Tuesday, December 20, 2016
"Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplication." Psalm 28:6. In the darkness, I cried unto the Lord, and He heard my voice. In the early morning, I cried unto Him, and He heard me. When I cry unto the Lord for His help and His strength, He will hear my voice. In joy or sadness, the Lord will hear. In loss or gain, the Lord will hear my voice. When I am weak, I can call with the surety that He hears. I can bring my supplication to Him. But, also, I must praise Him. As He so freely blesses, I must offer my blessing unto Him. My heart must sing of His goodness, and pay tribute to His kindness. A heart that begs must also be a heart that acknowledges. As He hears my voice of need, He must also hear my voice of thanksgiving. His ear listens for my supplication and His heart delights in my praise. Mercy bestowed invites the heart to sing its highest adoration. The mercy which flows from His throne lifts the spirit to shout of His glory. Let us dare not cry for His help if we cannot give Him our thanks. If He hears our supplication, let Him also hear our praise.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
"Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." II Timothy 4:11. The most important thing in the life of Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, was the ministry. God had called him to proclaim the good news of salvation. There has never, nor will there ever be, enough ministers of the gospel. All of God's children today are called into the ministry. God calls men to serve others. That is to be the great task of our life. Paul wanted Mark to come to him because he was profitable. Are we profitable to God? God uses us to work His purpose in the world. Everyone is either profitable or unprofitable. We are to bear fruit for God. We are to be useful to His cause. We must ever strive to make a difference. The world needs those who will minister to others both physically and spiritually. Our ministry is to use the talent that we have and the opportunity that we have. Profitable servants of God are rewarded by God. Unprofitable servants are denounced by God.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
"So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense." I Kings 12:33. Bethel was the wrong place and the fifteenth day of the eighth month was the wrong time. God had established the place and the time for offerings to be made unto Him. If we make an offering unto God, we must offer it according to His design and not our own. We are not left to the devices of our own heart. Jeroboam had sinned, and those who followed him also sinned. If we follow the false prophet, we also are guilty. The time and place of the offering was what Jeroboam had devised. Man seeks to change what God has established. When man follows his own devices and does what pleases his own heart, man has sinned. God is never pleased when we offer unto Him and in a way that He has never ordained. God commands and man must obey. Man's way is never better than God's way. God disregards the offerings which man makes if those offerings are after the ways of man. We must not follow our own heart, but rather, we must follow the instructions of God. God's heart, not our heart.
Friday, December 9, 2016
"And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air." Acts 22:22-23. Some people will only listen so much. They will hear as long as the word pleases them. This audience became enraged. They displayed their displeasure. They did not simply turn a deaf ear. Anger overtook them. Hostility darkened their heart. Not only did they close their ears to truth, but they sought to silence the messenger. This has been a common attitude throughout time. We hear as long as we agree. But God's truth can have a disagreeing tone. God's word invades the heart. It awakens the spirit. The word of God makes us see ourselves as we really are. The word takes away the mask. The word will change us if we will allow it to do so. That is the power of truth. We can be hostile toward the word, but the word will not change. We can silence the messenger, but the message will not die. Anger at the word will not convert us. The word must speak to our heart and we must listen. Hearts that hear become changed hearts.
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, Every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11. God writes and man reads. God speaks and man hears. His words are life to the soul. God lives, and forever shall. Man is frail and dying. For man to have God's life, his knee must bow and his tongue must confess. The knee is bowed to show the greatness and holiness of God. The knee is bowed because of the infirmity of man and the power of God. The tongue confesses the wisdom of God and the ignorance of man. The tongue confesses the divine nature of God and the temporal nature of man. We bow to give honor and praise. We confess our sinfulness with our desire to become holy. We bow to become God's slave and confess that He is our Master and Lord. We bow and confess because of our need for Him. God does not need us although He wants us. He seeks our fellowship and our service. We bow and confess to come into His presence and know Him. We bow and confess so that He might come into our heart and abide with us. The knee that bows and the tongue that confesses the Lord God Almighty is privileged to walk and talk with Him who lives always.
Friday, December 2, 2016
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:34. Do we listen when Jesus speaks? We are to listen to Him, and do as He says. His words are life. Jesus speaks about His work to His disciples. He explains to them that He has a purpose. Every soul has a purpose before God. That purpose is to be the purpose which Jesus had. Jesus always sought to do the will of the Father. That will was never questioned by Him. His life's work was to be pleasing unto the Father. That is our work. Many seek only to do what pleases them. They seek their own will. The life of many is about themselves. But, this is not the path of those who are followers of Jesus. We seek to do the will of the Father. The work which Jesus was sent to do was to bring redemption to humanity. Humanity had lost its way. Jesus sought to bring us back into a right relationship with God. That was His daily meat. That was the source of His life. Meat is necessary to sustain life. Physical meat will do that. But, what about our spiritual meat? This meat sustains the soul and gives eternal life. That was the work which Jesus desired to finish.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
"But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry." Jonah 4:1. God had sent Jonah to testify against the wickedness of Nineveh. God was giving them a warning and an opportunity. All of the lost are given such by God. Nineveh heard the message and turned from their evil way. The punishment from God did not come as a result of Nineveh's repentance. Jonah became angry. God asked Jonah the question, "Doest thou well to be angry?" Jonah 4:4. Why would Jonah be angry over the salvation of this people? We are to rejoice in the salvation of the wicked as they turn from their evil way. Jonah should have rejoiced and praised God for His willingness to allow repentance unto Nineveh. His heart should have abounded with thanksgiving that the message he had brought to them was heard. We all need God's mercy for we all have sinned. God wills that sinners turn from their evil and repent. God offers opportunity for redemption. Believers are to be the Jonahs of our day and time. We are to sound forth God's warning and opportunity. As we watch the evil turn from their wickedness, we rejoice that God's message has been heard and accepted. God does not delight in the death of the wicked, and neither should we.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death." Revelation 1:18. This is an announcement of victory. This is the faith of every believer in Christ. This is the assurance of all of the redeemed. This is the stone upon which Christianity is established. No founder of any religion, except Jesus Christ, can make this claim. Jesus Christ lived, died, and is alive for evermore. The tomb could not hold Him. Death could not bind Him. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived in human flesh. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified upon the cross. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was buried in a grave. And He arose. Glory unto God Almighty for Jesus Christ arose. Death had no power over Him. Hell could not destroy Him. Jesus Christ is the conqueror and the gospel announces His conquest. Redemption flows from heaven's fountain because He is alive for evermore. Death and hell shudder because those enshrined in the tombs shall one day come forth because Jesus Christ has the keys of hell and death. Christ is alive and all believers will be made alive. Yea, even, for evermore. Grave clothes shall be cast aside. The triumphant march from death's tomb to heaven's gate will begin on the grand morning of the resurrection. And, the shout of every believer in Jesus Christ will be, He was dead and is alive for evermore. Amen and amen.
Monday, November 28, 2016
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy." I Peter 1:15-16. God declared His holiness to His people during the Old Testament period in Leviticus 11:44. God is holy, and therefore, His people are to be holy. We are to maintain holiness in a world of defilement. We constantly witness the impurity of people. We see it in their actions. We hear it in their speech. God has called us to separate ourselves from the evil about us, and live lives of holiness. God has not called us to that style of living that we cannot perform. He has established no standard that we cannot meet. Holiness is to have no part with unholiness. Impurity has the power to blemish and scar. As we walk amidst the corruption of the world, we must ever be mindful of the high calling that we have received from God. We must ever be aware of the character of God. We must seek to be as He is as we live in this sinful world. Our thoughts, our speech, our actions, even our entire manner of life is to be as the holiness of God. A holy life is a life without regret and without guilt. A holy life is a secure life in the bosom of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Impurity will mar life here and in the eternity to come. Let us be holy for our God who called us is holy.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6. Do not worry. Instead, pray. Prayer is the solution to all of our problems. We must trust God to help us. But our prayers are to contain thanks for all that He does for us. I try to never make requests of God until I have given Him thanks for all that He has already given to me. I am blessed beyond imagination. I enjoy spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ. My life is filled with hope and expectation because of God's love and care. My journey through life has been blessed because of the presence of Jesus Christ. Ask of God, but also, thank God. Gratitude must flow like a constant stream from our heart. I am thankful for this means of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for all of you who read this page. My request is that your life is blessed because of the words which are penned. I ask God for more opportunities to proclaim His saving will. I am so thankful that God allows lost humanity to come unto Him and know His salvation through Jesus Christ. Do not allow the cares of this present life to destroy your happiness and contentment. Pray. Request. Give thanks.
