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The Rapture vs. The Second Coming – Day 38

Photography by Bob Sabo

Good morning! It’s time to shake off the sleepiness and drink that morning cup of coffee or tea. I must admit that I wouldn’t mind waking up to the view above, wouldn’t you? 😃 On my last post, we covered God’s timing for the Tribulation period and why we believe the Rapture will occur before that great judgment. To sum that up, no man knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, but we can know the signs of the coming of the Tribulation. Christ’s return for the church is imminent: that means it can happen any time. Today, we will look at the Second Coming of Christ and when the Scriptures say that will happen according to the prophecies from the Old Testament.

The prophet Daniel, of the Old Testament, prophesied about this very thing.

Dan 9:24-27  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.  (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.  (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.

Daniel prophesied that the antichrist would sign a peace treaty with Israel for one week, which is equal to seven years (he breaks that treaty half way through). It stands to reason that there has to be a reason for the need for a peace treaty; there must be wars and conflicts so bad that Israel longs for peace and will give anything to achieve that peace. Remember, Daniel’s 70th week revolves around Israel. From that point on, the Tribulation begins and God’s prophetic clock starts to tick for the seven years. This tells us that the Second Coming of Jesus won’t happen until those seven years are finished. Therefore, the date of the Second Coming will be known to believers during those seven years! God is very specific and when He says seven biblical years, He means it. A biblical year is 360 days, not 365 as we know it in the West. So all one has to do is to multiply 360 x 7 and you get 2,520 days. Half way through is 1,260.

The Bible continues to tell us that more signs will appear before Christ comes to end the Battle of Armageddon. Read on:

Dan 9:27  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.

Dan 11:31  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Dan 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Half way through the Tribulation, the antichrist will break that treaty with Israel and he will remove Israel’s ability to do sacrificing in their temple. Therefore, we know the Tribulation has not started yet for two reasons: (1) there hasn’t been a need for a peace treaty yet, and (2) Israel does not have a temple in Jerusalem. Once Israel realizes that the antichrist is not their Messiah, they will flee to the wilderness:

Rev 12:6  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

It is not until these seven years of judgment upon Israel (see Daniel 9:24 above) are over that their true Messiah, King Jesus, will come. Those who fled to the wilderness will be cared for by God and they will recognize their true Messiah when He returns!

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

Rev 19:11-16  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.  (12)  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  (13)  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  (14)  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  (15)  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  (16)  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Jesus and the Church will return at the end of the Tribulation after God has released His wrath upon the disobedient world. We know for a fact that the Church has been in Heaven because of the following verses in Matthew. Jesus said:

Mat 24:29-31  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  (30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  (31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

This is not the gathering of saints on earth as some post Tribulation believers say. This is the gathering of the saints already in Heaven! Verse 31 doesn’t say from under heaven; no it is from one end of heaven to the other. Let God’s Word reveal to you the truth, reader.

Friend, it is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!




God’s Goodness

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’ve learned to find the smallest of blessings in the things that God provides for us each and every day. One wouldn’t think that gourds are a blessing but I do. As you look at this photograph, look at the beautiful colors! As Summer comes to an end, we see the Fall foliage and crops pop with their exquisite beauty! I pray this 30-day devotional (written in 2007) will help you to concentrate on God’s creation and see how we can learn about Him through it all.



Day 1 – Wolves

I thought it would be a blessing to spend the next thirty days looking at God’s Goodness through His creation. The Lord loves stories and analogies – He used so many when teaching His disciples. One of those heard often is:

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

Can you just imagine an actual wolf dressed up like a sheep and what the impact is? What can we learn from this? What can we learn from the characteristics of a species? God’s Goodness is revealed through all of His creation. So for the first in our series of God’s Goodness, let’s take a look at the wolf.

As we observe the wolf’s habits, we can apply teachings and warnings to our own Christian lives. Wolves live in packs with the alpha male and female leading the way. Where they go, the pack follows. As the Pastor leads the church he has been called to under shepherd, the church follows, as long as his leading is scriptural. Does this mean that a church can follow a female pastor (the alpha female)? The Word says that a pastor is the husband of one wife (1 Tim 3:2). No where is it recorded that she is the wife of one husband.

The wolf pack follows the alphas by instinct. If Christians followed by instinct, we would be easily deceived. However, Christians have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are warned to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but are ravenous wolves. Whatever this wolf in sheep’s clothing is saying, it can be compared to what the Word of God says – the Word is Truth. Jesus is the Word and is there to guide us – to be our Shepherd.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14)

We that are His, hear His Spirit guiding us and He keeps us safe from these wolves.

An interesting trait of the wolf is his hunting habit. The hunting habits revolve around the chase. They are able to run for long periods of time before giving up on their prey. There are two ways we could look at this characteristic. The Christian should learn from this wonderful trait and be long suffering as they work toward winning the lost to Christ – not giving up quickly. But on the flip side, the devil is relentless in his attacks. He will attack (run) for long periods of time before he gives up on the Christian. He will keep after us until he sinks his teeth into us. The more prepared and vigilant the believer is, the better prepared he is to see ole slew foot’s attacks coming!

As I searched the Scriptures for the words “wolf” and “wolves,” I discovered there were twelve verses dealing with this species – ten that dealt with that of devouring the weaker animals. There were, however, two encouraging verses in Isaiah depicting the millennium period:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isa 11:6) and The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Isa 65:25)

Isn’t this exciting? I love the fact that although this animal was depicted in a negative way in the Word, the Lord portrays the wolf in a peaceful way when Christ’s reign here on earth brings peace, even to nature. Once again like in the Garden of Eden, carnivores will become herbivores and will no longer be a threat. It will be a joy to walk up to the wolf and be able to pet him, won’t it?

I’m looking forward to focusing the next thirty days on the Lord’s creation and how He speaks to us through it! I hope it will be a blessing to you as well.

Dear God…
All creation has a story
Where we learn a truth
Each one unique in his own way
Each pointing toward You



Day 2 – Lions

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Psa 91:13)

Today’s Goodness from God revolves around the lion. What a majestic animal this is! What beauty this animal possesses. The Word has so much to say about the lion. As I read the verses, many compared the lion to the devil. The devil’s tactics to prey upon the believer are very much like the lion’s tactics as it preys on the weak and defenseless.

Let’s look at some of the lion’s characteristics today and be blessed. The Lion is the King of the Jungle. My Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Juda:

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (Rev 5:5)

My Lion is the ultimate of lions. The female lions hunt at night or before sunrise and they hunt in packs. This reminded me of the darkness of sin and that Satan abides there. He and his minions do not cut any slack but come and attack in packs. Lions also steal food from other predators. Isn’t that just like Satan? He doesn’t play fair. He will take whatever he can get no matter what the expense. At times, lions prey on the younger of the species and the infirmed. The devil gets believers when they are at their weakest. He can attack a full grown spiritual adult but he cannot succeed because the Christian has the Shepherd watching out for him.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 )

Lions can reach speeds of about 37 mph! However, they cannot run for long distances because they don’t have the endurance. Therefore, they have to get really close to their prey before they can attack. The other lions circle around the prey to prevent escape. Doesn’t that just sound like the believer’s life under attack from the devil? We are attacked in spurts, from all around at times – never for the long haul, however, because our Father wouldn’t allow that. Our Precious Father allows a way of escape for us – oh His wondrous love for us!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13)

The Book of Psalms uses lion(s) eleven times to depict the behavior of the lion and how it relates to the believer’s life. Yes, we have our bouts with ole slew foot, but the Lord has the victory over him! Each verse shows the desperation felt – placing the lion here as an example truly depicts where we are at times!

Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. (Psa 7:2)
He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. (Psa 10:9)
Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. (Psa 17:12)
They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. (Psa 22:13)
Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. (Psa 22:21)
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. (Psa 91:13)
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (Psa 34:10)
Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. (Psa 35:17)
My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. (Psa 57:4)
Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. (Psa 58:6)
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. (Psa 104:21)

We may not have the enemies David had but we do fight against the flesh, evil and the devil. Everyone’s battle may be different but they are battles nonetheless. We should not underestimate the devil’s power. He is not compared to the lion for nothing. The devil waits to devour us – he waits until we are weak and never, ever plays fair.

In the end, however, the lion will be brought down from being a predator to being a big cat.

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Isa 65:25)

He will no longer devour flesh but will eat straw! The devil will be brought down by the King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda and He will defeat sin once and for all.

Dear God…
Your creation amazes me
I stand in wondrous awe
Each creature You designed
For enjoyment one and all



Day 3 – The Beaver

Beaver Den Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images ...

Having grown up in Northern Maine, seeing beavers was quite common for me. My father owned land which had a beaver’s dam on it. He and I would sit for hours watching them at work. As I meditated on these memories, I noticed a few things about them that blessed me.

A beaver is hard-working and diligent. They do not stop working to build their dam until the job is finished. As Christians, we should not grow weary in well doing but continue on in our work for the Lord.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:9) and But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. (2 Th 3:13)

The beavers use this same process to build their lodge. They don’t quit until their home is built. The mud gets packed so tightly with the wood that when it freezes, no predators can get through. I thought about our “temple.” The Christian’s foundation must be solid and impenetrable.

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

With Christ as our foundation, the enemy cannot and will not prevail. As I meditate on the mud-packed lodge, I’m impressed that our spiritual lives should be so “packed” with the Word of God that ole slew foot can’t step in. When we are equipped with the Word of God, the devil cannot penetrate us because God is our strong hold and protector.

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nah 1:7)

I also noticed that the beaver is quite tenacious. My father would purposely go remove a few pieces of wood from the dam. This caused the water to start flowing out. The next thing I saw was a little head come popping above the water and he would cautiously swim toward the break in the dam. He would make sure that there wasn’t a predator lurking about. A few minutes later, a few more beavers would show up to give a helping hand.

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. (Ecc 10:18 )

Dad and I would sit for hours watching them patch the dam. They didn’t dilly dally either, nor did they wait until night fall. If they did, the water level would get so low that their lodges would be exposed to predators. We should be so tenacious as we “build” our temples with the reading of the Word, our study habits and serving the Lord. Working at our spiritual lives is not easy but it produces great results. It keeps us close to the Source and protected.

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

And lastly, I noticed that beavers have poor eye sight so they rely on their other senses. When one hears an enemy lurking about, he slaps his tail on the water. The sound is very similar to when you hit the top of the water with your hand. This signals their family members to be on the alert and to swim back to their lodge. Christians who are in tune with God will be able to hear warnings from the Holy Spirit. When danger lurks, we should run back to our Lodge (the Word of God). Our Stronghold awaits there to protect us. It also reminds me of our church – the Pastor slaps the water by preaching a warning from the Water of Life (our Bible) and warns us of danger lurking. We band together and stay strong as a body and church. The Pastor exhorts us to righteous living. He feeds our spirit so we can leave the church house and go into the mission field.

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer 3:15)

I have the most wonderful memories watching these beautiful creatures with my father. I am awed at how God reveals Himself through His creation. It’s such a blessing to be able to pick out certain characteristics and apply biblical principles to them. I look forward to each of the mornings ahead as I search for God’s Goodness in His creation. I look forward to not only look at animals, but to also look at the beauty of our heavens and our earth!

Dear God…
I pray that I learn from this creature
To be fervently seeking Your way
Quick to see when danger is lurking
And by Your side walking each day



Day 4 – The Stars

Bright STaRs program | AGU

One of the topics of discussion at Our Final Authority (now no longer a message board) is that of God’s creation. This is what prompted this series I’m currently writing. One of our administrators, Pastor John, shared some things on the stars that had such an impact on me! I wanted to spread the blessing with you today.

One of my favorite creations of God is the stars. There are more then 300 references to astronomical objects found in the Bible. The Bible is clear that all creation can teach us of God. The Psalmist teaches that the stars teach that they were created by the Almighty One:

Psalms 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” The stars also tell us of our Creator’s character.
Psalms 97:6, “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”

Because of the stars telling the story of their Creator, Paul was able to write: Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

The Bible has much to say about the constellations. The people of biblical days only knew of 48 constellations. Aratus gives the earliest description of these constellations in his poem Phaenomina, 270 B.C. This is the poem that Paul quotes in his sermon on Mars Hill in:

Acts 17:27, 28, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

The Greek writer Homer referred to the constellations as early as 1000 B.C. Speaking of his hero Odysseus observing the starry sky as he sets sail:

There viewed the Pleiades and the Northern Team,
And great Orion’s more refulgent beam.
To which around the axel of the sky

Notice the words of Job in:

Job 9:9, “Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.”

Another interesting constellation is Virgo. The Hebrew word for this constellation is Bethulah, which means virgin. The brightest star in Virgo is Spica, which the Jews call Tsemach, which means branch. This Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament to refer to the Messiah.

Jeremiah 23:5, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

The fact that the Branch is found inside the Virgin is no accident. We know that the Messiah, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Just beside Virgo is Leo the Lion. This should cause our minds to go to:

Revelation 5:5, “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Below Leo is Hydra, the Great Serpent. Here, again, we should be brought to the book of

Revelation 12:9-13, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”

The fact that Leo is above Hydra alludes to the fact that Jesus is the victor over Satan.

Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,”

The Fool Loses His Belt

In the Bible, the writers mention many of the constellations that are seen in winter. The prophet Amos points our attention to two in particular.

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.” (Amos 5:8 ).

The constellation Orion is easy to spot because of the star that marks the left foot, Rigel. Rigel is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. This star is actually 21,000 times brighter than our sun, but because of its distance from us, it appears as a dot in the sky.

In the center there are three stars that seem very close together, they are called The Belt of Orion. The star to the right is Alnitak, an Arabic word meaning “the belt.” The star in the center is Alnilam, “the string of pearls.” The star on the left is Mintaka, an Arabic synonym for “belt” or “girdle.”

In ancient times Orion was known to be a giant, a mighty man, or a great hunter. We know that the Greeks knew Orion as a great hunter because that is what Homer called him in The Odyssey. The Arabs thought of Orion as a giant, calling him Al Jabbar, “the giant.”

In the Old Testament, Orion is referred to four times in an astronomical sense. The Jews call him “lesil,” which means fool. This Hebrew word is interesting in that it does not refer to someone who is mentally deficient, but to someone who is ungodly, someone who is rebellious to God. In the book of Proverbs, the fool is referred to as someone who rejects God.

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

In the book of Job, God asks an interesting question,

“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” (Job 38:31). There are two possible interpretations for the question “or loose the bands of Orion”:

1) This may refer to Orion as being bound in his place in the sky, as a rebellious person is bound in his sins.

2) Or, it could refer to the belt of Orion. The people of that day wore cords as belts. I am amazed that modern astronomers have discovered that the three stars that compose the belt of Orion are moving in such a way as to appear as if the belt has been loosed and is falling off. This is a proof to us of the wisdom and power of God.

Thank you, Pastor John, for this wonderful blessing! We just touched upon a few stars and constellations. The universe is vast – endless. Can you just imagine what is in store for us as we seek God in His creation? This is one way to encourage your spirit when you are down.

Dear God…
How wonderous are the stars You’ve made
Your Word revealed in all
A golden nugget we receive
Gazing on them as night falls



Day 5 – Trees

We can get a glimpse of the Creator’s imagination and eye for beauty when we look at the various types of trees He created. I’m no arborist, by any stretch of the imagination. But as I look at trees, I see each one as having three parts: the roots, the trunk and the branches. I see God through these three parts, don’t you? I see our Heavenly Father as the roots. He is our stronghold and the basis of all that is Good. I see the Son as the trunk, receiving from the Father and giving to the branches. I see the branches as the Holy Spirit, feeding what He receives from the Son to conform us, the Christian, to His likeness.
The Heavenly Father is the Provider of all things. He is Jehovah-jireh. The roots provide the tree and branches with everything needed.

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Gen 22:14)

God provided Abraham with a lamb to use (Gen. 22:8 ).

The tree trunk (or the vine) is symbolic of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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

The branches represent the Holy Spirit, who lives within all of those who are born again. Although there are many different types of trees, all have roots, trunks and branches.

The branches are symbolic of the Holy Spirit, who resides within every born again believer. Each branch varies from species to species and even within the same species – some blossom and bear fruit, some have leaves that change colors, etc. I see the born-again Christian from all of time reflected in this. Many bear fruit, many don’t. Many only “produce or getting going for the Lord” when they have been through fiery trials (changes in their spiritual lives like changes in the leaves’ color). Some who are weathered, break due to pressures from the elements. Many spiritual comparisons could be made at this point between the branches and the Christian. But that could be a whole other post for another day!

The tree cannot have branches without the trunk. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ – He brings glory to Jesus Christ. Those who are in Christ will bear fruit and will be growing in Christ through the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26)
Without the Spirit, we cannot do anything. Without relinquishing our will to His, we can bear no fruit. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. (Mat 21:19)

The trunk also receives its nutrients from the roots. The Son receives all things from His Heavenly Father.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Mat 11:27)

I find it interesting that the branches cannot know the root unless they are “in the trunk.” Doesn’t that make you want to whoop and holler? The branches cannot get to the roots on their own. They have to be attached to the trunk in order to receive the benefit of the roots and its nutrition. Neither can we come to the Father unless we go through His Son!

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

The branches receive their nourishment from the trunk, which in turn receives it from the roots. Our Saviour recognized that He was nothing without the Father. The trunk is nothing without the roots.

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (Mar 10:18 )

Both the Holy Spirit and Christ cannot be set apart from the Father any more than the branches and trunk be set apart from the roots.

As the tree grows and bears fruit, it matures into a beautiful piece of art work from God. The believer grows in Christ by yielding himself to the Holy Spirit who molds us into His image. We mature as believers and grow. The age of a tree can be measured by the rings found in its trunk – measured from the bark to the center of the trunk. Some trees are so old that they become hollow in the center as the dead heartwood rots away. Oh what a beautiful picture this was to me. As we grow in Christ and become one with Him, our old flesh will become dead heartwood and it will rot away.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29)

All parts of the tree form the tree – none can exist without the other. The Trinity is One.

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

All creation speaks of this. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20)Thank You, Lord, for these blessings this morning!

Dear God…
My heart is overwhelmed today
At what Thou hast given me
The beauty all around doth speak
Of the magnificence found in Thee



Day 6 – The Sun

In Genesis 1:1, God created heaven and earth. The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). In verse 2, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters – another part of the Trinity depicted. God created light in verse 3. The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

It excited me to see that the Trinity is depicted in these three verses – the Three in One are completed in verse 3. Each verse shows each part of the Trinity. Doesn’t this excite you?

As we look at God’s Goodness today, I would like to share what the Word has to say about it. I have been asking others for input about God’s creation and would like to share some thoughts from a couple of people. Pastor John Snipes of Fundamental Baptist Forum (no longer an active message board) put it together so well.

The sun is the most important astronomical object to mankind. It has been both feared and worshipped. The rays of the sun supply us with vitamin C that is necessary for our bodies to function. Through the process of photosynthesis, the sun provides the energy for plants to grow which provides us with food. Scientist are hard at work to find how to use this energy to replace gasoline.

The sun is mentioned in Scripture at least 154 times. The first mention is of the creation of the sun found in:

Genesis 1:14-19
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

The sun seems so very large to us. It has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s. Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close to us, averaging 93,000,000 mile away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.

Psalms 19:4-6, “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.

Joshua 10:12-13, , “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”

How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot not say. What I can say is that the Creator God who established the laws of nature is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.

A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.

Isa. 38:7-8, “And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”

Will the Sun last forever? Scientist tell us the answer to that question is no. The Bible does not say that the Sun will end; however, it does tell us that it will not be needed.

Revelation 21:22-23, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”

It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the forth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.

“The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, closes with the mention of the Sun of Righteousness which is yet to rise. It holds out a hope for a cursed earth, and that hope is the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation closes with the Bright and Morning Star, which is a figure of Christ at His coming to take the church out of the world. The Rapture is the hope of the New Testament, just as the revelation of Christ was the hope of the Old Testament. And the Book of Revelation will complete the revelation of Christ.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)

Brother Jerry Bouey had these thoughts to share:

I wrote this in my Bible, next to Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

“Like the moon reflects the light of the Sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.

When the world comes between the Sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the Sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the Sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.” – Jerry Bouey.

Sunlight is the main source of energy on earth. So Christ, our Sonlight, should be our main source for our spiritual energy. He sustains us, feeds us through His Word and gives us that spiritual nourishment and energy we need to walk this earth and be testimonies for Him.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Mat 4:4)
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (Joh 6:33)
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:35)
I am that bread of life. (Joh 6:48 )
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (Joh 6:51)

Without Him, we are lost and on our way to eternity in hell in total darkness.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun have antiseptic properties, according to Wikipedia. The Word of God, also known as the Son (John 1:1), has antiseptic properties which heal us spiritually. The Word says there is a Balm in Gilead (Jer. 46:11) Our Balm of Gilead, Jesus Christ, heals us spiritually. Without Christ, we are sick with sin – we are lepers – with no hope of being healed. Praise God for our Balm!

The shape of the sun’s path is known as the “analemma” – it forms a figure 8. The number 8 represents “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is the New Beginning – the New Covenant!

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:24)

Through His precious Blood, we have a new beginning when we were born again. I love this correlation!

I find it interesting that even in darkness, the Lord God has given us enough light to find our way. We are never in total, complete darkness as long as there is some kind of light appearing in the heavens. (John 1:5) It is also true for the believer in our spiritual lives. The Word promises that it lights up our path showing us the way.

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

The Son IS the Word (John 1:1) and He is the light (John 1:4). As Pastor John wrote, when we reach Heaven, we will no longer need the sun or the moon. The Lord God will be our light.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

Wikipedia also notes that scientists have studied the sun intensively, however, they cannot figure out why its outer atmosphere has a temperature of 1 million K while its photosphere has a temperature of less than 6,000 K! Like the Son, we won’t be able to understand fully what He (God) is all about until we reach Heaven.

Dear God…
I love to see You through
All that You’ve created
Each with its own story,
In them Your love is stated.



Day 7 – The Eagle

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

I took this photo of a beautiful eagle when John and I were on vacation in Alaska. What a majestic bird it is indeed! He had been injured and was going through rehabilitation.

According to Wikipedia, there are 8,800–10,200 living bird species! Does this not simply amaze you? If we did not have any other living, breathing creature on this entire earth, just looking at the number of different birds should be enough to point us to the Creator! Each has something different – a different size, a different color, a different song to sing – some can fly, some cannot.

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

The eagle is a beautiful and majestic bird with strength in its wings. He is quite the fisherman – fish is 90% of his diet. The Master Fisherman, Jesus Christ, came to be a fisher of men and teaches us to be fishers of men as well.

And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (Mar 1:17)

Eagles have exceptional eye sight and can spot a fish from one mile away! Have you ever tried to spot a fish more than three feet away from you? It’s not easy. This is how we should be able to spot sin – from “a mile away.” Sadly, however, we venture way too close to sin and come away with its stench upon us. A good analogy is the skunk – you only have to come within a few feet of it to walk away smelling like one. God promises us that His Word shines a light on our path so that we can plainly see sin – we can spot it from afar.

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

Most of the time, the eagle snatches fish from the water’s surface rather than diving into the water like other birds. I see a beautiful analogy of the Christian’s soul winning techniques here. We should fish for men but not plunge into their life style just so we can win them. We must keep ourselves spiritually above them so we can be a testimony. How can we throw them a Life Saver (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) if we are treading water right along side of them?

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Cor 6:17)

The Lord does not tell us to become “like the world” to win them. This would contradict 2 Cor 6:17. Yes, Christ ate amongst the sinners but so do we whenever we go to a restaurant, don’t we? That excuse just doesn’t hold water. Would you buy stocks and bonds from a homeless person or someone who had the “Wall Street” look about him? We are children of the King of Kings, let’s put on the appearance of princes and princesses.

I also love how the Word compares this beautiful eagle to God. The eagle’s wings portray strength and we can rest in the strength and protection of the Lord – under His wings.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. (Deu 32:11-12)

God protected Jacob just as an eagle protects her young. This same protection is available to the born-again believer! What comfort!

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. (Exo 19:4)

Another beautiful analogy is that of God renewing our strength as that of the eagle.

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psa 103:5)

Remember the joy of your salvation? God had filled your mouth (your soul) with His Word and you felt as though you could conquer anything! Your spirit had been renewed like the eagle! I remember a time being in the depths of despair and cried unto God to restore me, and He did. I came out of that trial feeling renewed and as though God had lifted me up! My spirit soared as the eagle! The most popular verse in Scriptures depicting this is:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

What a blessing! This has been an encouragement to many throughout these thousands of years!

God also used the eagle’s flying capabilities in His Word. Did you know that an eagle can fly as high as 10,000 feet? It is no wonder that God used the eagle in describing the height and depth of a man’s pride.

Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD. (Jer 49:16)

I find it interesting that Hitler named his command complex the Eagle’s Nest. A coincidence? I don’t believe so. If you’ve ever seen pictures of it, you’ll note that it sits high on a mountain overlooking the German and Austrian Alps. Hitler was definitely full of pride, but God sure brought him down.

The Word compares God’s judgment to the strength of eagles.

Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. (Jer 4:13)

Yes, woe unto those who deny Christ as their Saviour. Woe to those whose pride stands in the way where they wish to seek “another way” to Heaven.

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

Acts 4:10-12 says it clearly.

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

You can justify your religion all you want, but the Bible still says there is only one way and that way is Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t you rather mount up with wings as eagles and be saved rather than be spoiled (burn eternally in hell) when He returns on horses swift as eagles?

Under His Wings
William O. Cushing

Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

Refrain

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.



Day 8 – Water

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

The term “living water” appears only three times in the Word. What a wonderful depiction of the Trinity, once again. The Father provides a way, the Son IS the way, and the Spirit prepares the way (the heart of man) for salvation. All Three are One pointing to the Living Water – salvation through Jesus Christ. Without each of the Truine God working, we would not be able to be saved!

As I meditated on the water molecule, I began to see several correlations. The water molecule is made up of three atoms: two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. God gathered the waters together in Gen. 1:10.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). The Trinity created water (which is made up of three atoms) and all known forms of life on earth depends upon it to live. Without water, they die.3formsWhen we look at water, we see that it can be in three different forms: liquid, frozen, and gas. All three forms are made up of two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. However, each is in a different form – each having a different function. What a beautiful depiction of the Trinity! Each member of the Trinity is God, but each has a different function.

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

Seventy-five percent of the earth is covered with water and only three percent of that is drinkable. Out of the three percent, 75% of it is frozen in the polar ice caps. It is not only a precious commodity, but it is vital for life. It amazes me that only a small percentage of the water on this earth is drinkable. It reminded me that only a small percentage of mankind will accept Jesus Christ, our only source of Living Water.

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)

Although a person can live without food for more than a month, a person can only live without water for approximately one week. Only God can sustain a person after a week. We know that He is able because the Word says God sustained Moses twice for 40 days and 40 nights.

And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exo 34:28 )
And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (Deu 9:18 )

As vital as water is to sustain life here on earth, it can never cause us to live forever. Only the Living Water can give everlasting life. Jesus gave Himself for us so He is the only One who is able to give us everlasting life. It is His to give. There is nothing we can do on our own to achieve this.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (Joh 4:14)

The only thing we must do to get everlasting life is to drink of the Living Water. We must be born again. Jesus says we will never thirst again! What a wonderful depiction of eternal security! If we were to lose our salvation, we would thirst again. Even for those who say that we can freely give up our salvation – in doing so we would have to thirst again to be saved again. But Jesus said that we would NEVER thirst again. Never is forever. Only man adds a time limit to the word never. God does not. God says He never breaks His covenant (Judges 2:1) which means NEVER. Jesus is our new Covenant and is everlasting.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (Heb 13:20)

Praise the Lord that our eternal life is secure through the everlasting life provided by Christ and His Living Water! Glory be to God!

Dear God…
Thank you for the Living Water
In which our salvation rests
Its bless’ed life giving power
If the work of Your Son we confess



Day 9 – Volcanoes

Mt. St. Helens during sunset, taken from my iPhone [OC ...

And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; (Rev 8:8 )

The beauty of volcanoes lighting up the night sky is breath taking, isn’t it? How can something so beautiful also cause such destruction!

Throughout history, we have seen the havoc wreaked by one of these awesome mountains. As we look at the volcano, we can see how God can use one to accomplish His wrath, but what good can come from them? As I searched the Internet, I learned that volcanoes provide hydrothermal vents which are responsible for almost all of our iron, copper, nickel, platinum, gold, silver, zinc, etc. The metals available to mankind are a result of this fabulous creation! Don’t you see God’s Goodness in that? The Lord can take something He created, which we consider bad and destructive, and He can use it for good. That is why I included the volcano in my series on God’s Goodness.

The Word is filled with God using His creation to fulfill prophecy – the Great Flood, the plagues on Egypt, etc. It is no different with the volcano. Our text verse in Revelation shows a possible volcano turning the sea into blood. Volcanoes which erupted in history will be considered child’s play compared to the end times.

In history we learned that Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. In May 1980, Mount St. Helen destroyed 57 people, miles of highways and flattened millions of Douglas fir trees over a fan-shaped area of 230 square miles! The blast was likened to 2500 Hiroshima’s! This picture shows trees knocked down like match sticks. The ash columns were almost as high as 6,600 feet (that’s 1.2 miles)! My brother lived 250 miles away from Mount St. Helen in 1980 when everything in his town was covered in ash! This was from 250 miles away! Today, just six miles from the base of Mount St. Helen, are flowers and life rising through the flattened trees. The devastated landscape is now scattered with green and various wildlife. It will take years for a new landscape to emerge but new life is sprouting.

A friend shared a story he remembered about Mount Pelee.

I thought I would share some of what I remember. I used the illustration once in a message on soul winning.

The story was the eyewitness account of a local scientist who lived in the town or close to it anyhow. He was very well educated in the earth and I believe he was a vulcanologist(?) This town was a sea port, a very rich seaport. It was the main revenue for the town.

Any way, the scientist started noticing different things starting to happen. Water turning color and putting off odor, fish dying, animals disappearing, minor thing at first. As he investigated he started to become sure that the volcano would soon erupt. He went and told the town counsel, but they were more concerned with their revenue than anything this guy had to say.

Well more and more strange things started to happen, people started disappearing, small fissures opening in the ground,and smoke starting to rise from the mountain. The signs were becoming more and more evident that disaster would soon strike and if the town did not evacuate thousands of people would perish. still the counsel would do nothing. The scientist warned who he could but few would listen, they were to tied up in their affairs to really care.

Then it happened, the Mount exploded with such violence, it is hard to imagine, some people most likely did not even know what happened, they were simply dead. The pyroclastic(?) flow, which is nothing but intensely heated gas vapors moves so fast and with such force and with such a searing heat, something like an atom bomb. Many people were killed were they stood, it is the ones that survived, for a while that stuck in my mind. That flow of super heated vapors was so hot that it burned the eyes out of the socket, seared the throat shut, and burned limbs so severely that they could no longer feel anything but burning. They could not see(utter darkness) they thirsted but could not drink, the only thing they could do was hear the weeping and feel the burning.

So my point was that these people were suffering yes, But the suffering in Hell is much, much worse, and their will never be relief. Jesus, like the scientist has warned us that the end is coming, we see the signs, we have the evidence, but will we sacrifice our comfort, our lifestyle, our income, to go out and reach those that are lost.

I liken the eruption of a volcano to unconfessed sin in our lives. If a person is not saved, sin will wreak havoc and cause destruction in his life and in his path. Sin separates man from God. It will also destroy the unsaved person’s relationship with his family, and it can destroy him in death, both spiritually and physically. Someone else pointed out, he looks at volcanoes as “the joy of the Lord which erupts from a heart surrendered to the Holy Spirit within”! What a beautiful picture! When a yielded believer allows the Holy Spirit to work within, everyone who comes in his path will be permanently affected as that believer shares the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Another said that she remembered hearing a message once where the preacher said that whenever a volcano erupted it was Hell expanding because more people had died and gone to a Christ-less eternity. What a thought, huh?

Dear God…
Your creation brings such wonder
To this simple heart of mine
Through each and every aspect
I can see Your handiwork so fine



Day 10 – The Dove

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psa 55:6)

Everything about the dove is gentle – its appearance, its sound, and even its motions. Have you ever observed one in flight? The grace and beauty of its landing upon a rooftop appears to be effortless – light as a feather. One of the most relaxing sounds I have ever heard is the cooing of the morning doves in the mornings. Their beautiful sound could calm the most restless soul. I can’t think of a better way to start my day than to hear those coos. This helps me to truly appreciate why God used the dove to represent His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not barge into our lives. His entrance is gentle, His sound is gentle and His motions in our lives are gentle. He speaks to us in that still small voice. I once heard preach that the Holy Spirit was a Gentleman – He does not force Himself upon us like a roaring lion but as gentle as the dove. I love that about Him, don’t you?

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Co 14:33)

Therefore, when our lives are filled with noise and confusion, we know it is not from the Holy Spirit but from the god of this world. It’s so important for us to be plugged into God’s word to receive our necessary spiritual power, just as it’s necessary to plug in a lamp in order to receive electricity.

All four Gospels give the beautiful account of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus after He was baptized. It is in this account that the Trinity was evidenced – The Son submitted, the Spirit rested upon Him, and the Father spoke. The first appearance of the dove in the Bible is in:

Gen. 8:8, Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Isn’t it wonderful that The Holy Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters in Gen. 1:1 and the first mention of the dove was to send it out over the face of the waters to see if the waters had abated? God’s Word is so thorough – nothing is by chance – God reveals Himself throughout the Word. I thought that was so like God to show His Spirit in these two verses! Gen. 1:1 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

I also discovered that the dove (turtledove or young pigeons) was the only bird that was used in sacrificial offerings, Luke 2:24. God’s justice requires atonement for sin but sacrificial offerings could never provide complete atonement because our sin is never ending. But God’s love was so great for us that He provided the perfect atonement by taking on the form of man and becoming the perfect, sinless sacrifice on our behalf. It is only through the sacrifice of the Cross that we can have atonement for our sin. God no longer sees the born-again believer as a sinner because His Son’s blood was the atonement needed – the price had been paid over 2,000 years ago.

The gentle and quiet Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ. He testifies to us of Christ through the Word of God.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26)

What a beautiful depiction the two turtledoves were – they were a testimony of the coming of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ to us and presents us this wonderful Gift. Oh thank you, Lord!

With the acceptance of Christ’s work on the Cross, we receive eternal life and the sweet peace that accompanies salvation. I can’t think of sweeter more gentle animal than the dove to depict the Holy Spirit and how He introduces us to Christ. We are not forced to believe in Christ. We are gently stirred and called – and when we yield ourselves and accept Christ, the Spirit comes to reside within us. Thank You, Lord, for the beautiful picture of Your Holy Spirit today!

My Father lovingly prepared a way
And provided an atonement for sin
The Holy Spirit like a dove
Pricked my heart and entered in!



Day 11 – The Pearl

How Pearls Form and Which Species Makes Them

The pearl is a beautiful gem stone. All other gems are taken from the ground by man. However, this gem is formed by one of God’s creation. In my research, I discovered that the irritant is rarely from a grain of sand but typically from parasites, organic material (ingested when the shell opens for feeding) or other broken pieces from other parts of the oyster’s body.

Two beautiful analogies can be seen when looking at the pearl. The Lord Himself compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a pearl of great price. The merchant found this pearl of great price and sold all he had to purchase it. This merchant was willing to sell everything in order to buy this pearl.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mar 8:36)

A major hurdle for unbelievers is that they do not wish to part with their sin or worldly ways. Repentance has its cost – forsaking known sin for salvation is not easy but it is most certainly necessary.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luk 13:5)

The unrepentant sinner is no better than these disciples who followed Jesus but could not continue to do so for His teachings were too difficult for them.

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (Joh 6:60) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (Joh 6:66)

It’s not that Jesus’ teachings were so intellectual, they could not understand what He was saying. Jesus taught repentance and salvation but they did not believe. But there are some of you that believe not.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (Joh 6:64)

Don’t you find it interesting that those unbelievers who chose not to walk with Jesus were described in Chapter 6, verse 66 (666)? They went the way of god of this world, the devil, in this verse. I love how every jot and tittle was inspired by God – even the chapter divisions and verse markers.

Another wonderful analogy is to the Christian’s life and how the pearl is formed. As believers, the Holy Spirit brings convictions which form us into the image of Christ.

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

We will have trials and tribulations in our lives – each one teaching us and growing us spiritually – each layer making us more like Christ. With each one, we learn to draw nigh to Him. Just as the irritation in the oyster produces a pearl, our trials and tribulations will strengthen our faith and conform us into the image of our Saviour.

I also noticed that there are different types of irritants which bring about this pearl of great price: parasites, organic material, other broken pieces and occasionally that grain of sand. All sources were different but all produced a pearl! Our trials, like the pearl, come from various sources also. The parasite in the Christian’s life can be those unsaved friends or those we think to be friends. Noah Webster defined a parasite in his day as:

In modern usage, a trencher friend; one that frequents the tables of the rich and earns his welcome by flattery; a hanger on; a fawning flatterer

No wonder we are warned not to be unequally yoked.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Co 6:14)

These parasitic friends can produce quite the irritation in our spiritual lives and yield tribulation. You become who you hang around with and we must guard ourselves in this area.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: (Pro 22:24)

The key here is to grow from it and not repeat it. This is a trial that we can avoid if we heed the Word. It is also a trial that will build us and form us as we grow from our experiences.

The second irritant is organic material which I liken to the world’s goods and what the world offers. We are not to love the things of this world. It is difficult to control the lust of the flesh. However, in so doing we are building up our pearl – we are being conformed to Christ’s image Who is the pearl of great price.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jo 2:15)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 Jo 2:16)

Notice the pearl is also formed by broken pieces from inside the oyster’s body. What a beautiful comparison to the believer letting go of sin in our lives – breaking away from sinfulness and being more and more like Jesus. When we are broken, we are ready to receive what the Lord has to teach us.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psa 34:18 )

As a broken vessel in the Potter’s Hand, we can be molded and reshaped into a vessel unto honour.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (2 Ti 2:20)

Lastly, on occasion that one grain of sand can produce a pearl as well. Do you realize how small a grain of sand is? A grain of fine sand is measured between 1/8 mm – 1/4 mm!! No matter how small the trial you are going through, God will still use it to produce this pearl: conforming you into the image of Christ, the ultimate pearl of great price.

What trials and tribulations are you experiencing today in your life? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit of God to conform you into the Saviour’s image? What kind of pearl are you producing in your spiritual oyster? Are you producing a pearl at all? It’s only through our submissiveness to changing as we experience these irritations that we produce that pearl. If we do not yield to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and forsake sin, we won’t yield a beautiful pearl. But a yielded vessel will grow from each trial and will become more and more like that Pearl of Great Price, the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

More Like the Master
by Charles H. Gabriel

More like the Master I would ever be,
More of His meekness, more humility;
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do.

Refrain

Take Thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;
Take Thou my heart, and make it all Thine own.
Purge me from sin, O Lord, I now implore,
Wash me and keep me Thine forevermore.

More like the Master is my daily prayer;
More strength to carry crosses I must bear;
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in;
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.

Refrain

More like the Master I would live and grow;
More of His love to others I would show;
More self denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be.

Refrain



Day 12 – The Wind

Wind is defined as the rough horizontal movement of air across the earth. The Holy Spirit is likened to the wind in the Word.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 )

Wind does not blow from the bottom or from the top but horizontally. The Holy Spirit does not crush us with burdens too great to bear. Nor does He cause us to stumble or be swept off our feet. Instead, he guides us through the Word in a Godly direction. We can’t see the wind in this picture but we know it is there by looking at the flag and the direction it’s pointing.

I found it interesting that the first time the wind is mentioned in the Bible is in chapter 8.

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; (Gen 8:1)

The number eight is symbolic of “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is our New Covenant and that Covenant provides a new beginning for all born-again believers. Through His shed blood, we have remission of sins. After His resurrection, He left us the Holy Spirit to reside within us and to stir us, move us to be more like Christ. If find it a blessing that the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind. I believe that even the chapter and verse divisions in the Word of God are there for us to be blessed with! The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 ) Isn’t it interesting that this chapter heading is the number three (indicative of the Trinity) and the number eight, New Beginnings? I won’t know for sure until I reach Heaven if the chapter and verse numbers were meant to bless me in this way, but in the mean time, I consider myself blessed!

In my research on the wind, I discovered that still air is a great insulator. That means that heat does not flow well in still air. This is the reason why heat rises in a still room. When there is a fire, we’re told to lay on the floor and crawl out of harm’s way. Where there is no breeze, that heat goes upward. The wind (breeze) stirs up that heat, circulates it and the fire grows. When we are spiritually not moving forward, we are still. We are like that still air, insulating our spiritual lives and not moving. When we are not growing in Christ, the fires of the Holy Spirit aren’t moving within us. Our spiritual embers need to be stirred by the movement of the Spirit in our lives. Only then are we productive Christians and yielding spiritual fruit.

We’ve had some pretty powerful wind storms the past few days due to a Nor’easter sweeping up the East coast. Prior to the winds, the ground was saturated with rain and the root systems of the trees were weakened. The wind caused much more damage because of this. We have a cedar tree on the side of our house that is leaning into another cedar tree. If it weren’t for that supporting tree, this leaning tree would have come down on our fence. If the wind were to switch directions, it would push that leaning cedar into our house. The winds are now dying and I’m thankful that my Heavenly Father has protected us yet again! As I meditated on the power of this Nor’easter, I made some beautiful correlations to the Spirit’s movement within our lives. When our lives are not saturated with worldliness, we are yielded and the Spirit’s wind will move us, conforming us to the beautiful image of our Saviour.

However, when our lives are saturated with worldliness, we are unyielding to the Spirit and He must draw us back with stronger winds. Sometimes the spiritual winds break us, sometimes the winds cause havoc in our lives as a result of our own actions. Isn’t it easier to yield to the Holy Spirit than to have to pick up the broken pieces later on? God will not force us to submit to Him but, like a loving Father, will allow the storms of life to come upon us so we can turn once again to Him. Look at your own children and how you deal with them. You don’t force them to decisions but you guide them. When they make the wrong decision, they have to reap the consequences of those decisions. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit in our own lives, my friend.

This same wind has the power to rejuvenate and encourages new growth on this earth. The wind carries pollen from one place to another to create new life. The wind stirs up the ground from the winter’s effects. The wind prepares that ground for Spring. What a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit. Our dead heart is made alive by the Spirit moving in us. He converts that fallow ground of our heart into a good soil, ready to receive the precious seed of the Gospel. Upon salvation, that seed will grow and will bare the fruit of the peace of Jesus Christ! And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (Jam 3:18 )

What a blessed analogy the Lord has given me this morning! I love to find Him in His creation, don’t you? The Word could not describe the Holy Spirit in a better way than to compare Him to the wind. Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Thank You for Your Spirit
May He direct my way
Help me to be yielded
With each and every day



Day 13 – The Horse

I discovered that it is the nature of the horse to flee from danger. They only stay to fight if it involves their offspring or if there is no where for them to flee. They put up a good fight, too! But is there something about this magnificent creature that we can apply to our spiritual life? All of God’s creation has something to teach us.

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

What do we do when sin comes knocking – do we do as the horse and run? Or do we stay and and toy with it? When we do have to fight, do we have the ammunition with which to fight – the Sword of God? Or are we weak in the Word and have nothing to encourage our heart in that time of need?

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

The horse is ever vigilant of what goes on around him. The horse watches and stays alert. His seeing and hearing senses are much better than the human. The horse’s eye is second to the ostrich of all land animals in its size. The horse’s eyes can see 350 degrees! Their ears rotate so they can catch sounds from every direction. Oh that we Christians should be so keen in spotting sin and listening for false doctrine!

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pe 5:8 )

The riding horse is known for its speed, agility, alertness and endurance. Isn’t this a beautiful comparison to how a believer ought to run the Christian race? We must be quick and agile to spot danger and speedily run away from sin. We should also use this same speed to go out into all the world to win souls.

…Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (Luk 14:21b)

We should be alert, ever watching and vigilant so we are not caught unawares by ole slew foot.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Pe 2:1)

Endurance to finish our race here on earth is another fine quality we can learn from the horse. We must not be easily discouraged.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Heb 12:1)

Paul encourages us to run the race with patience – have endurance – don’t give up – we must keep on keeping on for the Lord.

Horses are also very social animals and have “friends” amongst their own species as well as with other animals and humans. It would be difficult for a horse to make a “friend” with a dog unless the dog reciprocated, right? The two animals are in agreement in their “friendship.” Although the horse loves the dog, he does not become “like” the dog nor does not adopt the mannerisms of the dog. We Christians need the equally yoked fellowship we get from our church family. We should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers where we learn their ways. An unbeliever will never fully understand our Christianity – never! Remember that. They are serving their father the devil and cannot understand. What you believe is foolishness to them.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Co 6:14)
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Co 2:14)

I love the way a horse communicates to other horses and to us humans. It is beautiful to watch a horse’s body language when it sees its master. When I went to visit my brother in Oregon, he introduced me to his three horses. One of his favorites came right up to him and pushed up against him so he would rub its face and head. Whenever my brother stopped rubbing, his horse would push up against him again. This magnificent, huge animal was desiring to be touched by his master. This powerful and beautiful animal showed its need to touch and be touched. Do we react toward our Master, Jesus Christ, in the same manner? Do we desire to be touched by His Word and to touch others with His Word?

And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. (Mat 14:36)

We have only to read the Word with the same eagerness my brother’s horse had to be touched and we, too, can be made perfectly whole spiritually. Yes, I know we are already saved. But how many times have you gone to the Word desperately in need and God has met you there and met that need? Even when your prayer was not answered, God gave you the calm sweet assurance that He is in charge. Oh my, the Hand of God reaches down and touches us when we make that first move to touch His garment through His Word!

I’m sure there are many other characteristics about the horse that I could look at and correlate with the Christian’s life and God’s Word. Thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!

Dear God…
Your creation always bless me so
The simplicity of life each day
I see Your perfect hand in all
Teaching me along the way



Day 14 – The Rose

Not only has God given us one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers to enjoy, but He also has given us countless different types of roses! Each species bringing its own beauty and wonderful fragrance! Our God is a God of detail and imagination, isn’t He? As I meditated on the rose this morning, I was so totally blessed by its intricacies. I stand amazed at how our Heavenly Father poured Himself into this one part of His creation!

