Friday, October 12, 2018

Be Ye Followers

"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."  I Corinthians  11:1.  Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, could be followed because he followed Christ.  The life of this apostle was consumed by Christ.  We all follow the example of someone.  Jesus Christ taught that we are to live in a manner that others might follow us.  All of us are to be an influence for good.  If we follow the example of Jesus, we will make a difference in the lives of others.  Our culture needs a good influence.  Those who follow Christ will have an influence that will change lives and influence the world for good.  Jesus sought to change the world in which He lived, and also, for ages to come.  Jesus lived a life that was pleasing to God.  Godliness has an impact.  Godliness will bless a society for good.  Ungodliness will curse a society.  Not all choose to follow what is good and right.  The devil has an influence over the hearts of many souls.  But, goodness will help preserve.  If our lives are blessed and we find true joy, we must follow Jesus.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wherein Shall We Return?

"Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them.  Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.  But ye said, Wherein shall we return."  Malachi 3:7.  When we err against God, we remove ourselves from God.  We must return unto God so that our relationship with Him can be mended.  These people of God had departed from Him because they refused to keep His ordinances.  God has given commandments that we are to keep.  The obedience to these commandments keeps us in union with Him.  But, our disobedience to His ordinances will result in our departure from Him.  We can depart from God.  When such a condition occurs, we must return.  God will not make us remain faithful unto Him.  But, God will always allow us to return.  If we err from God, we must return in faith and repentance.  We must turn from the evil way which we have chosen, and embrace once again His ordinances.  When we return to God, God will return to us.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Blessed Are The Undefiled

"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart."  Psalm 119:1-2.  In our world, some are happy and some are unhappy.  God seeks the happiness of every soul.  To insure our happiness, God gives us directions.  When we choose to follow His way, we will indeed find blessings.  God counsels us to walk in His law, keep His testimonies, and seek Him.  His law and testimonies will keep us from being defiled by sin.  The law of God directs us toward God.  We seek God who is holy Himself and without any uncleanness.  To seek Him, we must be holy.  Our heart must be pure.  As we are in the way, we must abstain from that which defiles and corrupts.  His law guards us from the evil that lurks in the way.  His testimonies are a hedge about us.  To be without defilement is to be blessed.  A clean heart leads to a clean life, and God blesses those who so walk.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

If I But Touch Him

"For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole."  Matthew 9:21.  Jesus was on a mission to the home of Jairus.  This woman with a disease of blood believed all that would be necessary for healing was to touch his garment.  She wasn't looking for an encounter.  She wasn't looking to detain him.  She just needed to touch his garment.  Her faith told her what twelve years of doctors had not told her.  Healing was in the touch.  But, faith prompted the touch.  We must touch Christ.  We know that he can heal.  We know that he removes sin.  We know he restores.  This he did for the woman.  But, we must touch him.  Faith must act.  Without the touch, there is no healing.  The disease remains.  Christ has the power to heal.  He desires to heal.  This was the purpose of his coming.  But, we must touch him.  Faith without the touch will not heal.  She did not miss her opportunity.  She came behind him, and touched his garment.  Jesus is always in the front.  We follow.  Our opportunity for healing must not be lost.  Let us touch him so that he will save us, now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hasten To Help Me

"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 Psalmist is troubled, bowed down, and broken as he remembers his iniquities.  All have forsaken him, and he stands alone.  His strength has failed him, and his enemies are multiplied.  His only help is in the Lord of salvation.  Surely we see ourselves in like manner.  Who can help us but God?  Let us make Him our salvation. We desire His nearness, and we seek His help in our time of need.  We beg for forgiveness.  We must not forsake Him so that He will not remove Himself from us.  Do not wicked men seek us?   But, God is greater than all the bands of evil.   Humility must take hold of us as the clouds of desperation gather about us.  We must come to the One who knows us and desires for us to cry unto Him.  Lord, hear us and close not thy ear.  His nearness is but a prayer away.  Our Lord saves those in distress, loneliness, and sin. Hasten to help me O God for I need thee. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Under God's Mighty Hand

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."  I Peter 5:6.  We are to place ourselves under God's mighty hand for protection, shelter, refuge, and help.  Man, who has been formed by God's mighty hand, does not care for humility.  Man, in most instances, desires to stand on his own.  Satan uses pride to cause turmoil, division, and sin.  The devil seeks to convince us that we are secure by ourselves and sufficient of ourselves.  One of the oldest lies is that we do not need God.  Consider the situation without God.  Walk back through time and behold the disaster that has been caused by pride.  God knows best and always provides the best.  But, to receive His guidance and care, we must humble ourselves.  To humble ourselves is to acknowledge our need of Him.  To humble ourselves is to acknowledge that all that we are and can become is because of His mighty hand.  The proud may stand for a time, but ultimately, the proud fall.  But, the humble will rise to exaltation.  God lifts up the humble soul who shelters himself under God's mighty hand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