Friday, November 18, 2016
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver." Proverbs 25:11. An apple of gold in a pitcher of silver would be worth much. The wisdom of Proverbs compares this valuable commodity to a word that is spoken at the right time in the right way. We all speak countless words each day to a number of different people. What kind of impression is left upon those people who hear those words? We can speak a word of anger or a word of profanity. We can hurl a word of insult or a word of slander. We can speak words that hurt and injure. But, those words are never fitly spoken. They would not be the apple found in the pitcher of silver. A word fitly spoken needs to be carefully chosen before it leaves the mouth. A word fitly spoken speaks encouragement and consolation. A word fitly spoken is a word of life and strength. A word fitly spoken actually reveals the heart and soul of the individual who speaks. Words reveal our true character. Words can leave one scarred or blessed. Words can lift or tear down. Words can inspire or destroy. Even a word of rebuke needs to be spoken with kindness and love. With a fitly spoken word, a marriage can be blessed, a parent and child relationship can be strengthened, and a lost soul can find its way home.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the Fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27. Our religion must be pure in the sight of God. Pure religion before God is religion that God accepts. If we would have this religion, we must visit the orphans and widows and keep ourselves unspotted from the world. The concept is simple. We must be in the world for there is where we serve, but we must not be of the world. We must serve others, and yet, we must keep ourselves from the evil of the world. We must separate, and not isolate. Those who are in affliction need our care and concern. We must help those who are in any need. We are to serve others as we keep ourselves pure and clean in the sight of God. God wants purity in our lives. The world about us is an evil environment. The sin of a society must not stain the character of God's chosen. The careful and constant endeavor of God's people is to relieve the afflictions that assault the lives of others, and yet, not allow ourselves to be spotted with the blemishes of an evil world. Let us serve in holiness.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
"Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:" Galatians 1:4. The will of God was that Christ deliver us from the evil world. This will of God was determined from the foundation of the world. Christ delighted Himself in doing the will of the Father. Christ was the appointed One who would deliver humanity from the evil of sin. The world is evil. The devil roams to and fro in the earth deceiving the hearts of the simple. Christ hath delivered us from this world and has translated us into His kingdom, the church. Our deliverance came as Christ gave Himself for our sins. Jesus was without sin, and God accepted the perfect lamb of God as a redeemer. God has become our Father because of the deliverance that Christ has provided. The unselfish offering of Christ for us is our deliverance from the evil world. We are now the citizens of God's kingdom. Our citizenship in the heavenly realm has come at a great price that Christ paid as He submitted Himself unto the will of God.
Monday, November 14, 2016
"For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." Isaiah 41:13. Fear comes from many avenues. But, those who trust in the Lord need not fear. God will help us to overcome fear. They who trust in the Lord know that God has all power and can do all things. God goes with us through the many ways of life. God holds our hand as we travel. Whatever life throws at us, God is holding our hand. In the storm, God holds our hand. In our war against evil, God holds our hand. God will never release Himself from us. His stay with us is constant. Therefore, let us not be afraid, but hold firmly to Him who will help us. All of us need help in our journey of life. Vain is the help of man. God will uphold us in the battles of our journey. God will strengthen us so that we might overcome and conquer. God stays at our side. Indeed, God is our help. Therefore, let us not fear. Fear drives out joy and contentment. Fear robs life of victory. The assurance of God with us and helping us calms our soul so that we need not be afraid. God, the Lord, will help.
Friday, November 11, 2016
"And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately unto them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain." Galatians 2:2. The gospel is a message that has come by the revelation of God, and is for the purpose of saving the soul from sin. The gospel must be communicated or taught. We are to be teachers of the gospel. We are not saved from sin by a vision, dream, or religious experience. We have the gospel communicated unto us. The communication of the gospel may come by an individual or preacher. The communication of the gospel may be read and studied by using the Bible. The communication of the gospel may come by reading messages that have been written. There is in the New Testament many examples of conversion. All of these examples, such as Paul who is the author of this passage, received a communication of the gospel. God delivered a message that has the power to save the soul, and it is His design that the gospel be taught, or communicated from one to the other. Let each of us hear the word of the gospel and receive that message into our hearts that we know the salvation of God.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
"For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am and whom I serve." Acts 27:23. Belonging to Him is a choice. I choose to be His because of His great love for me and the sacrifice that He made for me. I choose to be His because of the blessings that He showers upon me. I choose to be His because of the freedom that I have in Him. Sin no longer binds me. I choose to be His because of the mercy that is mine through Him. I need mercy because of the hardships of life. I choose to be His because of grace that is freely given. I need grace because of failures in my life. I choose to be His because of a peace that passes understanding. Peace in the world is an impossible find. I choose to be His because of an open line of communication with my Father in heaven. At any time in my life, I can talk to my Father who doeth all things well. I choose to be His because of constant companionship. God never leaves. I choose to be His because His rule is constant. I choose to be His because His nature is forever the same. What He is, He will always be. I choose to be His because He is the Almighty. Nothing is impossible with Him. And His power is my power. I choose to be His because of promises that He makes and keeps. I choose to be His because I am confident that a future with Him is secure. I choose to be His because of heaven and eternal glory.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
"Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation." Psalm 38:21-22. The soul cries for help and security. A soul in need seeks God. Those who cry unto God know that God is their only help. All help is vain except the help of the Lord. We can know that God is our companion and friend. God will stay when all others will depart. God will help when others will not. God is near when others are not. God seeks and desires to be our stay in the storms of life. Allow God to be your God. Make Him your Lord. Open thy heart and He will be your salvation. Let us make our cry unto God. Let us seek His nearness and His salvation. God will lift us from the trouble that confronts us and make us to stand. Our faith must cry as our soul trembles. We need His light in our darkness. We need His nearness in our loneliness. We need His salvation in our despair. In all of our storms, let us cry for the help of our Lord and God. May we ever open our hearts to God, and know Him as our Lord and our salvation.
Friday, October 21, 2016
"Therefore, they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." Job 21:14. God will depart from all of those who do not wish for His presence. God desires that all would know Him and love Him. Those who would serve God must know His will and give ear to His instruction. One must have a knowledge of His ways to serve Him faithfully and to do that which will please Him. However, those who live according to the flesh have no desire for God. Those of the world do not desire to know the ways of God. The ways of God stand opposed to the earthly. His way is a way of holiness and purity. His way is a way of right and goodness. Those who have no desire of God love impurity and filthiness. They do that which is wrong and evil. When one has a knowledge of the ways of God, he must depart from foolishness and iniquity. God's knowledge gives instruction about right living as opposed to wrong living. God's knowledge leads one to a higher plane of life. The knowledge of God teaches one to avoid iniquity and evil. If one has no will to do right, then he has no desire for God.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
"And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham." Genesis 17:22. God has visited with Abraham on several occasions and told him about the promise. Abraham and Sarah are going to give birth to a son that will bless all nations. Abraham on this occasion tries to turn God in a different direction. God reminds Abraham again that the covenant will be established in Isaac, not Ishmael. God leaves Abraham. God has a will and a purpose. We have no authority to change that will and purpose. God oftentimes delays in His fulfillment of His promise. But, the will of God is steadfast. We are to hear God in all things. We are to debate God's will, but rather, we are to be submissive. God was not going to alter His will with Abraham. Neither will He alter His decree with us today. When God speaks, we are to hear and do what He says. God's way is always the best way. All other ways will come to nothing. God's will does not change over time. We are to wait for God to fulfill His promise. His promise is to keep us and sustain us. The word which God speaks is to be the direction of our heart. God has spoken unto us today. Let us hear and trust in Him who speaks unto us.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
"Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?" Psalm 115:2. The god of the heathen is different than the God of the believer. The god of the heathen is an idol of things. This god has no substance nor ability. This god can do nothing except provide gratification for the moment. This god provides no answer for the deep questions of life nor does this god provide any help in the difficult times of life. The idol will not hear and will not answer. The idol can also be lost in the uncertainty of life. The God of the believer on the other hand provides assurance and help. God stands by those who stand by Him. God will never vanish from the human scene. He is able to hear and answer. The heathen wants a god that he can see and embrace physically. Our God blesses us and provides for us while the heathen must provide for his god. The god of the heathen can do nothing for him that the heathen cannot do for himself. This god is material and all material things soon vanish from sight. The God of the believer endures and provides endurance. The God of the believer sustains and enables the believer. The god of the heathen is upon the earth and the God of the believer is in heaven. Which is yours?