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

There are so many different species of the rose to choose from! It was difficult to pick one. I was going to pick the obvious rose found in many florist shops, however, I wanted to pick something unique. Then I saw it – the rose that jumped off the page at me – the Dog Rose. The Dog Rose’s similarities to Virginia’s Dogwood tree caught my eye. I would never have thought this flower to be a rose, would you? It’s not the typical looking rose. This Dog Rose is found in Europe and the Middle East. The Creator of all gives us a glimpse of His power by giving man so many different types of roses to enjoy. I stand amazed at how awesome God is!

… and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isa 64:8b)

Have you noticed the petals of this beautiful Dog Rose? There are five petals – the number five symbolizes God’s grace. The Victorian “language of flowers” says that different colored roses each have their own symbolic meaning – how appropriate that the color pink, according to this language, stands for grace! Grace is defined as unmerited favor! No more appropriate definition can be given to our salvation! There is nothing we can due to earn this favor – it is freely given to us by our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 )

When we see the Dog Rose, or any other five-petal flower, it should remind us of the grace, the unmerited favor, the Father has given to us.

This beautiful rose has another distinct quality about it. Its center explodes with bright yellow rays, resembling the sun’s rays shooting outward. When we accept Jesus Christ, His love and the light of His Word should be radiating from us. We are to be a witness to the unsaved world with the light of His Word.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)

When we see a beautiful rose bush, we do not realize the tender care and love that has gone into it. It is for the rose bush’s health that the gardener prunes it and keeps harmful bugs away. He meticulously prunes each branch so that it can produce more beautiful flowers. He carefully pulls the weeds so the plant will be healthy and strong. Then he painstakingly picks out every bug which would ruin his work and he sprays to keep future bugs away. What a beautiful portrayal of the Holy Spirit caring for the believer! It is for our own spiritual health that He prunes us – He desires us to bear precious fruit. He prunes us into the image of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Eph. 5:9-10, (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; (9) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (10)

Like every plant, this Dog Rose bush grows toward the sun which provides the light. So should the Christian grow “toward” the Son – becoming more like Him. Our yielded vessel will be used of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ. The Spirit teaches us and prunes us to be more like Jesus!

John 16:13-14, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (14)

The Dog Rose does not interfere with the gardener – she allows him to carefully tend to her needs so she can become beautiful. So should the believer be – do not interfere with the Gardener (the Holy Spirit) as He carefully tends to our needs and molds us into vessels unto honour for the Master.

Dear God…
I thank Thee for the rose’s beauty
It’s color and fragrance sweet
Within each petal and each leaf
Thy Hand I clearly see



Day 15 – The Butterfly

As I meditated on God’s goodness this morning, my heart rested on the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. The wonder of God is shown through its beautiful lines and structure. The vibrant colors make this creature stand out, don’t they? The first thought that popped into my mind was the four different stages the butterfly goes through from the time of its inception. The number four represents the number of creation – isn’t it interesting that the butterfly’s final “creation” stage results in a new creation?

The Monarch Butterfly begins its life in the form of an egg. This egg represents the beginning of the born again believer’s life.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 and Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7

The egg hatches and next is the caterpillar stage. This second stage represents the baby Christian.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Pe 2:2)

How interesting to note here that the caterpillar feeds on “milk”weed. Isn’t it just like the Lord to give us this lesson through His creation? During this stage, the caterpillar stores energy in the form of fat and nutrients, which will be needed for the next stage.

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

I found it interesting that the milkweed is poisonous to the Monarch’s enemies but not to the Monarch itself!

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Co 2:14)

Because of this poison, the Monarch’s enemies have learned to stay away, recognizing the Monarch by its colors. Because we are a new creature in Christ, the world should not want to have anything to do with us. They prefer to live in darkness.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (Joh 3:20)
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. (Joh 7:7)

The caterpillar prepares himself for the next stage, the pupa stage, where transformation will take place. He spins a silk pad on a leaf or twig and hangs upside down from his pad by his prolegs. The Holy Spirit forms us into the image (shape) of Jesus Christ!

O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (Psa 92:5)

The Holy Spirit begins a work in us at the time of salvation. We begin with the pure milk of the Word. As we go through trial and tribulation leaning on the Lord, we begin to take on His characteristics! Praise the Lord!

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

It is through these trials and tribulations that we learn to be yielded vessels. The beautiful yielded vessel will not only be conformed into the image of Christ but will be able to be used by God for His purpose.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Ti 2:21)

What was ugly on a branch, the pupa goes through a miraculous change inside. He molts, becoming encapsuled in a green casing. It is then that the butterfly begins to be shaped. I have been taught that when the butterfly begins to emerge from its casing, it struggles for quite some time to be set free. If a human being were to “help” the butterfly in this process, the butterfly would die. The struggle it goes through to reach freedom is what is necessary for the butterfly to fly. The arduous task of setting itself free from the casing is what gives it the ability to live and fly! What a beautiful picture of the maturing Christian. Each of our trials is necessary to pave the way to be more like Christ. Do not take light of each difficult period of time in your life. When one leans on the Lord during these times, one draws closer to the Source. We become more beautiful because we become more like Christ!

Eph. 4:23-24, And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (23) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (24)

At last, the beautiful Monarch Butterfly appears. Its beautiful colors are categorized as the “warm colors,” which are defined as colors of excitement. The more like Christ we become, the more vibrant and excited we are toward the cause of Christ – that of spreading the Gospel! As the butterfly’s egg passes away and forms a totally different creature, the born again believer dies to self and becomes more like the Master.

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

Won’t you rejoice with me today in the trials and tribulations our precious Heavenly Father has allowed us to go through? The Holy Spirit works through us to form us into the Ultimate Beautiful Butterfly, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

More Like Jesus Would I Be
by Fanny Crosby

More like Jesus would I be, let my Savior dwell with me;
Fill my soul with peace and love—make me gentle as a dove;
More like Jesus, while I go, pilgrim in this world below;
Poor in spirit would I be; let my Savior dwell in me.

If He hears the raven’s cry, if His ever watchful eye
Marks the sparrows when they fall, surely He will hear my call:
He will teach me how to live, all my sinful thoughts forgive;
Pure in heart I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.

More like Jesus when I pray, more like Jesus day by day,
May I rest me by His side, where the tranquil waters glide.
Born of Him through grace renewed, by His love my will subdued,
Rich in faith I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.



Day 16 – The Cardinal

When I first moved to Virginia, one of the first things I noticed was the variety of different species of birds! We were astonished at the variety of wildlife just in our backyard alone. The house we lived in at the time had 22 trees out back and they were home to all kinds of critters. We had our own little National Geographic episode right before our eyes. Amongst the Morning Doves, Blue Jays, woodpeckers, squirrels and turtles, we were excited to see that the Cardinals made their home in our trees. Their colorful feathers make it so easy to spot them. Even when they are hidden, we can listen to their beautiful songs ringing out.

I do believe one of my fondest memories is that of the Cardinal perched in one of our trees in the winter time. The plumage of the male is a bright scarlet red and he wears the crest proudly on his head like a crown! This species does not migrate South for the winter but sticks around for the cold. So we are privileged to see it in all four of our seasons. I do believe, however, that its greatest beauty is seen in the winter! Its colors pop out over the blanket of white snow.

As you can see in this picture, the female is much lighter, but beautiful in her own way. Again this morning, God’s Goodness was seen in this creature’s colors and habits. When I behold the awesome scarlet red feathers of the male, I think of Christ shedding His blood on the cross. Throughout the Word of God, we see that Scarlet Thread of Redemption and God’s creation drawing us toward Him and His redemptive work.

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

I’m sure if we truly set our minds to it, we could see God’s Hand in each piece of His creation. Why not take advantage of the lessons He has for us in nature?

Another wonderful characteristic of the Cardinal (and most perching birds), is the way they sleep. Brother Aaron Adams of Fundamental Baptist Forum, shared some thoughts on perching birds. “Have you ever watched a bird sleeping on it’s perch and never falling off? How is it possible? The secret is the tendons of the bird’s legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steel trap! The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly.

Isn’t this also the secret of the power of the Christian? Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan government tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go and bent his knee at least three times a day. He held firm when others faltered, because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee. From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of how to get a hold of God’s power! That secret is the knee bent in prayer.” Thank you, Brother Aaron, for this beautiful comparison.

I also noted in my research that the more soundly the Cardinal sleeps, the tighter his claws grip to the perch. The more we rest in God’s care the stronger we become as Christians. We grip to the Creator of all because He provides us with the help we need.

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:2)

The power in a Christian’s life can be directly linked to the amount of time this Christian spends in prayer.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 Jo 3:22)

God answers the prayers of those who walk in His will.

Furthermore, I noted that the Cardinal cannot move until he has raised himself up and straightened his legs, thus setting his claws free. After the Christian has met with the Master in prayer, he is ready to meet the day and all it has in store for him. The believer walks away from prayer time with God’s arm of protection over him.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Eph 6:13)

He is equipped for the day knowing that each moment rests in the hands of the Creator.

Another beautiful characteristic of Cardinals is the way they keep themselves warm in the winter as they sleep. I did not know that the air around the Cardinal (and all birds) is what keeps them warm. That totally amazed me! The Cardinal hides his head under his wing and fluffs up his feathers, like in the picture above. As the air comes in and settles among the soft down, it warms up and warms the Cardinal. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? As we are yielded vessels resting in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit “heats” us up – He energizes us – and He fuels us with what we need for the day. The Creator of all took time to create a beautiful creature and provide it with a way to warm its tiny body in the cold of winter. So much the more, will our Heavenly Father care for His children who trust Him!

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (Psa 36:7)

As the bright crimson male Cardinal can be seen at a distance, even with trees and bushes full of foliage, so should the Christian be different. The world should be able to see something different about us because we have put on Jesus! We are the only “Jesus with skin” they will ever see. Do we appear to the lost as the beautiful Cardinal or do we appear like the vulture? We are children of the King and we should represent the King in how we look, how we speak, and how we walk.

And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. (Zep 1:8 )

God has given us salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who deny Jesus Christ wear the “strange apparel” but we do not. We have been washed in the precious scarlet Blood of Jesus Christ. He went through much so that we could have salvation through Him and the opportunity to wear royal robes.

Each time I gaze upon this beautiful creature, the Cardinal, I cannot help but meditate on Christ’s complete work on the cross. Won’t you join me this morning in God’s Goodness and glorify His name through His creation of this beautiful creature? Hopefully, the next time you see a Cardinal, you will be reminded of what Christ went through for you.

Dear God…
Another blessed time with You
Has been given me this day
Drawing me to Your Precious Blood
For my soul You dearly paid



Day 17 – Sundogs

Sundogs: Rainbows Beside the Sun

There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. (Deu 33:26)

Sundogs are formed by the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up certain types of clouds. As I found this picture of a halo-type sundog, it reminded me that our Creator’s finger paints the skies for us and provides us with a beautiful tapestry of shapes and colors to behold. Does this picture not look like it could be God’s eye looking over the earth? This type of sundog is a halo. It sent shivers up my spine to see the awesome wonder of all that occurs in the skies that we are unaware of. I’m certain I could write a devotional each day for one year and not exhaust the heavenlies! When I found pictures of today’s topic, I was totally blessed – I had not even penned a word. I guess it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words!

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psa 104:24)

I know that if I had not seen them with my own eyes, I would have thought these photographs to be camera tricks. However, witnessing such a spectacular event caused me to want to know more about my Heavenly Father. I stood in wonder and awe and meditated on the Creator and His Goodness. I know that I’ve used this verse several times but I can’t help but understand it more clearly with each part of God’s creation I write about.

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

The halo-type sundog appears at sunrise or sunset. It reminded me that we should seek our Father’s face from the time we rise until we go to sleep.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psa 25:5)

John and I see the rainbow-type sundog frequently as we ride motorcycle. I spot them quickly if I am wearing sunglasses as they are harder for me to see with the naked eye. These types appear at any time of the day but I see them more clearly when the sun is high in the sky. The colors are like those of the rainbow and quite beautiful. It’s as though God Himself painted a piece of rainbow in the middle of His sky just for us to enjoy! Each time I see this type of sundog and its colors, I think of the rainbow. The rainbow appeared twice in the Word – once in Genesis and once again in Revelation – in the first book and in the last book. It reminds me of my Alpha and Omega, my Beginning and my End, my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (Isa 45:8 )

All these phenomena require light in order to appear. Without light, there is utter darkness. Nothing can be seen – nothing can be appreciated. So are we without Christ. We are in utter darkness and the Father does not see us. But the moment we are born again, the Father sees His Son’s blood over us and we now are precious in His sight.

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: (Isa 43:4a)

Without the Light of the Word, many souls will go into that eternal, utter darkness. But the born again believer has received the Light of the Son and we will spend eternity in a City that needs no light.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 Jo 1:5)
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

Thank your Heavenly Father for providing you with glimpses of His nature through the various lights in the sky. Let these lights remind you of His holiness, His covenant with us through Christ, and His coming Kingdom!

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psa 40:3)

Dear God…
Thy wondrous beauty I behold
Each morning and each night
Just gazing to the heavenlies
I see Thy glorious might!



Day 18 – Deer

The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. (Psa 29:9)

Our God is not only responsible for creating this beautiful animal, but He is also responsible for them multiplying and their very lives! Our Father’s Hand is on all His creation!

I thought of the useage of the word hind in Scriptures. Hind is another word for deer. I recalled Psalm 18:33 how God said He will make our feet like hinds’ feet and will set us upon our high places. I did a phrase search for hinds’ feet and it resulted in three verses. Isn’t it neat how the number three shows up again? Again, the Three-in-One are caring for us… God provides us with sure footing and a place for spiritual renewal!

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. (2 Sa 22:34)
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. (Psa 18:33)
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Hab 3:19)

It is God who gives us the strength we need to walk the paths of difficulty in this life. My father owned acreage in a forest which was home to the beautiful white-tailed deer – we called this land “the Beaver Dam” because it also was home to a family of beavers. Oh how I loved going there with my Dad! Some of my fondest memories rest there with him at that Beaver Dam. The white-tailed deer were plentiful and we would sit ever so still for long periods of time, not wanting to scare them away. Dad loved to watch them graze and it showed me the tender side to my father. Growing up on this haven of rest, I saw deer run like the wind and not falter – not one step when danger was near. They would run up the steep hill as if it were nothing. It’s as if they didn’t even need to look where they were going – they just flew! Did you know that they can move up to 40 mph through the forest and dart side to side as they run?

As I meditated on these three verses about the hinds’ feet, I could not help but remember all those difficult hills (spiritual battles) I have been through in my saved life. Looking back, I notice that when I rested in the Master’s care I had that sure footing. I had a confidence that all would work out and I didn’t need to worry about a thing. It’s those times that I was in the Word, daily feeding my spirit and encouraging myself in the Lord – strengthening myself and learning to recognize God’s Hand in each detail. Despite the storms around me, I did not fear. I knew that the same God that stilled the storm and the waters, would still my storm!

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (Psa 16:9)

I grew to appreciate why Fanny Crosby could pen the words to Blessed Assurance. Especially the following stanza:

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

I believe she knew how to reach the mountain top. I believe she knew how to watch and wait as God handled matters. How else could she be lost in His love and filled with His goodness as she watched and waited?

Upon further reflection on these beautiful verses, I noticed that the Lord tells us three times that He will set us upon the high places. When we are abiding in Him, our spirit is lifted and encouraged and the Lord places us on the mountain top of sweet fellowship! When we finish each trial and see the wonderful Hand of God throughout, it becomes easier to place those trials in His care when they surface.

…for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. (Jer 31:13b)

The high places are a place of refreshing – spiritual renewal – rest awaits there for us. It’s these times of spiritual refreshing that should be foremost in our memory as we see a trial approaching. This is how we encourage ourselves in the Lord – we know that He will be right there to help us be sure footed and again, He will be faithful to lead us to the mountaintop.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

The picture above was taken at a safari place near Natural Bridge, Virginia. There were several white-tailed deer just grazing nearby. As we drew closer, the young deer perked right up as if posing for me. She wasn’t afraid because her tail was still down, but she sure was watching every move we made.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Pe 3:17)

We should be alert, ever watchful of the deception around us so we do not fall prey to it.

On another one of our trips, we stopped at an overlook where we saw the beautiful view. From this viewpoint, we can see for miles on a clear day. Also from this viewpoint, we can see danger from afar.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Mat 24:4)

We should be able to spot deception from afar, my friend. However, we cannot spot it if we are not in the Word long enough to find out what deception is. There is comfort and encouragement when we have been in God’s Word and He has shown us what too look out for. We are not caught unaware.

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luk 21:34)

When we’re in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit teaches us what to expect in these end times so we are not caught off guard. Rather, we are encouraged by the signs of the times and rejoice that our Saviour is soon coming! Not only does God provide us with a spiritual refreshing on that mountain top but He gives us the ability to see when danger approaches! We are spiritually acute because we have been walking with our Shepherd.

I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. (Psa 119:93)

He has guided us and cared for us! What a beautiful picture of Him, amen?

We can be assured of going through many valleys on our path here on earth.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; (Psa 23:4a)

As a child of God, it’s important for us to follow David’s example and how he encouraged himself in the Lord. He feared no evil in his valleys because David knew God was with Him. He reflected on God’s Goodness with each previous trial and knew that the same God would be there for all future trials. Psalm 23 is such a beautiful picture of David’s relationship with God. It is to our downfall when we don’t spend extra time in the Word during these valleys – we do not prepare ourselves and, therefore, have nothing to draw from. It’s like going on a long trip and not putting fuel in the gas tank before leaving! David was an excellent example of someone who could encourage himself in the Lord. Reading about his trials and then his accounts in Psalms encouraged me in my times of need. It was because of his example that I was able to write the devotional on Discouragement and Encouragement.

Dear Christian, spend time in the Word and let God teach you and feed you. Then you, too, will be able to have the sure-footedness of the deer and God will place you on that mountain top of spiritual refreshing! And the next time you see a deer, I pray you will be reminded of this devotional and be encouraged to get in the Word, find the Lord there and reach your high place!

Dear God…
May I never cease to meet You, Lord
Each day must I seek Your face
Please guard my step as You do the deer
And set me on that high place.



Day 19 – Fish

Job 12:7-9, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (7) Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. (8 ) Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? (9)

Did you know there are about 30,000 species of fish today? With so many different species, we could park on this topic for a while and learn from God as He instructed us to do in the Book of Job.

What can we learn from the fish? No matter how many different types there are, they all have some things in common. Did you know that fish would die unless they are in motion? That is because it gets its oxygen through its gills. The blood flows through the gill in one direction and picks up the oxygen it needs from the water flowing in the opposite direction. Fish must pass new water over their gills continuously to keep a supply of oxygenated water available for diffusion. I can see why God told us in Job to study His creation, can’t you?

If the Christian stops moving forward in his spiritual walk, it is because he is not in the Word of God. The Word is where we get our fuel (oxygen) needed to survive. As the fish picks up its oxygen from the water, so do we pick up our spiritual food from the Water of Life.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

We receive life through the water of the Word, my friend. Our Bible is a gift to us. How can we leave it so neglected? We perish spiritually if we do not drink from it.

As I observe the habits of the fish, I find that most travel in schools. I wonder what God would have to teach me through this characteristic? A school is a group of fish (school sizes vary with different species) which travel together as a group. The school concept has several advantages: (1) safety in numbers from the enemy (2) feeding (3) protection, and (4) helping one another.

Only forward moving (living) fish can belong to a school. I liken this to the church. Only born-again believers can belong to the church. Amongst the brethren, we feel safe – we can enjoy fellowship and the preaching of the Word of God. For a fish to remain in a school, it cannot be a straggler or it becomes dinner. It cannot move away from the school or it becomes free game for the predator. How true of the believer! If the believer does not continue to grow in the Spirit by being in the Word and hearing the preaching, he falls for every wind of doctrine.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

If that believer continues to lose ground spiritually and falls out of church, he becomes prey to ole slew foot.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pe 5:8 ) and Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

Staying in church is so important – just as it is important for the fish to remain in the school.

When dinnertime comes, food is easier to find with a school of fish. Having 50 sets of eyes and noses gives the school a better chance of finding dinner. How true of believers gathering together to feed on God’s Word. Interacting with believers to hear what they gleaned from the Word and share experiences is so rewarding. I love Sunday School classes for this reason. Interacting with one another as we learn always produces a spiritually “meatier” class, don’t you think? As a body, we teach one another and help each other to grow in Christ.

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

I learned that some fish schools are more like gangs where they patrol their territory and run out the intruders.

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

Those who are strong in the Lord and His Word, are able to discern what is evil in the church. Our Pastors and deacons need to be spiritually full so they can protect those in their charge.

Scientists have stated that it is believed that fish who swim close together reduce friction and this allows the fish to conserve energy. When a church works together, exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit, much can be accomplished. I’ve been in churches where it felt like we were spinning our wheels. Energy was not being conserved, that’s for sure. However, when each Christian blooms where he is planted and utilizes the gift(s) God has blessed him with, you have a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ.

But now are they many members, yet but one body. (1 Co 12:20)

The Gospel goes out effectively when everyone works together.

I truly believe that God has a wonderful sense of humor! In most of His creation, there’s one that is odd looking – at least in my opinion! I find this flatfish as God showing us His sense of humor, don’t you agree?! Notice how this flatfish has both eyes on one side of its head? Look at his mouth – it almost looks like this picture was morphed or something! It seems to me that the flatfish could only see off one side of its body and miss the predator on the other side. However, God in His infinite mercy, took care of this part of His creation. He gave this odd looking fish the ability to spot his predators. The flatfish lies flat on the bottom so he actually sees better because he has two eyes scanning in the same direction! Isn’t that just awesome? I thought of Christians who are not watching for the devil – some walk into traps blindly and some do so willingly!

1 Thess. 5:5-6, Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (5) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (6) God always gives us the armor and tools to fight our spiritual battle here on earth. He does not leave us unequipped. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph 6:11) 2 Tim. 3:16-17, and All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (16) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (17)

Lastly, the one thing that is true of all fish is their awful stench soon after they die. Sin in our lives causes our testimony to stink, my friend. The unbelieving world will look at us and despise us because of our stench. David recognized that and penned it for us.

Psa 38:4-5, For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. (4) My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (5)

No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye! He did not blame his sin on someone else or on the circumstances around him. He said that the wounds of his sin stunk and were corrupt because of his foolishness! How many Christians have you heard excuse after excuse from because they weren’t in church or they didn’t read their Bible that day or they succumbed to temptation – whatever the case! Instead, we should be growing in Christ, more like the Master with each day – producing a sweet odor – a beautiful testimony for the unbelieving world.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2 Co 2:15)

I have to be honest with you, when the fish came to my mind for today’s devotional, I honestly did not think I would have much to glean from! God is so Good! Thank You, Lord, for Your Goodness to me today!

Dear God…
From the smallest of creation
You have given me delight
To see Your hand in each of them
And to teach me of Your might!



Day 20 – The Ant

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Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

This is the first time the word ant appears in the Bible. I love how God uses different species to teach us a lesson. The ant is used to teach us how not to be lazy! As I was researching this strange little creature, I found out some interesting facts.

Did you know there are 11,880 known ant species? This is just one piece of creation! God amazes me more and more each day that I work on this series. What a blessing this has proven to be. When ant colonies have been observed, they are likened to a super organism because they seem to function as one! I found that quite interesting. Could it be that God wants us to learn from this part of their makeup? The church should function as “one” just as the ant. All working together for the cause of the Gospel!

“… that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phil. 1:27)

Brother Lee Pierson, of Our Final Authority (message board has disbanded), was sharing his thoughts about the ant.

I have always been fascinated with ants and other social insects. Ants have a structured hierarchy and each ant knows his function within his family. Each ant is born with a specialized function and he has been given the tools to perform his task. There are workers and guards, gatherers and builders. They grow gardens and milk cows and there are even some that just work in the nursery caring for the eggs. They work and sacrifice for each other and the colony. They do not get jealous of each other and they all work together as one.

What a beautiful picture of how the church should be! Working as one unit for the glory of God!

God knew this tiny creature would need a method of communicating amongst themselves. When an ant finds food, it leaves a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow. God gave them different types of pheromones: there are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect their behavior or their circumstances. An ant that has been crushed will give off an alarm pheromone which sends nearby ants into an attack craze. Brother Lee witnessed an event that truly blessed my heart:

When I worked near a river that was overflowing with floodwaters, I really became impressed with the local ant colonies. It had stopped raining a couple of days earlier but the river had not yet crested. As the water level came out of the banks of the river and slowly rose to claim the surrounding fields, the local ants began to gather dry leaves and twigs to use as life rafts. When the water reached their nest, they all jumped on board their rafts and floated away hanging onto the raft and to each other!

We are a lot like these ants. We can see the flood of judgment heading our way and we have our raft to float away on. Like the ants, we did not build our rafts we just accept God’s Gift when He provided the raft for us. One day soon, we are going to just float right out of this place!

Thank you, Brother Lee, for your contribution! What a blessing this was to me!

I also noticed that the Word mentions the ant twice. I wondered what God was trying to communicate to us through observing the ant. I realized that both verses encouraged us to be wise – to see after wisdom.

Prov. 30:24-25, There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: (24) The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (25)

Again, God says that if we pattern ourselves after the ant, we are wise. Solomon, the wisest man ever to live (past, present and future) wrote the Book of Proverbs. It is to our benefit that we heed what God is telling us. God is telling us to “get wisdom” – let’s look at that a moment:

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Prov. 4:5)
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Prov. 4:7)
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (Prov. 16:16)
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? (Prov. 17:16)

All four verses tell us to get wisdom but they also encourage us to get understanding. Only the fool, in the fourth verse, “hath no heart to it” – meaning he didn’t understand – he read but didn’t get understanding. I think of the unbeliever who does not understand the Word of God.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

Christians have no excuse – we have the Word of God – it is Perfect, without error! We have every opportunity to get our wisdom and understanding! Especially in our country! Come on, people – many of you have more than one Bible sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Shame on you! God is waiting to open our understanding!

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Luke 24:45)

Two of my favorite verses in the New Testament were both penned by James.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

This wisdom is given by God, not man. God is not cheap – He gives us wisdom liberally to all men if they ask. Mankind has no excuse – if they don’t ask, they won’t receive it and be saved. How ashamed will the Christian be when he stands before Christ Himself having to justify why he didn’t read the Word!

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

The world’s wisdom is of their father the devil. The world’s wisdom would be totally opposite of what God provides. Breaking down this verse truly blessed me. Let’s look at this verse as if it were the devil encouraging the world to get his wisdom:

But the wisdom that is from below is first polluted, then tumultuous, unkind and wild, stubborn, unmerciful and evil fruits, having favorites, and hypocritical.

Wow! This is the wisdom the devil wants you to have. We get this kind of wisdom in the world’s entertainment, the world’s goodies, and the world’s habits.

Be careful! Learn from the ant – get wisdom and understanding as God’s Word tells us.

Dear God…
The ant is but a tiny thing
But much from it I’ve learned
To diligently seek Your Word
And to Your wisdom turn.



Day 21 – The Sun

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

As you can tell by now, I like to add some graphics to each of my posts. I feel that it gives us a preface of what that day’s post will be covering. Today is no exception – isn’t the beautiful sunrise breathtaking? My friend Jill took this picture and just wow!

Without the sun, our earth would die, plain and simple! Plant life requires sun for photosynthesis and without plants and trees giving us oxygen to breathe, the beautiful balance that God created is not there. From the beginning of time, the sun has been the center of mankind’s attention. Not only is the sun a source of light, it is a source of energy, it is a source for plant life to grow – it was and still is in some cases used in forms of worship – it provides man with essential vitamins – and it heats the atmosphere and the earth.

The word sun appears in 152 verses in the Word of God. Although its first appearance is found in Gen. 1:14-19, the actual word sun does not appear until Gen. 15:12.

Gen. 1:14-19, And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (14) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. (15) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. (16) And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, (17) And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. (18 ) And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (19)

Creation goes full circle – God provided light prior to the sun’s creation and God provides the light after the sun is no longer needed! A pastor friend shared this blessing about the sun:

It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the fourth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.

I found it interesting that our Triune God’s light is what shown for the first three days! God is seen in every verse and every part of creation – just when man thinks he is so smart, God shows man just how little he knows.

Pastor Snipes insight continued to bless me with the following:

The sun seems so very large to us, and it is! Did you know that it has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s? Wow! Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close, averaging 93,000,000 miles away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.

Psalms 19:4-6, “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”

Man thinks the universe just happened – a big bang. What foolishness this is! It takes more faith to believe this theory (and that is all it is), than it does to believe that God created everything. It takes more faith to believe that living organisms came from non-living organisms! This belief is called abiogenesis. Scientists have had numerous debates over this belief, which began in the early 20th century. With all their head knowledge, they lack wisdom. Why do I say this? I say this because they mislead people into believing something that has no facts. Were these scientists present when it first happened? No, of course not! Yet, they theorize that life came from non-living organisms. The wisdom of man is foolishness.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

God’s Word says that by His hand, He holds everything together. At any time, God could take His hand off and all things in the universe would collide!

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Col. 1:17

God used the sun in the Bible to show us His power. Pastor Snipes continued to share:

In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.

Joshua 10:12-13, “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”

How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot say. What I can say is that the Creator God, who established the laws of nature, is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.

A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.

Isa. 38:7-8, “And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”

Even scientists agree that the sun will not last forever. They believe that the sun will die in 5 billions years! Oh the ignorance of man. God is still in control. The Bible says that at some point we will have no need for the sun or the moon.

Revelation 21:22-23, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”

Thank you, Pastor Snipes, for your help in putting this beautiful piece of creation into this devotional.

The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world! He sheds the blessed light of His Word into our hearts so that we are no longer blind. I remember the day of my salvation like it was yesterday! Not two minutes after I accepted Christ as my Saviour, I opened His Word to the Book of John and I could read and understand His Word! I never could understand the Bible before that day. It was like drinking sand to me. But on that beautiful, glorious day April 1st, 1980, Christ shined His light into my heart and I could clearly see!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

Jesus is our Sonlight!

Sunlight
Judson Van Deventer

I wandered in the shades of night,
Till Jesus came to me,
And with the sunlight of His love
Bid all my darkness flee.

Chorus
Sunlight, sunlight in my soul today,
Sunlight, sunlight all along the way;
Since the Savior found me, took away my sin,
I have had the sunlight of His love within.

Though clouds may gather in the sky,
And billows ’round me roll,
However dark the world may be
I’ve sunlight in my soul.

Chorus

While walking in the light of God,
I sweet communion find;
I press with holy vigor on
And leave the world behind.

Chorus

I cross the wide, extended fields,
I journey o’er the plain,
And in the sunlight of His love
I reap the golden grain.

Chorus

Soon I shall see Him as He is,
The Light that came to me;
Behold the brightness of His face,
Throughout eternity.

Chorus



Day 22 – The Moon

Photography by Bob Sabo

Deu. 33:13-14, And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, (13) And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, (14)

As the sun provides radiant heat during the day for earth’s precious fruit, the moon provides needful moisture in the night to nourish these precious fruit. God’s own Goodness provides His creation a nightly drink! God goes one step further and gives us the dew, (sparkling like diamonds in the morning sun) to behold just because He can! Our Father paints a picture for us so beautiful, so intricate, so delicate!

Today’s picture was taken in my back yard as we sat by the firepit. With a full moon shining its beautiful light, we can see the clouds and trees! As each following phase of the moon appears throughout the month, we see less light but yet we know it is there.

Ps. 139:14, “Marvellous are thy works.”

The moon’s light is viewed in many ways, isn’t it? Couples view its romantic aspect:

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, (Son 6:10a).

Meteorologists and farmers watch it for seasons:

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (Psa 104:19).

While the child of God sees God’s handiwork:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; (Psa 8:3)

God created the moon for our enjoyment – for us to gaze upon, to draw us closer to Him. Surely one cannot look at a lake with the moon’s light reflecting upon it and not be drawn closer to the Creator!

Be still, and know that I am God: (Psa 46:10a)

Mankind attributes the wonders of the skies to science, but God will be exalted in the end – the truth will be revealed to all.

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isa 2:11)

Remember when Joshua asked God to make the sun still? God did cause the sun to be still but little do we hear that the moon was also made still.

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. (Josh 10:13a)

I never noticed that before – God’s Word always has something in there to take notice!

One day, these lights will be gone – their purpose no longer needed.

Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isa 60:20)

We will no longer need the lights in the skies because God will be all the light we need. I can’t even imagine this in my finite little mind!

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

But God says it will be so and, therefore, it will be so.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

A lunar and solar eclipse is a phenomenon that is beautiful to witness, isn’t it? I’ve seen a few in my life time and each time I’m filled with wonder. Prior to salvation, I viewed it as a scientific wonder. But after salvation, I could not help but see God in it – beholding His wonder!

A friend shared some notes that he had written in his Bible next to Matthew chapter 5. What a blessing!

“Like the moon reflects the light of the sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.

When the world comes between the sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.”

Amen! We can see God’s Goodness throughout His Word and throughout all of His creation!

Lastly, I thought it appropriate to end today’s topic with one of Noah Webster’s definition of the word eclipse,

“All the posterity of our first parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life.”

What a wonderful use of God’s handiwork in the sky to reveal the spiritual condition of mankind!

Dear God…
Your hand has placed a lovely moon
On Your canvass in the sky
As Your children look up below
Your Name do they glorify



Day 23 – The Wild Columbine

Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) - Wild Seed Project

I normally reduce the size of my pictures but I simply could not do it with this one. It took away from its intricacies. This beautiful flower, the Wild Columbine, can be found growing in the State of Wisconsin. It reminded me of a dear, precious sister in the Lord who lives there. Today’s devotional is for this dear friend. I am praying that the Lord would bless it and use it to encourage her.

Looking at this magnificent piece of God’s creation, I noticed that its colors are so vivid! The bright yellow center, like rays streaming from the sun, is surrounded by a beautiful reddish-dark pink blanket. It reminded me of Christ’s precious blood covering our sins and how His Spirit should shine forth in our lives. Christ’s agape love drove Him to die for us so that our sins would be covered! It sure opened my eyes to the true meaning of:

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Pe 4:8 )

At its center lies the sweet nectar used in pollinating! Oh that our lives should be sweet nectar to the unsaved world! We should be ready with the sweet honey from the Word – ready to show them salvation through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the entire flower look like a lantern bursting forth with light? This beautifully clad flower is an example to us that we should be a light to a lost and dying world.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (Luk 8:16)

The little buds on the plant are waiting for the perfect time, God’s time, to open up and reveal the beautiful flower within. Our new life in Christ produces a spiritual bud which will burst forth as we grow in grace. When we are born again, we become new creatures.

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

We possess the wonderful Holy Spirit who molds us and forms us into the image of Jesus Christ.

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Co 15:49)

Buds on a plant pop up and grow at different times. The bud cannot survive without the plant – apart from the plant, this bud would die.

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

As we view the life of a Christian as it relates to this plant, we see the new born again believer – he is like a new bud. The bud then begins to open, beginning its life as a flower – so the believer grows in grace and begins to look like his Saviour. The more the bud opens, the more it looks like the flower it is going to become. The same goes for Christians – the more we grow in Christ (through trial and tribulation), the more we become like Him.

Each bud belongs to the same plant just as each believer belongs to the Vine. Yet each is unique in its own way. They are all Wild Columbines but yet different in the time they bud and in their appearance. Some may have blotches due to disease – some may have little holes due to insects. Each Christian goes through life experiencing trials and tribulations which produce blotches. Each Christian will go through physical trials because of Adam’s sin. But we have encouragement in the Word because nothing is unique – somewhere, someone has been through the same trial (whether spiritual or physical) and we are not alone.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Co 10:13)

The Lord’s mercy is seen here – we can encourage one another during various trials so that a brother or sister does not get totally discouraged. We are to use the gift(s) God has given us to lift up those who desperately need to see the Lord. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ it is when each Christian is using his gifts for His glory! The church works together as one to bring glory to the Son! All our gifts working together in harmony will form a church family that is ready to meet the needs of a lost and dying world. These same gifts will be as a healing salve for the hurting Christian. Just as these buds on the Wild Columbine plant contribute to the whole plant, so does each born again believer contribute to the Body of Christ!

Lastly, this beautiful flower reminds me that not all Christians are at the same place spiritually. We are all growing at different paces – we are a work in progress. We need to be patient with one another. We will not achieve perfection until we reach Heaven. In the mean time, our Heavenly Father is busy molding us into a vessel fit for His use.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isa 64:8 )

As Christians, we will fail as we walk this pilgrim’s path. However, God’s Word promises that He can pick up the broken pieces and make something new fit for His use.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4)

Did you notice that the potter here did not throw away the marred vessel? Instead, he “made it again” into another vessel! God can take our sins, our mistakes, our messed up lives, and mold us into something new that he can use! He is the God of second chances – and, yes, third, fourth and even more!

Never did I dream when I started meditating on the beautiful Wild Columbine that I would walk away this blessed! Oh Lord, “Marvellous are thy works.” Ps. 139:14

Thank You, Lord (for saving my soul)
Words and Music by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace
In prayer I would repeat:

Chorus
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise,
Because I know He’s mine.

Chorus

I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.

Chorus



Day 24 – The Cockroach

Probably one of the worse subjects for me to talk about is that of cockroaches – or any bug for that matter. As disgusting as this little creature is, there is something there that God can use to teach us something from His word. God’s lessons can not only be found in the most beautiful of His creation but also in the most loathsome creature! When I think of cockroaches I think of the pestilences of Scriptures. Whether the cockroach was a part of these pestilences or not, they certainly are pests to be reckoned with today.

He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; (Psa 78:50)

Unless you have experienced an annoying pest problem, you can’t begin to imagine in your mind’s eye what a pestilence can truly be.

Did you know that here are roughly 3,490 species of cockroaches in six families? Cockroaches are found worldwide, except for the polar regions. Only a handful of these species dwell in buildings. But once you find a cockroach in your house, you can be sure there are a lot more hidden in the walls.

The most common cockroach in the U.S. is the German cockroach. Their female carries an egg case on the end of her abdomen. (OK – I just had a chill run up my spine!) The egg case holds about 30–40 long, thin eggs, packed like hot dogs in its case. As disgusting as all this sounds, it brought to mind how the world is filled with lost sinners, packed together living their lives without thought of their spiritual condition. There is no better place to view this than at a night club. I do not need to elaborate on this – all you have to do is remember your unsaved days and when you visited these places – sinners crammed together like sardines just so they can fulfill the lusts of the flesh – all in the guise of fun!

Yet, in this darkness sin runs rampant – no one is seeking to walk righteously. God says in His Word that pestilence walks in the night. I wondered if He was referring to the likes of cockroaches.

Ps. 91:5-6, Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; (5) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (6)

One thing that I did find fascinating about the eggs were how they hatch. The hatchlings continuously gulp air until they “swell” like a balloon. Their combined pressure causes the case to break open. These little nymphs are initially white in color and they continue inflating themselves with air. Within about four hours, they have hardened and darkened in color. This process reminded me of a baby coming into this world. As this baby grows, the sin nature takes hold and this beautiful innocent child becomes harder and harder to win to salvation because the sin nature now reigns. The inflating cockroach brought to mind how our sins are multiplied every day – I can see why God likens them to filthy rags.

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

Once salvation is found, those filthy sins – those scarlet sins are made white as snow because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

Our hard, sinful nature has been replaced with a heart filled with the seed of the Gospel planted into good soil.

Because of our sin nature, our sins are multiplied daily. Just think of it this way – if you were to live until you were 80 years old and you commit only one sin per day, you will have sinned 29,200 times! And that’s only one sin per day! Our Heavenly Father created Adam and Eve perfect and sinless! It was not His desire for them to be sinners. He created them perfect, as well as the entire earth. God gave them a free will so they would serve Him willingly, not as robots. They exercised their free will by succumbing to sin. This sin had them kicked out of the perfect Garden of Eden! This sin brought curse to this earth.

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

It is not God’s choosing but ours.

Anyone who has had roaches in their kitchen can verify that they are a nocturnal creature – they come out by night. The minute you turn the light on, they scatter, thus the phrase, “scatter like roaches.” The sinner finds comfort in the night because he thinks he cannot be seen.

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? (Isa 29:15)

The sinner is blind to the things of God.

And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? (Luk 6:39)

A believer cannot hang around a lost person for very long because he will find himself going back spiritually.

Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; (Pro 2:13)

We do not need to walk in darkness any longer. We have the ability to say no to sin and to walk in the paths of uprightness.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1Th 5:5)

In looking at the cockroach we can see God’s Goodness in the lessons He has for us. So as the cockroach scatters when the light is brought forth, so should we scatter when sin crosses our path. We have the blessed light of the Word of God to lighten our way.

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

We do not need to stumble as the lost do.

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

Learn from the cockroach. Use this piece of creation to teach you how to be a better Christian.

Dear God…
You have used the vilest of creatures
To teach Your child today
May we watch and diligently listen
As Your word lights up our way!



Day 25 – The Senses

I wanted to do something unusual and not “obvious” in today’s post. The senses came to mind so I meditated on that for a while. As with any part of life, I found the Lord in all of our senses. We are so blessed! Of course, the first thing I noticed was the number five – for five senses. By now, you’ve noticed I have a love for God’s references to numbers in the Bible. The number five is the number for grace. So how does God’s grace affect all of our senses? Let’s dig in! I hope this is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!

Let’s look at the the first sense – sight.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (Isa 64:4)

Can you imagine this? Just think of the most beautiful waterfall or majestic mountain that you have seen. God says that your eye (or anyone’s for that matter) has never seen what awaits you in Heaven. Glory!! It amazes me how God intricately created the eye. Just the eye alone has so many parts and all work together to enable us to behold God’s beauty! Have we ever stopped to think what we would do without our eyes? We would stumble in darkness. God likens the lost in this way:

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

Does not this just illuminate the song verse “I once was blind but now I see”? Truly such amazing grace!!

The next sense is that of hearing.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Co 2:9)

As Paul was quoting Isaiah, he pointed out that nothing that we have heard with our own ears can be compared to what we will hear in Heaven! I have heard the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir singing Handel’s Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus, and I thought this was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I was certain this would be sung in Heaven when we gather to worship Christ. I’ve also enjoyed listening to the beautiful coos of a sweet, precious baby! But God tells us that no one has any idea, or even a clue, of what we will hear in Heaven! Double Glory!! Christ used the sense of hearing seven times in the Book of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. The Word says that with our sense of hearing we will come to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

God is so good to His children. He has given us eyes and ears with which to enjoy the beauty and sound of His creation!

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. (Pro 20:12)

Next is the sense of taste.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psa 34:8 )

How can you “taste” God? Have you not walked away from your Bible reading with the feeling that you ate sweet honey because God has healed your broken spirit? Have you ever walked away from your reading with a “bitter” taste in your mouth where God has revealed a sin to you?

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psa 119:103)

I think of how Christ used the sense of taste in His words to us. He is the water of life – He said we should be like salt to the unsaved! Christ used the senses as examples to us so as to teach us. So did Peter.

1 Pet. 2:2-3, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (2) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (3)

The sense of touch is next.

Touch not; taste not; handle not; (Col 2:21)
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Co 6:17)

We touch thousands of things in the course of a day. Our hands touch what our eyes see and our brain leads us to touch. We must be so careful to protect our eyes so that our hands are not led to touch what we should not. If we protected ourselves in this manner, we would be able to fulfill 2 Co 6:17 without a problem. Our desire (our heart) should be to touch what is good in God’s eyes. I love sitting with my Bible and running my fingers across its leather cover and eagerly anticipating my time spent in reading its blessed pages. I love to hold a rose and touch its velvet-like petals. I love to touch a baby’s skin and nuzzle my nose into its sweet, precious soft neck.

Lastly, let’s look at the sense of smell.

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. (Amo 5:21)

God even used the sense of smell to reveal to us His desires and His will. God does not want the work of our hands – He does not want us to play religion. This verse says that God hates the smell of our unrighteous sacrifices. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. Man’s relationship with God was severed in the Garden of Eden. However, Christ came to restore that relationship. He has saved us and His sacrifice is the sweet savour that God smells. In kind, our testimonies should be a sweet savour to a lost and dying world.

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (2 Co 2:15)

The lost should be able to see that our “religion” is not one of burnt offerings of our own works but the blessed sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what they should see in us – our testimony should smell like a rose to them, not like a skunk.

God’s Word has so much on the senses. I never gave it much thought until this morning. Just doing a word search in my Bible software showed me just how much God used the senses to teach us. What an awesome God we serve!

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. (Psa 49:3)
[Maschil of Asaph.] Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (Psa 78:1)
Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things? (Job 6:30)
All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. (Psa 45:8 )
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)



Day 26 – The Wind/Part 2

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; (Gen 8:1) 

The first mention of the wind is in Genesis 8:1. You all know my love for God’s use of numbers in the Word – and I believe He continues this love right down to the chapter numbers and verse numbers. The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings.” When we are born again, we have a new beginning – we receive the Holy Spirit of God within us who seals us. The Holy Spirit stirs our hearts like a breeze stirs the embers in a fire.

Another beautiful analogy I noticed was how the wind blew across the waters and caused them to asswage (to move and pull back). Christ, through His Word, is our Living Water and His Spirit moves within us to convict us, grow us, and pull us away from the world. 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) 

The Living Water of the Word of God is stirred by the Wind, the Holy Spirit. 

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 )

As the Holy Spirit stirs our spiritual embers, we grow in grace. He stirs us and reveals to us what His Word says. He guides us in our spiritual walk and reveals false doctrines so we can be equipped when cultists come our way. He pricks our hearts when we “hear” a different gospel. He reveals God’s will in every page of the Word. He shows us how to communicate to our Heavenly Father. God uses examples of the wind and makes His Word come alive through examples. The Master Painter paints a picture in our mind’s eye so we can better understand what He is communicating to us. God didn’t just give us His Word but He uses His creation to explain Himself more clearly. How blessed we truly are! 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (Jam 1:6)

Another aspect of wind is its force. Wind carries dust and debris and sometimes it clutters the way and creates obstacles, like in the instance of a tornado. The Christian who spends time in the Holy Spirit breathed pages of the Bible will be able to discern teachings which are not scriptural. The new believer is a prime candidate for falling victim to deception. They are not yet experiencing the meat of the Word and they will be easily deceived. Spending little time in the Word invites debris and obstacles in their spiritual path.