In The Image Of God

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."  Genesis 1:27.  That which is created comes from nothing making certain the divine sovereignty of God.  Without God there is no creation.  Man, therefore, is the handiwork of a Creator.  God took the dust which He had created and made man.  Man was created in the likeness of God.  No other creature of creation was created in God's likeness.  So man is superior to all the rest of creation. Man has a soul which is that eternal part of man.  The body of man will return to the dust from which it was taken, but the soul will not cease to be.  As God will always be, so man will always be.  Man was also created with knowledge and understanding.  Man was also created in the righteousness and holiness of God until the fall.  Special to the creation was male and female.  Marriage was to occur and the race was to be reproduced.  So in the very beginning, God puts forth His plan for the continuance of His creation.  As the image of God, we are to honor and please God in all things.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Put Off This Tabernacle

"Knowing that shortly that I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me."  II Peter 1:14.  Humanity has been created for better things than this old world.  We are engaged in a great journey.  We are traveling from here to eternity.  This old earthly pilgrimage will be completed when we put off this earthly tabernacle.  We will move out of this old body into a body like unto the Lord Jesus Christ.  This earthly tent will be discarded for that which is more perfect and forever lasting.  We must all be aware that this will take place shortly in our life.  We know for certainty that this tabernacle grows older with the passing of time.  Soon it will become such that we can no longer live herein.  The years take their toll, and repair is impossible.  So, we know that we must move on.  But, how joyous that will be.  When we discard this old body for that new creation from God, we will shout forever.  An earthly house will be laid aside for a house that is eternal in the heavens.  Praise God for such a hope!

Monday, August 6, 2018

The True Light

"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."  John 1:9-10.  Light is necessary for direction.  Light prevents one from stumbling in the darkness.  Light insures that we are on the right path.  Jesus Christ came to be the Light.  He is the Light that directs our way in a world of darkness.  He is the Light that insures our travel that we are in step with God.  He is the Light that prevents our falling.  As the Light, Jesus drives out the darkness of evil from our soul.  Jesus is the Light house of our life offering a safe guard against the dangers that lurk in the darkness.  Jesus is the Light that guides us safely into the harbor of refuge.  With Jesus as our Light, we are secure and guarded against the dangerous pitfalls of Satan.  But, unlike the world, we must know Him.  Jesus must be our Light that shines in our soul.  Light gives joy and peace.  Such is true with Jesus as our Light.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

No Place For The Hypocrite

"He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him."  Job 13:16. In no place other than God can salvation be found.  God saves from sin, disaster, affliction, and all other earthly maladies.  Indeed, God is the One who saves.  But whom does He save?  Because a hypocrite has no place before Him, God saves those who are sincere.  Job had indeed maintained his integrity.  His affliction was not because of sin that he had committed.  The hypocrite seeks salvation without integrity.  The hypocrite professes to be of high character and unblemished spirit.  That which is claimed by the hypocrite is not the true personality.  The heart of the hypocrite is blackened, and thus, cannot truly see himself.  But, others see him.  And, God surely knows him.  God will not allow one who claims, but does not do, to come into His holy presence.  A heart that sees its own misdeeds can come into the presence of He who desires to save.  God wants us to see our sin, and thus, our need of His salvation.  Let us remove the garments of hypocrisy, and come to the God who promises to save us.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Godly Have Ceased

"Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men."  Psalm 12:1.  When the godly cease, we do need help.  In such a condition, help can only come from the Lord.  When the godly cease and the faithful fail, look at the conditions that will prevail.  The lips will speak falsehood.  The tongue will be filled with pride.  The poor will be oppressed, and the needy will be ignored.  The wicked and the vile shall be exalted.  All manner of evil and sinfulness will hang like a dark cloud over the habitation of humanity.  Mankind will follow his own way, and decide what is right and what is wrong.  When such a condition arises, very little if anything will be considered as wrongdoing.  Help us O Lord.  His words will keep and preserve the godly and faithful.  In the midst of the abundance of sin, let us hear God as He speaks through His truth.  The generation of righteousness will not perish from the earth for the Lord shall keep His people.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cut To The Heart