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
"The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Psalm 118:14. The times are indeed troubling. Each person goes through their own trials and tribulations. We all experience our own sadness and sorrow. And, there are those times that we seek for answers. We feel lost and afraid. It is in these troubling times that we need God. Science does not answer the deep longings of the soul. Neither does education nor philosophy. Man has been made in the likeness of God, and therefore, has a need for God. The writer of this great passage confesses his dependence upon God. In weakness, we need strength. In loneliness, we need a song. In fear, we need salvation. God provides all of these: strength, song, and salvation. God enables. God cheers. God saves. Life discovers power, happiness, and deliverance in the God of heaven. Each one must come to find in God his own strength, song, and salvation. A relationship with God is a single relationship that is built by faith and trust. God can do for us what we need in all the different situations of our life. With full confidence, we can say, "The Lord is my strength, my song, and my salvation."
Friday, October 14, 2016
"O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity." Hosea 14:1. Iniquity is the culprit. Israel had fallen away from God because of a wrong choice. Iniquity is a separator. A gulf is built by iniquity. Iniquity opposes God. Iniquity builds a wall between the heart of man and the heart of God. Iniquity keeps God on the outside. Israel was with God, but had fallen from God. Falling away from God happens. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone. Those who are with God must use caution. We must be alert. Iniquity does not rush in, but slips in. Iniquity wears a disguise. The true nature of iniquity is not revealed until it is too late. Iniquity is a lie. What iniquity promises, it cannot give. Iniquity tears down. It destroys. Iniquity changes the character. Iniquity defiles and pollutes. God is of no such character, and therefore, the fall occurs. When one falls, that one is lost. The fallen removes himself from the goodness and holiness of God. The fallen removes himself from the promises of God. But, God does not give up. God calls for the return of the fallen. God reaches out and offers a return. The fallen can get up from the mire of iniquity and come back to God. O return, return now.
"For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." I Corinthians 2:2. The preaching that all of humanity is to hear is the preaching of the cross. Jesus was crucified on a cross. Crucifixion was an ugly and painful way to die. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours. The mob had screamed for His crucifixion. What kind of heart wants an innocent individual to die such a death? Pilate, the Roman governor, consented. The governor knew that Jesus had committed no crime worthy of such a death. But, his popularity hung in the balance. Popularity or Jesus. Which do we choose? As He hung on the cross, the sky turned black at midday. The centurion confessed. One of the thieves confessed. The heart of the mob only turned blacker. That is the effect of the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The message of truth heralds the Son of God dying on a cross. No other message can save the soul. The crucifixion of Jesus purchased eternal redemption for the world. Come to the cross and behold the Christ who died for you and me.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:10. We must accept that Jesus is Lord. A Lord rules. The subject submits. Jesus is to be our Lord and Master. We allow ourselves to be ruled by Him. We understand His power and authority over our hearts. We bow in His presence. We enthrone Him as the King of our lives. Humility destroys arrogance. Humility places self behind Jesus. Humility needs help. Humility knows insufficiency. Humility understands weakness. Jesus can help. Jesus has all sufficiency. Jesus has all power. Humility will clasp His hand. Humility will seek Him. The humble know Jesus. The humble can do nothing without Him. All things only become possible through Him. The humble are as beggars in the presence of God. Humility knows that we cannot, but Jesus can. Humble ourselves, and He will lift us. He will lift us in strength. He will lift us in confidence. He will lift us from doubt. He will lift us from weakness. He will lift us from sin. Will we not let God lift us? We will be lifted from the valley of despair and placed on the mountain of hope. Only when we humble ourselves will we see our spirits soar.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
"And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word that I might come and worship him also." Matthew 2:8. Herod wanted to find Jesus, but not for the purpose of worshiping Him. Many want to find Jesus, but not for the right purpose. Jesus is to be sought because we need a relationship with God, and that relationship can only come through Jesus. Jesus is to be sought because He is the redeemer, and in Him we have our sins forgiven. Jesus is to be sought for the peace and security that He offers. And, it is so true that Jesus can be found. We must search for Jesus through His word. We must search for Jesus with our heart. And, Jesus will be found in our obedience unto Him. We declare our desire to know Him in our confession of His deity. We turn unto Him as we turn away from sin. This change is known as repentance. We unite with Christ and put Him on in baptism. If we truly and diligently search for Jesus, we will find Him. And when we find Him, we must put away self. We must turn unto Him in trust. Our search for Jesus will not be lost if we truly desire to find Him.
Monday, October 10, 2016
"But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king, but Caesar." John 19:15. A rejection of Jesus Christ always makes Caesar king. Their hearts could not be persuaded. Their hatred of Jesus turned their heart to stone. All that remained for them was Caesar. Jesus or the world. Which will it be? The question comes to every heart. A choice must be made. Caesar's kingdom is temporary. The kingdom of Jesus is eternal. The kingdom of Caesar is earthly. Christ's kingdom is heavenly. Caesar's kingdom is worldly. The kingdom of Christ is spiritual. Christ reigns as King eternal. The kingdom of Christ rules the heart. The kingdom of Caesar rules the flesh. The flesh dies and rots. The heart lives forevermore. The choice of the chief priests on that fateful day is the choice of today. Every heart must decide who is king for either Christ or Caesar rules every soul.
Friday, September 30, 2016
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." II Peter 2:20. The world pollutes the soul. Jesus Christ is the avenue out of this pollution. We escape from this polluted world when Jesus Christ becomes our Savior and Lord. Jesus provides cleansing from the sins of the world. Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior through our knowledge of Him which is given to us in the Bible. The Bible teaches us to put Christ on in baptism which washes away our sins. We acknowledge Jesus as Lord by our confession of Him as the Son of God. However, the world does not cease to call and entice us to return. The world can entangle us and overcome us again. We can return to our former life of sin. We can become entangled again in the sins of our past. We can go backward instead of forward. To be overcome by sin is to cease from right living and holy conversation. This state is worse than before we had escaped. To return is worse than the beginning. It will not be so easy to escape again. Once we have escaped the pollutions of the world, we must take care and be diligent that we do not go back. We must take extreme care that Jesus always from henceforth remains our Savior and Lord.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
"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. Fear comes because of the darkness. God is our light. There is no need to fear. Fear arises when we are lost. God is our salvation. There is no need to fear. Fear is born out of weakness. God is our strength. There is no need to fear. God banishes all enemies. God defeats all foes. None are left for us to fear. Light, salvation, and strength give hope and assurance. The Lord provides for us so that we need not be afraid. God helps us to be courageous. The giants of sin can do nothing to harm us. We are shielded by our light. We are guarded by our salvation. We are aided by our strength. The Lord keeps us within the fold of safety. Lean upon the Lord and know no fear. Walk with the Lord and be fearless. Allow God to place His arms around us and keep us within His security. Light from the Lord gives us direction. Salvation from the Lord provides for us endurance. Strength from the Lord brings for us victory. The Lord delivers us from all fear.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." Psalm 119:2. The absolute key to the blessed life is the word of God and His testimonies that are contained within. The word of God was written so that humanity would know how to live in an acceptable relationship with God. As a result of that relationship, our life is blessed with His goodness and His providence. Therefore, we are to keep the testimonies that have been given unto us. The one who follows divine instruction will be blessed by the divine God. His testimonies must be sought and God must be sought. We are the seekers of the good life. To know God and His will provides a blessed life. But, God must be sought with the whole heart. All of our being must be given in this search to know Him and the blessings which He so willingly provides. God wishes that we be the benefactors of His blessings and guidance. His hand is extended, but we must give ourselves unto Him with full trust and commitment. Our heart must be willing to accept Him. Seeking God and keeping His instructions brings us the blessed life. We will also find that which we seek.
