bitterness – when we die to ourselves, die to our own will, there is healing and blessing. Consider Jesus, our example:

Matthew 26:37-44 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Luke 22:41-44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Jesus faced a unique battle. He knew He was going to the cross to bear the sin of the world upon Himself. The Son had never been separated from the Father or the Holy Spirit in all of eternity – and God cannot look upon sin – knowing that when He bore our sins it would bring temporary separation in the Godhead, He struggled with what He had to bear. However, enduring that cup of God’s wrath was the only way Jesus could provide for our salvation – and three times He prayed in earnestness and agony, submitting His will to His Heavenly Father’s, and won the victory. The blood vessels bursting in His face (bloody sweat) showed the intense pressure and anquish He was in – still He gave His will to His Father. Then God strengthened Him, and He went on with a renewed determination to go to the cross.

When we give God only half of ourselves – picking and choosing what parts we will submit to Him – there is bitterness, there is turmoil within, no peace of mind. When we submit to His will in every area of our lives (inasmuch as we know that will) – when we take our cross up daily, then the Lord will heal those bitter waters.

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Israel was a very forgetful nation – but there is a lesson to learn here. The Lord taught them how to make their bitter waters sweet, showed them that this healing was based on their obedience and submission to Him; then notice where the Lord took them next:

Exodus 15:27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

An abundance of fresh water – a well for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. Seventy – seven times ten – a multiple of seven contains the same meaning as seven: completeness, perfection, fulness. The Lord was indicating to them that abundance and blessing came from their obedience to Him and His Word. All that they needed was theirs when they got their hearts right with Him and walked right before Him. Satisfaction and fulfillment was found when the cross was added to the waters of their lives!

Are the waters of your life bitter or sweet? Have you come to the cross of Christ and received the Saviour that died upon that cross? Are you dying daily to yourself – have you taken up your cross today?

Written and preached August 28th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 58 – Five-Fold Trust

How many times have we heard the statement, “Trust in Christ as your Saviour”? There is only One that you can trust explicitly and totally for all things in your spiritual life as well as your physical life. I find it interesting that there are five occurrences of the phrase I will trust in the Word of God. The number five symbolizes God’s grace. There is no greater grace than that given to us at the Cross of Cavalry. When we trust Christ as our Saviour, we receive that grace of God in our lives. Noah Webster defines this grace as:

Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.

And if by grace,then it is no more of works. Rom 11.

We cannot earn God’s love – we cannot work for our salvation – it is free. 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)

Noah defines trust as:

Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.

Christ left His Heavenly home because there was no way mankind could get to Heaven on his own merit. His compassion for us was so great that He gave up everything and shed His own blood to pay the price for our sins. A price must be paid – judgment must be served – and Christ paid this price and took upon Himself the judgment for all of our sins, my friend. All it takes for us is to trust Him. Trust Him for what? Trust the fact that He is the only way to Heaven and His death, burial and resurrection is the only Gospel – the only way to Heaven. There is none other. 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) Once we have trusted Christ with our salvation and have been saved, we learn to trust Him with everything else in our lives.

Let’s look at the five occurrences of trust:

1. Trust in His strength: 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. (Psa 18:2) There is nothing that will cross our path in life that will be too difficult for the Lord to handle. Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jer 32:27) Does this not bring you great comfort? It surely does for me!

2. Trust in His judgment: But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. (Psa 55:23) Man will have his time before God and he will be judged! Everyone will have to bow before God and be judged. It is interesting to note that there are three occurrences of this prophecy in the Word: 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. (Isa 45:23) 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) 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) Man can sin against you and hurt you but his time will come. We do not need to seek vengeance – his punishment will come soon enough.

3. Trust in His protection: What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (Psa 56:3) How many times have you been afraid? How can you trust in a friend to take care of your fears when he cannot be there 24/7? But God is there always – He never sleeps and is there to comfort us in time of fear. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psa 121:4) How wonderful is that? There have been times when I have feared the outcome of a certain trial and the Lord has taught me to trust Him with this fear. In so doing, I was showered with peace in the midst of this trial. My problem was not over but I no longer was afraid of the outcome because I had a calm assurance that God would work it all out.

4. Trust in His care: I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (Psa 61:4) I recall never feeling safer than when my father put his arm around me. I knew that the world could fall apart around me but I was safe. It blesses me that God would use these words about His care to bring us comfort. We can trust that He will care for us. David found comfort in God’s care. Five times in the Word we can find thy wings – all five are found in the Book of Psalms. Again, God’s grace can be found in His care for us! It is soothing to picture ourselves enveloped in God’s arms!

5. Trust in His salvation: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isa 12:2) When we are born again, we are placed into God’s family. As a parent, do you randomly add and remove your children from your family because of their behavior? Of course not! A parent’s whole purpose is found in their children! When my child has abandoned me, I do not abandon him – no matter what he has done! In fact, the more trouble my child is in, the more I pray for him. The more sin he is involved in, the more I strive to bring him back to his God. The bottom line here is that although my child has strayed from me, my love for him has not ceased and I am more determined to get him back. How much more the Heavenly Father? We can wholly trust in God to keep our salvation. We may turn our backs on God, but He will never turn His back on us. 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 )

I challenge you to find one friend on this earth that you can trust in who can provide you with this five-fold trust. Some may be able to provide strength, protection and care – but none can provide those as well as judgment and salvation! Only God can fulfill this five-fold trust. As Noah Webster defined trust, can you say that you totally trust God with every intimate area of your life? Do you have full confidence that your salvation is protected? Do you rely and have rest in your mind that God will take care of all things in your life? And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7)

Put Thou Thy Trust in God
Paul Gerhardt

Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty’s path go on;
Walk in His strength with faith and hope,
So shall thy work be done.

Commit thy ways to Him,
Thy works into His hands,
And rest on His unchanging Word,
Who Heav’n and earth commands.

Though years on years roll on,
His cov’nant shall endure;
Though clouds and darkness hide His path,
The promised grace is sure.

Give to the winds Thy fears;
Hope, and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
His power will clear thy way;
Wait thou His time, the darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.

Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command;
So shalt thou, wond’ring, own His way,
How wise, how strong His hand.



Day 59 – The God of Second Chances

This is the story of a young man that failed the Lord miserably, and was later given a second chance.

In Acts chapter 12, the apostle James was captured and beheaded by king Herod, and Peter was also imprisoned, facing a similar fate within a matter of days. But the Lord had other plans. He sent an angel to release Peter from prison, and Peter went to the house where the early church was having a prayer meeting on his behalf:

Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

As most reading this no doubt know that the apostle Paul (first called Saul) is a very prominent figure in the New Testament. Much of the book of Acts is taken up with him and those who were involved in his three missionary journeys. He was in Jerusalem with Barnabas. When they left there to head back to Antioch, Barnabas’ nephew went with them:

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

From Antioch, Barnabas and Saul were sent on their first missionary journey to Asia Minor:

Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

It is interesting to note that the Word of God refers to their ministry as work. God didn’t call them in order for them to take it easy and relax – He had some work He planned for them to do.