However, the Christian who spends time in the Word, growing thereby, can recognize the devil’s winds about him. 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14) 

The devil is the father of lies according to John 8:44. But God did not leave us helpless, my friend. We have two of the most powerful defense weapons known to man: the Bible and prayer. The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God through men and He speaks to the Father through us when we cannot find the words. How many times have I searched for just the right words to express to the Father what my heart contained. Yet, the Spirit had already told Him! The Spirit had already completed the mission and was revealing God’s will and plan through the blessed pages of my Bible in my reading time.

The wind is a magnificent part of creation to which much of God’s teachings can be attributed. How blessed we are that we can look at every facet of creation and see our God and His character. As Christians, we should take advantage of it and meditate on whatever it is that God puts in our path each day. God is waiting there to teach us and bless us through His creation. Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Your blessed Holy Spirit
Is seen in the softest breeze
Please move and stir within my heart
And mold me as You please.



Day 27 – Thunder & Lightning

When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: (Job 28:26)

One of the most awesome of God’s wonders to me is a good lightning and thunder storm! I love to sit and watch one; I stand amazed each time a lightning bolt goes across the sky and the sound of thunder claps afterward.

Man in his “finite wisdom” still does not know exactly why this phenomenon occurs. Here we are in the 21st Century and it is still a mystery! But here is what they do know. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity that happens mostly during a storm. It also occurs during a tornado, along with hail, as well as when a volcano erupts. It also occurs when it’s hot, called heat lightning. Scientists say a bolt of lightning travels at 100,000 miles per hour and that its temperature reaches almost 50,000 °F! It is said that the average bolt of lightning can produce enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for two months!

The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. (Psa 77:18 )

When I see lightning, I think of the Lord’s return.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mat 24:27)

A lightning bolt shoots across the sky so quickly (100,000 mph), so will Christ’s return be! What a glorious thing to behold!!

When I was a little girl, my father told me that when I see lightning, all I have to do is to start counting when I hear the thunder. The number I reach is the distance in miles the lightning is away from me. It’s amazing what people attribute thunder to: the angels bowling, the clouds colliding, etc.! But even today, scientists do not completely understand what causes thunder. The current theory is that plasma expands in the lightning bolt’s trail and creates a sonic shock wave caused by the rapid heating and expansion of the air around the lightning. We see lightning before the thunder because light travels faster than sound.

I love the fact that even with all the head knowledge of our scientists today, they still cannot figure out lightning and thunder completely. They have but a “theory”!

Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. (Psa 81:7)

God’s Word says that thunder is in the secret place … I wonder if God intends to keep it a secret from man until His return!

How appropriate to end today’s devotional with the great song, “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg! In 1885, he was walking home after church and watched a storm over Monsteras Bay in Sweden. The storm captured his attention and inspired him to pen the words to this beautiful hymn.

How Great Thou Art
Carl Boberg

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Chorus



Day 28 – Waterfalls

Photography by Cecelia Becker

Psa. 114:7-8, Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; (7) Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. (8 )

What a beautiful work of the Master’s Hand! The waterfall’s beauty brings such peace as we behold it. All along the water’s edge one sees the life that the water produces.

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psa 65:9)

Our Heavenly Father provides everything for His creation. Not only is His provision useful for our bodies but also for our spiritual nourishment. The thunderous sound of the waters falling remind me that no matter how beautiful the waters are, the force of the water as it hits bottom stirs up the loose earth and debris below. So should God’s Word stir up our souls and move us forward in our Christian walk toward spiritual maturity.

[To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Psa 42:1)

When we “pant” for God’s Word and time spent with Him, we are rewarded with refreshing waters from the water of Life. Thank You, Lord!

My heart was full this morning after my time with Him. All I could do was pen what He had done for me. I share this with you now in hopes that it will bless you.

My Heart Panteth for You
Kate Plourde (May 21, 2007)

My heart is full as I sit with You,
During this time of solitude.
A time ever precious and so sweet
Each day my heart’s made new!

Despite the problems of the day
I’m not feeling overwhelmed.
The loving Captain of my ship
Stands watchful at the helm.

The Master of the sea loves me!
My best is His loving plan.
He guides me through the storms of life.
I find rest in His bless’ed Hand.

Dear Lord, be the Commander of my life,
For You care so diligently.
The Word has promised You’ll never sleep,
While you guide me on life’s sea!



Day 29 – Snow Flakes

Photography by Cecelia Becker

For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (Job 37:6)

Most snowflakes are known to have six sides. Some do have three sides, which I found to be interesting because scientists say that this three-sided snowflake is still a mystery. Don’t you love it? Man still cannot figure out God’s creation!

Although it’s widely believed that no two snowflakes are alike, scientists cannot prove it nor can they disprove it. Their finite minds want to believe that it is impossible for no two things in the whole universe not to be alike in some way. But their “fact finding” minds have to concede that it could be possible. They hate the fact that the Christian’s God could make something so beautiful and unique so they deny it.

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. (Pro 23:9)

But as Christians, we know that God created all things, including each snow flake. Job 37:6 says that God places them on this earth. What more proof do we need? None whatsoever! When I think of all the sizes and shapes of snow flakes, I am astounded at God’s wonders! It equally boggles my mind to know that He has every hair on my head numbered, as well as yours and every other human being that has ever lived on this earth!

Jesus said, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Mat 10:30)

Jesus, Himself, said this! If you are not baffled, you should be! Meditating on the intricacies of creation, such as the snow flake, will cause you to know the God you serve!

The snow flake, on the most part, has six sides. The number six is the number of man. I wonder if no two snow flakes are alike because no two human beings are exactly alike. We see this truth in finger prints. God teaches us that as the snow flake is unique, so are we. He knows each one of us intimately. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Our Father knows us better than our spouse. He knows us better than our parents. He knows us better than we want to admit in knowing ourselves.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (Psa 139:2)
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (Psa 139:4)

God knows our thoughts (afar off) even before I have thought them and my words even before I have spoken them. This makes me trust in my Maker, my Creator, so much more because He knows who He is dealing with and knows how to mold me into His image. Knowing what God knows about each one of us, He molds us into unique creatures – each one of us having different talents, different colored eyes, different skin, different hair, etc.

God also creates snow flakes with three sides reminding us of his Triune nature. There is none like Him. It is this Triune God who made man.

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

How can we look at a snow storm and not see the Lord God in it? Growing up in Northern Maine allowed me to witness the most beautiful snow flakes ever! I remember those storms where the flakes were huge! You could see each of the designs so beautifully. More recently, we had such a snow storm in Northern Virginia and viewing those beautiful nickel-sized flakes revealed God’s Goodness to me. I was awe struck!

Oh Christian, we don’t have to look far to see God’s Goodness in His creation. All we have to do is to be still for a moment and behold the beauty around us. Why do you think God tells us to be still? Yes, He means for us to stop getting in His way and let Him work in our lives. But He could also mean for us to be still long enough to recognize His Goodness.

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

When we look at snow flakes and their simplicity, we can see God. This beautiful pure white, six-sided (man’s number) piece of creation is likened to our Precious Saviour and His work on the cross for us. The next time you behold snow with your eyes (whether in real life or in photos), meditate on Christ’s purity and how God sent Him to save your wicked soul. Meditate on His purity and allow His Spirit to change you.

So, my friend, did you think that meditating on a snow flake would be so rewarding? I didn’t and walked away this morning totally blessed! Thank You, Lord!

Whiter Than Snow
James L. Nicholson

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself, and whatever I know,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessèd Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

Refrain



Day 30 – Trumpeter Swan

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (Song 2:12)

The largest of the North American waterfowls, as well as the largest of all swans, is the graceful Trumpeter Swan. What a beautiful bird it is with its pure white feathers and long slender neck. Next to the dove, eagle and cardinal, this is the one bird that has had the most spiritual impact on me. When I see a Trumpeter Swan, I think of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! His grace and beauty are seen in many of the swan’s characteristics. I wanted to share with you what the Creator of all gave me this morning as I meditated on this remarkable creature. God’s Goodness cannot be matched – His Greatness cannot be exceeded – His love never ends!

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (Psa 31:19)

About 25 years ago, John and I went on a motorcycle trip from Virginia to Northern Maine. We stopped overnight in a small town in Connecticut. The motel had the most beautiful large pond in front of our room. This beautiful pond was surrounded by Weeping Willows all around. It was picture perfect, so serene! Unfortunately, those were the years of 35 millimeter cameras and Polaroids and I do not have a picture to post here. We watched these beautiful Trumpeter Swans lazily gliding across the pond. Back and forth they would go with their young cygnets frantically swimming behind them. As they swam, the peaceful waters were disrupted, creating ripples all the way to the shore line.

The swan’s beautiful white feathers remind me that the Redeemer’s blood has made me white as snow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

My sin is seen no more by my Heavenly Father because He sees His Son’s blood over me. The white feathers also remind me of when Jesus was transfigured.

And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. (Mar 9:3)

The Creator, Jesus Christ, gave this beautiful swan colors and its grace to bless our hearts. In turn, it reminds us of Him – it draws us to Him.

As the swan glides across the waters so gently and gracefully, it reminds me of how the Holy Spirit gently works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ. As we read the Word and are convicted by the Spirit, we become more and more like Jesus.

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10)

God patiently works in our lives, leading and directing, molding and forming us so we can be like Him.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)

Jesus promises us peace and rest when we come to Him.

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

Not only does our Saviour give us peace but He carries our burdens if we allow Him to do so!

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:30)

It took me a while to grow in this area of allowing the Lord to carry my burdens. Once I learned this blessed truth, what a fool I felt I was for not having done so sooner. There is no happier and more peaceful place to be than in the center of your Saviour’s Hand. We are secure there.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Joh 10:28 )

As the Holy Spirit works to change us and mold us into the image of Christ, the changes create a rippling effect in our lives, just as the swan creates when it swims. These changes touch other lives through our testimony and leads them to Christ. Their lives touch other lives, etc. Thus the rippling effect goes to the shores of our lives. My testimony should have this effect on others, reaching out to the uttermost!

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. (2 Cor 1:12)

I did a little research on the internet about this magnificent creature. I learned that they often mate for life. The female (known as the pen) molts and loses her flight feathers shortly after her young hatch. She is vulnerable to predators at this point. The cob (the male) goes through this process about a month later when the female has completed her molt. The Creator knew that they would have to protect one another during their flightless time. What a merciful God we have – He watches over every creature in such a tender and caring way!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7)

Our Heavenly Father does not leave us defenseless. He is not like the devil who will kick us while we are down. Peter warns us that ole slew foot is like a roaring lion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 )

God does not leave us to be devoured by the devil. We have nothing to fear because while we are spiritually molting, the Lord is right there protecting us against evil and the evil one. God wanted us to rest assured so much so that He penned it in the Word by giving us an example when Jesus prayed for us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13)

One of the swan’s predators is the wolf. This beautiful creature can be attacked without notice and quickly. We’ve all see nature shows about wolves and how they run in packs and have no mercy on their unsuspecting victims. Just because we are saved does not mean that we are exempt from the wolves of this world. The devil sends his minions out within the very walls of our churches to attack from within.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Act 20:29)

We are to be vigilent, ready and prepared for the enemy. Notice that Luke does not say that the wolves are from the world but these wolves are among us in our very churches! This tells me that we should be even more vigilent in this case. We have a tendancy to let down our guard when we are in church because we believe we are in a safe haven. However, the wolves are among us and the Word says they are grievous. Noah Webster says that grievous means

“Causing grief or sorrow.”

Have you ever been prey to a grievous wolf in your own church which has caused you grief or sorrow? The Word says it will happen – Luke said “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,”! Luke knew it would happen. Don’t be deceived – be alert! Know your Bible so that you can spot trouble from afar. God gives us more and more discernment and wisdom and we grow in grace.

And lastly, I discovered that the swan makes a trumpet-like sound like that of a french horn. That is why it is called the Trumpeter Swan. God used the trumpet sounds quite often in the Scriptures. The word trumpet appears 59 times in the Bible. A trumpet was sounded when danger was spotted. Christ left us His Word so that we would be able to find encouragement within its pages. He left us His Word so that we could learn to spot danger. Seeing a swan encourages us to be in the Word, seeking out the warnings. The prophecies of the end times are good examples of these warnings. The trumpet was also used to make an announcement. My favorite verse relating to a trumpet is found in Rev. 4:1, where the rapture is depicted.

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev 4:1)

Jesus Christ will call us up, “Come up hither!”

1 Thess. 4:17-18, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (17) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (18 )

Glory! Does this not comfort you? Just as I sat tranquil and comforted watching the beautiful swans on that pond, so should you be with these words!

The next time you see the Trumpeter Swan, I hope you see our Magnificent and Almighty Lord in its beautiful features.

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (1 Tim 6:15)

Dear God…
Oh Lord, my God, I sit amazed
At Your creation, with beauty bright
Revealing Truths in such bless’ed ways
Reflecting Your power and might.




For the Master’s Use

Photography by Bob Sabo

Are you a Christian ready for the Master to use? Do you allow yourself to be used of Him? So many are aching and in need of a tender touch or kind word in today’s world. This is a two-week devotional originally written 2008 in hopes that a Christian would come across it and find it helpful!



Day 1

Gleaning Gold

~Revelation 1:3 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.

Nuggets of Truth

The Apostle John exhorted the believers not only to read this “difficult” book of the Bible but also to hear what God had to say. Moreover, he did not stop there. He added the little word keep in the latter part of the verse. We can’t just read and hear but we must keep and not part with what God has taught us. Noah Webster defines the word “keep” as:

To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

Anyone can read and anyone can hear. But not just anyone can keep in their hearts the Scriptures they have learned. Keeping denotes an act of hanging onto the doctrine that we have learned and not departing from it. When we keep, or hang onto a doctrine we have learned, it means we are practicing it. You’ve heard the old saying, “You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk!” A person who puts into practice what he has been taught is truly a disciple of God’s Word. That is why it is important to study the Bible and get the meat that God wants us to grow by.

This is so important that God speaks of it twice in Revelation:

~Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Refining the Gold

We don’t have much time left. Read, hear and keep what God has given to you as you do your Bible studies. What are you doing with those verses that you are reading or hearing preached? Do you apply them to your heart? Are you abiding by what God has taught you? This is how the believer grows in Christ.



Day 2

Gleaning Gold

~James 1:25-26 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Nuggets of Truth

Continuing on the same thought from yesterday’s devotional, we see that James exhorted the Christians to continue in the Word. It seems to me that there were “religious” people in the midst of the Christians and James was pointing out the differences. What were these differences between the “religious” and the born-again believer?  James states that the believer will:

  1. Look to the Word of God which gives salvation and frees us from the bonds of sin – the perfect law can only be made perfect by Jesus Christ and His work on the cross!
  2. Continue in the faith
  3. Not be one who will forget what he hears the preacher say but will take it with him
  4. Apply what he has learned and will use it – he will “do the work” … not work to get saved but work after salvation for the cause of Christ.  Christ, Himself, said: 

~John 4:34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

5. Be blessed in his work – When a believer has joy and peace, everything he does for the cause of Christ is blessed by God.

6. Hold his tongue – will not be a backbiter, talebearer, one who speaks evil of others.  The fruit of the Spirit cannot produce this type of heart.  The heart that is submitted to the Spirit’s guidance will be the total opposite.

Refining the Gold

Continuing in the faith is not easy.  No one said it would be.  Christ warned us that the world would hate what the Christian has to say.

~Matthew 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Don’t be discouraged – continue in the faith – do the work that the Lord would have you to do with the gifts that His Spirit has given to you.  The Holy Spirit has given to you specific gifts that, when used with the right motives (to glorify Jesus Christ), will produce much for the Kingdom!  The “religious” only serve in vain according to today’s verses.  They are doing all the things they have been taught to do but their heart is not in their religion.

~Matthew 15:8-9  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.   But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

It would be awful to “think” you’re doing all the right things in your religion only to find out at the time of judgment that your beliefs have been in vain! The Christian does not need to worry himself because his faith has been based on the work of Jesus Christ and that work is perfect and eternal. However, the Christian should busy himself with working for the Kingdom by telling others how to be born again – encouraging those in need of a kind word – giving to and helping those in need – exhorting the brethren to live righteously. Our work is far from over and won’t be until the Master calls us home! What a day that will be!!!



Day 3

Gleaning Gold

~Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Nuggets of Truth

This is a popular verse to show God’s patience with mankind. Yes, He surely is patient for if He weren’t, I would surely be dead today. But there is so much more to this verse, my friends. The first part of the verse is the actual meat of this verse. God instructs us to do something and then He will do something in return.

The Jews would tear their clothing as a sign of great grieving, distress and sorrow. I read Joel 2:13 and I see that God wants us to go to this drastic measure with our hearts. How convicting is this? How truly sorrowful are we when we sin? Do we grieve with intensity over hurting our Heavenly Father? Are we distressed at what we have done? Do we have honest sorrow in our hearts for our wickedness? Yes, the born-again believer is blood bought and is saved from eternal damnation because of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. But when we sin after salvation, our conviction should be intense! This is what I believe the Lord is trying to tell us today.

As we glean from this verse in Joel today, let’s present our sins to God in the same manner. Let’s look at sin the way our Heavenly Father looks at it – vile and despicable.

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

Isaiah brought this out. Our sinfulness is so unclean that even the “good” things we do are looked upon as filthy rags in God’s eyes. Strong’s defines the Hebrew word for “filthy” in this verse as:

H5708
עד
‛êd
ayd
From an unused root meaning to set a period (compare H5710 and H5749); the menstrual flux (as periodical); by implication (in plural) soiling: – filthy.

When a filthy rag is compared to this definition, it puts our sin into perspective and gives us a glimpse of God’s view of it.

Refining the Gold

As of today, let’s look at our sinfulness in a new light. When we see sin as God sees sin, it helps us to glean from Joel’s words. We must figuratively rend our hearts (tear our hearts) and be truly sorrowful for sinning against God. When we prepare our hearts in this manner, we become truly repentant and are able to draw nigh to our God! It is then that we see that He is:

…gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.



Day 4

Gleaning Gold

Photography by Bob Sabo

~Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Nuggets of Truth

Isaiah’s words of having “perfect peace” are more meaningful than meets the eye. There can be no perfect peace without Jesus Christ. Without salvation, man is treading water in a sea of despair – searching for happiness through things and circumstances. However, Isaiah states that God will keep us in perfect peace. How?

It is wonderful how God’s Word perfectly explains itself. Verses are supported elsewhere making for a wonderful explanation of God’s plan for us. Jesus Christ gives peace to those who wish it.

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

He is the keeper of peace. It is His to give! No one can have true peace without Him. Why? Because He gave His life for us to have peace. He fulfilled the Old Testament peace offering for our sins. Only Christ could fulfill this offering as He was perfect and without sin. He gave His life, shed His blood so we could have this peace.

~Leviticus 3:1-2 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

This peace is provided by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for our sins. It is this acceptance, this trust in Him, that brings eternal salvation. No more do we need to worry where our eternity will be spent because Christ took care of it on Calvary. Now that we have the peace of knowing where we will spend eternity, we continue our Christian walk working for the Master.

Refining the Gold

Today’s verse says that we will also have peace if our minds are “stayed on thee.” When we are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, nothing can persuade us to move in another direction away from God. Our faith is firm – our beliefs are strong – our walk is straight and focused.

Nothing can convince us that salvation is dependent on anything else but Jesus Christ’s perfect work on the cross. We place our minds, hearts and lives on Him for salvation. It was His righteousness that paid that peace offering. It was He who was able to justify salvation because of His sinless life. It was His blood that was sacrificed for us. It was His blood that cleansed us and pardoned us. Without Him, we cannot even hope to be good enough to enter Heaven!

After we have trusted in His perfect sacrifice and peace offering on our behalf, He promises that He will keep us in perfect peace. There is nothing better than perfect. Perfect means no deviation. It is above all else and cannot be removed. Noah Webster defines it as:

Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; a perfect work; a perfect system.

Our Peace Offering was finished by Jesus Christ. His sacrifice was complete and not defective – it was a perfect work – His salvation is the perfect system for mankind! That is why there is perfect peace to those who trust in Him! Many pretend they have this peace but once left alone in the dark of night, they ponder and know in their hearts that they are a sham. There could never be perfect peace if we had to depend upon ourselves for salvation. There could never be perfect peace if we had to depend upon ourselves to keep our salvation. Why? Because we are not perfect! We are most assuredly defective! What peace He gives the true born-again believer.



Day 5

Gleaning Gold

~Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Nuggets of Truth

Before salvation, I can honestly say that my thoughts and my desires did not focus on God. My life was spent doing what I wanted to do. I did what felt good. I went to church every Sunday but did not live the life that I claimed to esteem on Sundays. I was a religious die hard, however, rooted in my upbringing, and clinging to doctrines taught as a child by my parents and my priest. I defended a “faith” never confirming whether or not it was based on God’s own Word, the Scriptures. I was trying to serve two masters – my religion and my flesh (sin), which were both being controlled by the devil. Some may find this a harsh statement. However, the Word says that anyone who is in a religion that is based on what I can do to enter Heaven and not on the fact that Christ did everything for us, is serving another master.

Christ’s words in Luke 16 help us to understand that one cannot mix “religion” and the world. You must have one or the other. It is our nature to love the one and pay less attention to the other. Trying to be religious will always be a battle in futility. The flesh will continue to win because we have a sin nature and it is natural for us to desire sin. Jesus said in:

~John 8:42-44 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

When we know the Truth, the truth will guide us and will keep us. Every man is a liar according to God’s Word:

~Romans 3:4a God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;

Why believe a man when one knows man is a liar? Why base our eternal destination based on man’s words? It stands to reason that you would want to know the truth from the source that cannot lie, wouldn’t you? The Word says that God does not lie as He is not a man:

~Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie;

His Word is perfect and does not contain lies. Therefore, you can trust God’s Word to lead you in the right direction. His truths will set you free through salvation in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.

~John 8:31-32 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.

Jesus provides not only salvation but He sets us free from the bondage of Satan or religion. We are no longer serving two masters but now possess the Holy Spirit and are now able to say that we know the Father. We are now children of God and have a relationship with the Father as a child has with his own earthly father.

Refining the Gold

As believers, we have the pure Word of God to guide us. The Author of the Word, the Holy Spirit, inspired and instructed Godly men to pen what God intended for mankind to have. We are truly blessed to have God’s Word in our lives. The word “Author” is found three times in the Bible, all three in the New Testament:

~1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

~Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

~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.

This same Author, God, does not want us to be in a state of confusion. He desires peace for us. No longer do we have to serve to masters. We, as believers, now serve Him. He also is the Author of our salvation. His perfect and sinless life and death on the cross became the atonement we desperately needed to overcome serving two masters. Lastly, He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Notice Hebrews 12:2 says He is the finisher of our faith? Once we place our faith in Christ and the salvation He provides, our salvation is finished. We have a different Master to serve! Let’s serve Him and glorify Him in word and action!



Day 6

Gleaning Gold

~Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

~Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Nuggets of Truth

The unbelieving world does not believe that we have God’s Word in writing today. They believe that the Bible has contradictions and are man’s words. However, they are placing God in a box and limiting His power according to their own abilities. The God of creation is quite capable of keeping His Word in writing for His creation. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

~Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

~Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Man is ignorant to think that God cannot keep His Word. Man is ignorant to think that God’s Word has been polluted with man’s thoughts. God said in our opening verses that His Word is true – from the very beginning. God’s judgments (including every person’s sins) will endure forever. There is not one person who will go unjudged. God’s Word also says that His words are pure and He shall keep His word and preserve His word forever. Why would God do this?

~Proverbs 22:20-21 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

God has given us His Word as proof of His love for mankind. In the Scriptures are everything we need to live our lives and be drawn to salvation. In the precious pages of the Bible are the words of truth that can lead the lost to salvation. Is it any wonder that the devil is desperately using religion and the lost to corrupt God’s Word? Satan does not want people to know that God has preserved His words through these thousands of years. Satan does not want mankind to read the blessed truths found within its pages.

Refining the Gold

To the true born-again believer, God’s Word must be obeyed and applied to our lives in order for us to better serve Him. Let’s cling to every word from the Blessed Book that He has given to us.

~Deuteronomy 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

God has not left us to swim aimlessly in the world’s seas. Instead, He has left us specific instructions which bring truth and peace. What a wonderful God we serve!



Day 7

Gleaning Gold:

Photography by Bob Sabo

~2 Timothy 3:1-4, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Nuggets of Truth:

As one reads today’s Gold, can we not fully see ourselves in the end times? How frightening it is to see the end unfold before us. Incidences we never dreamed would happen in our lifetime are happening before our very eyes! I never dreamed that there would come a leader in our country who would literally swoop people off their feet during campaigning! Women were fainting and screaming at the sight of our current President. When I was first born again and reading about these end times in my Bible, I would ask myself how the antichrist could come into power with such force and control over the world’s population. I now can see how the antichrist will control the world just by watching this past year’s presidential campaigns.

Am I afraid of what our future holds for us? No, I’m not afraid. I am, however, saddened that our beloved country has allowed herself to get to the place we now find ourselves. The Word says that we are in for some very difficult times – times that have never been experienced before. Times were rough during the Civil War. Times were unbelievably difficult during the Great Depression when the stock market crashed. Times were hard during the holocaust for the millions of Jews who were murdered by Hitler and his minions. But the Word of God says that there is a time that is coming when the entire world will be affected by the great trials coming. The believer does not need to be afraid. We are the children of the King and He has promised us peace through our trials and tribulations.

~Matthew 10:26-30 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Unbelieving mankind, however, has every reason to be afraid. He is battling the one who has the ability to destroy his soul. The devil is very much alive and well on planet Earth, my friend. He has control over the unsaved and they don’t even realize it. Their minds are in a fog – they don’t see clearly. Their hearts are hardened and all things morally good are becoming less and less prevalent in their lives. In the end, they will be totally at the mercy of the antichrist and the devil will have won their souls.

The believer, however, is not in this predicament. Yes, the believer can lose his physical life but his soul has been claimed, bought and paid for, by the blood of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Refining the Gold:

There are so many cares and burdens being carried by believers today. Not only do we have our every day lives, but we see the predictions of God’s Word unfolding before our very eyes! The believer could be afraid but we do not need to be. The Lord has given us consolation in His Word so that we may find peace in tumultuous times.

~John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

~Luke 12:22-32 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Why fret when the One who is in total control of all things is there for us until the day we stand before Him? Our Saviour gave His everything for us – why should He stop now? You don’t stop short of providing for those you love, do you? Christ certainly won’t! He’s preparing a place for us and will take us there soon! Look up, Christian. Thy redemption draweth nigh!!



Day 8

Gleaning Gold:

~Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Nuggets of Truth:

I love how Christ used word pictures, don’t you? His teachings were always very clear because they appealed to the senses. Everyone of His day knew how to garden or had someone at home who knew how to garden.

Good soil just does not happen. It takes nurturing by the gardener: weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, etc. As we cultivate our hearts, we need to remove the weeds which can overtake us. Worldliness is the weed in the believer’s life. Fertilizing our hearts with God’s Word will most assuredly bring good soil and will most assuredly yield bountiful fruit.

We are exhorted to read and study God’s Word many times:

~Matthew 21:42a Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures,

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

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

~Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

~Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Why do you think it is so important to read and study the Bible? First, it is there that you will find eternal life! That’s the foremost reason. Secondly, it is in the Word that we learn how to apply its teachings to our lives. The Word provides everything we need for day-to-day living and how to deal with each trial and circumstance that comes our way. We receive comfort, patience, peace and in turn we have hope. Thirdly, the Word provides us with a foundation for our beliefs so we are able to recognize false doctrine when it is presented to us.

Refining the Gold

~Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

~2 Peter 3:16 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.

God opens our hearts at the time of salvation by giving us the Holy Spirit. It is He who gives us understanding of the Scriptures. The unsaved cannot understand. In fact, they “wrest” the Scriptures, meaning they pervert the Scriptures. Our last two verses make it quite clear as to why this is so. The believer receives understanding of the Scriptures because God is the one who opens their understanding. The unbeliever does not possess the Holy Spirit and, therefore, pervert the Word of God and twist it to mean whatever they want.

God’s Word is final.

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



Day 9

Gleaning Gold

~Ephesians 3:17-19, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Nuggets of Truth

Rooted and grounded in love … just what is Paul teaching us here? To be grounded in our faith is to base our faith on Jesus Christ, our foundation.

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

With Christ as the foundation, a believer now has the opportunity to grow as a Christian as he reads the Word and allows himself to be taught by the Holy Spirit. Like a plant, as the believer grows, his spiritual roots grow deeper and deeper and he becomes stable and well planted in his beliefs. As we glean from Ephesians 3:17-19, we find that the love of God is the center of the very life of the believer. It is this love that permeates every level of the believer’s life.

~1 John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

When someone claims to be “born again,” it becomes evident in his actions. The act of dwelling implies permanence in these verses in 1 John. Anyone who has experienced the love of God cannot help but to expose that love in his actions and words. Anyone who has experienced God’s mercy in their lives cannot help but share that mercy with others.

Refining the Gold

~2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

As we build on the foundation of Christ and root ourselves in His Word, we find ourselves dwelling in God’s love. As a result, we are able to stand fast and hang onto what Christ has taught us. We are not blown about with the wind of false doctrine but we hold to the traditions taught us in the Word. Not the traditions of men, as some “religions” teach, but the traditions based on the foundation of the world, Jesus Christ. Christ is seen in and revealed throughout the Old Testament and these “traditions” from the Word are the very foundation of the Christian church.

In these end times, it is all the more important for us to follow these instructions. Let’s be rooted – let’s dwell in God’s love – let’s stand fast and hold to what we have been taught in God’s Word! God, in His great love, has promised us consolation, good hope and comfort during these upcoming trials which will come upon the whole world.



Day 10

Gleaning Gold

~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.

Nuggets of Truth

I enjoy watching the videos at Way of the Master as the interviewers question people on the street about where they will spend eternity. You can see by the expression on their faces that they think the interviewer is a tad nuts. The Word tells us that the preaching of the cross will sound foolish to those who are not born again.

Many believe that the Bible is man’s words and not God’s. Since the preaching of the cross is foolishness to the unbeliever, it is easy to see why the unbelieving world views it this way. But God’s Word are HIS words penned for mankind. They are not the Apostles opinions or the church father’s opinions. Paul tells us that Timothy would share Paul’s words with the church as Paul’s ways were in Christ. He did not want Timothy to teach man’s traditions but those which were in Christ.

~1 Corinthians 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

God did not use ordinary men to bring His words to mankind. He used holy men – men who lived by faith and God was the center of their lives.

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

Refining the Gold

So why does mankind close their minds to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? They have heard so much false doctrine that their heads are filled with garbage. They are right where Satan wants them – in total darkness.

2 Peter 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

It’s easy to see why there are so many “religions” on this earth and why it is so confusing to the average unbeliever. But we have God’s Holy Word and His Holy Spirit is at the center of guiding the unbeliever to salvation.

~1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 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.

If all the spiritual leaders of the different “Christian” religions in the world were to follow these verses, there would be no divisions. However, Satan has been busy dividing and causing man to be deceived.



Day 11

Gleaning Gold

~Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Nuggets of Truth

Like the Sermon on the Mount where Christ gave us the Beatitudes, this verse begins with “Blessed is.” Whenever I see these words, I pay attention. I want God’s blessings, don’t you? Today’s verse encourages us to trust in the Lord. Furthermore, in so doing we shall be blessed.

I realize that this is easier said than done – especially when a believer is going through an extremely difficult trial. However, when we trust the Lord during our trials, we are not busy worrying. Trusting God is an action of the heart. We acknowledge that the trial is beyond our control and not one ounce of effort on our part is going to change things. Once we relinquish our worries and leave the unknown to God, peace follows.

God promises to direct us no matter how complicated or impossible our trial seems to be. With this, He provides this wonderful peace that goes beyond comprehension. The believer no longer has to struggle with life but has the Creator at His side directing him along the way. The Master fulfills the well-known Proverb and provides His child with comfort and peace.

Refining the Gold

No matter how difficult life gets, and it will get harder, we know that our God walks alongside us. As the wonderful piece “Footprints” points out, there are even times when He carries us due to our weariness. We must build on this trust after each trial. We must look back at the previous trials and see God’s hand at work in our lives. When we do this, we can see just what He brought us through. This reflection will build our trust in Him.

To the young believer, I encourage you to make these two verses your life’s verse. As daily problems and trials come your way, apply these verses. Repeat them and ask the Lord to guide you. Pour out your heart to Him and tell Him that you don’t understand and you don’t know what to do. God will provide peace in the midst of the storm. The more the young believer applies these verses to his life, the more he will turn to the Lord immediately with all his burdens and trials!

~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.



Day 12

Gleaning Gold

~Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Nuggets of Truth

I am so thankful that I received the garment of salvation. Prior to my salvation, I had the coverings of sin. But now, according to Isaiah, I wear a robe of righteousness provided by Jesus Christ, Himself! Why do we need a robe of righteousness, you may ask? We can only come before God in holiness. We all know that everyone of us has sinned and is born with a sin nature. None of us are good enough to come before a Holy God!

It has been this way since Adam and Eve. Here they were already able to be in God’s presence. He walked with them in the Garden of Eden! Instead, they chose to sin and, therefore, gave up the privilege of sweet communion with the Lord. In fact, they tried to cover their bodies with clothing made by their own hands. But was the Word teaches us, this was not sufficient – it was not enough.

~Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

This is where God first teaches us on this topic. God has to be the one to provide the “clothing” for us. The first mention of shedding blood is mentioned in the Word for this very reason. God made Adam and Eve coats made from animal skins and clothed them. Blood had to be shed to make these coats.

~Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God used this account to teach us. Through the Old Testament, Jewish law pointed towards Christ’s work on the cross. The New Testament points back to the cross and teaches us today how we, too, may have this covering. Prior to salvation, we desperately try to dress ourselves our own way. We think that by doing good deeds, going to church, giving money to the poor, etc., will be enough to balance our lives. We cannot come to God dressed in our own works of righteousness, my friend. Isaiah tells us exactly what our righteousness appears as to 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.

God is the one who has to be the one to provide our covering! We cannot do it for ourselves. Our church cannot be the one to provide the covering. Our good works cannot provide the covering. As with Adam and Eve, God has to be the one to provide our covering!

Christ taught us in Matthew about what happened to those who tried to enter the king’s son’s wedding with their own clothing. The man did not take the wedding garment which was provided for the guests and required to go to the wedding. Notice what happened to this man who tried to enter in with his own garment.

~Matthew 22:12-13 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 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.

Refining the Gold

The Book of Revelation tells us that we will be attending a marriage supper like that the one that Christ taught us about in Matthew. That marriage supper is coming, my friend. Christ’s bride will be clothed in white raiment – white because we are covered by Christ’s righteousness, not ours. Christ is our righteousness.

~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.



Day 13

Gleaning Gold

~Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

Nuggets of Truth

Faithfulness – today’s definition of this word is so diluted compared to what Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary states:

Fidelity; loyalty; firm adherence to allegiance and duty; as the faithfulness of a subject.

Faithfulness’ definition is dependent on the lifestyle of the person to whom it is directed. For example, a person may be a faithful employee but be unfaithful to his spouse. This person cannot apply the true definition of faithfulness to his life. In my lifetime, I have seen faithfulness dwindling. People use to be faithful in going to church, in reading their Bibles, in telling others about Christ, etc.

True faithfulness is rare. However, there are many who will boast of their faithfulness. Being raised a religious catholic, I was one of those who boasted of my faithfulness. However, when I was made new in Christ, I discovered that true faithfulness produces humility. God knows if we are truly faithful or not. If we are, it is evident in our actions – we do not need to boast of it.

~Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

Refining the Gold

Just how faithful are we as children of the King of Kings? Do we give up easily when the tough situations of life arise?

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Our faithfulness can be achieved because God is faithful! Knowing that God is faithful brings peace to the believer. There is no need for worry, no need for concern, no need to think on things that have yet to happen. God wishes to fulfill His plan through us.

~Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Knowing God’s faithfulness helps the believer to rest assured that we can proceed in the path that He has set before us without concern. All we have to do is be found faithful! We are not to be faithful in our works leaving our relationship with the Lord to suffer. This is not the same thing. Works are good but not at the expense of our relationship with God. I hope that makes sense to you. As a “faithful catholic,” I did good works believing that this would enhance my relationship with God. However, I did so at the expense of my relationship with Him.

Now that I am born again, I must be faithful to Him and nurture my relationship with Him, just as any child would nurture his relationship with his parents. As I seek Him and His will for my life through the Word, through His man, etc., I am nurturing that relationship. This faithfulness in our relationship will be evident in my actions. I do not need to boast of it – it will be self evident.

Examine yourself – why are you doing good deeds? If you are truly born again and are a child of the King, it will be automatic – no need for boasting here. However, if you are doing good deeds because that is what is commanded of you by your church, then you will not be found faithful by the Judge of all. You will find yourself lacking when you stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ.



Day 14

Gleaning Gold

~1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Nuggets of Truth

I was recently discussing God’s wondrous creation with a blogging friend. I recently visited Alaska and was able to tour this beautiful land. Each moment was spent gazing at God’s handiwork. The ultimate artist painted vistas that a mere camera could not capture! My eyes filled with tears when I beheld the majesty of Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain! Again, I wept when I saw my first bald eagle nestled in the tree top. I was then filled with awe when I witnessed a baby humpback whale playfully demonstrating its strength and gracefulness for almost half an hour in front of our boat.

As a child of the Creator, I appreciate God’s handiwork and give Him the glory and the praise! Our Heavenly Father has blessed us by giving us such beauty to behold each day. When we see this beauty, it is our opportunity to glorify Him and praise Him for His wondrous love for us!

However, to the unbeliever, God’s creation will convict their unbelief. The Bible states that the unbeliever will be without excuse when they stand before Him and claim that they “didn’t know God existed.”

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

Refining the Gold

Just gazing at a sky filled with starts will cause the heart to wonder. I like Ray Comfort’s statement to atheists:

Everything cannot come from nothing!

God honors a soul that sees creation and wonders if there is a God. Romans 1:20 tells us that mankind is without excuse because nature itself speaks of Him. Therefore, God will see to it that this soul has the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the unbeliever chooses not to believe in God, he is accountable for disregarding even nature, God’s creation. What will the unbeliever say when he stands before Christ?

~Romans 14:10b …for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.




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




Word of God Devotional

This devotional was done in December 2007. My desire was to concentrate on God’s word and to help others have that same desire! This is a 28-day devotional strictly dealing with the Bible as God’s Word and how no church doctrine or man’s word can supersede what God hath said.



Day 1 – Are You Reading?

How many hours a week (not counting church services) do you spend in God’s Word? Do you read a paragraph here and there? Or do you have a structured reading time? Are you one of those who reads a page from a little devotional booklet and call that your Bible reading time? Do you have the Word of God boxed down to a five-minute time slot? If you are not a born-again child of God, then it is understandable. However, to the born-again Christian, this is a crucial topic in today’s world. We are in the age of i-Pods, the Internet, cell phones, etc. One can get free Bible software with the Strong’s Concordance and Noah Webster’s Dictionary right at their fingertips on their cell, PDA and PC. The art of studying the Word of God with opened books has now been made available in electronic format. However, with all this technology, does the Christian really spend more time in the Word? Do you?

It is so important for the Christian to be in God’s Word! (Psa 119:11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Being in the Word keeps us from sin! Compromise has set into the heart of the believer in today’s church. We see it all around us. The world has come into the church through music, various “versions” of the Bible, manner of dress, etc. These compromises could only have entered because the believer was not prepared. If being in the Word keeps us from sin, then what does this mean of those who have allowed compromise to settle into their hearts and, as a result, into their churches? Compromise is sin, therefore, it means that the believer is not in the Word of God the way he ought to be.

The next 30 days will be spent encouraging you to be in the Word – whether you are saved or not, you cannot build your faith unless you have the Word of God as the main part of your life. To the lost, my goal is to encourage you to get into the Word so that you may be saved. To the born-again Christian, my goal is to renew that zeal to be in God’s Word, and enjoy it like we once had when we were first saved.

There are many names for Jesus recorded in the Bible: the Good Shepherd, the King of Kings, the Word of God, etc. Why do you think Jesus called Himself the Word of God? The Word of God draws us to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The Word brings salvation to the unbeliever! The unbeliever does not instinctively go to the Bible on a daily basis. His faith cannot be built because he is not in the Word. It is not until he is led to the Word or he hears the Word being preached by a preacher or soul winner that he comes to a saving knowledge of Christ.

However, if the devil can hinder someone from being in the Word, then he can stunt his spiritual growth or keep him from getting saved. Just as you would start suffering from various illnesses if you were undernourished, you will suffer at the hands of the devil if you are spiritually undernourished. To the unbeliever, this means you will suffer burning in hell for all eternity along with the devil. To the believer, this means you will encounter problem after problem and live a defeated life because you will no strength to endure your fiery trials.

If we are not growing in the Lord by reading and studying the Bible, we open ourselves up to false doctrine. Going to church or having a ministry does not keep the devil from attacking you. The devil wants to devour us, my friend. Peter was speaking to believers when he said, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 ) Peter could have used any other analogy but chose to use roaring lion. Why, do you think? Have you ever watched a nature show on lions and the way they hunt for food? If their prey is a larger animal, they go immediately for a leg to take them down and then they go straight for the throat. Satan is no different. If you are not in your Bible, arming yourself, ole slew foot will take you down – slowly but surely. Then he will go for your throat. The Christian who is in his Bible is prepared for the unexpected. He is armed with verses in his heart ready to meditate on when they are needed. He knows what to do when a difficult situation comes up. He does not have to run to his Pastor or his best friend to find out what to do because God already gave him what he needed through His Word. (Eph 6:11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. This verse does not say to gather your Christian friends around you to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. It says to put on the whole armour of God.

1 Peter 5:8 is a beautiful verse and it is quoted frequently. However, when you read the two verses before it, you find that God does not intend for us to be prey for Satan. Our Shepherd is watching and caring for us. (1 Pet 5:6-7) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (6) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (7) The flesh is what keeps one from the Word of God. A humble Christian submits to God and what the Word commands of him. Noah Webster defines humble as:

Lowly; modest; meek; submissive; opposed to proud,haughty, arrogant or assuming. In an evangelical sense, having a low opinion of one’s self, and a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God

You may not think you are prideful but you are if you are not spending time in the Word. You are making a statement: “I can live today without the help of God – I can do it on my own!” That’s exactly what the devil wants you to do. That is why Satan can attack the believer like a roaring lion! When we submit to the Lord and spend time in His Word, He guards us from the enemy, He gathers us to Him and hides us under His wing for protection, and He guides us in the path that we should go. His guidance can be found in His Word – He promises us that He will not leave us in the dark. (Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Your path will be a dark one if you don’t spend any time in your Bible. This is when you will begin to wonder where God is. You will begin to doubt that you are His child. You will begin to fret over life’s problems and you will waiver in your faith.

So why do you think spending time in the Word is one of the hardest areas for a Christian? The roaring lion does not want you in the Word because he knows that this is where your power from on high lies. (Eph 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Your Sword (the Bible) is what will keep temptation at bay. Prayer is another area that Satan tries to hinder in the believer’s life, but that’s a whole other devotional series! Satan will do his best to keep you from your power, the Word of God. How has he succeeded in his efforts? Some of you don’t believe that you have the true Word of God in your possession. If you knew that you were to receive a letter directly from God in the mail, wouldn’t you run to your mailbox to retrieve it? You do have letters from God right there in the pages of your Bible! Right in front of you! The devil has managed to have over 100 different “versions” on the shelves so the believer doesn’t know which one to choose. Words have been twisted and removed to form a watered-down version of God’s Word – one without power. The devil’s minions have managed to convince man that there is no “true” Bible.

Also, by attacking God’s Word, the devil has succeeded in convincing many that Christ is not God. This is nothing new. He started his attack in the Garden of Eden with “Yea, hath God said” Gen. 3:1 If he can cause people to question the very Word of God, then he can remove the focus on salvation through Christ, the Son of God, the second in the Trinity. That is why it is so important for you to be in the Word, my friend. Christ knew just how important the Word was to us that He made certain that it was recorded in a Book for us to have. We are so blessed to be able to have a Bible in each household today – some households have several! It was not so in the days prior to the printing press. We ought to be grateful!

Let’s go back to why Christ was referred to as the Word of God. He was the mouthpiece of God the Father while He was on earth. When He left to go back to Heaven, His words were then recorded in a Book, our blessed Bible. This was not a new thing. Recording God’s words in a Book is seen throughout the Old Testament as well. Christ lives on in His Word. Salvation was from Him in the Old Testament (Jonah 2:9) and it is still from Him in the New Testament. (Act 4:12) His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us at the moment of salvation and reveals what the Word of God has to say to us. (Joh 14:26) 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. Why would Christ leave His Holy Spirit with the born again believer if it weren’t important to remember what He had said? The Word is important! Don’t let the devil fool you!

Do not take this lightly, dear Christian. Having God’s holy Word in our possession is not an insignificant matter – He left us His Word in Book form for a reason. (Exo 17:14) And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. and (Rev 1:11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. God is a firm believer of having His Word in book form. He knew how important it would be for us!

Christ left us with the very armour that will help us through our pilgrimage here on earth. To trivialize our Bible reading time into a 5-minute devotional, or “one minute with God,” is to allow Satan access to our very throats! He is not out there waiting to devour unbelievers! After all, he already has them. However, if he can cause Christians to have no power or strength, he can bring them down – then he can go for their throats! Our power and strength lie with the Word of God. The more you are in the Word, the less you will fall to temptation. Satan knows this and that is why he attacks the Christian’s Bible reading time. The better you eat and exercise, the healthier you are and the better your body functions as a whole – your mind is even clearer and you feel as though you have purpose and direction. It is the same with the Word of God. The better you are at your Bible reading and exercising what you are taught, the healthier you will be spiritually as a Christian – your mind will be clearer, no doubts, and you will have clear direction.

In closing, here are a few verses that describe Christ as the Word. This should compel you to read and to study, knowing that His Word is vital in your life. Please, Christian, ask yourself why God would put this particular description of Christ in His Word. It is because He knows how important it is for His children to read, study and grow. (2 Ti 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. He did not say that you should study to show yourself approved to yourself, your Pastor, or to others but to show yourself approved unto God!