Monday, September 19, 2016
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." Psalm 119:1. God prescribes true blessedness. If we are to find true joy in this world, we must follow God. We are not to be defiled with sin for we are to be after God. We are chosen as His own. Therefore, purity of life is to be our character. As we walk in this old world, we are to travel in the way of God. This is a clean way and will keep us unsoiled. Cleanliness of life brings a blessing for there will be no guilt nor regret. The Lord has a law that prevents us from traveling in the way of the wicked. God's law guards us from ugliness and filth. His law keeps us from staining our garments with the sins of the evil one. Ernest care must be given to the preservation of holiness. We must constantly travel in the way of the Lord for any sidestep will tarnish us. Our holiness does not come from isolation, but even as we walk in the way. The law of the Lord is on our mind, and therefore, keeps us. A steady walk and a constant continuance is a blessing unto us for we are mindful of the Lord and His desire to keep us even as He is.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
"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 24. Isn't it comforting to know that God is able to do all things? His power is absolutely unsearchable. Our mind cannot begin to comprehend the ability of God. Our God is able to preserve us. With His divine help and grace, we can remain faithful in His service. The world will call and Satan will tempt us, but God can keep us. However, we must give ourselves unto His keeping. His power to keep does not override our unwillingness to be kept. But, in the face of temptation and trial, God will help those who seek His help. We need not worry about our being preserved if we wish to be preserved. God is greater than all the power of the devil and gives power to defeat all spiritual enemies that would rise up to destroy us. That power will bring the faithful into the very presence of glory. God has all glory and He bestows that glory upon those who are kept by Him. His glory gives exceeding joy. What a joy it will be to be delivered from the bonds of earth and delivered into the everlasting glory of God! Our God is able.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32. The new man in Christ is the point of discussion. This new person is to take the qualities of Christ and make those his own. God is kind to us. Therefore, we are to be kind unto others. What God does for us, we also are to do unto others. This rule will change society and improve the world in which we live. Kindness comes with an act, a smile, or a greeting. Kindness cost nothing, and yet, can do so much. Kindness takes little effort. We live in a world with so much unkindness and unfriendliness. We live in a world where so many are aloof. A small act of kindness can change a person's day. A small display of kindness can alter an attitude or an outlook on life. Kindness comes from a heart that has felt the love of God. Kindness seeks to make the world a better place. Kindness seeks to improve the lives of others. Kindness has as its only desire to change and make better. Kindness does not expect anything in return. Kindness is its own reward. Kindness is God-like.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
"O lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters." Jeremiah 17:13. God is both a hope and a fountain. From Him flows living waters. Some fountains spew forth vile water. But, God is a fountain of life and hope. The water that flows forth from Him is both pure and clean. This water produces life and cleansing. The flow of water from the fountain of God is continuous and lasting. The water comes without fail. Therefore, God is the only hope. Everything else in which we can trust is futile and fails us. Our hope in Him gives us victory over all the enemies of life. But, some who will drink at this fountain will depart. One can leave God and deny Him. Those who do so shall ultimately be ashamed. Their names will be written in the earth and, as the dust is blown away, so shall they come to nothing. They who depart from God leave all hope behind them and forfeit all access to the fountain of living waters. Soon shall they be blotted out and forgotten. Therefore, never leave Him nor forsake Him. Drink forever at His fountain. Keep always thy hope in Him.
Friday, September 9, 2016
"The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us that we have sinned." Lamentations 5:16. Indeed, this is a cry of woe. The crown has fallen. Glory has been lost. Pride is gone. The enemy has won. Woe unto those who are left desolate by sin. The promise of sin is never fulfilled. In the end, sin brings woe. At least, the problem is known. The source of the fall has been acknowledged. This is unlike so many who never see that sin has brought them down. Sin leaves one deserted. Sin takes one to the mire of depravity, and then, forsakes them. "Woe unto us that we have sinned" may be a cry for help. Those who are in sin need help. They need God's help. Only the true and living God can deliver one from the woe of sin. Sin brings loneliness. God gives companionship. Sin brings emptiness. God gives fulfillment. Sin brings death. God gives life. Sin leaves dreams unfulfilled and hearts crushed. "Woe unto us that we have sinned." Forgive us, O Lord. Cleanse us and heal us. Restore unto our heads the crown. Bring us home. Glory, glory. God has given life and hope.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
"And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee." Ezekiel 2:1. Ezekiel is a "son of man." Let us always know our humble nature. We are of man. Therefore, we are weak and frail. Our knowledge of who we are causes us to hear when God speaks. Ezekiel is given a command to stand. God commands and man obeys. That will always be the process. Never will it be the reverse. We are to stand and be ready. We cannot go forth when we are lying down. We are to be always in readiness to do the Lord's will. We must stand against evil. We must stand for good. When we stand, we manifest courage. When we stand, we manifest strength. We are to go forth in the service of the Lord. Our service becomes known unto us when God speaks. God has spoken. We listen with a heart that is open and a spirit that is willing. God does not speak of trivial things. His words must rest upon our hearts. His words are the very orders of our life. His words give comfort and guidance. God speaks to us. We are men, and God speaks to us.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
"Lift up your eyes unto the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." Isaiah 51:6. Time and earth shall one day be no more. As smoke is quickly gone, so will the heavens and the earth be gone. All of those who dwell upon the earth will die and be no more. As our garments become old and worn, the earth will become old. The material universe shall vanish, but God and His plans shall stand. Isaiah, the prophet, is speaking of a time when a reformation will come. God will bring an eternal salvation to all through Jesus Christ. Though times change and death comes, the salvation in Jesus Christ will stand strong and lasting. Happiness found in the things of this world will turn to sadness. Hope found in this world will decay into hopelessness. Unto those who find happiness and peace in the righteousness of God will forever know it even when time and earth are no more.
Monday, September 5, 2016
"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." Jeremiah 29:11. God always thinks toward an expected end. His plan is always at work. The thoughts of God are always toward His people. And His plan will come together in due time. We must have patience. Learning to wait on God is not always easy, but our faith must lead us to a knowledge that in time God will deliver. God does not forget. He never puts us from His mind. His plan is for our peace and good will. The plan which God has for us may take us through some difficulty, but the expected end is hope. Our future is always secure with God. God will not fail us. Faith always has an expectation. Faith knows that in the end all will be glorious. There is always light after the darkness and calm after the storm. Our journey in the valley will always take us to the mountain. God controls our future, and that future is our peace.
Friday, September 2, 2016
"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." Matthew 15:19. One is not born to do evil. He conceives evil in his heart. We are as our heart is. If we would do good, abstain, give, speak truth. and honor God, our heart must be good. The evil of humanity is born in the heart. The goodness of humanity is born in the heart. As the heart is, so is the individual. The corruption of a society erupts from the hearts of those who live in that society. So, the heart must be changed. Conduct is altered as the heart is altered. Sin breeds in a heart of evil. Righteousness only comes from a fountain that is pure and clean. The heart is that fountain. God works on the heart by using the gospel message. The Holy Spirit abides in the converted heart bringing forth God's work. Evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies are a blight upon society. These evils bear the fruit of heart ache and pain. These evils sow the seeds of discord and separation. These evils bring forth God's wrath. The fountain from which these evils spew is the heart. May we be vigilant to change our heart. Our lives will be blessed as well as the lives of all humanity.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
"Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." II John 8. The "elect lady and her children" were walking in the truth. Growth was being made. However, a danger that they might lose those things for which they had worked was present. The elect can always slip away. The devil can ensnare us if we are not cautious. Faith can be lost if we do not exert watchfulness. We must be mindful of our walk with God. A relationship with God is a personal relationship and we must guard it with all care. We must continue to move forward and never backward. We must strive to attain the blessings that God provides. This is our work. Salvation comes by grace, but we must work to attain it and secure it. The labor that we have already put forth must not be lost. Yesterday is past and gone and tomorrow has not yet come. Today and now is the all important moment. God has promised a reward for our work in His vineyard. This promise will be received at the end of the labor. Work for our salvation is coming.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
"And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it." Colossians 4:17. We sometimes send a message to someone through another person. Such is the case in this passage. Archippus had a responsibility to the ministry which he had received. A message is sent for him to complete that ministry. God has given unto all those who choose to follow Him a ministry. There is a work that we have been given. Various ministries are received from the Lord. Our work is to do that ministry. The Lord's cause depends upon each one fulfilling his work in the kingdom of our Lord. Ministry is vital to the salvation of humanity. God uses human vessels to go forth and perform His work. God's ministry must not be taken lightly. The ministry of God is the most serious work that one can do. If we fail to fulfill our ministry, then we have failed God. We also harm ourselves and those who are dependent upon us. The world needs our efforts. The kingdom of God needs our work. We must not excuse ourselves from our ministry. God enables us all to do His work. Let us take heed unto ourselves that we fulfill the ministry that we have received from the Lord.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it." Genesis 28:18. From the earliest time, man has offered worship unto God. Of course, God has changed his requirements of worship over time. We today do not build altars, but rather, we offer a spiritual worship unto God. Jacob had gathered stones together for a pillow so that he might sleep. During the night of sleep, Jacob had an encounter with God in a dream. The promise made to Abraham was now passed to Jacob. All the nations of humanity would be blessed through him. Jacob builds an altar and worships. God is to be praised throughout the earth because of His marvelous promise to bless all of mankind in Jesus Christ. Jacob offered his thanks and devotion unto God. Faith builds altars and praises God. Faith rejoices in God through worship. Our hope is displayed in our praise of God. Let us build our altar of worship and praise the God who has blessed us with an eternal hope. Let us erect our altar of praise unto the Almighty God because of the pouring out of His everlasting love upon us. Our meeting with God will bring us to the altar of worship.