Acts 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

They took young John Mark with them to be their minister. The word used in this passage indicated that Mark was their assistant – possibly brought along to carry supplies, help with the menial tasks, etc.

But before too long we read this sad account:

Acts 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

This verse in itself doesn’t explain what happened, other than to let us know Mark no longer went with them, that he turned back to Jerusalem. But in Acts 15, we read:

Acts 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

The word for departed here is a stronger word used than in chapter 13, and means “to remove, i.e. (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.” Mark deserted them in the ministry! He abandoned the work! Perhaps he found it too hard, perhaps he got a glimpse of some of the hardships that they might have to endure in the ministry, perhaps it was just too much work after all – something which he may not have had in mind when the idea of travelling and preaching to far off locations originally presented themself to him. Either way, he abandoned ship, and left Paul and Barnabas, and headed home where the way was much easier for him.

The first missionary journey started approximately in AD 46 or 47 – now three or four years later, Paul and Barnabas travelled back to Jerusalem to give their accounts of the wonderful works God had done through them in the years they were gone. After that, they headed back to Antioch to preach and teach the Word of the Lord. Then Paul started to think again about the churches he had planted and the new believers that he had come to know:

Acts 15:36-40 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

Barnabas wanted to take his nephew along with them – and Paul flatly refused. Perhaps this verse came to Paul’s mind:

Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

Perhaps Paul’s refusals went like this: “John Mark is simply not reliable; we can’t take him along; he will just fail us again! No, he is NOT going with us! We do not need to have someone tag along who is just not committed to the ministry. If he deserted us once, he will do it again. I will not take that risk!” The disagreement over this young man was so strong, that they went their own separate ways, and Paul travelled on his second missionary journey with Silas instead.

That is the last we hear of both Barnabas and John Mark in the book of Acts – and perhaps Mark would have faded completely off the scene if it wasn’t for the grace of God – the God of second chances!

In Peter’s first epistle, we hear about this man again:

1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

John Mark was now with Peter in Babylon – and Peter wanted to let them know that his spiritual son greeted them as well.

In approximately 62 AD, we hear Paul making mention of Mark in several of his prison epistles:

Philemon 1:23-24 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

Hm, Mark was now a fellowlabourer with Paul, working together with Paul – involved in the work once again…

Colossians 4:10-11 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

Paul was now telling them to look out for Mark if he came their way, to receive him and take care of him. Some things had changed – both in Mark’s committment to the ministry, and in Paul’s impression of him. Now, Paul was saying Mark was a comfort to him – someone who came alongside and gave him strength!

But what touches me most are Paul’s final words about John Mark. In what was probably his last letter written before he faced his own martyrdom at Roman hands, his thoughts went out to this man whom he now considered a friend and partner in the work:

2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Mark had learned the lesson he had failed before. Now, he knew what it meant to be a servant, ministering to the needs of others, ministering faithfully – being used by the Lord!

Timothy, bring Mark with you. Oh, he has been such a help and a blessing to the ministry – I can really use him here!

Praise the Lord for His forgiveness – for His grace – for His second chances!

One final note I want to end on, which ties this devotional together directly with Behold: A Fivefold Picture, and the reason why I wanted to include it as my last devotional in this series:

John Mark – the man who failed the ministry, failed his fellowlabourers, failed in the work and turned back in defeat – learned at last what it meant to be a servant…

Mark 10:42-45 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

…And was used by God to write the Gospel that truly presented the Lord Jesus Christ from the perspective of a Servant.

John Mark – who by the grace of God (which is what John means: “Gift or grace of God”- see 1 Corinthians 15:10) – became a faithful servant and was used by the Lord to teach us about what servanthood really means, from the perspective of the Greatest Servant of all time:

Behold My Servant!

Preached August 26th/07
Written August 30th/07
Jerry Bouey



Day 60 – Three Steps to Christ in a Two-Fold Way

As we draw our series on Bible Numbers to a close, it is most fitting to end it with how the unbeliever can find Christ and how the believer can draw closer to Christ. I’ve always felt that God is a very economical God. He blesses many people with the same verses but in different ways and for different reasons. As I was searching for just the right thing to write about, I was drawn to Matthew 11:28-30 this morning. My spirit needed encouragement and these were the first verses I had memorized as a new believer and I turn to them frequently.

Matthew 11:28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (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. (29) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (30) As beautiful and comforting as these verses are to the believer, they are equally as beautiful and comforting to the unbeliever. I noticed that Christ stated that there are three things one must do to come to Him. Three symbolizes the godhead – the Trinity. How fitting that these three steps are depicted in this light.

1. Come unto Jesus – Jesus is the only way to Heaven for the lost. 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) There is no other way – there is no other person (dead or alive) who can claim this. 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) No matter what any religion preaches, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is the only way to Heaven – not your good deeds, not Allah, not Buddha, not John Smith!

To the born-again believer, this statement confirms that we can continually go to Jesus for all our needs, all our future sins, all our problems and all our concerns. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have no need to pray to Mary or pray to the saints – we can go straight to God Himself, Christ Jesus! Furthermore, when we sin, we can go to Christ Himself, not some priest in a confessional. 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: (1 Jo 2:1) Jesus is our attorney, if you will, who defends us before a Righteous and Holy God. God demands payment and justice for sins. Jesus stands before His Father as your Attorney and says, “Father, I have paid the penalty for my child with My Blood.” The Father sees our sin no more but only the blood of His Son. No priest, no saint or anyone else for that matter can fill these shoes, my friend. Praise God that we can still come to Jesus!

2. Take His yoke upon you: Have you ever seen a yoke? Notice that there are two openings. Jesus is telling the unbeliever that the sinner is in one part of the yoke and Jesus is in the other part. Again, Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I love how a yoke is placed between the head and the heart! How symbolic that is to me. One needs to hear the Gospel and believe it with his heart before he can be saved. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:10) One can only be righteous if he puts on the righteousness of Christ.

For the believer, we can look at the yoke and see that Christ carries our burdens with us. We are not alone in our walk on this earth. He is there right along side of us – like the beautiful Footprints story. Furthermore, when you look at the yoke, you can see that if one turns to the right, the other must turn to the right. We are guided by the Holy Spirit of God Himself! What a blessed portrayal of God’s love for us!

3. Learn from Him: It is so sad that mankind turns to self-help books, to gurus, to religious leaders instead of to Jesus’ Word. Jesus said to learn from Him! Jesus provided us with the Bible, His very words, whereby to learn and grow. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) Notice that Rom. 10:17 does not say faith comes by a self-help book, or Dr. Phil, or John Smith. It says that faith comes by the Word of God. Jesus is the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) and 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) Christ provided the written Word of God so that we would be able to find true salvation through Him. What more does one need?