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

(Joh 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 Jn 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 Jn 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

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

(Rev 19:16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

You will have to stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords one day and explain why you were spiritually weak. It won’t be because He did not leave you with the tools to be a strong Christian. My friend, you can’t build a car engine with a Q-tip. God did not leave you here on earth with a Q-tip. He left you here with the Sword of the Lord – His Holy Word – through Christ Jesus! You have no excuse, my friend. If you are not born again, it’s not because there isn’t a preacher or a Bible everywhere you turn. If you are saved and defeated, it’s not because you don’t have the tools. God has left you His very words breathed onto every page of the blessed King James Bible.



Day 2 – In a Book

From the beginning, God has desired to have His Word recorded in a book of some kind. I believe that it was so important to have God’s Words written in a book that He stated in His Word 12 times! The first historical record of God’s desire for His Word in written form can be found in the oldest book of the Bible, Job: (Job 19:23) Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

Why do you think God would want us to have His Word in written form?

(1) For an on-going memorial:

(Exo 17:14) And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

What was so important about this this first recorded war with Israel? Why did God request it be recorded in a book as a memorial? Matthew Henry’s comment is a precious blessing:

It was great encouragement to the people to see Joshua before them in the field of battle, and Moses above them on the hill. Christ is both to us; our Joshua, the Captain of our salvation, who fights our battles, and our Moses, who ever lives, making intercession above, that our faith fail not. Weapons formed against God’s Israel cannot prosper long, and shall be broken at last. Moses must write what had been done, what Amalek had done against Israel; write their bitter hatred; write their cruel attempts; let them never be forgotten, nor what God had done for Israel in saving them from Amalek. Write what should be done; that in process of time Amalek should be totally ruined and rooted out. Amalek’s destruction was typical of the destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his kingdom.

What a blessing! I also noticed that it was to be rehearsed – repeated. Noah Webster defines the word as:

1. To recite; to repeat the words of a passage or composition; to repeat the words of another.

God’s Word was not to be put away on a shelf or interpreted only by “certain” people. (2Pe 1:20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. It was to be repeated over and over. That is how we get to know God’s Word so completely that we no longer stumble. We have it committed to memory. (Deu 6:6-8 ) And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (6) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (7) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (8 ) What was to be a sign and as frontlets between our eyes? Verse six says God’s Words! Noah Webster defines frontlets as:

[from front.] A frontal or browband; a fillet or band worn on the forehead. Deu 6.

God wants us to keep His Word ever present in our hand and in our heads, as well as in our hearts (verse 6). We are to teach our children and others diligently in every aspect of our lives (verse 7). Why?

2. To point to Christ:

(Deu 31:24-26) And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, (24) That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, (25) Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. (26)

The priesthood (the Levites) was charged with baring the ark. The ark symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ. The Ark was made of shittim wood, an extremely strong and durable wood which represents our Saviour’s incorruptibility. It was covered with a gold in and out to represent Christ’s complete deity together with His humanity. The golden crown represents Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Ten Commandments were kept inside the Ark showing us that Christ kept these Commandments. The books of the Law were kept on the side of the Ark. Since Jesus is the Word of God, the Law (the books) were kept on the side of the Ark. The Law is made perfect through Him. (Mat 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. The Law is what makes us realize that we are sinners. (Gal 3:24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal 3:25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. The book of the Law shows mankind that it is impossible to keep the whole Law (James 2:10). I love how the Law was kept on the side of the Ark. It reminded me that Christ’s side was pierced at His death. (Joh 19:34) But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

What a beautiful picture of the Ark and Christ! The Ark is permanent – everlasting. Christ is everlasting – His Word is everlasting. God pointed that out in His Word as well. (Psa 119:144) The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

3. To make it permanent:

(Isa 30:8 ) Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

God’s Word does not expire – it does not become outdated – it is forever and ever. I was excited to find that there are seven occurrences in Scripture that contain the words “word, for ever”! Seven symbolizes perfection – God’s perfect number! The Word is perfect.

(2Sa 7:25) And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.

(Psa 105:8 ) He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

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

(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

(Isa 40:8 ) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

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

(1 Pe 1:25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

For the Word to be everlasting, never ending, we must have it in its entirety.

4. To make it complete:

(Jer 30:2) Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

(Jer 36:2) Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

Notice that God told Jeremiah to write ALL the words. God said this twice! What good is just some words? What good is a story without a beginning or an end? What good is a contract without the signature line? God’s Word is complete and God’s Word will come to pass.

(Num 11:23) And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

(Isa 55:11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

(Jer 1:12) Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

(Mat 5:18 ) 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.

The written Word of God in a Book, complete and perfect without error, points us to Christ and His coming judgment.

5. To warn us about what is to come:

(Jer 51:60) So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.

(Rev 1:1) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

(Rev 1:11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

We are without excuse, my friend. God has not left us without direction. He has given us a Book that contains His Words for mankind! From the beginning there has been an effort to corrupt God’s Word because of ole slew foot! (Gen 3:1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? The devil caused man to question God’s Word in the Garden of Eden and it continues today.

God was indeed adamant about recording His Word in a Book and preserving His Words. (Psa 12:6-7) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (6) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (7) If God cannot preserve His Word for mankind, then this is a contradiction and we can call God a liar. (Tit 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Since God cannot lie, then His Words are just as important as He says they are and they have been recorded in a book for us. How, then, can there be over 100 various versions of His Word? Each version has to be different from the main source or it cannot receive a copyright. Does God want parts of His Word to be removed? Does God want words added to His Words? (Rev 22:18-19) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (18 ) 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. (18 ) If God took time to point out that severe judgment would come to those who added to or took away from the words of the prophecy of this book, then He most certainly means it. (Mat 5:18 ) 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.

But Satan continues his attacks and tries to corrupt God’s Word because he knows that the Truth lies within its pages. (Rom 1:25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. This is Satan’s primary goal. If he can succeed in keeping people from reading God’s True Word, he can keep people from being saved. He can keep believers from growing and having power through Christ.

Please, Father, don’t let me get complacent
When it comes to reading Your blessed Word
May I keep it as frontlets ‘tween my eyes
Keeping e’er before me, the Spirit’s sword.



Day 3 – Thy Word

(Luk 6:47-48 ) Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: (47) He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (48 )

What sayings are being spoken of by Jesus? The sayings that He, Jesus, spoke! These same sayings were Holy Spirit breathed and recorded for our benefit. (2 Pet 1:16-21) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (16) For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (17) And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. (18 ) 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: (19) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (20 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (21)

Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1). The Gospel is written in His Word and is the very foundation for the believer. (Joh 6:68-69) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (68 ) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (69) The same words of eternal life that Jesus had for His apostles are found in the Bible. Jesus was laying a foundation for us.

(1 Cor 3:11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. That very foundation was the Rock of Ages! (1 Cor 10:4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. When we build our faith on Jesus Christ and His Word, we will be grounded in our faith. (Luk 6:48 ) He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Jesus Christ, the Word of God, has given us His Word throughout the ages for us to come to know Him. He can be found within the pages of our Bible – whether the Jew is searching in the Old Testament or the unbeliever is searching in the New Testament. Jesus can be found there. Why is the Word so important? It is the path to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, my friend.

David, the apple of God’s eye, knew this. He cherished God’s Word. He communicated this quite beautifully in Psalm 119. This beautiful Psalm has 176 verses and each are divided into 22 stanzas and each stanza has eight lines. Each stanza represents a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and each line within the stanza begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. This is known as an acrostic poem. For example, in Ps. 119:1-8, each verse begins with the Hebrew letter Aleph. Verses 9-16 begin with the Hebrew letter Beth, etc. The beauty of this Psalm is not thoroughly appreciated in English but David’s words are still very poignant.

Just in Psalm 119 alone, David refers to “Thy word” 38 times! David loved God’s word and he realized just what kind of an impact God’s word had upon him. So much so, he penned it so we would be able to know what God’s word can do for us:

1. It can keep us from sin:

(Psa 119:11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(Psa 119:101) I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

2. It reveals sin to us:

(Psa 119:158 ) I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

3. It convicts us:

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

(Psa 119:65) TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.

(Psa 119:67) Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

4. It is a guide to us:

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

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

5. It teaches us to remember it:

(Psa 119:16) I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

(Psa 119:38 ) Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

6. It must be kept:

(Psa 119:17) GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

7. It should be read and mediated upon:

(Psa 119:148 ) Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

8. It is to be feared (reverential):

(Psa 119:161) SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

9. It rejuvenates us:

(Psa 119:25) DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

(Psa 119:50) This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

(Psa 119:107) I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.

(Psa 119:154) Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

10. It strengthens us:

(Psa 119:28 ) My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

11. It brings mercy:

(Psa 119:41) VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

(Psa 119:58 ) I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

(Psa 119:170) Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

12. It brings hope:

(Psa 119:49) ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

(Psa 119:81) CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

(Psa 119:116) Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

(Psa 119:147) I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.

13. It brings comfort:

(Psa 119:76) Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

(Psa 119:82) Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

(Psa 119:114) Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

14. It brings joy:

(Psa 119:162) I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

15. It brings understanding:

(Psa 119:169) TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.

16. It brings judgment:

(Psa 119:43) And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.

16. It is to be trusted:

(Psa 119:42) So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

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

(Psa 119:140) Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

17. It is to be shared:

(Psa 119:74) They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

(Psa 119:172) My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

18. It is to be magnified:

(Psa 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.

Surely God’s Word is considered so important that David repeatedly stressed it in this particular Psalm! David is emphasizing that God’s Word was important to him and that God’s Word – the Bible – is to be an important part of our lives. Don’t take God’s Word lightly, my friend. If God Himself magnifies His Word above all, what do you think He expects of us?

His very Words bring life. (Joh 6:33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Jesus is our bread of life. Christ, Himself, told us that it is God’s Word that we should live by – not man’s words – not man’s traditions. We are to live by EVERY word of God. Jesus was quoting, (Deu 8:3) And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. when He said, (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

I tremble thinking of what awaits the lost. I tremble thinking what awaits the misguided who have been led astray by church traditions, dogmas and doctrines. I tremble thinking what awaits the leaders of any church who has added to God’s words or has taken away from God’s words. Christ emphasized that we are to live by every word of God! If Christ gave us such an important commandment, then how can man live by every word of God if man does not know the word of God? It’s not rocket science, my friend. God would not command us to live by His every word and yet not provide us with His words to live by. I love this analogy:

A man spit on the street and a policeman saw him do it. The policeman came to him and began to write him a ticket. The man was stunned. “What have I done to deserve this?” he said. The policeman told him it was against the law in this state and he would have to receive a ticket for breaking the law. The man claimed that he did not know that this was a law. The policeman’s response was, “Not knowing the law does not exempt you from the law. It is your responsibility to know the laws so you can keep them. The laws are all kept in the books and I must enforce them.”

Do not be deceived. Do not let the devil penetrate your heart so that you also say, (Gen 3:1b) … Yea, hath God said…?” God has given us His Word to follow – it is in written form and has been preserved for us throughout the years. To say that we do not have the true Word of God is to put God in a box and say that He is not able to keep His Word preserved.

(Psa 111:7-9) The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. (7) They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. (8 ) He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. (9)



Day 4 – The Light

(Luk 18:16-17) 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. (16) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (17) As I meditated on these verses this morning, I wondered why the Lord would compare heaven to a kingdom filled with those who received salvation like a child. What is it about a child that would lead our Saviour to encourage us to be like them when it comes to salvation? A child does not complicate an issue – he sees things simple. When my son was little, I asked him how the stars stay up in the heavens; he answered that “God holds them up there” and he believed that without any hesitation. If I were to ask an adult, on the other hand, I would be given scientific reasons.

You can be laid off from work and in the middle of a financial crisis in your home. But if your child asked you if everything was O.K., you would respond with reassurance that all was well and your child would believe you and would not question it. Correct? I believe that when Jesus used this analogy, He wanted to communicate to us that salvation is not a complicated issue. Nicodemus complicated it in John 3 – this Pharisee could not accept Christ’s words by exercising his faith. He had to put an intellectual twist to it. A child can see simplicity because he is simple. Life has not had a chance to take its toll in that young heart. A child clearly sees the light of the Gospel when an adult cannot.

Jesus Himself, The Word, compares Himself to the light of the world. His Word is what will light salvation’s message. Every believer can clearly look back on his salvation testimony and see God’s hand along the way. God lit up a path and that path led to Him. Even after salvation, God’s Word continues to be a light that directs us. (Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Jesus is the Light of the world. His salvation is evident throughout the precious pages of the Bible. (Joh 9:5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. The Word was in the beginning and with that Word He brings light. The light has many uses:

1. The believer does not remain in darkness:

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

The believer no longer has to live in the darkness of sin and be blinded. He has the Truth of the Word in his Bible and is able to see the light of Truth.

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

2. The Light directs the believer:

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

Our path is no longer in darkness. We are able to search the Scriptures and determine God’s will for us. Knowing God’s will lights our way and we don’t have to wonder. As long as we are in the Word, the enemy cannot fool us because the Word is a light and we will be able to see the enemy’s tactics and recognize what he is trying to do to us.

(Joh 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

3. The Light alerts us to false doctrine:

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

If someone comes to us preaching another gospel, we are able to discern their lies because the Word reveals the Truth to us. We must be diligently reading the Word to be able to discern deception. We cannot trust man or the doctrines of man.

(2 Pe 1:19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

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

Does a child understand thoroughly the concept of a flashlight? I challenge you to ask a six year old to explain to you how a flashlight works. You will be amused by the different answers you get. He does not need to know the complexities of batteries or the switch. Although a child cannot explain the concept, he has absolute trust that the light will shine when the flashlight is switched on. It is this same simple faith of a child that Christ encouraged in a person who is seeking salvation. The religions of the world would have you to keep the sacraments or join their church. But Christ did not have such stipulations. He made salvation so simple that even a child could obtain it. The child does not need to know the entire law to recognize his own sins. He knows he sinned and he is quick to accept the free gift through Christ.

That is why it is easier to win a child to Christ than an adult. The older a person gets, the less and less chance he will accept the free gift of salvation. He no longer sees the light of the Word because the father of lies has darkened his heart. (Joh 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. The devil wants you to believe that salvation is complicated and involves more than Christ’s complete sacrifice on the cross. He wants you to believe that you must contribute something toward your salvation, like works or being good. That is not what the Gospel is. (Eph 2:8 ) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

You can minimize the importance of God’s Word all you want, my friend. But there is a reason why Christ is called so many names. We will cover a few of those names in this series as they compare to the Word. This particular one, the Light of the world, is especially meaningful because without light, we stumble in darkness. Would you want your child to live in a dark room? You would do all you could to provide a lighted room for your child, wouldn’t you? God is no different. He has given us His very Word to light our way. He did so in the time of Moses and He continues to do so today. (Exo 13:21) 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: Of Christ, Zacharias prophesied: (Luk 1:77-79) To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, (77) Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (78 ) To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (79)

Let the Light shine in you so others may recognize that you are different that those religious people who visit their doorstep. To the one who does not believe that God’s Word is final and that church tradition is equal to the Bible, I challenge you to read God’s Word only for a while. Its truths will open up to you and the glorious light will be revealed to you!

Father in Heaven…
Shed Your blessed Light before me
So I clearly see my way
Keep me from the traps of sin
As I read Your Word each day.



Day 5 – The Word of God

(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. There is no way one could misinterpret this verse. The Trinity is clearly depicted here. Therefore, the only way the devil could cause doubt and division over this verse would be to either change the words or remove it altogether.

Except for the King James Bible, none of the 20 different versions I checked contained this verse in its entirety. They say something like “For there are three that testify” and then they jump into verse 8. Why would the devil attack this particular verse, do you think? The devil’s primary goal is to exalt himself to be God. He hates Christ and everything about Him. Therefore, the only way he can discredit Christ and His redemptive work is to remove key verses depicting Him and His work of the cross.

It is interesting that the only verse in the Bible that actually comes out and defines the Trinity refers to Jesus Christ as the Word! The Word is of vital importance to God’s nature. The Father provides us salvation through His Word (through Christ) and teaches and moves us spiritually through the Spirit (His Holy Spirit). All three Persons of the Trinity are essential to draw us to salvation and all Three are essential to the Christian’s growth. Is it any wonder that the devil would attack the very word of God? It began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1) with “Yea, hath God said,” and it has continued to this day. I found it interesting that his words are documented in chapter 3 verse 1. The number three symbolizes “the Trinity and Godhead” and the number one symbolizes “the beginning and one God.” The Trinity is One God. If Satan can successfully remove credibility from God’s Word, then he can cause people to doubt salvation through Christ.

How can Satan do this? The one source that points man to salvation through Christ is the Word of God, the Bible. (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The phrase, “the Word of God” can be found 45 times in the Bible. Three times in the Old Testament and 42 times in the New Testament.

1. God’s Word can be shown:

(1Sa 9:27) And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

2. God’s Word can be heard:

(1Ki 12:22) But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

(1Ch 17:3) And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

(Luk 3:2) Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

(Luk 5:1) And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

(Luk 8:21) And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

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

(Act 11:1) And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.

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

3. God’s Word can be minimized by tradition:

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

4. God’s Word is considered a seed:

(Luk 8:11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

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

5. God’s Word cannot be broken:

(Joh 10:35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

6. God’s Word is spoken:

(Act 4:31) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

(Act 6:2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

(Act 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.

(Act 13:7) Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

(Act 13:44) And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

(Act 13:46) Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

(Act 17:13) But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

(Heb 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

7. God’s Word saves:

(Act 6:7) And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

(Act 8:14) Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

(Act 12:24) But the word of God grew and multiplied.

(Rom 9:6) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

8. God’s Word must be taught:

(Act 18:11) And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

(Act 19:20) So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

9. God’s Word is not confined to a certain few:

(1Co 14:36) What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

10. God’s Word can be corrupted by the unsaved:

(2Co 2:17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

(2Co 4:2) But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

11. God’s Word convicts:

(Eph 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

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

12. God’s Word is to be taught/preached by the Man of God:

(Col 1:25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

13. God’s Word is Truth:

(1 Th 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.

14. God’s Word sanctifies the believer:
(1 Ti 4:5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

15. God’s Word is not bound:

(2Ti 2:9) Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

16. God’s Word is blasphemed when we disobey it:

(Tit 2:5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

17. God’s Word framed the worlds:

(Heb 11:3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

18. God’s Word holds the unbeliever accountable:

(2Pe 3:5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

19. God’s Word abides in us and makes us strong:

(1Jn 2:14) 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.

20. God’s Word was confirmed by men of God:

(Rev 1:2) Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

21. God’s Word causes enmity with the world:

(Rev 1:9) I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

(Rev 6:9) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

(Rev 20:4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

22. God’s Word is Jesus Christ:

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

(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.

The devil can try to remove Christ from the Bible but he won’t be able to. The Son of God – the Lamb of God – the Word of God has spoken through the Bible. To trivialize the Bible or to change it is a very dangerous thing. Is it any wonder that the devil would be busy trying to discredit the Word of God?

(Psa 119:89) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.



Day 6 – The Shepherd

In yesterday’s devotional, we saw how God uses the medium of speech for His Word to be communicated to His people. Is it any wonder then that the Lord would compare Himself to a shepherd? Many years ago, I did a study on the job of a shepherd in biblical times. This comparison of the shepherd to our Lord is an absolute blessing! I pray you will receive a blessing today.

Did you know that the shepherd speaks to his sheep? The sheep actually recognize their own shepherd’s voice and won’t respond to another shepherd’s voice. (Joh 10:27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: I don’t know about you, but this brings me great comfort. A good part of Christ’s earthly ministry was spent teaching His disciples. They sat at His feet listening to His lessons and parables. He spoke to them and shared with them His Father’s will. (Mar 6:34) And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Jesus knew they were without a shepherd and He became their Shepherd and taught them. He taught them from the Scriptures. How can the Christian hear Jesus’ voice today? Christ is known as the Word of God, therefore, it is through God’s Word that we can hear His voice! In fact, without the Word in our lives, we will make mistakes. (Mat 22:29) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. The Word is God’s power in our lives. (Joh 1:12) 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:

The shepherd not only speaks to his sheep, he leads his sheep and he knows each one of them, watching over them day and night. He knows each one of sheep personally – he knows each one of their markings. In fact, shepherds would name their sheep to pass the time. (Joh 10:3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. Does this not bring you comfort, dear Christian? Your Shepherd, Jesus Christ, calls you by name! When I was being wooed by the Holy Spirit to be saved, Jesus was saying, “Kate, come to Me”! Praise His Holy Name! After salvation, I instantly heard my Shepherd’s voice as I read the Word! The Word of God lit up like a neon sign and the Shepherd’s message was loud and clear to me. The pages of my Bible were no longer dry reading but they were alive!

Being a shepherd was was a very responsible job. The shepherd had to keep count of his sheep and give an account for any that were lost. The owner would demand to be paid for each one that was lost. (Mat 18:12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? In today’s mind set, one wonders why so much time would be spent looking for one lost sheep. But when a price is attached to that sheep, one can clearly understand because that lost sheep is of value to the shepherd. Christ paid for each of us with a great price, my friend – with His own life. Our Shepherd gave up His life for each one of us. As the shepherd would bring his sheep in at night, he would count them as they passed by under his hand. Each one was touched by him. Christ touches each one of us through His Word.

The shepherd also anointed his sheep’s heads with oil. The Shepherd in Psalm 23:5 anoints His sheep’s head with oil. (Psa 23:5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. The oil symbolizes receiving God’s anointing – receiving God’s grace to live the Christian life. The oil was used for medicinal purposes – being placed on a sheep’s head kept the sheep from getting sun stroke. It would also heal the bramble scratches. As Moses anointed the tabernacle (Lev. 8:10-12) and sanctified it, so should the Christian anoint himself (2 Pet. 1:14) to sanctify himself daily to serve the Lord. As we read the Word, we hear God speaking to us. As we apply what we have been taught by the Word, we become more and more set apart from the world.

As the shepherd spoke, he would lead his sheep daily to rest at noon in a quiet pasture and to a safe drinking place in the evening. Our Shepherd leads us to quiet pastures in His Word – we need to make time to graze there and be fed spiritually. We also are led to a safe drinking place in the Word of God. It is in our Bibles that we find everlasting water – we do not thirst when we live by the Word. The Bible is a living Book – bringing conviction and direction for the believer. (Joh 4:14) 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. Not only does salvation come from the blessed pages of our Bible but when we hear the Shepherd’s voice, we follow and receive eternal life.

At dusk, when the shepherd can no longer be easily seen by his sheep, he taps the rocks with his staff to assure them he is near. This brought a whole new meaning to me as to why David said that God’s rod and staff comforted him. (Psa 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. The shepherd’s staff guides the sheep and his rod, or club, protects them from attacks of wild beasts. The sheep are comforted by the sound of the staff on the rocks – they know the shepherd is near and ready to protect them. When we are in the Word, we are being guided by our Shepherd, the Word of God, Jesus Christ. We can hear His staff hitting the rock because we recognize Him throughout the Bible. When we are in the Word, we are protected from the enemy. We recognize false doctrine when we read it and hear it because we have seen and heard the true Shepherd. It is said that bank tellers are trained to catch counterfeit money by having them handle and touch real money. We will recognize false doctrine because we are hearing and reading true doctrine. The more we are in the Word of God, the easier it will be for us to recognize false gospels and heresy.

The job of a shepherd was considered to be an abomination to Egyptians. (Gen 46:34) That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. Since Egypt is considered to be a type of the world, the world will consider Christ to be an abomination. (Joh 1:10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Why? Jesus is an abomination to the world because He exposes their sin. (Joh 7:7) The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Our Shepherd will expose our sin so that we can remove it from our lives.

What a blessed comparison this has been indeed! Our Shepherd speaks to us in His Word. His words guide us, feed us and anoint us to do His work. How beautiful are the words of our Saviour as we read the Bible each day! How can we survive without them?



Day 7 – Precepts

(Psalm 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. God has commanded us to keep His precepts diligently. The New Testament does not obliterate the commands of the Old Testament, my friend. The Ten Commandments are still to be kept by the born-again Christian. Psalm 119:4 says that God commands that we keep His precepts diligently. I don’t know about you, but when God commands me to do something diligently, I know that I should heed and obey.

All of God’s Word is to be read by the believer. The Old Testament will lead a person to Christ just as well as the New Testament. Look at Timothy. At the time that 2 Timothy was written by Paul, the New Testament was not in written form. However, Paul states that Timothy was made wise unto salvation because he knew the holy Scriptures from childhood. (2 Ti 3:15) 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. That says a lot, in my opinion. With all the Scriptures Timothy learned as a child, he was led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by Paul. He had learned about the Messiah and how He would come one day to save His people. Paul witnessed to Timothy and showed him how Jesus was that Messiah and Timothy was saved. (2 Tim. 2:1) Putting the Scriptures together (Old and New Testaments), we see the beautiful picture of our Saviour. We see how the Old Testament spoke of His coming and we see the New Testament testifying that He came. Each prophecy dealing with His birth and ministry on earth was fulfilled. All the prophecies yet to be fulfilled must come to pass.

If God’s Word is so important that one little piece of it cannot be discarded, then why shouldn’t all of Scripture be important to us? (Mat 5:18 ) 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. We cannot take so lightly the Word of God, my friend. We cannot put man’s words above God’s. Twice Paul wrote that his words were not from his own wisdom but that brought to him by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (1 Cor. 2:13) 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. Paul told us that it was God’s Word, His power, that keeps us from stumbling. (2 Cor. 6:7) By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (emphasis mine). Paul exhorts the Corinthians in verse 12 that they were not patterning themselves after what he had preached from the Word but they were patterning themselves after their own thoughts. Cain sought his own way by offering a sacrifice that God had not asked for and God did not accept Cain’s offering. Why should God accept man’s distortions of the Word today? There is only one true Word and that is found in the Scriptures.God does not want us to be ignorant fools. Proverbs is filled with verses about the fool and his wicked ways. God wants to draw us to Him and He wants to change us from the inside to be more like Him. Each line and each precept is important in His Word to achieve His likeness in our own lives. God grows the Christian like a mother feeds her child – from milk to meat. (Isa 28:9) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (Isa 28:10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (Heb 5:13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (1 Pet 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: It is not God’s wish that we remain spiritual babies, forever needing our spiritual diapers changed. The Lord Jesus gave us His Word to grow thereby. We must progress from milk to meat and put that growth to work in our lives… Precept upon precept, line upon line.

With that said, let’s look at what God says about His precepts:

1. We are to meditate on them:

(Psalm 119:15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

(Psalm 119:78 ) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

2. We are to understand them and talk about them:

(Psalm 119:27) Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

3. We are to desire them AND allow them to convict us:

(Psalm 119:40) Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

(Psalm 119:93) I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

(Psalm 119:159) Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

4. We will have nothing to fear if we abide in them:

(Psalm 119:45) And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:56) This I had, because I kept thy precepts.

5. We will have fellowship with others who love God’s Word:

(Psalm 119:63) I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

6. We are not to forsake them:

(Psalm 119:69) The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

(Psalm 119:78 ) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:87) They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:100) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:134) Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:141) I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

7. We are to seek them unto salvation:

(Psalm 119:94) I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

8. They bring understanding and keep us from error:

(Psalm 119:104) Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:110) The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

(Psalm 119:128 ) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

(Psalm 119:168 ) I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

(Psalm 119:173) Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

(Dan 9:5) We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Noah Webster defines the word precept as:

PRE’CEPT, n. [L. proeceptum, from proecipio, to command; proe, before, and capio, to take.]1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.No arts are without their precepts.2. In law, a command or mandate in writing.God would not have us to be ignorant. He commands us to follow His precepts diligently, therefore, logically He would provide us with those precepts in some form that we can read – His Word. He would not have us to follow after a man and man’s thoughts and doctrine. The Lord has given us His Word to follow after and He is capable of preserving that Word. To say otherwise is limiting God’s power and ability. To say otherwise is to tell God that He is not able to keep His Word preserved throughout all eternity. Is anything too hard for God? Why can He not preserve His oracles throughout the ages? The devil has succeeded in deceiving the person who thinks that God’s Word has been changed or has not been preserved throughout time. (Jer. 32:27) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Yes, the father of lies has successfully convinced some of you that “the church’s” interpretation of the Bible is what is best. This same father of lies has convinced you that your “church” holds the truth. (John 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. But the Bible says that God’s Word is truth – not some church. (John 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.It is through God’s Holy Word that we can grow and have wisdom to keep us from sin. Does your church keep you from sin? Does believing what the church has taught you keep you from sin? It is God’s Word that will form us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. The more we are in the Word and allow the Word to change us, the more like Him we will become. It is your own responsibility to study God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit, who wrote it, to reveal God’s will to you. God warns in Romans about those who try to establish their own righteousness through “the church” or through “the pope” or through any other means. Sadly, they will find themselves deceived. (Rom 10:3) 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. God says to submit to HIS righteousness, not man’s. God’s righteousness alone is true.

There is nothing in man’s heart that is good. (Jer. 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?I love how Paul exhorted Timothy to study for himself so he could be approved unto God. Paul didn’t tell Timothy that he had to study to prove his knowledge to Paul or to others – but unto God(2Ti 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Ashamed of what? When Christ appears with judgment in His hands, we will all have to stand before Him and give an account of why we allowed ourselves to be deceived by man. (1 John 2:28 ) And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. John exhorts the believers to abide in Christ (His Word) so we will be confident and not be ashamed. We will not have followed every wind of doctrine but will have recognized false doctrine. Why would anyone pray to Mary and the saints when the Word explicitly says that there is one mediator and that is Christ. Is man’s word or “the church’s” word better than God’s? How impudent are the thoughts of man who believe this to be true!

What audacity one has when he believes that God would change the Bible to accommodate man and his evil heart. Would God state one thing in His Holy Word and then state it otherwise through the pope – then state that it’s OK to strike out what the Bible says and replace it with what the pope says because he is God’s man? God is not a liar. He will not say one thing and then change his mind. How foolish one is who believes that the church supersedes what God has said in His Word!(Psalm 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. So who’s precepts are you keeping? God’s or your church’s? God has commanded you to keep His precepts!



Day 8 – His Word

(Mat 14:26-31) And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. (26) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (27) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. (28 ) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. (29) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (30) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (31) (Joh 4:14) 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.

God’s Word has become so important to me it is like breathing air – without it I would die. When we learn to encourage our spirit in God’s Word, we get a valuable gift from God. Our Heavenly Father not only provides us with complete encouragement but He gives us even more than that. Along with the encouragement, He sticks in there peace and hope. All this can be found by anyone who desires to dig for it. The Bible does not open its pages on its own. But just as it took action for Peter to get out of the ship to walk toward the Lord, it takes action on our part to open the Word of God. Peter began to sink once his eyes focused on the storm about him instead of fixing them on the Lord. The storms of life can be beating against us, but if we focus our eyes on the Word and what the Lord has to say to us, we will not sink.

I love the fact that Jesus chose this setting to teach a lesson. Twice, the Lord used a storm at sea to minister to His disciples. Once here and then again when He was asleep and the disciples were afraid and Christ calmed the storm. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, stands ready to calm our storms and stretch forth His hand within the pages of our Bible to settle our hearts. It is through the Word of God that we get a drink from the Source that will never run dry! When I meditated on this, the Lord impressed upon my heart that I am revived each day because it is His Words that revive me!

God not only encourages my spirit and revives me for the day, but He also teaches me:

(1) That He will do what says He will do – (2 Ch 6:10) The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. (Psa 147:15) He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. (Psa 147:18 ) He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.

(2) To praise Him and trust in His Word without fear of what anyone can do to me – (Psa 56:4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (Psa 56:10) In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.

(3) That He will heal me as I read His Word. Each time I turn to the Word with a broken spirit or heavy heart, the Lord heals me. (Psa 107:20) He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Pro 3:5-6) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (5) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (6) (Mat 11:28 ) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

(4) His Word will give me hope and I know that whatever I don’t understand, He will take care of it. (Psa 130:5) I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

(5) That I can rest assured that He will show me His will through His Word. (Psa 147:19) He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. (Mat 7:7) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

(6) That He will judge those who are against me. (Isa 66:5) Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

(7) That I have the power of God to encourage myself at my fingertips each time I open the blessed pages of my Bible. Without the Scriptures, we will make mistakes. But when we read, understand, and apply the Word to our lives, we are able to change to more like Him. (Luk 4:32) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Mar 12:24) And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

There is more to daily Bible reading than just reading. God reveals Himself in each page, through each word and with each thought. He encourages the heavy hearted and the one who searches. Don’t take your Bible lightly. Within its pages are the power of God. This power goes untapped when one is too lazy to take time to be blessed of God. One cannot know Truth unless the Bible is read. You can rely on your church or what your priest or minister says but neither can do for you what God’s Holy Word can do for you. Man’s words have failed and man has changed his words from time to time. But God never changes and His Word stands firm for all eternity. (Luk 21:33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.



Day 9 – Despising the Word

(Pro 13:13) Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. When I read that God’s Word is forever and never to fail, I think of His creation and the stability some of it has. For example, Mount Everest stands tall and seemingly appears to be eternal because of its grandeur.

I also look at stalagtites and stalagmites as a good example of God’s Word. The initial Word is the same but we, spiritually, continue to grow as we read and apply the Word to our hearts. Conviction, meditation, and application are how the Holy Spirit uses the Word to grow us to be more Christ-like.

The Word of God is ever lasting. It was in the beginning according to (Joh 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Today’s Proverb is a simple Proverb but one that is packed with punch. There is no misintepreting this verse! You can try, but God will have His say in the matter. Let’s look at a couple of definitions from Noah Webster:

DESPISE, .v.t.

1. To contemn; to scorn; to disdain; to have the lowest opinion of.

Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov 1.

Else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Mat 6.

2. To abhor.

and

FEAR, n. [See the Verb.]

6. In scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear.

I will put my fear in their hearts. Jer 32.

Slavish fear is the effect or consequence of guilt; it is the painful apprehension of merited punishment. Rom 8.

The love of God casteth out fear. 1 John 4.

7. The worship of God.

I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psa 34.

8. The law and word of God.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever. Psa 19.

9. Reverence; respect; due regard.

Render to all their dues; fear to whom fear. Rom 13.

How could a person hate the word with such passion as described in Noah Webster’s definition? This person disdains the Word. This is the epitome of hatred. How can one hate the Word in such a way that God’s wrath would be upon him? I truly believe that the answer can be found in the second half of that Proverb: “but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” When one fears God’s Word, he has such a love for it that it changes him. This part of Noah’s definition blessed me totally: “In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear”.

Therefore, the one who loves God to the point that he keeps his commandments (His Word), will be rewarded. How can we totally keep His Word? If anything, God has taught us through the Old Testament that we cannot keep the entire law without sinning. If the Ten Commandments taught us anything, it was that we could not keep the whole law on our own. That is why Christ had to come. When we are born again, we are a new creation – having the Holy Spirit of God residing within us, teaching us all things. It is this Holy Spirit and His teaching that separates us from the unsaved. God’s law is imprinted on our hearts and through our Bibles we commit it to memory. We also imprint it on our hearts when we meditate on it and grow from it. (Col 3:16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

(Eze 36:26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (Eze 36:27) And I will put my spirit within youand cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (emphasis mine) God has promised that He will put His Spirit in our hearts and it is because of His Spirit (who glorifies Christ, the Word) that we are able to walk in God’s statutes and keep His judgments and do as He commands because the Spirit will convict us. We cannot do it on our own or else Christ would not have needed to shed His precious blood! That is the whole purpose of His coming.

Is is any wonder that Jesus said, (Mat 5:8 ) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. We cannot be pure on our own because our sins are putred in God’s eyes. (Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Therefore, the unsaved despise God’s Holy Word by denying that Christ alone can save. (Pro 19:16) He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. Again, the unsaved despises God’s commandment. And, yet again, one cannot enter Heaven’s gates without the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone covering those sins. (1 Th 4:7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. We cannot be holy on our own, but only through the righteous blood of the Lamb of God!

So, are you despising the Word by denying its reliability? Are despising the Word by saying that it cannot be found in its original writings today? Are you despising the Word by simply just denying that it exists. Do you even care? If not, you are despising the Word. Are you despising the Word by adding to it with traditions? Does your church say that there is more to salvation in Jesus Christ than His blood’s atonement alone? Or does your church say that you must be baptized to be saved; or you must go to purgatory after you die then you can enter Heaven? In saying such things, you are despising the Word of God. You are adding to it – adding to the simple plan of salvation. The Passover of the Old Testament did not have anything added to it but the blood of a lamb shed and painted over the door posts. Christ’s blood has been painted on the door post of our hearts when we accept Him as our Saviour. It is this salvation that brings a new heart – a new life – a changed life. You can “live the religious life” all you want. But can you truly say that you “live” the following verses?

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

(2Co 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;

(2Co 5:19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

(2Co 5:20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

(2Co 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.

The new creature (the born again believer), is reconciled to God (verse 18 ) and our sins are no longer on our account but onto Christ (verse 19)! Why would purgatory be necessary if our sins are on Christ’s account? Purgatory’s doctrine can only support the theory that the sins of the sinner are on his own account and, therefore, must be purged. Yes, the unbeliever’s sins are most surely on his own account because he has not trusted in the One true way to Heaven – through Jesus Christ alone.

The born again Christian has the righteousness of God within him – the Father sees the Son’s righteousness covering us – a beautiful depiction of the first Passover! Christ’s blood over us causes the Father’s judgment to pass over us. Not just for a moment or a time, but for eternity. Nothing more – nothing less! Don’t despise God’s Word – He loves us and, therefore, has left His Word with us so we would not have to be like the blind leading the blind. Run to it – turn to it – read it in faith and God will speak to you through it.



Day 10 – The Purpose of Scriptures

(2 Tim 3:13-17) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (13) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (14) 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. (15) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (16) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (17)

In these five verses, we learn from the Apostle Paul what is going on with God’s Word. Even in his day, Paul sees that the devil is busy working through evil men to corrupt the Word.

What do we learn from these verses? Let’s take a look:

1. There were and will be attempts to corrupt the Scriptures:

Verse 14 starts with the word “But.” But what? Paul tells Timothy to continue in those things which he learned and that is undoubt-able in his mind because Timothy learned them from his mother and grandmother as well as from Paul – from the Word of God. So back to the word “But.” I believe that Paul is telling Timothy that evil men will come along and try to deceive by changing the Word but that Timothy should continue in what he has learned and not believe their lies and deceptions. I believe that these seducers were changing God’s Word (including trying to corrupt the letters Paul, and others, had written) but Timothy had learned them so well in his youth and they were confirmed in Paul through the Word.

Have you ever heard how a bank teller is taught to recognize counterfeit money? It is not by looking at counterfeit bills. It is by actually handling, touching, and looking closely at the real thing that educates the teller. Once they have handled real money, they can more easily spot a counterfeit. It is the same with God’s Word. If you are in the true Word of God, you can spot a phony – you can spot changes and heresies. My friend, how can you believe that God created the universe and is in control of all things yet you cannot believe that He can preserve His Word throughout the ages? You limit God by believing such things.

2. The Scriptures lead to salvation:

Paul goes on to say that these Scriptures were what led Timothy to salvation. It stands to reason the corrupted text from these evil men and seducers would not lead someone to salvation but lead away from salvation. These same evil men were once deceived and now they deceive others – getting worse and worse in their beliefs. In fact, some are down right militant. They are totally convinced now that God’s Word is not in written form today! Again, this limits God’s power and ability, doesn’t it?

The various versions out there take away references to the “blood of Christ,” its saving power, Christ’s deity, etc. All in the name of preserving the originals. How deceived they are! It is through God’s perfect Word that salvation can be found. (Rom 10:16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves – His virgin birth, His sinless life, His death on the cross as atonement for our sins, His resurrection, and He sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting His return to reign.

3. All Scripture is inspired of God:

Verse 15 does not say just the Old Testament but all Scriptures are inspired by God. The Apostle Paul was inspired of God to write much of the New Testament. We owe much of our Christian walk today to what God has communicated to us through Paul’s letters. Because his letters were divinely inspired, they are considered Holy Scriptures just as much as the Old Testament.

The Holy Spirit spoke through men and reminded them of what Christ had taught them. (Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (Joh 16:14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. and (2Pe 1:19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2Pe 1:20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2Pe 1:21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, all Scriptures were breathed into men that God had anointed for the sole purpose of preserving His Word.

How can we limit God, then? Is anything too hard for God? The Word responds with a resounding “No”! (Gen 18:14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (Jer 32:17) 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: (Jer 32:27) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

I love the fact that it is stated three times in the Scriptures that nothing is too hard for the Lord. The number three symbolizes the godhead and completion. Isn’t that something? God is completely capable of preserving His Word, my friend. Why is it that man says God is omnipotent in one breath but in another breath he says that God cannot keep His Word from being corrupted through the ages?

4. Scriptures are profitable for doctrine:

According to Noah Webster, doctrine is defined “to teach.” The Word of God instructs us on who God is and what His will is for us. The Word teaches us that God is eternal and He has provided salvation through Jesus Christ. His Word centers around Christ, His complete work of the cross and His reign to come. It starts in the Garden of Eden and ends with His reign in Revelation 22. Is it any wonder that one of Christ’s names is the Alpha and Omega? The beginning and the end! Amen! His Word is eternal – His Word is from the foundations of the earth! There is no changing it – there is no removing it – every single letter from God’s Word will be fulfilled – it is that important. (Mat 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Mat 5:18 ) 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. If Christ Himself said that every jot and tittle would be fulfilled (every single letter of every single word), then each word is that important!

5. Scriptures are for reproof:

Again, Noah Webster defines reproof as “Blame expressed to the face; censure for a fault; reprehension.” The Word exposes our sin to us and shows us our errors – and teaches us how to change and what to do. We can also use it to exhort others in the faith or to lead the unsaved to a saving knowledge of Christ.

I am currently conversing with a staunch catholic who is totally convinced that we “fundy-mentals” twist the Scriptures to mean what we want it to mean. But to him I respond, (Mat 15:3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? The catholic church transgresses God’s commandments (purgatory, mariology, various degrees of sin, pope’s infallibility) by its traditions. Sadly, this dear catholic man will not see the Truth because he has been blinded. He has been deceived by evil men and seducers. They have managed to convince this precious soul that he can do something … anything to help his salvation along – that Christ’s precious blood is not enough to completely wipe his sins away. Instead, he has bought into the seducers lies that there’s more to salvation and they are trying to corrupt the Word of the Living God so this soul cannot find true salvation. But I have news for these evil men – God is able to preserve His Word and salvation can still be found in its blessed pages.

Just an after thought on this – how many “wrong” traditions does it take before one leaves a church that teaches such things? These catholic doctrines are not just how short someone’s hair should be or how long a dress a woman should wear. These are the fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their church traditions and magisterium supersede the Word of God. Where does one turn to for authority when there is conflicting information in the catholic church? Sadly, they do not turn to the Word of God because they believe it has been corrupted by man. Again, sadly they put God in a box saying He is not powerful enough to protect His precious Word throughout the ages.

6. Scriptures are for correction:

Mr. Webster defines correction as “The act of correcting; the act of bringing back, from error or deviation, to a just standard, as to truth, rectitude, justice or propriety; as the correction of opinions or manners.” Therefore, the Scriptures bring the fallen back to the truth (the Just Standard, if you will) – it corrects false ideas, traditions and mistaken views. What better “measuring stick” to use to see if a certain religion is right. Is the religion you hold dear based on the truth or on false ideas or even tradition?

“Oh, but my church only believes a couple of things that can’t be found in the Bible.” How much yeast do you need to make dough rise? It only takes a little but yet you can make an entire loaf of bread rise. The Word says (Gal 5:7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Gal 5:8 ) This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. (Gal 5:9) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Paul acknowledges that the Galatians did run well at one point. However, someone/something stopped them from obeying the truth! Paul likened it to yeast – he said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Therefore, some unsound doctrine (or tradition of man) made its way into the church at Galatia and they were side tracked and it was corrupting the whole lump. To me, that would mean even the pastors were side tracked and teaching wrong doctrine. One must be careful which church one picks. He must be certain that their “just standard” is the Word of God and not “thus saith the councils or priest/minister.”

So I beg you today to dig into the Bible for yourself. Don’t just listen to the preacher – don’t just listen to the minister – don’t just listen to the priest. Pattern yourself after God’s Word – it will make you wise. (2Ti 3:15) 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.



Day 11 – He Speaks

(Heb 12:24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (emphasis mine)

God’s Word has been spoken to us from Heaven and it has been recorded several times as such. First, Jesus tells us Himself that we are to live by every word of God. Obviously God’s spoken word (recorded in books) is to be taken seriously. We are told that we must live by every word of God. (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Christ tells us that not only must we live by every word but we must keep it. (Luk 11:28 ) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. God’s Word is not something that will change and keep us in a state of confusion. In other words, He will not say one thing in the Bible and then turn around and negate His words through another book or another man’s words. God’s Word is incorruptible according to the Apostle Peter. (1 Pet 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Yes, we normally read this verse and believe that our salvation is eternal and incorruptible. I agree. However, notice that we are born again by the incorruptible seed, the word of God which lives and abides forever! That does not sound like God’s Word cannot be preserved to me. In fact, this solidifies the fact that God’s Word can be and is preserved for all time.

A dear precious misguided catholic soul has battled with me that the Bible is not preserved in exact content from the original writings. If that is the case, then he calls God, through the Apostle Peter’s writings, a liar. As the New Testament letters were in the process of being written, their content at that time were considered holy Scriptures. Look what Peter says here about Paul’s letters (epistles): (2 Pet 3:15) 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 3:16) 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. (emphasis mine) Peter even says that those who defy God’s Word are unlearned and they wrestle with Paul’s letters (epistles) just as they do also the other Scriptures. Even in Peter’s time, they knew that the words being written were inspired of God, they were considered holy and they knew that these words would be put together as Scriptures. They carried Scriptures with them and they were precious to them, as noted in (2 Tim 4:13) The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

Even the Apostle John knew that what the Holy Spirit had inspired him to pen would be precious words contained in the Scriptures. (Rev 1:3) 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. (emphasis mine) I believe that Jesus told them what to expect when He said (Joh 14:26) 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. (emphasis mine) Why would Jesus tell them that the Holy Spirit would bring to memory the things He taught them when they had their own brains? Truly 12 people could put together an accurate account, wouldn’t you think? However, Jesus knew that they would throw in “man’s words” and not God’s. That is why the Holy Spirit had to bring accounts to their memory so they would write what was inspired of God. I sure hope that makes sense to you because it sure has been a blessing to me today!

