Category Archives: Devotional

GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU


John 3:16; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

John 3:16 is the verse that says so much with just a few words. If some one has memorized only one scripture from the Bible, it will be John 3:16. It is the scripture most often quoted.

We need to consider God’s Love For You in light of the statement, “For God so Loved…This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, assuredly it doesn’t. It means that His love was a feeling of benevolence toward man, not approving the conduct but “earnestly desires the Happiness of those who are sinful.

Let us consider the statement, “The World”. That simply means all mankind. It does not indicate a certain part of the world. It clearly shows man as man His love is for all men. All men of the world had rebelled and therefore deserved the punishment of death. His love for the world was shown in giving His Son. The giving of His Son was brought about because of these circumstances:

  1. All the world was in ruin, and exposed to the wrath of God.
  2. All people were in a hopeless condition.
  3. God gave his Son. Man had no claim on him’ it was a gift – an undeserved gift.
  4. He gave him up to extreme sufferings, even the bitter pains of death on the cross.
  5. It was for all the world. He tasted “death for every man”, according to Hebrews 2:9.
  6. He “died for all,“ II Cor. 5:15
  7. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” I John 2:2
  8. Propitiation – The act of atoning for sin.

That He Gave – A free and unmerited gift. Man had no hold nor any claim to this gift. Where there was nothing else to save, it pleased God to give His Son into the hands of men to die in their place. “Who gave himself for our sins” – Galatians 1:4 Love moved God to express His eternal compassion and desire that sinners should not perish forever.

His only-begotten Son” This is the highest expression of love which we can conceive. A Father gave His perfect without sin Son to die for others who stand guilty shows a higher love than could be manifested in any other way. What great depth of love that God has for wicked man, and it could not be shown in any greater way.

1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 

1Pe 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Peter gives us an argument here for a holy life to be lived. That argument is that we have been redeemed. This reminds me of the song, “I’m redeemed by love divine, glory, glory, Christ is mine.” What a comfort this is to know that the precious love of God has redeemed me. Nothing in this world could redeem me but the love of God has provided for my redemption.

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This term – “faithful witness”. This is Jesus giving a testimony that he can be completely relied upon. He is worthy of our belief. The First begotten of the dead.” Not that He is the first to rise from the dead, but he is the first who rose from the dead to immortality.

Notice how He loved us. Washed us from our sins. Jesus is the prince of the kings of the earth, yet he has made us kings and priests unto God, His Father. The Love of God has elevated us from sin and ruin into a kingship and priesthood that I do not deserve and certainly could not attain on my own.

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD.

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SLEEPING WHEN THE WIND BLOWS


William Andrew Dillard

Bits and pieces of stories are often tucked away in memory from who knows where. But they give rise to practical thoughts of personal perspective in Christian wisdom that insist on being shared with others. Think with me as the story goes!
A farmer once advertised for a hired hand due to the increased burden of farming demands. His farm was in a region well known for violent storms, so most people were net excited about working on a farm.. They has seen crops destroyed and buildings badly damaged. One applicant for the job was an unlikely fellow: short, thin, and past middle age.
The farmer interviewed the applicant. “Are you a good farm hand?” he asked. The man replied, “Yes, sir! I can sleep when the wind blows.”
Puzzled by the reply, but desperate from some help, the farmer hired the man. In days ahead, he worked quite well, stayed busy from sun-up until sun-down, and caused the farmer to be satisfied with his choice of help.
Then it happened. One night the wind howled loudly as a strong weather front began to pass through. The farmer jumped out of bed and made his way to the sleeping quarters of his hired hand. He yelled at him, “Get up, get up, a storm is coming and things will get blown away if they are not tied down quickly and securely. But, the little man just rolled over in his bed as he said, “No, sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”
Enraged by the response from his hired helper, the farmer wanted to fire him on the spot. But not to waste time, he hurried outside to tend to things that might get blown away. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks has been covered. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down, so that nothing could bet blown away.
It was then that the farmer understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
Are you prepared spiritually, mentally and practically to be at peace (to sleep and rest) when storms blow through your life? I am referencing a good knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, and being obedient to it. It is so reassuring to know that our Savior is He Who came to the disciples in their fear in a storm at sea. It was He who simply said “Peace be still.” and the storm and waves obeyed him. In Him, I can sleep when the wind blows.