Friday, August 26, 2016
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1. Brethren are those who share a common faith and a common resolve. We are the brethren of the Lord. As brethren, we are to dwell together in unity. Unity makes dwelling together possible. Strife is never pleasant. Strife is harsh. Unity is pleasant and sweet. Goals can be accomplished where there is unity. Work can be completed if there is unity. There is strength in oneness. Division causes weakness. Unity achieves. Division destroys. When unity fails, erosion occurs. Unity dispels argument. Unity brings trust. Pleasant indeed. Unity overthrows the enemy. Unity wins the battles. Unity is good. Unity requires the giving of oneself. Unity is born when I understand that the work is not about me. My life will be blessed as well as the life of the brethren. Where there is unity, there is the spirit of unselfishness. Doing for others always brings satisfaction. Life is sweeter and better. All of this because of unity.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." I Corinthians 4:20. The kingdom of God is a divine kingdom having been brought into existence by the power of God. The word of God is proclaimed to those who will hear and have their hearts moved by its power. This power is a converting power that changes the heart into the image of the divine Maker. God's word is not just a word, but a word that has the power to convert. This power translates the souls of men into the everlasting kingdom of Almighty God. This kingdom stands by divine authority and rules by a divine standard. The Spirit of God moves within this kingdom exerting God's will over the minds of men. This power of God controls the spirits of those who will hear and obey. The kingdom of God is in power because of the will of God exhibiting divine influence over the hearts of humanity. The power of the kingdom of God is greater than all powers. Its power changes evil to good and darkness to light. The kingdom of God makes right that which is wrong. The kingdom delivers one from the power of Satan to the power of God. And the kingdom of God will stand eternal in the glory of the everlasting Father.
Monday, August 22, 2016
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Luke 12:43. Jesus has spoken a parable about watchfulness. A servant is to watch for the coming of his lord. The labor must be completed and all things in readiness for the return of the lord. Jesus is our Lord. We are His servants who are laboring in His kingdom. We are to be constantly laboring ever mindful of His return. The coming of the Lord will not be announced. The coming will be unexpected. We are to watch meaning that we are to be in constant readiness. If our lives are prepared for the return of the Lord Jesus, the time of the return will not be important. Jesus can come at any time for we are always ready. The Lord must not come and find us unprepared. That would be our great loss. Let us always be mindful that the Lord wants His workers to be engaged in the labor of the kingdom. Let us always be mindful that the Lord wants our lives prepared for His return. Jesus says that such watchful servants will be blessed. The blessings of eternity are for those who are doing His work when He comes.
Friday, August 12, 2016
"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." I Corinthians 2:12. The world knoweth not God. The world has a wisdom that is not of God. The world denies God. A rejection of God opens the door for every vile and evil affection. However, the church is not of the world. The church of God are those precious souls that have been sanctified by the Spirit of God. The church has separated from the world. The church loves not the world, nor the things of the world. The church embraces God because God has embraced the church. God, therefore, has given us His spirit so that we might know the blessings that He has given to us. God's blessings upon His people are given freely. Freely we have received. By the spirit which is of God we come to know God. We understand and accept His wisdom and His will for our lives. His blessings give us access to His presence and His companionship. We give ourselves to His leadership and kingship. God bestows upon us precious treasures that the world cannot know. These treasures are for now, and the ages to come.
Monday, August 8, 2016
"Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." Romans 12:9. The admonition is to hate that which is evil. Many choose to embrace evil for it brings unto them pleasure or fame. But, they who choose to follow God are to have a hatred of evil, and therefore, they are to shun it. Evil destroys individuals and nations. It brings downfall. Wherefore evil goes, it leaves disaster in its path. Evil can grow in intensity. Evil has an appealing quality. It deceives never revealing its true nature until it has taken its toll. Evil enters into the heart and corrupts the life. Evil is venom to the soul. Abhor evil for it will never take you up, but always bring you down. Evil leads to every vile corruption. It pollutes and defiles. Do not tolerate evil, but hate evil. Do not simply dislike evil, but hate evil. It produces no good, only harm. Abhor evil for God abhors evil. No character that embraces God can associate with evil. Be not the friends of evil people, but keep thyself from them for their influence will stain you and leave you ruined. But, love the good. Embrace the good. Lift high the good. The good brings you into the very presence of God.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26. This second chapter of James deals with the subject of faith and works. James, the author, shows that faith is active and obedient. Faith is not a mere mental conviction of God and Christ, but rather, an obedient relationship with God and Christ. Faith works and serves. Faith responds in obedient acts to the rules of law that God has delivered through Christ. God and His salvation is not simply offered upon a grace only or faith only basis. The grace of God must be received. Grace demands faith, and faith demands work. When the spirit leaves the body, the body is dead. When faith is void of works, then faith is dead. A dead faith does not save. Only the believer will come to God, and only the obedient will serve God. Faith simply does what God requires. Faith keeps the commandments of God, and helps those who are in need. Faith seeks a life that is not defined by sin, but rather, by holy living. Faith sees people as God sees them. Faith desires their well being as God desires their well being. Faith always acts as God acts. The heart of faith is defined by the life of work. We believe. Therefore, we serve.
Monday, August 1, 2016
"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." Psalm 107:20. God's concern over man's self destruction has been present since the dawn of time. Were it but for the grace of God, man would write his own failure in history. Man's sickness comes of his own will. His own arrogance brings about all of the ills that afflict him. The fate of all self will is destruction. But, God has sent His word. Will we hear? Will we heed? God's word has the power to heal our afflictions and deliver us from destruction. Why does God express such loving concern to a world that seeks its own destruction? The answer is that He loves. We should cry unto Him for daily help. We should seek to praise Him for His wonderful deliverance. Did not God save Noah from the overwhelming flood? Did not God spare Lot from the consuming fire? He spoke His word unto them and they acted according to His instructions. Their lives were spared when others were destroyed. In our time of sin and death, God's word speaks to us of salvation and victory from the enemies of destruction. Let us hear that we might be healed and delivered.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 21. It is the work of God's child to keep himself in God's love. One can wander outside of the love of God. The world always beckons and Satan continues to tempt. We must constantly remind ourselves of the love that God has displayed for us. And, God continues to love us. We can rely upon His Holy Spirit for our help in maintaining our continual commitment unto Him. As we keep ourselves in His love, we live with an expectant hope. We look for the mercy of Christ to help us along this earthly journey. We look with hope for the coming of Christ to deliver us from this earthly bondage and carry us safely to our eternal home. In Jesus Christ, we have life both now and hereafter. This expectation should help us to stand firmly in the love of God. We must not be carried away by some trivial thing that would destroy our relationship with God and the wonderful promise that is given to us through Jesus Christ. Our eternal future depends upon our keeping ourselves in the love of God. God's love provides a refuge from eternal death. God's love gives us access to the mercy of Jesus Christ. We keep ourselves and we look for the mercy of Jesus Christ with the assurance of life eternal.
