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.