"When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them."  Acts 5:33.  The end that is desired of the gospel being preached is for the heart to be pricked or cut.  The gospel is ineffective if the heart is not affected.  Sometimes the gospel will be heard by a heart that is hard and cold.  This heart will not respond to the gospel.  In the passage before us, the heart was cut, but a negative response was made by those who heard.  They wanted to slay the messenger.  God wanted them to be mindful of their sin by a pricked heart so that they would repent.  The desire of the pricked heart is change.  These people did not want to change, and neither did they want to be reminded of their sin.  The messenger can be slain, but the message will continue.  Some other messenger will always take the place of the one who is slain.  God's word will continue to travel through the land.  The word of God can not be stopped.  When your heart is cut, what is your response?  Do you want to slay the messenger or change your life?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Hindrance To Baptism

"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"  Acts 8:36.  We understand in this conversion of the eunuch that baptism is necessary for salvation.  Salvation from sin does not take place before one has been baptized into Christ.  We understand also that water is necessary.  We also understand that baptism is a burial in the water.  Christ was preached, and the eunuch was baptized in order to enjoy the blessings of salvation that are offered by Christ.  What can hinder one to be baptized?  Unbelief, either in Christ as the Savior or in baptism's power to save, can prevent one from submitting to baptism.  Repentance can certainly hinder one's obedience to baptism.  Repentance is a departure from sin and a turning unto God.  Confession can prevent one from being baptized.  Christ must be confessed as the Son of God.  If one does not believe in the deity of Christ, this would certainly become a hindrance to baptism.  We see that none of these things hindered the eunuch.  He was baptized into Christ and went on his way rejoicing.  What hinders us from being baptized?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Him Ye Believe Not

"And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not."  John 5:38.  Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophets whom they said would come.  The details of His coming were foretold.  His words were indeed a testimony that He was the One whom God would send.  Because they refused to hear His word, they did not believe.  We have for us this day the word that Jesus spoke.  We are to hear that word.  His word provides a guiding light for us.  His word gives us stability in a world that is surely unstable.  His word insures us of His coming to save us from the awful malady of sin.  As He speaks unto us, He tells us of His nature, His love for us, and His sacrifice to offer unto us eternal life.  However, we must believe Him.  We must be assured that He speaks the words of truth and life.  Whether we believe Him will determine our journey to the next life.  Let us not be as those to whom He speaks these words, but let us believe Him that life might be ours.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Come Into The Garden

"I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk; eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved."  Song of Solomon 5:1.  Let us come into the garden of our Beloved.  We come to the garden to commune with Christ, who loves us.  The garden provides a place of security and serenity.  In the garden, we find God's peace and warmth.  We find calmness of soul as God's graciousness Spirit flows over us.  Within is a place of refuge from the ills of the world.  In the garden, we escape the woes of our enemy.  Surrounded by the beauty of the garden, we are enveloped by the beauty of God's grace and mercy.  Christ walks with us in the garden, and we are strengthened by His presence.  In the garden, we find renewal and restoration.  Hope springs afresh within the presence of our Beloved.  O, what heavenly bliss floods our soul in the garden of our Beloved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Godly Ceases

"Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men."  Psalm 12:1.  The Psalmist cries for help because of the loss of godliness.  The righteous mourn over the increase of sin.  Only God can help for He will overthrow the wicked.  The Psalmist dwells in the midst of evil.  Lips speak falsehood and proud things.  The wicked boast of their vileness.   The ungodly are their own Lord.  They refuse to bow before the righteous God.  But, God shall bring them down.  The Psalmist is not distraught because he knows that God will prevail.  Even in the shadow of evil, the godly shall be preserved.  When vileness is exalted and wickedness is glorified, God shall come to set the righteous in safety.  The righteous shall be protected, and the wicked shall be destroyed.  Help shall come from the Lord.  In all of His righteousness, God shall keep His servants from this evil generation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Sinner's Resolve

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."  Luke 15:18-19.  In this wonderful passage, God is the Father and we are the son.  The son sees his fall into sin, and readily confesses to himself.  There is no road home from sin unless we can see our own sin, and be willing to go home.  God always welcomes the sinner home.  This son in Jesus' story saw himself as unworthy.  Sin will do that to an individual.  Sin would have us believe that we are no longer worthy of God and His love.  But we are.  God wants every sinner to come home.  God will welcome every sinner who sees their need of God and home.  The son was willing to accept a position of servant in his father's house.  While we are servants of God, we are also sons of God.  In every heart, may there be a resolve to confess our sin, arise, and go to our Father.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Servant Of God

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."  James 1:1.  James has chosen to serve both God and Christ.  If God is served, then Christ is served.  If Christ is served, then God is served.  Jesus and God are one.  Jesus came from heaven as God and took upon Himself human flesh.  James wants no mistake about his allegiance.  Neither should we.  As a servant, James conformed to the will of His Master.  He followed His teaching and His example of life.  As a servant of Christ, one is no longer a servant of the devil and sin.  As a servant, James did the work of the Lord.  If we have surrendered ourselves to Christ, we have become His servants.  As a servant, we promote the gospel, as we live according to the teachings of the gospel.  As a servant, we have an interest in those that are away from God.  We seek to teach and share with them the good news of salvation.  We as Christ "go about doing good."  No greater Master can be served than God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us serve them with the full devotion of our being all the days of our life.