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FORGIVENESS


Psalm 130:4; Matthew 6:14; Acts 5:31

Psa 130:4  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 

There is forgiveness with God. God is never a tyrant because He exercises forgiveness to those that repent. We find that very request from David in

Psalm 25:11 where David says – “For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”

We find repentance within this pleading of David. David recognized the greatness of his sin and requested forgiveness. Notice the inference, “For thy name’s sake. This is for the glory of God.

We see David coming to God again. Once again David speaks of the forgiveness of God when he says in

Psalm 86:5 – “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”

He speaks of the goodness of God in reference to forgiveness. In the forgiveness of God we find an abundance of mercy. It is the mercy of God where we find His forgiveness for a multitude of sin. We praise and thank God because of His great mercy which He shows to us in the forgiveness of sin. Yet there is something we need to consider about God’s forgiveness.

Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 

God’s forgiveness is contingent upon our willingness to forgive. Forgiveness from us represents the “milk of human kindness.” This kindness is amply illustrated by those that have been born again by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Let me deviate here a little. The first hospitals were begun by Christians. They saw the need and the decision was not based upon monetary profit, but the compassion of heart for the sick. Later, there were those that saw the financial opportunity of hospitals and became involved not for christian feelings for the sick, but the financial benefits of charging for services rendered.

We must have a heart for the sick. We must have a heart of forgiveness for those that offend and also for those that need. We have the needy with us and are instructed in that area by

Proverbs. 21:13 – “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” We should hear the cry of the sick and the needy. But we are further instructed by

Ephesians 4:32 – “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This is written to the church at Ephesus. This should be our relationship with the members of the church. We should have Kindness and be tenderhearted toward each other with the forgiveness of offenses.

Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 

28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 

29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 

32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 

33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 

Verse 31 is our key verse here. Through Jesus our Savior, we receive forgiveness. This is the supreme forgiveness we need because of sins that opens the door to heaven. This is a recounting of what happened to Jesus. His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection for the sins of the world. This is the supreme forgiveness. The forgiveness of vile, wretched and unworthy men when Adam turned his back upon God and plunged the human race into the depths of the blackness of sin. Man needed a supreme forgiveness for his cleansing. This was accomplished through Jesus coming to earth wrapped in the flesh of man to become the perfect and complete sacrifice for man and bring forgiveness to all that repent. The Supreme forgiveness is found at the foot of the cross and the cleansing of the precious blood of Jesus the Son of God who has redeemed us from the curse of hell and provided an entrance into the glories of heaven and the presence of our LORD.

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FOLLY


Proverbs 15:14; 18:13; Psalm 53:1

Pro 15:14  The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. 

What a thought provoking verse. The very first part of this passage reveals a person that is very thoughtful. An understanding person knows that he does not know everything. This type of person is a seeker of knowledge. He wants to hear so that he can learn. There are many today that want to close their ears to words that might expand their knowledge. A seeker of knowledge is a reader and a hearer. A seeker of knowledge will feed many.

Proverbs 10:21 says “The lips of the righteous feed man.

A seeker of the knowledge of God that applies that knowledge to their life and gains forgiveness, cleansing and salvation. These righteous will feed many because they have something they have learned to give to others. We find the seeker of knowledge has understanding. Through their knowledge, they are able to help many. The seeker of knowledge has found Christ as Savior. This knowledge will be given to others. The seeker of knowledge will seek the lost to share the knowledge of the gospel.The contrast to the seeker of knowledge is the fool.

but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness” Proverbs 15:14b.

How often have the fools asked questions that reveal their unlearned situation? Foolish questions that the simplest already know. The foolish dote on false doctrines and hurtful lust.

The foolish say, “I know enough.” They are satisfied with what little they know. This carnal mind feasts on a carnal appetite and flights of fancy things. They delight in sensual pleasures and vanity. They are satisfied with not knowing or even thinking they have knowledge and banally repeat what little they know.

Pro 18:13  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. 

Has this ever happened to you? How often has someone cut you off or how often have you cut someone off that is trying to contribute to your knowledge. Consider, you are not “Hetty” on “NCIS Los Angeles”. We are not mind readers no matter how perceptive you thing you are. There are 2 things I would warn you about. To believe that you know what some one is going to say is evidence of presumption and an element of self-conceit. An old standard statement is, God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth so that we can hear twice as much as we speak. This presumption of knowledge brings shame.