Monday, July 18, 2016
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them." Acts 16:25. Paul and Silas had been placed in prison. They had committed no crime, and yet, they found themselves in a dungeon. Their mood was not one of sadness nor despair. They chose rather to pray and sing praises. Our situation in life must not change our outlook. Paul and Silas continued to praise the God that they had chosen to serve. The world is opposed to those who choose to do right. And, in this life, we will find ourselves in rather difficult circumstances. We can always decide to blame something or someone, even God. Or, we can decide that when the midnight comes, we will sing praises. Prayer seeks the comfort of God when we are in bonds. Prayer is not always designed to remove us from the difficulty, but to give us strength that we might travel through the difficulty. Prayer is to help us through the afflictions of life. Singing erupts from a merry heart that has learned how to cope with the bonds of our life. Paul and Silas knew not what awaited them, but they knew that God was their aid and help even in this storm. In our midnight, let us pray and sing praise unto our God.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
"In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar." Zechariah 14:20. The hour will come when holiness will not be so confined. Holiness will not only be in ceremony, but in life. All things shall be consecrated unto the Lord. All things common will become holiness unto the Lord. God consecrates unto Himself a holy people. We are to be used for the glory of the Lord. The things that we own are to be used in a holy manner. All things are to be dedicated unto God for those things are only in our loan. We are to spend ourselves in holy pursuits. In our work, we are to be holy. In our play, we are to be holy. Our mind is to be set upon the holy things of God. Our day and our night is to be in the seeking of holiness. God is holy, and therefore, we are to be holy. We are to be without stain and blemish for we are to be holiness unto the Lord. Our conduct is to be holiness unto Him, and our speech is to be holiness unto Him. We serve in holiness, and we pray in holiness. In the building where I worship, I am to be holy. In the house where I live, I am to be holy. At all times, and in all places, I am to be HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. Sin has a certain appeal. Sin promises much, but instead, brings a terrible curse. Death is a word used in Scripture to describe separation. Death is a separation from life, but also is a separation from God. This is the ultimate payment of sin. Sin can bring an immediate pleasure, but the final payment is death. Sin, because of its very nature, is a separator. But, we have offered unto us another choice. We are creatures with the ability to choose. If we make bad choices, we will die, but if we make good and wise choices, we will live. Eternal life is our other choice. It is a gift from God. This gift of God is offered through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is chosen of God to bless us with life that does not end. The gift, however, must be accepted. We can live in sin and, therefore, we will die eternally. But, as we forsake sin, and accept Jesus Christ by our obedience of the gospel, we become the heirs of eternal life. Death or life is our choice. How much more blessed is the life that is lived in Jesus Christ. Life now, and life hereafter. Surely, this is a gift that is worth all.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58. The words of Jesus are spoken with truth. No lie ever came from His lips. His words must be heard. And this word is vital to our salvation. "I am." says Jesus. Jesus declares His eternal nature to His hearers. He was before Abraham. Jesus was with God when the blessing was given to Abraham. Jesus would be the fulfillment of that promise made to Abraham. Jesus is the eternal God. He existed with the Father from the very beginning. Jesus is ageless. Before He was born upon the earth, He lived. He has always been and will be forever. The belief of this truth is necessary for our redemption. We believe in Jesus that He is the eternal life which became human that He might save us from our sins. The eternity of Jesus is the foundation stone of our faith. Death could not destroy Him, as it will not destroy us. Through faith in Jesus Christ we receive eternal life through the eternal One. Only one who is eternal can bestow eternal life. Jesus, who was before Abraham, provides life without measure.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Romans 5:9. The book of Romans deals with the subject of justification. Those in Christ are justified before God. Sin is the reason that one becomes alienated from God, but God in love and grace has made it possible for sinful humanity to be justified. This justification is by the blood of Christ. In the blood is the life, and Jesus shed His blood upon the cross so that all who would believe in Him might be justified. Justification removes one from the wrath of God. Sin brings God's wrath. The wrath of God has the power to overthrow and condemn. Under sin, one stands condemned. But, the precious blood of Christ removes one from condemnation to life. The wrath of God removed Adam and Eve from the garden. The wrath of God consumed Nadab and Abihu who offered strange fire to God. The wrath of God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sexual immorality. The wrath of God is held in reserve against all ungodliness and disobedience, but the hour is coming when that wrath shall be unleashed. However, faith in Christ will save the believer from God's wrath. The blood of Christ appeased the wrath of God. Oh, how dearly we must appreciate Christ and commit ourselves unto Him because of His blood that saves us from God's impending wrath.
Monday, July 4, 2016
"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." Proverbs 1:10. Sin achieves its end through enticement. Satan enticed Mother Eve, and thus, the world was drenched in sin. Sin lies and knows not the truth. The devil uses trickery. Sin uses enticements to beguile unstable souls. Sin uses flattery and draws us away from that which is good and true. We are to be wise to the devices of sin so that we do not fall victim to its enticements. We must not consent to do evil. We have the power within us to overcome. We must turn a deaf ear when sin calls. We must remove ourselves from the allurements that sin offers. We must say no to the temptations that are presented unto us. We must not allow sin to defile us and afflict us. We must always be alert and take constant heed that we be not ensnared by sin. Let us never consent when sin beckons and be not the victim of the sinner's enticement. We are to flee with all our might. We are too weak if we stand still and listen or watch as did Mother Eve in the garden. We must hasten quickly away lest we fall. May we be wise so that we do not yield when sin entices. Blessed is the one who survives sin's flattery.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." I John 5:3. God has a standard by which our love for Him is shown. Love for God is a commitment to His will. His commandments are for our well being, both in this life and in the eternal life to come. We do not love God in word only, but we love Him by doing as He asks. And the commandments which He has delivered unto us are not too difficult to keep. God has not placed upon us a great burden that is beyond our strength, but rather, God has given commandments that we can and must obey. Our obedience to His will is the demonstration of our love for Him. This obedience also helps us. It fills our life with joy and purpose. Through obedience unto God, we know peace and contentment. We are able to live with assurance and hope. The commandments that we are to keep are God's commandments, not man's commandments. We must not hear the voice of men, but rather, we must hear the voice of God. Man's commandments change and vary because they come from the mind of feeling and opinion. God's commandments are firmly set and forever established. Love God by keeping the law that can be kept.
Monday, June 27, 2016
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." I John 1:6. God is light, meaning that He is without sin and imperfection. Darkness is evil. They who walk in darkness are children of the evil One. They do not live righteous lives, not do they seek after the way of God. If we make a profession of right living, and yet, we live in sin and serve evil, we are liars. The truth of God calls for holiness and purity. The doers of sin do not seek after purity and holiness of life. If we serve sin, we do not the truth of God. The truth leads one in the way of righteousness. The truth is God's directive for holy and moral living. Immoral living is contrary to truth and fellowship with God. To profess communion with God and walk in darkness is a lie. Fellowship with God requires that one forsake the way of sin. Fellowship with God requires that one put on holiness of life. Our practice must be our profession. True profession is manifested by proper conduct. As one walks in the light, he walks in fellowship with God. The light of God dispels the darkness. The light of God brings holiness and purity of life. Walking in light is walking with God.