Seeing His Lovingkindness

"For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth."  Psalm 26:3.  With our eyes, we behold the lovingkindness of the Lord.  God blesses again and again.  His goodness is ever before us.  The Creator is mindful of our needs, and He supplies.  We breathe His air, and bathe in His sunlight.  We eat His food, and live in His shelter.  We feel the comfort of His love, and the beauty of His grace.  His lovingkindness forgives our sin, and purges our conscience.  His word is truth, and therein we walk.  His truth guards us, and preserves us.  His truth protects us, and keeps us.  His lovingkindness is our encouragement for walking in His truth.  We follow truth because of the mercy that is supplied.  We abide in truth because of love that He shows.  We conform ourselves to His divine pattern for He is ever loving and kind to us.  We are the benefactors of God's kindness because we walk in His truth.  God does for those who do for Him.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Trying Our Faith

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."  James 1:3.  The Christian life needs consistency.  Faith is to be that which abides.  The Christian life can know little faith, no faith, or great faith.  The kind of faith that we have will be decided by the way in which it is tested.  Abraham had his faith tested, and he become the Father of the Faithful.  Job had his faith tested and he came to have more than he had before Satan took it all.  The test of Paul's faith brought him to his readiness to die.  The testing of our faith will decide our commitment.  Many fail a tested faith.  Demas was one who failed.  Judas Iscariot was not able to pass faith's test.  Jesus even faced the test of faith as He went to the garden to pray.  But He passed.  When faith is tried, we become stronger when we pass.  A faith not tried is a useless faith.  God tries our faith, even if He uses the devil, so that we can remain strong and committed.  Patience, endurance, is the fruit ot a tested faith.  A tested faith that overcomes and endures is a mighty weapon in the kingdom of God.

Monday, June 4, 2018

He That Overcometh

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."  Revelation 21:7.  This final book of scripture deals with adversity and warfare.  God's church is being attacked by the devil.  The church is facing great difficulty.  The church will ultimately prevail, but God's people must continue to be strong.  They must overcome the enemy.  That will bring to them an inheritance from God.  The inheritance will come at the end of the war when victory has been secured.  In this life as the church, we face enemies who oppose God and the Christian way of living.  We must be strong, and continue to stand.  The church has the promise of a great inheritance.  God will own us as His own.  Warfare always brings difficulty and hardship.  The spiritual warfare that we fight as God's people is no different.  We know with surety that the conquest will come, and with the victory a home with God for ever.  The devil has not the power to take from us what God has prepared for us.  Let us fight until the very end so that we enjoy the reward as God's children.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Christ Is Lifted Up

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  This he said, signifying what death he should die."  John 12:32-33.  Jesus spoke often about His death.  He tells us that He will be lifted up in death.  Jesus died the death of the cross.  On that cross, He was lifted up.  This death by crucifixion would have an attraction upon the hearts of all humanity.  The cross was the means by which God chose to draw us to Jesus.  The cross shows God's love and grace for us.  The cross became God's atoning power for sin.  The message of the cross, the gospel, pricks our heart.  The message of the cross brings us to saving faith in Christ.  Jesus willingly submitted to being lifted up for all so that all could know God and salvation.  Sinners lifted up Christ on the cross.  Sinners in their envy watched Jesus die.  Amazing pity flowed from the cross and the lifting up of Jesus.  Jesus offers to all of us the opportunity to be saved from our sin.  His death was for us.  Allow Him to be lifted up in your heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sin No More

"Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more lest a worse thing befall thee."  John 5:14.  Jesus has healed a man of an infirmity that he had for thirty-eight years.  During the ministry of Jesus, He healed many of various infirmities.  But, Jesus came to heal an infirmity that was far worse than any body ailment.  That ailment was sin.  After the healing, Jesus encounters this man once more.  Jesus tells him to "sin no more."  The healing of sin means that we are to cease from sin.  The scriptures refer to this as "dying to sin."  This was the mission of Jesus.  He came to heal and forgive sin.  But, Jesus warns the man of something worse that might befall him if he does not cease from sin.  That which is worse than any bodily infirmity is eternal death.  This is the final outcome of sin.  Unless we cease from sin, we will be lost eternally.  This happens when the soul is cast into the lake of fire at the final judgment.  This is far worse than any disease or infirmity.  The infirmity of the body can only harm the body.  Sin harms the soul.  Let us go forth, and "sin no more."