To the believer, we are encouraged to learn from Him. Don’t substitute man-written books and devotionals for God’s Holy Word. It is the Word that will cleanse us. It is the Word that convicts us and grows us. It is the Word that prevents us from being misled by false doctrine. 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)

As a result of coming to Christ, we are promised rest. The unbeliever finds rest through salvation and the born-again believer finds rest because he is not alone in his pilgrimage on earth. Jesus said that His yoke is easy. Have you ever tried to lift a yoke? I have! It is not light at all. In fact, I could barely lift it. But Christ says His yoke is easy and it is light. That means that the burden of sin has been taken on by Jesus and that this burden is not on our shoulders any longer. We also know that although He has taken on the burden of our sins, He also carries our burdens in life, right along side of us.

This is a beautiful depiction of how the Saviour not only delivers us from sin but continues to carry our burdens with us so we are not alone. … and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20b)

Dear God…
Thank you for this series these past couple of months. What a blessing they have been to my soul.




8 Steps to Living Peaceably With Your Unsaved Husband

Written in October 2006

Don’t look for a way out of this marriage. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (1Co 7:12)

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (1Co 7:13)

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)

Ask the Lord to reveal to you how HE wants you to act so He can complete His task through your current situation.

  1. Be practical. Is it practical to think that your dh will act like a Christian? Do you expect your dh to get saved right now? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Act 1:7)

Rest in this … God is at work in your dh’s life as He promised.

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. (Hab 1:5)

  1. Do you remember why you are married? Do you wonder why God allowed you to become a Christian while you were married to an unbeliever? For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (1Co 7:14)

The word sanctify means “set apart.” Your husband will receive extra opportunities to witness God’s grace and mercy. Another reason to stay married to your dh is for the children. This same verse says children living with a Christian parent are holy rather than unclean. Therefore, remember that your presence in their lives is of great influence.

  1. Concentrate on your behavior. You MUST walk the walk and forget the talk. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12)

You need to be salt and light in your home. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Mat 5:13)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14)

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. (Mat 5:15)

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)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1Pe 3:1)

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1Pe 3:2)

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (2Co 3:2)

Your life may be the only Bible your dh or children will ever read.

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phi 1:27)

  1. Share your faith. There does come a time when you CAN share your faith but remember to do so “without the word” (1 Pet. 3:1). There are two very appropriate situations when you can verbally witness to your dh:

(1) DH may notice something in your life (an attitude or behavior that glorifies the Lord) and he’ll tell you how much he appreciates you. At this moment, remind him that this was not the way you were before coming to Christ. Explain to him how much better your marriage would be if you could share these changes together.

(2) Wait until your dh is struggling with the emptiness in his life or is experiencing difficulty in a relationship with another person. Remind him that you once felt the same way, and this is why you surrendered your life to Christ.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Pro 15:23)

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (Isa 50:4)

  1. Don’t hate your dh. If he continues to resist your words and rejects Christ, be VERY careful not to become resentful or angry toward him. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1Sa 8:7)

He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luk 10:16)

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. (2Co 4:4)

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luk 23:34)

Therefore, give your dh a little consideration based on your knowledge of his lost condition. Give him some space and patience, and pray that God will open his eyes.

  1. Pray. Prayer is your greatest tool in the struggle to keep your unequally yoked marriage going. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16)

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luk 10:19)

Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17)

  1. Never give up!

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

Kate Plourde
April 21, 2006




An In-depth Look at the Rapture by Alan Yusko

April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Bible Studies · Tags: Bible Studies, Rapture
Note from Kate: Before you read Mr. Yusko’s study, let me clarify the Pre-Tribulation viewpoint. Post and Mid Tribulation proponents claim that the Pre-Trib theory was only recently “invented,” however, please note the year that Pseudo-Ephraim wrote this Pre-Trib statement in about 300 AD:

All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.

-Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627)

Now on with Bro. Yusko’s study:

Start with Dan 9

– This lays the foundation for all Bible prophecy

– If a person understands the 70 weeks prophecy they will not be confused with all the wrong views of prophecy “out there”.

– We will cover the 70 week prophecy and see where the rapture fits in.

Daniel 9
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

**Note: notice that the 70 weeks are ‘determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city’. This is the Jewish people of Israel and Jerusalem. (not the Church)

Notice that 70 Weeks of years (490 years) are determined upon the people of Israel accomplish these 5 goals:

– finish the transgression (between God and Israel)
– to make an end of sins
– to make reconciliation for iniquity
– to bring in everlasting righteousness
– to seal up the vision and prophecy
– to anoint the most Holy (The Lord Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom)

All this has NOT yet been fulfilled. It will yet be fulfilled upon the nation of Israel just like Daniel was told.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

These verses are talking about the 7 weeks and 62 weeks of years which add up to 69 weeks.

Verse 26… at the end of the 69th week the Messiah will be cut off.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Points to consider:

– The prophetic 70 weeks stopped at the rejection and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Messiah.

– That occurred after 69 weeks or 483 years.

– There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week. Unknown to Daniel but known to us today

– The church began at Pentecost where the Holy Spirit infilled believers. Believers became the body and bride with the Lord Jesus as the head.

– God has been using the Church (invisible body of Christ) during this gap as the salt of the earth and the restrainer of evil. The antichrist cannot rise to power with the church in the world.

– After the rapture the restrainer of evil is removed and the antichrist rises to power and Israel enters their 70th week. This time is also referred to as the time of Jacobs trouble or the Tribulation period. The restrainer is the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church.

– The Holy Spirit is omnipresent and cannot be removed. The Church is not and will be removed at the rapture.

– The existence of the church in the world prevents the 70th week from beginning. If the antichrist cannot rise to power the 70th week cannot begin.

WHAT IS THE RAPTURE?

What exactly is the rapture and what does the Bible say about it?

Most Christians have heard the term and the unsaved don’t know what a Christian is talking about.

Here are the foundational verses in the Bible that describe the rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

What is the rapture? The answer is this: It is a description of an event that will occur when God removes His Church supernaturally from the earth. Christians will literally disappear as they are called up to the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. There will be one generation living on earth that will not know physical death but will be instantly translated into the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the rapture each Christian will be transformed and receive their eternal resurrection body.

Lets look a bit more closely at the Scriptures previously quoted about the rapture starting with 1 Thess 4:

1 Thess 4
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

This verse is by the “word of the Lord”. The event of the rapture is a fact and it is coming by the authority of the Word of the Lord.

Next, we are told that there will be some Christians alive when the Lord Jesus returns at the rapture. This verse also mentions Christians that are asleep or who have previously died.

This hints at a great reunion at the rapture. Those living will meet their Christian loved ones and friends who have previously died.

There is also an order to the rapture where God will honor the dead in Christ first. The order is this:
1) first the dead in Christ are resurrected
2) second those who are alive on earth are resurrected.

The Lord is very detailed. The rapture will occur very fast. In just a fraction of a second, it will be over. Yet the Lord will order those who will be raptured/resurrected first and second. This shows the amazing precision of the Lord as He exercises His almighty power.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Here we are told that the dead in Christ will be given their eternal resurrection bodies first. Remember the order of events hinted at in verse 15 First the dead in Christ then secondly the living.

We are also told that the Lord Jesus will come Himself and will give a shout – a command: possibly ‘come up hither’ see Rev 4. The rapture occurs as a result of a command from the Lord.

17 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.