(1 Cor 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teachethcomparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (emphasis mine) Paul also made sure to tell the people he preached to that his words were not of his own wisdom but what the Holy Spirit wanted him to teach. He told the Christians to compare the spiritual things with spiritual. How can they compare unless they had God’s Word to compare with? Obviously the entire New Testament was not in print so it stands to reason that whatever was being taught was supported in the Old Testament, as well as the current epistles and letters from the other Apostles – as Peter indicated in 2 Pet 3. We now have the complete Word of God today and are truly blessed to have His spoken Word in written form so we can study.

The letters of the day were so important that the Lord Himself told the Apostle John to write down what He was showing him during the Revelation and share it with all the churches. God’s Word is not limited – God’s Word is important and must be obeyed. (Rev 1:11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. Every Scripture verse in our entire Bible is God breathed and spoken. The Holy Spirit’s job was to make sure that it was recorded properly and preserved through the years. God is not a man – He is able to keep His Word.

Even if you don’t believe that the Word has been preserved but you believe that you have the best translation possible, you must know that the Bible says that the Scriptures cannot be broken. Therefore, God is condemning the changing, adding to or taking away from His Word. (Joh 10:35b) … and the scripture cannot be broken; God promises that the Scriptures cannot be broken. Therefore, any man-made traditions or church doctrine that goes against what God’s Word says or adds to what God’s Word says is wrong! The simple truth is just as the Lord spoke to the Pharisees (John 8:24) I said therefore unto you that you shall die in your sins if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins. If you are intent on substituting faith in your church for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will likewise deny (in practice) His Person. Unless you repent of rationalizations to uphold the traditions that deny the absolute truth of the Lord’s written Word, you will die in your sin and will enter into eternity into the Lake of Fire.

I pray that these devotionals on God’s Word will convince one soul that God is able to preserve His Word and He means every word that is in the Bible. None of it will perish – each word will be fulfilled – and we will be held accountable for how we read it, learn from it and keep it. (Psa 18:30) As for God, his way is perfectthe word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (emphasis mine)



Day 12 – Precepts

(Psa 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

Stop for a moment and think about what this verse means to you. Pick it apart in your head and see what you come up with – specifically the words commanded, keep, precepts, and diligently.

Today, we will pick apart a verse in light of this series and walk away, hopefully, with an understanding that God’s Word is our final authority in all things.

Many of you know how much I love Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. It amazes me to see the differences in definitions between his dictionary and today’s Webster’s dictionary. It saddens me, as well, to see how diluted definitions have become through the years. For example, if you were to look up the word sin in both dictionaries, you would be absolutely amazed.

Noah’s definition of sin is as follows:

Sin
SIN, n.

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. 1 John 3. Mat 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam’s apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Mat 12.

2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.

3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]

4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.

SIN, v.i.

1. To depart voluntarily from the path of duty prescribed by God man; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or non-observance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned. Psa 51.

2. To offend against right, against men or society; to trespass. I an a man more sinn’d against than sinning. And who but wishes to invert the laws of order, sins against the’ eternal cause.

SIN,for since, obsolete or vulgar.

Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary:

Main Entry: sin
Pronunciation: \ˈsin\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sinne, from Old English synn; akin to Old High German sunta sin and probably to Latin sont-, sons guilty, est is — more at is
Date: before 12th century
1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible c: an often serious shortcoming : fault
2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonyms see offense

Do you see what I mean? Think about this for a moment. We as a society have been raised on Merriam-Webster type definitions. Therefore, our thought process when we read our Bible is in line with the definitions of today. When the Scriptures were translated into English, they were translated using words “of that day” and the meanings of that day.

So keeping that in mind, let’s look at our verse for today dealing with God’s Word. To the Christian living today, reading today’s verse would have this meaning: “God commands me (bids me) to follow His Word.” Do I fear that statement? Not really. It’s more of a directive to me than a command, actually.

However, to the Christian of the day at the time of Noah Webster, it would mean: God requires me to obey Him; and He is ordering me to possess in my heart and mind His precepts, statutes and commandments with steady application and care!” That definitely has more impact, doesn’t it?

I came up with that “translation” using Noah’s 1828 Dictionary. So let’s look at the relevant definitions.

Command
COMMAND, v.t.

1. To bid; to order; to direct; to charge; implying authority, and power to control, and to require obedience.

We will sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. Exo 8.

2. To govern, lead or direct; to have or to exercise supreme authority over.

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Keep
KEEP, v.t. pret. and pp. kept. [L. habeo, and capio.]

1. To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

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Precept
PRE’CEPT, n. [L. proeceptum, from proecipio, to command; proe, before, and capio, to take.]

1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.

No arts are without their precepts.

2. In law, a command or mandate in writing.
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Diligently
DILIGENTLY, adv. With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.

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

With those definitions now before you, I pray that this verse will impact you. (Psa 119:4) Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

God is adamant about His Word being kept, otherwise He would not command us to keep it diligently. Would the Lord command us to keep His Word diligently if it could not be preserved through the years? Again, we know that the God of Glory is able and the Creator of all things is powerful enough to preserve it without fault. To say otherwise limits the God of Heaven and it is foolishness.

Since we are commanded by the God of all to keep His Word diligently (With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently), then we would be careful not to allow the doctrines of man or church traditions, etc. to over rule what God has said in His Word. My on-going challenge with a dear catholic soul has been this very topic. The catholic church teaches that the Scriptures, church tradition and magisterium (words from the church leaders) are equal. Therefore, the poor catholic either lives in a state of confusion or simply trusts church tradition and church leaders’ words. Much of the Catholic church traditions and the church’s words differ from what the Word of God says. This would definitely cause me to be confused.

Who would you obey? Would you obey what God has commanded of you? Or would you obey what the church leaders have told you to do instead? I’m sure to the catholic it is a conundrum. But to the born-again believer, it’s a “no brain-er.” We obey God because His Word is truth. (Joh 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. God’s Word is above all things. (Psa 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. (emphasis mine)

If God magnifies His own Word above His own name, do you not think that the Bible would be error free and preserved? God will not accept your excuse that you obeyed the church fathers and traditions even though they disagreed with the Bible. He just won’t go against His own word, my friend! This applies to the Christian as well. Do you think that you will go without chastisement when you don’t obey that which the Word has commanded you to do? God’s Word is not a suggestion of guidelines. God’s Word is our very bread and water and we should desire it just as much as we desire to keep our bodies alive with food. (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.



Day 13 – The Word Brings Wisdom

(Psa 119:33) HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. (Psa 119:34) Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. It is the Lord God who provides us with understanding. He is the One who does the teaching through His Word. The Psalmist recognized this and it is no wonder that he was considered the apple of God’s eye! When a person desires to learn God’s Word, you can be certain God will teach him. The Psalmist did not go to a teacher or to the high priest, he spoke to God and asked God to teach him – to show him – to give him understanding. What did the Psalmist want to do with what he learned? The answers are found in the second half of both verses: “and I shall keep it unto the end” and “I shall keep thy law.”

Does this not bless you, Christian? It is God who does the teaching when we seek for wisdom and knowledge through His Word. Jesus Christ’s words pack a wallop when He said, (Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; First of all, the Spirit will abide with us for ever!! Praise the Lord! We do not have to walk in darkness, not knowing the way that Jesus would have us to go. Christ’s Holy Spirit was left behind for the believer and He has many functions in our lives.

Here are just a few of the roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

1. He anoints the soul winner and will teach you what to say when you need to say it:
(Mat 10:20) For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

So why are worried about what to say when you talk to someone about getting saved? The Lord Himself tells us that the Spirit will do the speaking, through you!

(Luk 4:18 ) 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,

2. He will comfort the believer:
(Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

The Holy Spirit is here to stay in our lives. He will not leave us or forsake us but is here for ever!

3. He will lead us to truth and will put God’s Word in our hearts:
(Joh 14:17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
(Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

We learn that the unsaved do not understand the things of God because they do not possess the Holy Spirit – He is not residing in them. They cannot know the truth without Him.

(2 Co 3:16) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. (2 Co 3:17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

When we are born again, the vail is removed from our eyes and we are no longer blinded. We now are free from condemnation and have the beautiful and precious liberty of knowing that we have eternal life in Christ Jesus. I remember when I first got saved and opened the Bible for the first time. I was amazed that I immediately understood God’s Word where just a few weeks before, it was as dry as dirt!

4. He testifies of Jesus:
(Joh 15:26) 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:

It is the Holy Spirit of God that reveals the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. Without accepting this truth, we cannot be saved. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals it and then He comes to dwell within us and continues His role as Teacher and Comforter. Praise the Lord for the Spirit in our lives! We are not left to fight alone!

5. He seals our salvation for eternity:
(Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Eph 1:14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Amen and amen! We do not bounce in and out of salvation if we are truly born-again. How can we know if we are? The Word says in 2 Cor. 5:17 that we are a new creature and that old things are passed away and all things are become new! The repenting sinner that comes to Christ will continue in Christ. Just like the Parable of the Sower, the Gospel seed fell into good soil and grew. There is no question as to what the outcome of a growing seedling is. It produces something – it just does not die – it grows. The true born-again Christian grows – maybe slowly but he grows none-the-less. His old lifestyle dissipates and you can tell that he is changing. The one who says he is born again and yet is unrepentant and goes on with his sinful ways is not truly born again.

6. He sanctifies the believer:
(1Co 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.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer – He sets us apart and molds us spiritually so we can represent Christ and we can reflect His image. Because of the Spirit’s sanctification in our lives, we become less like our old nature and more like Christ’s nature. His job is to convict us and discipline us when we stray from the path.

7. He can be grieved:
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is to prevent His direction in our lives. In other words, when you are under conviction and you ignore it, you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God in your life.

8. He will punish those who trod under foot the Son of God:
(Heb 10:29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Who would call Christ’s blood as unholy and do despite unto the Holy Spirit? Right off the bat, I can think of catholicism. They offer Him in sacrifice every day through the mass – His first and only sacrifice of the cross is not sufficient. Not only catholicism, but all the other cults out there that diminish the work of the blood of the cross!

(Jas 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. In closing, God’s Word promises us wisdom if we ask God. He has left us with the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, the Comforter and the One who has our salvation sealed unto the day of redemption! Who better to teach us than the One who glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ!



Day 14 – Eternality

(Ps 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

How beautiful the words of the Psalmist are! Not only does he state it in verse 160, but he proclaims the Word’s eternality several times more:

(Ps 119:144) The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

(Ps 119:152) Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

(Ps 105:8 ) He hath remembered his covenant for everthe word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

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

(Isa 40:8 ) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

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

(1 Pet 1:25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (emphasis mine)

No matter what man may say, God’s Word is true and it has, does, and willcontinue to abide forever! Over and over it is repeated in the Bible that God’s Word is eternal. With this much repetition, it stands to reason that He would preserve His Word throughout the ages without corruption. I have been attacked by catholics saying that we do not have the preserved Word of God in today’s language because it was corrupted by man. Furthermore, their defense has been that King James was a homosexual and that the King James Bible is filled with error. All this coming from the faithful catholics whose doctrines come from the pits of hell itself and they don’t even know it! The devil would love nothing more than to side track man and keep man from the very Word of God that is able to save their souls! I know this sounds harsh, but just looking at the catholic catechism (which most won’t even take the time to research) will reveal these heresies!

It does not take rocket science to understand why the catholic church believes that only its leaders can correctly interpret the Word of God! The catholic church wants its members to stay in the dark and believe whatever it teaches. It isn’t the richest church in the world for no reason. Christ had no where to lay his head. The Apostles did not wear rich robes nor did they live a comfortable life. No, in fact, they were martyred for the preaching of the Gospel. But the leaders of the catholic church are decorated in rich clothing, their churches filled with gold, yet people are going hungry all around them. If the catholic church had the power of Christ here on earth, they would not be hording their riches but using those riches for the glory of God. There is no sadder state of affairs than that of the catholic church. They are rich in wealth but poor spiritually. (Mar 8:36) For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Man’s heart is wicked and nothing good comes from it. We cannot trust the heart of man but we surely can trust the Word of God. (Jer 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Man’s words are false, but God’s word is true.
God’s word has been true from the beginning of time – from the moment it was first “spoken” by Jesus Christ (John 1:1) through all eternity. The word “for ever” means without beginning or end. I know that it is hard for man to imagine this because our minds are so finite. But God is infinite and we need to wrap our brains around that.

Not only is He infinite, but He never changes. (Heb 13:8 ) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb 13:9) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.I find it interesting that immediately following the verse about the infinity of Jesus Christ, the Word says not to be carried about with strange doctrines! That speaks volumes to me! It is the strange doctrines of man (including those of the catholic church, Islam, mormonism, and all other cults) that pervert the Word of God. Search these things out for yourselves and compare what you find with the Word of God!

So what can we depend on? We can depend on the steadfastness of God because He is infinite. He is from the beginning – He is eternal – His Word is sure – His Word is forever – His Word is righteous and holy! My friend, this is all we have to count on in this world. The world is wicked beyond measure and every man is in need of salvation. Why would you trust the words of men when the Word says that all men are wicked and have sinned?

(Jer 2:29) Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.

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

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

Why can you not believe that God is Perfect and, therefore, He is able to give you His Word without error? It takes more “faith” to believe in the doctrines of men than it does to simply believe that God’s Word has been preserved and is final. It’s like the “Theory of Evolution” – it takes more “faith” to believe that everything evolved from a “big bang” than it does to believe in a Creator. After all, ask yourself this: “Who/what brought about the bang?” It just didn’t happen! Someone/something had to make it happen.

The Word of God never changes. His demands for salvation are the same today as they were in the past. The blood of a spotless lamb was required of the Jews and was fulfilled through the perfect, sinless life of Jesus Christ and His shed blood. The Jews’ sacrifice was done with the view of an upcoming Messiah. Our sacrifice (the born-again Christian) was complete in Jesus Christ. There is no need to sacrifice Him afresh every day. In fact, the Word says (Heb 6:4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (Heb 6:5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (Heb 6:6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. What does the catholic church do with these verses?

“In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.” Pg. 344, #1367

“When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present. As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.” Pg. 343, #1364

As the Council of Trent says, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repeats:

“. . . by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” Trent pronounces an anathema against those who deny transubstantiation.

I wrote all this to say that if man teaches something contrary to what the Word of God states (which is eternal and never changing), what do you do? Do you believe God or man? It’s a simple deduction, my friend. What will you choose today? Do you actually believe that you won’t be held accountable by God for believing in the distortions of His Word? You will be held accountable for what you believe and what you have applied as truth in your life. (Ps 10:13) Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. God will require accountability from you. In fact, He tells us to study His Word so that we are approved unto Him! (2 Tim 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. If we are to study the Bible to be approved unto God (not the catholic church, not Joseph Smith, etc.), then why do you believe what the church has taught and not what God has taught? It is to the Lord God of Glory, the Almighty God, that we are accountable to.

Where does one draw the line when it comes to false doctrine? How much arsenic does it take to kill a person? Will you allow yourself to be filled with the perversions of mankind or will you stand strong in God’s Word and let it cleanse you and teach you?

(Ps 119:165) Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Are you offended by what I have written today? I hope that you are! I hope that I have stirred you up so much so that you will study the matter out for yourself. Even if you start out to prove me wrong, just dig in the Bible for yourself! Don’t assume that what you have been taught is correct. Don’t assume that because you are a member of the largest church in the world makes you right. Judge yourself according to the Word of God, the True Measuring Stick! (1 Cor 10:14) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Cor 10:15) I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.



Day 15 – The Word Judges

(Joh 12:48 ) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. I love this photograph. As I look at it, it reminds me that God’s Word is sure and firm, like the mountains. The trees may be hidden on the mountain by the fog, but they are still there nonetheless. God’s Word is the same. Jesus spoke in parables because He knew that intellectual Pharisees, Sadducee’s and Scribes would not be able to understand what He was saying. (1 Cor 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Apostle Paul also wrote that they shared the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery which was ordained by God before the world(1 Cor 2:6) Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: (1 Cor 2:7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: The born-again believer has access to God’s Word (our daily manna) and can understand things that are hidden to the unbeliever. (Rev 2:17) 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. I can remember reading the Bible prior to salvation and I was bored to tears! The reading was dry as dust and I did not walk away with anything. However, after my salvation, God’s Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I was able to understand what I was reading.

Is it any wonder that the Word is corrupted so much by the world? They simply cannot understand it because they do not possess the Holy Spirit of God, who wrote it! God will judge them according to His Word despite their misinterpretations – despite the fact that they have changed the Word of God – despite the fact that they have taken words out or added words – all because they were duped into believing that God’s Word could not be preserved and, therefore, man’s interpretation of “what is left of the Word” is sufficient! (Joh 12:48 ) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (emphasis mine) You cannot get around this verse, my friend! You will not be able to tell God that you did not know about this verse because you have just read it!

It is quite clear. God will judge us by His Word– the Holy Bible. He will not judge us by the laws and teachings of the catholic church, Joseph Smith or the Qur’an. They do not possess the true Word of God. Again, Rev. 2:17 states that God will give us to eat of the hidden manna! Can it be any clearer? His Word is hidden to those who do not believe. It is a mystery to them but to us, it is hidden manna that has been given to us by God Himself! He gives us the interpretation through His Holy Spirit!

God’s Word revolves around Him – His righteousness – His provision for salvation through Jesus Christ. It is not by our own righteousness that we can be saved. (Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Therefore, we must come to God through Jesus Christ and His righteousness alone. (Rom 10:3) 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. (emphasis mine) Oh my friend, do you see it? God says that because you are ignorant of God’s own righteousness, you are try to establish your own righteousness through keeping certain laws or teachings of your church. There is nothing you can do on your own that will gain you one smidgen of righteousness. Nothing!

It is only by being born-again that we can take on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (emphasis mine) It’s Christ’s righteousness that we need to gain entry into Heaven – not the catholic church or Allah! The Word is pure and tried and we can depend on it to guide us to that very righteousness. (Psa 12:6) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psa 12:7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (emphasis mine) Because God’s Word is pure and He says it is preserved forever, we can be assured that we will be judged according to His Word.

God is the One who will judge us according to John 12:48. Our Judge has provided a way for us to have our sins forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is God who forgives us because it is His to forgive through the sacrifice of His Son. (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. We no longer are condemned if we accept Christ as our one and only Saviour. We are no longer going to be judged because Christ’s blood now covers us.

The unbeliever will be judged because he thought that salvation was through his church and not through Jesus Christ alone. Paul was very clear when he wrote about “working our way to heaven” in the following verses: (Rom 4:2-5) For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (2) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (3) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (4) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (5)So if you believe that keeping the sacraments, saying the rosary, praying countless prayers, doing penance, attending church daily, etc. will count as righteousness to you, you are sadly mistaken. Your works is the reward of debt. However, the one who realizes that the work of salvation is only through the work of Christ’s shed blood on the cross receives the grace of God and it is counted to him as righteousness – Christ’s righteousness.

My friend, upon your death, you will stand before the Judge and He will judge you according to His Word. John 12:48 states it – so what will you do with this? You now have read it – you now have heard. You can’t say that no one told you because I just told you so. Someone once said that to me and those words led me to the Cross of Calvary and I accepted Christ as my Saviour and the only way to Heaven. You will be held accountable. Mary will not be able to help you on the day of judgment. She will not go to the Father because she has some special power with Him. That is not taught in the Word but is found in the teachings of a church that is leading its people to hell. Joseph Smith will not be able to help you. Nor will Allah will not be able to help you. All these cults lead to destruction – they lead to hell because they do not adhere to the Word of God. You will be judged according to God’s Word. How will you measure up? You won’t be able to – not unless you have accepted Christ as Saviour. He is the only way. (Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.



Day 16 – Knowledge of God

In our on-going series of the Word of God, I am learning that there is nothing above God’s own words. God is not man that He should lie and, therefore, He is Truth. God never changes. And, lastly, God is eternal. God’s Holy Word is sure because He cannot lie and He never changes. Since He is eternal, His Word will go on forever without change.

Why is God’s Word so important to us? Why do we need it? Why do we care so much about its validity and preservation? Contained within the pages of the Holy Bible is the knowledge of God for mankind unto salvation. Is it any wonder that the devil, also known as the father of lies, would want to keep man from it? Is it any wonder that ole slew foot himself would try to corrupt it? (Joh 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. This same Satan (Lucifer) wants to exalt himself above God. (Isa 14:13) 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: (Isa 14:14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isa 14:15) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Satan has tried to exalt himself since creation and has set himself against the Word of God. No matter how much the devil tries to corrupt the Word of God, he will end up in hell.

The Lord gave me 2 Cor. 10:5 this morning and it simply jumped off the page at me! (2 Cor. 10:5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; According to Strong’s Concordance, the word imaginations is:

G3053
λογισμός
logismos
log-is-mos’
From G3049; computation, that is, (figuratively) reasoning (conscience, conceit): – imagination, thought.

The devil and those who work for him have tried to destroy God’s Word since the Garden of Eden. This same effort of perverting the Bible isn’t new and has been going on for thousands of years – but the end is near. Satan’s time is short. However, in the mean time, he is determined to take as many souls to hell with him. If the father of lies can do this by distracting mankind and convincing the so-called “learned and high-minded” that God’s Word cannot be preserved, he will have won. If he can deceive and convince people that the Bible today is nothing but man’s words, then he has managed to distract the populace from seeking salvation. Why do you think it’s such a big controversy in the world? Even amongst Christians there is division on this topic! What a victory for Satan! He has Christendom arguing and fighting amongst themselves and thus providing the world with the worse possible testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of desiring to seek salvation, the world mocks Christ because of this.

What I cannot understand is how can a Christian believe that God created the sun and the moon and He placed the stars in the heavens yet this same Christian cannot believe that God is powerful enough to preserve His Word? It just does not make sense! It is an oxymoron to me. This belief states that this Christian’s God is not powerful – therefore, He cannot move mountains – therefore, He cannot heal – therefore, He cannot save to the uttermost for all eternity! What a horrible testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ! Is it any wonder why there are so many different belief systems today, even amongst Christians? It’s not enough that the devil is winning by having over 100 differenent Bible “versions.” He has managed to cast doubt on God’s Word in the Christian’s mind. If this is where you are at, Satan has won in your life.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to put off (cast down – throw aside) the computation and reasoning of God’s Word, and all things that set itself against the knowledge of God (God’s Word); and to place our thoughts under the control (captivity) and obedience of Christ. Hmmm, that’s pretty powerful stuff, isn’t it? This pretty much sums up all the cults and how they twist the Scriptures to support their doctrine. Paul states that they exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and they disobey what Christ has commanded through His Word. If the “religious organization” you belong to is not supported by God’s Word, you have embraced wrong teaching and accepted it as doctrine. It is as simple as that.

Before you go on to say that the “knowledge of God” does not mean His words through the Scriptures, let’s allow the Bible to define what the “knowledge of God” represents. (Pro 2:5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. The “fear of the Lord” allows one to find the knowledge of God, according to this Proverb. This same fear is said to be the fountain of life and will keep us from the snares of spiritual death. (Pro 14:27) The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. The fountain of life leads to living waters – the kind of waters that can only be found through Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. (Joh 7:38 ) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. It stands to reason that the Word of God is the knowledge of God which leads one to salvation in Jesus Christ.

(Hos 4:1) Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.(Hos 6:6) For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.(Rom 11:33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

(1 Cor 15:34) Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

(Col 1:10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

(2 Pet 1:2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Jesus stated that those who had access to such great knowledge of salvation didn’t even accept it and also prevented others from being saved. (Luk 11:52) Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. So the knowledge of God is depicted through the salvation of Jesus Christ. The Word, the Holy Bible, records this knowledge and also records the way to obtain salvation through Christ. (1 Cor 12:8 ) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures and He gives wisdom and knowledge, as this verse states. The knowledge that God wished for us to have was penned in the Scriptures so that mankind could find salvation. (Eph 3:3) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, (Eph 3:4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Therefore, if the Word is the knowledge of God, then 2 Cor. 10:5 must be obeyed. We cannot put our own reasonings above it. No church can say that their leadership’s words and traditions supersede the Word of God. Paul warned the Colossians of the same thing:

(Col 2:1) For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (Col 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; (Col 2:3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:4) And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. (Col 2:5) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. (Col 2:6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (Col 2:7) Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Col 2:8 ) 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.

The Colossians were taught God’s Word and they were being exhorted to walk in His ways, rooted and built up in Him and established in their faith as Paul had taught them. Paul continues to exhort them by warning them that some man may spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit after the traditions of men – after the rudiments (the first teachings) of the world, and not after Christ.. Oh my goodness people, do you not see? Can you not comprehend? The Lord warns us that nothing – absolutely nothing can supersede God’s Words. If you think you are a Christian and you are reading this today, I pray that you will compare what you are being taught in your church with God’s Holy Word. Don’t allow traditions of men to be above God’s Word. Don’t allow an organized group of leaders in your church to determine what is to be practiced by your church if it is in conflict with the Word of God.

The same God who created the universe and all that is in it, is able to preserve His Word today so that you can seek His knowledge and find the path to salvation within the pages of the Holy Bible. Do not be deceived by Lucifer’s tactics – why do you think he is referred to as the “angel of light”? (2 Cor 11:13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (2 Cor 11:14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. Not only is he an angel of light but his followers are trying to appear as apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness! The devil has wanted the throne of Jesus since the beginning and he will do what it takes to get it. He is so full of pride that he cannot even see that his time is short and he will be cast into the lake of fire.

My friend, the devil seeks to take away God’s Word from the face of this earth. He does not want anyone to be saved. (Mar 4:15) And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. This is the devil’s job – to take away the Word of God and devour you so you can go with him to the pits of hell. (1 Pet 5:8 ) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Believe me, any church who adds to or takes away from the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Words (the Holy Bible), will blow hell’s gates wide open and meet the father of lies there. There are too many Scriptures which speak against the traditions of men and the burdens they place upon man.

(Mat 23:13) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Mat 23:14) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (Mat 23:15) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Mat 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. (Mat 23:24) Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Mat 23:25) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Mat 23:26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Mat 23:27) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Mat 23:28 ) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Mat 23:29) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, (Mat 23:33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Mat 23:38 ) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Being a former roman catholic, these verses spoke volumes to me! I was so deceived – I trusted my priest to teach me God’s Word but all I got were dry bones. After salvation, I discovered the waters of life that Christ spoke about in His Word. The Bible has the knowledge of God contained within its pages and it led me to Him! Praise the Lord!



Day 17 – Salvation

(Psa 119:155) Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. We have previously discussed how the devil seeks to devour. Any way he can successfully get a soul, he will do it. Whether it be the pleasures of this world or trying to destroy the Word of God, he will do whatever it takes to keep man away from salvation. That is why he is feverishly trying to pervert God’s Word so that man won’t find salvation. As we look at the Word of God today, look at how David worded this verse. Those who do not seek God’s statues will not be saved. Noah Webster defines statutes as:

STATUTE, [L., to set.]

1. An act of the legislature of a state that extends its binding force to all the citizens or subjects of that state, as distinguished from an act which extends only to an individual or company; an act of the legislature commanding or prohibiting something; a positive law. Statutes are distinguished from common law. The latter owes its binding force to the principles of justice, to long use and the consent of a nation. The former owe their binding force to a positive command or declaration of the supreme power. Statute is commonly applied to the acts of a legislative body consisting of representatives. In monarchies, the laws of the sovereign are called edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts, etc.

2. A special act of the supreme power, of a private nature, or intended to operate only on an individual or company.

3. The act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law; as the statutes of a university.

Those who try to defend their position that God’s Word is not preserved have not studied the matter out – that is obvious! Statutes are not just a word here and there. These are defined guidelines – notice, in the first definition, Mr. Webster states “a positive law.” He states further that “Statutes are distinguished from ‘common law.’ and ‘The former owe their binding force to a positive command or declaration of the supreme power’” The definition is clear that God’s statutes are not something that will fall apart through time. They are there for eternity. God never changes – what He hated in the Garden of Eden is hated today and will be hated 1,000 years from now. He is not man that He should change His opinion or stand. Who are you to think otherwise? Who are you to change His Word or think that He cannot keep His Word from Satan’s corruption? Satan did not succeed with he tempted Jesus in the wilderness – he even used the Word of God in his efforts to tempt Christ. You’ve had this happen in your own life, haven’t you – someone used your own words to accuse you or try to make you stumble? But you knew what you had said – you knew what you meant and you were able to straighten that person out. It’s the same with God’s Word. Satan was not successful when he tried to tempt Christ using His own words because he twisted the Word of God and the Master put ole slew foot in his place.

So as we pick apart today’s verse, we see that it is through God’s words that salvation can be found. Is it any wonder that the devil has tried so vehemently to corrupt it and to destroy it? Is it any wonder that there are over 100 versions of the Bible on the book shelves today? If you were to poll just those Christians in your life to see if they believe they have the preserved Word of God contained in their Bible, what would be their response? I was amazed to learn that although many in my own church had a King James Bible, they only had it because they thought it was the “best” version or the “closest” version. They did not have the assurance that God preserved His words! The devil has succeeded to convince the world that God must have limitations because He is not able to preserve His own words! If this is the case, then God cannot keep our salvation! Exactly … Now you’re getting it! Now you understand full well how Satan is successfully undermining God’s plan of salvation – he is causing man to doubt God’s Word and as a result everything relating to salvation is doubtful as well! You know what? It’s working! However, we are told that God’s Word will last forever! (Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

David knew how to overcome the devil’s ploys. He was “in the Word” and had it imprinted upon his heart! He turned to God’s words over and over to encourage himself. He did not allow the devil to keep him from it. He knew that in the Bible’s pages were the way to salvation. The Christian ought to arm himself with God’s Word. He ought to study it so he can be prepared to fight the devil. He ought to be convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is able to keep His Words from being destroyed. Do not think lightly of this.

The Words of God draw mankind to Himself – to salvation – whether it was in the Old Testament when God was present in a cloud or through the pages of our Holy Bible. God has not left us defenseless. He is not a cruel and uncaring God – He desires that we have fellowship with Him. Please take time to read these verses and let them speak to your heart. God is not temporal – He is eternal – He speaks in terms of eternity – forever:

(Exo 19:9) And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

(Deu 12:28 ) Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

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

(Isa 59:21) As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

Forever means just that … without end … nothing negates God’s Words. You can believe your catechism all you want. You can believe your church leaders all you want. You can believe that televangelist all you want. But God will hold you accountable for what you have done with His Word. (Mat 12:36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Mat 12:37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

My friend, if you think you are on the right path with your belief system, please verify it. You would not board just any plane would you? You wouldn’t board that plane just because “someone” told you that it was the right plane, would you? You would make sure that this plane matched what was on your ticket, right? Why would you assume that you are on the right road to Heaven? Just because your minister, your priest or Rabbi says you are, is that good enough for you? Do you handle your everyday life’s situations like this? If someone told you to put all your savings in Enron shares because they had a good tip, would you have done it? Look what happened to those who did! If you are cautious with your savings, why are you not as cautious with where you will send your soul for all eternity? It is your decision – strictly yours! Do you have that perfect peace that is promised to the one who is actually saved from the pits of hell? The unbeliever will always have a twinge of doubt in his heart! He will never have the full assurance of salvation.

If you are saved, then what are you doing with God’s Word? Are you allowing someone else to glean and digest the spiritual meat from the Bible that God intended just for you? The day that you were depressed and needed encouragement, He was waiting to bless you with His perfect words of encouragement but you did not stop to read them. Remember, you are responsible for your own spiritual growth according 2 Tim. 2:15.

(Ecc 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. Do you fear God and keep His Word? Noah Webster defines duty as:

1. That which a person owes to another; that which a person is bound, by any natural, moral or legal obligation, to pay, do or perform. Obedience to princes, magistrates and the laws is the duty of every citizen and subject; obedience, respect and kindness to parents are duties of children; fidelity to friends is a duty; reverence, obedience and prayer to God are indispensable duties; the government and religious instruction of children are duties of parents which they cannot neglect without guilt.

My friend, it is your DUTY to fear God and keep His Word. This has not changed and will not change. Just as the rainbow is still remembered today as God’s covenant with mankind and will be so for all eternity, so is His precious word found in the pages of the Holy Bible. What will you do with it? Remember who God is! (Jer 10:10) But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Do you really want to take a chance with your eternal soul?



Day 18 – Endureth For Ever!

(1 Pet 1:25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Peter tells us that God’s Word will endure forever. This leaves no room for questions or doubts. It means that God’s Words can and will be preserved and nothing can stop it!

I stand baffled at how man can say that God’s Word is not with us today. They actually believe that the Bible is man’s interpretations and that the originals are long gone. What do they have to back that up? They have the words of men who have actually changed the Bible and they hold that as their defense. Would you rather trust the words of a sinful man (we are all sinners) or would you rather trust God? Is He a man that He should lie? No!

Westcott and Hort were known accepters of catholic doctrine – both were admirers of Mary. Why would one want to accept their words over God’s? Dr. Hort did not believe in Christ’s shed blood as atonement for our sins! Why would you trust someone like that with the very Word of God? Westcott was no better. His idea of Heaven was in the mind of man. He also did not believe in the miracles of the Bible. These two men did more for modern-day translations of the Bible then anyone else. (Rom 1:22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and (2 Cor 10:12) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Here are some notable quotes from these two men:

“We may reasonably hope, by patient, resolute, faithful, united endeavour to find heaven about us here, the glory of our earthly life.” (Hort)“Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ’s bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy.” (Westcott)

“I never read an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover somewhat of evidence in the account of it.” (Westcott)

“I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry (the worship of the Virgin Mary) bears witness.” (Westcott, Life & Letters- Ibid. )

“The pure Romanish [Roman Catholic] view seems to be nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical.” (Hort, Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 77)

“Evangelicals seem to me perverted. . .There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.” (Hort, The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.400)

“Our Bible as well as our Faith is a mere compromise.” (Westcott, On the Canon of the New Testament, p.vii).

Why would you believe the words of two men who were not even saved? Would you learn how to swim from someone who did not know how? Would you ask an illiterate person to teach you to read? Would you ask someone to show you the way of salvation who wasn’t saved? Would you accept a translation from men who did not even love God? Do you actually believe that God would have His hand in their work?

Furthermore, those who add to the Bible through traditions and church leaders’ words state that God made account for changes in (Joh 21:25) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. In response to that nonsense, I say this (Mar 3:24) And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If these Westcott and Hort changes were actually from God, then God is contradicting His own words. This is a kingdom divided against itself. Surely you understand this.

The Word is the very foundation of our belief system. It is the Bible that gives us our instructions for living and salvation. (Psa 11:3) If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psa 11:4) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. We need to remember that although Westcott and Hort have tried to destroy our foundation (God’s Word), verse 4 tells us that this cannot happen because God is still on the throne in Heaven. He is all powerful and almighty and nothing can happen to His Word. He won’t allow it. (Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

The concept of those who have tried to corrupt the Word of God is not new. It was going on in the time of the Apostle Paul and it is going on today. (2 Cor 2:17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Paul considered these corrupters of God’s Word to be prideful, ignorant, disputers, not having God’s truth. Paul warned us to stay away from people like this. (1 Tim 6:3) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; (1 Tim 6:4) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, (1 Tim 6:5) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

This was serious business to Paul. He knew that if one gets caught up in the lies found in corrupt Bible versions, they would miss out on the truth and completeness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just compare the top four versions out there with the King James Bible and you will see that Christ’s deity, His atoning blood, and His complete work on the cross are being attacked. It is also very interesting that the catholic church attacks these very topics as well (Mary edified to the point of deity because she is the “mother of God”; Christ’s blood is not atonement enough so the catholic must go to confession and do penance; Christ’s work on the cross is not enough so the catholic must go to purgatory). The devil sure is having a field day! He has managed to add the burden of salvation through man’s efforts to the modern versions. If he can cause man to miss out on those important verses, maybe man just won’t get saved at all. That’s success in the devil’s eyes.

That is why Paul’s exhortation to continue in what we have been taught in the Word is so important. You cannot continue in something that you do not spend time reading and listening to. In fact, you will be easily led astray. (2 Tim 3:14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (2 Tim 3:15) 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. Timothy had learned the Scriptures (Old Testament) as a child and this led him to salvation in Christ when he heard about the Messiah. Is it any wonder that Satan would try so hard to cast shadows of doubt on the preservation of God’s words? They lead to life everlasting. They lead to salvation. They lead to Jesus!



Day 19 – God’s Word Teaches

Who/What should be our teacher? Your rabbi? Your priest? Your pastor? The popular commentaries of today? Who? What? How does the Word of God respond to that question? (Jas 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.

My friend, upon being born-again, I received the Holy Spirit and He became my Teacher. (Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Since He wrote the Bible, He ought to be my main source for learning.

Use your logic today. God gave you a brain – exercise it! If you want to know all about plumbing, you go to a plumber, correct? If you want to learn how to rewire the electrical in your home, you would seek the help of an electrician. If you want to know about God’s Word, go to the One who wrote it! It’s as simple as that. The born-again believer receives the Holy Spirit the day he is saved. The Holy Spirit’s job is to teach (Eph 1:13 above) and, therefore, go to the Teacher! He speaks the same thing to all His children. Granted, we may not all learn at the same pace, but once He has taught us a certain doctrine, it will be the same thing that all other born-again believers have learned about the same doctrine.

For example, I learned about tithing around the fifth year after I was saved. Before I learned about it, whatever I heard on the subject didn’t really stick with me. When God saw that I was ready to learn this subject He saw fit to teach me. But until I learned it, I had the wrong “concept” and thought it was only for the Jews. Of course, once He taught me, I learned what God’s Word actually said on the matter. He later confirmed what He had taught me at home with a message the Pastor preached one Sunday evening. I knew then that I had learned what God had wanted me to learn. Why are there different “interpretations” today? It is only because of man’s laziness to study the matter out. God is not man that He should lie. He will not teach you one thing on tithing and then teach me something totally different on the same subject. That is not consistent with His character.

Therefore, if there be any deviations, it is because man has brought his own ideas into the matter due to laziness. He has not studied it out and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to him – or this man is not born again and does not possess the Holy Spirit of God in his life. God says we can have wisdom – all we have to do is ask Him (James 1:5 above) and He will give it to us liberally and won’t withhold any of it. Why would He promise that if He could not fulfill it through the Holy Spirit? What the Holy Spirit teaches us on a daily basis will be confirmed in the preaching of the Word of God when you go to church services. The man of God will speak that which the Holy Spirit has given to him for your benefit. If you do not agree with what you hear, dig into the Bible and find out whether these things be so. The Bereans did that and were commended for doing so. (Act 17:10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. (Act 17:11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Why would God compliment the Bereans here for searching the Scriptures daily to confirm what they had been taught by Paul and Silas? These Bereans did not even take Paul and Silas’ words for granted. They did not assume because Paul was a church leader that his words were gold! No – absolutely not. They searched the Word and made sure that they were being taught according to the Word of God not man’s!

Over and over in the Word of God, we find the phrase “teach me.” Repeatedly we see that God’s Word is to be followed. That is God’s desire for us. (Num 23:19a) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: He will not cause us to believe one thing and then lead someone else to believe another. It is not His nature to do so. This verse says that He will not repent. If the Holy Spirit taught you that you should tithe 10% and taught me that I don’t need to tithe at all, He would have to repent. That goes against this verse! Therefore, all of us who are in Christ will be taught the same thing through His Holy Spirit. Again, we may not all learn at the same time but we will eventually be taught the same things in time. Whether we learn it and apply it to our lives depends on whether or not we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at the following verses. I hope that they will open your eyes if you think it is OK that learning from a man supersedes what God has written in His Word.

(Psa 25:4) Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.The Psalmist didn’t want to learn someone else’s ways. No, his prayer was that God would show him His ways. He so wanted to be taught by the Lord. What a humble heart! He says it again in the following:

(Psa 25:5) Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

(Psa 27:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.(Psa 86:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

(Psa 119:12) Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:26) I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:33) HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.(Psa 119:64) The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.(Psa 119:66) Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.(Psa 119:68 ) Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.(Psa 119:108 ) Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

(Psa 119:124) Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:135) Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

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

Is it any wonder that David was the apple of God’s eye? He so desired to learn God’s Word and to be taught by the Master Teacher!

(1 Cor 2:13) 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. (1 Cor 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. No wonder there are so many different “interpretations” of God’s Word today! Man has given way to being taught “man’s wisdom” rather than the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Instead, they use as their defense that the born-again believer’s interpretation is his “own.” Again, they limit the God of Glory, the Almighty! They say that He cannot possibly give us His Word today. It must be given to us through church leaders and if the church leaders change it or add to it, it’s OK because they have extra unction from above!

(1 John 2:26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (1 John 2:27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. The Apostle John did not mince his words here. He boldly states to the believers that they should not be deceived because they have the Holy Spirit revealing to them His Truths! The One who anoints us at the new birth is there to teach us – He is not a liar so He will not teach us different things but will teach us all the same way as we grow in His grace.

Don’t be caught up in a religion of works which teaches you that you can be saved through Christ plus anything else. This is a false Gospel. It is salvation through Christ plus nothing. Period. No church tradition – no baptismal regeneration – no purgatory – no Joseph Smith – no Allah – no Buddha – nothing!

The Word of God says if you believe that there is more to salvation that you are wells without water – you are in darkness. (2 Pet 2:17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (2 Pet 2:18 ) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (2 Pet 2:19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Pet 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. (2 Pet 2:21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Pet 2:22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. These people once believed the truth but they corrupted it and believed the truth “plus something more” – They now are under bondage again – leading others to hell along the way.

(Pro 14:12) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(Pro 16:25) There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(Mat 7:13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (Mat 7:14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

You know what, my friend? I would rather follow the Berean’s pattern and know that it was the right pattern because God complimented their diligence in studying the Word! Also, I would rather do that which pleases God than to do that which man says I must do. If a conflict arises between God’s Word and man’s word, God’s Word will win, hands down!



Day 20 – As a Little Child

(Mar 10:14) But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mar 10:15) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mar 10:16) And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Why would the Lord Jesus say that we could not be saved unless we came with the faith of a little child? What are the qualities of a little child that makes this statement so interesting? I think of my own children and what I went through as a parent. Everything my husband and I said to them were words of gold. They did not question it – they just absolutely knew that what we said was the truth. We could have told them the sky was green and they would have believed it. We were their heroes and no one could convince them otherwise. That is the faith of a child.

I also think of how our children never came to us asking for clothing or where their next meal was going to come from. They knew that Mommy and Daddy would take care of them. In fact, it was not even something they thought about. They did not think about tomorrow and what lay in store for them. They trusted (unknowingly) in their hearts that their parents would care for them and take care of all their needs.

If a Ph.D. in Theology came to my child and started a conversation about the comparisons between the Tabernacle of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, my child would look at him as if he had two heads! 🙂 But tell a child that his little “fib” was actually a lie and God’s Word says that lying is a sin, he will understand that. He will also understand that no one with sin can get into Heaven. When he has reached the age of reasoning, he will know and understand that his lie is a sin and all those who sin will not go to heaven but will go to hell. He will be able to understand that he must ask Jesus to come into his heart and he needs to repent – try not to do those sins again. That can be understood by a child. That is why Jesus said that all must come to Him with the faith of a child. Both my sons received Christ at an early age. My oldest was 6 and my youngest was 9.

Major religions of today complicate the simple plan of salvation and add burdens that are far to weighty for a child and they are wrong. (Mar 9:42) And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. If a young child cannot understand it, then it cannot be what Christ was talking about. Notice in Mark that Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter”! Those are strong words from the Lord Himself! Those words were directed to Pharisees and all religious leaders who thought themselves more learned. We see this in most religions where there is emphasis on the leaders being more spiritual than the followers. If God’s Word cannot be understood by a child, then Jesus is a liar and none of us can be saved. That is utter nonsense when compared to Christ’s words in Mark! The religious leaders who tell you that they know more than you really don’t. They strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! (Matt 23:24) The Word says that we do not need to be taught by them. That is God’s job and He will teach us through His Holy Spirit. (1 Jn 2:27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. Is it any wonder that formalized religion does not want you to dig in the Bible for yourself?

Jesus said that we must come to Him with the faith of a child so why would He add countless doctrines to the basic plan of salvation? He wouldn’t. A little child would grow to understand the teachings of his church eventually but he would not understand them all at the moment of salvation. I hope this makes sense to you. You must see that there is nothing more to salvation in Christ then to repent and be saved. All other teachings come afterwards and are not necessary to enter the gates of Heaven.

So back to the faith of a child – Jesus related the salvation experience to that of a child – He wants us to realize that it is not complicated! He has given us the basics in His Word. John 3:3 says we must be born again. When we accept the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are born again – we are saved from eternal damnation. Our old nature dies and our new nature comes alive in Christ through His Holy Spirit! Did I understand all of this when I got saved? Absolutely not! I learned what happened to me as I grew spiritually. But at the time of my salvation, I did what I knew I had to do. I knew I was a horrible sinner in need of a Saviour. I knew that nothing I could possibly do would get me into Heaven. I knew that Jesus Christ is God and He came in the flesh to die for my sins and there was no other way to Heaven but by accepting Him as my Saviour. I knew that I had to repent – to turn away from my sinful ways and accept Jesus as my Saviour. A child can understand this concept. He knows that he has sinned if he told a lie or if he disobeyed his parents. This is an easy thing for a child to understand. The child can also understand that after he asks Jesus into his heart, he will have to stop lying and will have to obey his parents. The simplicity of the Gospel is evident even to a little child. Why do you think Christ used these words in Mark?

In other words, salvation is not blabbing a few words in a prayer and being saved. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world who have done this and they have not changed but are living like the devil just as they were before they blabbed their little prayer. One must repent! Repentance means a turning away from one way of life to another. If the sinner was a thief, he is to steal no more. If he was a compulsive liar, he is to lie no more. If he was living with someone without being married, he would need to leave that situation and be chaste until marriage. True salvation brings about a change according to 2 Cor. 5:17. Some people change faster than others but there will be change. To say otherwise makes God’s Word a lie and we know that God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2b)

God’s Word has been given to us so that even the little child can understand it and accept it. It does not need to be complicated by the weights of formalized religion.