Friday, June 24, 2016
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Revelation 22:21. This single statement closes the book of inspiration. The Bible begins with a promise of grace. Genesis 3:15. And, the Bible closes with a promise of grace. Between these two promises are marvelous exhibits of God's amazing grace. How void the life of an individual that lives outside the covenant of the grace of God. God's grace is a provision for the people of God. Grace saves us from the emptiness of sin. Grace sustains us amidst the difficult times of life. Grace aids us in the decisions of life. With the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are able to live in a world of turmoil, uncertainty, and hopelessness. Our surety and hope lies within the grace of God. As we bask in the sunlight of God's wonderful grace, we live each day full of joy and contentment. When we face the tragedies of life's moments, we relax in the grace of God. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ preserves us as we travel the journey of life. Whatever comes our way, God's grace will keep us even unto that eternal day. May God's grace always be with you.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
"Howbeit, the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?" Acts 7:48-51. This passage is a part of Stephen's sermon to the Jews. The Jews held the temple in high regard and Stephen preaches to them the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. The temple was to endure for a time, but God had a greater revelation in mind. The Jews had violated the true purpose of the temple and had misapplied its meaning. God is not confined to a certain place, but rather, He inhabits the universe. God is everywhere and His handiwork can be seen in everything. God is the Maker of all things. His glory is seen in all things, and everywhere His power is manifested. No temple made with human hands can contain Him. He has no need of sanctuaries. Jesus Christ would become the true temple of God. All who would believe upon Jesus and receive Him as Savior would become the dwelling place of God. God abides in the heart of the believer. And, the believer praises God for His marvelous creation.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:26-27. Jesus Christ made it possible through His death upon the cross and His resurrection from the grave for all who would believe to become children of God. We must believe that Jesus died upon the cross and that He was raised from the dead on the third day. Faith in these two acts of God will allow us to become the children of God. To become a child of God means that we believe what the gospel teaches. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and by faith, we accept Him as our Savior and Redeemer. But faith demands an action. Faith is an act of obedience. Faith responds in obedience to the commands of God. Our faith in Jesus Christ will motivate us to unite ourselves with Christ. This union is accomplished in baptism. When we are baptized in water, we put on Christ. We must put Christ on in baptism so that He is our Savior. We must put Christ on in baptism so that we experience His death, His burial, and His resurrection by which sins are forgiven. Faith declares that Christ is our Savior. Baptism puts us into the salvation of Christ where all eternal blessings are found. With faith in Jesus Christ and by baptism into Jesus Christ, a child of God is born.
Monday, June 20, 2016
"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." Proverbs 12:18. How do we speak? Do our words hurt or do they sooth? Does our speech comfort or does it injure? Speech can be harmful or it can be helpful. The words that pierce like a sword belittle and criticize. Speech can poison or heal. Words can bring death or life. Soft words lift up and harsh words tear down. Friendship can be destroyed or bonded. Marriages can be saved or broken. Reputations can be destroyed.by gossip and slander. Characters can be scared by whispers and backbiting. The tongue of the wise will encourage and inspire. The tongue of the wise will compliment and empower. The tongue of the wise will bring reconciliation and peace. The tongue of the wise will restore and heal. Let not our words cut and divide, but rather let our words unite. Let our words be full of love and compassion. The piercings of a sword bring death. The tongue of the wise will give life.
Friday, June 17, 2016
"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour that ye think not." Luke 12:40. Jesus cautions us to be prepared always. Life is uncertain. We know not what lies in our future. We can not see tomorrow. Jesus wants our concentration set on the kingdom of God. Some attention must be given to the things of earth, but our priority and greatest concern is to be on the eternal. The eternal is in the future of every one. Whether we seek it or not, each shall eventually become dwellers of the eternal world. Jesus urges us to make our preparation for that hour. We are to live each moment in view of the coming of Christ. We are told that He will come, but the hour of that appearance is unknown. Some tomorrow, the Christ will appear again. Will we be ready? Are we living now for the moment that we shall see Him? We are to prepare our hearts ever seeking to serve and glorify so that we are ready. As expectant servants for the return of the master, so we are expectant of Christ's coming even in this very moment.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
"And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind." Luke 12:29. God provides for the creatures of the earth. He clothes the flowers with garments that are wondrously fair, and feeds the fowls that fly in the heavens. Since provision is made for them, shall not God provide for those who are in His kingdom? We are not to have minds that doubt, but rather, we are to have hearts that believe. We are to trust ourselves unto God. We are to yield ourselves unto Him and believe in His care and provision. We are to set our sight upon the things that are eternal and commit our way unto the God that does all things well. All things earthly can keep us from a full relationship with the Creator. The kingdom of God and the eternal are to be our priority and receive our full attention. Our life is but fleeing and we must know that soon we will be in the next world. Let our preparation be of such that God will receive us into everlasting fellowship with Him. May we never doubt the care and love of the heavenly Father, but always be confident, that He will help us in our journey, and that we are His concern. God is ever mindful of all of His creation. He provides not only for the physical well being of His creatures, but also, He provides for our spiritual enjoyment.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1:2. The delight of the Godly man is to meditate in God's law. The law of the Lord will make us Godly. It contains Godly precepts. It is the way of holiness and perfection. The law of the Lord will cause us to examine our hearts and change whatever is amiss so that we are seeking after Godliness. No other law brings us to such a height of achievement. No other law brings us to such an examination of ourselves. The law of the Lord will lift us above the mundane things of earth and cause us to fly heavenward. In the law of the Lord we come to know God--His greatness, His goodness, and His eternal love for us. Such meditation brings us to comfort, peace, and assurance. Such meditation will give unto us enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge. The meditation of the law of the Lord will take us from this world to the eternal world. The meditation of the law of the Lord will deliver us from the earthly unto the heavenly. The meditation of the law of the Lord will inspire us to seek the kingdom of God and the things that are eternal. The meditation of the law of the Lord will delight our heart and lift our spirits. Constant meditation in the word of God will give us hope and give us an abiding joy.
Monday, June 13, 2016
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." Psalm 68:19. How are you feeling today? Perhaps, you are not doing so well. You are having some problems that seem to be ruining your day. Are you counting your troubles or counting your benefits? Sometimes we choose to see the negatives rather than the positives. This passage of scripture teaches us about the benefits from God that come to us daily. We awoke this morning with another day of opportunity to do good. God sends the rain and fruitful seasons. The sun and the clouds are all the work of God. The beauty of the earth surrounds us with the sure knowledge of His goodness. God supplies our daily need. We know that He is a source of comfort and peace. He has allowed me the privilege of access already this day in prayer. God has spoken to me in His word and my faith has grown. The greatest of His benefits to us is His salvation. God saves us from sin, but He also saves us from trouble and despair. As you find yourself in some difficulty, count your benefits. Take a moment to meditate on the benefits that have come from the God of our salvation. Now, isn't that better?
Monday, June 6, 2016
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world was very unique. First, He was born of a virgin. Jesus was divine. He came as God in the flesh. While Mary was His earthly mother, God was His Father. Second, Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Humanity was in need of redemption and God supplied that need in the person of Jesus Christ. While upon the earth, Jesus established His divine nature by the works that He performed and the teachings that He taught. Jesus secured eternal redemption for all humanity by His death upon the cross. God loved us so much that He was willing to give His Son so that the penalty for sin could be satisfied in Jesus. The death of Christ upon the cross shows without doubt that God is just, and thus, the debt for sin had to be paid. Long ago, a prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. Great events have taken place in the course of humanity, but none greater than the coming of Jesus Christ. A divine Son paid a divine debt. Jesus came to save us.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
"And he said unto them, Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15. Our society seems to focus on the things which one might possess. We speak of those who have and those who have not. A man has come to Jesus asking that the Lord speak to his brother that he might divide the inheritance with him. The concern of this man was what he could possess. Our Lord issues a warning to this one about covetousness. Covetousness is a desire to have without contentment. One is never satisfied with that which he possesses, but rather desires more. With the covetous, the coffer is never full and the life is never satisfied. In a culture where our worth is decided by our possessions, we must guard against the desire to enrich ourselves with things. The Lord wants us to understand the true meaning of life and the journey of our life. We need to seek not what is earthly, but what is heavenly. We must seek the eternal rather that the temporal. Things can be gathered, and quickly lost. In the view of our Lord Jesus Christ, our life consist in the character that we have; the faith that burns in our heart; the devotion to Christ and God; the hope of the life to come. A man's life should consist in the spiritual and the service that we render unto God.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5. The mind of Christ is to be our goal. We are to ever seek to become like Jesus. Jesus had a lifestyle that we are to imitate. The next few verses show us the mind of Christ. The mind of Jesus was one of humility. He thought more of others than Himself. He was obedient to the will of the Father. The design of God was for Christ to come into the world and die for all humanity. The reason for this death and sacrifice was because of sin. Jesus had a mind of sacrifice. He willingly offered Himself so that we might have a relationship with God. That sacrifice reached its high mark in the cross. The One who was indeed God in the flesh took upon Himself the form of man and died the cruel death of the cross. This death was not for Himself, but for me and all others. We are to be as Christ. We are to submit our will unto the will of God. We are to serve and glorify God. We are to be instruments in His hand to promote His will and bring honor and praise unto Him. The mind of Jesus is to be our mind.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." John 15:9. The words can be uttered so easily. But, love is an action. Love is a commitment. The Lord Jesus Christ was loved by His Father. Jesus understood that love. The love which the Father had for the Son would drive Him to do the Father's will. There was nothing more important to the Lord Jesus Christ than the Father's will. Thus it was so because of the love which God had for the Son. And, Jesus loved his disciples to that degree. Jesus loves us. We know that He loves us because of the action which Jesus has taken for us. Jesus left the heavenly abode and came to earth. Jesus took upon Himself flesh and blood because He loves us. He lived and died as a human being because He loves us. Our pardon from sin has been secured by the Lord Jesus Christ because He loves us. An eternal home has been prepared for us by Him because He loves us. The love which Jesus has for us is clearly witnessed in His every act. We must abide in that love because only through that love can we be victorious over sin and death. Our future is secure because of the love which the Father has for the Son and the love which the Son has for us.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
"Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will rise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;" Jeremiah 51:1. Babylon, a evil nation, had been the sword in the Lord's hand to avenge evil. As a result, Babylon had become proud and vain. Now, the judgment of Babylon is coming. The Lord will rise up against this mighty, yet wicked, nation. The hand of the Lord's wrath, though often delayed, is now coming. The warning is sounded. Judgment is nigh at hand. God will come against not only Babylon, but all who are opposed to God. And the consumption will also include those that dwell in the midst of the evil ones. Good must not mix with bad. They must remove themselves from the vile influences around them. God will come as a destroying wind. The landscape will be covered, and none will be left standing. One cannot oppose God and continue to enjoy prosperity forever. The day of destruction eventually comes. God fights against evil, and His sword of wrath always brings down the enemy. The destroying wind will blow until the wickedness is gone, and the land is purged.