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Salvation In Christ

"Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."  II Timothy 2:10.  Salvation must be obtained.  Jesus Christ is the Savior and salvation is in Him.  Those who are outside of Jesus Christ are not saved.  What must be done to obtain this salvation?  There is an action that must take place by the one who desires the salvation that Christ offers.  Faith in Christ as the Son of God is the first step toward salvation.  One must believe in Christ.  The believer must repent of sins.  All have committed sins.  We must repent with Godly sorrow, and change the manner of life.  The believer must confess Jesus as the Son of God.  This confession is made by mouth, and then, lived in the life.  The believer must be immersed in water.  This act is called baptism.  Baptism is a burial, not sprinkling or pouring.  In baptism, one puts on Christ as the Savior, and dies to sin.  With these acts, salvation is obtained.  And, for salvation to be unto eternal glory, the believer must be faithful to Jesus Christ until death.

Stand In Christ

"Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved."  Philippians 4:1.  No Christian should want anyone to be lost, especially those who are already saved.  Paul wishes for the continual commitment of these brethren whom he loves.  The urging of Paul is for these Philippians to stand fast in Christ.  One who is in Christ can fall out of Christ.  One who is saved can become unsaved.  Such a condition can take place in an instant.  The devil seeks those who are in Christ that he might lure them away from Christ.  The devil is one of many snares.  Different temptations are used on different individuals.  Not all of us are tempted in the same manner.  We must seek to stand fast in the Lord and not be moved away from our salvation that Christ has brought to us.  We must continually guard ourselves against the devil and his devices.  We must continue to love God and to honor the Lord.  By our obedience to the gospel we have put on Christ.  We must keep Him near to us.  We must be found in Christ when He comes again. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hear The Word Of God

"And it came to pass, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret."  Luke 5:1.  Jesus constantly was teaching.  There was no particular place or occasion that He chose to teach the word of God.  Jesus taught the word.  Today, we are to teach the word of God.  Some teach custom.  Some teach tradition.  Some teach opinion.  The true teacher of God teaches the word of God.  Nothing else matters.  Only the word of God can save the soul.  Only the word of God can enlighten the soul.  Not all want to hear the word of God.  Some want to hear what will sooth the conscience.  Some want to hear what makes one feel good.  The word of God will prick the conscience.  The word of God will not always make one feel good because the word will cut the heart.  Even though the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, not all obeyed what Jesus taught.  Why would someone want to hear that which will not benefit them in a spiritual way?  Why would someone want to hear that which will not save the soul?  The word of God is the most powerful instruction in the world to make people right with God.  The word of God is the only instruction that will direct someone to heaven.  Hear the word of God!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hard To Be Understood

"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."  II Peter 3:15-16.  Peter acknowledges that Paul is also an author of the scriptures.  Peter considered Paul to be a beloved brother.  Those in Christ are brethren, and all should be beloved.  The apostle Paul had written some things concerning the salvation that is offered by the longsuffering of our Lord to be hard to understand.  Some truths of the Bible require more deliberate concentration than do other truths.  But, there is no truth that cannot be understood.  We must be students of God's truth.  We must read and meditate longer upon some truths.  God has given us a book that can be understood and known.  By this truth, we come to know the salvation that is in Christ.  Truth that is not learned will be to our own destruction.  Some choose to twist or change the scriptures.  This also will be to their own destruction.  May we study, learn, and practice the scriptures so that we might be saved.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Be Not Partakers

"Be not ye therefore partakers with them."  Ephesians 5:7.  Our walk in Christ avoids all sinful activities.  The writer of this verse has described sins that characterized his time, and our time as well.  Those who walk in Christ are not to partake with those who engage in these sins.  We are to avoid them.  Those who walk in Christ are to separate themselves from the sinful of the land. Evil has a powerful influence, and we must flee from that which might entangle us.  The followers of Christ are to exert an influence of good and right.  We seek to alter the lifestyle of the sinful.  We shun any engagement of sin.  If we partake, our life will be tainted.  Our walk with Christ will be harmed.  We no longer drink from the fountain of evil, but perfect that life that is light rather than darkness.  The words of the evil must not entice us.  We must not share in their folly.  We have removed ourselves from the wrath of God.  Let us remain in that safe haven.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Thy Word Is Truth

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."  John 17:17.  God's word is truth.  God's truth is powerful.  The salvation that God offers to man is in a word.  God does not lie.  He speaks only truth.  The word that He speaks to us has the power to save us.  We hear the word, believe the word, and obey the word.  The word of God has the power to sanctify us.  We become fit for the service of God.  The word of truth makes us worthy to serve God.  As we obey the truth of God's word, our sins are cleansed.  God's sanctification makes us pure.  We become the agents of God's marvelous work of salvation.  We not only believe His truth, but we live by His truth.  The truth controls our choices and our actions.  We teach that truth to others so that they might know the sanctification of God.  As we are sanctified by God, we are used by God for His glory.  Truth sets us apart.  We become the special people of God by truth.  As we live according to the truth, we are unlike the world about us.  And, by the truth, we seek to make the world responsive to God.  May the truth of God live in our hearts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Truth Dwelling In Us