Day 21 – Hear God’s Word

(Joh 8:45-47) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (45) Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? (46) He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (47)(1 Jn 4:6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

We hear God’s Word because we have been born again and we possess the Holy Spirit in our lives. He, the Holy Spirit, will teach us about Jesus Christ and God’s will for us and He will guide us into all truths.

(Joh 14:17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.(Joh 15:26) 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 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

The Spirit of God is what convicts us and shows us what we must do in our lives. Seven times, Christ tells us to listen to the Spirit!

(Rev 2:7) 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 2:11) 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 2:17) 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 2:29) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

(Rev 3:6) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

(Rev 3:13) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

(Rev 3:22) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It is clear that we must listen to the Holy Spirit of God, not only for salvation but for our spiritual growth. The same Spirit that spoke to Elijah speaks to us in that still small voice. (1 Ki 19:12) And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. The born again believer has access to the Throne of God because of the mediating power of Jesus Christ. Six times the Word states that He is our mediator.

(Gal 3:19) Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.(Gal 3:20) Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

(1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

(Heb 8:6) But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

(Heb 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

(Heb 12:24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

I love the depiction of the cross of Christ joining the great gulf between earth and Heaven, don’t you? It speaks volumes, doesn’t it? I also love the fact that Christ did not leave this earth and leave us with nothing but a memory. He left us with His Holy Spirit to guide, direct, teach, pray for us, and speak to us. We are not left on our own but we have God Himself living within us!

(Rom 8:26) 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 (Rom 8:27) 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 do not need anyone else to make intercession for us because we have God Himself, through the Spirit of Christ, making intercession to the Father for us.

Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, has saved us – once for all – to the uttermost – forever! I don’t need to worry if I’m saved one minute and not the other. Christ’s shed blood at Calvary saves to the uttermost. It is accepting this gift and repenting from our wicked ways that allows us to be able to claim this promise!

(Heb 7:24) But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

(Heb 7:25) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

(Heb 7:26) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

(Heb 7:27) Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

(Heb 7:28 ) For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Praise be to God in the Highest!!!



Day 22 – Who Do I Listen To?

I don’t know how to communicate my thoughts to you effectively this morning. This story came to mind and I thought maybe it would “speak” what I can’t.

My Upbringing

My Father and Mother are the best parents a child could ever ask for. I have never lacked shelter, food or clothing in all my years living at home. Even when I strayed from what they taught me, they were always there with opened arms ready to welcome me back. It didn’t matter how much I had hurt them, they always forgave me and their love was unwaivering.

This love would be “tried” when I was confronted with a confusing situation. Before my Father went into the military, we hung out together. We were like two peas in a pod. When you saw him, you saw me. I learned a lot from my Father and he always taught me to “remember these things your Mother and I have told you, sweetheart, because one day you will need them.” My parents always agreed on everything. My Father could count on my Mother’s support in everything he did. I never heard a negative comment by either one of them against the other. What a stable foundation it was and it gave me a sense of security as their child.

While my Father was overseas in the military, he wrote to me every day. I looked forward to each of his letters with eager child-like anticipation! He told me how beautiful the landscape was in the country he was visiting and how friendly the people were. He wrote so wonderfully and his descriptions of the land made it clear to me that it was a place I definitely would visit one day. Each page was filled with comforting and loving words – assuring me that he would one day be back and we could all be together again. His letters also reaffirmed those things he had taught me while he was with me. He reminded me that family was the most important thing and that I should be loyal. He taught me to honor my mother and take care of her and my siblings while he was away. He also reminded me of every word he had spoken to me while he was yet with me – each house rule, each chore I had been assigned, each area of teaching that caused me to grow. It was as if he wanted to remind me of all the times he directed me in “where I should go, what I should do” and “how I should get there.”

One particular event sticks most in my mind where it caused much confusion. My Father had always taught me that I should never, ever lie – even those “little” white lies I use to tell were considered a breach of his rules. He included this in one of his letters, “Remember, honey, it’s never right to tell a lie. O.K.? I want you to remember that!” I understood him completely and lived by that rule. One day, the phone rang. It was Aunt Betty and she asked for my Mother. She was at home but did not want to take the call. She told me to tell Aunt Betty that she was not at home. I reminded her that Dad said it was never right to tell a lie but she told me to tell Aunt Betty she was not at home. Afterward, I felt awful because I knew that I had disobeyed my Father and that he would be terribly disappointed in me. I told Mom how I felt. I even showed her Dad’s letters but she still said it was O.K. to lie at certain times like this situation. She even said that Dad would allow lying under these circumstances and that it was O.K.

Later, when my Father came home from overseas, we discussed the lie. He reminded me of his words to me when I was young and how he had even left me his words in his letters reaffirming that rule. Although he was very angry with my Mother for having led me astray in this area of lying, he was equally angry with me for neglecting his directions so clearly outlined in his letters. My heart was broken. I knew that it was wrong to lie, yet I let someone tell me otherwise – someone I trusted – my own mother.

As a result, my Father taught me that under no circumstances should I ever go against his words, no matter who directed me to do so. When I had doubts, I was to return to those letters and read them over and over so that they would be imprinted in my memory.

Although this is a simple story, I hope it has the spiritual impact on the reader that I intended. Everyone must have guidelines to live by, otherwise the world would be chaos. Guidelines have existed since the beginning of mankind and set in writing in the Ten Commandments. God did not leave us empty-handed. He did not leave us without a road map for our journey on this earth. Not at all! In fact, He left us His Word so that we would be able to find our way in a dark and sinful world. He left us His Word to guide us to His perfect plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. (Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. When there were contradictions in life, God made it clear. (Act 5:29) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Mankind needed a Mediator who would reconcile man with God. God provided that Mediator through His Son. (1 Tim 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; He showed us in His Word that there was only one way to Him and that was through Christ. (Act 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Unfortunately, man has adjusted his “religion” to accommodate his flesh. From the beginning with Adam and Eve, man has tried to come to the Father by means of his own works. Adam and Eve tried to make themselves aprons to cover their sin (Gen. 3:7). However, God shed blood and made them coats to cover them (Gen. 3:21). Also, Cain’s sacrifice was the work of his hands (Gen. 4:3), while Abel’s sacrifice was as God had commanded the sacrifice should be (Gen. 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament we see man trying to come to God by way of his own works. As well, throughout the Bible God has shown that it is only through the work of Christ’s shed blood on the cross of Calvary that we can come to Him. (Eph 2:13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Eph 2:16) And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

So what does one do when his “religion” says one thing and God’s Word says another? What if they don’t agree? Who does one listen to? (Act 5:29) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. This is not a complicated concept. All the earth’s governments are based on laws, rules and regulations. When one disobeys the law that is written in the books of the law of the land, one is punished. For instance, my husband is a police officer. Let’s say I get caught driving 60 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone. I’m clearly guilty according to the law of the land. There are State Codes which are written and dictate the speed limits. However, I tell the police officer that my husband (also a police officer) told me it was O.K. to drive 60 because I’m a policeman’s wife. This sounds silly, doesn’t it? It is not any more silly than a “religion” saying that their leaders have changed the laws because they “represent” the Law Giver. My husband represents the law givers of our State but his words cannot supersede those laws. Ultimately, the penalty must be paid and the law must be obeyed.

You can’t justify your actions by stating that your interpretation of the law was different. The law is clearly outlined in the books and one is held accountable according to that law. It is no different with God and His Word. We will be held accountable for what we have done as it relates to the Bible. Have we accepted God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ? Or have we added to the free gift of salvation with a list of “do’s and don’ts”? (2 Cor 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

There is nothing that man can do to add to the perfect gift of redemption through Christ. This verse says that we are made the righteousness of God in Christ! We ourselves have nothing that is righteous. (Isa 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Rom 7:18a) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: The gift of God is free. (1 Cor 2:12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. We cannot earn it – we cannot work for it – we cannot inherit it because our parents have it – we cannot assume that we have it. All must come to the Cross of Calvary and accept the fact that there is nothing we can do to earn heaven and that Christ paid the entire price and penalty for our sins. (Eph 2:8 ) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So in closing, the Father has left us with clear instructions on how to be saved. The world and its “religions” has added to or taken away from His clear instructions. However, the Word is clear that we cannot make our own aprons, we cannot grow our own vegetables and present them as a “substitute” for our sins. Only Christ can be that substitute. So, who will you answer to? Your “religion” or God’s Word?



Day 23 – Final Authority

God describes Himself to us in many verses in Scriptures. He has not hidden His character from mankind at all. As you read the following verses, jot down on a piece of paper the character trait of God outlined in that particular verse.

(Exo 20:5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;


(Exo 34:14) For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
(Deu 4:24) For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

(Deu 5:9) Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

(Deu 6:15) (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

(Jos 24:19) And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

(1Ki 19:10) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

(Eze 39:25) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

(Joe 2:18 ) Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

(Nah 1:2) God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

(Zec 1:14) So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

(Zec 8:2) Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.

(Psa 15:4) In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

(Mal 3:6) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

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

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

(Psa 119:140) Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

(Joh 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

(1 Jn 4:8 ) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

These are the characteristics of God that I came up with:

1. God is jealous
2. God is a consuming fire
3. God is angry
4. God is holy
5. God is merciful
6. God pities
7. God will take vengeance on his enemies
8. God doesn’t change
9. God means business (His word is final)
10. God is compassionate
11. God is truth (never lies)
12. God is love

These are not all the verses in Scriptures that teach us about God’s character, but just a few. There’s enough here, however, to teach us that we ought to take notice of God’s character traits. They are documented for a reason. God has not left us without knowledge. He has not left us empty handed and blind. Instead, He has left us with His Word which clearly outlines what His expectations are and what we must do to fulfill those expectations.

We have learned here that the One and only God is a Holy God – He cannot sin. He repeatedly tells us that He is a jealous God. If God is as jealous as His Word shows us, you can better believe that He will not share His throne with anyone else. He also will not allow someone else to receive the adoration that is clearly to be given to Him.

We also have learned that His anger can and will be kindled if we rebel and disobey Him. The Word teaches that God never changes, therefore what He says in His Word will never change. To state otherwise says that God is lying and we know that this is impossible. Since God never changes, then it stands to reason that whatever is in His Word will never change. If God says that He alone is to be revered and adored, then no one else can be added to the list. If God says that He is the only Mediator, then no one else can assume that role. If God says that Jesus is the only way to heaven, then one cannot gain entrance to heaven by believing in Allah or Buddha. What does one do when the Word of God says one thing and the world’s religions say another?

The devil loves nothing more than to confuse mankind by twisting God’s Word. It began in the Garden of Eden with “Hath God said” and it continues on today. In fact, it is worse today. Today we have countless translations of the Bible. Mankind wonders if they actually have God’s Word or just a “record” of God’s words. Can God create a rock that is too heavy for Him to lift? A silly question, isn’t it? I’ve been asked this question by scoffers who do not want to know the truth but instead they want to argue. It’s the same with the various versions of the Bible. People cannot understand that God is in fact able to keep His Bible from being corrupted. To think otherwise is to limit God – not wise at all!

So with that in mind, where in the Bible does it state that it is O.K. for religious traditions to supersede God’s Word? There is absolutely nothing wrong with traditions if they are in agreement with God’s Word. For example, in this verse Paul encourages his readers to hold fast to the traditions they have taught. (2 Th 2:15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. What traditions was Paul referring to? Verse 14 points this out: (2 Th 2:14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and all that was taught and was preached is what Paul was encouraging the readers to follow. Those are the right traditions. They do not contradict the Word of God. However, anything that is taught to man that is contrary to God’s Word is wrong. (Mar 7:9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. These are the traditions that are wrong and they lead many astray. (Rom 16:17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

We are to avoid teachings that are contrary to the doctrine which is taught in the Word, my friend! Plain and simple. We have a guide – a compass – a ruler in the Bible. The Word of God lays out all that we need to find our way to salvation. It is not complicated – there are no heavy burdens or laws as there were in the Old Testament. All these laws were fulfilled through Christ Jesus and we must come with a sincere and repenting heart and accept His finished work on the cross for payment for our sins. Since the Word says that God is a jealous God, then we can know for certain that He will not have anything or anyone stand in His place. Ironically, this is what Lucifer desired. (Isa 14:12-15) 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) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (15)

Why would God allow someone to be likened to Him when He states in His Word that He is a jealous God? It does not make any sense, does it? Worship the Lord God only! (Mat 4:10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.



Day 24 – God’s Word Not to be Changed

(Pro 30:5) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Pro 30:6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

When I was first saved, I came across so many people, saved and unsaved, who believed that God’s words could be found in the Holy Bible. However, as time has passed in my almost 28 years of salvation, the numbers are decreasing by leaps and bounds. Is it any wonder that we do not see true repentance anymore? We see many who say the sinner’s prayer but their hearts are far from sincere. Their lives don’t change. They still sin the same old sins. They go on with their lives as if nothing ever happened. They don’t have the peace that comes with salvation. Instead, they have only managed to experience a temporary “feel good” event and they will search for that same “feel good” event over and over. They will continue to go to church and perform the same religious routine hoping that they have covered all their bases. But where is assurance of their salvation? There is none because they base their salvation on their church or something they did. True assurance of salvation comes with complete peace and eternal security because all of it rests on Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. It is He who paid the price for our sin – completely. Nothing we can do or say can add or take away from Christ’s gift of grace to us.

God’s Word is so important and it is the only thing that can reach the lost. (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Is it any wonder that focus on God’s Word has been shifted in today’s world to different “versions” and compromises between “religions”? Jesus said, (Luk 4:4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. If we are to live by every word of God as if it were food, it stands to reason that we would be provided with that word/food so we can live by it. Correct? Just as God provided manna to the Jews in the wilderness, how much more will He provide us with our manna through the Bible in our wilderness journey as pilgrims here on earth?

Jesus also said Luk 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.Therefore, there is nothing that man can do or say which will be above His word. To say that magisterium and tradition supersede or even work “in conjunction with” the Bible is a lie. Jesus says that man is not above Him. No pope – no magisterium – no tradition is above Him. His Word is final. His Word is complete. He is our Master and His word is above all. The latter part of the verse says that everyone that is perfect shall be as his Master. How can we be perfect? Let the Word define it for us: (2Ti 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Ti 3:17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. This is not talking about sinless perfection but about how we can live by God’s words and can be guided by them because we have the perfect Word of God with us.

It’s important to understand that the Lord has left us equipped with His words and we will be judged accordingly. Many households in the United States have a Bible on their bookshelves – some have several. But how many people ever read that Bible? It amazes me that it is still the number one seller on the book market yet our world is getting more evil with each passing day! It’s important to do the things which are commanded within the Bible’s pages but how can you do them unless you read? Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Over and over we are commanded in God’s Word to DO the things which God says. Over and over, the Word speaks of obedience to God and His word – not obedience to men and the traditions of men. God will not allow compromise, my friend! He is not a compromiser and certainly will not compromise His Word! Why would God say one thing in His Word and then 300 years later, through the pope or the councils, that it’s O.K. to do differently than He had previously commanded or add to what He previously commanded?

Anyone who allows church traditions and cult leaders to guide them are being led by a lie. We do not have to be blind – God has left us the light of His Word to guide us. Luk 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? These liars preach just enough of the Bible to set a trap for their “following” and then they lead them straight to hell. But the responsibility does not lie with these liars. The responsibility lies with the one who allows himself to be trapped into their lies. We each must take responsibility for what we hear and what we believe. The sincere heart will be led by the Spirit of God to salvation. But the insincere heart will be sucked into every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Therefore, it is important to remember that we have the correct doctrine found in the Word of God. Paul encourages the Ephesians not to be tossed about with false doctrines. How can you encourage someone to recognize false doctrine unless you have the real thing right then and there for them to compare with?

Old slew foot has corrupted the Word of God from the beginning and he is still hard at work. (Luk 8:11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luk 8:12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Notice it is the devil – the father of lies, the great deceiver – that takes away the word out of their hearts! It is this same devil that caused Eve to question what God had said in the Garden. It is the same devil that worked in Cain’s heart to provide his own method of sacrifice instead of doing what God had commanded. It is this same devil that tried to twist the Scriptures when he tempted Christ in the wilderness. The devil’s main priority is to corrupt the Word of God. Is it so hard to understand? The devil knows how powerful the Word is. He knows the Word probably better than most – he quoted from the Scriptures repeatedly as he tried to tempt the Lord. But Satan’s attempts will be to cause doubt as to what God actually says. Satan’s attempts will be to add “a little something to make it more palatable”!

However, Christ makes it clear that we must obey the Word of God! (Luk 8:21) And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. (Luk 11:28 ) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.He did not say to obey tradition or men’s words, my friend. Jesus Christ repeatedly tells us in the Gospels that we are to hear God’s Word and obey it. Why would Christ allow something so important to be repeated over and over and then change it later on through false doctrine, magisterium or tradition? God’s Word is so important that He doesn’t leave us in the darkness – He has made it quite clear. There’s an old saying, “Repetition sharpens a dull mind.” This is very true! When the unsaved read over and over how important God’s Word is to us, they will come to realize that it supersedes anything man could ever invent!

God tells us that His Word cannot be broken. (Joh 10:35b) … unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; His Word is final – nothing can come before it, after it, or in place of it. (2Co 2:17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Paul exhorted the Corinthians not to follow after those who corrupted the word of God but to follow after him – who spoke in Christ – who spoke the uncorrupted word of God! The Apostles would not have allowed tradition to supersede God’s Word. Paul even chastised Peter for compromising. (Gal 2:11-16) But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (11) For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. (12) And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (13) But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (14) We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, (15) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (16) God forbids us to add to His Word. Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end. There is nothing else that needs to be done – nothing else needs to be added to salvation – nothing else needs to be taken away! All is complete in Him. God’s Word is complete and cannot be changed. It cannot be compromised with man’s words.

The Apostle Paul shows us that it is not his words that are truth but God’s words! (1 Th 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. Man’s words will not sanctify us. Man’s words will not cause us to be spiritually minded. However, God’s words will. (1 Ti 4:5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. It is not man’s words that have power to help us overcome sin. It is not man’s words that will pierce our hearts and change us from within. However, God’s Word can. (Heb 4:12) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. No wonder the devil hates God’s Word. He knows that is will change us. It is the Word that pricks the heart and causes change. The Word leads us to salvation in Christ alone – not a church – not of works – but Christ alone! A church or man’s words will not lead one to be born again – but the Word of God will. And this Word is alive today and is promised to abide forever! ( 1Pe 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

So what happens to one who tries to change this precious Word of God? (Rev 22:18 ) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
(Rev 22:19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 
There is no tradition or magisterium that will be found standing at the end – but God’s Word will. (Isa 40:8 ) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.



Day 25 – The Word Packs a Punch

(2 Tim 3:16-17) 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.

These two verses are packed with a punch, aren’t they? They are not two simple verses. In fact, we have much to learn in them:

1. ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Not just the Old Testament – not just the New Testament – but ALL! Also, if God wanted tradition to be part of His divine inspiration, this would have been the best place to have stated so. The Holy Spirit inspired man to pen His words. He had a purpose for each and every word to be documented in the exact place that He put them.

2. Scripture is useful to us for doctrine – (Tit 2:10) Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.Paul exhorts that we are to adorn the “doctrine of God our Saviour” – not magisterium – not tradition. The doctrine of God is His Holy Word!

3. Scripture is useful to us for reproof. Noah Webster’s definition of reproof is:

Blame cast; censure directed to a person

The Word will cast blame on us – the Word of God will censure us – in other words, it will lead us to realize that we are sinners in need of salvation. The Word will show us that although we deserve hell, Christ’s work on the cross, His death, burial and resurrection, has paid the penalty and we are no longer condemned if we repent and believe the Gospel!

4. Scripture is useful for correction. The Word shows us what we are doing wrong and what we should be doing. Just as we correct our children and teach them, so does the Word for the Christian.

5. Scripture is useful for teaching us righteousness. I love Noah’s definition here for righteousness:

1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.

Isn’t that good? Paul is not saying that we are righteous but that we are being taught how to live a godly life. True religion is not a specific “church name” but it is the condition of the heart – a heart that is born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:3).

6. Scripture is useful in making the Christian “perfect.” Paul is not saying that we will be sinless. Not at all. Noah Webster defines perfect as:

Fully informed; completely skilled; as men perfect in the use of arms; perfect in discipline.

The Word, then, makes the Christian fully informed – completely skilled – perfect in discipline. The Christian does not need the Word to be interpreted for him. This verse makes that quite clear. The Word is what works in the heart of man – the Holy Spirit teaches and makes clear what God wants us to learn – He teaches us all about God, about Jesus Christ, about Himself! If you were to leave your great-grandchildren a filmography about you and your ancestry, you would want to include as much about yourself as possible so your great-grandchildren would grow up knowing exactly who you were, right? You would not leave that to someone else to do for you – you would not delegate that task because you know that no one knows you better than yourself. God did the same for us! He is the ultimate Parent and left us with His Word to guide and direct us in who He is and how we can reach Him, through Christ Jesus.

7. Scripture is useful in making the Christian “completely, fully, wholly equipped unto good works.” This is not teaching salvation by works but it is teaching that after salvation we are able to be thoroughly equipped with the Word to do what is good: leading others to salvation – teaching others how to live godly lives. (Mat 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Sadly, many churches teach that the Word is insufficient, incomplete or not preserved and also that it cannot be interpreted correctly by just anyone. This is not what 2 Timothy 3 teaches. So what does one do when God’s Word says one thing and one’s church says another?

For example, the catholic church’s Vatican II Council stated that “both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal feelings of devotion and reverence”. Is that what God’s Word says? 2 Timothy 3 teaches otherwise. These two verses most certainly pack a punch – they support that Scriptures are in fact our final authority and they do not even paint tradition as part of the picture. 2 Tim 3 states that Scripture is inspired by God – not tradition; therefore, catholic tradition (or Jewish or any other tradition for that matter) is not inspired by God but is inspired by man.

Paul also taught us not to receive the words of men but to receive the Word of God! (1 Thess 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. So if your “religion” teaches you something that is not in the Bible, then it is the words of men, not of God. Also, it is the Word of God that can thoroughly (effectually) work in those that believe. The unbeliever will not understand the Word – the unbeliever will misinterpret the Word – the unbeliever will not bear the fruit of the Word. This verse says that the Word will, however, thoroughly work in those that believe. Traditions and man’s words cannot make this promise.

God’s Word was given to the Apostles to pen. Jude 3 tells us 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. Paul tells them that they need to earnestly contend for the faith (the Scriptures) which were delivered to them. These Scriptures are what we must fight for – not tradition. Paul does not encourage them to earnestly contend for tradition. It is evident that they had the Scriptures at the time of this writing and that the Scriptures included Paul’s writings.

I absolutely LOVE Rev. 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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. If man’s words and tradition could be equal to or even used in conjunction with the Scriptures, these two verses would not have been worded in this manner! This is a sharp and severe punishment and, therefore, it is a serious matter to add or take away from the Scriptures. It is not a warning to be taken lightly because punishment is eternal damnation. These two verses make it quite clear that nothing more needs to be added to the Bible and nothing needs to be taken away. It is complete. The Holy Spirit wrote through the last living Apostle, John, the last book of the New Testament and said that no one was to add to it or take away from it! A final warning for all mankind in the final Book of the Bible.

I was reading an interesting article at David Cloud’s website on the history of the Holy Scriptures. One reference that stuck out was:

A list of New Testament Scriptures dating to the latter half of the second century was discovered in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, Italy, in 1740. This second-century list contains all of the 27 books of the New Testament canon (Hentz, p. 60).Thus the completed New Testament Scriptures were being circulated and accepted by God’s people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Many of the modernistic textual scholars who write today about these early centuries deny, or totally overlook, the working of the Holy Spirit in the inspiration and canonicity of the New Testament. The Apostles were not left to their own devices to transcribe the record of Christ, nor were the early Christians left to their own devices to recognize which writings were Scripture (1 Thess. 2:13). The words of the New Testament are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ through divine inspiration, and the Lord’s sheep know the voice of their Good Shepherd and can discern His voice from false shepherds (John 10:4, 5, 27).

In closing, not only do we have God’s Word today but His Word packs punch – it provides conviction within its pages – it draws the sinner to his need of a Saviour – it teaches that there is no other God and no other Saviour than Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that Satan is desperately trying to discredit the Bible? It is the only source for salvation! Why would God leave such an important matter as salvation in the hands of sinful man? He could not – He did not! Just as He left salvation in the hands of His Perfect Sinless Son, He left the task of penning His Holy Word in the hands of the Third Person of the Trinity, His Perfect Holy Spirit.

As God is perfect, so are His works – so is His Word, the Holy Scriptures. Nothing can be added – nothing can be taken away from perfection!



Day 26 – Obedience

(1 Sam 15:22-23) 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. (22) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (23)

Here’s a story that I hope will help to understand what God is trying to teach us in these two verses.

It was 4:30 in the afternoon and my son, Adam, came inside after playing on the swing set. The little guy was full of energy and ready for a snack. Since I was going to be serving dinner at 5:00, I told him he could not have a snack.

I went back to preparing dinner. As my back was turned, Adam snuck a cookie out of the cookie jar and made his escape. I guess a “case of the guilts” got the best of him because he came into the kitchen and asked me if he could help me set the table. At first, I didn’t realize what was going on. I was so proud of him that he would volunteer to help his Momma! I gave him the napkins and the cutlery he began his task. I suppose helping Mommy made him feel better about his disobedience because he promptly went to play with his brother afterwards.

When I called everyone to the table to eat, I noticed chocolate around Adam’s mouth. Now I could understand why he had asked to set the table. He was feeling guilty and he figured he could ease his conscience by doing something nice for me.

“Adam,” I asked, “Did you take a cookie from the cookie jar when I told you not to?”

“No, Mommy.” he responded.

“Adam, you are lying to Mommy and God’s Word says this is a sin. Not only did you lie to Mommy but you tried to do a chore to help you to feel better, didn’t you?”

As he bowed his head and squirmed, he responded “Yes, ma’am!”

This was the perfect time to teach my son that obeying is better than trying to do nice things to make up for a sin. So I responded to him, “The Bible says, “To obey is better than sacrifice, Adam. Do you understand what that means?”

As Adam shook his head, I began to tell him what God was teaching us in these Bible verses. I explained to him that the Jews would offer sacrifices over and over so God would forgive their sins. But God said it was better to obey Him right from the start than to offer sacrifices to Him. God is very pleased with you when you read your Bible, when you obey your parents, and when you go to church. But He is more pleased when you obey Him right away. So God would have been more pleased if you would not have taken a cookie and obeyed me than He was when you set the table.

“So, Adam, do you understand why it is better to obey?” I asked.

“Yes, Mommy! It makes God really happy when I obey right away, right?”

“Oh yes, Adam! God loves obedience more than the chores we do.”

Ah, the mind of a child! But are we not all like this? How many “Christians” out there think that if they go to church or work at the soup kitchen, it will out weigh the fact that they lied or cheated on our income taxes? These good deeds are “sacrifices” in the eyes of God. God is pleased with obedience, not with the sacrifices that we think will cover or make up for our sin.

God’s Word is to be obeyed – His will is to be obeyed. It is repeatedly stated so that we can understand. (Act 5:29) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. It is never right in God’s eyes to change His Word or replace it with what we think is better. No one has the authority to make changes to what God has recorded in the Bible. No one, not even the pope. (Rom 2:11) For there is no respect of persons with God. If it were O.K. for the pope to do so, then this verse is a lie. We know that God cannot lie and what He says goes! He won’t change His Word. (Num 23:19) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? The catholic church places the pope on an equal basis with God – he is the Vicar of Christ – Christ’s replacement on earth. So the catholic church is teaching that God IS a respecter of persons. But His Word says differently in Rom 2:11. How confusing to the poor dear catholic soul! It is a cruel god who would want his children to be so confused. This cannot be the God of the Bible who is full of mercy!

Our God wants obedience. God is pleased with obedience. In fact, He loves obedience more than the actual sacrifices that we make on a day-to-day basis. After all, if we are obeying God and His Word, are we not placing our all on the altar for Him? Are we not fulfilling His desires? What a blessed hymn that is by Elisha Hoffman:

Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control
?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

After we accept Christ as our Saviour, we can only grow spiritually by giving up worldly lusts and forsaking sins that lead us away from sweet fellowship with Him. It is this yielding of ourselves (sacrificing ourselves – giving ourselves over to righteousness rather than sin by being obedient to the Word) that gives us peace and sweet rest. When we have sinned, we feel guilty and we feel distanced from the Lord. However, the moment we forsake our sin and confess it, we can move forward with the desire to be obedient to Him. The sacrificing of ourselves is a direct result of obedience to the Word. They go hand-in-hand. When we obey God’s Word, we are yielded to Him and we forsake sin.

But to the unsaved, it is not so. Their sacrifices are actions due to their sin. They disobey God’s Word and sin, then they do sacrifices (good deeds, moral deeds, penance, etc.) to make up for their sin. This is what does not please God – their sin is a result of disobedience to His Word. One can only obey God if one is truly born-again. The Christians’ sacrifices are due to their obedience to the Word of God! Yes, they continue to sin but the born-again believer sins less and less as he grows in the Lord.

To the unsaved, this type of obedience is foolishness. (1 Cor 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. To the unsaved person who is a moral person, it is a chore – he has to work at being good because it does not come naturally to him. He works to please God; he sins; he performs ritualistic sacrifices (like going to church or doing a good deeds or penance); he thinks he has been cleansed by this and, thus it goes on and on – a vicious circle.

The Apostle Paul told the Galatians that they had started out well. But they got caught up in the works and strayed from the truth of the Word. In fact, it was a person who led them astray! (Gal 5:7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? He also exhorted the Thessalonians that God would take vengeance on those that were not born again and who did not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, Paul defines exactly where this Gospel could be found in verse 14 with the words, “this epistle”! Since God desires us to obey His Word, would He not have clearly outlined in His Word the hundreds of teachings that catholicism, mormonism, etc. teach if they were truth? (2 Thess 1:7-8, 14) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (7) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: (8 ) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (2 Thess 3:14)

It is way too important a matter to hold people accountable for obedience to something if one does not clearly outline what they are to obey? How can you obey the laws of the highway if there are no posted speed limits? It is the same with the Bible. God would not require us to be obedient to His Word if there were additions and subtractions continuously changing what He meant. That would be cruel. It would leave His children not knowing what direction to go! It would be the same in your own homes if you kept changing the rules for your children to follow or even having different rules for different children, wouldn’t it?

God does have clear guidelines and they do exist today! (Jas 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. God promises to give us wisdom as we read His Word so that we can understand it the way He intends it to be understood. It is not the wisdom of man that we are to rely on because man’s heart is wicked. God is no respecter of persons. We are to obey Him, not man. (Jas 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. Notice that wisdom comes from God above and that His wisdom is pure! This wisdom from the Word given to us will produce a Christian who is merciful to others, a Christian who displays the fruit of the Spirit and a Christian who is not a hypocrite.

A hypocrite says he’s a “christian” and gets drunk on the weekend yet he goes to church on Sunday acting as if he is the perfect “christian.” The hypocrite says he’s a “christian” yet he compares his spirituality to others and figures he’s better than they are. However, the born-again Christian who lays himself on that altar of sacrifice, is growing in the Word of God, he is producing the fruit of the Spirit in his life and the “world” cannot point a finger of accusation because he does not live the life of a hypocrite. The Book of Proverbs states, (Pro 16:7) When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. The unsaved can see that there is something different when they are around a born-again believer who is obeying God’s Word and is yielded to Him.

So, where are you today? Are you obeying God and His Word or are you playing the sacrifice game? God’s Word says that disobedience to God’s Word is like the sin of witchcraft! God does not delight in disobedience nor will He wink at it. He gave us His Word to guide us and you are without excuse. In fact, the price is high if you place anyone or anything above God’s Word. Verse 23 says that if you reject God’s Word, He will reject you. This same God is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5) and He will not share His Throne with anyone nor will He allow His Word to be compromised. Is the price of rejection (eternity in hell) worth it? In the wise words of a dear senior saint,

Eternity is too long and hell’s fire too hot to reject being born again.



Day 27 – The Word of God Brings Salvation

(Mat 16:14-18 ) And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (14) He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (15) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (16) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (17) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (18 )

The rock referred to in Mat 16:18 could not be referring to Peter because the Greek word for Peter was Petrus, derived from petros, meaning a piece of rock. The Apostles were merely a piece of the Rock, Jesus Christ and His Gospel message.

G4074
Πέτρος
Petros
pet’-ros
Apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock(larger than G3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: – Peter

The Greek word for the rock that Christ built His Church on is petra which is a mass of rock. Christ is the very foundation of Christianity. It isn’t Peter as is taught by the catholic church. Peter, like the Apostles, was a piece of the rock of the Foundation of Jesus Christ based on the Gospel. The Apostles were charged with spreading the message that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament. That is the Gospel – the Good News.

G4073
πέτρα
petra
pet’-ra
Feminine of the same as G4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): – rock.

This is not the only place that Christ is referred to as the Rock. (1 Cor 10:4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. The Greek word for Rock is the same Greek word in Matt 16:18, Petra! Peter could not be the “rock” that was spoken of in Mat 16:18. Anyone who studies the Bible is taught that every verse has a “sister” verse in Scripture that supports it. No where in Scriptures does the Greek word for Peter (Petrus / petros) appear in conjunction to the church or its foundation! It is not on the catholic church that Christ built His church but on the Gospel.

So what exactly is the Gospel? It was stated in the previous verse: (Mat 16:16) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. The Gospel is that mankind needed a Messiah, a Saviour, the Christ and that the Son of God, Jesus is the Christ. A Saviour from what? Man could not get to heaven by his own merit or by offering sacrifices. A perfect and sinless sacrifice had to be offered for our sins. The only One who is perfect is God. So God sent His own Son to be that perfect sacrifice. Former catholic priest, Richard Bennett, says it better than anyone I have ever read after:

“The Lord Jesus Christ is personally All Holy; yet as the substitute for the believer’s sin, He rendered Himself legally responsible to the wrath of God. The consequence of Christ’s faithfulness in all that He did, culminating in His death on the cross, is that His righteousness is credited to the believer. It was God who legally constituted Christ to be “sin for us.” He was “made sin” because the sins of His people were transferred to Him, and in like manner, the believer is made “the righteousness of God in Him” by God’s crediting to the believer Christ’s faithfulness to the precepts of the law. Quite clearly, therefore, justification is a judicial and gracious act of God whereby a believing sinner has legal right standing in Christ. Without this perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus credited to you, you are spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) This – the Gospel of Christ Jesus… “

Peter stated this exact Gospel in a nut shell in his statement in Mat 16:18. It was not Peter that the church was to be founded on but Christ and His Gospel. In the next few verses, Christ told His disciples that He would have to die. Peter stated: (Mat 16:22) Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Without Christ’s death, man’s salvation could not happen. This is exactly what the devil wanted and the devil was working through Peter, one of Christ’s twelve chosen Apostles, to convince Him not to go forward with the cross. But what did Jesus do? He turned right around and rebuked Peter. (Mat 16:23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Why would Christ leave the very foundation of the church in a sinful man’s hands? He wouldn’t!

Catholics state that verse 19 of the same Chapter support catholic doctrine of popedom: (Mat 16:19) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Keys are used to open doors. Peter’s job was to join the Jew with the Gentile with the same Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jews had always been the bearer of salvation. (Joh 4:22b) …for salvation is of the Jews. The Jews would not be so easy to convince that the Gentiles could receive their Messiah and be saved. The keys given to Peter were the keys to opening the door of faith in Jesus Christ to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles. These were not keys given to a pope and to the catholic church. Christ is the very foundation of Christianity, not the catholic church.

John Gill’s Expository on the Entire Bible has an excellent explanation for these keys and binding and loosing:

“But Christ gave a greater power of binding and loosing, to his disciples, than these men had, and which they used to better purpose. The sense of the words is this, that Peter, and so the rest of the apostles, should be empowered with authority from him, and so directed by his Holy Spirit, that whatever they bound, that is, declared to be forbidden, and unlawful, should be so: and that whatever they loosed, that is, declared to be lawful, and free of use, should be so; and accordingly they bound some things which before were loosed, and loosed some things which before were bound; for instance, they bound, that is, prohibited, or declared unlawful, the use of circumcision, which before, and until the death of Christ, was enjoined the natural seed of Abraham; but that, and all ceremonies, being abolished by the death of Christ, they declared it to be nothing, and of no avail, yea, hurtful and pernicious; that whoever was circumcised, Christ profited him nothing, and that he was a debtor to do the whole law: they affirmed, that the believing Gentiles were not to be troubled with it; that it was a yoke not fit to be put upon their necks, which they, and their fathers, were not able to bear, Gal_5:1. They bound, or forbid the observance of days, months, times, and years; the keeping holy days, new moons, and sabbaths, which had been used in the Jewish church for ages past; such as the first day of the new year, and of every month, the day of atonement, the feasts of the passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, the jubilee year, the sabbatical year, and seventh day sabbath, Gal_4:9. They loosed, or declared lawful and free, both civil and religious conversation between Jews and Gentiles; whereas, before, the Jews had no dealings with the Gentiles, nor would not enter into their houses, nor keep company with them, would have no conversation with them; neither eat, nor drink with them; but now it was determined and declared, that no man should be called common, or unclean; and that in Christ Jesus, and in his church, there is no distinction of Jew and Gentile, Act_10:28. They also loosed, or pronounced lawful, the eating of any sort of food, without distinction, even that which was before counted common and unclean, being persuaded by the Lord Jesus Christ, by the words he said, Mat_15:11. They asserted, that there is nothing unclean of itself; and that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; or that true religion does not lie in the observance of those things; that every creature of God is good, and fit for food, and nothing to be refused, or abstained from, on a religious account, provided it be received with thanksgiving, Rom_14:14. And these things now being by them bound or loosed, pronounced unlawful or lawful, are confirmed as such by the authority of God, and are so to be considered by us.”

Note that the Apostles were not given the go ahead to bind and loose added and new doctrine. What they bound and loosed were Old Testament laws that were fulfilled through Christ. The doctrines that the catholic church claims as dogma and law today by the pope, magisterium and traditions are “new” and not found in Scriptures (i.e., Mary being sinless at birth, Mary remaining a virgin after Christ’s birth, Mary not dying but ascending into heaven, the hierarchy of the catholic church, etc.). If you disagree with the dogmas mentioned, show me proof as to where those specific dogmas can be found in the Bible.

The Jews were not happy when the Gentiles started getting saved. They questioned that the Gentiles received the same Holy Spirit as they did at the time of conversion. That is why Peter was the one that baptized the first Gentiles so the Jews would see that Peter was baptizing with the same Holy Spirit. After the Gospel spread like wild fire and the Word was documented, there was no need for the office of Apostles as their job was done.

1 Cor 13:8-10 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (8 ) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (9) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (10) The word “perfect” here means

G5046
τέλειος
teleios
tel’-i-os
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588 ) completeness:

What was to be complete? What needed completing? Paul said that it would prophecies, witnessing in languages and knowledge. Notice Paul says that they “knew in part and prophesied in part.” But when that complete and perfect prophesy and knowledge came the “part would be done away with.” God’s Word, the Holy Bible, was complete after John penned Revelation. Many state that the “perfect” cannot be the Bible but it refers to Christ. However, the word is in the “neuter” gender so it cannot be referring to the person of Jesus Christ. It does, however, refer to His Word!

We have the Word of God today my friend. We have it without additions, without deletions, without changes. The very oracles of God have been penned by the Holy Spirit of God Himself and is preserved for mankind. Is it any wonder that the devil is trying so hard to destroy it? Christ said that the gates of hell would not prevail because His Word is for ever! It is not the catholic church that brings the Gospel, it is the Word of God in its completeness and perfection.



Day 28 – God’s Word is Permanent

We’ve all been in a situation where we either have been told by our parents or have told our own children, “That is my final word! You either do as you were asked or you are in big trouble!” Does this bring back any memories? 🙂

The Ultimate Parent, our Heavenly Father, has told us this as well! Do you really think that the Creator of all things, the God of Glory, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the First and the Last, and the Almighty would go back on His Word? God is perfect, is He not? Perfection does not leave room for error. It is not so hard to imagine, my friend. Mankind accepts that math is an exact science with no deviations. How can you not, then, accept that God can preserve His own words into book form? You can believe that He created the universe, can’t you? You can believe that He created man and that we did not “evolve” from an amoeba that suddenly appeared one day, can’t you? Then why can you not believe that God’s Word is perfect, without change, is permanent without end and will go on forever as the Lord says in His Word?

(Psa 119:89) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.(1 Pe 1:25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

God has given His Words in written form so that we may be able to know how to obey Him and serve Him. (Deu 29:29) The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. No church – no one person has “secret” revelation from God. No one has advanced knowledge. God says that the secret things belong to Him.

He has left us His precious Word and we are responsible to read it, be saved by it, and allow it to grow us. If you are perfectly content in letting someone else chew your spiritual meat and digest it, you will one day regret that decision. It is each of our own responsibility to grow in the Lord. (2 Ti 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. When you hear something from the pulpit, do you assume that it is according to the Word of God? If you do, shame on you! Paul exhorts us to study to show ourselves approved unto God.

I have been told by well-meaning Christians that it’s not up to them to interpret God’s Word but it’s up to their priest or their pastor. Why would God tell you to study His Word in 2 Ti 2:15 then? If your reasoning was correct, God’s Word would state that only preachers could study and we would have to glean from them. But God’s Word does not say that. This isn’t one of those verses that is hard to understand. This isn’t one of those verses that is so profoundly “deep” that it can be interpreted in many different ways. No! In fact, it is quite clear that we are commanded to study for ourselves! Why would God command us to do something and not give us the Book to study?

God did give us His words in written form and they exist today without error. God’s Word is permanent and He preserved it throughout the years. To say otherwise is to say that God is not able! (Act 17:11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. It is your responsibility to search the Scriptures daily whether what you hear at church or from your spiritual leader is according to the Bible. These Christians were being praised by the Apostle Paul himself! They were not just listening to some preacher (including the Apostle Paul)! If there was anyone you could listen to and rely on their words being Spirit filled, it was the Apostles right? However, Paul praised them for searching the Scriptures for themselves and making certain that his own words were according to God’s Word! This verse alone disproves that we should take the words of Joel Olsteen, Billy Graham, or even the pope or as truth! God gave us His Word and the ability to read it! We will be held accountable for what we did and did not do with His Word!

My friend, I can only beat a dead horse so much when it comes to this topic! We DO have the Word of God today without error! We DO have the ability to read and understand the Word and interpret it for ourselves if we are the born-again children of God. To say otherwise is unwise indeed!




Morning Manna

The title to this devotional came to me when I was doing my morning devotions. I did my devotions before breakfast and realized the importance of feeding my spiritual body. We need that morning manna in order to keep spiritually focused throughout the day. This devotional was originally written in 2007 with a desire to feed my spiritual self. I hope it is a blessing to you!



Day 1 – Meekness

Am I the only one out there that stands amazed at how the meaning of words become diluted through time? This morning, I was curious to see what today’s definition was compared to what the Bible’s definition would be. And so let us begin this next series of devotionals entitled “Morning Manna” and feast upon God’s Holy Word.

Originally posted February 2007

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary describes meek as:

1 : enduring injury with patience and without resentment : mild
2 : deficient in spirit and courage : submissive
3 : not violent or strong : moderate

I was particularly drawn to the second definition. This states that if you are meek, you are submissive and you are deficient in spirit and courage! Is it any wonder that the world does not respect a meek person or even desire to be meek? If the world does not desire to be meek, then they desire to be the opposite. The antonyms for meek are “proud, stubborn and domineering.” Ah yes, this does sound like the world – yes, it sounds like worldly Christians, too.

When you read your Bible using today’s definitions, you get a skewed vision of what God is communicating to us. Merriam-Webster says that the meek person is deficient in courage! The One who was Chief in meekness went to die on Calvary’s cross for our sins. That does not sound like someone who is deficient in courage, does it? Christ tells us to learn meekness from Him. 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)

I could hardly wait to read what Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary would have to say about this word. I love to use his dictionary because it defines words used in the King James Bible and allows us to glean more from God’s Word. Oh what a blessing!! Let’s see what Noah has to say about meekness:

1. Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.

Now the man Moses was very meek, above all men. Num 12.

2. Appropriately,humble, in an evangelical sense; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory; not peevish and apt to complain of divine dispensations. Christ says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Mat 11.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Mat 5.

The Lord sure does portray a different picture of a meek person in the mind’s eye, doesn’t He? This definition portrays a man of great self control and a heart for submission to the will of God. As I meditate on this, I can’t help but think of the dear saints who were martyred for the cause of Christ. I think Jesus Christ, who epitomized meekness to the point of death on the cross for our sins so we can have eternal life through Him. Thank You Lord for not being proud or stubborn when Your Father left our souls in Your very hands!

It took great courage for our Saviour to go to the cross despite knowing what awaited Him! I absolutely love my children! I also believe that I would die for them if I had to. If I could choose the way I die, I would definitely not pick burning or drowning. I think either of these would be a horrible and painful death. I began to wonder if I would die for my children if I knew ahead of time that I had to burn to death in order to save them! Would I still do it? Christ knew and yet He still died for us! Oh what love! Oh what meekness! I can’t even begin to imagine the pain He suffered on the cross. If you want to see a good article on this very topic, please read: Medical Aspects of The Crucifixion Knowing ahead of time that this was His mission, He was meek and submitted to the Father’s will despite of this knowledge!

Practicing meekness as Christ did draws us closer to the Father and increases our joy in the Lord. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psa 22:26) For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. (Psa 149:4) The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isa 29:19)

The Lord loves the meek so much that He picks them up in time of need and brings them comfort. The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (Psa 147:6) He feeds them through His Word and guides them in their daily lives. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (Psa 25:9) He teaches us, comforts us and gives us peace. 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) The meek are satisfied with what God provides and they praise Him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. (Psa 22:26)

How does God regard a meek Christian?

1. They are blessed – Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Mat 5:5)

2. They are protected from the Judgment – Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. (Zep 2:3)

3. They will inherit the earth – But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psa 37:11)

4. He takes pleasure in His children and gives them salvation – For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. (Psa 149:4)

5. They are of great value to Him – But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Pet 3:4)

Oh Lord, help us to draw nigh to You so we can learn from You in this area of meekness. Help us to practice daily self control and to be gentle with others. May our feelings not be easily hurt but may we be forgiving and longsuffering toward those who hurt us. And finally, Lord, may we be submissive to Your will in all areas of our Christian walk. Remove from us our sinful pride and create in us a right spirit.