Proverbs 26:12 says “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” We need to learn how to listen carefully to others.

A person with knowledge, often hesitates to answer so that they will be sure they understand the question. Then there is a pause to formulate the best answer possible. Sometimes we are too quick to answer and mangle the answer. To speak to something that is not understood is folly. To answer something that is not completely understood is also folly and brings shame.

Psa 53:1  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. 

This verse is considered an emphatic statement about the atheist. Notice the proclamation that an atheist is called a fool. The term fool overshadows the sense of sin in such a proclamation. We consider sin to be a horrible, terrible thing, yet the foolishness of a person denying God overwhelms the idea of sin. This statement is worse than a heathen that believes there is a God but continues in wickedness and sin. The denial of God is “abominable iniquity.” The stench of denial reaches heaven. Here is a fool who has denied the creation that he lives and thrives on. Here is a fool who has denied the Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior. Here is a fool who has denied the sacrifice of the Son of God. Here is a fool who has denied the shed blood of the Son of God which cleanses us from sin. Here is a fool that is an abominable stench to God and has no hope in this life or the life here after. Our prayer should be that God deniers might see the mighty work of God.

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DIVINE COMFORT


Isaiah 40:1; Isaiah 61:1,2; John 14:1

What a wonderful concept, comfort.

  • Comfort is something that each of us seek from time to time.
  • We work hard each day and come home to comfort.
  • We travel from time to time and sleep in unfamiliar beds.
  • We are happy to get home to our own familiar comfortable bed.
  • There is a desire for comfort and it does not just relate to physical comfort. We desire to be mentally comfortable.
  • There are times when we cannot wrap our mind around happens and events.
  • When these mental issues chase away the comfort we want, we seek knowledge to dispel the mystery that makes us uncomfortable.
  • We seek mental comfort.
  • The other area of comfort is spiritual comfort.
  • Spiritual comfort is the most neglected area of comfort.
  • Neglected not by God but by man in ignoring the Word of God.

God said to His people, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your GodIsaiah 40:1

God is speaking comfort to His people. God’s comfort is that warfare is accomplished. Another comfort was that Jerusalem’s iniquity is pardoned. God said that His people had paid double for their sins.

Now God is calling for them to be comforted. God has a desire that his people are comforted.

Isaiah has more to say about comfort. I believe there is a list of comforting things that Isaiah speaks relays to us.

Isaiah 61:1,2 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, an the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

  • We each should have the Spirit of the Lord GOD upon us; certainly not as a prophet or a preacher, but as a comfort for us.
  • Each of us should comfort the meek and tell others about Jesus Christ our Savior. Surely this is a comfort to us and our desire should be to comfort others by telling about our Savior.
  • A comfort is that the Lord is coming again. With the heartbreak that is experienced here, the sorrows that overcome us, the disappointments that abound; the LORD is coming again.
  • During our present day trials and tribulations, history does not inform us, but God’s word informs us and comforts us that prophecy is being fulfilled, yet God is with us and His return is close.

We are called to not let our heart be troubled. Here is the question with which we need to deal with; do we believe in God? If we believe in God, we must also believe in Jesus Christ.

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Here are our marching orders. – Let not your hearts be troubled. This does not mean to simply lay down and not resist. Resist the sin and wickedness with all courage and might. Yet we are comforted, knowing that God is in control and we know his coming is imminent.

  • We have divine comfort knowing that the provision of God is manifest in that He has already prepared a place for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that He is coming back for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that He is going to receive us in the place He has prepared for us.
  • We have divine comfort knowing that where He is we will be also.
  • We have divine comfort knowing where He went and we know that way.
  • That way is through the blood that Jesus shed for us upon the cross. That way is by repentance of sin and receiving the free gift offered by Jesus.

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COURAGE


Joshua 1:9; Daniel 3:16,17; Philippians 1:28

I am reminded of that old saying, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” There is an element of truth in this saying. What I have observed is, courage is not a reckless abandonment without due consideration. When we see anyone rush into a burning building, it is not reckless abandonment but with quick deliberation and an understanding that great harm might come to the rescuer. Courage is not the abandonment of all sense, but the consideration of the possibility of harm.