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth: and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever."  II John 1-2.  The church of Jesus Christ abides in the truth.  The truth is known by those who come to Christ and are accepted as children of God.  Only through truth can Christ be known.  God has chosen preaching to make His truth known.  The truth is to abide with us so that we might continue to be His children.  The truth brings those who learn and obey the truth into fellowship with one another.  These truth seekers who acknowledge the truth in obedience are bound together in love for each other as well as love for God.  The truth is a powerful force that has atoning and uniting power.  Truth remains.  Nothing can ever destroy God's truth.  The truth is protected by the God of heaven.  From God the truth has come and with God the truth will abide.  Our relationship with God is decided by truth.  Seek the truth so that you might find this precious gem.  Gain hold of the truth.  And, then love all those who are in the truth.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Excellent Is His Name

"Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent: his glory is above the earth and heavens."  Psalm 148:13.  All are to praise the name of the Lord.  The whole host of creation is to praise His name.  The Lord has created.  The Lord sustains His creation.  Order prevails.  The Lord has given a decree by which His creation functions.  This decree abides through all generations.  In everything the glory of the Lord is seen.  His glory excels above all.  God's fingerprint is seen everywhere.  Therefore, let the creation of God praise Him. His creation is a testimony to His excellency.  God is above all and over all.  Let every heart sing His excellent name.  Unto the God of heaven and earth, let praises be heard throughout all generations of time.  His name is excellent.  His creation is excellent.  His people is excellent.  Praise Him.  Praise Him now and forever.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Liberty In Christ

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be entangled again with the yoke of bondage."  Galatians 5:1.  There is absolute liberty in Christ.  Christ does not break the physical bonds that might bind us, but He does break the spiritual chains that enslave us.  Christ has given us liberty from the bondage of Satan through an obedient faith.  This freedom in Christ removes sin.  We are forgiven in Christ.  Therefore, we are made free from the guilt of sin and the penalty of sin.  We can rejoice that the burden of sin is lifted in Christ.  Our minds are then renewed in Jesus as we commit to Him and God's direction for our lives.  Jesus empowers us to overcome the temptations that come from Satan as we live by the strength of the Holy Spirit.  We know a law that provides peace and comfort.  But, we must stand fast in this liberty.  Liberty can always be lost.  We must be vigilant.  We must watch so that the devil does not entangle us in the ways of the world and his deceits.  We are free in Christ.  May we ever hold to this liberty.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Way Is God

"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.:  Jeremiah 10:23.  All things are of God, even man.  Man is the product of a divine Mind.  Therefore, he needs divine help.  God has always sought to direct the path of man.  God desires that man fulfill his highest potential.  Man is to please God for therein is the goodness of life found.  Man without God wanders in the darkness.  He is a creature that will make mistakes, and therefore, know sorrow.  God can guide us through the pitfalls.  He can guard us from our greatest enemy.  God can help us to maintain balance in our life.  With God's guidance, we can understand our purpose and our destiny.  God can prevent us from getting caught up in the pursuit of those things that will not satisfy the soul.  Man without God will scar his conscience and ruin his character.  God, as a Father, guides his children to joy and fulfillment.  Man was intended for greater things than earth can offer.  Let us allow God to guide us through this old land to a glorious future.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Praise Him While I Live

"I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord."  Psalm 104:33-34.  Life is a gift that God has bestowed upon us.  Therefore, we use this gift of life to praise God.  While we have life, let us glorify God as He has intended.  Our opportunity to praise Him can vanish in a moment.  Life is without certainty and guarantee.  God desires our praise of Him.  God's ear listens to our voices of  praise and honor that we give to Him.  As we meditate of Him, let us think of His glory, goodness, and holiness.  Sweet thoughts of God flood our soul.  The very thought of God lifts us above this old world of evil.  Our meditation of God takes us to thoughts that relax and comfort the spirit.  Our hearts are filled with purity.  Our mind can see the light of redemption and renewal.  Indeed, we are made glad in the Lord.  Our journey in this land is tarnished as we face difficulty and sorrow.  But, the Lord makes us glad.  In our meditation of Him, we know His love and mercy.  While we have life, let us flood our being with the gladness of God.