Dear God…
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psa 51:10)

Go to Day 2



Day 2 – Temptation

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8) As I was meditating on this verse this morning, I thought of ways I could be sober and vigilant to avoid temptation. Truly, the only way to be able to do this is if I stay in God’s Word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) The more we are in His Word, the more we will be able to be sober and vigilant. We’ll have Scripture fresh in our minds and available to meet our spiritual need of the moment. We’ll have filled our mind with spiritual vitamins to strengthen ourselves.

James says that it is our own lusts that entice us to sin. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) If a believer has been in the Word and is drawing nigh to God, he will be able to be sober and vigilant when the devil comes as a roaring lion. But even when our defenses are down, our Heavenly Father pities us and knows what we are going through and He promises to help us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) God knows what we need and is able to deliver us. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations… (2 Pet 2:9a) Because He knows and is able to deliver us, He goes to great lengths to help us. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) (Emphasis mine)

Oh Christian, we don’t need to wallow in sin like the world. We have the ability to ward off temptation. Each time we are in the Word drawing nigh to God, we are building up our defenses. Each day we should start by asking the Lord to protect us against the day’s temptations. Christ taught us this in His model prayer. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13)

As I am being sober and vigilant, I find that I am not so easily led astray. I’m aware of my surroundings and I do not place myself in situations where I know I will be tempted. I will not be quick to go out with unsaved acquaintances because I know that they will not have my spiritual interests at heart. Instead, I will ward off temptation and steer clear. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Pet 3:17)

My Morning Manna from God’s Word prepares me to be spiritually fueled for the day. I feel like I have armor on and am ready for battle. My thoughts are filled with the Word and what I have gleaned. My thoughts are not on my troubles of the day because I’ve already shared those with the Lord and left them with Him. I also find that when my thoughts are not on myself, I am not easily tempted. There is nothing like a good pity party to get one focused on self and everything we lack in life. The lust of the flesh is aroused and bang! The roaring lion pounces and we are tempted to sin. But do not be discouraged, my friend, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) What lovely words those are! Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Please make my Morning Manna
Spiritually filling for today
Protect me from fleshly lusts
As I walk along the way



Day 3 – Loneliness

Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. (Isa 58:9a)

Despite the hustle and bustle of the world around us, miles of traffic jams, and crowded malls, it is amazing how many people in this world suffer from loneliness. Man was not created to be alone. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Gen 2:18) No matter how much of a loner one is, that person has a need for human contact at some point or another. Most are not loners, however, so human contact is a vital ingredient for healthy emotions. Loneliness left unchecked leads to despair.

As a born-again believer, I am encouraged by God’s Holy Word because He deals with this very subject over and over. God knew from the beginning that man could not be alone and that he would suffer from loneliness. So much so, He included the beautiful Book of Psalms for encouragement and countless other verses throughout His Word. Our Father knows our needs because He created us. He knows everything about us. We cannot hide anything from Him, including our loneliness. [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (Psa 139:1) I stand amazed that our God knows all of us in this intimate way. God has searched each one of us and knows us!

Even when we are at our lowest, the Lord is right there to lift us up through His Word. I think of David when he made this statement in Psa 27:10, When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. David knew that his God would never forsake him. The Lord reassures His children over and over throughout His Word that He is faithful. … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5b) Again, He assures us in Is. 42:16, …These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

When we need comfort and reassurance, He promises to be there for us. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18 Our Heavenly Father is there every moment of the way in our Christian walk. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. (Gen 28:15)

We may fall asleep at night and forget the day’s trials and burdens but our God never sleeps and is ever watching out for us. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psa 121:4) Does that not bring you comfort? You are not alone, my friend. No matter how empty your house is, you are not alone. No matter if there is no one sitting with you in your car, you are not alone. Your Heavenly Father has placed in you His Precious Holy Spirit. He comforts you, teaches you and points you to Christ through His Holy Word. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16) (Emphasis mine).

How can you overcome your loneliness? Get in the Word, oh Christian. The Holy Spirit is waiting to bring that precious comfort to you. His comfort resides within the pages of your Bible but you must open it to receive it. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) We get refreshment and encouragement within the pages of our Bible as we are drawn and taught by the Holy Spirit. How full of mercy is our Father! He knows every fiber of our being and provides living water for us to walk away refreshed. Our loneliness dissipates as we soak up His Word and see once again the light of day.

Once we are refreshed, we are commanded to go out and be a friend to someone. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: (Pro 18:24a) No one can feel alone when they are focused on helping others. There are people out there in need, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. God can use a believer who has overcome loneliness to minister to a lonely world. So many are lonely out there – won’t you let the Friend of all friends be your example? and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Pro 18:24b Do you feel friendless? When you are born again, oh Christian, God calls you His friend.Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) Jesus paid the ultimate price to be your friend. You are never alone.

Treat your loneliness today with a good dose of refreshing time in the Word then put feet to your refreshing time and spend time with someone who is lonely. God will use your trials to minister to another and bring glory to His Name.

Dear God…
At times I am so lonely
Leading me to feel despair
But then my Morning Manna
Shows me just how much You care.

I love You, Lord!!



Day 4 – Contentment

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phi 4:11) How is your “contentment reader” reading today? Is working on contentment in your spiritual walk at a snail’s pace or are you zooming toward the mark? Practicing contentment should be a way of life.

Paul said that he “had learned” in whatever situation he was in, to be content. I would say that Paul had reached his mark in this area, wouldn’t you? Paul was not just content with part of his life but with all of his life. How does one learn to be content? We become discontent when we look at others. When we dwell on our circumstances long enough we find that we are not content with what we have. If we look around at the house we live in, we’ll see that our neighbor’s house is so much better. If we look at our friend’s car, we’ll see the bucket ‘o bolts we’re driving. If we look at someone else’s position at work, we’ll notice that we do not have the salary he has. When we “look” at our own circumstances and dwell on them, James says that it will develop into lust and this lust will turn into sin. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: (Jam 1:15a) Therefore, our thought life is what we have to bring under control. Some people are naturally pessimistic – their cup is always half empty – their future seems to always to hold the worse possible scenario. The pessimistic Christian sees the worse – this Christian needs a lot of work at controlling his thoughts. This Christian needs to spend some quality time meditating on what God has provided rather than what he does not have.

Paul had the remedy for negative and stinky thinking. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phi 4:8 ) He controlled his thought life by thinking on good things. So should we. The pessimistic Christian needs to remember that he has a home in eternity awaiting him; he had food to eat today; he awoke in a warm bed; he has a job to support his family, just to name a few. Doing this will keep him focused and on track.

God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. He only provides us with good things in our lives. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (Jam 1:17) When we focus on the good things, which are of the Lord, we are walking in His Spirit. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16) In so doing, we are not so quick to be discontent, which is sin.

Paul taught about contentment in several churches. It must be a pretty important teaching if he taught it in Hebrews, 1 Timothy, Philippians and Galatians.

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. (Heb 13:5)But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Ti 6:6)

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Ti 6:8 )

When we meditate on our salvation, we will not be so quick to notice what we are lacking in this life because we will see that we have gained so much for all eternity!

Dear God…
May my heart always be grateful
For what You have given me
May I not dwell on what I lack
But I pray to see things clearly



Day 5 – Praise

Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. Psa. 147:1 David tells us that praising our Heavenly Father is good, pleasant and comely for the Christian. Have you ever known a Christian who is full of praise? This person does not suffer from discouragement or self-pity. Why? Because the Christian is busy praising God for all the blessings God has bestowed upon him. How many sunrises and sunsets have you seen in your lifetime? How many of them have been identical? Each one is painted by the Master for our good pleasure! Our God, the Creator of all, is deserving of praise. [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psa. 19:1) I praise You, Lord. [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)

One does not have to look far to see God’s Hand in their life. God’s Hand is seen in every aspect of our lives, dear Christian. Open your eyes and look around you. We’re having a snow storm here today. Instead of griping, praise God for the intricacies of each snowflake. No two snowflakes are alike. Can you imagine all the snow that has fallen from the beginning of time through today all over this earth? Yet, each flake is different! Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, (Job 38:22) I praise You, Lord. [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)

All of God’s creation has something unique about it. There are many differences even within each species. The Angel fish is such a beautiful fish. But our God didn’t just create one for our pleasure, but He created many different kinds with various colors. He didn’t stop with one or even a few, but He created at least 20 that I know of – and I’m sure there are more I haven’t seen pictures of. …they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. (Eze 47:10b) I praise You, Lord. [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)

Looking to the skies, one can see so much to praise God about. The Northern Lights are probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen for myself, other than a rainbow. Again, not only does the Lord give us a light show, but He changes each one making them different. Some look like blankets unfolding in the sky while others look like beautiful ripples of cream, varying in color. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: (Psa. 104:2)I praise You, Lord. [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)

Each human being that has been created by the Master’s hand is different – unique – with different DNA, fingerprints, even amongst identical twins! They are like the snowflakes, each one special in God’s eyes. God knows each part of each human being He has created. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luk 12:7) Can you say that about your own children? I praise You, Lord. [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)

Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. Psa.. 147:1 Join me today and enjoy singing praises to God! Show Him how much you appreciate what He has done for you! When you come out of your praise time with Him, you will be hard pressed to remember your troubles. After all, this same God who provided you with all things beautiful will care for you and your troubles!

Dear God…
How majestic is Your name in all the earth
There is none other like the Lord our God
May your praises be on my lips each day
Declaring Your wonderful works with awe



Day 6 – The Human Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer. 17:9Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matt. 23:28They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Tit. 1:16For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom. 8:6An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. Prov. 21:4

…there is none good but one, that is, God. (Mar 10:18b)

No matter how hard we try, none of us are good. Since Adam and Eve’s fall, not one human being has been without sin. What is sin? According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary,

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. 1 John 3. Mat 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam’s apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Mat 12.

SIN, v.i.

1. To depart voluntarily from the path of duty prescribed by God man; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or non-observance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned. Psa 51.

2. To offend against right, against men or society; to trespass. I an a man more sinn’d against than sinning. And who but wishes to invert the laws of order, sins against the’ eternal cause.

This definition is totally different from today’s definition of sin. Merriam Webster’s on-line dictionary defines sin as:

1 a : an offense against religious or moral law b : an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible [it’s]c : an often serious shortcoming : FAULT
2 a : transgression of the law of God b : a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God

Pretty dilluted, isn’t it? Man’s heart is desperately wicked so of course he would prefer today’s definition of Merriam Webster’s.

So what is considered sin? We can start at the beginning with the Ten Commandments. This is God’s law to mankind. Have you broken one of these? Have you lied – even just once? Then by admission, you are a liar. Have you ever stolen – even a pen from work? Then by admission, you are a thief. Breaking any of these commandments makes us a sinner. Because of this fallen nature, it is impossible to keep all the commandments. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (Jam 2:10) Therefore, we must be punished for breaking God’s laws. It does not matter if you do good things like help the poor. It doesn’t matter if you give lots of money to the church. Although it’s nice that you did these things, the fact of the matter is that punishment is still needed for breaking God’s commandments. They weren’t put there just so a movie could be made. The Ten Commandments were given as the Law by God. They are our “teacher” and are there to show us that we are sinners.

Let’s say that you were sentenced to pay a penalty of $50,000 by a judge because you were caught stealing. You tell the judge that you do not have $50,000 and that you are really sorry for your crime but could he let you go this one time. The judge replies that he is a good judge but someone has to pay the penalty for this crime. A friend of yours shows up and says he’ll pay the $50,000 for you. Someone already in prison could not pay this penalty for you but this friend was free to do so. The judge accepts his payment and lets you go.
This is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us. Because God is a Good and Righteous Judge, He demands that the penalty for breaking His Laws be paid. Because God’s love for us is so great, Jesus Christ chose to take on the form of man so He could take the punishment for our sins and pay that penalty. Jesus said, “Father, I’ll pay their debt for them! I’ll become that sacrifice You require of shed blood and I will shed My own blood for them. Only Jesus Christ could do this because He did not sin once while He lived on earth. He was the only one qualified to pay this penalty. No man could do it because all men have sinned. Now that’s love, my friend!

The born-again believer no longer has to pay the penalty because our debt has been paid by Jesus Christ Himself. Will we continue to sin? Yes, but we will sin less. The believer has been given the Holy Spirit of God and He resides in us to teach us and guide us in how to live a more righteous life. Every day is a challenge for the believer to live a godly life. But it is a joyous challenge because we no longer have to fear spending eternity in hell! What joy!

When you look at the lost today, remember that his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. He is serving his father, the devil. Have pity on the lost and share with them the reason for your joy. 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: (1 Pet. 3:15)

Dear God…
Your Laws showed me my sin
Impossible to obey
Then Jesus paid my debt
He is the only Way.



Day 7 – Thankfulness

Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. (Isa 12:5) The world publishes beautiful graphics of God’s creation – they give intricate details of migration, feeding, flight, etc. But is God given thanks by these same people? They are busy thinking it is due to the process of evolution.

This is where we Christians fail every day. Isaiah tells us to sing unto God and thank Him. Even better, let the earth hear you! We have so much for which to be thankful! Not only has the Lord given us His beautiful creation to look at, but He has given us countless blessings in our lives. Sometimes we must look for the blessings but they are there. It is God’s will for us to be thankful. The average Christian does not think along these lines but the Word of God says so. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thess 5:18 ) (Emphasis mine.)

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving… Psalm 95:2a There is no better way to start off your devotional time with the Lord than with giving thanks for everything. I just love this piece – I’ve never found out who actually wrote it, but it shows you just how you don’t have to look far to find God’s blessings in your life. If any of you happen to know who the Author of this wonderful piece is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Thank You Lord!Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; It has baked so many things over the years.The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy in the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord, there are many who are hungry.Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.

I can’t help but think that God smiles from ear-to-ear when He hears this woman’s words in the mornings! She has learned the art of being thankful and finding God’s blessings at every turn in her life. What are you thankful for today?

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Eph. 5:20



Day 8 – Fruitfulness

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. (2 Pet 1:8 )

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

It is the same with our Christian lives. Without the Son-shine in our lives, we cannot bear fruit. Without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot possibly be fruitful nor can we make it without Him. Without getting to know Him better through the Word of God, we cannot grow. 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) At times we need pruning so we can be more fruitful. Pruning comes in various ways – through trials, through the Word, and even through the preaching. A tree doesn’t have much choice but to be pruned. But we do! We don’t have to allow the Lord to prune us. However, when we don’t, we can be sure we will not grow properly. We won’t produce the fruit we could produce.

Psalm 1:2-3, But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (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)

Notice that verse 3 says that his leaf shall not wither. If I water my plants regularly, they stay looking nice. If I miss a week, however, the leaves start to droop and they “scream” for water. So should Christians scream for the living water of the Word. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38 )

Dear God…
As I start my day with You
And feed my hungry soul
You water my thirsty heart
And make my spirit whole



Day 9 – Shame

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

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Rom 10:11)

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. (Psa 119:6)

Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. (Psa 119:80)

How many Christians go through the day without the Word of God as part of it? How many Christians can say that when situations arise, a Bible verse comes to mind to cover that situation? If one does not read the Bible, one cannot be prepared to tackle the day’s challenges. It is like going to a meeting unprepared and you are the presenter! Can you imagine how foolish you would look – how you would feel?

Dear brethren, if you do not make the Bible part of your every day life, you will look and feel as foolish when you stand before God. 2 Tim. 2:15 says that you are to study so that you can become a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed. Noah Webster defines ashamed as:

1. Affected by shame; abashed or confused by guilt or a conviction of some criminal action or indecorous conduct, or by the exposure of some gross errors or misconduct, which the person is conscious must be wrong, and which tends to impair his honor or reputation. It is followed by of.

Thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed. Exo 16.

Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. Hosea 10.

2. Confused by a consciousness of guilt or of inferiority; by the mortification of pride; by failure or disappointment.

They shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in images.

Isa 42

If you are guilty of neglecting your Bible, do you feel this shame Noah speaks of? A speaker at a meeting is only as good as the knowledge he has on the subject he’s covering. If he is unprepared, it is evident. He hums and hahs, he stumbles and stutters. However, when a speaker is totally prepared, he belts out a presentation like nobody’s business and has confidence in his knowledge. Are you struggling with winning the lost to Christ? You’re not prepared! You have not spent the time you need to memorize the verses.

Today’s sports fanatics have player stats memorized. They can tell you who threw the longest pass at the last Super Bowl. They can quote you how many home runs and runs batted in that their favorite baseball player has. However, ask them to share Bible verses with you that would be significant in leading someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and they look at you as if you have two heads! Oh dear Christian, if this is you – you will stand ashamed before the Lord Jesus Christ. My heart aches for you.

As if this isn’t bad enough, what do you do when a trial comes your way and you don’t have the Word hidden in your heart to turn to for rescue and encouragement? You don’t have to know the address and verse by heart but at least you know it enough to be able to say, oh yes, Psalm 121 tells me to look unto the hills from whence cometh my help! So I will turn to the Lord to help me with this situation. Instead, you run to your best friend or a church member and plead for prayer. What if your doctor had to run to his co-workers for help in decisions about your health? Wouldn’t that disturb you? Can you imagine how the Lord feels when we run to others when He is the One true source of all healing and encouragement?

I believe that when believers stand before Christ when their works are tried by fire to see if they are wood and stubble or silver and gold, that they will be hanging their heads in shame – tears welling up in their eyes, wishing they could do it all over again. My friend, when our time is up, there is no going back. The signs of the times are all around us. Christ’s return for us is imminent – any minute we’ll be called Home! Are you ready or will you be ashamed?

Dear God…
My heart aches for those who fail
To spend time in Your Holy Word
How can they manage the daily trials
Without having their Shield and Sword



Day 10 – Courage

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:14) How I love Noah Webster’s definition of courage!

COURAGE, n. [L., the heart.] Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering.

Courage that grows from constitution, often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty, acts in a uniform manner.

Be strong and of good courage. Deu 31.

Doing a search of the phrase “good courage” yielded a goldmine for me! I hope you are blessed as well. God’s Word clearly defines “courage” and portrays that we can only have courage through God.

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) Emphasis mine.Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:9) Emphasis mine.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. (Jos 10:25) Emphasis mine.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. (1 Ch 28:20) Emphasis mine.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (Psa 31:24) Emphasis mine.

Dear Christian, do these verses not encourage your heart? How can we fear what lies before us when God stresses over and over in His Word how He will not fail us or forsake us? Are you dealing with belligerent unsaved loved ones? What about co-workers who mock your stand? Are you chastised by the lost because you share what God’s Word has to say about homosexuality, adultery, or fornication? Do even other believers shake their heads at you for your stand on the King James Bible? Is the battle for the Lord becoming weary? Be of good courage and take heart! And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luk 21:28 ) Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (Jam 5:8 )

It won’t be long before our battle is over, my friend. Have courage – be strong – it won’t be long before we are with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! 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: (Rev 22:3) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Rev 22:4)

Dear God…
Be strong and of good courage
Your Word so clearly states
Help me be obedient
As each battle I await



Day 11 – Confusion

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psa 32:8 ) I’m sure we can all say that we’ve been to a similar cross-roads in our life, can’t we? I know I can. It seems like just when I thought I was on the right path, the rug was pulled from underneath me and wham! I didn’t know in which direction I should go! Or just when life was smooth sailing and there were no obstacles in the road, hurdles arose and I felt like my world was falling apart!

I’m so thankful for my salvation! I’m so thankful for God’s Holy Word which encourages my heart through these obstacles and hurdles and shows me that my Heavenly Father loves me and will help me through these difficult times. And you know what, my friend? He’s there waiting to do the same for you! Our Heavenly Father loves us so much! He does not want to see us in a state of confusion. The Christian needs to be a testimony to a lost and dying world. The world is confused and they are the ones that need direction. How can we show them the way if we are living in confusion? How can we be a testimony to them if we do not have the peace that passes all understanding?

Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (5) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (6) What do you “look” like when you’re going through trials and tribulations? What does the world see in you when your life is filled with confusion? Do you look like our friend here? Or are you secure in the Lord, knowing that He will work out every situation in your life? There is no greater testimony than when the world sees us rise above chaos. They don’t understand how we can do it. Are you going through family problems right now? How are you dealing with it? Are you going to work complaining to your unsaved friends at work? Or do they see you calm and collected because you started your day off with the Lord and laid those cares at His feet?

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psa 55:22) Our Father wants to be there for us and He is there for us. He is able and desiring to take on our burdens. Don’t you want your children to come to you with their cares? You would hate it if you knew they were keeping everything inside and they were miserable, wouldn’t you? Our God says to cast our burdens on Him and He shall (not maybe) sustain us! The Lord does not stop there either! He continues on to say that He shall never allow the righteous to be moved! Notice this refers to the righteous. None of us are righteous. All our righteousness are as filthy rags according to: 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) But because of our salvation, Jesus’ righteousness is what the Father sees. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Co 1:30) When we abide in Him and in His Word, the Lord encourages our hearts. We cannot do it apart from the Word of God, my friend. Without spending time in the Bible, one cannot expect to be encouraged in a time of confusion.

God wants to give us strength through the wisdom of the Word. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isa 40:29) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5) How can you pass a test without studying? How can you know the end of that novel you’re reading without first reading it? How can you glean from the blessings of the promises in the Word when you don’t spend time searching for them? A baby can only drink milk for so long. He then must move on to baby food then solid food. Without this natural progression, the baby will grow very slowly and will be sickly. Paul compared believers in this same light. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Heb 5:13) My friend, God says you are “unskilful” in the Bible because you are a spiritual baby. Does this not shame you? It should!

There are so many promises in God’s Word to the believer. Confusion should not be part of our daily lives – instead we should have peace because we have given our cares to the One who not only can handle them but can solve every problem. God waits to show us the way to go. We don’t have to go down the path of confusion. God’s way may not always be clear but His way always brings peace if we go to the one map that guides us without error – the Bible. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psa 32:8 )

Dear God…
Help me be a testimony
To the lost who are watching me
May confusion turn to bless-ed peace
And be a witness to them of Thee



Day 12 – Confidence

Are you known to be a confident Christian? Where does your confidence rest? In what does your confidence rest? Is your confidence based on the promises of others? Do you have your future carefully planned and laid out? Everyone knows that “life happens” and these carefully laid out plans can quickly change in the twinkling of an eye. However, there is one thing our confidence can be based on and it will never change and that is God’s promises.

Because we are born-again children of God, we have a new covenant with God which states that His promises are never to be broken. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Heb 8:6) My friend, isn’t it wonderful that we can rest in God’s promises? The promises of God are many in His Word. But let us encourage our hearts that He who is our Creator and holds our salvation in the palm of His hand will fulfill each and every promise! Read with me this morning and be grateful that God’s covenant with you does not rest in your feelings but in His promises!!

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Num 23:19)

Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. (1 Kings 8:56)

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psa 9:10)

He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. (Psa 105:8 )

… yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isa 46:11b)

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (Rom 4:21)

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:12)

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. (2Pe 1:4)

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2Pe 3:13)

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1Jo 2:25)

How can one not have confidence when God has made these promises? He does not lie, therefore, each will be fulfilled! Praise ye the Lord!

Dear God…
Thank You for Your promises
There are so many in Your Word
They are not based upon man’s ways
But our covenant with Christ our Lord



Day 13 – Sanctification

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Tim. 2:21) That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (1 Thess 4:4) We are sanctified when we are born again because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. However, every day we should be growing in Christ, as we study and learn from His Word. I love the message God gives us through the life of a butterfly. While in its cocoon, the butterfly struggles to be free. To watch it struggling, one is tempted to help this butterfly along. But in so doing, we deprive that butterfly of the strength it gains during its struggle. Helping it only kills it. So is the Christian. We need the struggles in our Christian walk so we can turn to the Word and allow it to heal us. The more we break free from sin, we become conformed to Christ’s image. We can rid ourselves of the sin that so easily besets us and be set free like the butterfly.

Noah Webster defines sanctification as “The act of making holy.” God commands us to be holy as He is holy.

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (Lev 20:7)But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Pet 1:15)

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pet 1:16)

I found it interesting that this statement from God is found three times in the Word. Our Three-in-One God is a holy God. We will never reach a perfected state of holiness in this lifetime but we are to be a constant “work in progress” as we walk this Pilgrim’s path on earth. We sanctify ourselves through our daily time spent in the Word. The Word then washes us as we apply its applications to our lives. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Eph 5:26) We can read the Bible faithfully every day – but without applying it to our lives, it is of no value. A police officer can look at body armor all he wants and admire how it can protect his body from bullets. However, the body armor does him no good if he does not put it on for protection.

The Word of God is just not for reading, my friend. The Word convicts the heart of sin. If we do nothing with that conviction, what good is it? The Word is truth and leads us in the path of becoming more like the Father, thus fulfilling His command to be holy as He is holy. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17)

Jesus was our perfect example of One who practiced sanctification. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (Joh 17:19) As we study the Word and learn about Jesus and how He lived His life, we learn of His meekness, His faithfulness and His love. We learn how His desire was to seek the Father’s will and not His own. So should we, as children of the Living God, work diligently weeding out sin in our lives. The more we work to be more like Christ, the more sanctified (set apart) we will become. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (1 Thess 4:4) Emphasis mine. We are to know how to do this. We cannot know without being in the Word!

This is the difference between a Christian who is moving forward in his spiritual walk and one that is at a stand still. Twice Paul spoke of those who were still babes in Christ because they did not get into the meat of the Word – they were still drinking milk. 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. (1 Cor 3:2) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (Heb 5:12)

My friend, repentance brings forth sanctification. One cannot say he is growing in Christ if he is continuing in the same sin. Are you struggling with a particular sin? Until you have forsaken it, you cannot grow more into the image of Christ. I truly believe that many Christians have become complacent to their sin and are satisfied with living with known sin. They live a life of delusion and they will not be a vessel meet for the Master’s use. What kind of vessel are you today? Are you enjoying a Christian life sanctifying yourself daily so the Master can use you? Or are you satisfied with the way you are now, not interested in setting yourself apart from the world? Only you can answer this and only you can change the answer.

Dear God…
May the complacent be pierced today
May he see his sin as You do
Help him to sanctify himself
So that he may better serve You.



Day 14 – Direction

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)

John Newton spoke his heart when he penned the words to Amazing Grace.

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.

This first verse shows a man that was lost and blind as he walked the world’s path to a Christless eternity in hell. It also shows the beautiful transformation that took place when Christ entered this same man’s heart and this man was led down a new path. This man now had a new direction in his life – he was no longer lost. He also found that he was no longer blind. There now was light shining on his path pointing him in the direction he should go. Do you get the impression that John Newton spent time with the Lord? Do you think he found the direction he needed in his Bible?

The Lord does this same thing in each believer’s life. All we have to do is read His Word and we will see how God’s character shines through in this area. God desires to direct us and lead us. He does not want His children to walk about blindly not knowing which way to turn. Do you have life changing decisions you need to make? Do you worry about your future and what is in store for you? You need not be. God’s promises are written in the Word for our encouragement. We can depend on Him to keep His promises. He’s not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19 and 1 Sam 15:29).

I hope you are blessed by the verses I’m sharing with you today. Please, take the time to read each of them and let the Holy Spirit fill your heart with confidence. You do not have a Father who will fail you and lead you down the wrong path. Our Heavenly Father is perfect and loves His children – His desire is to light our way and clearly guide us. We need to learn to acknowledge just Who we are serving and allow Him to show us His will and the direction that He sees is best for us.

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) Our God guides even the lost to a place where they can hear the plan of salvation – how much more will He guide us?

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) In the midst of the pages of our blessed Bible, we find answers to questions which directly impact our path.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psa 119:130) As we read and meditate on the Word, they enter our hearts and help us to understand God’s direction.

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psa 119:133) Sin darkens our path when it reigns in our lives. But the light of the Word overpowers this darkness.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; (Psa 139:9) Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (Psa 139:10) No matter how desperate our situation may be, the Father’s hand is right there waiting to hold us and guide us. Doesn’t this remind you of the Footprints in the Sand story? I can envision this in my mind’s eye right now, can’t you?

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (Psa 37:23) When a Christian is striving to live a godly life, his steps are ordered by God. This verse says that God delights in this Christian – like a father delights in his child when his child is obedient and doing right. We cannot be perfect and sinless but we can strive toward the mark.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psa 32:8 ) God’s eye is ever on us, oh Christian. How wonderful is that? How comforting is that? God sees what we’re doing and where we’re going. He guides us through His Word. No Bible, no direction – Know the Bible, know direction!

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (Psa 25:9) We cannot be taught if we do not yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Yielding does not have the connotation of simply reading the Word but reading and applying what God teaches us.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. (Psa 73:24) God guides us using many forms – His Word, the Pastor, and even wise friends.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psa 23:3) Our souls have been restored through the precious work of the Cross. Jesus Christ’s own blood has been shed for our sins and has restored fellowship between man and his God. To this child is a promise that his Heavenly Father will be a leader to him and will show him how to live that holy life that He commands us to live. … Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Pet 1:16)

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (Joh 16:13) My friend, we possess this Holy Spirit of truth. He resides within each of us. We have the wonderful opportunity of daily tapping into this truth. This truth will guide us and direct us on our Pilgrim’s path!!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Pro 3:6) When we turn to our own thoughts and logic, we can easily be distracted and misguided because we are fallible. Our sinless and Holy God can be trusted because He is infallible. He has never failed, my friend! NEVER! Is this not enough encouragement for you? When we trust our unfailing Father, He provides yet another promise of directing our path.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isa 58:11) Don’t you feel yourself sitting beside a babbling brook right about now? Do you hear those birds chirping and the crickets? Your thirsty soul needs to drink from that Fountain. God awaits to fill you in His Word.

I pray these verses have encouraged you today to turn to God for His direction for your life. He knows what is best – He has seen the future and can guide you in the here and now! And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isa 30:21) Do you hear His still small voice, my friend? He longs to speak to you and guide you. Once again, get in the Word and you’ll find Him there – He’s waiting.

Dear God…
Guide me down Your path I pray
That path You chose for me
Shine Your blessed light so bright
So clearly I may see



Day 15 – Divine Protection

… The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. (Deu 33:12) The storms of life can sometimes feel as overwhelming as this picture, can’t they? The tumultuous waves all around us seem to want to swallow us up. If we look at our circumstances, we can easily become discouraged – yes, even depressed. Remember that the same God who caused the seas to calm in Mark 4:39 can give you His divine protection through the storms of your life? I love the account of Peter wanting to walk on the water to meet Jesus. Read it with me:

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Mat 14:30)

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Mat 14:31)

The storms of our lives will swallow us up if we focus on the circumstances and not on Christ. It happened to Peter. He started out well but the moment he took his eyes of Jesus, he began to sink. The Holy Spirit knew what He was doing when He placed this account in the Word! He knew that each of us would turn to this account during the storms of our lives. Notice in Mat 14:31, Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand to Peter. Our Wonderful Lord and Saviour didn’t wait a minute or two to “teach Peter a lesson” but responded immediately! This is a beautiful example of divine protection.

As the storms of our lives rage about us, we need to remember that our Divine Protector is there to guide us, to help us, to encourage us. [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) Who and what do we have to fear when God is our light in the midst of the storm? Where do you turn when you are in need of help? Do you go to your Divine Protector or do you run to your spouse, your friend or your parents? If you run to a “fleshly” source, you will receive “fleshly” help. But if you run to the Divine Protector, you will receive divine help.

[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) Again, our God is our very refuge and strength, my friend!! Even better, He is our present help! The Lord does not delay His help – His help is ever present – always there to give us!

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psa 91:1) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psa 91:2) Dear Christian, are you dwelling in the secret place of the most High? When we are in that secret place, the storms that are raging outside are not a bother because we abide under the Almighty’s shadow! This is the place we need to be when those storms are raging! When you walk through a storm and come out from under your umbrella, you experience that storm to its fullest. As long as you stay under that umbrella, you are protected. As we stay in the Almighty’s shadow, we are protected from the storms. The minute we come out from under His umbrella of protection, we are exposed and the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour!

Oh Christian, hearken unto the Lord this day and dwell in His shadow – in safety from the storms of life. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Pro 1:33)

Under His Wings
William O. Cushing

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.



Day 16 – Arguing

The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. (Pro 17:14) Imagine with me this morning a dam with a small leak. The water slowly trickles out until the hole becomes bigger and bigger. Eventually, disaster strikes and the raging waters flow wreaking havoc in its path. I liken arguing to flood waters. The more we desire to prove our point, the more the argument escalates. Eventually this argument becomes a full-blown fight and the flood gates have been opened. Words are said that should not have been said. Sadly, these words cannot be taken back because they have already caused the damage and pain. They produce a flood of turmoil and it takes days, sometimes weeks, to clean up the mess we’ve made. Oh the havoc we wreak with our mouths! If only we would glean from the Word of God and apply God’s counsel to our lives. We would keep ourselves out of trouble.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1) The effects of an argument are not the same if you are the only one involved. Therefore, heed God’s Word and give a soft answer. If someone criticizes you, how can they be angry with the response, “I’m sorry if I have offended you. I’ll try not to do that again.” Or even, “Forgive me for that, I was not aware of how much this bothered you.” Sadly, too many Christians today think that they have “arrived” as a human being when they can tell somebody off or put someone in their place. This is not Christ-like nor does the Lord exhort us to be this way. When Christ was being mocked, He did not give them a piece of His mind.

Our harsh words will only stir up anger in the other person and fuel our own. It will allow the flood gates to open up and damage what is precious to us. It takes more of a man (or woman) to control his tongue than to speak his mind. [To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.] I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. (Psa 39:1) Be careful! One’s character is revealed as he speaks his mind. I have never seen this verse better put into action than in the life of my own Pastor. No one could possibly start an argument with him even if they tried. He does not argue back. Every kind word I have heard about him has included how gentle and kind he is. He can be assertive when the need arises but he has never allowed anger to rule his tongue.

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Heb 12:15) I especially love this verse because it goes with the flooding theme of today’s devotional. The root of bitterness springs up within us and the devil uses it to his advantage. The devil says, “Go ahead, speak your mind – let him have it, he deserves to be put in his place.” The devils loves it when he can cause us to concentrate on our own feelings and he stirs up that bitter root within us. Can you have an argument if your heart isn’t bitter?

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Phi 2:3) If we truly believed this verse and applied it to our lives, what would be the outcome of arguments that come our way? One who esteems the other better than himself will not be quick to tear down the other but will be totally interested in healing the conflict. He will carefully choose his words because he is esteeming that person more than himself. Would you like to be on the receiving end of hurtful words? Of course not. So if you esteem the other better than yourself, you will not be quick to speak hurtful words.

I once heard a message using a tube of toothpaste as an analogy for arguing. As impossible as it is to put toothpaste back into its tube, it’s just as impossible to take back those words that should not have been spoken! The damage is done – the words have been spoken and can never be taken back. The toothpaste is everywhere and what a mess it has made. These analogies are great ones and we should take heed to their message to avoid damaging a relationship to the point of no return. Sadly, we hurt the ones we are closest to – why that is, I’ll never know. Is it because we are most comfortable with them and feel free to speak our minds? Rather than be this way, we should think the opposite – we should be so comfortable with them that we want to be even more careful not to speak our minds for fear of hurting them.

Is losing a friend or loved one worth speaking your mind? A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. (Pro 18:19) Wouldn’t it be better to choose your words carefully and save that relationship? My friend, if you repeatedly hurt the same person with your words, you chance losing that friend. God is only trying to help us through His Word. It’s so important to place into action and apply what we read so that we may glean the “good” that God intends for us. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (Jam 1:26) As born-again Christians, we should be shining examples to those around us of how we are doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Dear God…
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:14)



Day 17 – Respect

Many cultures today, sadly including our own, regard their senior citizens with disrespect. However, the Christian should be setting an example to the world on how one should treat the dear Senior Saint. The Word says But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Tim 5:8 ) First of all, our dear saints should not have to worry about where they will live or how they will make ends meet. Each household is commanded by the Word of God to care for their own. The burden does not rest on the government, my friend. The Lord tells us the burden rests on us. So much so, God says that one who does not take care of his family is worse than an infidel (an unbeliever). Sadly, many unbelievers treat their senior citizens better than the Christian!

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. (Job 12:12) We can glean so much if we take time to listen to the wisdom that our dear Senior Saints have. They’ve lived a full life and have been through many trials and tribulations. We can learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. There is nothing more rewarding to me than to listen to a Senior Saint give an account of how God has blessed them or brought them through a trial. I did not always feel this way about my own parents. It’s amazing how much wiser my parents became the older I got.

Mrs. Sarah is an elderly lady I picked up for church every week. She lost her sight the last 12 years of her life and yet she was never bitter toward God for this trial. Mrs. Sarah lived in a government-subsidized home. The people who cared for her took advantage of her blindess and stole from her – the little that she had. She would hide the few dollars she had on her body because they would go through her dresser drawers. Instead of being bitter, she testified of God’s goodness every day. One of my greatest blessings was to listen to Mrs. Sarah share how she was raised by her grandmother. Her grandmother grew up as a slave on a plantation during the Civil War. Mrs. Sarah shared how her grandmother’s family would go hide in the woods late at night so their “master” would not know they were having worship services and Bible time! Do you think Mrs. Sarah’s grandmother complained? I never once heard Mrs. Sarah give an account of any such complaints. However, I did hear about how they hid God’s Word away in their hearts because they only had a few pages of a Bible which were hidden beneath the floor boards. I am a better person today for having known Mrs. Sarah. She’s home with the Lord now and no longer battles blindness! She was welcomed into heaven by that grandmother who hid God’s Word in her heart from those few pages.

Another dear saint I would like to tell you about is a man named Brother John. He also lives at the same home as Mrs. Sarah. Brother John was a dear and meek soul. He worked hard all his life as a window washer. Like Mrs. Sarah, his family never comes to visit him and his church family are all he has. Brother John made a statement to me one day which will stick with me until the day I die: “Eternity is too long and hell fire too hot for someone not to be saved”! Whether he made that statement up or not, he lives by it to this day. This godly man has never once complained in my presence. I’m pretty sure he is in his late 80’s by now and struggles with walking. But yet he’s still faithful in church. He knows where his power comes from.

Christian, how do you treat the elderly? Do you show them respect or do you make fun of them, young person? How do you treat your parents? It does not matter how old you are, it is never right to dishonor them. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Eph 6:2) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Eph 6:3) I look at Hollywood and how many “stars” have died at a very young age. Their parents have been dishonored by their child’s wicked choices and God’s judgment was fulfilled because they dishonored them. Do you honor your parents? If you do, the Word says that it will be well with you and you will have long life. How do you treat them? How do you speak to them in front of others? Do you speak badly about them? How do you care for them? Do you place them on the pedestal of honor? Can God look at your parents and see you right beside them giving them a helping hand? These verses don’t say to honor your parents only when they are good parents. One of the best testimonies I have seen along these lines is of a dear friend of mine. His parents are not saved nor do they display affection toward their children. In fact, they dislike my friend because he is saved and takes a stand against sin. However, he does not let their hatred of the Word of God to stand in his way of honoring them. His father is now in a home and this friend takes care of his mother’s house. He makes sure her driveway is shoveled, her house is painted, and all those other chores. He has two homes he is maintaining but he never complains. He has other siblings in the area but he is the one that his mother can count on. I don’t know whether or not she associates his helpfulness with Christ-like behavior, but what a testimony he is for her. That is honoring one’s parents whether they are good parents or not. What a good son he is.

Have your parents died? There are Senior Saints in your church who could sure use some uplifting today. Do your parents live far from you? There are always Seniors Saints in your church whose children also live far away and they would truly appreciate a helping hand mowing grass or shoveling snow. Show your respect to a dear saint today! Sit back and enjoy their stories – I can assure you that you will walk away truly blessed.

Dear God…
I thank You for the Senior Saints
I’ve met along the way
Their wisdom and great counsel
Bring much blessings to my day



Day 18 – Meditation

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. (Jos 1:8 ) Meditating daily on God’s Word is a key part of a Christian’s life. Why would you want to read the Bible just for the sake of reading and receiving nothing from it? God tells us in this verse that we should meditate on it day and night so that we will obey it. Meditating implies application here, doesn’t it? I know that I have meditated on many things but failed to apply it to my life. I did not allow the Holy Spirit of God to change me. It was not God that failed, but I am the one that failed. I was a hearer of the word only and not a doer. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (Jam 1:22) When we understand what meditation is all about, we begin to understand how God uses it in our lives to mold us into the vessel of honour we should be.

When should we meditate? God’s Word reveals that we should meditate on His Word day and night. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psa 1:2) Whenever the Lord lays a verse on your mind, nurture that verse in your heart. Think about it and meditate on its meaning. The Lord impressed it upon you for a reason. Search out your heart to see where this verse applies. Is it to point out a sin? Confess it. Is it to point you to a task to be done? Recognize the task and do it.

Who should we meditate on? When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. (Psa 63:6) Meditate on the Lord, Himself. When you cannot sleep, think of His goodness, His blessings, answered prayer, the trials He has brought you through, or your salvation.

What should we meditate on? I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. (Psa 119:15) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. (Psa 143:5) Meditating on the Word of God opens our eyes to God Himself. He reveals Himself to us within the blessed pages of our Bible. We learn about His omnipotence, Jesus’ return and His upcoming Kingdom, how to live godly lives, etc. We also can think about the work of God’s hands – His creation, our families, His Word, etc. The list cannot be exhausted.

What should we do with what we have gleaned from during our times of meditation? I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (Psa 77:12) When we meditate on all that the Lord has done for us, we are then ready to share with others what He has done for us. Give God the glory due Him by sharing praises. Too often, we are quick to complain about our circumstances. However, if we have spent our night watches meditating on God’s Goodness, those complaints are long gone and praises rest on our lips.

When should we meditate? Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. (Psa 119:23) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. (Psa 119:78 ) Whenever we are being attacked by the world, we should turn to God’s Word and meditate on it. It is there we will find peace in the midst of turbulence. We should meditate when we have trouble sleeping. But sometimes the sweetest times for meditation are found in those wee hours of the morning when all is quiet. Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. (Psa 119:148 ) Notice that David says that he prevented his eyes from sleeping so he could meditate on God’s Word. When was the last time I deprived myself of sleep so I could meditate on God’s Word? This was quite a convicting verse for me today.

What are the results of meditating? Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1Ti 4:15) When we meditate on God’s Word and apply what we have gleaned to our lives, we cannot help but grow spiritually. We become profitable and in so doing, we become a blessing to those around us. We can be used of God for their benefit.

When we do not meditate on God’s Word, we are revealing our spiritual barometer. If you talk to a Christian who is strong in this area of meditation, you will find a Christian who is solid and not easily caught off guard by the curve balls of life. He also has a spiritually firm foundation and can easily testify of what God has done for him. Strengthen and build upon your foundation by meditating on God’s Word today.

Dear God…
To read and run is tragedy
Nothing is gleaned or learned
But may we rest our weary souls
While we meditate and discern



Day 19 – Worrying

But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Pro 1:33) As cute as this picture is, its message shows a kitten clinging on. The kitten climbed to a place he should not have been and now he’s in trouble. We’ve all had days, maybe even weeks, like this, haven’t we? We feel like we are at the end of our rope. If one more thing goes wrong, we’re going to snap! The Christian has promises in the Word which assure us of a compassionate Heavenly Father who is there to help us in those desperate times. He promises us that if we call upon Him, we will have the awesome privilege of dwelling in safety and we won’t fear what the future has in store. Our trials may still come but the Lord provides peace and assurance that He will be there with us and take care of all things.

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. (Pro 3:24) How can you trust someone you only see on occasion? You can’t! Trust is built on day-to-day relationships. A couple who has been married for 20 years will trust their spouse more than a couple who has been married only a few months. The years of building up the relationship adds trust to their marriage foundation. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. The older we are spiritually, the more we depend on His Word to pull us through, to guide us, and to encourage us. Those who seek God in His Word daily, learn that this is the place to go where you can meet the only One who has never broken a promise. He alone is trustworthy. The Christian is able to lie down and have sweet rest because he trusts his God to take care of all matters – knowing fully that He will not fail him.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7) We can’t understand how God can work all things out for all believers throughout all of time – but one thing is for sure, He can and He will. We cannot claim this if our hearts quickly fail us in time of trouble. What a testimony it is to see a dear brother or sister in Christ stand strong in their faith through a major trial knowing that God will pull them through. What a thrill for a Christian to be able to turn to the Master of the Sea to calm the storms of their life. There is no need to worry!

Are you worrying today, dear Christian? It is not a good testimony for the unsaved to see this in you. If a co-worker sees you worrying over unpaid bills or a broken-down car, how will they see the power of God at work? It’s the peace which passeth all understanding that will reach out to them. They will want what you have.

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. (Luk 12:29) For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. (Luk 12:30) Our Father knows our needs and is ever watching over us. Don’t worry about tomorrow and what it might bring. When you are busy serving the Lord, He promises to take care of all your needs – and much better than an earthly father can. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33) 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. (Mat 6:34)

Dear 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!
by Thomas Chisholm



Day 20 – Mercy

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (Eph 2:4) In day-to-day living, we human beings learn by watching, reading, and listening. We watch some one’s actions and learn from them – there’s no better example of this than our own children and how quickly they “pick things up” from us – whether good or bad. What we read teaches us and influences our thoughts. Listening also teaches – if we are good listeners. Who we watch, read after and listen to is so important!

The best example and Teacher is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If anyone was perfect in mercy, it was Jesus. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines mercy as:

1. 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.

The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num 14.

2. An act or exercise of mercy or favor. It is a mercy that they escaped.

I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Gen 32.

3. Pity; compassion manifested towards a person in distress.

And he said, he that showed mercy on him. Luke 10.

4. Clemency and bounty.

Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy. Prov 28.

5. Charity, or the duties of charity and benevolence.

I will have mercy and not sacrifice. Mat 9.

6. Grace; favor. 1 Cor 7. Jude 2.

7. Eternal life, the fruit of mercy. 2 Tim 1.

8. Pardon.

I cry thee mercy with all my heart.

9. The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy.

To be or to lie at the mercy of, to have no means of self-defense, but to be dependent for safety on the mercy or compassion of another, or in the power of that which is irresistible; as, to be at the mercy of a foe, or of the waves.