We are told that Christians still alive will be given their resurrection body as well in the rapture. All the raptured Christians (alive and previously dead) will meet in the air in the clouds. There Christians will meet the Lord Jesus and have a great reunion with each other.

This verse also uses the term “caught up” when referring to the living Christians in the rapture. What does ‘caught up’ mean? It literally means to be caught up, to snatch out, or to seize. God will use His almighty power in the rapture!

Here is another thought to consider. Some may say that the word ‘rapture’ is not found in the Bible therefore, it cannot be true. Consider this, the word ‘Bible’ and the word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible either. However, the concepts certainly are found in the Bible. The rapture describes a Biblical event. The concept of the rapture is found in the Bible even though the actual word ‘rapture’ is not. In verse 17 above the rapture is described by the words “caught up”. A person would be correct by calling this Biblical event the catching up of the Church. However, the term rapture is shorter and it describes the same concept.

In the rapture, the Lord Jesus will not set foot on earth but will rather call Christians up to Himself in the clouds to meet Him there. This can be contrasted with His second coming when the Lord will set foot on earth at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. At that time everyone saved and lost will see Him return. However, at the rapture, only blood bought Spirit reborn saved Christians will see the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds. As a result, we clearly have two separate events

1) The rapture when Jesus meets the Church in the air and takes them to heaven and
2) The Second Coming which occurs at the battle of Armageddon. At the battle of Armageddon, the Lord Jesus comes back to earth at the mount of Olives in Jerusalem and sets up His Kingdom.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

-This teaching of the rapture is a comfort to God’s people
– comfort in trials of all kinds
– comfort with the death of loved ones

Next, lets look at the rapture in 1 Cor 15:

1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
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.

1 Corinthians 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

The rapture is a mystery that God through the Apostle Paul has revealed.

The next question is: What is a mystery? Well a mystery is a new truth. Something not previously known or revealed. Further thoughts on the mystery of the rapture are:

– Could the mystery be the second coming of Jesus? No as the disciples and Christians already knew that Jesus would return again. Look at Acts 1:9-11 where the Lord Jesus is taken to heaven. The Lord will return in like manner, bodily, physically. His Second coming is nothing new.

– Could the mystery be the general resurrection of all believers? No! God had already revealed that: See Daniel 12:2, Heb 11:17-19 Job 19:25-27. It was general knowledge that there would be a general resurrection of the righteous and the damned.

So then what is the mystery, the new truth that God through Paul is revealing? Verse 51 tells what the mystery is. ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed’.

1) We shall not all sleep. This means there is a generation of believers that will not die physically but will go straight to heaven. That is certainly new and unrevealed information!

Here is an interesting point….. What does sleep mean? Why did the Lord Jesus and His disciples use the term sleep as opposed to dead? Well the word sleep in their culture also included the fact that the dead person had a future. Death is not a final thing but there is a glorious future for the believer after physical death.

2) we shall all be changed. This literally means we shall be transformed. All born again, blood bought Christians will be given a new body. It will be a resurrected body of flesh and bones. The believer will have a heavenly body just like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection.

So to sum up verse 51…. what is the mystery? The mystery is that there is one generation that will not die physical death but will be instantly transformed into their resurrection body as they meet the Lord in the clouds at the rapture. What a glorious way to go to heaven!

If you had a choice, which way would you prefer to go to heaven?…by death or rapture? What a glorious new truth and a blessed hope!

Lets look at another aspect of the rapture: How long will the rapture take?

Verse 52 answers this question:

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.

How long will the rapture take? The rapture will be just a moment or a twinkling of an eye. How long is a moment or a twinkling of an eye? It will be so quick that the time frame cannot be humanly divided. The rapture will be instant in a small fraction of a second! For example take 1 second and divide it up into 1000 tiny sections of time. The rapture will be faster that 1 of those small sections of time! Remember the precision of the rapture.

RAISED and CHANGED

The dead = raised
We the living = changed

We are given new resurrection bodies suited for heaven

A body just like the Lord Jesus had after His resurrection.

Therefore: rapture is joy and a hope.
– new body (no sickness, pain, death)
– Forever with the Lord and see Him face to face to face!

Lets read further:

1 Corinthians 15
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
54 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.

Our new bodies will be eternal, incorruptible, and glorious! This is compared to our current mortal and corruptible bodies prone to sickness, pain, and death.

Death will be no more. This is what that statement “Death is swallowed up in victory” means.

The rapture is a blessed hope and the rapture is going to occur soon!

WHO WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE RAPTURE?

The answer is simple. Only those who have trusted/accepted the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will be a part of the rapture. In this world there are only two types of people: SAVED or LOST. Which category do you fit in? Only the saved people will be going up in the rapture.

John 3
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3
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.

Notice that only those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus are saved.

All others are lost and will die in their sins and perish forever in the lake of fire. The rapture is only for saved people who have their sins washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus. Saved people have trusted in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation!

So, all saved people will be included in the rapture. The lost will be left behind to go through the terrible reign of the antichrist and all the judgments of God found in the book of Revelation.

Only requirement for the rapture is salvation. All saved people will be raptured

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.

– Look at the word … all
– what does all mean
– how many sins were future when the Lord Jesus died

Rom 4
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

– this talks of imputed righteousness
– The Lord Jesus bore our sin on the cross – we have imputed righteousness.
– we all stand before God because of the merits of the Lord Jesus

WATCH AND BE READY! NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR

The Bible speaks of an unknown time when the Lord Jesus will return. Many will be found asleep and caught by surprise. These people thought the Lord would delay His coming and got distracted with the things of the world such as: the quest for wealth and money, love of entertainment, and other worldly pursuits. The end result is the sudden return of the Lord Jesus!

Here are some verses that describe the unknown time of the return of the Lord Jesus:

Matthew 24
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

– datesetter warning
– fancy date model, plug in stuff out comes a date (always wrong)

37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

– rapture will be on a routine day
– the battle of armageddon will not be routine after the 7 seals 7 trumpets and 7 bowls of God’s wrath are poured out upon the earth.

down to verse 42

42 WATCH THEREFORE: FOR YE KNOW NOT WHAT HOUR YOUR LORD DOTH COME.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

– watch and be ready
– do not be caught sleeping with eyes on worldly affairs, affections, or treasures
– like the arrival of a thief

This command to watch and be ready is repeated again and again. The Lord does not want His people to be caught by surprise. Therefore, God’s people are warned to watch and be ready.

Matthew 25
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.

v36 another warning not to be found sleeping

Here is another point that the Lord reveals in the below verses.

Luke 12
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find [them] so, blessed are those servants.
39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 BE YE THEREFORE READY ALSO: FOR THE SON OF MAN COMETH AT AN HOUR WHEN YE THINK NOT.

Notice verse 40. The Lord warns that He will come at a time when He is not expected. This means life will be routine when the rapture occurs.

The Lord will not come in the midst of a nuclear war when things are falling apart and massive numbers of people are dying.