Friday, May 20, 2016
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." II Corinthians 2:14. The knowledge of God is to be made known in every place. God intends that the world know of Him and the salvation that He offers to all. But, preaching brings persecution. The enemies of God seek to block the message of redemption. But, the church must continue to announce the truth of God and the blessings that come through the knowledge of God. God will cause us to triumph. His word cannot be silenced nor can His knowledge be destroyed. We must know that God is for us. God's enemies are always defeated by His great might. There is forever triumph in Christ. We overcome in Him. We know victory over all the devices of the devil through Him. Christ is the mighty victor who has battled sin and death. Through Him, the wiles of the devil are scattered in ruins. The foundations of evil are shaken by His mighty power. Christ's might brings every foe under His rule. Those that seek the overthrow of God's knowledge are destroyed by Him. We know victory in Christ.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 2:10. Jesus Christ is the ruler of all things. In His resurrection from the dead, He was given power and rule over all things by His heavenly Father. His word is to be the supreme law of every heart. We are to hear Him in all things. His law and rule cannot be replaced nor should it be rejected. Because of this divine power, we are to submit unto Him and allow unto Him the total control of our lives. As we submit unto Him, Jesus Christ makes us complete. Our redemption is complete in Him. His blood cleanses all sins and removes all trespasses. Our relationship with God is complete in Him. Through Jesus Christ, we have God as our Father. Our righteousness is complete in Him. We are righteous before God because of forgiven sin. Our eternal hope is complete in Him. Jesus has secured the power over death and the grave. Our assurance is complete in Him. His triumphs enable us to triumph. Through Jesus Christ, we are supplied with everything that is essential in living a holy and righteous life before God.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
"And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?" Matthew 20:32. Two blind men have called out to Jesus. In answer to His question, these two men want Jesus to give them their sight? What do we want Jesus to do for us? Jesus had the power to open their eyes, and He did. Jesus has the power to do for us what we need. Some want Jesus to improve their situation in life. They want from Him only physical blessings. Some want freedom from illness and soundness of body. Some want from Jesus the deliverance from distress or calamity. These two men followed Jesus after He opened their eyes. Do we want to follow Him or do we only want that which Jesus can do for us on a physical and emotional basis? Our greatest need is spiritual. Jesus can give us spiritual blessings. He can take away our sin and our guilt. He can restore us to the fellowship of God. He can give to us a peace that passes our understanding. He can give to us a hope that transcends all hopes. He can give to us purpose of life and meaning in death. What will we have Jesus do for us?
Thursday, May 12, 2016
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28. Blood is so important to the Christian. With blood, our redemption has been secured. With blood, the church has been purchased. The blood with which the church was purchased and redemption was secured was the blood of Christ. The blood was shed upon the cross. Christ gave Himself for the church. And because there was such a tremendous price that was paid for the church, the church is important to the redemption of fallen humanity. Without the church, there is no redemption for the redeemed are the church. Christ and the church are bound by an inseparable union. The church is not just a concept of the mind, but a bold declaration of God's love for humanity. The church is not just an address where people assemble together for worship, but rather the church is those who have washed their souls white in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. The church belongs to Christ as His pure bride. Christ reigns over the church as His purchased possession. As the church, we honor and glorify His name. As the redeemed, we are the church.
Monday, May 9, 2016
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us." Ephesians 2:4. The attributes and blessings of God are boundless. Throughout time, God has been merciful and loving. God allows opportunities for humanity to turn from their evil and embrace Him. Sin always brings the mercy of God. God desires for humanity to do right, to live morally pure, and to follow His prescribed law. When we stray from God, He will allow us to return. When we fall, He will help us to stand. God provides strength to deal with the greatest of all enemies. God will blot out our sins and forgive our trespasses. This is mercy. God loves us. God has shown His mercy and love by the giving of His Son for a fallen race. Mercy and love offers salvation to the lost and redemption to those who are enslaved. Mercy and love offer life to the dead. Mercy and love provide renewal and restoration. Without mercy and love, those lost in sin remain without hope and are forever under the curse of sin. Dead in sin, but...God rich in mercy and clothed in love offered pardon.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
"Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do." Deuteronomy 29:9. God makes a covenant with His people. Within the covenant, God gives the laws that will best serve His people and the blessings that come from keeping the covenant. God desires that His people prosper. If we are to enjoy success, we must obey God and follow His covenant. His people had seen great things as they traveled from their bondage in Egypt. They had seen victory and had enjoyed the care of God. Their future prosperity would depend upon their keeping the covenant that God had given. The covenant secures our relationship with God. As we adhere to the covenant, we declare our dependency upon God and our will to serve Him. God then blesses us, provides for us, and cares for us. The goodness of God is showered upon those who keep the covenant. Involved in the giving of a covenant, the grace and love of God for His people is shown and the will of His people to keep the covenant is revealed. To become His people, we must choose to follow the words of the covenant. In the wake of such obedience, prosperity follows.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God." I Corinthians 1:18. Many will perish and few will be saved. The reason for such a condition is the response that one gives to preaching. Those who are saved see the preaching of the cross as God's power to save. Jesus died on the cross. God's wisdom determined to save humanity by the cross. Those who perish are unable or unwilling to see the power that is in the preaching of the cross. The message of the cross reveals God's love and grace. The message of the cross proclaims the blackness of sin. The message of the cross proclaims the hope of redemption. The preaching of the cross is a word of power that converts the heart. God's message is brought to humanity by preaching. Preaching is not foolishness to the one who sees the hand of God reaching down to lift humanity from the mire of sin. Preaching is not foolishness to the believer who sees the heart of God filled with compassion for wayward humanity. Preaching is not foolishness to those who fall before the cross confessing the deity of Jesus. Preaching is not foolishness to the redeemed in Christ. Preaching is only foolishness to those who perish.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11. In churches of Christ, we sing a hymn which is entitled, "Stand Up For Jesus." When we stand, we are to let our light shine. We are to let the world know where we stand on the issues that come about because of the wiles of the devil. We are to promote a righteous lifestyle amidst the unrighteousness of our society. We are to speak truth. We are to be people of integrity and honor. We are to proclaim a gospel that will save the souls of the obedient. We are to follow God even if it brings persecution. We are to stand for the principals of right and we are to oppose the evils of wrongdoing. We are to separate ourselves from the evil about us, and not allow ourselves to be polluted. We are to be blameless and harmless in this present world. Our lifestyle is to be different from those who are corrupted by evil and enslaved by sin. We are to be untouched by the devil. Like Jesus, the devil must find nothing in us. Standing up for Jesus requires commitment, devotion, and sacrifice. Standing up for Jesus requires a love of the world to come and an understanding that we are just passing through this present world. Standing up for Jesus means that we are willing to battle the enemy and win.