In the consideration of our position with God through His Son Jesus Christ, we do not abandon all sense as we live our lives in a Godly manner and witness for Him. Joshua received a word of encouragement in Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” We have the support that others do not have. Through prayer, before we enter the fray, God is right there with us to support us in all of our endeavors to witness to lost and saved alike. Why did I say the saved? Because of some that are saved stray or fall back and we need strength, courage, and wisdom to go to and encourage them. The lost we understand but sometimes we forget about those that have backslidden.

Our adversaries love to see us as weak and uncertain. While teaching seminary, I instructed students that when they came to one of those words in the Old Testament that they were not sure of how to pronounce, instead of muddling around and hemming and hawing, simply say it with authority. Many, who think they know how to say it will say hmmm, maybe he is right. Understand, I am not saying to speak salvation in ignorance or any other doctrine for that matter. Know the plan of salvation and support scripture. Know doctrine and support scripture. Then say it with authority instead of being mealy-mouthed in our discussion. There are certain things we should be masters in knowledge. In Ephesians 6 we are told to stand. I love the answer of the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3:16,17 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. This passage thrills me to no end. The part of the answer where they say, “. . . we are not careful to answer thee. . . “ this thrills me to my tippy toes. They are saying, we don’t have to think about our answer, we don’t have to consult each other about our answer, we don’t even have to pray about it because we know God’s answer already. NO,NO,NO. These young men were standing as Joshua was told to stand and be courageous. There is another part to this answer that I also love, “If it be so. . . “. Let me tell you about the power of our God. If He wants to deliver us, He will. If He does not want to deliver us, that is ok also. We will not lose our trust and faith in God. Do what you want and what you think you can king. We are prepared.

Preachers, Pastors, we are called to be courageous and to stand. I have communicated with a number of you that are dissatisfied with how some things are slipping among our churches. I have heard the terms, fed up, wrong, things amiss and a few other things. There seems to be a fear that one might be ostracized or shunned to speak up with courage and take a stand. May I restate a common scripture, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Let me add this, who cares who is against us. A good preacher friend of mine, solid scripturally, accepted the pastorate of a small Southern Baptist Church. His thought was to teach and preach the truth to this church and bring it into our work. All the time he pastored this church, they never observed the Lord’s Supper. After several years he came to the realization, that he would never achieve his goal and resigned. He came to me and said, I want to join your church, I know you are the pastor and I will always support you. My reply, why not pastor Brother. He said I have been blackballed in our local and national association. My reply, welcome brother. Maybe it is my age, maybe I am just ignorant. I simply believe in the Word of God and believe that if we don’t take a stand today, tomorrow may be too late. Paul said to the Philippian Brothers, Philippians 1:28 “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” Every member and every preacher and pastor is called to stand and be of great courage. I challenge you to stand for the scripture truth and follow many of our forefathers in the battle for God.

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BACKSLIDING


Proverbs 14:14; Matthew 24:12; Hebrews 10:38

How wonderful it would be if we could say as the Psalmist said 44:18 – “Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;”.Sadly, there are few that can make that claim. Drawing away from God for different reasons happens to most saved people. It could be the influence of a spouse, a friend or the lure and lust for the things of the world. Even when faithful in church services, there are time we are closer to God than at other times. According to Proverbs 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. There are times the struggle within us is so real. The carnal striving with the spirit bringing indecision and division. It can happen in different areas of life. Financial, physical and mental division. We can be filled with our own ways, become narcissistic in the things we do. An attitude that my way is better than God’s way. The whole of life becomes about us instead of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew really clues us in by saying in Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Do we see this today? Sure we do. If we would be honest we would admit that the flesh rules upon occasions. We have a denomination that split over the homosexual issue. Understand, I believe that denomination does not hold the true, but in morals they used to be very close to the Bible. Yet, some that should know better just blew them off as not having the truth to begin. So when do we worry about those that call themselves Christians? When they those false denominations are normalizing homosexual relations and even having two men that claim to be married, or two women that claim to be married “pastoring” churches so called? That is happening. Now I am going to hit some of you right between the eyes now. Are we backsliding when a sport has such a hold on us that we will support the halftime show of sex and crotch grabbing by watching the game? I know, some of you said we did not watch the halftime show. You spread all over face book, to children and teens that you supported the super bowl by watching it and thereby supporting the halftime show whether you watched it or not. How many children saw it and were influenced by it? I have read a few articles that were not written by preachers or even Christians. These lost carnal men are decrying the moral degradation of such a display in a public venue. Their claim is that it significantly displays how degraded people have become in their attempt to okay this sensual conduct. One wonders how far it will go before Christians will rise up in disgust withdraw their support from such wickedness.