Instead, the Lord will return on a routine day. People will get up after a night’s sleep and get ready for the activities of that day. They may work, buy, sell, marry or whatever. Others will still be sleeping in the middle of the night! Life will be normal and routine. The strong warning from the Lord is to watch and be ready because on such a day He will suddenly return to rapture home His people.

– Verse 37 above says “Blessed” are those servants who are ready and watching when the Lord suddenly returns. This means that not everyone will be sleeping and caught up with worldly pursuits. Some of God’s people will be wide awake and watching for the return of their Lord.

To those people the Lord says: Blessed!

A CROWN FOR WATCHING FOR THE RAPTURE

– after the rapture — resurrection and great renuion
– bema reward judgment (not for sins – the blood covers that)
– crowns are one such reward

Paul speaking…
2 Tim 4
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The above verse states that everyone who watches, waits, and loves His appearing will receive a crown of righteousness. This is a great blessing from the Lord! All that is required to receive this crown is for Christians to watch, wait, and look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus.

– I want everyone to get that crown at the bema judgment!

SEE THE DAY COMING!

Below is another unique promise in the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 5
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

  1. Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us WATCH AND BE SOBER.

– verse 4 where we are told that that day (the return of the Lord) should not overtake us like a thief. Here is what it means. Even though we cannot know the exact day, we can see the day coming. As we look at Bible prophecy and world events we can see the final prophecies getting ready to be fulfilled. This means the rapture must be very close!

Christians have great incentive to stay awake and watch for the return of the Lord because Christians can see the setups of the end time Bible prophecies. All this points to the nearness of the rapture. Therefore, watch and be ready!

1 Peter 4
7 BUT THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND: be ye therefore sober, and WATCH UNTO PRAYER.

CONCLUSION

We covered:
– basics of the rapture including Dan 9
– how long will it take
– who will be included in the rapture
– the exhortation to watch and be ready because the rapture will occur suddenly and unexpectedly.

THE RAPTURE IS OUR BLESSED HOPE

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

The rapture is a blessed hope to the Christian. Watching for and expecting the rapture is a blessed hope that encourages a person to stay close to the Lord.

A person watching daily for the rapture will go on with life but be constantly looking for the return of the Lord each day. This blessed hope also has a purifying effect. A person will not get caught up in worldliness or wrong things if he thinks His Lord could come back at any moment.

This message covers the blessing for a Christian who will be found by the Lord watching when the rapture occurs.

The Lord calls that person, “blessed”! I would say it is a good personal goal for ones life! Make it your hearts goal and desire to be ready and watching when the rapture occurs. This way you will not be caught by surprise when the rapture occurs in the very near future!

Rev 22
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Closing…

Prov 14
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The time is short! Feel free to post this on web pages, to mail it to people, print it, publically teach it, or to send it into email newsgroups on the internet. This means it may be freely posted, printed, or transmitted in any way. Use it for the glory of the Lord!

Get the message out! Judgment is coming and it has already started! It is long past time to repent and get right with God! The Lord Jesus (second person of the Trinity and God in human flesh) is the Only Saviour. Come to Him today before it is too late for you!

An in-depth look at the Rapture!
By Alan Yusko

– feel free to copy, print, or to use this sermon outline as a sermon message.




Are You Moving Forward?

Written in April 2008

Backsliding – we’ve all heard the term and some Christians are even in this state as I’m writing this. The term is not used in the New Testament but is found in Jeremiah:

Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. ~Jeremiah 8:5

According to Noah Webster, the word perpetual means:

1. Never ceasing; continuing forever in future time; destined to be eternal; as a perpetual covenant; a perpetual statute

Notice Jeremiah uses the terms perpetual, holding fast to deceit, refusing to return. The born-again Christian who is stirred by the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, will be under conviction when he/she sins against God. It is when we quench the Holy Spirit that we find ourselves in a state such as this. We all go through a dry spell from time to time. But when one is in this state all the time, it is very dangerous. We blaspheme the Word of God with our actions.

A Christian will either be moving forward for the Lord as he submits himself to God’s will for his life, or he will be standing still or moving backwards. Standing still can be just as bad as going in reverse, my friend. Neither one of these produces anything positive for the Lord. A believer who is stirred in his spirit by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit cannot stand still and will not go backward. He will move forward as he submits to the hand of the Potter. The stagnant believer, as well as the one who is going back to his old ways, is submitting to the work of the devil in his life.

~James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (7) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. ( 8 ) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (9) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (10)

The reason we get this is way is because we have strayed from God – we have not submitted ourselves totally to His will for our lives. That is why the devil can “have his way” in our lives. Verse 7 says that if we submit to God and resist the devil’s tactics in our lives, he (the devil) will flee from us. James was writing to believers and, therefore, he is not talking about being demon possessed here. The devil can influence us with distractions – he can cause the lust of our flesh to work against us. The devil can even use God’s work to distract us. If we are all consumed with doing the Lord’s work yet leaving our spiritual life aside, it is a distraction and it is keeping us away from our First Love!

Notice verse 8: Many quote the first part of this verse but they fail to quote the rest, which is what we must do to draw nigh to a Holy God: Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

  1. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners – I don’t believe the Lord is telling us to wash our hands here – I believe He is asking us to examine our lives and wash away what is unpleasing to Him: ungodly music, unacceptable TV programming, etc. (you know what your weaknesses are). ~ James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
  2. Purify your hearts – Christ must be at the center of our hearts after salvation. Purify (according to Noah Webster) is to free ourselves from pollution. What is polluting your life today? It could be the things you discovered about yourself in the previous verse. It could be your walk with the Lord. Are you praying? Are you reading the Word? If not, go back to 12 o’clock in your spiritual walk and start over. Again, remember your First Love. When you don’t feed your body food, it becomes weak and you waste away. If you do not feed your spiritual body the Heavenly manna found in the Word and follow its convictions, you starve spiritually and your spiritual self will waste away. To the believer, conviction should be hard at work in the heart at this point. Don’t just listen to conviction but apply conviction to your life. This is the only way you will experience change and forward movement in your spiritual walk.
  3. Ye double minded – When you are away from the Word long enough, you become double minded. You do not hold the same “standards and convictions” as before. You begin to doubt your convictions or slack off. You are unsettled in your thoughts. God provides your with conviction and you do not heed His command for you. This is not of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. That is why you are unsettled in your heart and you are not at peace.

So what do you do to get out of this rutt?

~Rev 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (4) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (5)

Return to the joy of your salvation day. Remember when you were in the Word every chance you got and you obeyed the voice of God when He told you to repent from a certain sin? Get back into the Word – obey His voice. As you start your new plan, don’t over schedule your time in the Word to the point where you will fail. Some people have the right intentions and spend 2-3 hours in the Word right from the git go. Although this is admirable, it may not be what is needed right here and now to keep you motivated and continuing to move forward. The devil will see your intentions and will cause all kinds of distractions to come your way. Instead, until you have re-established your habit, keep your time in the Word manageable. Schedule it like any appointment in your life. A scheduled appointment is more likely to be kept than to face the day with a list of things to do and no rhyme nor reason in its timing.