Monday, March 5, 2018

He Is Risen

"And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him."  Mark 16:6.  What great news!  What a glorious announcement!  The tomb where the body of Jesus had been laid was empty.  Jesus had been resurrected from the dead.  Death was conquered.  Jesus became a living Savior.  This news would sound again and again in the gospel message.  This is the gospel--the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  This message is the glad tidings of God.  The empty tomb is a message of victory and hope.  A surrender of the heart to the truth of the gospel provides power over sin and death.  In baptism, we unite in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  The empty tomb is the promise to the believer of our own resurrection from the grave.  As Jesus was raised to go to His heavenly Father, so the baptized believer will be raised to go home with Jesus.  Death and the grave are powerless to contain the believer of the gospel.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

All Things Are Thine

"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."  I Chronicles 29:14.  We are to give unto God of the blessings that He has given to us.  Our offerings to God are to be given with a willing heart and a generous spirit.  We do not give what is our own for we have nothing.  What we possess is of God.  Without His generosity, we would have nothing.  All that is in the heaven and the earth belongs to God.  We only return to God what is His.  God has given to us so that we might use those gifts for His glory.  We are to be good stewards of God's blessings.  We can give to God because He has given to us.  We serve God because He allows us to serve Him.  Our heart is rich with His praise because of His goodness bestowed upon us.  Because God has shared with us, we can share with Him.  Let us never begrudge gifts and service given to God for all is His which He has given to us.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Things Concerning Him

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."  Luke 24:27.  Jesus has risen from the dead.  Once again, He seeks to confirm the truthfulness of Himself that He is the Son of God.  That proof is established by Moses and the prophets.  Herein is the great profit of the Old Testament.  This word of inspiration pointed to the coming of a Redeemer.  Through Moses and all the prophets, Jesus was announced as the coming Messiah.  They proclaimed that Jesus would be a prophet that would deliver the people from the bondage of sin.  Through Jesus, God would establish a new covenant with those who would become the people of God from every nation.  Through Jesus, the house of God, the church, would be established.  Renewal, restoration, and revival would be the blessings that Jesus would bring.  The voice of Moses and the prophets was a call to repentance and belief in a Savior that would come into the world by a divine birth by a virgin.  Jesus would come to be the Christ, the Savior of humanity.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

God Is Our Help

"Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 124:8.  The Psalmist sees certain perils.  The Psalmist understands the threat that these perils have against us.  Were it not for the Lord, we would be overwhelmed.  The storms seek to engulf us.  Evil men rail against us.  Dangers flow over us.  We stand because of our help.  We are insufficient, and oftentimes, powerless.  But, we have help.  We must not despair.  We must never give up.  We have a refuge that will not fail us.  The Lord, the Creator, is our stay.  Could we have a greater companion that the Lord who has made the heaven and earth?  The answer sounds through time. No.  A thousand times, No.  The Lord spoke and it came to pass.  What power has the Lord.  The Lord cannot be overthrown.  Those whom He seeks to help cannot be defeated.  The perils of this life have no power against the Creator of heaven and earth.  We cannot be swallowed up.  The snare of our enemies is broken.  We escape, and the Lord is blessed.  Blessed be the Creator, our help.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Live By Faith

"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."  Romans 1:17.  The Old Testament had declared that "The just shall live by faith."  Now, the gospel confirms that "The just shall live by faith."  God's people are people of faith.  Faith believes God.  Faith establishes His word in our heart.  Faith knows that God is real, and that His word is law.  Faith leads us to walk in God's way.  By faith, we obey His will.  Faith accepts God as the Creator and the Eternal One.  Faith convinces us that nothing is impossible unto Him, but that He is the Almighty One.  As we live by faith, we surrender ourselves to the unseen. We live with an expectation of glory. All is right with our soul.  Our hope is stedfast and sure. Faith provides us with stability in storm and calm in chaos.  By faith, we know peace and security.  We are assured that God is able to deliver us and preserve us.  Faith is our light that shines in darkness and our anchor that holds in turmoil.   

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Faith Is The Victory

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."  I John 5:4.  They who choose to be born of God must separate from the world.  The world is a harsh enemy.  They who are born of God are strangers and pilgrims in this world.  Our birth into the family of God is by faith.  Faith is a powerful force.  Faith believes in God, trusts in God, and commits to God.  Faith unites our heart with the heart of God.  Faith hears and obeys the word of God.  Through faith we surrender our lives to the will of God.  Faith enables us and empowers us so that we travel in this world knowing victory.  We know victory over sin for our faith links us to the cleansing power of Christ's blood.  We know victory over trial for our faith provides us with hope and comfort.  We know victory over death for our faith unlocks for us the power of Christ's conquest over death.  Faith is the Christian victory that conquers the world.  Faith prevents us from being cast down and overcome.  We endure the cruel elements of this world by a living faith in a living God and a risen Lord.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ye Are Not Of God