What a difference in definition when compared to today’s Merriam Webster Dictionary:

1 a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment b: imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder2 a: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b: a fortunate circumstance 3: compassionate treatment of those in distress

The Christian has seen mercy from the Lord first hand. This lesson in mercy ought to pierce our hearts in such a way that we would want to be merciful to others. How merciful are you toward those who have offended you? Do you mete out mercy equal to that which Christ has shown you? Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luk 6:36)

If we are not merciful toward others, we cannot expect the Lord to be merciful toward us when we need Him to be. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Mat 5:7) Showing God’s mercy to others brings happiness and joy to the believer because we are not oppressed by the consequences of sin. We have been freed and are free to love others and be merciful to them. We don’t feel like we are in shackles and bound. I don’t know if this makes sense to you but it’s the only way I can explain how I feel when I am not being obedient to God’s Word in an area that I know I should be. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Pro 14:21) This is probably one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in my Christian walk. It is not human nature to be merciful. Our first reaction is to fight back and prove our point. The furthest thing from our minds is to obey this verse: And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luk 6:31) But Christ tells us that this is what is required of us. Jesus could have easily chosen the same merciless path as I but instead, He submitted to His Father’s will and showed mercy to all. We would be in sad shape had Christ taken the same route as us, wouldn’t we?

…Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (Job 11:6b) We don’t deserve God’s mercy – but praise His Holy Name that He has shown mercy to us despite of our sin! So much the more should we Christians show mercy to those who hurt and abuse us. This is not an easy teaching to swallow but it is a needful teaching for our spirit. These lessons mold us and form us into the image of Christ and make us into vessels of honour for His use.

Dear God…
Christ, the great example
Of God’s mercy to all who live
May we follow in His footsteps
Standing ready to forgive



Day 21 – Peace of Heart

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

I have loved this verse for many years now. The Lord first gave it to me when I was going through some very difficult trials in my life. When God would speak to me through the Pastor’s messages, I did not like what I was hearing. I did not want to follow the guidance the man of God was clearly preaching. What he was preaching was too hard for me and I felt that it was too much to bear. Sometimes we look at our trials as a whole and get discouraged. This is what I did. I would look at the big picture, hear the preaching and think to myself that God didn’t know what He was asking me to do! Was I ever wrong!!

When the Lord gave Psalm 119:165 to me, it was as though He had reached down and hugged this child. He spoke to me through His Word and said that if I love His Word, nothing in it will cause me to fall or stumble. He would not ask me to do anything that would be bad for me. So, I obeyed the Lord through the preaching and did what was asked. The end result was one of great peace. All the fears I had of what might happen, never happened. I feared the unknown and feared what God would have me to do – all for nothing. God’s Word assured me peace if I followed it and it was true!

I pray that you would glean from that testimony and apply it to your own life. I pray that you will see this verse as one that will bring life changing results to you. Let’s look at it and pick it apart this morning. The Greek word for “offend” is

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.

Noah Webster also defines the word in the same manner:

6. To disturb, annoy, or cause to fall or stumble. Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them. Psa 119.

What a blessing this is. God’s Word will never bring you harm, my friend. You may hear some hard preaching and refuse to apply it to your life because you feel it is too hard or it will create problems. But God’s Word says otherwise. God’s Word is not offensive. He would never give us something that would cause us to stumble – It only promises peace.

You may be thinking that you already know this. But let me ask you this. Have you heard a message recently where the Pastor says “A Christian should not do _______!” (fill in the blank)? Were you guilty of whatever it was he said you should not do? If you were guilty, did you stop doing it? Or did you shrug it off. If you shrugged it off, you are sinning. And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jer 3:15) God’s man has been given to your church to feed you from the Word so you can grow in knowledge and understanding, my friend. The Holy Spirit cannot do a work in you if you are not going to respond to the message God has laid on his heart. 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. (Heb 13:17) When your Pastor brings your name up before God, is he able to do so with joy or with grief? If it is with grief, the Word says it is unprofitable to you.

You only get your feathers ruffled when it is a sin you don’t want to give up. Right? Applying the Word’s teachings is not always easy but it brings peace. It is much easier to give up the sin and do what is right than to hold on to it. There is no peace in that. If you struggle with smoking cigarettes and you hear a message against it, does it not stir you up spiritually? What do you do with that? If you ignore it, you cannot honestly say you are at peace with that decision. Chances are you hide the cigarettes when the Pastor comes to visit. Or you are looking over your shoulder to make sure no one from church has seen you with a carton of cigarettes in your shopping cart. You heard the Bible verses the Pastor used to encourage you to quit smoking but you ignore him. You’re actually ignoring the Lord. This sin is not too great for you to give up, my friend. God promises that there is peace awaiting you.

Everyone has an area in their lives where they struggle. Why do we think that ours is unique and is just too great to give up? It’s because we are not in the Word of God the way we should be. Don’t be angry with the Preacher for preaching God’s Word. If you are, Psalm 119:165 cannot be a verse you can claim. Instead, submit to the preaching and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in you. There is nothing that you are experiencing right now that you cannot overcome, my friend. 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 promises peace and He gives peace. The only thing we have to do to obtain that peace is to be in His Word. How hard is that? D.L. Moody once said, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” If things are going wrong and you are overwhelmed, look at your Bible life. If you are on the verge of a marital break up, look at your Bible life. If you are struggling with gambling, look at your Bible life. Every part of our lives stems directly from the time we spend in the Bible and our obedience to its teachings. This is what separates the men from the boys. I constantly meet people who live defeated Christian lives. There is always something wrong and they seem to have one problem after another. Being around them is exhausting because they are negative and constantly complain. When they ask me what to do, I immediately ask them if they are in the Word every day. Every single response reflected little or no time had been spent in the Word! Can you believe that? And they wonder why they are going through these trials and feel overwhelmed? There is no peace there and it is evident why. I also have met Christians who are going through tremendous trials but you would never know it. Why? Because these Christians are in the Word, applying it to their lives and gleaning God’s peace.

Why struggle when you can have that sweet peace that only God can give His children? He waits to give it to you. Why ignore Him? Spending time in the Word and yielding yourself to it produces that peace. These negative people seem to enjoy living this way – constantly defeated. Do you actually enjoy the unrest in your spirit? Do you actually want to continue to live with such a dark cloud over you? Maybe you are the kind of person who loves the attention you get because of it. Believe me, the only attention you are getting is from people who are in the same situation as you are. You are like a person who is drowning – you are looking to others who cannot swim to help you. Instead, you should be looking to others who can provide you with a life preserver!

You can turn yourself around, you know. Sure it will mean setting aside time to read the Bible and study it. Sure it will mean that you will have to apply what you learn and give up those sins that God places on your heart. Sure it will take an effort on your part, but wouldn’t it be worth it? If you’re miserable, Christian, it’s because you choose to be miserable. The sad thing is that you bring down those around you, too. You will have much to account for when you stand before the Lord. Wouldn’t it be easier to submit to God’s Word today? Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3)

LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (Isa 26:12)

Dear God…
How can I know You if I don’t read
Your Manual on life
This can only bring me grief and pain
Causing me much strife



Day 22 – Compassion

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luk 6:36) Today’s devotional is a long one, but I ask for your patience as it is not a subject that can be dealt with in just a few words. Most of us think that God refers to those “unlovable” people when we read this verse. We think that it is fulfilling the following: Matt. 25:34-40, Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (34) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (35) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (36) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (37) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (38 ) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (39) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (40)

But what about those “prickly” people who are closer to you than strangers? What about those hard to love church folks? What about those estranged family members? What about your own flesh and blood family who have wronged you? Do you think God excluded those from these verses? Are we placing restrictions on God’s Word by omitting them from the mercy we should be showing? Is God’s love conditional? For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:6) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8 ) If God’s love is conditional, we would all be in big trouble, for we have all sinned. Why should our love for those I’ve mentioned be any different? Does God not encourage us throughout the Word to have the same agape love that He has for us? If God took to heart all the bad things we did or said, He would be the first to shun us! Remember the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Easier said than done, right? Broken bones heal but words sure do cut to the core of a person’s heart. How does the world react to hurtful words? I remember my old days – get even, that’s the only way. The Lord sure has done a work in my heart since then.

However, why is it that we struggle with this more when it is someone right in our own family? These family members are the ones that need our testimony the most. Strangers don’t see us as we truly are. They don’t see us at home – behind closed doors. Our families see us for what we really are. All the more reason for us to show mercy and compassion to those who are lost or backslidden. Have you been hurt deeply by a family member, my friend? Have you been hurt by a church member? I know I have. Loving those prickly and hard-to-love people is not something we can do in the flesh. We just cannot “make” ourselves love them. But we can love them with God’s love. How? Love is a word of motion. Love takes action on our part. God showed us this action by leaving His throne and dying for our sins. That is the ultimate display of agape love. It was not a “sit back and see what happens” love but an action love – “I will go to them and see what I can do for them” kind of love.

If we want to get strong physically, we exercise and build up our muscles. If you want to be stronger in the agape love area, start working at it by doing something for those you find difficulty loving. Christ Jesus was our example, was He not? Then follow His example. Go out there and do something for those you struggle with. Forgive them in your heart and move on. The devil would love nothing better than for you to hold on to resentment and bitterness toward those who have hurt you. You no longer serve him so why obey him? Serve your Father in Heaven instead and put some action to your work.

Are you too afraid to speak to that person face-to-face? Why not send a card or an email? Start “doing” for them as you would a total stranger. Start from scratch and build your testimony once again. If you need to ask forgiveness, then do so. If they wronged you, forgive them and move forward. Let the healing power of the Holy Spirit heal you. This is not an option in a Christian’s life. We are commanded, my friend, to love as Christ has loved. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (Joh 15:12) Did Christ set limits to His love? Did He only die for certain people? No, He died for all sinners. Therefore, your love for others cannot have conditions. I know this is not an easy thing to hear. But as long as we neglect this great teaching and disobey this commandment, are we not out of the Father’s will?

It is difficult to put into practice this same love of Christ, especially if we have been wronged. Let’s say that you came up with a great idea for the Easter Cantata at church. You present it to the Choir Director and he excitedly receives it, complimenting you on your idea! The next thing you know, the Pastor announces from the pulpit that the Choir Director has come up with a brilliant play for the Cantata and there is no mention of you! Here you are sitting in your pew and you’re beet red and steaming on the inside. How dare the Choir Director steal your idea? After church, folks go up to the Director congratulating him on his idea and he does nothing to indicate that the idea was not his. You feel so betrayed and hurt at this point. You try to figure out whether you should go to the Choir Director directly or tell the Pastor that this was your idea and not the Choir Director’s idea. After all, the Pastor ought to know this.

It’s when we are at this point that we should think of John 15:12 and put it to action. Yes, you’ve been wronged. That is no longer the point. The point now is to learn to deal with what has happened and apply Christ’s example to your own situation. Christ would not retaliate and hurt but would lovingly bring this person to reconciliation. So must you. Remember that Christ died for you while you were yet a sinner, right? He forgave you before you even sinned. Then forgive this person, no matter if they have offended you countless times. Matt. 18:21-22, Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (21) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (22) I know it’s difficult, but we’re commanded to forgive. What would you do if Christ did not forgive “some” of your own sins? Christ did not set limits, nor should we. This is agape love, my friend. Once you have forgiven this person in your heart, you are free from the chains of resentment that are binding you. It no longer matters how you feel. What matters is to bring reconciliation.

The next step would be to face your offender. You would be amazed to find the reasoning behind their motives. It does not mean the offense is overlooked – it just means that you learn how to approach that person and discuss the offense with forgiveness already in your heart. That’s the difference. Listen with Christ’s heart rather than your own. Using our example, go to the Choir Director and tell him how happy you were that your idea was selected for the cantata and give the glory to God. Then sit back and listen. He will be sure to “hum and haw” and stumble to find the words to explain. It’s not easy to listen to excuses and place ourselves in their shoes but it is the right thing to do. Maybe the Choir Director had his own reasons for claiming ownership. Maybe he had certain events going on in his life that caused him to do this. It does not justify that what he did was wrong but it will help you to understand his reasoning. Maybe he was getting back at you for something you did to him that you are unaware of. This is not right but, it will help you to understand. It does not excuse what he did but it helps you to see why he did it. This is where reconciliation begins. You’ve already forgiven him prior to the meeting. Now you are working to restoring the relationship. Look at it this way. Can you imagine how Christ felt? He died for you before you even asked forgiveness! Some never ask for forgiveness yet He died for them too.

It’s hard to understand this kind of love, but we are commanded to love as Christ loves. Now that you are exercising this love and taking that first step of reconciliation, you can move forward in healing the relationship. You can speak your mind without being harsh because you are no longer dealing with forgiveness – you’ve already done this. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1) The Word of God has all that we need to tackle each task in life. If you speak non-combative words, you are promised that there will be peace in your conversation. We are also taught how to speak and which words to say. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Eph 4:29) Whatever you say to the Choir Director, let it be to edify him and to minister grace (goodwill and kindness) to him. If you don’t, you are grieving the Holy Spirit in your own life according to God’s Word. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) The conversation with the Choir Director will not be an easy one. There is no “easy” way to tell someone that they have hurt you because they stole your idea. But there is a nice way to tell them. You can point out a sin but yet say it in such a way that this person knows you love them in the Lord. Your goal is to reconcile this person to God and to restore the relationship between the two of you. (If the person you are struggling with is not a Christian, then your goal is the same – you want to point him to Christ so he can be saved.) Go into your conversations after having prayed for God’s wisdom. God promises to give us wisdom liberally according to James 1:5.

Can you imagine how the Choir Director will respond if you are enter the conversation already with forgiveness? He will not feel defensive because he will see that your motive is not to get even. Your actions will prick his heart and move him to repent. If he does not, you have already forgiven him and the rest is up to him. You no longer have bitterness and resentment but are free to love him as Christ loves you! If the person is not saved, can you imagine how they are going to view your reaction? They will be seeing Christ in action through you. The Gospel is being spoken through action! What a responsibility we have to show this agape love in our lives – this love is one of motion – always moving forward and upward!

As we grow in Christ, we should be viewing the unlovable and prickly people as opportunities to reconcile them to God. What would we have done if Christ had treated us the way we treat those who are unlovable? Are we any different than they? No, but we have the power through Christ to treat the unlovely as He would. What a testimony we can be! What a powerful message we can preach just in our actions alone! What about that brother or parent you’ve been witnessing to for years? Have you had fight after fight trying to point out their sin? Has it brought the two of you closer together or has it brought distance between you? Were you successful in showing them their lost condition? Probably not. Have they hurt you in return? There are some things that you just cannot control, and one of them is their reaction. But what you can control is your reaction. With forgiveness in your heart, you are free to love them the way Christ loves them. Put into practice this agape love and start loving them with action. Do things for them – send a card, make a phone call, bake a cake, make a meal when they are sick – but just do it! Put Christ’s love in motion and love them unconditionally.

Thank You, Lord, for blessing my heart today!

Dear God…
Agape love is what we need
To show the love of Christ
To those who hurt us deeply
Guide us, help us through Your might.



Day 23 – The Tongue

There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Pro 12:18 )

Today’s topic won’t be long as I feel one verse can best describe the tongue. There are many verses we could read about the tongue and I’ve listed them below for you to look up on your own. I believe that today’s verse best describes the tongue because it is two-fold. It discusses the proper and improper uses of the tongue. The picture of this man speaks volumes. It depicts someone who has been on the receiving end of one who used his tongue like a sword.

Picture this sword for a moment. A sword is used to cut – plain and simple. It serves no other purpose, except if one uses it as a trophy for show. It stands to reason that when a sword is just for show, then it is not in use. It is proper that this verse would compare the tongue to a sword. How many times have you been cut by words spoken by an angry person? How many times have those words cut so deeply that you have found it difficult to forgive a person? We have all been there at some point. Does this justify the person’s use of their tongue like a sword? Not at all.

The verse goes on to say that the tongue of the wise is health. Good health is such a blessing, isn’t it? No pains, no sicknesses – we cherish each day that we can get up and not feel a twinge! A wise tongue is the same as good health according to the Word. The words of a wise person help another to good health – not in the physical sense but in the emotional and spiritual sense.

What words do you speak to others? Do you come bearing health to some and a sword to others? Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (Jam 3:11) It should not be so for believers. We should have sweet water all the time. Our words should bring health to others all the time. If bitter water flows from our mouths and our words cut like a sword, can we honestly say we are walking with the Lord? No, we surely cannot say that. A person who reacts this way with his tongue is one who is not yielded to the Holy Spirit of God.

Have you been hurt by someone’s words? Have they cut you deeply? Remember where those words came from. This hurtful person could be unsaved. If so, they are doing a great job serving their father, the devil. He is the epitome of self-centeredness and they have learned from him well. It helps you to understand why they are the way they are. It does not take the pain away, but it sure does help you focus your thoughts on why they have a need to hurt you. Give God the glory and move on. If this person is a born-again Christian, they are not yielded to the Holy Spirit in their lives, nor their tongue. Forgive this brother and pray for an opportunity to help this brother in this area. Pray for a peaceful time where you can share how the comments hurt you. If this brother is repentant and won, this is a blessing and you have exhorted this brother to righteousness. If this brother is unrepentant and uses his tongue as a sword once again, we are commanded in Matt. 18:22 to forgive our brother (another believer) as many times as it takes. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you exactly what you need to love this brother the way God loves him.

I have personally been in a situation of this type. Just today alone, I’ve heard from two ladies who are going through similar trials. A sword produces bleeding, wounds and scars. The one on the receiving end will never be the same because wounds leave scars. Can we who have been wounded recover? Absolutely! How? By yielding our tongue to the control of the Holy Spirit. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (Jam 3:13) (Emphasis mine) When we are in the Word seeking after knowledge and wisdom, we put to practice what we have learned and show forth good conversation. Is it easy? No. Is it do-able? Yes! I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil. 4:13 This is yet another burden to lay at the Saviour’s feet, my friend. We are not alone in our struggles but we have each other – the brothers and sisters in Christ who can exhort us unto righteousness and pray for us. Praise the Lord for being a part of this wonderful Family. Christ died for each of us, while we were yet sinners! If anyone had reason to be offended by the tongues of man, it was He.

Extra Verses on the Tongue:

Prov. 10:20
Prov. 11:12
Prov. 13:3
Prov. 14:25
Prov. 15:1, 4, 23
Prov. 15:28
Prov. 16:24, 28
Prov. 18:8, 13, 21
Prov. 21:23
Prov. 25:11
Prov. 26:17
Prov. 26:20
Prov. 27:2
James 3:5, 8

Dear God…
May my tongue be controlled
Each day as I yield to You
Help the living waters flow
So others may see the Truth



Day 24 – Injured Pride

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18 ) Injured pride is a tough lesson for the believer. The earlier this lesson is learned, the better it is.

What is the best way to deal with pride? Doing a study on how God views pride should be the first place we start. Noah Webster’s definition helps us to see more clearly:

Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

I think the picture of the cat viewing himself as a lion is a perfect example, don’t you? When we see ourselves as better than we truly are, we set ourselves up for a huge disappointment.

If you struggle with pride, remember that one day you will be brought down to the level you truly belong, and maybe even lower. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (1 Sam 2:3) Continuing to be arrogant and prideful will only set you up for defeat. God sees where you truly are, how you think of yourself and He will weigh your actions. When the time comes where you are brought down, your pride will force you to think that you are suffering as a Christian. But God’s Word says, For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Pet 2:20) You’re suffering because of your sinful pride, not because you did something right for the Lord. You must recognize the difference and see God’s chastisement as His way of teaching you to be humble.

It is better to learn to be humble and meek before God has to deal with you and you are brought to shame. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Pro 11:2) Get in the Word where the teaching is pure – there are so many verses dealing with pride and humbleness. Recognize that your pride is sin in the eyes of God. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. (Pro 21:4) Confess this sin and ask the Holy Spirit of God to pierce your heart and teach you humbleness and meekness.

That pride isn’t bad enough, but it drives you to greater sin. The Lord says you will stir up trouble and that you are a fool. Prov. 28:25-26, He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. (25) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (26) Is this what you want for your life? The Christian who is striving to grow in Christ produces the fruit of the Spirit. Pride is not listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit; however meekness is (Gal. 5:22).

It’s always best to learn any lesson early on because the longer you remain in any sin, the harder you will fall. Is it not so with your own children? If they disobey you once, the punishment is minimal. But the more then continue to disobey, the harsher the punishment, right? Can you expect any less from your Heavenly Father? So you ask, “I thought today’s devo was going to be on injured pride? I thought I would learn how to deal with it.” If you look deep within yourself, you will see that your pride was injured because you thought more of yourself than you should have. Dealing with injured pride is learning to be humble.

Dear God…
Place pride far behind me
And I no longer fall
May I reflect Your humbleness
And heed the Spirit’s call



Day 25 – Straddling the Fence

Phil. 4:7-8, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (7) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (8 ) Let’s face it, my friends, how many Christians do you know that are truly sold out for God and consistently moving forward in their spiritual lives? How many Christians can you say are striving toward living a Godly life in every aspect of their lives? We can perfect one area, like what music we listen to, but if we leave inappropriate reading aside, we are straddling the fence. You are sitting on the fence of indecision.

When you don’t move forward toward righteous living, you are making the decision to sit on the fence. Jesus said it best. 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) Yes, this speaks of the road to salvation. However, take notice that the believer has to enter at the straight gate and go down the narrow road. The person who sits on the fence is not in motion. The believer who enters in at the straight gate and then sits on the fence is not moving forward down the narrow road. He is sitting still and is not making any progress on his spiritual journey.

What is causing you to straddle the fence today? Is it impure thoughts? Is it covetousness? Is it what you watch on TV? Is it the music you listen to? Whatever you expose yourself to, you should ask yourself if it meets with the Phil. 4:8 criteria. Any Christian who does not desire to grow spiritually needs to ask himself why he is so indifferent about his progress. David took leave of his walk with God and allowed himself to straddle the fence. While he sat on the fence, his eyes caused him to covet another man’s wife. He straddled that fence a little longer and the devil wreaked havoc with David’s thoughts. Next, David began thinking of ways to remove the obstacle out of his way which prevented him from fulfilling the his lust. However, after David was convicted of his sin, he repented and moved forward from that point on. We don’t see any accounts of his falling deep into sin after that. Can you see what straddling the fence does? Any time you are idle in your thoughts, you will be tempted to wander. That is why Paul exhorted us to “think on these things”!

Where is your thought life today? These types of thoughts in Phil. 4:8 are fixed on heavenly things. What are you thinking about? The latest movie out of Hollywood? The latest romance novel? What the argument was all about with your neighbor? How many minutes/hours does your mind dwell on thoughts like these – even when you’re reading that book or watching that movie. Compare it to how many minutes/hours your mind dwells on Godly things.

Paul exhorts us to think of things that are true – only God is Truth – His Word is Truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17)

Are you thinking of honest things in all areas of your life? Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Pet 2:12)

Are you thinking of things which are just? (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Rom 2:13)

Are you thinking of pure things? The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psa 12:6) If your thoughts are not focused on the Word, which is pure, they will be focused on the world. The believer should be in motion on this one – he should be moving forward working toward purifying himself. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1Jo 3:6)

Do you think on lovely things? Not things the world has to offer – but things that God offers. Do you think about what Heaven will be like? Do you think about God’s creation? Do you think about the message you heard on Sunday? His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Son 5:16) Thinking on Christ is lovely! He is altogether lovely!

What about thinking of things of good report? Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Tim 3:7) A man considered for Pastor must have a good reputation so the lost don’t have reason to doubt him. Are you thinking about your reputation and keeping it honorable?

What about thinking on virtuous things? Do you think on morally good things? 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: (2Pe 1:3) God has called us grow in this area. The more we think on morally good things, the less we’ll have time for the ungodly works of the flesh.

Do you think about praises? [To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.] I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. (Psa 9:1) Even when you cannot think of one thing to praise God about, look at His wonderful creation and you’ll find something to praise Him for.

My friend, take moral inventory of your life today. How much time do you spend in the Word? How much time do you spend in prayer? How much time do you spend in church? How much time do you talk to others about the Lord? How much time to you study your Bible? Now compare it with how much time you do everything else in your life – be honest with yourself. Write it down on paper if you have to so you can see it in black and white. I beg you to do this assignment. Are you sitting on the fence of indifference? This ought not be so. The path to heaven is narrow and few are called. Why do you think this is? We must be growing in grace – growing in the knowledge and wisdom of the Word. It is in this growing process that we come down from straddling that fence and move forward in the path of righteousness. Remember, not only does the devil own the wide gate but he owns the fence you’re sitting on, too. He loves it when the Christian is not in forward motion!

Dear God…
Forgive me Lord for straddling the fence
Of indifference to the things of God
Help me Lord to move continually forward
As I walk the narrow way, Heaven bound.



Day 25 – Straddling the Fence

Phil. 4:7-8, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (7) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (8 ) Let’s face it, my friends, how many Christians do you know that are truly sold out for God and consistently moving forward in their spiritual lives? How many Christians can you say are striving toward living a Godly life in every aspect of their lives? We can perfect one area, like what music we listen to, but if we leave inappropriate reading aside, we are straddling the fence. You are sitting on the fence of indecision.

When you don’t move forward toward righteous living, you are making the decision to sit on the fence. Jesus said it best. 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) Yes, this speaks of the road to salvation. However, take notice that the believer has to enter at the straight gate and go down the narrow road. The person who sits on the fence is not in motion. The believer who enters in at the straight gate and then sits on the fence is not moving forward down the narrow road. He is sitting still and is not making any progress on his spiritual journey.

What is causing you to straddle the fence today? Is it impure thoughts? Is it covetousness? Is it what you watch on TV? Is it the music you listen to? Whatever you expose yourself to, you should ask yourself if it meets with the Phil. 4:8 criteria. Any Christian who does not desire to grow spiritually needs to ask himself why he is so indifferent about his progress. David took leave of his walk with God and allowed himself to straddle the fence. While he sat on the fence, his eyes caused him to covet another man’s wife. He straddled that fence a little longer and the devil wreaked havoc with David’s thoughts. Next, David began thinking of ways to remove the obstacle out of his way which prevented him from fulfilling the his lust. However, after David was convicted of his sin, he repented and moved forward from that point on. We don’t see any accounts of his falling deep into sin after that. Can you see what straddling the fence does? Any time you are idle in your thoughts, you will be tempted to wander. That is why Paul exhorted us to “think on these things”!

Where is your thought life today? These types of thoughts in Phil. 4:8 are fixed on heavenly things. What are you thinking about? The latest movie out of Hollywood? The latest romance novel? What the argument was all about with your neighbor? How many minutes/hours does your mind dwell on thoughts like these – even when you’re reading that book or watching that movie. Compare it to how many minutes/hours your mind dwells on Godly things.

Paul exhorts us to think of things that are true – only God is Truth – His Word is Truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (Joh 17:17)

Are you thinking of honest things in all areas of your life? Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Pet 2:12)

Are you thinking of things which are just? (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Rom 2:13)

Are you thinking of pure things? The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psa 12:6) If your thoughts are not focused on the Word, which is pure, they will be focused on the world. The believer should be in motion on this one – he should be moving forward working toward purifying himself. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1Jo 3:6)

Do you think on lovely things? Not things the world has to offer – but things that God offers. Do you think about what Heaven will be like? Do you think about God’s creation? Do you think about the message you heard on Sunday? His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Son 5:16) Thinking on Christ is lovely! He is altogether lovely!

What about thinking of things of good report? Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Tim 3:7) A man considered for Pastor must have a good reputation so the lost don’t have reason to doubt him. Are you thinking about your reputation and keeping it honorable?

What about thinking on virtuous things? Do you think on morally good things? 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: (2Pe 1:3) God has called us grow in this area. The more we think on morally good things, the less we’ll have time for the ungodly works of the flesh.

Do you think about praises? [To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.] I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. (Psa 9:1) Even when you cannot think of one thing to praise God about, look at His wonderful creation and you’ll find something to praise Him for.

My friend, take moral inventory of your life today. How much time do you spend in the Word? How much time do you spend in prayer? How much time do you spend in church? How much time do you talk to others about the Lord? How much time to you study your Bible? Now compare it with how much time you do everything else in your life – be honest with yourself. Write it down on paper if you have to so you can see it in black and white. I beg you to do this assignment. Are you sitting on the fence of indifference? This ought not be so. The path to heaven is narrow and few are called. Why do you think this is? We must be growing in grace – growing in the knowledge and wisdom of the Word. It is in this growing process that we come down from straddling that fence and move forward in the path of righteousness. Remember, not only does the devil own the wide gate but he owns the fence you’re sitting on, too. He loves it when the Christian is not in forward motion!

Dear God…
Forgive me Lord for straddling the fence
Of indifference to the things of God
Help me Lord to move continually forward
As I walk the narrow way, Heaven bound.



Day 26 – Worldliness

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

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

You can’t be around a skunk for more than just a few seconds and the smell disgusts you. You also come away feeling like you smell like a skunk, don’t you? However, the longer you’re around the stench, the less you smell it. I grew up in Northern Maine. A few times a year, we would drive to Massachusetts to visit my sister. The route my father used went right through Lincoln, Maine. We always knew when we were getting close because of the awful smell of their paper mill. This town would have been a great stopping point to eat but we never would stop there because we just could not stand the smell! As children, we would block our noses and breathe through our mouths as we went through town, it was that bad. We actually met people who had lived there all their lives and they claimed they couldn’t smell it! It’s the same with worldliness. The longer you are exposed to it and allow it to come into your life, the more it will permeate your life and your ability to discern it will deteriorate.

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as immature. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” We had an interesting discussion on the Fundamental Baptist Forum about comparing a human being’s growth from baby to adult to the spiritual life of a Christian. Thank you, Brother Lee, for sharing it with me. It is worth sharing here with you. I hope you are blessed by it.

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Heb 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1Th 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phi 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psa 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (Joh 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what no means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Pro 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psa 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psa 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1Jo 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psa 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deu 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1Sa 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1Co 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1Co 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18 )

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

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1Jo 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Pro 16:31)

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

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Pro 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psa 143:10)

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

Dear God…
Compromise and worldliness
An awful stench they leave
May Your Holy Spirit cleanse me
While to Your Side I cleave



Day 27 – Healing

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Pro 17:22)

What needs healing in your life today? Do you have a broken spirit? Do you have hurt feelings? Do you have a broken body or chronic illness? Does your marriage need healing? What is it in your life that is in need of fixing? All these areas mentioned need one thing: the Lord, Jesus Christ, in the center of your life. Is He? He should be. When Christ is the center of our thoughts, words and deeds, it is like a good medicine to us. Our spirit is not broken but encouraged and uplifted.

Not all trials are chastisement from God. Let’s assume today the trial you are experiencing is not due to chastisement but it is to ultimately bring glory to God. The Word has given us accounts so that we can encourage ourselves and grow thereby. One could not find a greater account than Job. However, there is also a New Testament account by which we can learn. Paul had a thorn in his flesh and asked God to take it away three times. But the Lord told Paul, 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) Noah Webster defines the word grace in this verse as:

3. Favorable influence of God; divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin.

Christ told Paul that God’s favorable, divine influence and influence of the spirit should be enough. God was saying that He would renew Paul’s heart – in essence bring healing to his heart and that would keep him going. Through this trial, God’s strength would be made perfect in Paul’s weakness. People would be able to see the power of God in Paul’s life rather than his infirmity. Is this not what was achieved? Do we not look at Paul’s life as one filled with the power of God?

Because of the promise God gave him, Paul knew that the Lord would always be ready to hear his cry when he struggled with is trial. So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. (Job 34:28 ) Although Paul knew that his thorn would not be removed, he also knew that the Lord would supply exactly what he needed in the healing of his spirit. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Mal 4:2) No matter what some may believe, God does not always choose to heal our bodies. There are many accounts in Scripture of people who were sick or afflicted and were used to the glory of God. How many times have we read the account of Moses? The Word says in Ex 4:10-14 that Moses told God that he was slow of tongue and could not speak to his people. God admonished Moses and told him that He created his tongue and nothing is too great for the Creator. But Moses was still doubting at this point – I can almost see a stubborn Moses, can’t you? He had to be because the Word says that God’s anger was kindled against Moses. Would you be angry with your child if they just shared their feeling of inadequacy? No, you’d be moved with compassion and be patient and understanding, wouldn’t you. However, if your child continued acting this way, even after you had assured him that you would take care of everything, his lack of faith would provoke you. I believe that Moses’ lack of faith in God at this point provoked His God. But God, in His infinite mercy, accommodated Moses by placing Aaron in his life. God could have removed Moses’ problem with his tongue, but He didn’t. Could it be that God would not have been glorified by Moses? I’ve often wondered about this. Instead, God allowed Moses to keep this physical problem. Maybe it was to make Moses humble – maybe it was to build Moses’ faith. But the fact of the matter is that God does not choose to heal all of our infirmities. What He does promise is that He will be there to help us as we deal with them.

What do you need in your life today, Christian? Are you at the end of your rope? Has your body failed you? Have relationships failed you? Have you asked God to remove these burdens or to heal you from your physical problems? Has He removed them? If not, is God saying to you what He said to Paul almost 2,000 years ago? Is God telling you that His grace is sufficient for you today? It’s a hard pill to swallow, isn’t it? It’s not what Paul wanted to hear, I’m sure, but the lesson in this verse is how Paul accepted the difficult news. There’s no record of him wallowing in self pity that I’ve ever read. However, he accepted the thorn in his flesh and moved forward in his service for the Lord. Paul’s testimony in this area portrays a selflessness on Paul’s part. Paul did not dwell on God’s “No” answer. He learned to accept that God’s grace was sufficient for him. He learned how to deal with that. What is shown through his testimony is that he was a yielded vessel unto God no matter what God allowed in his life. Are we as yielded as Paul was? Do we accept our trial and rely on God’s grace as sufficient for our daily lives? Or do we dwell on our trials and sick bodies and wallow in self pity? How can God receive glory if we are not yielded vessels unto Him no matter what we are experiencing?

My dear Christian friend, won’t you glean from the Word and accept what God has for you in this life? That’s half the battle! This will produce a merry heart and your merry heart will be like a medicine to you and it will heal you – maybe not physically but definitely spiritually and emotionally.

So maybe God will choose to allow you to continue in sickness or continue in this particular trial. It is for His ultimate glory. He will provide you with the same grace He provided Paul to withstand your trial. Maybe He will choose to heal you totally. Again, it is for His ultimate glory. Either way, you have much to be grateful for – your Creator knows what you need, when you need it and He will provide you with the grace you need.

Dear God…
Help me accept what You have planned
Whether there’s healing or not
To accept that Your grace is sufficient
Being grateful in all of my thoughts



Day 28 – Honor

Honour thy father and thy mother. Exo 20:12 The Lord has led a few people in my life who struggle in this area of honouring their parents. Each one has a unique situation and trial with their parents. No matter what the trial or circumstance is, however, I noticed that God’s Word did not put any stipulations on His commandment to Honour thy father and thy mother in Ex. 20:12. I wondered why the Lord had allowed these people in my life who had struggles with their parents. I personally did not have these struggles. But my oldest sister certainly did. For years I was the “bridge” between my parents and her. She was not a Christian, but I was. I was placed in a precarious situation as a believer. I could quite understand the abuse she suffered as a child at the hand of my father. I could quite understand her contempt for my mother because she felt my mother allowed it. Yet, both my parents became born again. Both had sought her forgiveness. But because she had never been saved, she did not forgive them. Instead, in her short life, she lost her husband to cancer, she had no children of her own, and she succumbed to cancer in 2001 and died in a hospital room all alone. She alienated herself from the family all those years and finally those final two-three years, she alienated herself from me. The last thing I heard that she said was from her best friend. Her friend told me that my sister hated the fact that I kept witnessing to her and did not believe her to be saved. Entrenched in roman catholicism, she could not see her sin. In her eyes she was a good person. A born-again child of God would be humbled that someone cared enough for their soul to continue witnessing to them.

But this morning, as I sat praying with a dear friend, the Lord revealed to me why I was allowed to be that bridge for my sister. I was allowed the awesome privilege of hearing the harsh truth of what a child goes through when they have been treated badly by their parents. I have seen first hand how the bitterness and contempt ate up my sister to the point she had cancer in her body. I have seen first hand how this bitterness totally enveloped her and ate at her. In my conversations with her, she did not want to hear anything about what she had to do to heal these relationships. All she could think of was what they had to do to heal their relationship with her. Her eyes were focused on self – a very natural thing for a person who is lost. How she hated my parents – she alienated herself from them all in the guise of protecting herself from their manipulations. Her heart and mind were so obsessed, she became consumed with this contempt for them. It came to the point when my brother (who is also saved) and I tried to talk some sense into her, the contempt spilled over to us. So, I am sharing with you what the Lord has laid on my heart. Hopefully those same people He has led to me will be blessed by what God allowed me to go through. I pray I use it to His glory and honour.

Just what does honour mean in this verse? Noah Webster defines it as:

1. To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to. Honour thy father and thy mother. Exo 20:12.

It does not say to love them. I found this interesting. Most of us have a natural affection and love for our parents. But what about those children who have been estranged from their parents for one reason or another? How can they honour their parents if they don’t love them? According to Noah Webster, honouring parents means to:

1. Revere them – To regard with fear mingled with respect and affection
2. Respect them – To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth
3. Treat with deference – A yielding in opinion; submission of judgment to the opinion or judgment of another. Hence, regard; respect.
4. Submit to them – the act of yielding to power or authority
5. Perform relative duties to – The acts and tasks children do requested of them by their parents.

Naturally, these actions are a result of loving our parents. However, no where does it say that we must love our parents. We are to obey our parents and honour them. These are the only commandments to children I have found. Naturally a child who obeys and honours their parents will love them but a child who has been abused or hurt deeply, it is not natural for them to love at all.

But again, what about the child whose relationship has been damaged or strained with his parents? He can still honour his parents according to Noah Webster, can’t he? He does not have to love them. However, he does have to honour them. If he still lives under their roof, he still needs to obey them. This is what God commands. I found it interesting that a child is never commanded to love his parents.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that a son and daughter who have been hurt deeply by their parents can heal their broken relationships by honouring them the way God intended for them to honour their parents. Taking Noah’s definitions, let’s look at some ways this can be fulfilled by what God has commanded:

1. Revere them – You may not regard your parents with respect and affection but you can regard their “office” with respect and affection. Your Heavenly Father is the ultimate Parent. Revere the office because it is desired of your Heavenly Father. This will please Him. Use His office as the ultimate example and apply it to your parents’ office. The love you have for God should be your driving force in this effort.

2. Respect them – The office of parent is not an easy task. For those of you with children of your own, you can attest to this. For those reasons alone, this should be enough for you to respect their office. Honouring this office is not a choice but a command (according to Ex. 20:12). Parents deserve respect because of the position they hold, not their actions. When one can look beyond the person and the hurts and focus on the “office” it removes the emotion and personal involvement with the people and places it on the office.

3. Treat with deference – There is nothing more common today than children who have a difference of opinion from those of their parents and they strive to prove their point or make their opinions known no matter what the cost. Just because one disagrees with parents does not mean they have the “right” to “speak their minds” and disrespect them. Deference is a yielding in your opinion and submission of judgment to their opinion. It does not mean your opinion changes, it just means that you are not going to argue with your parents because you respect the office they hold. Would you argue with your Pastor? Would you argue with the President of the United States? No! You would respect their office and watch your tongue. You might even keep a few things to yourself for fear of hurting them. That is all part of honouring them. This reminds me of the verse, A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1)

4. Submit to them – As long as a child lives under his parents’ roof, he is under their umbrella of authority. Like an umbrella protects one from the elements, the umbrella of authority keeps the child from being accountable. The parents absorb any bad judgments. God will hold the parents responsible for their abuse – for their unwise decisions on behalf of their children. To the child who doesn’t know any better and his parents do him wrong, God’s hand is on him and will keep him through it. But the moment this child steps out from underneath the umbrella of authority in his life and takes control, he is subject to the devil’s trials and tribulations. Not only will the child suffer the consequences of the trial but he will suffer the chastisement of God for not honoring and obeying his parents. Submission keeps things in order. We are not commanded to honour only when parents are good parents. We are not commanded to obey our parents only when they are saved or if they are good parents.

5. Perform relative duties to – Because your parents hold that office, it is the child’s duty to help them – to aid them in their time of need. One of the greatest testimonies I know is a friend of mine. His parents never displayed love toward him. After his salvation, he changed dramatically. His brothers were involved in the sodomite lifestyle and his parents accept them openly. But they do not accept my dear friend and his love for the Lord. They despised his stand on sodomy because it affected their other sons. Does this stop my friend from being kind to his parents and honouring them? Absolutely not. He is usually the one who goes to their house and fixes things, paints, etc. They can always count on him to help them. Today they call him if they have a need because he has honoured them – his testimony has ministered to their hearts. Will he ever be able to lead them to the Lord because of his actions? I don’t know. But what I do know is that even though he is in his 40’s, he is still honouring his parents and doing God proud.

So, dear Christian, are you struggling in your relationship with your parents? It’s not what you think or what your parents think. It is what God’s Word says you must do as a child: honour and obey. Do you honour them in the manner defined in Noah Webster’s Dictionary? You don’t have to love them – but you are commanded to honour them. This is the only commandment with a promise attached to it, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exo 20:12) God shows it is that important.

Dear God…
Although my parents are not worthy
And their actions toward me are wrong
The Word reveals Your plan for me
Give me grace to always be strong



Day 29 – The Love of Money

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. (1Ti 6:10) This verse does not say that it is money that is the root of all evil. It says that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. This love for money will cause a man to push aside his faith and bring trials and tribulations into his life. I don’t believe this refers to “all evil” in the sense of every evil thing there is. Being a disobedient child is evil but it is not because that child has a love for money. I believe Paul was relating this verse to the previous verses:

1 Tim. 6:4–9, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envystriferailingsevil surmisings, (4) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (5) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (6) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (7) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (8 ) 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. (9)

Can’t you just see the love of money in these instances? When money is the driving force behind what you do, you are guilty of this. You had better beware. It is the love of money that will cause you to envy others because of what they have that you don’t have. It is the love of money that will cause you to crawl over someone to get ahead. It is the love of money that will cause railings (Clamoring with insulting language; uttering reproachful words – according to Noah Webster). It is the love of money that will cause you to have evil suspicions of those around you – everyone is out to get you (or your money). This love of money will cause you to believe that gain is actually what God wants for your life.

Paul says that godliness with contentment is great gain. If you are content with what you have, are you striving for more money? Are you eager to buy things that your neighbor or friend has? Are you honest in your dealings with others? Does what the world has to offer cause you to desire those things? That is the lust of the flesh, my friend. The Lord says in His Word, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jo 2:15)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 Jo 2:16)

Struggling in this area reveals that you are not walking in the Spirit but in the flesh. The love of money and what it has to offer is not from God. The devil desires you to be so caught up in making money and spending it that your focus is drawn away from God. The devil desires you to get into so much debt that you have to work long hours and spend less time in the Word, in church, winning souls, and serving in your ministries. If he can get you here, he has distracted you from the things of God and, therefore, you will not be of use to the Lord. You will be bound in the chains of debt and this will drive you to deeper and deeper sin. Nelson Rockefeller was asked in a magazine interview, “How much is enough money?” His response was, “Just one more dollar.” Here was a man that was worth millions, if not billions by the time he died. Yet, it was not enough for him. He wanted one more dollar! How very sad is thatFor what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mar 8:36)

There is no peace in this. But there is peace when you are content with what you have and you’re not looking at what everyone else has. If you are not in debt, the debt collectors won’t be knocking at your door. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? (Pro 22:27) The best rule of thumb to live by is never buy anything that you do not have the money saved up to pay for. When you are trying to decide on large purchases, like vehicles and housing, pray hard and think long before getting into that kind of debt. Counsel with the wise before you make that final decision. Not the wise of the world, but the wise in the Lord. I found it interesting that the words “multitude of counsellors” appears only three times in the Word of God. Three depicts the Trinity. Therefore, consult with godly people, who are wise in finances, and will have your best interest at heart, not their pocketbook.

Dear God…
May I take my eyes off worldly gain
Where the love of money rules
Help me to be wise in all my ways
So my lot doesn’t end as the fool’s



Day 30 – Self Esteem

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) I truly believe that the worse “new teaching” from the world today is the one of self esteem. This teaching is definitely not scriptural and it has done so much damage. It is not a new teaching but it is certainly more prevalent in today’s world than in the past. Everyone is focused on me, myself and I. What’s in it for me? You offended me! You hurt my feelings. You’re no better than I am. Don’t tell Johnny, who’s in the tenth grade that he is only reading at fifth grade level, you’ll ruin his self esteem! No where in God’s Word does it say that we should esteem ourselves! Why do you think people are conceited and full of themselves? They have been “self esteemed” to the point of nausea!

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

1. To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value.

Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32.

They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.

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

Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.

Merriam-Webster’s definition

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

Merriam’s definition is quite diluted, isn’t it?

What things in God’s Word are we to esteem? Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psa 119:128 ) God’s Word should be esteemed. If you were to place the emphasis of Merriam’s definition for esteem to God’s Word, you would not be totally convinced that it deserved such a high rating, right? But if you put Noah’s definition, you see that the Bible is to be prized and reverenced. This is a much different viewpoint! No wonder the worldly Christians do not look to the Word of God to change them. They don’t revere it, therefore, it’s impact on their lives is minimal.

Does God regard esteem as sin? And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) (emphasis mine) God considers it an abomination if you esteem that which is ungodly.

Whom should we esteem? Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Phi 2:3) and And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. (1 Th 5:13) We should esteem the brethren better than ourselves and we should esteem those who are over us – our deacons and our Pastors. No where in my 27 years of salvation have I ever read in God’s Word that I should think highly of myself. If I love the brethren, they will always take precedence over me. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Cor 13:4) Paul says that our love for each other will cause us to be longsuffering with each other, be kind to each other, not envy one another, and not think highly of ourselves. 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. (Rom 12:16)

My friend, these are not the Bible verses encouraging us to have self esteem! These verses are encouraging us to be humble, meek and low in pride. What will happen to the one who thinks highly of himself? Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. (Job 40:11)

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

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

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Mat 23:12)

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 14:11)

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

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

Dear God…
May our eyes be off ourselves
And focused on others instead
May we be as humble as You were
As You walked the path to your death




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

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

Photography by Chris Michaud

(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.