It’s O.K. to say no to too many commitments. After all, we don’t have to do everything that we are asked to do. Saying no is not that bad  Look over what things you have committed to. See if some can be eliminated. If you’re in a quandry as to which one to eliminate, ask your husband or a spiritual adviser and get their opinion. A wife’s primary role in life is the Lord – right after that, she is to be a helpmeet to her husband. Then next on her list is to be a good mother. Church activities, ladies meetings, etc. must not take priority over these. When we have our priorities in order, everything else falls into place. If you must say no, simply say, “I would love to do this, however, I will have to say no at this time.” Simple – to the point – and usually no one pushes for a better answer after they hear no. 

Don’t delay – don’t procrastinate – don’t give up! You’re under conviction for a reason and that is because of the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart. Once you are back in the Word, being nourished by the Spirit and heeding His convictions, you will see this discouragement melt away!




Will I Come Forth As Gold

Written in March 2008

(Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I’ve seen study after study and devotion after devotion on this verse. But until you personally experience a series of trials in your own life, and experience this verse, you really can’t fully appreciate what others are trying to explain. So it was for me! Although I was greatly blessed by reading those studies, I have to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I have fully appreciated Job 23:10! For those of you who do not know, I have two sons. Aaron just joined the U.S. Army and is at Basic Combat Training in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Adam is a U.S. Marine and is wrapping up his MOS training in Coronado, CA. My husband and I recently sold our house and downsized to a two-bedroom apartment! We were planning our retirement and were scheduled to leave Virginia after May 1st. That is, until we found out a couple of weeks ago that John has been diagnosed with cancer. Radiation, chemo, surgery and follow-up treatments are what lie in store. I truly praise the Lord that at least I have my sons and my husband! I have not suffered as Job suffered, that is for sure! But I can surely sympathize with him and understand his account so much more as I go through these trials.

It is the first part of the verse that spoke to my heart, actually. The Lord knows the way that I take! This brings me much comfort knowing that my Shepherd knows my way. He has seen the future and knows the results of all that is going on in my life! My Creator, who has numbered the very hairs on my head, knows me intimately and cares for me. No matter how discouraged I may get, I can turn to the Word and the Lord gives me something that encourages my heart! (Psa 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. Our Heavenly Father hears our pleas of despair and comes to our rescue! (Psa 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Thank You, Lord! I glorify Your Name on high!

Job’s reputation has followed him through the ages because he was able to claim this verse in the Bible. Even to this day, we hear the phrase “He has the patience of Job.” The trials that this man suffered are unbelievable, aren’t they? Job was attacked on every side by ole slew foot! The devil attacked Job’s character, he attacked Job’s belongings (cattle, etc.), he attacked Job’s servants, he attacked Job’s family, and he attacked Job’s own body! There is no one, that I know of personally, who has been through each of these in his life time – let alone within just a few weeks! I have learned that the Lord never gives us more than we can bear! With each burden, he provides us encouragement along the way. It is up to us to search out that encouragement! The Word should be our main source of encouragement! The title of my blog shows who that Source is: (Psa 121:1) [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

I also noticed that Job did not get to the point where he cursed the day he was born until after his friends came to “comfort” him! The devil kept attacking him and saw that he could not succeed so he sent along people he could “use” to accomplish his goal – discouragement. Where do you sit today, my friend? Are you one in need of encouragement or are you to be used of God to do the encouraging? Are you the type of friend that Job had? As I searched my heart, I realized that although I was experiencing trials of my own, there are many out there who are going through things that make mine look like child’s play! What kind of friend am I to those dear ones who are suffering?

If you are one who is experiencing trials today, do you surround yourself with whiners, complainers and nay sayers? It is these types of friends who will drag you down spiritually. Surround yourself with people who love the Lord, will pray for you and are there to lend an ear just in case you need one. Turn to your spiritual mentors who will not allow you to wallow in self-pity but will help you out of the pit of despair. You cannot expect someone who cannot swim to rescue you from drowning! Therefore, do not turn to those Christians who will nurture your discouragement instead of lifting you up in the Lord.

I don’t know why the Lord laid this on my heart today. Maybe I will need this down the road – or maybe you are going through a similar trial and need to be encouraged! With that said, won’t you say as Job did, (Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.




Being a Good Sister

What is a friend? I think we can all think of one special person (not our husbands) who we can say is a very dear and close friend. I think of my dear friend, Vicky, who lives in my home town in Maine. Not only were we best friends all our lives, but our mothers were best friends also. We were always together. The Lord used Vicky to lead me to Him! What a wonderful friend she is and she is also my sister in Christ as well as my spiritual mother.

I think before we can look at the verses which talk about what a friend should be to YOU, let’s look at what God’s Word says about what kind of a friend WE should be. Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” The Lord tells us that before we can have friends to call our own (I’m not talking about acquaintances here), we must FIRST be friendly. Why do you think God threw this verse in here? The ball is in our court here. We have to be the initiator of friendships. Don’t wait for someone to come to you … go to them.

I remember when we switched churches and how I dreaded the thought of starting over in getting to know a new group of ladies. I’m a friendly person but I have to really work at being outgoing and the “first one” to start a conversation. Some women, on the other hand, are extremely shy and would rather die than to start a conversation with new people. Instead, they wait for those others to make the first move. Then you have those ladies who are just naturally friendly and outgoing and can talk to anyone! Which lady are you like? Whichever lady you are like, you must FIRST be friendly, right?

Let’s look on to what God’s Word says about the “qualities” of a friend so that we can learn to be this kind of friend. Firstly, we’re told a friend’s love doesn’t have a time table. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. God says that you must love your friend at ALL times. You cannot be a “fair weather” friend, can you? You must love this friend at ALL times. I like that little three-letter word, “all”. It’s so small, yet it packs such a punch! You must love your friend whether she has her makeup on or whether she just got out of bed!

You must love her when she’s having good days as well as when she’s having bad days. You must love her and DEFEND her then walk away when others are “having her for lunch” in their gossip session! You must love her when YOU’RE having bad days. She should not just receive your love when you feel like giving it to her. It should be constant and consistent.

Next, God’s Word says that you must be faithful to your friend in spiritual matters as well. Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. You should love your friend so much that you will reprove and correct her spiritually when she sins. Of course, you do this with love and it is received with love. If she were to be walking off a cliff, you would stop her right? You should do the same for her spiritually. How you ask? Here’s a good example (one that I have experienced myself). Have you ever heard her dishonor her husband in her conversations with you when he’s not around? You KNOW better and you know that this will not bring God’s blessings upon her when she does this. Do you lovingly correct her with the verses she needs from God’s Word? Or do you let it go because you’re afraid to hurt her? Do you think you’ve helped her by not saying anything? No, what you’ve actually done is leave the door open for God to punish your friend.

Do you want God’s punishment on her? Of course you don’t. That’s why as a true and good friend, you should share with her things even if they will temporarily hurt her or cause her embarrassment. I have been spiritually corrected by two or three women in my life time whom I have respected. I didn’t despise them for their correction but was thankful that they loved me so much to help me and guide me. This is one characteristic of a friend which needs much prayer and forethought before exercising it.