The writer of Hebrews says in 10:38 “Now the just shall live by faith: . . “ Is your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. If it is, have you withdrawn yourself from the things of the world? Are these worldly things so important that they have a hold on you so that you can draw back from the Lord on a temporary basis and excuse it by claims that you did not see the smut. You do realize that you were counted in the millions that watched it and those that broadcast paid the super bowl based upon the head count. Therefore, you financially supported the halftime show. Is that drawing back from the Lord? The author of Hebrews is very clear here in 10:38 “. . . but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

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ANSWERED PRAYER


I Kings 18:37; Psalm 91:15; Luke 11:9

Prayer should be an important element in our life. I do believe that those that pray regularly see their prayers answered. When all others around us are discouraged and turning their back on God, prayer warriors are sorely needed.

Elijah was a prayer warrior. God strengthened him for what God needed him to do. His prayer was not loud and boisterous nor self-centered. It was simply sent through heavens gates to touch the ear of God almighty. It was a simple request for the demonstration of God’s great and mighty power in consuming a water drenched sacrifice offered to God. Such a simple prayer. “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.”

Would it not be wonderful to hear this prayer offered of an evening to God that this day, may the hearts of the people be turned back to God? Notice how he phrased his prayer to God. He got God’s attention – “Hear me, O LORD, hear me.” I may be downstairs in my study and my wife upstairs and she wants my attention and she calls, “HEY”.

Notice the plea or request that Elijah has for the LORD. “that this people may know that thou art the LORD God”. This very first request was for the honor and glory of God. We must get this idea in our mind, our reason for being here, our purpose in life is to honor and glorify God.

The second request is “that thou hast turned their heart back again.” That is our quest today. We need to pray that God will use us to reach out to those that have strayed from God and turn their hearts back to Him. Here is the sequence that I see here. Hold God up to unbelievers. Serve God by drawing those that stray back to the fold.

God has made a promise to us.Psalm 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”

When we make the Lord our habitation, our dwelling place and continually turn to Him, we find that he knows us. We become familiar because He is our heavenly father and desires to cover us with His wings according to Psalm 91:4 Psalm. 91:11 speaks of His angels he has charged to keep us in our ways. We see He answers our call to Him. He is concerned for us. His promise is to be with us in trouble. He has promised to deliver us and honor us

Through our simple prayers, not only can we communicate with God, but we can plead with Him to change the hearts of people that have turned away from Him.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

We need the faith to ask, seek and knock. Notice the three steps given to us here. We need the faith to ask. First consider the glory of God. Ask that He might be lifted up and all glory will be God’s. Ask God that we might be diligent in serving God in all areas in our life. Then we ask for our needs.

We are then to seek. Search out what the Lord would have us to do. God has a purpose for us. He has something for us to do. Let us seek that purpose and find God’s desire in our life. He wants us to seek the salvation of the lost.

We need to see the return of some that have strayed. The desire of our heavenly father is that His people will turn to Him. His desire is that the lost be saved by trusting in His Son, Jesus Christ. May we raise a chorus of prayers to heaven that the Holy Spirit will touch hearts today, convict the lost of their need for a savior, and that those that have grown cold will yield and turn to serve.

We are called to knock so that doors shut to us will be opened. Sometimes it seems that entrance is denied and doors are shut. Knock. Allow the door to be opened. We understand that in a physical manner, we should do the same in a spiritual way. There are times that we need to knock to gain entrance. Let us be persistent and knock to gain entrance. May prayer become a habit for us in this day and age.

What is your prayer today?

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ABIDING IN CHRIST


John 15:5; I John 2:28; II John 9

Abide – to dwell, to rest to continue, to stand firm.

I John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

There is a place to abide. We are to abide in Jesus. All of our assurance and hope and every blessing resides in our abiding in Jesus. Abiding in Jesus indicates a close relationship. Our abiding in Him indicates that within His nearness, we have peace and re-assurance of His care for us and He is watching over us. I fear that sometimes He sees every moment of my life, whether it is joy or sorrow. He has experience all that I could ever experience in this life. He knows every step I take and every obstacle that hinders my walk. When I stumble, He is there to steady me. When I fall He picks me up and brushes me off and heals body and mind.