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."  John 8:47.  The Pharisees had a hardened disrespect for Jesus.  Jesus declared without hesitation that He was the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham.  This infuriated the Pharisees.  People sometimes become angry when they hear the truth, especially if they have no respect for the truth.    These Pharisees claimed to be the followers of God.  Jesus explained that if one is of God, he will hear God's words.  The Pharisees refused to hear.  Therefore, they were not of God.  Here is a divine standard delivered by Jesus.  Those who hear God are of God.  Those who truly seek God will find Him in His word.  The word of God leads us into godliness.  The word of God purifies our soul making us fit for union with God.  The word of God brings us peace and comfort.  The word of God brings us into a nearer relationship with God.  As we hear the words of God, we seek after God and desire to be of God.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Until These Calamities Pass

"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."  Psalm 53:1.  Here is a plea for God's mercy in a time of need.  Mercy can be a request when there is trust.  Trust believes that God is capable of mercy and willing to be merciful.  A cry for mercy from God brings us to the realization that we cannot help ourselves.  Trust means that we are dependent upon God.  We need His help.  We admit that He alone can help.  We must have refuge from the calamities that threaten to overcome us.  That refuge is the wings of the Almighty One.  God covers us, and so, protects us.  We cannot escape from the calamities of life.  We must have a place of refuge.  We need a safe place where we can take shelter. We run to the wings of God so that we are protected and guarded.  Help us, O God, lest we be overtaken by life's woes and cares.  Guard us from life's calamities lest we be overthrown.  Let thy mercy sustain and keep us.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dwelling In The Lord's House

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Psalm 23:6.  Christ as the Shepherd leads us into the house of the Lord.  Follow Him and the Lord's house will be our dwelling.  The psalmist speaks with conviction.  He has assurance that goodness and mercy will follow him throughout his life.  Do we not need God's goodness and His mercy?  Is the dwelling of the Lord's house our desire?  Then, we must follow the Christ.  We must listen to His word and be directed by His wisdom.  In His word, He speaks to our heart.  His word is a safe guide which provides the richest blessings.  His will directs us to the most majestic dwelling--the Lord's house.  Nothing must prevent us from dwelling forever in His house where His goodness and mercy are found.  The psalmist had made a choice about where he would dwell.  We must make the same choice.  No one makes that choice for us.  We decide whom we will follow and where we will dwell.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Jesus, The Door

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."  John 10:9.  A door gives us entrance.  Jesus has given to us entrance unto God and the salvation that He offers to all humanity.  Entering through this door is a choice.  All may enter.  None will be denied entrance.  They who choose to enter may come.  The blessings that are offered through this door come to those who choose to enter.  Jesus must be accepted as the Savior.  Jesus is the door where forgiveness of sins is found.  Those who enter have the promise of salvation.  With this salvation, we find security in Christ.  We enter and find all the blessings that God provides for the saved.  In Jesus, one is complete.  The deepest needs of the human soul are through this door.  The riches of God's eternal glory are in Christ.  Enter through the door to have eternal wealth.  Christ pleads for every soul to enter.  Come, o weary one, and find nourishment in the spiritual pasture of God.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Not Of Night, Nor Darkness

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."  I Thessalonians 5:5.  Children must learn and grow.  So it is with God's children.  We must learn and grow into that perfect image of Christ Himself.  Christ brings us into the light of God's amazing grace.  Light shines forth in the heart of the believer guiding us to the safe haven.  In the darkness, we will stumble.  In sin, we stumble and fall short of God's will for us.  We through Christ and divine love have been delivered from the darkness.  We are never again to walk therein.  Our lives are to be lived in the light of God's holiness.  We must follow the true light listening to His word, and walking in the steps of Him who always did the will of the Father.  Darkness will hinder holiness.  Let us not return to the darkness of evil, but let us live in the transformation of God's grace.  As we live in the light, we will become as He who shed light into our hearts.

Not By Bread Only

"And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."  Luke 4:4.  The devil is tempting Jesus following His fast in the wilderness.  Remember, the devil is a tempter and a deceiver.  The answer offered by Jesus in this temptation is a quotation from Scripture.  The devil must be answered with the word of God.  The devil offered Jesus physical food.  The devil never offers anything but that which is physical, and therefore, temporal.  Jesus would have hungered again.  Man, having been created in the image of God, needs more than the physical.  The soul must be fed and nourished.  The word of God is the spiritual food that feeds the spiritual man.  The word of God supplies us with strength and courage.  The word of God gives us eternal life.  And, we must receive every word that God speaks.  God speaks to us plainly so that our every need is supplied.  When the devil approaches us, let us say as did Jesus, "It is written."