Thirdly, a friend is spiritually wise, which means to be a good friend you must be in the Word and walking with the Lord. Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. A friend gives sound biblical counsel to you when you are in need. At times the Lord works through a dear friend to speak to us. It reminded me of another verse: Proverbs 15:23 “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

A true friend will have words spoken in due season for you. They will be spiritual words that have been thought about and prayed over before speaking. I’ve seen too many times where women have opened their mouths and voice opinions and have only served to hurt the very person they were trying to help. Be sure you know this is what the Lord would have you say. Think before you give counsel. Pray before you give counsel. Look up verses before you give counsel. God will direct you for the benefit of your friend.

Fourthly, you must sharpen your friend’s countenance. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” How can you sharpen a friend’s countenance? I can think of encouraging words, sweet words (Scriptures) in time of need, rejoicing when she rejoices, weeping when she weeps. The countenance is another word for face. You can see a bright and happy face here if the sharpening has been of the Lord. I see someone whose friend has been encouraging her, uplifting her, rejoicing with her to the point where her countenance is affected. This means that this friend is close to her and knows her very well. Haven’t you ever been down in the dumps only to open your mail and find a sweet card from a dear friend that says exactly what you needed it to say? Didn’t that make your gloomy face change to a smiling one? Your countenance had just been sharpened by this friend! In turn, this is the kind of sharpening you must do to your friend.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the verses dealing with friends. I picked the qualities of a friend that I enjoy in my dear friend and expounded on those qualities. I’m sure you can all contribute several other verses and qualities that you see in your dear friend as well. Take a moment and meditate on what your dear friend means to you and what you like most about her. Thank God for her in your life and make a commitment to be that kind of friend to her or to someone else that the Lord has laid on your heart.

Now that we have seen what a friend IS … how can we, personally, BE that friend to someone else? This will take work on our part. Anything that we want bad enough, we must work for. As we first saw in the beginning in Prov. 18:24, we must FIRST show ourselves friendly before we can be blessed with a friend such as this. What can we do to teach ourselves to be this kind of friend to others? Let’s read on.

Incorporate your gift(s) from the Lord in nurturing your friendship. What gift(s) has the Lord blessed you with? Are you craftsy? Do you love to write poetry? Do you love to play the piano? Do you love to send cards? Do you love to cook? Do you love to sew? Take this gift that God has blessed you with and use it to bless your friend! I told you earlier that I wasn’t excited about having to get to know another group of ladies. I love to send note cards to folks. So I used this “love” to write to each of the ladies in the church thanking them for welcoming me and my family into their church family. This opened doors with these ladies and it did not take long before we got to know each other better.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

If you love to sew, make your friend(s) a Bible book cover or apron… you know, a “just because” you love her gift. If you love to play the piano, record yourself playing some of her favorite hymns and give her the cassette  If you love to cook? Next time you make lasagna or whatever, make a little extra for her and her family. We always seem to wonder what we can do to bless our friend. There are so many ways. Can’t think of anything? Does your friend have children?

Babysitters are so expensive, why not offer your time to her? Watch her
children while she goes out shopping or watch them so she and hubby can have a date. Many times, the BEST gift we can give our friend is our “time”!

Praying is the BEST thing we can do for our friend(s). The BEST thing we
can do for our friend is to lift her needs daily before the Throne. There are always things that we don’t ask God about for ourselves… your friend probably has things she would never ask God about but YOU could ask God on her behalf.  Ask her periodically what she needs you to pray about. Ask her to be specific, for example, baby needs new shoes this month or your friend would really like to have material to make a couple of new dresses. Lift your friend up to God frequently and thank God for placing her in your life. Ask Him to show you ways to be a better friend to her. Ask Him to show you what areas He wants to use you in. God loves a willing vessel.

Now … take your abilities of prayer, gifts, & love and get to work at being the best friend you can possibly be.

In closing, your gift of friendship does not need to be limited to just one or two friends. Be a blessing to someone in need. Be a friend to someone who is in need of a friend. I’m sure there is a lady in your church who needs befriending. I’m sure you can think of someone right now that appears lonely. Is there a widow in your church family? Is there a lady whose family lives out-of-state and she’s alone? If you can’t find someone, ask your pastor or your pastor’s wife if they know someone who could use a friend like you.

God bless you as you hone your “friend” skills in light of God’s Word.




The Fool

Written in January 2008

Sixty-three times, the Bible talks about “the fool” or “a fool.” What an eye opening topical study! Why would God concentrate so much on this teaching? We will let the Word speak for itself because the Word has all the answers to every question under the sun. (Ecc 1:9b) …and there is no new thing under the sun. I thought it would be interesting to see what defines a fool.

1. The fool is a sinner:The first time the phrase “the fool” is used in the Bible is in (1 Sam 26:21) Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. The word is defined clearly here. There is no mistakening that the fool is a sinner who does harm to others and makes mistakes to a very great degree. This is not my interpretation but that of Noah Webster. Noah defines exceedingly as:

To a very great degree; in a degree beyond what is usual; greatly; very much.

2. The fool says there’s no God:

(Psa 14:1) [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] 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.

(Psa 53:1) [To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.] The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

3. The fool troubles his own house:

(Pro 11:29) He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

4. The fool loves evil:

(Pro 14:16) A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

5. The fool will receive his due:

(Pro 26:3) A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

(Pro 26:10) The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

6. The fool walks in darkness:

(Ecc 2:14) The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

7. The fool is lazy and will destroy himself and his household:

(Ecc 4:5) The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.

8. The fool does not recognize nor understand that God is in creation:

(Psa 92:6) A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

9. The fool is easily captured by fleshly lusts and desires, i.e. adultery, prostitution:

(Pro 7:22) He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

10. The fool is a liar and a slanderer:

(Pro 10:18 ) He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

11. The fool does mischief:

(Pro 10:23) It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

Noah Webster definse mischief as:

Harm; hurt; injury; damage; evil, whether intended or not.

12. The fool thinks he’s O.K. and doesn’t listen to wise counsel:

(Pro 12:15) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

13. The fool has a hot temper:

(Pro 12:16) A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

(Pro 18:6) A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

(Pro 18:7) A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

(Pro 27:3) A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.

14. The fool spreads his foolish talk and actions to all in his path:

(Pro 13:16) Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

(Pro 17:7) Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

(Pro 29:11) A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

(Ecc 10:3) Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

(Ecc 10:12) The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.