I cannot have confidence in this world and the rule of man. I cannot have confidence in government that they will always want the best for me. I cannot have confidence in fellow man that they will treat me right and never fail me or desert me. My confidence must stay on and with the Lord Jesus. He is always present when I need Him. I have confidence in His return to take me home one day. In His time, at the right time, I shall see Him in the air and hear the trumpet of victory sound and I shall meet my Lord in the Air. What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face . . .

My desire is to not be ashamed before God when I stand before Him. Therefore, I must abide. I don’t know when His return is so I must be ready at any time. I have confidence in his return as a thief in the night and because His appearance will not be announced, I must be faithful and true at all times. I must not be drawn away by worldly lusts or desires. I MUST abide in Jesus at all times.

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

Abiding is fruit-bearing. The place of abiding is in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Some choose to abide in the world, in sports, arts, education, politics, power or prestige. The propensity of some to always gravitate to worldly things is evident in what holds their attention and receives their time. These days of hectic activity of the world, we hardly have time for Jesus, much less abiding in him. Abiding means to spend time with him. We abide in our house that we call our home. This is where we eat, we sleep and basically live our lives. This is the hub of our life. Jesus should be the hub of our life.

With Jesus, we are “in Him.” We should be just as comfortable being in him as we are at home. Abiding in Him means that no matter where we are He is ever-present. Since we are in Him at work, we should be just as faithful in representing Him at work as we are at Church. Where ever we are, if we abide in Christ, we will produce, not just fruit but much fruit. Notice that statement “… for without me ye can do nothing. If we are not producing fruit, maybe we should examine ourselves to see if we are abiding.

II John 1:9  “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

If we are abiding in Christ, we have an overwhelming desire to abide in His doctrine. Truth is so important in a time of lying and deceit. So many distort and twist the doctrine of Christ in this modern depraved age. The Bible says, “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” John 8:32. We areresponsible for diligently searching for the truth and finding it. Finding the truth tells of the love we have for Christ.

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ANGER


Psalm 37:8; Proverb 16:32; James 1:19

Psa 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 

Pro 16:32  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. 

Jas 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 

There is an old saying, “They can git glad in the same britches they got mad in. Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: We each have been given an emotion that can be used properly or improperly. How often is it used wrongly and really is a witness against us?

The Psalmist says to cease from anger and forsake wrath:. The context shows that anger or wrath is inappropriate in some instances. The Lord says to not fret or be angry over those wicked that prosper. There are certain things that we can do nothing about, but we should depend upon the Lord in these situations. So let us not be angry over the wicked, that is God’s responsibility. Let us not be angry over what we perceive. We could be wrong in our perception.

Paul said to the Ephesian brethren in Eph. 4:26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Consider that dwelling upon situations that bring anger accelerates anger. This is more or less, mental violence with a desire for revenge. The call is to settle the issue of wrath before the day was over. Anger is a self-defense mechanism that causes an immediate reaction to a sudden personal physical attack. We find an immediate anger is self protection from physical danger and yet there is an anger that is associated with mental perception of slight or verbal offence.

There appears to be those that are very sensitive to verbal responses and see slight that causes anger. My first advice is to not be so sensitive. The last part of Proverbs 16:32 makes a statement that we are advised to heed. – “he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city.” Notice the thought, “ruleth his spirit.” An unchecked emotion such as anger is detrimental to your health. It can cause mental agitation, hand wringing and stomach problems. This sensitive disposition should be calmed by the Word of the Lord and prayer. Some people wreck their health over perceive slights. Take it to the Lord.

Proverbs says to be slow to anger. Let us not mistake a situation and be wrong in our anger. Often, prayer and patience reveals that anger is not necessary. James says be slow to wrath. Haste to become angry often testifies against us. It reveals a heart of unforgiveness. We are to be a forgiving people. Do not misunderstand what is said. The scriptures do not say to never be angry, but our encouragement is to use our anger in such a way that it is beneficial to all. Do not allow anger to rule us but rule anger as Jesus did when he drove the money changers out of the temple. Eph. 4: 30 – 32, – “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Anger, don’t lose it, use it.

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