15. The fool hates his instruction:

(Pro 15:5) A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

(Pro 17:10) A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

16. The fool does not seek to find wisdom with his money because he does not desire it:

(Pro 17:16) Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

17. Parents have no joy in having a fool for a child:

(Pro 17:21) He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

18. The fool has no wisdom and he is searching all over for fulfillment:

(Pro 17:24) Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

(Pro 18:2) A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

19. The fool is stubborn:

(Pro 19:1) Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. Noah Webster definse “perverse” as:

2. Obstinate in the wrong; disposed to be contrary; stubborn; untractable

20. The fool does not take delight in spiritual matters:

(Pro 19:10) Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes. John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states:

they do not know how to make a right use of their prosperity; nor to moderate their enjoyments, pleasures, and delights. Some understand this of spiritual delight in the Lord; in his ways and ordinances, which wicked men are strangers to: and a very uncomely thing it is for such persons to talk of spiritual joy and delight, and of their communion with God, when they live in sin;

(Pro 23:9) Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

(Pro 24:7) Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

21. The fool repeatedly goes back to his old ways:

(Pro 26:11) As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

22. The fool thinks he’s on the right path:

(Pro 26:12) Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

(Pro 28:26) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

23. The fool does not change after chastisement:

(Pro 27:22) Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

24. The fool speaks before he thinks:

(Pro 29:20) Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

(Ecc 5:3) For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

25. The fool is at a loss when making decisions of importance:

(Ecc 10:2) A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.




Six Ways to Show that I am Saved

Written in May 2007

I have been overwhelmed at work as of late and not added to my devotional series on God’s Goodness for quite a few days now. I will finish it – I promise. I wanted to take a break today, however, to share with you a topic that recently resurfaced at Fundamental Baptist Forum which I had shared in June 2006. As I re-read it, the blessing was stirred again and I wanted to share it with you.

I took these notes on a message preached by Evangelist Hal Webb at our revival in June 2006. It was an awesome message! It was the first time I had ever seen a check list, so-to-speak, of how to prove your own salvation. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Moments of doubt arise within us at times of spiritual failures and defeats. Also, we’ve all met people who live like the devil but claim to be saved. They prayed a “prayer-ette” and thought this gave them insurance against hell. The born again creature is a new creature with new desires, desires for righteousness – if this is not true, then God is a liar. But God does not lie – man does. God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; (Rom 3:4a)

Re-reading my notes blessed me so much that I expanded on it and added verses. I have put it in my Bible so that I can share that with those who “think” they are saved but their lives don’t show it. I hope it is a blessing to you!!!

Six Ways to Prove That I Am Saved:

  1. I have no desire for habitual sinning in my life. If I smoke, my desire will be to quit and I will succeed with Christ’s help. If I struggled with lying, my desire will be to stop and I will be under conviction each time I do so.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 Jo 3:9) Our soul is converted at the time we are saved. This soul is no longer bound by sin but free. It is the “house,” our flesh, which desires to sin. That is why we battle sin in this body. No one explained that better than Paul himself in Rom. 7:14-15, For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (14) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (15)

The born again believer will hate the fact that he has sinned. 1 Jo 3:9 is not talking about the flesh but the soul. Our flesh is corrupt and will not enter Heaven. It is our soul which will enter. God sees Christ’s blood upon us – He sees His Son when He looks at us. As Paul battled, our own soul battles daily with the flesh. The more we feed this flesh with the Word of God and the things of God, the flesh will sin less.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jo 1:9)

  1. I have a personal belief in Jesus Christ. I truly believe He is God Who left Heaven to come to earth; in His virgin birth; His sinless life on earth; He is the Messiah of mankind Who shed His blood on the cross of Calvary for my sins; He was buried and on the third day, He arose from the dead; He ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting His return to reign on earth.

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (1 Jo 5:1)

I was raised catholic and I learned about Jesus Christ. However, I never knew Jesus Christ. I had a head knowledge of who He was but I did not possess Him in my heart so He was just knowledge to me. It did not phase me in the least to use His name in vain. I did not have a desire to even “think” on Jesus Christ. However, after I was saved, I had a deep desire to get to know everything about Him. I could not stop reading the precious milk of the Word – the Gospels! I would call my spiritual mother almost daily with new things I had discovered and was excited to tell her what God had shown me in His Word! All these were golden nuggets to me and I was energized each time I read one!

  1. I live righteously.

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1 Jo 2:29)

I will have a different holy life. Do I try to please Christ every day? Do I find myself trying to please Him? Am I doing His will? Do I avoid evil? The greatest joy in life is the joy of serving Christ.

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)

Those who doubt their salvation can many times attribute this doubt to a lack of righteous living or doing God’s known will. Pastor Eugene Zorbas, of Tabernacle Baptist Church, preached a message on a similar topic last week. He said that being a Christian is not about keeping a list of rules but it is all about developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. The better our relationship, the better the results will be – keeping those rules because of your relationship with Him. Your desire will be to please Him with righteous living.

  1. I will have a love for fellow Christians.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. (1 Jo 3:14)

I can tell I’m saved by the crowd I choose to hang around with. Am I eager about Christian things? Do I desire to be around other Christians more than my worldly friends?

After I got saved, I wanted to be with other believers. I was so anxious to attend church for the first time just so I could share with others who believed as I believed!

I also discovered that this new nature caused my old friends to feel uncomfortable. It was not too soon after that they did not wish to “hang around” me any longer. As well, I did not enjoy being around them either. 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)

  1. I’m overcoming the world.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 Jo 5:4)

There’s always some Christian you know that “everything in their life is always going wrong”! Are they overcoming their circumstances? This is not to say things won’t go wrong, but what is their attitude as they go through these circumstances? Are they overcoming or are they defeated?

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Joh 16:33) Jesus said that we shall have tribulation – not maybe. Christian, we will have tribulation in our life time here. However, Jesus said to be of good cheer! The Christian who does not overcome his circumstances does not fit here. That Christian has a “poor, pitiful me” attitude and is defeated already. However, Jesus said to be of good cheer! If it was not “do-able,” would Jesus have told us to be of good cheer? Of course not. Jesus went on to say “I have overcome the world.” Now put that with the following verse: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phi 4:13)

This is the Christian’s recipe for overcoming the world – through Jesus! Look at this example with me: A man had two dogs which he raised since they were puppies. They were kept in separate parts of the property away from each other. One dog was fed good dog food and nurtured with love and care. The other dog was given bits which would fall from the table. The nurtured dog was solid – sound muscular structure – and full of energy. The other dog was scrawny – his rib cage was noticeable – and he had no zest at all. One day, the two dogs were roaming free on the property and met each other for the first time. As their instincts took over, a territorial battle took place. Who do you think won the battle? Yes, the strong and nurtured dog won.

It is the same with Christians. If we feed our flesh with worldly things, we will be weak when it comes to spiritual battles. However, if we feed our spiritual nature with the Word and righteous living, we will be strong, ready and prepared for battle.

The world’s opinion is not to be my standard of living. My standard is the Word. I am not to please the world but I am to please the Lord, Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:15-16 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. (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. (16)

  1. I will have a desire for purity.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 Jo 5:18)

I am to care for my soul and protect it from evil. The flesh desires to sin. So protect yourself from evil. Whichever you “feed” the most will thrive in your life. If you feed your soul more, you will desire to be pure. If you feed your flesh more, you will desire the lusts of the flesh. 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)

Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. (Amo 5:15)

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1Th 5:22)

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psa 101:3)

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16)

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. (1Ti 5:22)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phi 2:12)

I’m so glad I was brought to read this again this morning. Once again, I was blessed by Brother Webb’s words from a year ago!